Harbor Style Harbor Style March 2018 : Page 92

Years with County: Less than 1 Family: 2 children, Lawton (15) and Sadie (10); 2 dogs, Peppermint Patty and Fat Gladys; Engaged to be married to Evan Walsh Favorite thing(s) about living/working in Charlotte County: The people are what mak e Charlotte County so special. I have never heard of a community that is more willing to help, dona te, (or) volunteer when asked. It’s remarkable . Where are you from? I am from here! Born and raised right here in Charlotte County. What is your educational background? I am a product of Charlotte County Public Schools. I went to Flagler College…finished my business degree at Hodges University. What is your prior career/employment history? This is my first government job. Prior to my position at the county I was the Executive Director of the United Way of Charlotte County. What is your current “job description”? I am responsible for the Human Services department…5 divisions: 2-1-1, Family Services, Housing Services, Veterans Services and Senior Services. My job is to make sure that we are helping our most vulnerable citizens in the most effective way possible. Do you enjoy your job? I am passionate about helping people (and) thrilled by the idea of serving people effectively. By coordinating and integrating services we can offer a more holistic approach to human services that has a lasting impact. We can get to the heart of the issue instead of a “band-aid” approach. I am excited to work with smart, talented people that are dedicated to service… What is the most difficult part of your job? …that there is more need than there are resources. We simply can’t help everyone. …when (grant) funds are gone, or people don’t qualify for services, that can be heartbreaking. What is the one accomplishment during your tenure there that you are most proud of? I really haven’t been here long enough to reflect on accomplishments, but I can tell you about some exciting things on the horizon… Charlotte’s 2018 focus on housing…(and its) impact…on our workforce, economic development and seasonal residents…Human service programs have a tremendous return on investment for our community and I look forward to showcasing that data. Do you think our local government needs more women leaders? …all sectors of our society need more women leaders. That being said, I am incredibly impressed by the strong leadership by women in our local government and nonprofit sectors. What hobbies/activities do you take part in when not at work? I am in a folk band, Still Friends. It’s a creative outlet and hobby. We play original music (at) music festivals and concerts throughout the state. Have you had a personal or business mentor? Three incredible mentors and friends…changed my life: Kevin Russell (local attorney/former United Way President), Julie Mathis (Executive Director, Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce) and Sue Sifrit (former school board member).

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