HCP Advises and Launches Florida Ambassador Program with Florida City, County Managers Association

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 25, 2015) Florida City and County Management Association (FCCMA) Executive Director, Lynn Tipton, announced today the launch of the inaugural Florida Ambassador Program, through which professionals in the field of city and county government will spread the banner message that Professional Management Matters (PMM).

Tipton said, “Our new program stems from an effort by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) who developed a national campaign titled, Life, Well Run. This came about following the findings from a Harris Interactive Poll that while one-third of citizens know that city managers oversee the day-to-day operations of their community, only five percent can describe what a manager does or their important role in shaping that community. The ICMA prompted state professional management associations to develop ways of communicating the Life, Well Run message to their constituents. In response, the FCCMA formed a taskforce to address the need, which ultimately led to the creation of the Florida Ambassador Program.”

Over the past six months, the taskforce of city and county professionals based throughout the state worked with HCP to assess other state-based programs and practices and then formulate a means of spreading the PMM message. The group formed a region-by-region plan to leverage those engrained within the profession—designated Florida Ambassadors. The initial geography of focus for the Ambassadors will be the 11-counties within what has been labeled the Central-West region of Florida—Citrus, Sumter, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Highlands, Hardee and DeSoto.

“There is strong evidence for cities to be professionally managed,” said Jim Hanson, Town Manager of Orange Park and taskforce chair. “According to Forbes Magazine, three Florida cities appeared on Forbes’ Top 10 Cities for Future Job Growth list. All three are professionally-managed municipal governments; 11 out of the 17 Florida cities that made the Forbes Top 200 Places for Business and Career are professionally-managed.”

The launch of the Florida Ambassador Program coincides with the ICMA’s 100th Anniversary. Tipton commented, “With heightened attention, this is an ideal time to have our group of distinguished professionals work to spread the PMM message among elected officials, charter review boards, peer organizations, and more. These are the critical groups to provide information and resources to inform their decision-making when it comes to city manager objectives and their day-to-day operations of each community. We are particularly excited about engaging college students involved in public administration programs to become our next generation of future city managers.”

The FCCMA is pleased to announce the names of the elite group of Florida Ambassadors who have stepped up to pioneer spreading the Professional Management Matters message and set a precedent for expanding the program across the state:
• Ken Fields, City Manager, Lake Wales
• Bob LaSala, ICMA Senior Advisor, State of Florida
• Jerry Seeber, City Manager, Temple Terrace
• Steve Spina, City Manager, Zephyrhills

For more information about the Florida Ambassador Program, and to keep up with their progress, visit www.lifewellruninflorida.org.

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