How long have you been a FCCMA member?
Are you an ICMA member and if so, how long?
Yes, for 38 Years.
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education.
B.A. in History from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.
MPA Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University
Graduate of the Senior Executive Institute, University of Virginia
Post Graduate Short Courses, University of Michigan
What got you interested in public service?
I was engaged in community organizing and youth work in the Inner City. I began to interact with the Model City Agency, a great society program of the Johnson Administration. Its objective was to bring City Government closer to Inner City neighborhoods through greater citizen participation and engagement in municipal services. Then I went to work for the Model City Agency before graduate school.
What is your current occupation?
I am currently County Administrator for Pinellas County, Florida, a large urban County of 910,000 thousand people on the Gulf Coast in the Tampa Bay Area.
Please give a brief job description.
As the Chief Administrative Officer, I support the Board of County Commissioners and the department directors delivering a variety of Countywide and municipal services in a County of 24 Cities with a budget of nearly $1.7 billion.
Please describe your typical day.
A typical day involves a wide variety of interaction with commissioners, elected and appointed officials in the county and the cities in providing high-level guidance and direction to county operations.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Framing and setting strategic direction, defining and shaping the task of leadership for the organization.
What is your least favorite part of the job?
Extraordinarily long commission meetings.
What is your most memorable experience on the job?
Watching citizens and staff succeed in a major undertaking and recognizing their own capabilities.
What are hobbies/interests?
Travel, reading non-fiction and current events. Attending theatrical productions.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people interested in a career in public service, what would it be?
Suspend your disbelief, embrace the ambiguity of management and be prepared for the opportunities to have a profound effect of the quality of life of a community. Seek out mentors who would expose you to a wide variety of activity in local government.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other young public administrators?
My mentors are managers that I worked for and colleagues, much brighter than I, who were willing to share their ideas. I have tried to be a good coach and offer those coming up in the profession the opportunity to stretch and experience both success and failure while learning in a safe environment.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector?
I have spent nearly my entire career in public service but have had several intermediary stints as a consultant in project management, labor negotiations and organizational development.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another?
Charter Boat Captain; Philosopher; Master Vintner.