How long have you been a FCCMA member? 20 years.
Are you an ICMA member and if so, how long? Yes, 15 years.
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education. BA Accounting from USF and Master in Public Administration from FGCU.
What got you interested in public service? I began working in the Public Works Finance Department for Charlotte County as a cost accountant preparing budget for the many street and a drainage MSBUs and then advanced to Budget Office and began to work with administration to gain a better understanding of the big picture of county government. My mentor, Pam Brangaccio, recommended I obtain my MPA and consider being an administrator. One day she placed a job ad on my chair with a highlighted job for assistant county administrator for Okeechobee County and just simply said “apply and get done interview experience.”
What is your current occupation? County Administrator
Please give a brief job description. Manage the affairs of the county by implementing an overseeing the Board’s policies, budget and personnel.
Please describe your typical day. My typical day usually involves problem solving and varies from meeting with citizens addressing concerns, giving staff direction, interpreting policy, reviewing purchase requests, and generally helping to provide a seamless continuity between all constitutional officers and the Board.
What is your favorite part of the job? Problem solving, by being solution oriented and finding compromises that meet the needs of the community.
What is your least favorite part of the job? Handling conflicts between staff and the Board.
What is your most memorable experience on the job? Naming just one is difficult…Landing a new FPL Natural Gas powerplant, by community involvement and hosting FPL management to communicate their importance to our county. Working diligently with BassPro to bring a resort to the County. Highlight of my job is watching staff grow in their career and having the opportunity to reward their efforts through promotions.
What are hobbies/interests? I love being in, on or under the water; especially in the Keys, through boating, diving or just hanging out at one of the many islands. I also am an animal lover and find great pleasure in playing and taking care of my pets. And I’d be remiss if I did not include my love of college football–I am a big UCF Knights fan, my husband’s and bonus children’s alma mater.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people interested in a career in public service, what would it be? Have a heart for the people we provide services to, through compassion for their needs and always remember who pays the bills; providing the best service in as economically as possible.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other young public administrators? Pam Brangaccio who got me started and George Long, who I worked alongside for many years, learning how to be thorough, compassionate and a good leader. I am a good teacher I am told, I never hold back information or miss an opportunity to explain in detail the reasons behind each process, policy or directive.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector? I started my career as a Cost accountant for Newell Window Furnishings in Freeport, IL working private sector for three years before moving to Florida where I have been in public sector since, approaching 28 years, this fall.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another? An attorney for county government.