Brenda Eivens, city manager of Cedar Park, Texas, moderates the morning panel at the August 30, "Take Control of Your Success" event in Austin.

On August 30, 2017, women from across the state of Texas came together for a one-day professional development program, which was also attended by Marc Ott, ICMA Executive Director.  

The program included an interactive panel discussion, "Take Control of Your Success," featuring leaders of the profession, two sessions led by nationally recognized speakers, and a networking luncheon. 

The panelists shared valuable advice, including:

  • “Paying it forward is our responsibility, not an option.” Collette Jamison, assistant city manager, San Marcos, Texas.
  • “Failing cannot be prideful.  When you fail and you’re prideful, you build distrust.  If you’re honest, they see you’re human and it builds trust.” Marie Diaz, CEO and chief visionary officer, Pursuit of Excellence, Dallas, Texas.
  • “Don’t be afraid to ask for the opportunities. Communicate clearly and effectively. Don’t be afraid to step up to opportunities.” Paulette Hartman, assistant city manager, North Richland Hills, Texas.
  • “I conduct myself in a way that makes the others realize I’m the one in charge and they should be directing the conversation to me (rather than to the man in the room)” Opal Mauldin-Jones, city manager, Lancaster, Texas.

Dr. Pamela Paxton, professor of sociology and public affairs, University of Texas, discussed the positive impact of national service programs on a community’s well-being. Dr. Pamela PaxtonJo Mattoon, professional coach and organizational leadership expert, paired up the participants and led them through an interactive peer coaching session.

ICMA and WLG would like to acknowledge Cigna for its support, allowing us to present this event at no cost to the attendees. This is part of ICMA’s commitment to advancing women in the profession.

Sharon Landers, Assistant City Manager of Irvine, CA was presented with the Women Leading Government 2017 Excellence Award at the MMANC Women’s Leadership Summit.

Sharon has dedicated 30 years of her career to working as a leader in government. Following her admission to the New York State Bar, she has worked in executive level positions in six cities in New York, New Jersey and California. Since 2006, Sharon has held the position of Assistant City Manager for the City of Irvine. In this role, she has served as the City’s chief operating officer overseeing Community Development, Community Services, Public Works, and Administrative Services, as well as serving as the Assistant Executive Director for the Successor Agency to the Irvine Redevelopment Agency. For 13 months, from 2007 – 2008, Sharon also served as Interim CEO to the Orange County Great Park Corporation, guiding the development of a 1,300- acre park on a superfund site within a closed military base.

Sharon received her B.S. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her J.D. from Albany Law School in New York State. She is admitted to the New York State Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court. She serves on the boards of Women Leading Government (WLG) and ICMA’s Local Government Management Fellowship Program. She is a Mentor for the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) and recently was a Manager/Mentor for the Fullerton University City Management Fellowship Program. She has been a moderator, speaker and guest lecturer for various professional organizations and universities. She is the recipient of Teamwork Awards presented by the City Manager of the City of Irvine and the New York City Transportation Commissioner, the Influential Woman in Business Award presented by Silicon Valley Business Journal, and a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service during the XIII Winter Olympics presented by the New York State Governor.

Sharon’s professional and personal achievements have made her a role model for women in our profession. She has high standards and leads by example. Despite being the single mom of an eleven-year-old daughter, she continues to find time to give back to our profession and to go the extra mile at work to ensure her team always produces exemplary work.