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A New Season of Featured Contributors

We put out a call for the selected Featured Contributors for this quarter, and many applicants sprang into action. This cohort is one of our best. 

Read on to meet these contributors for GovLoop who will be posting once a week for the next three months. They bring a variety of government experience ranging from Foreign Service to state and local analytics to diversity and leadership management.

Our new cohort’s posts start going up April 1st – so get ready!

Dr. Kirk Borne is the Principal Data Scientist and an Executive Advisor at management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton since 2015. In those roles, he focuses on applications of data science, data management, machine learning, and AI across a variety of disciplines. He also provides training and mentoring to executives and data scientists in the use of data and machine learning for discovery, decision support, and innovation. Previously, Kirk was a professor at George Mason University for 12 years in the data science degree programs, and he spent nearly 20 years supporting data systems activities for NASA space science missions.

Laura-Céline Mueller is an experienced public relations professional, specializing in content development and digital communications. As Public Affairs Specialist for the District of Columbia Government, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs she is a strategic communications adviser assisting in the management of communication, branding, events, marketing, and public relations operations of the agency. She assists in the development of integrated strategic communication materials to execute initiatives including content, design, branding, marketing, and community outreach. With over ten years of experience, she has lead projects in communications planning and coordination, analytics and measurement, content development and execution, website editing and redesign, and digital materials and production.

Douglas Adkins began his service with Middletown in 2005 as the Assistant Prosecutor. In 2006, he was promoted to Prosecutor, and then to Community Revitalization Director in 2009. As Director, he oversaw community development, building inspection, code enforcement, planning, zoning, the City’s bus transit system, the community center, MPHA and Weatherwax Golf Course. Doug took over the reins as City Manager of Middletown in 2014, hitting the ground running. Since, Adkins has improved citizen and City employee morale, brought Independence Day fireworks back to the City, and is present in the community by speaking at numerous City events. In 2018, the City of Middletown was named a Best Place to Work by the Dayton Business Journal. The City also received an Ohio Success Award from Ohio Business Magazine in 2019. Adkins continues to be a strong leader of Middletown, leading the charge from Middletown’s bright past into its even brighter future.

Lisa Menke is a digital media developer who is passionate about the intersection where opportunities for professional growth and participatory culture meet. As a training specialist for the State of Nebraska, Lisa is currently responsible for the creation of digital media in support of agency training & development, and communications. Some of Lisa’s specialties include screencasting, social media, graphic design, podcasting, and video and audio production. When she isn’t working Lisa enjoys time with her family and their three dogs, sharing conversation over good coffee, public speaking, photography, traveling off the beaten path, and playing board games.

Rebecca Mott is a self-proclaimed change agent and continuous improvement leader with over 20 years of utility industry experience leading technical teams to solve problems.  She holds a number of certifications including ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, Certified Professional Coach, and Prosci Certified Change Management Practitioner.  She currently coaches leaders and teams to apply Lean Six Sigma methodologies and engage by focusing on the power of “we.” Rebecca is also a member of Toastmasters International and enjoys teaching and speaking to audiences about personal development, managing change, and continuous improvement.

Ken Lee was an Archaeologist with experience in Canada, Europe, and the Middle East.  He was a Climate Researcher at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.  After the College of Geographic Sciences, he was an Analyst for L-3 in the USA.  Returning to Canada he worked as a Manager in the Oil & Gas Industry and for an Innovation Center.  His is currently a GIS Officer with the GeoNOVA Secretariat of the Province of Nova Scotia with interests in Innovation, Leadership, Policy, Diversity, Employee Engagement, ITIL and Lean 6 Sigma for Government.  His next step?  Let’s find out!

Meredith Trimble is a former municipal official and Town Council Acting Chair, who focused on strategic planning, annual budgeting, and bonded infrastructure projects. Her government experience also includes posts in both federal and state-level executive branch agencies: Associate Editor of the U.S. Federal Election Commission’s FEC Record; and Director of Education for the CT Office of State Ethics. In her current role as a Senior Content Specialist with Tyler Technologies, Inc., she writes content to help empower those who serve the public. Her current focus is to help facilitate data-enabled organizations as well as connections between local government and residents.

Jessica Drakul is currently a Transformation Coordinator in the Government of Manitoba’s Department of Growth, Enterprise, and Trade in Winnipeg, Canada. She is the Chair of the Manitoba Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Board and also Vice President of the IPAC National Board in her role as Chair of the IPAC National body of 19 regional groups (Regional Group Council). Jessica was introduced to public administration as a Management Intern in the Government of Manitoba In 2009; in her short time in government, she has filled policy, program, management and advisory roles that cross departmental and sectoral lines. She strongly believes in the concepts of #OneTeamGov and is a compulsive “joiner”: where there’s a network of public servants, virtual or physical, you’ll likely find Jessica somewhere in the mix. Jessica is a graduate of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Western University and the University of Manitoba where she studied English, Comparative Literature and eventually Public Sector Management. She considers herself a shining example of the manner in which public administrators emerge from all educational backgrounds.

Dr. Andrew Pavord is a former government executive who currently is the CEO of the Federal Consulting Alliance. He led budget processes for DC government, SBA, and Treasury, managed department headquarters operations for Treasury, and served as chief of staff to the CFO of the Department of Veterans Affairs.  He has led consulting engagements at many Federal agencies including Agriculture, NASA, and Veterans Affairs.  He retired from the Army Reserve as a colonel and was deployed to Desert Storm, Bosnia, and Afghanistan.  He earned an MA in economics from George Mason University and a Ph.D. in political science from the Johns Hopkins University.

Lori Okami has over nine years of experience in local and state government in Human Resources, grants management, and as an educator, as well as over twenty years in the private sector. Lori has written over 400 health and fitness blogs for Hawaii’s premiere online news publication. Lori’s expertise is in organization alignment, change management, and customer relationship management (CRM).

Myeisha Thompson is a senior content strategist who is passionate about helping organizations build and sustain meaningful relationships with their audiences through the power of clear, engaging content across digital and offline channels. During her 20-year career, Myeisha has used her knowledge of both marketing strategy development and content production to lead and support mission-critical efforts for companies in the technology, healthcare, higher education, and federal contracting industries. She currently works as a Communications Specialist for Tantus Technologies, Inc. as a member of the PM3 contract supporting technology initiatives at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Kelly Carper Polden is the assistant director of external relations, responsible for state agency communications and media relations, for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. She has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning, strategic communication professional with extensive experience in media and public relations, C-suite communications, global events management, brand/corporate image management, and strategic and crisis communication management. Kelly has been recognized as a key contributor to national and international corporations, startup companies, non-profit organizations, and Texas state agencies. In addition, she is a published author of several books and short stories.

Laura Thorne is an organizational improvement consultant. She specializes in helping business owners and individuals to be more effective. Meaning, she helps them to work on the right things to get their desired results. Laura has over 25 years of professional experience and has had opportunities to work with some of the best and worst performing organizations. Her get-things-done super strength comes from being a natural problem-solver, environmental scientist, and alumni from the Florida Sterling Council where she was a quality evaluation examiner for 7 years. Laura holds a BS in Biology from the University of South Florida, is a certified Project Manager, and certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Melissa Henley is Director of Customer Experience at Laserfiche, an enterprise software company that has served the public and private sectors for over 30 years. Customers are at the heart of all Melissa does, and her passion is around connecting people to content that can have a genuinely positive impact on their lives. Melissa brings over 20 years of marketing experience across multiple industries, including government, finance, and higher education. She serves on the board of the IIMC Foundation, where she helps raise funds to educate municipal clerks, supporting their proficiency in the services they provide for their communities.

Dominic Delmolino is the Chief Technology Officer at Accenture Federal Services and leads the development of Accenture Federal’s technology strategy. He has been instrumental in establishing Accenture’s Federal activities in the open-source space and has played a key role in the business by fostering and facilitating Federal communities of practice for Cloud, DevOps, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. Mr. Delmolino joined Accenture Federal Services in 2015 as a managing director. He earned his bachelor of science degree in computer science from Cornell University and a masters of information and data science degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Charles Werner is the retired Charlottesville fire chief and 44-year public safety veteran. Charles worked with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management from 2015 – 2017 as a senior advisor/acting deputy state coordinator. Charles served in numerous leadership roles at the local, state, national levels on public safety communications, GIS, broadband, information sharing, thermal imaging, enhanced location technology, FirstNet, and drones.  Serves as Chair, National Council on Public Safety UAS. Charles is an author with 120+ internationally published articles. In 2018, was selected Homeland Security Person of the Year by Homeland Security Today Magazine for work on public safety initiatives.

James Walker, Jim, a former Army Artillery Officer and federal employee is currently UiPath Federal CTO and Director of Public Sector Marketing. He served as the Deputy CIO and Services Portfolio Manager at NASA’s Shared Services Center (NSSC), and had key IT positions at DISA, the US Missile Defense Agency and counter-drug taskforce in Key West. Jim is a Federal Computer Weekly “Federal 100” alumni and runner up in Government Computer News “DigIT 2017” award for Robotics, Automation and Unmanned Systems. He holds a Chief Information Officer certification from the National Defense University and a Graduate degree in Telecommunications.

Amy Kay has worked in municipal stormwater management for 10 years and has served as the Clean Water Manager with the City of Davenport since 2016. Here, she directs the resource conservation and watershed management programs along with activities of the Clean Water Program in compliance with NPDES and MS4 permits. She holds a Master of Arts from the University of Illinois, Springfield in Environmental Management and Planning and lives in Davenport with her husband and son. Hobbies include running, gardening, biking and anything outside. She is currently learning how to properly throw a Frisbee.

Mic Gunderson has been involved in emergency healthcare for over 40 years in various leadership, educational, and clinical roles. Currently, he is the President of the Center for Systems Improvement where he provides consulting and training services related to emergency systems of care and EMS systems. Prior positions include – National Director,  Clinical Systems, American Heart Association; Executive Director, Kent County (MI) EMS; President, Integral Performance Solutions; Director of Research and Education, Office of the Medical Director, Pinellas County (FL) EMS; and Research Associate, Department of Surgery, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

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