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Master of Public of Administration Program honors Public Official of the Year finalists

Five finalists for Public Official of the Year Award include municipal staffers and elected official

The annual Public Official of the Year Ceremony recognizes Houston-area public officials who solve large and small problems to meet the daily need of the citizens they serve.

The Master of Public Administration Program hosts the event to spotlight the work of elected and non-elected public servants whose accomplishments may not make the evening news.

This year, five finalists were selected from a wide-range of nominees representing the full-spectrum of public administration work. The finalists exhibit qualities consistent with those espoused in the MPA program – trust, accountability, performance, ethical decision-making, and crossing jurisdictional boundaries to solve problems.

The winner will be announced during a March luncheon.

The 2014 nominees are:

Michael Alford – District Engineer, Houston District, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)

Michael Alford

Mr. Alford oversees the department operations in the counties of Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston,
Harris, Montgomery and Waller (the Houston District is the largest district in Texas). His duties include maintaining an effective and coordinated operation for the Houston District. He is responsible for the development of work programs to meet transportation needs including construction, maintenance, and traffic control. He also acts as a consultant to other staff members on administration, programming, planning, construction, design, maintenance, traffic, and right-of- way in order to coordinate operations. He also serves on several district and agency committees.

Allen Bogard, City Manager, City of Sugar Land

Allen Bogard

Mr. Bogard has served as city manager since 2001 for the City of Sugar Land. His leadership has contributed to the city being recognized as one of the best and safest places to live in the country. His accomplishments include the creation of Sugar Land Town Square, an economic development program, and the relocation of corporate headquarters for companies like Minute Maid, the recognition of Sugar Land Regional Airport as the #1 Fixed Based Operation Airport in the US, and Sugar Land’s reputation for strong financial management, low taxes, a AAA bond rating and Best Places recognition. The city has more than doubled in population, seen the addition – and expansion – of First Colony Mall, and Constellation Field, and become a burgeoning employment, educational and medical center, creating thousands of new jobs, as well as becoming an entertainment destination.

Mario Diaz – Director, City of Houston Airport System

Mario Diaz

Mr. Diaz is responsible for the overall management of the Houston Airport System’s three aviation facilities: George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport and Ellington Airport – and its more than 1,400 employees. He is one of the industry’s leading authorities in the study of future developments in commercial aviation. He was instrumental in the effort to gain public support for the addition of international flights to Hobby Airport in 2015 by Southwest Airlines. Under his leadership, Intercontinental Airport welcomed the first Airbus A380 to Texas as Lufthansa launched the flight in the newly renovated Terminal D, which underwent an aggressive makeover to handle the double-decker jet.

Dottie Kaminski – Councilmember at Large, City of La Porte, Texas

Dottie Kamiski

Ms. Kaminski is longstanding member of the La Porte community. During this time, her involvements have included government, civic organizations, and many athletic organizations. She has served on the Planning and Zoning Board for over 21 years, is an active volunteer member of the La Porte Bayshore Chamber of Commerce for 17 years; which has included 6 years on the Board of Directors and 15 years as Chairwoman of the Sylvan Beach Festival. Dottie has also served on the Economic Development Board and the Small Business Board for the past 6 years. Dottie stays connected to the community with her long-standing involvement with the LP Football Booster Club, the La Porte Boys Baseball Association, and is one of the co-founders of the La Porte Oilers football program (now the La Porte Texans). As an independent business woman and marketing promotions manager, she found the time to become a graduate of the Citizens Police Academy, and in 2008 she was the recipient of the Gus Groos Humanitarian Award.

Julie M. Robinson – City Administrator, City of Dickinson, Texas

Julie M. Robinson

Ms. Robinson was appointed in March 2007 as City Administrator of Dickinson, Texas. She is active in the Texas City Management Association (TCMA), is a Past President of the TCMA Region 6, and is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Julie also serves as Vice President of the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP). Outside city management, Julie is involved in several civic organizations. She is an active member and Paul Harris Fellow of the Dickinson Rotary Club, Chairman of the Premium Seating Committee of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo™, an Advisory Board Member for M. I. Lewis Social Service Center in Dickinson, and volunteer for the Houston Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.