Season 1: Making Government Work for its Citizens
Duane Holder, Deputy County Manager of Cumberland County North Carolina
In this episode of the Citizen Experience, we interview Duane Holder the Deputy County Manager of Cumberland County North Carolina. Mr. Holder explains the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as the County governs and administers the local Public Health Department. In addition, Mr. Holder explains how the County has assisted small businesses with launching the Small Business Resiliency Grant Program to help those small businesses adversely impacted by the state’s Stay at Home and Safer at Home executive orders.
Donna Bradbrook, Operations and Strategic Plan Manager of Alachua County Florida
In this episode of the Citizen Experience, we interview Donna Bradbrook, Operations and Strategic Plan Manager of Alachua County. Ms. Bradbrook explains the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as the County governs and administers the local Public Health Department. In addition, Mr. Holder explains how the County has assisted small businesses with launching the Small Business Resiliency Grant Program to help those small businesses adversely impacted by the state’s Stay at Home and Safer at Home executive orders.
Odie Donald II, the City Manager of South Fulton Georgia
In this episode of the Citizen Experience, we interview Odie Donald II, the City Manager of South Fulton Georgia. Mr. Donald is the very first appointed City Manager of South Fulton and he describes it as “a Magical Place” to live. As City Manager, Mr. Donald oversees the day to day operations of Georgia’s fifth largest city with a population of more than 100,000, leading approximately 600 budgeted employees. In addition, Mr. Donald discusses how the city was formed through the citizens desire for self-government. Mr. Donald exclaims, “if your residents don’t have a say in their government, then their government doesn’t work.”
Gwendolyn Miles, Small Business Specialist - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. In fact, 65% of citizens are employed by small businesses. Gwendolyn Miles is the Small Business Specialist in support of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In this episode of the Citizen Experience podcast, Ms. Miles provides information regarding how she advocates for small businesses in their support of the CDC. The CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. The CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. If you are a small business and you are interested in doing business with the CDC to help their mission to protect communities and citizens, this is the podcast for you.
Michael Taylor, Deputy County Manager and Chief Information Officer of Pitt County North Carolina
In this episode of the Citizen Experience, we interview Michael Taylor of Pitt County North Carolina. Mr. Taylor serves in a duel capacity as the Deputy County Manager and Chief Information Officer of the County. Pitt County is the home of 180,000 North Carolinians and East Carolina University. We discuss Pitt County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, county management’s fiduciary responsibilities, and increasing internet access to rural communities in the age of remote work and distance learning.
Natalie Hall, Fulton County Georgia Commissioner District 4
In this episode of the Citizen Experience, we interview Natalie Hall Fulton County Georgia Commissioner District 4. Fulton County Georgia has over one million citizens and is the home to some of the largest companies in the country such as Delta Airlines, the Coca-Cola Company, UPS, and InterContinental Hotels Group just to name a few. Ms. Hall’s District 4 encompasses the heart of Atlanta, downtown, Midtown, Old 4th Ward, and neighborhoods west of downtown Atlanta. Ms. Hall has served Fulton County government for over 9 years (3 years as commissioner). Ms. Hall has also served in a variety of roles including Political and Public Sector Consultant for over 26 years. In this episode, we discuss topics such as economic growth opportunities in the age of COVID-19, Atlanta/Fulton County’s Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative, and Economic Equity for minority communities.
Shelby Scales, Director North Carolina Department of Transportation - Office of Civil Rights
In this episode of the Citizen Experience Podcast, we interview Shelby Scales the Director of the North Carolina Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights. Ms. Scales is very involved in supporting small minority and women-owned businesses, non-profit organizations, and minority representation in government and business. She is responsible for agency programs and compliance including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VI, Workforce Development, On-the-Job and Minority and Woman Owned Small Business Certifications. In the episode we discuss important topics such as the mission of the Office of Civil Rights, how the Office enforces federal and state laws and regulations to prohibit discrimination, minority business certification programs, and initiatives to improve access to business opportunities such as the mentor-protégé program for the citizenry of North Carolina.
Deron King, Deputy City Manager of East Point, Georgia
In this episode of the Citizen Experience Podcast, we interview Deron King the Deputy City Manager for the City of East Point, Georgia. Deron oversees the day-to-day operations for over 35,000 residents and 600 city employees. He also served as the Project Manager for the City’s new $17 million-dollar, 32,000 square foot City Hall Facility that recently opened in May of 2019. An additional phase to this project is the renovation of the City Auditorium that was built in 1938. If you have lived or are familiar with Atlanta, you will know that East Point is a city that is definitely on the rise with beautiful homes, amenities such as parks and recreation facilities, great restaurants and hotels. East Point is really becoming the place to be if you desire a Live-Work-Play-Shop community. And best of all, it is just minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson airport. In the episode, we discuss the growth of East Point, the City’s approach to diversity and inclusion through its relationship with the Partnership for Southern Equity, and how the City can support remote learning through the distribution of laptops and various technology equipment to low income families.
Matthew Thomas, Economic Development Manager Alpharetta, Georgia
In this episode of the Citizen Experience Podcast, we interview Matthew Thomas the Economic Development Manager of Alpharetta, Georgia. Mr. Thomas is responsible for increasing business investment, development, and redevelopment for the city. Alpharetta is branded as “the tech city of the south”. In this episode, we discuss a variety of topics such as Alpharetta’s continued growth in the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenge of attracting non-technical businesses when Alpharetta is known as a technical hub, and we outline several reasons why Alpharetta is the best place to live if you enjoy great schools, great restaurants, great parks and walking trails, and great events. In the words of Mr. Thomas, “Alpharetta always has something going on.”
Clay Pearson, City Manager of Pearland, Texas
In this episode of the Citizen Experience Podcast, we interview Clay Pearson the City Manager of Pearland, Texas. Mr. Pearson works closely with the Mayor and City Council of Pearland to deliver on its vision to a population of approximately 120,000 residents. Pearland is third largest city in the Greater Houston area and one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. In fact, Pearland is known as “The Community of Choice in Greater Houston”. Pearland’s suburban economy is supported as residents commute to major employers such as NASA at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, the Texas Medical Center, the George Bush intercontinental airport, and many other companies. In this episode, we discuss economic growth and diversification; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy; and matters of diversity equity and inclusion as Pearland is also the final resting place of Georgia Floyd whose death sparked awareness and visibility into the inequities in our society.