How long have you been a FCCMA member and why did you join?
Five years. To expand my network and to gain training and education in my field.
Are you an ICMA member, why did you join, and how long have you been a member?
Yes. Same reason I joined FCCMA. Over 10 years.
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education (if applicable).
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Master of Public Administration, Master of Project Management and various certifications in Emergency Management, i.e. Damage Assessment and Incident Command.
Why did you select a career in public service?
Passion to serve. Challenged with identifying problems and finding solutions that improve the public’ quality of life.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector?
I have worked in local government over 36 years, but recently have done work in the private sector.
Please tell us about your current position and give a brief job description if you are not a City Administrator/Manager.
Currently MIT. Worked most of my career as an Assistant Manager and Interim Manager.
Please describe your typical day.
I enjoy starting my day early, reading the local newspaper, catching up with the daily news. Currently writing grants, managing capital projects and consulting for local municipalities. Before the end of the day, I typically scout for city manager/assistant city manager opportunities in cities and counties.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Dealing with people, serving the public, and working with staff as a team in achieving the objectives and projects for the city.
What is your least favorite part of the job?
Dealing with office politics and witnessing inappropriate behaviors.
If you are involved in any volunteer or leadership activities in your community, please share with us a bit about what you do and why it is important to you.
I volunteer in my church group and participate in delivering meals to the less fortunate. I advocate autism causes, and cancer research.
What is your most memorable experience on the job?
In 1992, while working in the City of Coral Gables, dealing with the Preparation, Response and Recovery to Hurricane Andrew. That experience demonstrated the importance in working as a team to accomplish the mutual goal of getting our City back in shape and running. I was assigned as the damage assessment coordinator and managed personal that conducted damage assessments. That experience demonstrated to me as a young
professional the importance of communication, working together, looking out for each other, as well as the importance of setting a good example, as a leader and motivator.
What are your hobbies/interests?
Boating, scuba diving, reading non-frictional books and magazine, learning. I love to learn.
If you could give one piece of advice to people interested in a career in public service, what would it be?
If you plan to apply for a position in government, find out about the way the government runs and who is running it. There is a saying- “pick your boss.” When you find a good leader and motivator go after the job, if you find different, look for something else. This is true for all jobs, in both the public and private sector.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other aspiring public administrators?
My mentor was Jack Eads, City of Coral Gables City Manager for over 13 years, before retiring in 2001. Mr. Eads appointed me as his assistant in 1994. I have managed many staff members in both cities I have worked for and have shared with them advice given to me by Mr. Eads. Such as, the purpose of our government is to provide service and the importance of serving the public well, and always with respect. We should strive to manage the elected officials with respect as well and any information provided to them and the public should be factual. Mr. Eads also led by example, I learned seeing him navigate through the city challenges and the fluctuating political climate.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another?
A Municipal Attorney.
Do you have a story you can share about how being a member of FCCMA has helped you or impacted you in a positive way?
YES. Currently as an MIT, FCCMA gives you Hope! Many great people (most former Government Managers) are willing and ready to assist YOU, in getting back to your profession. The networking, the ability to continue learning, and the support is “priceless.”