Not Only Fairfax County Leads, But Its Leaders Do, Too
Fairfax County Office of Public
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
April 8, 2004
Not Only Fairfax County Leads, But Its Leaders Do, Too
Fairfax County Government enjoys a reputation of being a leader in regional, state and national government. The county is one of the best-managed jurisdictions in America according to a 2002 evaluation by Governing Magazine and the Government Performance Project, being the only jurisdiction to receive a grade of “A” in every category of the comprehensive study that looked in-depth at management practices in 40 counties nationwide.
The county was also one of only 12 governments recognized as an exemplary example of international best practices in the “Balanced e-Government” study conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation of Germany. The Department of Human Resources was honored with the International Personnel Management Association Agency Award for Excellence and the National Sporting Goods Association’s Sports Foundation named the Fairfax County Park Authority its 2002 National Gold Medal Award winner for excellence in park and recreation administration.
And numerous county programs, such as the Juvenile and Domestic
Relations District Court’s Volunteer Interpreter Program, also receive
national attention. That program recently was honored with a “Daily
Points of Light” award from the National Points of Light Foundation and
also won the Governor’s Community Service and Volunteerism Awards
But these award-winning programs and county achievements don’t happen without dedicated county employees – employees who not only lead the county, but also volunteer to serve on local, regional, state and national committees and organizations.
“Part of being a leader is the desire to be involved in the community and share knowledge with others,” said Tony Griffin, county executive. “Fairfax County Government is certainly blessed to have a wonderful talent pool of dedicated employees who give 100 percent to their jobs as well as taking that next step to share of their time and talents with organizations outside of their county government.”
Griffin himself is an example of this type of leader. Not only does he head the largest county government in Virginia with over a million residents, but he also serves as chairman of the Chief Administrative Officers of the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments and is a member of the board of directors of the Washington, D.C. Water and Sewer Authority.
Examples of the county’s commitment to public service don’t end with Griffin though. Deputy County Executive Rob Stalzer is president-elect of the Virginia Local Government Management Association; Chief Financial Officer Ed Long is on the Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Management of the Government Finance Officers Association, which serves nearly 15,000 state, local and provincial finance officers in the United States and Canada; Chief Information Officer David J. Molchany serves on Virginia’s Council On Technology Services as chairman of the COTS Executive Committee, co-chairman of the COTS Enterprise Architecture workgroup and represents state and local government on the Federal CIO Council; and Deputy County Executive Verdia Haywood is active with both the National Forum for Black Public Administrators as well as the Northern Virginia Human Service Officials Committee of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.
Margo Kiely, director of the Department of Systems Management for Human Services, is a member of the American Society for Public Administration and has served as part of the National Performance Review Teams on benchmarking performance measures and using balanced measures. She also served on the Steering Committee of the Interagency Benchmarking and Best Practices Council.
Mike Kane, director of the Park Authority, is the Virginia Representative to the Southern Regional Council of the National Recreation and Parks Association and is also co-chairman of the Virginia Recreation and Parks Society, 50th annual conference educational programs.
Kane believes that these affiliations not only contribute to his continuing professional development but offer a very real return to the taxpayers of Fairfax County. He stated, “Participating with these organizations allows me to stay current with new developments, trends and practices in the field of recreation and parks. The benefit to the taxpayer really shows in the long run when we develop ways to make our operation faster or services more affordable. There are exciting new innovations out there and I am always on the lookout for new ways to improve the services provided by the Park Authority.”
Dana Paige, director of the Department of Family Services, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia League of Social Services Executives, which represents all Northern Virginia jurisdictions in promoting efficient, effective social services programs throughout the commonwealth, supporting legislation to improve and benefit the public welfare, and promoting cooperation and understanding among local, regional and state levels of government and other institutions. He also serves on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee for the Virginia Department of Social Services, a 25-member group that guides strategic planning activities within the Virginia social services system.
Merni Fitzgerald, director of the Office of Public Affairs, represents Fairfax County on the National Capital Area United Way Board of Directors. “I view service on the United Way board as not only an honor, but also an obligation of being a county resident,” she said. “The United Way provides so many resources for our community that I can’t imagine not being involved and giving something back to the community. I feel it’s my responsibility to be involved.”
And this type of leadership resonates throughout county government. Fairfax County Attorney David P. Bobzien is president-elect of the Virginia State Bar; John Nash, a public information officer, is secretary of the National Association of Government Communicators; and Ron Mallard, director of Fairfax County’s Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection, was recently appointed by the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to a newly established Consumer Advisory Committee as the only representative of local governments representing the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators.
Bob Studholme, turfgrass specialist with the Park Authority, is president of the Virginia Sports Turf Managers Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Turfgrass Foundation. “I am actively participating with a variety of turf and sports focus organizations. This allows me to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. New products and techniques, even new playing surfaces are being developed almost daily.”
Edwin S. Clay III, director of the Fairfax County Public Library, is president of the Virginia Library Association. “As president of VLA, I hope to foster dialogue among information professionals throughout the state – sharing stories of how important public libraries are to our communities – how libraries impact our customers’ lives every day.”
Paula C. Sampson, director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, participates on both the National Association for County Community and Economic Development and the National Association of Local Housing Financing Authorities. “By participating in national and state organizations, the Department of Housing and Community Development has been able to have a voice in national and state issues which impact the citizens we serve, to showcase our innovative affordable housing, housing finance and community development programs, and to stay on the leading edge of creative solutions to the challenges we face.”
“The county prides itself on being a high performance organization,” said Griffin, adding “and part of being such an organization is the responsibility to share best practices with others.”
As Virginia’s Public Service Week 2004 (May 3 -
9) approaches, Fairfax County encourages its residents to recognize
county employees for their hard work, dedication and