How long have you been a FCCMA member and why did you join?
I have been a member of FCCMA for just over five years. I joined initially as an affiliate for professional development and networking, and to further explore my interest in public administration.
Are you an ICMA member, why did you join, and how long have you been a member?
I have also been a member of ICMA for five years and joined for the same reasons.
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education.
I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) and a Master’s in Public Administration from Hodges University.
Why did you select a career in public service?
I have a love for serving my community and public administration was a natural fit. It provided equal fulfillment and challenge.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector?
I originally began my career in the private sector working for a Fortune 500 company. I think there are many best practices in the private sector that can be adapted in the public sector to make our organizations more efficient.
Please tell us about your current position and give a brief job description if you are not a City Administrator/Manager.
I currently serve as the Deputy County Administrator for Charlotte County and oversee Public Safety, Community Services, Public Works, Tourism, Public Information, Legislative Affairs and Grants Compliance for the organization. In addition to the departments I supervise, I play an active role in developing organizational culture and leading special initiatives for the county.
Please describe your typical day.
I don’t believe that I have a typical day. Each new day brings new challenges and opportunities and no two days are alike. It is one of the things I love most about this career.
What is your favorite part of the job?
To me the best part of the job is the people that I work with and the variety of challenges and opportunities that we have to collectively improve our community and our organization. Charlotte County has some of the finest professionals and is a great place to work (shameless plug for all you student members!)
What is your least favorite part of the job?
If I am being honest, the lack of civility towards government in general and government employees is my least favorite part of the job.
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 currently serve on the board of directors for the Florida State Park Foundation and the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association. As a native Floridian, I am very passionate about our state and preserving the natural resources that we have for future generations to enjoy. Locally, I serve on the leadership board for Girls on the Run of Southwest Florida. Girls on the Run is a mentoring program that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
What is your most memorable experience on the job?
In my 15 years in public service, there have been many memorable experiences; however, experiencing a full activation of the emergency operations center for an impending Cat 4 hurricane really solidifies for me why we do what we do. There is no greater feeling of appreciation and pride for your team and your community than seeing them come together in times of crisis.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I enjoy reading and spending time with my family. As of mom of three active teenagers, I have very little time for additional hobbies.
If you could give one piece of advice to people interested in a career in public service, what would it be?
My advice would be simple, know your values and never compromise them.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other aspiring public administrators?
I have been fortunate to have several wonderful mentors who have encouraged me and challenged me throughout my career. Kathleen Dailey, Oel Wingo and Ray Sandrock are three in the profession who have always provided honest feedback and advice. I share the same approach with others that I mentor.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another?
I would probably be a lawyer or a public-sector lobbyist.
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?
For me, FCCMA has introduced me to other managers and assistant managers throughout the state who are more experienced than I am and willing to share insight and advice. These are individuals I can talk through ideas and seek advice. This has been invaluable to me as I have quickly progressed from a department head to assistant administrator and now to deputy administrator. This year I was asked to lead a focus group in my region for women who are aspiring to the profession, it was a great experience and allowed me to give back a little to an organization that has given me so much.