#LocalGov Heroes Earn Praise

ICMA members nominated some amazing community heroes. Check out their stories.

The Life, Well Run Community Heroes initiative is winding down for 2017 with videos of the nominated heroes running on our You Tube channel. Together with the Success Map and all of the resources available on the Life, Well Run website, this initiative is a way to show the value that professional local government managers and their staffs bring to cities, counties, and towns. These videos and stories have drawn quite a bit of attention through our social media channels and local press. Thanks to nominations from ICMA members and funding from ICMA-RC,  we've been able to reach thousands of people with these stories of true public service heroism.  

One of the most interesting things we have found in getting to know these local government heroes is not only the sheer range of positions and backgrounds, but that there is a common and resounding theme uniting all accounts. Below is a glimpse at a few individuals who have thus far been recognized. As you follow links to video and written accounts, you’ll find each person sharing his or her desire to help others, serve the community, and make their community a better place. They speak of the honor in serving and the awareness that they are there for the people, not for themselves. Sounds pretty heroic to us. 

  • Do you take pride in hard work, serving others and staying active? Chuy Estrada, refuse driver for Sierra Vista, Arizona, has 33 years of experience and words of advice for you.  Rick Perez, community service officer for Glenn Ellyn, Illinois, demonstrates the value of great public service that focuses on positive community engagement. And public works team Ellen Francis and Kim Garner with Nacogdoches, Texas, reveal the impact local government services have on people’s lives and the joy in making sure those services are delivered timely and efficiently each day.
  • Love kids and preparing the next generation of leaders? Matt Reedy, recreation manager and youth advisor of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, oversees a youth advisory council and provides a space for youth to have fun while learning about ways to give back to their community. Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler, director of Youth Services and Social Innovation for Las Vegas, Nevada, has been a powerful change agent in the lives of children and their families in poverty through expanded city services and collaborative partnerships  
  • Have a heart for those in need? Sally Sullivan, administrative assistant for Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, has operated the Christmas Outreach Program in her community for over 20 years. Frank Bassett, in Livingston County, New York, is making sure their elder care facility is top-notch today and for years to come. And Bruce Price is a veterans advocate in Shelburne County, Minnesota, who has made a career of going above and beyond to get results for those in need.

And last but not least – the heroes that bring the whole team together: professional managers! Each manager serving his or her community has an awesome responsibility and is a hero(ine) in his or her own right. There are many paths to becoming a city or county manager.  Josh Copley, city manager of Flagstaff, Arizona, served over 30 years with the Flagstaff Police Department, retiring as deputy police chief before stepping into the role. He credits his years on the force to his desire to want to be out on the streets engaging with people and solving challenges as they arise. Also on the Life, Well Run website, CAOs and assistants share a little about why they chose professional management of local government. 
A critical aspect of advoacy at ICMA is to inspire and encourage the next generation to pursue careers as local government managers--heroes in the making! And from a look at those rising to the challenge (check out latest  Life, Well Run blog posts from Pam Weir and Aaron Zavala – members of our #NextGen team!) we are confident that the future is bright. Local governments around the country are on the search for the next generation of leaders--of heroes--to work behind the scenes and on the front lines. Have a success story you'd like to share? Contact us at lifewellrun@icma.org with details or if you have thoughts about new resources or support you need to help tell the story of professional local government management. 


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