Member Profile: Deborah Larkins
Management Assistant II
City of Phoenix

Where are you originally from?
I was born in a small town about 50 miles south of Chicago, Illinois - Bradley, and grew up there until I moved to Phoenix with my family in 1968.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in local government?
My career has covered technical, communication and social pursuits and began with state government right out of college. Prior to coming to the City of Phoenix, I was self-employed for 16 years until my then four-year-old twins told me I loved my job more than I loved them - complete with very specific examples of behaviors that led them to that conclusion. I was actively pursuing other-employment, so you could say the City and I found each other when the right job came along at the right time. Once here, I fell in love with being a part of the growth of individuals and communities through my role as a public servant.
What do you like most about your job?
Diversity of people, diversity of opportunities, diversity of things to learn, and diversity of things that needs to get done. I am particularly happy that the City has valued and used my entrepreneurial heart and spirit, which basically means that my curiosity and interest in just about anything have many positive channels of pursuit. Coming from a micro-business environment, I also still get a big chuckle out of my close friends giving me six weeks to survive in this large organization. That was nearly thirteen years ago!
What areas of local government interest you the most?
I've always enjoyed helping young people figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up. I used that interest to also help businesses figure out what they want to be when they grow up. Now I'm enjoying being a part of Phoenix figuring out the same thing. In a city that's off the chart in terms of growth and expansion, I expect I'll be interested for a long time to come.
"Local government professionals must have, and mostly do have, a commitment to a much bigger picture of success."

-Deborah Larkins
Management Assistant II
City of Phoenix

As a local government professional, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
The one constant through the many projects I've coordinated is the people involved who make all the different parts look like one successful something when all is said and done. Local government professionals must have, and mostly do have, a commitment to a much bigger picture of success. My most proud accomplishment is internalizing the life lesson that this is what it takes.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Even though it only looks like a tail, it's still a piece of the elephant.
Arizona City/County Management Association
1820 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 258-5786
Fax: (602) 253-3874
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