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Gina Nestande, Mayor

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Gina NestandeGina Nestande was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.  After graduating from the University of Missouri with a BS in Education, Gina Nestande moved to California in 1989 to pursue her dream of becoming a professional triathlete.

Her hard work paid off and, within a few years, Gina was traveling the world competing in Iron-man Triathlons and other endurance events while working as a substitute teacher, eventually entering the MBA program at the University of San Diego.  

In 1996, Gina moved to Palm Desert where she balanced being a homemaker and raising five children with volunteering at Sacred Heart Parish and School.  Over the next 16 years, Gina’s role at Sacred Heart grew significantly. She ultimately  served as Sacred Heart’s Development Director with responsibilities including event planning and fundraising for the school and church. 

In 2005, Gina met former Republican State Assemblyman Brian Nestande. As single parents who shared interests in politics and community service, they had a lot in common. They married and made a life together with a combined family of seven children.

In 2016, Gina decided to run for City Council as she wanted to play a role in the future of Palm Desert for its current citizens as well as  the next generation.  Gina was successful in her campaign and was elected to the City Council in 2016 . Gina was recently sworn in as Mayor on December 12, 2019.  

Gina has served on many committees, but not limited to, the Chamber of Commerce, Marketing Committee, Hotel and Signature Events, So. California Association of Governments Energy & Environmental Committee, Sustainability Committee, Audit and Finance Committee,  Cove Communities  Public Safety Committee, and the Coachella Valley Water District 2 x2 Committee.

As the last of  Gina’s children graduated from Sacred Heart School, she joined one of the top producing real estate teams in the Coachella Valley with their group closing over 100 transactions per year.  As a local Real Estate Broker and mother of five children, Gina realizes the importance of having a well-run City that preserves the quality of life,  property values and need for economic development that will bring good jobs for our youth.  

Office Hours: Members of the public are invited to meet with Mayor Nestande by appointment


University of Missouri – B.S. Education – 1988
University of San Diego – Studies in the Master of Business Program – 1995
Cal State University – Information Management – 1996
National University – California Teacher Credentialing Coursework – 2010/2011
Certificated in Multiple Subjects and Single Subject Social Studies
University of California – Cross cultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certificate – 2011

Work Experience

Development Director Sacred Heart School
Substitute Teacher Desert Sands Unified
Licensed Real Estate Broker

Volunteer Community Participation

Rotary Club of Palm Desert
Chamber of Commerce Palm Desert
Parent Board - Sacred Heart School
Volunteer Palm Desert High School
Volunteer Xavier College Prep
Former Palm Desert Youth Soccer Coach
Former YMCA Basketball Coach

Contact Mayor Nestande