Jessica A. DeMory is an administrative intern for the Village of Schaumburg, Illinois, and has been an ICMA member since 2011. She interns in three major departments: Programs and Services, Financial Management, and Human Resources Management.
DeMory earned her bachelor’s degree from Knox College in 2011, where she majored in economics and minored in business administration and comparative politics. It was at Knox College that DeMory’s interest in public service was piqued by her participation in an organization called Best Buddies for which she was the cofounder and the director. Best Buddies aids the intellectually and physically disabled by creating a one-to-one friendship with volunteers.
Shortly after establishing the Best Buddies club at Knox College, DeMory earned the opportunity to study abroad in Denmark. It was there at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in the Global Economics Program that she became more interested in public service and working with local government. “I learned firsthand that while the federal government makes the policies and laws that may or may not affect all citizens, it is the programs and ordinances implemented at the local level that directly impact citizens on a daily basis.”
Upon returning from Denmark, DeMory changed her career goal from wanting to work as an economics professor at a major university to becoming a finance director at the local level of government. She began her studies in public administration at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where she currently holds a 4.0 GPA and will graduate in May.
DeMory has used her time at NIU to advance her skills in financial forecasting, public budgeting, and public accounting. In addition to managing all of her intern duties for the Village of Schaumburg, she is the vice president of the NIU Public Administration Student Association. DeMory has earned several awards, including the David and Catherine Arnold Fellowship, and she is both a Rhoten A. Smith Scholar and an ICMA Edwin O. Stene Scholar.
When asked what issues were important to her and why, DeMory put efficiency at the top of the list. “In times of fiscal stress, local governments with limited resources are constantly searching for new and better ways of providing the same level of services for citizens. As a means of becoming more efficient and effective in the provision of public services, many local governments are entering into cooperative agreements for shared services with other government entities. . . . I am specifically very interested in the concept of city-county consolidation, as there are only 34 consolidations across the United States.”
“For my research capstone at Northern Illinois University, I am focusing on the economic and fiscal health of an unconsolidated city that was purposefully left out of the consolidation in comparison to a city that is completely outside and separate from the consolidation. It is my hypothesis that an unconsolidated community gains economically and financially from operating within a large consolidated metropolitan area without having to forego their autonomy. It has been my goal to put hard numbers to city-county consolidation theories for the purpose of providing a model case-study that can be used as a foundation for further research on the topic of city-county consolidation.”
DeMory is very appreciative of her ICMA membership and the benefits that it provides. “ICMA membership has provided me with the rare opportunity to make connections with senior management local government professionals to learn from and network with as I progress through my career in local government administration. Additionally, the sessions that focused on shared services this past conference have been very beneficial to my capstone research that deals with the concept of improving government efficiency through city-county consolidation.”
DeMory is also very happy with the benefits of ICMA’s Knowledge Network. “As vice president of the Public Administration Student Association at Northern Illinois University, I am constantly looking for ways to engage graduate and undergraduate students in the local government profession. ICMA’s Knowledge Network within the Student Chapter Program has been very beneficial as it allows me to connect with student chapters from other universities for the purpose of sharing ideas for engaging and recruiting students into the local government profession.”