Bud Ovrom often refers to himself as a third generation San Diegan, because his maternal grandfather came to San Diego by covered wagon before the turn of the century, and he first moved there as an infant. But, he was actually born at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis while his father, a career naval officer, was teaching there.
Being from a military family, Bud lived in many places as a child including Coronado, California; Galveston, Texas; Newport, Rhode Island; San Diego, California; Annapolis, Maryland; and Arlington, Virginia. After being in three different schools in the 7th grade, his parents enrolled him at San Diego Military Academy, where he lived until he graduated, as the Cadet Corps Battalion Commander, in 1963.
Originally interested in going into the Foreign Service, Bud graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1967, with a degree in Political Science/International Relations. He was President of his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, in his Junior year and immediately after graduation, joined the Peace Corps. He served in Guatemala from 1967 – 1970.
Although Bud enjoyed the Peace Crops, it was a turbulent time in the United States and he decided he did not want to live the rest of his life overseas. When he returned to the U.S., his Peace Corps supervisor suggested a career in local government. Bud got his first job as Assistant to the City Manager of Simi Valley in 1970. From there, he went on to be City Manager of Monrovia and Downey, and ultimately Burbank in 1995, where he stayed for 18 years before retiring in 2003.
As a second career, Bud went to the City of Los Angeles in March, 2003 as CEO of the Redevelopment Agency in Mayor Jim Hahn’s administration. He subsequently was appointed Deputy Mayor for Economic Development during Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s first term and General Manager of the Building and Safety Department during his second term. Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed him as the first General Manager of the newly created Department of Convention and Tourism Development, from where he retired in March, 2017.
Bud’s wife, Denise, also has a career in local government, serving in Simi Valley, Claremont, Brea, Temple City and Beverly Hills. During the time she was City Manager of Temple City, Bud and Denise were the only husband and wife City Managers in the nation. There had been one couple in Texas and another couple in Illinois, but they both got divorced! Bud and Denise are still happily married over 40 years.
Their eldest daughter, Shelley, is currently the Director of Human Resources for the City of Beverly Hills. Younger daughter, Heather, lives in Bakersfield, CA. Bud’s favorite things to do are spending time at their vacation home on Mission Bay in San Diego, going to concerts with Denise and being with their grandson, Zackary.