How long have you been a FCCMA member? Two years
Are you an ICMA member and if so, how long? Yes, four months
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education. M.S. and B.S. of Education from The Florida State University.
What got you interested in public service? Dr. Cheryl Beeler, FSU Recreation and Leisure Service Program
What is your current occupation? County Administrator for Hendry County, Florida
Please give a brief job description. Serve as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Hendry County Government. Oversee all administrative and fiscal duties and manager over 120 employees.
Please describe your typical day. Building relationship with staff, putting out fires, focusing on accurate and pro-active communication with the public, empowering staff daily to be problem-solvers.
What is your favorite part of the job? The process of creating livable and vibrant communities, engaging the public and empowering staff to make visions into reality.
What is your least favorite part of the job? Dealing with grossly mis-informed individuals who refuse to review the facts of a matter and simply wish to argue, not resolve matters.
What is your most memorable experience on the job? My first Board of County Commissioner’s meeting as a CAO. The nerves were horrible, but the adrenaline rush was amazing to get the approval vote on my first initiatives.
What are hobbies/interests? Spending time with my wife and three kids, camping , fishing, reading leadership books, and trying different types of dining experiences.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people interested in a career in public service, what would it be? Give it an honest try. Don’t discount the public sector just because of salaries and private industry pace. Public service is immensely rewarding for action-oriented people who truly care about their communities. There is never a dull moment if you are working for a pro-active local government.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other young public administrators? Vince Long, Leon County Administrator; Marlon Brown, Deputy City Manager of Sarasota; Earl “Bud” Parmer, Retired City Manager of Kissimmee and Coach Henry Dismuke of Mississippi College. All of the men had an impact on my life for their ability to take measured risks to do the right thing. They may not have been popular with their decisions, but they chose to do the right thing any way. I pass on this lesson to fellow professionals as a test of courage. If you don’t have the grit to make the hard choices for the right reasons, then you seriously need to reflect in the mirror about your career. People count on you to you to lead them well and to empower them to be the best they can be. If you can’t balance the good and the bad of executive leadership, then this is not the arena for you.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector? I started part-time with the Hilton Sandestin and Campus Recreation at Florida State University. All of my full-time employment has been in public government.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another?
General Manager of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox, or Leadership Development Consulting.