How long have you been a FCCMA member and why did you join?
I joined FCCMA in early 2018 immediately after a discussion with my mentor and St. Lucie County Administrator, Howard N. Tipton, regarding my career path and plans for growth. After Mr. Tipton advised me on membership with FCCMA and how it would help me grow professionally and foster opportunities for networking and collaboration with other municipalities, I decided to join.
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education.
I am a Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and hold a Masters of Business Administration. I am in the final stages of my Doctorate of Business Administration and actively writing my dissertation on the “Study of the Relationship Between Retention and Methods Managers are Employing to Maintain Intellectual Capital”. I am also Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.
Why did you select a career in public service?
This has been a goal of mine for a very long time as I come from an extended family of public servants and elected officials. Just knowing that I am here to provide a service to and act in the best interest of the community in which I live. I enjoy the culture of public service in offering quality in services, rather than focusing solely on bottom-line profits. Being a part of the Human Resources team in St. Lucie County allows me to continue to be service-driven and instill servant leadership in others.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector?
I spent about fifteen (15) years in the private sector working in County Club Management before I was offered an opportunity in the public sector.
Please tell us about your current position and give a brief job description if you are not a City Administrator/Manager.
I have been acting as the Interim Human Resources & Risk Management Director for St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners and have been recently promoted to the permanent position. I am responsible for the leadership of the Human Resources Department and its functions, to include employee recruitment and training, employee/labor relations, compensation and benefits management, risk management, legal compliance, employee health center and wellness program oversight, mail delivery coordination, etc.
Please describe your typical day.
Is there really a typical day in the world of Human Resources? I generally arrive to the office at least an hour earlier before office hours to get in some extra work time. Once staff arrives, we address all “fires” and high-priority projects, as needed. A typical day is generally responding to emails, making phone calls, attending County events and HR/Department meetings, along with collaborative meetings with personnel from other municipalities and non-profit agencies. We are always looking at best practices and training opportunities to make St. Lucie County a better place to live, work and play!
What is your favorite part of the job?
What I love about Human Resources is that my profession is ever changing to make things better.
My favorite part of my job is when I have the chance to truly connect to an employee, applicant or resident in need. I enjoy offering information or opportunities as needed to help them become a better part of the community.
It may be opportunities such as providing new and improved strategies that helps employees with their personal and professional development, effective training plans, new HR technologies and tools, or partnering with top-level managers to find ways of improving processes to help the company reach its objectives. I love helping employees reach and realize their fullest potential as well as being an advocate for diversity.
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 am currently the Past-President for St. Lucie County Human Resource Association (SLCHRA) and Certification Director for HRFlorida (HRFL). I Chair the Referendum Citizen’s Advisory Committee for St. Lucie Public Schools, which provides oversight to ensure that the referendum funds are used for the purposes described in the referendum ballot language. I am also a Board Member for the HANDS of St. Lucie County, a community organization that provides primary healthcare services and access to a continuum of healthcare to qualified, low-income, uninsured adult residents.
What are your hobbies/interests?
My hobbies are my family! I enjoy spending time with my wonderful wife and two amazing children – Raegan, 5-year old daughter and Callahan, 2-year old son. In our spare time, we enjoy going swimming, visiting amusement parks and some of the local family activity centers, like the Aquarium, History Center, Manatee Center, Oxbow Center, etc.
If you could give one piece of advice to people interested in a career in public service, what would it be?
If you are looking for stability, growth opportunities and a career path where you are empowered to make changes for the betterment of your community, I say Go For It! Check out the vacancies in your local community agencies or governmental entities. If you lack experience, find an entry-level position to get you started in learning about public service. There is always room for growth and opportunity in public service. Continue to find ways to challenge yourself by attending networking events, conferences and webinars, seeking additional educational opportunities, or joining professional organizations like ICMA and FCCMA.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other aspiring public administrators?
As I previously mentioned, my current mentor is St. Lucie County Administrator, Howard N. Tipton. The confidence and investment he has and continues to show in me, makes me strive harder and harder each day! I am always committed to imparting any knowledge and information I have to help anyone excel and achieve their career goals. I have assisted professionals with becoming members with local career organizations; identifying educational goals and putting them in touch with like-minded professionals that can help them further their career path.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another?
Do you mean besides an airline pilot or superhero? I honestly do not know if I would pick another career. Well, as I mentioned, this has always been a career goal for me and seeing my family of public servants and elected officials fulfillment by their public service careers continues to give me motivation. Personally, I strive every day to do my very best in my current role while keeping my eye on the ultimate prize of becoming a City or County Manager/Administrator.
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?
I am currently in the process of creating a student chapter with Indian River State College in St. Lucie County. We are working closely with the college and FCCMA in this effort that will ultimately yield employees and leaders that can be homegrown within our community and beyond. The opportunity to help these student members see what their role in local government would and can be excites me and keeps the fire alive for public servants.