County manager Hannes Zacharias on Sunday, Oct. 22, was recognized with the Edwin O. Stene Award for Managerial Excellence. The honor was given at the KUCIMAT banquet — a yearly KU alumni event hosted at the International City/County Management Association annual conference.
Deputy county manager Penny Postoak Ferguson nominated Zacharias for the honor. He began his career with Johnson County Government as assistant county manager in 2001. Zacharias has served as county manager since 2009.
“Hannes is best known by his peers, county staff and elected officials, and the metro area as a connector,” Postoak Ferguson said. “Not only is he a passionate leader, but he demonstrates how relationships are key to success.”
During his career in public service, Zacharias worked for the Kansas Arts Commission and the city of Lawrence, Kansas, before serving as manager of the cities of Boonville, Missouri, and Hays, Kansas.
“Hannes demonstrates the value of relationships, works to take down barriers and is a true leader who dares and cares,” Postoak Ferguson added.
Zacharias co-chairs the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Council and has led the charge to shape Johnson County Government’s HPO (high-performing organization) culture. His biography is available online.
The award is named to honor Edwin O. Stene, a political science professor at the University of Kansas known in local government as the founder of KU’s city management-focused master’s degree in public administration.
KUCIMAT is the Kansas University City Managers and Trainees Alumni Organization that supports and advises the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration.
International City/County Management Association (ICMA) is the premier association for local government managers worldwide.