Stephen F. Austin State University

CPM Testimonials

2014 Testimonials Texas CPM Program at SFA

How did the program influence your career?

What was your favorite aspect of the program?

Please describe a time when you can remember how the CPM program helped you to improve your organization or specific project?

Why would you recommend this program to someone?

Selina Tabor:
I would highly recommend the SFA Certified Public Manager Program to anyone who either manages or is part of a managerial team. One great benefit was making connections with other supervisors and managers and then utilizing those connections later. Each track focuses on things that supervisors and managers deal with throughout their career. And, having a network of people to go to, having the informational books provided in the program, and the knowledge passed on from presentations and speakers throughout the program are all extremely valuable tools we can utilize throughout our careers.

Charlie Smith:
I enrolled in the CPM course, which was held in Longview, Texas several years ago. At the time I was the Police Chief and had been for several years. My Mayor at the time suggested I look into the course because he knew the benefits it could provide. The course was very inspiring and there were many great instructors throughout the entire program. I know the program challenged me many times and the homework at times was grueling, however I managed to overcome any obstacles that I encountered. Since attending the CPM program, I have been appointed City Manager of White Oak, which has truly broadened my vision of city government and operations. I have also provided some of my employees the opportunity to attend the program and our City Secretary is attending at this time. I feel the staff at SFA was very helpful and I enjoyed working with them at all times. I have used many of the ideas and programs we experienced throughout the program to enhance the productivity of employees and the growth of our community. I would and have endorsed the CPM program to my employees and other city managers across the state.

Jeff Powell:
-The CPM course influenced my career by providing me with a wide range of topics that need to be addressed within local governments. I then have been able to take what is learned within the classroom and apply it to real world situations within my own agency.
-My favorite part of the program were being able to listen and respond the representatives from surrounding fields within local government that were able to provide a unique perspective about what goes on within their trade. I also enjoyed learning and reflecting how to make myself a better leader within my organization.
-The CPM program inspired me to connect with my supervisors and pass on knowledge about leadership, and why it is important to our organization.
-I would recommend the CPM course and specifically the SFA CPM Course because the material and the presenters brought varying perspectives on how to succeed within the framework of local government. This in turn, inspired me to be successful in dealing with people, and creating a workplace where new ideas can be shared and implemented.

Phyllis Turner:
The City of Longview had a very successful program here several years ago. At that time we graduated 20 members of our staff. I have forwarded your message to them as they may want to write something for you. They are all still pretty enthusiastic about CPM. Some of them would probably be interested in the video blurb with your assistance.
We are in the process of recreating that program for next year's budget and I did do a short video to promote CPM during our budget process last year. The video highlighted the programs that were initiated in our city that were actual final projects of our CPM course. The idea was to show not only how much CPM helped the individuals that attended but how much it impacted the city with innovations created through the program. There were many to choose from but because of time constraints I only videoed the first four that I asked that were willing to speak on camera. I don't have a lot of knowledge or talent in this area and the video probably shows that but you are welcome to it. You probably have their e-mail addresses but if I can help you coordinate anything just let me know.

Mark Scott:
The Certified Public Manager program improved my understanding of the inner workings of public service. Although I had some knowledge, the program allowed me to share and learn from other participants and presenters. I was able to engage in inter-professional learning with people from various backgrounds and experience levels. The CPM program helped me advance in my career as the Director for a public service organization. The skills I gained from the CPM program have helped me become a better manager, running my organization more efficiently and effectively.
I recommend this course to anyone who serves the public and would like to improve their skills or management style, anyone who seeks to serve a public organization and would like a good foundation to build upon and truly anyone who would like to learn more about management in general and public service management. Although the course is focused on public service, the lessons taught can be applied to every field or practice. In addition, the relationships you build with other students are priceless.

Ted Lovett:
What was your favorite aspect of the program? Networking and building new relationships with a variety of professionals.

Ryan Slott:
-The Certified Public Manager program was a major catalyst in moving my professional career in local government to the next level. The CPM program gave me just enough information about multiple disciplines throughout the public sector, which in turn allowed me to continue my growth as a young manager. Being a former SFA (93') Alumni "Axe 'Em Jacks", it even motivated me by Track 2 to apply for Graduate School which I in turn completed my Masters in Public Administration at the same time I completed the CPM Program!
-The overall best aspect of the CPM program would be the open forums discussing "what actually happens in the public sector from a reality standpoint". The instructors that are brought in to lead discussions are those with experience and have a passion for being leaders in their respective disciplines. The network of professionals I was able to meet was an added bonus!
-The CPM Program provided me with many necessary tools that are pivotal in becoming a successful manager in the public sector. One of the key aspects I took from the CPM Program would be that of communicating effectively with all levels of staff. Building key relationships from within your division or department an allowing the employees to provide you with their overall best. Every employee has something great to offer. The CPM Program showed me many ways to enhance my communication skills within our organization.
-I have always been a big believer in motivating people to learn and grow in their respective professions. The CPM Program is ideal for all levels of managers willing to dive a little deeper into learning how good organizations become great. The CPM Program gives you just enough information to set you free in being the next great public sector manager or leader!

Mary Burnett:
-The Division Director of Community Services Administration realized I could be utilized in other ways for the City of Longview, so I was offered another position.
-Interacting and building relationships with other departments to enhance community service.
-In my position as Community Relations Coordinator I have gained a deeper understanding of combining efforts with multiple departments to achieve common goals for the community and city.
-This program enhances confidence in interactions with co-workers outside of your usual stove-pipe work relationships and with the public. This program allows others to see you have potential they didn't realize! :)

Kevin Huckabee:
- The Certified Public Managers Program provided me with the knowledge to triumph over the competition when applying for the Whitehouse City Manager's position.
-My favorite aspects of the Certified Public Manager's Program were the convenient schedule, comfortable learning atmosphere, and the professional instructors that were proficient in the field.
-I use the skills and knowledge learned from the Certified Public Manager's Program on a daily basis in my position as City Manager for Whitehouse, Texas.
-The Certified Public Manager's Program is a great opportunity for anyone wishing to advance their career as a public administrator.

Susie Streb
-It has helped me understand how other departments and agencies interact together.
- We were able to network with others in the public sector.
-The CPM covers a lot of areas within the scope of our Municipality. I was exposed to budgeting first through the CPM. I feel that this eased the transition as I began to become involved with the budget process at work.
- Yes, great program!

Brett Maisel:
The CPM program re-energized my interest in unique educational opportunities and helped me re-focus on the importance of continued professional development. Most satisfying for me has been to return to the CPM program as a guest instructor. I would encourage all CPM graduates to consider how they too might give back to the program.

Joy Rhodes:
I took the CPM program at a time when I needed some structure both in my work and personal life. It helped me to regain my focus and confidence. I learned many skills that have helped me in my current position and my personal life. I gained knowledge that has been extremely useful in the areas of time management, prioritizing my tasks, and not stressing over deadlines. I enjoyed the program and would recommend it to anyone thinking of joining the class. You will get back what you invest in the program, and gain contacts and friendships through your participation with this program. There are a lot of excellent speakers and presentations throughout the program, which give you tips and techniques to use in your future endeavors.

Terri Thompson:
The CPM program was beneficial to me because it gave me management tools for working in the public sector. The CPM program opened my eyes to the varying cycles of public management due to elections and public opinion. The CPM has left this thought in my mind every time we buy something as a public entity, whether it is with tax supported dollars or not, would the average person consider this a wise use of their money? I would recommend the CPM to anyone who is working or wants to work in the public sector to better understand the differences between the private and the public sectors, but also how private sector concepts like Steven Covey's, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and others are applicable.

Annette James:
-The program helped refine my leadership and management skills which helped me achieve my goal of advancing to a professional level position at the University.
-I enjoyed the variety of topics and speakers that broadened my understanding of management of public agencies. I especially found the management and budgeting topics the most helpful as they relate to my job daily. Various speakers made the program exciting and demonstrated various and effective styles of in management. Another aspect I enjoyed was the networking with others in various public agencies in the region.
-The books provided in the course are great reference tools that I refer to often.
-The CPM program is a great way to enhance, renew and polish your current skills to make you the best in your current career or prepare you for you for the next one.