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Seminars provide invaluable experience for public service professionals

January 30, 2013

When professionals in the public sector want to engage in unique and meaningful development opportunities, they look to Bob Ramsey Executive Education. In particular, seminars offered through the center’s Management and Leadership Institute offer invaluable day-long relationship- and knowledge-building sessions for public service professionals.

On Jan. 23, Ramsey held a one-day institute seminar called “Public Policy and Administration: Roles, Responsibilities, Outcomes.” Catherine Eden and Terry Goddard, both professors of practice within ASU’s School of Public Affairs, facilitated the seminar that focused on generating a clear understanding and appreciation of the roles, perspectives and obligations connected to developing and applying public policy.

“Each of us has a role in influencing public policy,” said Hector Zelaya, director of Ramsey Executive Education. “The more seminars you attend, the more opportunities you have to develop a professional network with your peers from other agencies. We teach in a manner that is very practical, and our programs are facilitated by practitioners who have demonstrated success with the concepts being presented.”

Learning from the experts

Expert panelists at the January seminar included Jack B. Jewett, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation, and former Arizona State Legislator; Alfredo Gutierrez, president of Tequida and Gutierrez (Spanish Communications Strategists), founder and editor of La Frontera Internet newspaper, and former Arizona State Senator; and Jack Tevlin, public policy strategist and former City of Phoenix deputy city manager, chief transportation advisor and executive assistant to the City Council.

“We bring into our seminars the types of individuals people want and need to hear,” Zelaya said. “It’s an opportunity for people to hear from and interact with past and present decision-makers in public administration – people they may not otherwise meet.”

Nearly 40 people attended the non-degree, non-credit January seminar, including participants from the Phoenix Police Department, various fire departments, tribal organizations, Arizona Department of Gaming, and the City of Tempe.

Participants explored current trends and examined future trends in government, compared perspectives of elected and appointed officials related to their roles and obligations, weighed the impact of community engagement on the political process, and examined how respect and civil discourse affect the success of government work.

But the benefits of attending went even deeper than the surface topics.

“Participants in the January seminar told me it was fun to see people they had heard about but never met, like [former Phoenix Mayor] Terry Goddard and Alfredo Gutierrez, and it gave them confidence to hear we all had made mistakes throughout our careers, but we never let up,” said Eden, a former Arizona State Legislator. “This was a chance for them to reenergize themselves and their minds, and to go back to their organizations with new ideas.”

Looking forward

The next opportunity to participate in a Bob Ramsey Executive Education seminar is on Feb. 20. The seminar, “Change and Transition: Establishing Stability and Moving Forward,” will be facilitated by commander Kim Humphrey, a 29-year veteran of the Phoenix Policy Department.

“The idea is that in organizations, change is inevitable,” Zelaya said. “They key to whether that change is successful or not depends on how people within the organization respond to it.”

In the February seminar, participants will learn how to leverage efforts to implement successful change and transition through building trust, maintaining focus, generating a return on investment and more.

“These seminars are designed to help people grow and develop in their jobs,” said Ina Wintrich, assistant director of Bob Ramsey Executive Education. “They are learning laboratories where people share information about issues and opportunities relevant to the present and future state of public service. We’re all about helping people become more effective today, as well as helping them plan for the future.”

To view more information about seminars offered by Bob Ramsey Executive Education, visit