How long have you been an FCCMA member?
Are you an ICMA member and if so, how long?
Yes, since 2006
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education.
Bachelor of Science in Economics, Ashland University, Ohio
Masters of Public Administration, University of Central Florida
What got you interested in public service?
I sort of fell into it after moving to the Orlando area and having to find a new job. I did not have the option of remaining in the current profession at that time as an actuarial analyst in a benefit consulting firm because there were no companies located in Orlando. So I started looking into other analytical types of positions and got an offer from the City of Maitland, FL as an OMB Analyst. After a year, I decided I wanted to stay in public service because I very much enjoyed helping to shape a community and having an impact on that community. That’s when I decided to get my MPA and that experience continued to cement my belief that the public sector was for me.
What is your current occupation?
Finance Director, City of Treasure Island
Please give a brief job description.
Oversee the financials of the City including all accounting, cash handling, investments, payroll, budget and procurement as well as staff the front desk where we work directly to the public coming into City Hall.
Please describe your typical day.
There is no typical day, but it generally starts off by checking in with my team on both the good and the bad that happened or they think will happen. Then the day begins with the best of intentions of things to complete, but always reprioritizing those things as the day unfolds.
What is your favorite part of the job?
That there is no typical day and that you can get pulled into a multitude of situations that require both working with people and analytics. I enjoy problem solving and love it when I can contribute to a solution that is a win for everyone involved.
What is your least favorite part of the job?
Never getting used to say “no”, while it is a necessary part of all of our jobs within public service. When I feel like I am saying “no” too much, I try and stop and figure out why. Sometimes, it is what it is, but every now and then I come up with a “why?” question that challenges the box that we sometimes feel like we are in. I have come up with some of my best, and yes, sometimes wacky ideas for change or improvement when I get frustrated with saying “no” too much.
What is your most memorable experience on the job?
I have had many, but I would have to say that I felt a lot of gratification when the first budget where I oversaw the entire process was adopted was one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences. Another memorable experience was going through Leadership ICMA and attending the Senior Executive Institute where the experience and knowledge about high-performance organizations enabled me to view teams and organizations in a new way.
What are hobbies/interests?
I grew up in a competitive sailing family and boating of all kinds was the focus growing up. So being close to the water is important to me. Also enjoy reading and doing anything creative.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people interested in a career in public service, what would it be?
It is the perfect place to be if you think you are a master of none and a jack-of-all-trades. I believe that being in public service really speaks to a person who is well-rounded and has a broad skill-set. Do not underestimate the value of all of your skills and experience as a total package.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other young public administrators?
I have and continue to have many mentors, colleagues and friends. They have been my current and prior managers, co-workers and peers at other local governmental agencies. I value my time spent with my mentors to share experiences and receive/give advice because it often has helped me see things from a different perspective.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector?
I was in the private sector for nearly 10 years as an underwriter and also a marketing manager in the insurance industry, an actuarial analyst for a benefit consulting firm and as an implementation specialist in the software industry.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another?
Because I enjoy putting together teams, a head-hunter/recruiter or something creative in the Arts.