How long have you been a FCCMA member? I have been a member of FCCMA for just over three years (since 2015).
Are you an ICMA member and if so, how long? No, I am not.
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education. I started my professional career in social services so my undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Sociology. After working in the field for a number of years, I obtained an MBA so that I could pursue different opportunities specifically those more related to finance and budget.
What got you interested in public service? One of things I really enjoyed about my experiences in social services is that the work really mattered. It was about helping others and you felt tremendous responsibility toward your clients and employer. Transitioning to government allowed me to retain that feeling while working in finance and budget.
What is your current occupation? Assistant County Manager for Osceola County
Please give a brief job description. As Assistant County Manager, I am a direct report to the County Manager responsible for supporting County Administration and the Board of County Commissioners. Specifically, I am primarily in charge of the support functions within our organization. As a result, functions such as finance, budget, procurement, special assessments, information technology, clerk, governmental affairs, debt and investments report directly to me.
Please describe your typical day. I am sure it is cliché but there really is no typical day in government. You can start the day thinking you know what is planned, but a call from a citizen, request from an elected official, a system failure, etc. can turn the day upside down. I think what is typical is to expect the unexpected.
What is your favorite part of the job? I believe one of my most important responsibilities is succession development (helping employees develop and grow professionally). It is a pleasure to be able to be a small part of watching leaders develop.
What is your least favorite part of the job? The tone of politics/use of social media in today’s environment. Lies and personal attacks aren’t just directed at elected officials and top executives. Government employees at all levels can be targets for simply doing their jobs. Some of things said are so blatantly incorrect but people are willing to believe it. It can be difficult to keep employee morale up.
What is your most memorable experience on the job? Unfortunately some of my most memorable experiences are ones that weren’t successful. I don’t see this as a negative, however, because I have tried to take something away from each one. The goal, of course, is to hopefully become wiser as a result.
What are your hobbies/interests? I love to read, watch TV, travel, and home improvement projects.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people interested in a career in public service, what would it be? For all young people, I would encourage them to be curious–don’t assume you know everything; and work hard–you really aren’t owed anything. Specifically for public service, be patient–change in a governmental agency will rarely provide instant gratification; and be proud–you have chosen a noble profession, give it the respect it is due.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other young public administrators? I have been fortunate to have many great mentors that continue. One of my mentors was Wendy Widmann. I always appreciated that she was willing to give me the opportunity to vent (translate whine) to her, but would always turn it back around to what I was going to do about it. She was a confidant that would help me refocus and not get away from accepting responsibility for what I could control. I have tried to provide the same opportunity for others.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector? As noted earlier, I began my career in the private sector.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another? Doing home improvement projects.