Ormond Beach City Manager Joyce Shanahan has been named a top 10 finalist for the League of Women in Government’s 2020 Leadership Trailblazer Award.
Women nominated came from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and regions in the United States. The award is considered a testament to more than just career accomplishments, but also to the work each woman has done to mentor, coach and advance other women in local government.
“I am humbled to be considered amongst such great women and highlight some of the great things going on in Ormond Beach,” Ms. Shanahan said. “It has always been my goal to not just do good work, but to inspire and help others to do the same. Women currently only make up 20% of executive government staff, so I think that makes the work that women do to support other women extremely important.”
She added, “Giving women that voice in decisions being made on a local level is all a part of what this organization represents. We want to raise each other up to make sure that we have that seat at the table and continue to make an impact across the country."
The winner of the award was Vanessa Donovan Hale, assistant town manager of Southborough, Mass. But having Ms. Shanahan make the national top 10 list is something Ormond Beach city leaders are extremely proud of.
Mayor Bill Partington said, “The entire commission’s proud of her and excited for her and it’s well deserved. It’s great for Ormond Beach to have such talented leadership. I don’t think anybody on the commission was surprised to learn that she had been selected as a finalist because we get to see firsthand her professionalism and open-door policy towards city government, and the fact that she extends that to helping other professionals succeed is the icing on the cake of the great work that she does.”
He emphasized her management style in general is what stands out. “She’s very accessible,” Mayor Partington said. “She tries to help every single person to the best of her ability and she really works hard on ethics and professionalism to the point that shortly after she got here, she required that training for the entire city staff. Ethics, professionalism, customer service were all very important to her and she stressed it basically to every employee, and I think that is why we have such a good level of customer service for our residents.”
Mayor Partington noted that before Covid-19, Ms. Shanahan had open door meetings with residents quarterly just to hear concerns or talk about issues. She also had regular “Walks with the City Manager.” She has been with the city for almost 12 years.
The League of Women in Government is the primary affiliate group of the International City/County Management Association representing women in local government. The league serves as the umbrella organization to support local and statewide organizations that advance women to local government leadership. The league’s objective is to move the needle forward on the number of women serving at the most senior and executive levels in all areas of local government.