"It's Good to be King"

Ann Daniels
Director of Technical Services
APWA Kansas City Office

It may be good to be the King but it sure isn't always easy to be a Leader or a Manager. As the Technical Committee charged with the task of providing sound leadership and management principles to our growing APWA membership, the members of the Leadership and Management Committee have found it also requires a real commitment of time.

This month's issue of the Reporter includes the "focus" area articles written by members of the committee or others they have solicited to provide insight into various topics. That takes time.

Gary Strack's article prepares you for the upcoming "Recipes for Success" series designed to help the readers develop mentoring skills. Those articles take time.

The successful first Online Mentoring Call, held in October, as well as the upcoming January 24th call, were developed and planned by the committee. Took a lot of time.

The development and continued planning, as well as selection of the first class of members of the Emerging Leaders Academy, was done by the members of this committee. Fifteen Leaders have been chosen and they will be meeting throughout the coming year to develop their leadership and management skills, both within their own organizations and, hopefully, with APWA Branches, Chapters, and National. Lots of time involved here.

From participating as members of the Blueprint Task Force for Certification and Education, the Asset Management Task Force, conference calls with Small Cities/Rural Communities, the Strategic Planning Task Force, and streamlining the Mission and Vision Statement for the Association, presenting numerous educational sessions both at Congress and the chapter level, many hours have been devoted to providing leadership to APWA.

As authors of individual publications, such as Moving Forward by William Sterling, Everything You Need to Know to be a Public Works Director by John Ostrowski, to coordinating and writing several chapters in the new Public Works Administration publication by Sue Hann, John, and Bill, every member of the committee has spent untold hours peer-reviewing and providing content for publications.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? They always say, "If you want something done, ask a busy person." The six busy members of this committee are experts at getting things done—and I must add, in a very timely manner. Who they are:

  • William Sterling, retired Public Works Director, Greeley, Co., retired Parks and Recreation Director, Port Angeles, Wash., is the Chair for the second year.
  • Richard Coates, Assistant Public Works Director, Fulton County, Ga.
  • George Haines, former Public Works Director, Gillette, Wyo., currently Director of Operations, Peregrine Leadership Institute, Gillette, Wyo.
  • Sue Hann, Deputy City Manager, former Public Works Director, Palm Bay, Fla., former Chair of the committee for two years.
  • John Ostrowski, retired Public Works Director, Vancouver, Wash., and owner of JOMC, Vancouver, Wash.
  • Gary Strack, Director, Structural Group, Shafer, Kline, & Warren, Inc., Lenexa, Kans.

The At-Large Director for Management and Leadership for the APWA Board of Directors, Diane Linderman, is a valuable advisor to the members of the committee.

Now, you tell me, is it easier to be King or a member of the Leadership and Management Committee? Most of us would choose to be King. We should all be happy these six members have chosen to be Leaders! Thanks for the time you give to all our members.

Ann Daniels serves as Director of the Technical Services Department and staff liaison to the Leadership and Management Committee. She manages the Self-Assessment Workshops and Accreditation Program. She can be reached at (816) 595-5223 or