Celebrating Public Service Recognition Week
Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) – taking place from May 7-13, 2023 – is a time to honor those who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees. At McGill, we are fortunate to not only work with many public servants, but also have many staff members who have spent much of their careers working in public service. Our business development team is made up of former city and town managers, as well as a former utility director. We interviewed them to find out why they entered public service and how it has guided their career to where they are now. Read further to get to know our exceptional business development team:
Why did you decide to pursue a career in public service?
Greg Kelly: While I happened into public service by accident, it was no accident that I chose to stay in it. I built my career in local government because I quickly realized that it was the best place in public service where I could make a noticeable contribution to the quality of life and the overall enhancement of the community in which my family lived.
Buddy Edmisten: I got interested in public service in high school in the field of water and wastewater and operated a water treatment facility on my 18th birthday! Two years of college and forty-three years later with the City of Lenoir, I retired as Lenoir’s first public utilities director.
James Inman: I have always been drawn to service. As a city manager, I was in a role where I could reach across many sectors of a community to effect change for the better. In the end, I want to leave the world a bit better than I found it.
Robert Hyatt: Growing up in a rural county where the prevailing career paths still focused on textiles, furniture, or farming, I knew I wanted to do something different. In college at App State, I was exposed to a relatively new program called TACCM (Town Administration, City County Management). Its focus was to educate students on a broad range of skills needed to manage / help govern mainly small towns.
I decided to give it a try and it concluded with an internship in the manager’s office in Elizabeth City. Once there, seeing firsthand the workings of local government and particularly how decisions made directly affected peoples’ lives on a daily basis, I was hooked, and the rest is history.
Gary Jackson: My motivation to become a city manager was fueled by a desire to live my life doing meaningful work. City management offered unlimited challenges and opportunities to improve conditions in the communities and organizations that I served.
How did that experience and knowledge transition into a role at McGill?
Greg: For me, McGill is that added extension to the local government team that helps communities work through the day-to-day challenges that they face to sustain themselves and become greater communities for the future generations. The team effort is always noticeable. McGill is not a “one and done” firm, and we will always be there for your community when you need us to be.
Buddy: We completed many projects at Lenoir while working with McGill starting in the mid-1980s. I saw the importance of knowing what clients needed and developing a relationship with them. After I retired from Lenoir and came to McGill to work, I wanted to establish those same relationships with the utility folks with whom we worked.
James: McGill is a natural extension of my desire to serve people. Except now, rather than one community, its hundreds of communities where I can help managers reach their goals of service to their communities.
Robert: My role with McGill has allowed me to stay connected to local governments in North Carolina, sharing my knowledge and experience in local government with other managers and helping in their efforts to build a better community for their citizens.
Gary: I chose to work for McGill over other competitors because of its steadfast commitment to helping communities build a better future.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Greg: Public service is tough but rewarding. Nothing is tougher than bringing bad news to your community and hearing the critics. But nothing is more rewarding than seeing the smile on a face, the elation in someone’s eyes, getting a pat on the back, a friendly hug, or hearing the simple words of “thank you for all that you do.” Perhaps best of all, is watching your staff, elected officials, and the community come together with you as a team to arrive at good solutions to complex local issues that you know, in some way, will help better shape that community for the future.
Gary: McGill delivers on its promise to shape communities together with community leaders, managers, and department directors. I’m honored to be on a team with my colleagues here.
Buddy: I am glad that I have had the opportunity to serve the public in the field of utilities for fifty-two years. McGill’s success is a result of many excellent and knowledgeable employees and their ability to establish and maintain close relationships with their clients!
James: McGill lives its motto of “Shaping Communities Together.” It isn’t just a slogan for us but, rather, a way of life. McGill has that passion companywide to serve others, to make the communities better, and to shape our world and make it better than we found it.
Robert: Public service is not for the faint of heart. Often undercompensated, overworked, and criticized by those you are working so hard to help. The rewards lie in the self-satisfaction that you did make a positive difference in your citizens’ quality of life.
We hope you join us this week in celebrating all that our public service professionals do to positively impact our communities.
If your town, city, or county would benefit from the services mentioned above, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how McGill’s professionals can be of assistance.