Assistant Village Manager/Director of Community Development
Village of Deerfield
Tell us about your journey into the profession:
After graduating from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s in political science I wasn’t sure which direction to go. A family friend, who also happened to be the Mayor of Skokie, invited me to lunch and told me all about the City Management profession. I immediately signed up for the MPA program at UIC. At first, I wasn’t able to secure an internship so I started volunteering in the City of Evanston’s budget office and also began attending IAMMA events. I knew nobody at the first IAMMA events I attended but everyone was always so welcoming, so I kept returning. I eventually met Jenny Maltas, who would be my future boss, at an IAMMA event. About six months after meeting Jenny, I interviewed with her for an Administrative Internship position at the Village of Deerfield and the rest is history. She taught me so much and gave me so many great opportunities – I’ll always be grateful to her for giving me a chance.
How did you become involved with IAMMA and what did you get out of your experience?:
Almost none of my graduate school classmates were pursuing a career in local government. At that time, most of the students in the MPA program at UIC were interested in federal and state government or non-profit organizations. I wanted to meet people in the profession and I knew that IAMMA was the best place to begin networking. I gained knowledge, friendship, leadership skills, public speaking skills, budgeting skills, and the art of negotiation and compromise while in IAMMA – not to mention the large sense of fulfillment I felt by giving back to the organization that gave me so much.
What committees were you involved with in IAMMA?:
Intern Representative, Communications Committee Co-Chair, Next Generation Committee Co-Chair, Board of Directors; President (2018-19).
Why is local government a good career path?:
A career in local government is a career in problem solving. It allows an individual to use the resources of government to improve the general welfare of the community. Every day is a new challenge and the variety of work keeps it interesting.
Fun fact about yourself:
I’m an Illinois licensed real estate broker and have had my license since 2010.
If you could give one piece of advice to future local government leaders, what would it be?:
Get involved early. That applies to so many things both internally and externally from your organization. Internally: Join work committees, volunteer for projects and find ways to get into rooms as a minute taker, etc. just to be a “fly on the wall”, as they say. Externally: Get involved in extracurriculars like IAMMA and take on leadership roles.
Shows/music/books you’re currently watching/listening to/reading:
Mostly watching Paw Patrol and reading 5-minute Disney story time books with my children. Otherwise, I just finished reading The French Detective by James Patterson and I’m currently reading The 6 Types of Working Genius: A Better Way to Understand Your Gifts, Your Frustrations and Your Team by Patrick Lencioni.
Slalom water skiing in the warm months, snowboarding in the cold months, and playing piano and percussion in between.