Simril, Gonzalez join Los Angeles Dodgers front office team

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers have added two veterans of city hall to their front office. Renata Simril, a former deputy mayor under Mayor James Hahn, will serve as Senior Vice President, External Affairs. Rafael Gonzalez, who worked at city hall under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as a member of his senior staff, will be the team’s Director of Community Relations. Both begin their jobs immediately.

“We are very fortunate to have two such seasoned professionals join our front office team,” said Dodgers’ President and CEO Stan Kasten. “We look forward to having Renata and Rafael continuing their good work in the community on behalf of the Dodgers.”

Simril comes to the Dodgers from Jones Lang LaSalle, where she served as managing director of the financial and professional services firm‘s public institutions practice, where she guided the overall business development strategy, marketing and branding for the Southwest region. Prior to that, Simril was senior vice president with Forest City Enterprises, where she was responsible for Southern California operations. She also served as deputy mayor for Economic Development in the Hahn administration. In this capacity, she oversaw and managed five of the city’s community and economic development departments and led policy, legislative and budget affairs.

Before going to city hall, Simril held various positions with for profit and non-profit organizations. She began her career as a policy deputy for former City Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas. Simril served as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army prior to earning a B.A. in urban studies from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s in real estate development from The Price School of Public Policy at USC.  

Gonzalez has been Chief Service Officer in the Office of Neighborhood & Community Services at city hall since April 2010, where he was responsible for developing and leading the mayor’s civic engagement initiatives. He has also served as director of Neighborhood & Community Services since August 2005, where he was responsible for directing the mayor’s city-wide community relations. Prior to that, he was executive director of two community organizations: Collective SPACE (Social Power through Action & Community Education) and Public Allies – Los Angeles. He also served with the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEO) and the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF) directing respective community education and engagement campaigns. Gonzalez is a graduate of Cal State Northridge.