County Manager named first-ever KACM Leadership Award recipient
The Kansas Association of City-County Management recently met to recognize excellence in public service and honor members of the profession for their years of service. KACM created a new Leadership Award this year, and its first recipient was Johnson County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson. The Leadership Award is presented to a KACM member who has led an organization or community through a difficult time while upholding ICMA's Code of Ethics.
"Penny is the ideal recipient of this award due to her courageous leadership during challenging times,” said KACM President Jonathan Mitchell. “Her efforts helped the residents of Johnson County, along with other Kansans, to navigate the unique challenges of the current pandemic. She continues to be a leader in her community and has set an example that many of us aspire to emulate. I am proud to call Penny a colleague and appreciate her commitment to her residents and her peers."
Postoak Ferguson received this award for her leadership of Johnson County’s pandemic response and recovery over the past year while continuing to meet other challenges in the community through innovative measures. In addition to the pandemic, she led the organization through a challenging budget process, ongoing implementation of the Board of County Commissioners priorities, and maintained Johnson County Government as a High-Performance Organization with a workforce dedicated to a culture of stewardship.
- COVID-10 Pandemic –Under Postoak Ferguson’s leadership, the county stood up its first-ever mass vaccination clinic, offered expertise and guidance to help schools prevent virus spread, held a successful and safe election, created and implemented a system to administer Coronavirus Relief Funds and managed the vital distribution of personal protective equipment.
- Budget – Crafting the proposed FY 2022 budget during a pandemic created unique challenges. Postoak Ferguson’s leadership and vision helped the organization navigate the unique combination of federal funding, rising home values, a growing population with growing needs and addressing ongoing operational needs.
- Board Priorities – Through Postoak Ferguson’s leadership, substantial progress has been made, on time and on budget, on major projects including successfully opening the new Johnson County Courthouse and working towards the goal of treating all flow onsite at the Tomahawk Wastewater Treatment Facility by the end of 2021. County staff worked with the BOCC to develop a vision of future strategies for transit and provided assistance to vulnerable populations in multiple ways, including adding mental health co-responders and putting additional resources towards assisting older adults.
- Culture of Stewardship – With a focus on HPO, Postoak Ferguson leads a workforce of staff who every day utilize innovation, technology, creativity and collaboration to find ways to deliver services more efficiently, save resources, work smarter and leave the community better than they found it.
“I was very honored to be chosen as the recipient for the KACM Leadership Award, especially being recognized by my peers in city and county management,” said Postoak Ferguson. “I have a very strong support system of assistant county managers, executives and staff, not to mention a passionate and engaged Board of County Commissioners. I also appreciate the partnerships with city managers, school superintendents, hospital executives, chambers of commerce and businesses, and social service agencies. It takes us all and so many others to make Johnson County a place where people want to live, work and play.”