Executive Staff

Laura O'Sullivan, Chief of Staff

Laura O'Sullivan serves as Mayor Buttigieg’s Chief of Staff. In this role, Laura advances the Mayor’s vision for the future and works to make the city more innovative, equitable, and sustainable. 

O’Sullivan came to the City from the University of Notre Dame, where she served as Director of Athletic Events and Stewardship, Director of Special Events and Stewardship, Program Director of Annual Giving Events, and Program and Events Coordinator for Recognition Societies. She previously served as Director of Development and Executive Director of the SMC Foundation at Southwestern Michigan College, as well as the Executive Director for the Northern Indiana March of Dimes. She is a South Bend native and 1993 graduate of Purdue University. She has served as citizen member of the South Bend Common Council Parks and Recreation Committee, Trustee of the South Bend Awesome Fund, member of the League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area, and Board Member of the South Bend Alumni Association.

Suzanna Fritzberg, Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director

Suzanna Fritzberg serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor. She received her B.A. from Yale University with research in gender studies and political science, and holds Master of Science degrees from the University of Oxford in social policy and political theory. Suzanna’s work experience includes time as an Economic Policy Researcher for the Roosevelt Institute Think Tank, and Fellowship Director for the Students for a New American Politics PAC.

Cherri Peate, Director of Community Outreach

Cherri Peate serves as Director of Community Outreach for the Office of Mayor Pete Buttigieg. A South Bend native and Washington High School graduate, Cherri is committed to serve the community--a passion that spans over 15 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis in sociology; a Certificate of Completion in community and voluntary services at All Hallows College in Dublin, Ireland; and a Master of Science in public service management from DePaul University in Chicago. It was at DePaul University that she was welcomed as a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Cherri is an advisory board member at IU South Bend’s Center for a Sustainable Future, a member of the Young Professionals Against Poverty at the Center for Homeless, serves as  co-chair and director of strategy for the  Political Outreach committee for the St. Joseph County African-American Democratic Coalition (SJCAADC), and  is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Her avocations include mentoring, spending time with family and friends, and has invested years in the arts as a professional spoken word artist.

Mark Bode, Director of Communications

Mark Bode serves the City as Director of Communications. Mark graduated from Harvard University, where he studied Government and Economics and served as the managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He previously worked as an intern in Mayor Buttigieg’s office. He also has experience with the United States Conference of Mayors, and is a recipient of the Presidential Public Service Fellowship. Mark is a native Hoosier and grew up in Avon, IN. 

Yesenia Garcilazo, Scheduler and Executive Assistant

Yesenia Garcilazo serves as Mayor Buttigieg’s Scheduler and Executive Assistant. As Scheduler, Yesenia is responsible for tracking scheduling requests and maintaining the Mayor’s calendar; as the Executive Assistant, she is responsible for executing all official business travel arrangements, as well as organizing Mayor’s Night Out. A South Bend native and Washington High School graduate, Yesenia received her bachelor’s degree from IU South Bend in General Studies with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Services. Yesenia’s previous experiences include: billing and office management (Cash Processing Representative, Beacon Health Systems) and resolving constituents’ concerns (Secretary, Office of Mayor Pete Buttigieg). 

Yesenia’s avocations include providing translating services to South Bend residents, volunteering, and spending time with family. 

Shalon "Shay" Davis, Administrative Assistant

Shalon Davis has served the City of South Bend since 1998, beginning as licensing secretary for the Building Department under the leadership of Don Fozo. Shalon also worked for former Mayor Stephen Luecke. 

A native of South Bend and a graduate of John Adams High School, Shalon plays a vital role in resolving an array of resident concerns and managing the day to day operations of the office. Shalon also coordinates a variety of special events for the Mayor’s Office and serves as the City's Black History Month and United Way Coordinator.

Shalon is a citizen member of the Community Relations Committee for the Common Council, a member of the Board of Directors for Michiana Crime Stoppers, a board member of Mamas Against Violence (MAV’s), a committee member of the NAACP and the Community Relations Coordinator for the St. Joseph County African American Democratic Coalition (SJCAADC). She also volunteers her time and services with the annual Martin Luther King celebration, Toys for Tots and other diverse organizations throughout the City.