Monthly Archives: November 2014

Reflections from Kansas Certified Public Manager Graduate: Brent Narges

Comments Delivered by Brent Narges, Deputy Chief of Police, City of Pittsburg Police Department
On November 21, 2014

GOOD MORNING! My name is Brent Narges, and I work with the Pittsburg Police Department. I am very grateful for this opportunity to briefly speak with you this morning.

I first want to thank Terri and all of her CPM staff for their dedicated work throughout this past year, and I also want to issue a thank you to KU for offering this nationally recognized program to public sector professionals of Kansas.

This CPM program has given us the opportunity to grow professionally, and maybe more importantly, we have grown personally during our time spent with our fellow students and instructors. (And let’s not forget our many hours and long tedious nights spent with Blackboard.) Our time spent together in class has certainly given us networking opportunities, and notably, we have developed new and stronger friendships with our classmates and our CPM instructors.

Our small but energetic class of 12 is certainly very proud to be the first CPM class of southeast Kansas. We look forward to encouraging our co-workers to participate in this comprehensive program in the years to come. Throughout our classes and discussions about the many challenges we face daily within our organizations, such as dealing with personnel issues or budgeting shortfalls, we took time to analyze. We came to recognize that regardless of what organization we were from, the challenges we face were very similar in nature. We have been presented with many alternatives, or should I say, more effective methods, for fixing a problem. Doing the “right thing” is not always easy, but it should always be our primary objective.

Again, I want to thank you for this opportunity, not only to speak with you this morning, but more importantly, our class wants to thank all of those individuals that enabled us to attend the CPM program this past year. Thank you!

CPM Student Profile: Brandy Hodge

We’d like to introduce you to one of the CPM 2014 students: Brandy Hodge

Bio: For the past ten years, Brandy Hodge has been employed by Johnson County Kansas government. Currently Brandy is the Volunteer Services Coordinator and Catch-a-Ride Program Manager for the department of Human Services, an agency of Johnson County Government that provides programs and services to residents who are vulnerable because of restricted incomes, issues related to aging, or a disability. Brandy has a Bachelor of Science in Crime and Society with a minor in Sociology from Southwest Missouri State University. As well, Brandy has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Mid America Nazarene University.

In November of 2014, Brandy completed the Kansas Certified Public Manager® program from Kansas University. Brandy has five years of experience in supervising employees and volunteers. She has a strong passion for people and service working with diverse populations. Brandy serves as the Executive Chair of the Young NonProfit Professionals Network of Kansas City (YNPNkc), which is a volunteer board that consists of young professionals working in the non-profit sector. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, and quality time with her fur babies (pets).

About the CPM Program, in Brandy’s words: I signed up for the Certified Public Manager Program to further advance my education, skills, and networking capacity in the public sector. I was recommended to attend the program by a previous supervisor who saw great value in the program and knew that the program would be beneficial in my career growth. My intent in completing the program included learning additional tools to be a better manager and leader.

Through CPM I took an honest, raw look at my weaknesses or areas to improve upon. Although it was unexpected, I now have a new focus moving forward in my professional growth to strengthen those skills. For me, I am very strong on the people side (building relationships, communication) but could strengthen my financial skills. I will be looking at additional classes to make myself a better-rounded manager.

I would highly recommend this program to EVERY manager who wants to continue to grow in their career. The CPM program is priceless. I have completed my MBA this year as well, which was an amazing accomplishment, but the CPM program brought together full circle the educational component with the real life examples of how the principles and concepts apply in the workplace. The people I have met, the stories we have shared, and the lessons we have learned are well worth any monetary value, since you cannot put a price on your professional growth. I am so blessed to be a part of the CPM family.

Capstone Project Title: Cultivating Volunteer Engagement

Capstone Project Synopsis:
Problem Statement: Johnson County Human Services seeks to cultivate volunteer engagement by increasing efficiency in the office, enhancing communication with volunteers, and serving more clients by growing the existing volunteer program.
Desired Outcome Statement: Johnson County Human Services will survey volunteers, research new volunteer software databases, and speak with other volunteer organizations to examine different options in meeting the desired goal.