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2020 #ELGLTraeger Winners: #91-#100

Posted on December 7, 2020


Traeger 91-100

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We’re counting down the top 100 influencers in local government. Today, met ten amazing local leaders who are making a difference in their communities. View the full list on the #ELGLTraeger page, and share your congrats using the hashtag #ELGLTraeger on social media!


douglas schontz

#91 – Douglas Shontz

Assistant to the Borough Manager, State College, PA

LinkedIn | Twitter

Three words to describe the nominee: 

Energetic, hands-on, positive

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

Douglas, coming from an ICMA background, highly prioritizes collaboration with other partners. During COVID, for example, he organized a cohort of college towns who are disproportionately affected economically by the pandemic and launched a working group to develop a solution ultimately lobbying congress for extra funds on behalf of college towns. 

Anything else to add? 

Despite the depressing state of the world, Douglas always comes with a positive attitude and is very solution-oriented. He prioritizes helping residents and executes ideas into reality. 


weston davis#92 – Weston Davis

EMS Director, City of El Campo, Texas

LinkedIn | Twitter

Three words to describe the nominee: 

Thoughtful, inquisitive, innovative

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

I appreciate how Weston asks thoughtful questions in the ELGL forums and is never to busy to offer some feedback, advice, or a quip. I saw him speak at an #ELGLInspire event and I knew that he cares deeply about local government service given the paths his carrer has taken him.


travis ghirdharie#93 – Travis Ghirdharie

Hometown Fellow, Schenectady School District

LinkedIn

Three words to describe the nominee: 

thoughtful, equity-driven, committed

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

Travis is an incredible member of the Schenectady community. He works hard to build a strong city, he gives himself fully to everything that he does, and he seeks to orient his life towards service whenever possible.  

Anything else to add? 

In his time as an LFA Hometown Fellow, Travis has: Applied and won a grant to start community programming for the Caribbean community in Schenectady. Completed a comprehensive last-name analysis of the student population to identify students of Caribbean descent, leading to changes in the school registration form to collect more accurate data. Stewarded the district’s first ever participatory budgeting process. Now is working with a coalition of city officials, school district leadership, representatives from the local community foundation, and the president of Union College to build out remote learning hubs for increased access to educational support during Covid-19. 


christy moffett#94 – Christy Moffett

Economic & Strategic Planning Management Director, Travis County, TX

LinkedIn | Twitter

Three words to describe the nominee: 

Change-maker. Brilliant. Peaceful.

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

Christy Moffett is one of those amazing humans you’re so glad found their career in the public sector. Christy’s background in social work has given her an incredible foundation for her efforts in community and economic development. Not only does she have a wealth of knowledge, but she shares those learnings and empowers others along the way. Working with Christy is a dream for many reasons including her sense of humor, passion, and joy, but especially because she creates this wonderful “safe space” that is exceptionally hard to find, especially these days.

Anything else to add? 

Christy’s work is often the “quiet work” that is absolutely essential to our communities – and the public sector as a whole. Thank you, Christy, for all that you do! It certainly does not go unnoticed. 😉


kate queram#95 – Kate Queram

Staff Correspondent, Route 50

LinkedIn | Twitter

Three words to describe the nominee: 

Savvy, great writer, thoughtful

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

If you don’t already, you must follow Kate on Twitter. Not just for her excellent local government reporting for Route Fifty, but also for her humor, wit, and candor. Reporters covering cities and counties often know more about local government than the people working for it, and Kate exemplifies that. She’s always looking for a great new story to share.

Anything else to add? 

Kate was on GovLove in 2016 and was a keynote speaker at #ELGL19.


georff fruin#96 – Geoff Fruin

City Manager, City of Iowa City

LinkedIn

Three words to describe the nominee: 

Dedicated, Resilient, Visionary

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

Although most local gov pros deserve recognition, I’ve seen firsthand how Geoff managed through this ridiculously challenging year. From turning our operations on a dime to responding to calls for greater social justice, to a derecho that knocked off our tree tops, Geoff has been steadfast and brave, making the hard decisions that we should never have to pile up all at once. He gives considerable thought to issues and finds a way to bring people on board to a (usually pretty good) plan of action. I, along with so many at the City and our community, continue to be proud to work with him. We see how hard he works and yet he is always the first to thank and raise up others for the good work they’re doing.    


ron holifield#97 – Ron Holifield

CEO, SGR

LinkedIn | Twitter

Three words to describe the nominee: 

Servant leadership mentor

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

In my 25 years in local government, I’ve known of no one else who better embodies the passion, enthusiasm and love of the profession more than Ron Holifield. Ron knows no boundaries when it comes to serving the profession through mentorship, guidance, teaching, and most of all, example. He also knows no strangers and will exert his own energy time after time for anyone in the profession who he thinks he might assist. Ron is known throughout the country as a local government influencer. The best examples of this influence are found in his book, “4th Dimension Leadership” and his current service on the National League of Cities Model City Charter committee.

Anything else to add? 

A true servant leader, Ron does not seek recognition and would likely be very humbled to be recognized by the profession and ELGL.


nick kittle#98 – Nick Kittle

Coach/CEO, Cartegraph/Sustainovation

LinkedIn | Twitter

Three words to describe the nominee: 

innovative, passionate, engaged

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

2020 has been a whirlwind for everyone, but Nick has jumped into the deep end and created opportunities for people to connect, engage and brainstorm solutions. COVID, unrest, unease…he hasn’t shied away from talking about the tough things and working to implement solutions rather than just talking about the issues at hand. This support has been crucial with local governments across the map and we’re thankful for his passion! 

Anything else to add? 

He’s an inspiration to many in how he approaches the tough topics and we’re lucky to have his passion directed at local governments. 


nic westendorf#99 – Nic Westendorf

Management Analyst, City of Tualatin, Oregon

LinkedIn | Twitter

Three words to describe the nominee: 

Analytic, bearded, kind

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

Nic is never too busy to help out, answer questions, think deeply, or lend a hand. I can always count on him to find the new best approach to challenges. The only thing I question is his love of Spirit Airlines but I am able to overlook that because of his talent and kindness.


susan opp#100 – Susan Opp

Professor, Political Science | MPPA Director Colorado State University

LinkedIn

Three words to describe the nominee: 

Inspirational. Encourager-in-chief. Connector.

Why does the nominee deserve a 2020 Traeger Award? 

Dr. Susan Opp has inspired the next generation of local government leaders for well over a decade. Walking into her classroom is like experiencing support, excitement, and comfort all at the same time. But that’s not where it stops; the learning and support continues for years after graduation. Dr. Opp is not only a stellar professor, but a dedicated mentor, leader, and friend.

Anything else to add? 

I continue to be inspired by Dr. Opp’s students and I know that they will do – and continue to do – amazing things in their public service careers. Dr. Opp, thank you so much for paving the way! Our communities – and the next generation – are stronger because of it.


We’ll release ten new names each day from December 7 – 18, 2020!

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