Where are you originally from?
I grew up in rural East Texas on a small farm. The closest town to me was Jefferson, Texas. After my father passed, we all migrated to Dallas, Texas
which is where I graduated from high school. I consider both East Texas and Dallas home.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in local government?
When I completed my undergraduate degree in public administration, I took the LSAT and was intending to go to Texas Southern University for Law School. A
friend of mine shared information with me about a fellowship program that would pay for my books, tuition, and provide me with a stipend for graduate school
in public affairs. I applied for the fellowship program and was accepted. I decided that I would pursue my master's instead of getting a JD. One of the
requirements of the fellowship program was that you would work for a non-profit or local government. I interned with the Town of Addison, Texas and became
hooked! I enjoyed the difference that I made in the lives of the employees by saving the city money and the community by the crime watch program I started.
What do you like most about your job?
I am still hooked on local government! I enjoy the immediate difference that I can make in people's lives. Projects that I have been involved with range from
coordinating a basketball tournament to negotiating a development agreement for a master planned community. When compared to state and federal level projects
the delivery of local government's projects are more immediate. I continue to enjoy the smiles on children's faces as they play at city-hosted festivals, and
the confidence that a jogger may have in the safety of the community as they run at night.
What area of local government interests you the most?
This may seem odd, but I love the numbers! Budgeting is the area of local government where I excel. It is my passion and where I think I have the biggest
impact. Because our economy is so fragile, we cannot make mistakes and recovery very easily when dealing with our finances. As such, I work hard to ensure
the city that I serve is in the best financial health possible.
As a local government professional what accomplishments are you most proud of?
There are a few accomplishments that are significant to me. My first project for the Town of Addison, Texas was to create a crime watch program for the
community. I worked with the police department in the creation of a program for which they would later take responsibility. Through this project I learned
the importance of working with the community and collaborating with employees in creating an effective and sustainable crime watch program. I am proud of
the program because it is one of the most proactive approaches to crime prevention and it facilitates people living next to each other becoming a community
that looks out for each other. Aliante is a second project of which I am proud. Aliante is a master- planned community in North Las Vegas Nevada, and was a
transitional for the city. This community improved the housing options available in North Las Vegas for people that wanted to live there but wanted an executive
level home. In addition to improving the housing stock, many of the community's parks were constructed with a play and learn concept in mind and housing
incorporated Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design concepts. And what would a master planned community in North Las Vegas be without a casino? Aliante
developer constructed North Las Vegas' most upscale casino.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Be yourself! This advice was given to me by my mentor Frank Ollendorff when I was seeking my first city manager's position. He was right then and now.