Young Government Leaders (YGL) and GovLoop present the NextGen Public Service Awards for superior public service and achievement. The 5th Annual NextGen Public Service Awards will be given at the 2015 NextGen Award’s Ceremony, which will kick of the NextGen Training Summit on July 20th and 21st in Washington, DC. This year we have 30 finalists – the NextGen 30. Over the next month we will introduce you to our finalists through this blog series.
Meet the Finalist:
Who: Sandra Simpson, Revenue Manager Wheaton Park District
Achievement: NextGen Public Service Finalist, Silent Heroes Category
“One team, one goal.” That’s the mission statement that Sandra Simpson and the Wheaton Park District use for their everyday work.
“We have our assistant finance director, our director and myself and other staff. But at any given time, we are all in there, working together to provide assistance to the other departments within the Park District,” said Simpson. “It doesn’t matter what it is, there’s nothing that’s beneath us or above us. We’re all in there trying to make our department the best that it can be for our staff and for the staff of other departments.”
Simpson is the Revenue Manager at the Wheaton Park District. “I’m responsible for all the cash inflow and making sure they are appropriately recorded to the correct accounts. I’m also responsible for our frontline staff, to make sure they are processing our revenue as we have designed it to be in all of our daily activities.”
Not only is Simpson the revenue manager for the park district, she is also helping to develop a mentor and mentee program for the next generation of employees in the Park District. And did we mention that she’s also a mother of four?
Simpson started working for the Park Service in 2004 as a part time employee and quickly worked her way into a full time position.
Working with two pools, a golf course, multiple parks and countless emails makes for a busy schedule. Simpson manages all of this by having a great attitude and communicating effectively. “I think you just have to have a positive attitude,” she said. “And being able to have a conversation and listen is very important. I really like dealing with people and having good conversations. If there’s a difficult situation, I think listening and talking through that situation helps and brings resolution most of the time.”
For Simpson, working in government has been a lot different than working in corporate sectors – it’s a lot more personal. “I deal with our patrons a lot, so you have to have that compassion and understanding for people. Sometimes it’s difficult for people to pay for or utilize our services. I’m really an advocate for allowing as many patrons to utilize our services and to make it affordable for them.”
Simpson’s favorite part about her job is helping people to use their programs, like summer camps and aquatic facilities. To help utilize these programs the Park District offers tuition programs that give small amounts of money to patrons for using their facilities and programs. They also offer payment plans for those who may not be able to afford paying for their programs all at once.
“I’m a government employee because I feel the need to help others. I want to help others enjoy the beauty of our parks and program at the Wheaton Park District,” said Simpson.
We will be talking to all the NextGen Public Service Award finalists in the upcoming weeks. See the full list here. Finally, register to attend the Awards Ceremony to get to know the NextGen 30 in-person!