What I Am with Thom Venegoni, City of San Francisco, CA

Posted on April 18, 2015

Link: ELGL Spreads Across the Country

“Cross between The Atlantic magazine and Buzzfeed” 
Welcome to our new member feature. We’ve all heard the excuse “I’m too busy” so we’ve simplified our feature to illicit short, meaningful responses for our new members. As a side note, ELGL is adamantly opposed to the excuse, “I’m too busy.”
Thom Venegoni (LinkedIn) is a administrative analyst for the City and County of San Francisco Fire Department. Thom received a bachelor’s degree and MPA from San Francisco State University. Fun Fact: Phil Smith-Hanes, Humboldt County, is one of Thom’s mentors.

What I Am Watching: Where The Bears Are – a YouTube sitcom about a group of gay men in Los Angeles who work in and around film and television. The Mindy Project.

What I Am Reading:


All the Queen’s Men – Elizabeth I and Her Courtiers by Neville Williams. How To Be Interesting by Jessica Hagy. To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink.

What I Want From ELGL: A fresh, lively, relevant professional cohort.

What I Wish Local Government Did Better: For employees? create great workplaces that are socially sustainable, inspiring, nurturing and supportive. For Residents? Simplify, Clarify and Magnify!  Eliminate bureaucratic noise, leverage technology, streamline processes and make it easy and pleasurable to engage with local government.

What I Am Afraid Of:


That local government will never stop behaving as if the year was still 1958.

What I Wish I Was Doing (Instead of Completing This Questionnaire): Learning how to use the new sound editing software I got to edit my podcast

What I Consider As My Career Accomplishments: Breaking down barriers for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and other outside-the-frame identities to enter into public service without sacrificing integrity or accommodating bigoted micro-aggressions. Taking risks with progressive dynamic contextual leadership and organizational development models to build living,  emotionally and physically healthy, dynamic learning organizations focused on results. Championing training and workplace values to encourage innovation, mindfulness and reflection.

What I Am Listening To:


Avonmore by Bryan Ferry. Convergence by Malia with musical arrangements by Boris Blank.

What I Wish People Knew About Me: I’m unconventional because conventionality is both boring, and unproductive. I have no sacred cows. I think and feel my way through administrative problems because I know that administrative systems ultimately are about organizing people’s behavior and expectations, not information.

What I Wish Would Go Away:

giphyPollution. Fundamentalism (in general, not any one belief system specifically).

What I Think of Professional Associations: I love them! I join them all the time. The really good ones are invaluable sources for information and networking, and extend my practice community far beyond my immediate environment.

What I Wished You Asked Me: When do you feel the most powerful, relaxed, creative, and whole?

Supplemental Reading

Rebecca Olson, City of Shoreview, MN

Roger Gonzalez, University of Texas MPA
Rachel Nolin, City of Monterey, CA
Sareen Papakhian, Hazel Park, MI, Director of Parks
Robbie Lippard, George Washington University MPA Student

Casie Yoder, City of Decatur, GA

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