New Sensation: Ryan Adams, City of Irving (TX), Senior Management Analyst

Posted on February 24, 2014


We’re back with the new “New Sensation” feature. We’ve updated the questions based on your feedback. You’ll now learn about the best YouTube videos on the web, read about gift ideas for the holiday season, and learn about the career accomplishments of our new members.  As a reminder, we developed this feature to introduce you to new ELGL members and as a way on connecting ELGL members with similar interests.


Ryan Adams


Irving (TX), Senior Management Analyst

Education: Texas A&M University, Bachelors, Kinesiology and University of North Texas MPA, State and Local Government

Experience: Management Intern, City of Southlake and Management Analyst, City of Irving

Connect: LinkedIn

Tell us about three of your biggest accomplishments.

downloadI feel incredibly blessed to have the life I do.  I have a loving wife, a great job doing what I enjoy, and dogs that are housebroken.  Hard to be upset and feel like I’ve accomplished nothing with that resume.

Finishing school.  I gave everything I had to get my MPA including changing careers and holding two jobs.  Really happy it’s over and I have my evenings back.

Shaping up.  A few years back I decided I wasn’t getting any younger and if I was going to be healthier I had better get on it.   The paleo diet and Crossfit every morning are tough, but I’m as healthy as I’ve ever been and work is decidedly less stressful.

(Complete this sentence) I feel old when I……..…try to stay up late.  I think I’ve cracked the midnight barrier once in the last 6 months.

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

download (1)In moving to my current position, I took a passive presence in the office and decided to watch more than speak.  More often than not, I would hold off on mentioning the thoughts or concerns I would have, only to have them brought up by others and genuinely discussed.  I’ve since learned that no question is too simple to be asked and no thought is too insignificant to be expressed.  Everyone brings something to the table.

Letting distractions take over.  I’m in a constant battle against distractions (some of which I bring on myself).  Attending meetings where I will not likely participate in discussion and/or learn a great deal takes up a lot of valuable time with little ROI.  While it’s hard to say “no” to a high level meeting (or one where your boss has given you the option to attend), I’ve learned to weigh it against having an hour or more to gain ground on projects or tasks.

Give us three of your favorite YouTube videos.

This Particular Harlem Shake Video

Drunk History – If you haven’t seen these videos, they’re hilarious and you could quite possibly learn something.

And this one…



As part of being an ELGL member, we give you a chance to redo or change any part of your life. How would you use it?

(Note: My life is perfect, I am perfect, I would never change anything is not an acceptable response.)

I’d go back in time and tell 21-year-old Ryan that jobs, health, success and happiness aren’t going to fall from the sky when you graduate.  It takes a plan for what you want and a lot of work.   I might also tell him to dress better and be really nice to that girl from TCU because he’ll soon be spending quite a lot of time with her.
download (2)

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

Bring in one or more university representatives to give their perspective on how university programs and local governments can form valuable partnerships.

Leading effective cross-functional teams (especially when they involve more senior and experienced staff)

A workshop on the book: “The First 90 Days in Government

mcgwireandcanseco1Complete these phrases) Best thing about the….

80’s was……. John Landis movies

90’s was…… All the homeruns in Major League Baseball.  I know, I know…steroids…but wasn’t it awesome?!

00’s was….. Leaving school, leaving home and learning to be a participating member of society.

Last year was….. Finishing my MPA and going about my days as a normal human being that doesn’t have to read all the time.

Today is…. Thai food for lunch.  The small victories are important…

Name two of your mentors and describe them in five words.

Jim Cook, Captain, Coppell PD: Generous giver of professional wisdom

Aimee Kaslik, Performance Administrator, City of Irving: Will always have your back

What’s your least favorite thing about humanity? Reality television.

How did you hear about ELGL? Mr. Tim Clark (a member) kept posting ELGL items on Facebook so I figure I had to investigate.

Fast forward one year, what will factor into your decision on whether to renew your ELGL membership? Whether I’ve gained valuable insights and made worthwhile professional connections.

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

Public managers need to be out in the community often.  Educating people about how it all works and encouraging tomorrow’s leaders to apply their talents to the challenge of public service.  If they know nothing about our industry, it won’t ever be an option for them to consider.

netflixGive them a career path that they can use as a goal.  Money not as important being able to see where you can be and knowing what you have to do to get there.  On a related note – make high-value projects and learning experiences available.  Keep them from feeling that they are indefinitely trapped where they are.

What questions should we have asked? What is on my Netflix queue…

What one question you have about ELGL? How did it take me over an hour to fill this out??

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