Resource Management Skills

Public Employees Leadership Institute
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1. Overview of strategic planning
2. Creative decision making
3. Budgeting / Contracting
4. Purchasing
5. Consultant management
6. Project administration – the DOT process
7. Managing resources

This course delves into the concepts and practices that one needs to utilize when managing his/her agencies’ resources, namely:

  • Strategic planning
  • Creative decision making
  • Budgeting
  • Purchasing & contracting
  • Consultant management
  • Project administration
  • “Making it Work” (combining these) for your particular circumstances.

Once completed, participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the need for planning
  • Develop a strategic plan
  • Set goals and look at alternatives
  • Create and modify practices
  • Involve employees
  • Better understand budgeting and contracting concepts

City of Ames, Iowa

Tracy Warner has been with the City of Ames since 2003. Prior to that she was in private engineering consulting focusing on land development in the Des Moines, Iowa and Washington, DC areas. Tracy is active in APWA at both the chapter and national levels. She has served as Iowa Chapter President and on APWA national committees including: Diversity, Awards, and International Affairs.

Tracy has given numerous presentations at conferences including Iowa APWA, Iowa Streets and Roads, Asphalt Paving, Iowa Concrete Paving, Iowa Water Conference as well as to several Iowa State University classes.

Professional affiliations
Active in the APWA and the Central Iowa Chapter of Iowa Engineering Society

Public Works Director, City of West Des Moines, Iowa

Bret has been with the City of West Des Moines Public Works Department since 1989. He started his career as an equipment operator for before moving into various managerial roles. He was promoted into the Superintendent of Public Works position in 1994 and into his current position as the Director of Public Works in 2008.

Bret has served as the APWA Iowa Chapter President and Delegate. In 2006 Bret was presented with the APWA Donald C. Stone Award for Excellence in Education. He was selected by the APWA in 2007 as one of the Top Ten Public Works Leaders in North America. For several years Bret chaired the National APWA Winter Maintenance Sub-Committee. He currently serves as a Past Chair with this group and is still actively involved. Bret currently is a member of the APWA Institute Review Committee and recently served as a member and Chair of the APWA Leadership and Management Committee.

Professional affiliations
He has served as President of the American Public Works Association Iowa Chapter and chaired the APWA Winter Maintenance Sub-Committee. Was presented the APWA Donald C. Stone Award for Excellence in Education in 2006. Selected by the APWA as one of their Top Ten Public Works Leaders in 2007.

Other Institute course(s)
Supervisory Techniques and Skills
Effective Communication Skills
Winter Maintenance Management
Sustainability in Public Works

Johnson County Engineer

BS in Civil Engineering; Colorado State University
MS in Civil Engineering; Iowa State University

Greg Parker has served as the Johnson County Engineer for 12 years. He has over 25 years of experience from previous employment with Cities, other counties, and as a private consultant. He received a BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and a MS in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University.

He is a member of the Iowa County Engineers Association (ICEA), the National Association of County Engineers (NACE), the American Public Works Association (APWA), the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

He is the current Chair of the APWA Road Safety Sub-committee, Member of AASHTO/Winter Maintenance Technical Service Program, NACE Safety Committee, NACO Transportation Committee and past president of the Iowa Chapter – APWA.

Professional affiliations
Iowa County Engineers Association (ICEA)
National Association of County Engineers (NACE)
American Public Works Association (APWA), Iowa (past president)
National Society of Profession Engineers (NSPE
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Other Institute course(s)
Emergency Management
Winter Maintenance Management

Iowa Department of Transportation Senior Purchasing Officer

Graduate of Iowa State University

Mary Zimmerman is a graduate of Iowa State. She has been a supervisor and a purchasing agent in local government purchasing for over twenty five years. She now uses her experience as a Government Contracting Specialist to provide counseling, technical assistance and training to Iowa businesses on how to sell their products or services to federal, state, and local governments through direct and indirect contracts.

She is a Certified Public Manager and a member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing.

Professional affiliations
Member of the National Institute of Government Purchasing

Other Institute course(s)
Community Service / Customer Orientation Skills

Marshall County Engineer (retired 2010)

Royce Fichtner was the Marshall County Engineer, a position he has held for 32 years before his retirement in January, 2010 . In addition, he had previously served another 10 years in other counties.

Royce was involved with many committees of the State County Engineer’s Association and served as the legislative representative for the organization. Fichtner’s awards and positions over the years were a testament of his competency. He was named Iowa County Engineer of the Year, received two special service awards from the Association of County Engineers, was the National Small County Engineer of the Year, and served as the president of both the Iowa County Engineer’s Association and the National County Engineer’s Association.

Other Institute course(s)
Fundamentals of Government

Iowa Department of Transportation Deputy Director Office of Local Systems

Graduate of Iowa State University in Construction Engineering
Registered Professional Engineer (Iowa)

Donna Buchwald is an Iowa native and graduate of Iowa State University in Construction Engineering. Donna is a registered professional engineer for the Iowa Department of Transportation and is the Deputy Director of the Office of Local Systems.

Prior to her current position, Donna served as the Department Head of the Urban Engineer, Assistant Specifications Engineer, Field Systems Engineer in the Office of Construction, and as a Design Engineer in the Office of Design. Prior to her joining the Department, Donna worked in various capacities for the Des Moines Water Works, Illinois Department of Transportation, and as Project Engineer for K-Mart Corporation.

Program Manager; Institute for Transportation, Iowa State University (retired)

Robert Sperry was the Program Manager at the Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa from 2008 to 2014, when he retired.

He was formerly a County Engineer in three different Iowa counties for more than 30 years. His efforts with InTrans included serving as a “Local Roads Safety Liaison” which involved direct interactions with local/municipal public works agencies to make them aware of the many safety tools, software and training programs as well as funding opportunities available to them from various sources including the Iowa Department of Transportation and InTrans. In addition to his efforts on safety outreach and education activities, Bob also assisted in several other research projects that involved state and local governments.

Bob graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Civil Engineering.

Other Institute course(s)
Legal Understanding
Basic Management Skills