by Casey Cook, FCCMA Executive Director
The 2016 FCCMA Annual Conference is in the books! For those that couldn’t make this year’s conference, the theme was “Growing the Next Generation” and based on the feedback we’ve received, it was one of our best conferences yet! Please join me in thanking the conference planning committee for all of their hard work in making the event a success.
Congratulations are in order for our new Executive Board: Michael Pleus (DeLand) completed his term as president and moved into the past president seat. Bobby Green (Auburndale) was sworn in as FCCMA’s new president, Jim Hanson (Orange Park) became president-elect, and Michael Cernech (Tamarac) was elected secretary-treasurer. Congratulations also go out to our new board members: Michael Beedie (Fort Walton Beach), Charles Chapman (Hendry County), Jason Nunemaker (Fellsmere), and Jim Gleason (Mascotte). Quite an impressive group that I know will continue to provide strong leadership for the association.
Lynn Tipton, longtime FCCMA Executive Director, was given the Dick Simmons Award for her countless contributions to the profession. Additionally, Lynn was named “Executive Director Emeritus”. While she will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of the association, I’ve asked Lynn to continue working with our Professional Management Matters Committee and the Senior Advisors. Lynn has been a mentor to me for almost a decade – she was my first boss at the Florida League of Cities and is someone that I look up to. I’ve truly enjoyed working with her over the last year and am comforted by the fact that she’s only a phone call away. Thank you, Lynn, for all that you’ve done for FCCMA and for all that you’ve done for me.
For those of you that I haven’t met yet, I am your new Executive Director. I’ve joked that following Lynn feels a little like serving as the FSU head football coach immediately after Bobby Bowden. Much like Jimbo Fisher, I’ve taken over a great organization and look forward to making it even better! Like Lynn, I grew up in local government as both of my parents worked for the city of Tallahassee, my dad as an engineer in the Public Works Department and my mom as the city clerk. I was going to commission meetings before I was born and spent many Wednesday nights growing up doing homework in the back of the commission chambers. After graduating college I moved back to Tallahassee and started working for the Florida League of Cities, first in the Membership Department and now in Legislative Affairs. For the last seven years I’ve been one of the League’s lobbyists fighting for Home Rule at the Capitol.
As many of you know, I was named FCCMA’s Assistant Executive Director last year and have spent the past year learning as much as possible about FCCMA. I’m sure that I’ve annoyed some of you by asking too many questions, but my goal has been to learn what we’re doing well and what can be improved. The past year has been further confirmation for me that Florida is a state where people want to live, not because of the decisions made by 160 politicians in Tallahassee, but because of the quality of life provided by cities and counties. Each of you plays a major role in making this a reality – thank you!
In closing, FCCMA is YOUR association and we are here to help YOU. Carol Russell and I are always available to talk if you have any comments, concerns, new ideas, or ways that we can improve – please don’t hesitate to call or email.