Former Palo Alto Deputy City Manager & Planning Director Steve Emslie Joins Public Affairs Firm Goodyear Peterson Hayward & Associates

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Steve Emslie, the former Deputy City Manager of Palo Alto and a longtime urban planning expert, has joined San Francisco public affairs firm Goodyear Peterson Hayward & Associates and will helm the firm’s newly opened Palo Alto office.

Mr. Emslie will act as Regional Director for the firm, focusing on a wide spectrum of business matters, but with a particular focus on land use and development projects throughout the Peninsula, South Bay and East Bay.

“We welcome Steve to the firm,” said company co-founder Rich Peterson, “Steve is known throughout the region for his many years in government service, his expertise in complex land use matters and his collaborative, constructive approach to problem solving across all municipal functions.”

Mr. Emslie brings more than three decades of experience in municipal stewardship, land use planning and urban development in Peninsula, South and East Bay cities. Most recently, Mr. Emslie served as Deputy City Manager for the City of Palo Alto which included the roles of Director of Planning and Community Environment, from 2002 to 2013. During Mr. Emslie’s service in Palo Alto, he represented the City in negotiations for the Stanford Hospital renewal project.

Mr. Emslie’s experience in Palo Alto also included managing numerous corporate expansions including Facebook’s expansion in the Stanford Research Park, the renovation of the VMware campus, and Hewlett Packard’s consolidation of its Palo Alto headquarters. He also established a communications model that facilitated productive discussions between local cities and community activists on issues such as High Speed Rail.

Also in Palo Alto, Mr. Emslie oversaw the modernization of the development review process which included an overhaul of the City’s development code and electronic permit tracking which improved customer service and reduced permit processing times. He also represented the City in negotiations with the California High Speed Rail Authority in Sacramento.

Prior to Mr. Emslie’s Palo Alto experience, he was Deputy Planning Director for the City of San Jose from 1999 to 2002. Among other duties, Mr. Emslie led the City’s code enforcement efforts for the Strong Neighborhood Initiative, a unique partnership between community leaders and the City’s service providers.

“I am very pleased to start my career in private practice with Goodyear Peterson Hayward & Associates,” said Mr. Emslie. “The firm has built a very impressive client roster in just a few years and I look forward to adding to the success here.”

Goodyear Peterson Hayward & Associates was founded in 2010 by Charles Goodyear and Richard H. Peterson, Jr. Mr. Goodyear is a former reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle and an expert in communications and crisis management. Mr. Peterson has been among the most active political organizers in San Francisco over the last decade, and is also the past president of the San Francisco Employee Retirement System, as well as the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

The firm’s third partner, Boe Hayward, joined the company in 2012. Mr. Hayward served as Chief of Staff to then-San Francisco Supervisor, Bevan Dufty, from 2005 to 2011 and oversaw all aspects of the supervisor’s legislative agenda and constituent services for District 8. Mr. Hayward now holds the title of Principal at the firm.

Goodyear Peterson Hayward serves an elite and diverse client group, including: Facebook, The Sobrato Organization, Uniqlo, Republic Services, Genentech, Audi USA, Grocery Outlet, Hearst Corp., CH2M Hill, Shell Oil, Zendesk, and AT&T.

“We are looking forward to new opportunities,” said co-founder Charles Goodyear. “But our focus remains the same – to provide discrete, effective services for the maximum success of our clients.”

For more information, visit


Goodyear Peterson Hayward & Associates
Charles Goodyear, 415-265-1545

Release Summary

Goodyear Peterson Hayward & Associates is pleased to announce the hiring of Steve Emslie, former Planning Director of Palo Alto.


Goodyear Peterson Hayward & Associates
Charles Goodyear, 415-265-1545