Paul Simonds has more than 20 years of public affairs and strategic/crisis communications experience, spanning numerous issues and industries throughout California. At CP&A, Mr. Simonds works with business sectors ranging from utilities to developers to professional sports teams to transit providers. With a media relations and internal/external stakeholder outreach background, Mr. Simonds provides strategic counsel, coalition building, relationship development, land-use entitlement and public relations services for his clients.
Before joining CP&A, Mr. Simonds served as SoCalGas’ outreach manager for the Advanced Meter Infrastructure project before serving as the utility’s public affairs manager in south Orange County, where he advocated on behalf of the nation’s largest natural gas distribution company before 13 different jurisdictions. Mr. Simonds also served in the Public Information Office during the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage leak, where he played a pivotal role in developing policies and crisis communications messaging.
Before his time at SoCalGas, he helped launch the social media policies and procedures for Cerrell Associates, one of Los Angeles’ most influential public affairs firms. Prior to working at Cerrell, Mr. Simonds served as the communications manager for the Irvine-based Western Growers Association. Western Growers Association is the nation’s largest specialty crop trade association, representing Arizona and California’s fruit, vegetable and tree-nut growers, packers and shippers. There, Mr. Simonds managed all internal and external communications efforts on issues ranging from food safety to immigration reform to water supply reliability.
Mr. Simonds has a long history of serving the Orange County community. He was a three-time chairman of the South Orange County Economic Coalition (SOCEC) and continues to serve on SOCEC’s advocacy committee. In addition to that, he was one of the longest-serving board members for the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce (GICC), where he served as the organization’s vice-chairman and led the chamber’s government affairs committee. He also served as chairman of the Economic Coalition Political Action Committee. Mr. Simonds is a former board member of the Capistrano Unified School District Foundation, Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, Sustain OC, Kinetic Academy Charter School, and the external relations committee for Second Harvest Food Bank. Mr. Simonds also serves on the City of Huntington Beach’s 4th of July Committee.
Mr. Simonds is a veteran, serving as a Navy journalist from 2001 to 2006. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Media Relations from Chapman University in Orange and his Master’s in Public Administration from Brandman University in Irvine.