Monthly Archives: December 2016

Reflections from Kansas Certified Public Manager Graduate: Megan Milner

Comments Delivered by Megan Milner, Deputy Superintendent, Kansas Juvenile Corrections Complex

On December 2, 2016

Megan Milner, 2016 Certified Public Manager graduate, speaks on behalf of her Topeka cohort.

Megan Milner, 2016 Certified Public Manager graduate, speaks on behalf of her Topeka cohort.

Good morning.

I am Megan Milner. I am with the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex and was asked to say a few words about the benefits of the CPM program.

In Topeka, our class was held each month at a national historic site, the Brown V. Board of Education building. For a group of people who were meeting with the purpose of learning how to better lead and manage people, being in this building was a constant reminder that how we treat other people matters.

I’ve put together a short list of those things that I found, and my fellow classmates found, to be most beneficial in the CPM program:

  1. Coffee – a very wise person recently told me that a yawn is a silent scream for This really resonated with me, so the steady supply of caffeinated fuel was very much appreciated.
  2. The thermostat, and having control of said thermostat, was a highly valued commodity in the Topeka
  3. I looked through my CPM notebook and randomly pulled out some of the ideas or phrases that, looking back, really made an impression on Things like:
    1. Servant leadership…
    2. Emotional intelligence…
    3. Learning to appreciate and value differences…
    4. Deep smarts…
    5. We completed our own flowcharts and org charts, and all had to face the ominous question of whether or not our position was really relevant to our organization (which, for the purposes of my supervisor and Deputy Secretary in the audience today, the answer was yes)
    6. We talked about creating public value for our agency…
    7. We learned that there is a fine science to putting together a PowerPoint…
    8. Remember discussing rock stars, steady-eddy’s and bottom dwellers?
    9. There were so many areas that we studied over the past year and I mention some of these as a reminder of what we went through and how far we have come since January.
  4. The CPM staff and facilitators – We are very privileged to have been able to learn from such a high caliber of Thank you for sharing your stories and experiences and mistakes so that we can be better leaders. Your devotion and enthusiasm for the program helped create a learning environment free of judgement or disapproval, and we could tell you genuinely cared about us and our success.
  5. Our fellow classmates – If one were to speak to every individual in this CPM program and ask them what was most beneficial, I am confident you would hear similar answers from almost everyone: having the opportunity to interact and network with such a talented and smart group of There were many times during our classes when one of you said something that stopped me in my tracks and made me re-think and re-evaluate what I was doing. The insight and experiences offered by our peers were an instrumental part of making this program work. Public service is a very rewarding occupation…and at the same time, it can be complex, frustrating and challenging. But if the future of public service in Kansas is sitting in this room today, from what I have seen, we are in pretty good hands.

As I was reminiscing and looking through my CPM notebook, I found a quote that I wanted to end with today. This quote was shared with us in the very first CPM class in January and I jotted it down on a sticky note and put it in my notebook. I think it holds as much relevance at the end of our CPM program as it did the day we began. The quote is:

“Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak today and congratulations to all of the CPM graduates on your hard work!


Reflections from Kansas Certified Public Manager Graduate: Colleen Stuart

Comments Delivered by Lieutenant Colleen Stuart, Topeka Police Department

On December 2, 2016


2016 Certified Public Manager Lt. Colleen Stuart from the Topeka Police Department speaks on behalf of her Law Enforcement Leadership Academy cohort.

2016 Certified Public Manager Lt. Colleen Stuart from the Topeka Police Department speaks on behalf of her Law Enforcement Leadership Academy cohort.

Although this Command School program is young, it is already highly sought after.  I recall feeling uneasy when Chief Brown announced in a Staff meeting he wanted to speak to LT Harden and I afterwards.  As we sat with him he very quickly asked if we would both consider participating in the KU PMC LELA Command School beginning in January 2016. Chief Brown wanted to invest in his Commanders to prepare them for future roles within the department.  I was honored to have been given the opportunity.

Afterwards, I began thinking of this year long program and what it would entail. I was a new LT at the time. While I had everything to learn, I knew discussion and networking was a large part of the program. What could I possibly contribute to a class full of experienced Chiefs, Sheriffs and Commanders from agencies across Kansas?

Over the course of the year, which was done before I was ready to let go of these amazing people; I took ideas back to my agency from our sessions- ideas like the one page project manager, the better understanding of how people are motivated and deal with conflict and the painful emotional intelligence profile. But I also learned much more than the lesson plans.

No matter the size of agency, there are similar issues and obstacles. When things go well we celebrate the same victories and we all share the same passion to protect and serve our communities. There are different leadership paths towards getting that job done; those that are at heart a street cop & soldier leading by example and from the front as our beloved CPT Dave Melton from the KCK PD did, leaders who are hardened administrators, no sugarcoating and seeing the bottom line but with a true heart for their people, and visionaries and innovators who look beyond the way things have always been done to what can be improved and done in a new way.  Each person within my class had a slightly different view of how to lead, how to deal with a situation, and I absorbed everything I could while I was in their midst.

Before I go I would like to thank Jonathan- our principal instructor.  Jonathan is the only non-law enforcement person I have met who seemed to really understand the quirks of our profession.  He understands why law enforcement thinks like we do, he would laugh knowing our brand of humor- even dishing it out on occasion. He created a learning environment that was enjoyable, relatable and valuable. He also hurt right alongside us when our brother in blue was taken tragically. He does not wear a badge but will always be one of us in my book.

In closing, I appreciate the opportunity I was given to join this program. As a result I stand now a better law enforcement officer, a better version of myself, because of each person in my LELA #3 class. And I thank each one of them for sharing who they are.  Thank you.


Reflections from Kansas Certified Public Manager Graduate: Daniel Cecil

Comments Delivered by Daniel Cecil, Assistant Director of Public Building & Grounds, City of Dodge City Parks.

On December 2, 2016

Daniel Cecil, graduate from the Hays CPM cohort, with PMC Director Laura Howard, University of Kansas Provost Neeli Bendapudi, and CPM Program Manager Terri Callahan.

Daniel Cecil, graduate speaker from the Hays Certified Public Manager cohort, with KU Public Management Center Director Laura Howard, University of Kansas Provost Neeli Bendapudi, and Certified Public Management Program Manager Terri Callahan.

Good Morning,

Thank you for attending the 2016 Kansas Certified Public Manager Program graduation Ceremony. I am Daniel Cecil from Dodge City and member of the Hays Cohort.

Back in January, when we first met as a class in Hays, there were many people who came from many walks of life, brought together by this class to improve themselves, their careers and the organizations they worked for and represented. We knew nothing or very little about one another so everyone was on their best behavior, ready to listen and learn about the expectations and course material Terri was about to send our way.

As the months went by, we went from a room full of strangers to friends that came together once a month for 2 days to talk, discuss and debate topics ranging from budgets and planning to managing projects and building relationships. We shared stories about work experiences and asked one another for advice and opinions on the tough questions we faced on the job. It was nice to know other people in the workforce were facing some of the same issues as myself and had positive feedback as well as solutions!

Even when we weren’t in class, many good memories were made. Group lunch was a regular occurrence in Hays with the help of the local class members providing their culinary expertise when we needed a restaurant to go to. We traveled to the City of Russell to watch the movie Seabiscuit on their big screen that was generously offered to us as an option. Setting on the rooftop patio at the Oread during the collaboration conference telling jokes and stories will be something I won’t soon forget.

Today as we gather for the last time as the 2016 class, I would like to thank Terri and all of the instructors for their time and dedication to the program to make it what it is, the best. The program is challenging yet rewarding. The capstone project provides an opportunity to improve on a work situation the individual has identified as an issue and the individual development plan allows people to continuously improve in both their work and personal lives. These projects along with the people and memories have made Certified Public Manager 2016 something to remember.

I believe that everyone who takes this class and fully invests themselves in learning and engaging will come away with a quality experience.


Thank you.

Kansas Certified Public Management Center – 2016 graduation commencement speech from Director Laura Howard

Comments Delivered by Public Management Center Director, Laura Howard.

Director Laura Howard speaking to the graduates

Director Laura Howard speaking to the 2016 Certified Public Manager program graduates.

On December 2, 2016

Good morning. My name is Laura Howard and I direct the University of Kansas Public Management Center. I would like to welcome you on behalf of the KU Public Management Center, the School of Public Affairs and Administration and the University of Kansas to this Graduation Ceremony for the 2016 Kansas Certified Public Manager Program.  We have the opportunity today to honor 77 Public Servants who have earned the credential of Certified Public Manager.   These graduates join a group of almost 40,000 across the nation and 1,700 in the State of Kansas who have earned this elite designation.

The Certified Public Manager Designation is a nationally accredited management development program targeted towards individuals in local, state, federal and tribal government, as well as other organizations that serve a public purpose.  We are privileged at the KU Public Management Center to be the organization that sponsors and operates the accredited program within the State of Kansas.  Today’s graduates have earned this credential by completing more than 300 contact hours in seven key management competency areas over this last year.   In addition to classroom time, these graduates have completed a number of competency-based assignments resulting in an e-portfolio that demonstrates the skills they have learned throughout this past year.  Each student has also developed a capstone project that directly benefits the graduate’s agency through improved processes, efficiencies, improved outcomes or an innovative approach to an agency need.

Like the graduates before them, members of this class share a belief and commitment in service to others and a belief and commitment in the common good.  They truly exemplify the values of the National CPM Consortium – Connect, Engage and Lead.   These graduates are leading the way in public management.   Please join me in applauding today’s graduates for their hard work and accomplishment.

We also have with us some past CPM graduates.  If you are one of the 1600 graduates who have come before this class, please stand and be recognized.

The Public Management Center does not do this work alone.   We have some wonderful partners who are here today.   I would also like to thank our formal CPM partners – the Kansas Association of Counties, the League of Kansas Municipalities, the Mid-America Regional Council as well as the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.  Thank you for your ongoing commitment to good public management, your efforts in marketing and outreach and all that you do to help make the Kansas CPM program one of the best in the nation.