New Sensation: Leslie Herring, Douglas County, Kansas

Posted on July 9, 2014


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Background Check

1042231Connect: LinkedIn

After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from the University of Kansas in 2009, Leslie exercised her interest in local government by joining civic boards, commissions, and task forces in her home city of Mission, Kansas. She was a member of the City of Mission, KS, Sustainability Commission, Mission (KS) Convention and Visitors Bureau, League of Women Voters of Johnson County, and Literacy Kansas City

She is now pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Kansas with an anticipated graduation date in May 2016. She is concurrently serving as a Management Intern at Douglas County, Kansas.

Q & A with Leslie

(Complete these phrases) Best thing about the….

80’s was……. Saved by the Bell. 

90’s was…… The 80’s ended.

00’s was….. Wi-Fi.

Last year was….. My son and first child, Hayden, was born.

Today is…. I started a management internship at Douglas County, KS.

Tell us about three accomplishments that you are most proud of.

I am proud to have graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. and I am very proud to have been accepted into KU’s Intern M.P.A. program which I anticipate graduating from in May 2016.

I am proud to celebrate a 10-year fulfilling and amazing relationship with my husband, Cale, the man of my dreams.

I am also proud of piloting a one-on-one adult literacy program aimed at bringing MO state offenders to functional literacy levels through the Open Doors tutoring program at Literacy Kansas City.

(Complete this sentence) I feel old when I……

…when I have colleagues who were born in the 90’s.

Name two or three people that you would want in your dream selfie.

ht_chelsea_clinton_hillary_clinton_twitpic_sswm_jt_130615_wblogNoam Chomsky, bell hooks, and Hillary Clinton.

Tell us about two mistakes that you’ve made that we can learn from.

I have learned that it’s better to commit more fully to a few causes/organizations as opposed to spreading yourself too thin.

I have also learned the importance of having a sincere, personal drive to attain a goal as opposed to insincerely going through the steps to attain a goal that someone else has for you which can lead to apathy and failure.

Our annual conference will be held in October 2014. Name three topics or speakers that should be included on the conference agenda.

Social equity’s impact on sustainable communities.

Empowering future service leaders of traditionally underrepresented demographics.

The relationship between local government and the increasing number of non-profits and FBOs.

Parent(s) can be influential in career choices of their kids. What was the career path of your parent(s)?

My mother was a paralegal and my father is a biomedical technician.

Your hometown…..what is it best known for?

omeka-net-2236-archive-fullsize-d14ca4248f28ff01b6c4e896dd94345eStanley, KS is on the very fringe of suburban sprawl so it is known for its split rural-suburban community; it was annexed the year I was born by affluent and ever-growing Overland Park, KS.

How can ELGL best contribute to the public sector?

By empowering future community leaders through professional development opportunities and by paving a way for career advancement for emerging leaders.

Give us two items that are broken in local government.

Trust is broken (perhaps in perception only) by a trendy philosophy of inherent distrust of all government entities stemming from a national-level movement and trickling down to the most local levels of government. I’m not sure how to challenge this philosophy other than to propose local government staff recognize the importance of being visible and accessible as members of the  community in which they serve in order to forge positive personal relationships with community members which might help to make more pervasive feelings of good will toward the local government entity.

Fast forward one year, what will factor into your decision on whether to renew your ELGL membership?

I would like to see opportunities for personal and professional development as well as concrete assistance in finding permanent job placement. (I’m in a graduate-program-required part-time internship currently but will be looking for full-time employment within local government to begin Summer 2015)

Give us two ideas for attracting and retaining talented individuals to the public sector.

Establish a program that puts young public sector professionals in their community’s high school honor society meetings/events to establish visibility. This could also be a good way for local governments to recruit residents for their civic boards, commissions, and task forces.

Supplemental Reading

Lost Kansas Communities | Stanley, Johnson County

On Campus with the Kansas MPA Program

Open Doors Program at Literacy Kansas City

3 Reasons Industry Leaders Advise Serving on a Board

Scratchin’ a Public Service Itch

I’m the co-founder and executive director of ELGL. I love my job. Other things I love: local government, my family, my dog Michael Jordan, sandwiches, naps, books, and skee-ball.

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