10 Questions with ELGL Advisory Board Member Ben Bryant

With the beginning of a new year, comes the beginning of a new feature which will introduce you to the ELGL Advisory Board. We first highlight Ben Bryant, City of Tualatin Management Analyst. Before working full-time for Tualatin, Ben earned an undergraduate degree from Willamette University, an MPA from the University of Kansas, and while in graduate school worked for the cities of Tualatin and Wilsonville.

Ben Bryant

City of Tualatin, Management Analyst

Most rewarding professional experience:

Is still yet to come…

Newspaper headline for your retirement:

“Bryant Begins Next Adventure”

Local government issue that isn’t being talked about enough:

The most recent economic recession and the decrease in local government jobs has clouded the decrease in the number of younger professionals entering the field.  As the economy stabilizes and more of the Baby Boomers retire, there could be a dramatic shortage of individuals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to meet the demands.  This is also partially due to another issue: the lack of local government education in high school.

Your mentors:

Undoubtedly, the most influential person in my life has been my dad, Steve Bryant.  Throughout my life, he has been my professional mentor as well as one of my best friends and role models.  Through dinner table conversations about city business, he fueled my professional aspirations to become a city manager.  Although I witnessed the stress this profession can cause—especially with a split City Council—I was exposed to the unparalleled passion and enthusiasm for public service.

Growing up with a father who was a city manager, my least favorite phrase was, “Dad has a meeting tonight.”  Yet, despite the numerous evening meetings and the everyday demands of the profession, Dad was always present in my life.  He modeled incredible grace juggling his duties as city manager, coaching my basketball and baseball teams, teaching me to golf and ski, editing my high school writing assignments, and comforting me when times were difficult.

Your vision for ELGL:

An organization that promotes the development of aspiring leaders in all disciplines of local government through a deep integration with the professional organizations that represent the multitude of local government workers.

Beside the ELGL Advisory Board, what other board of directors would you like to be on?

  • Mercy Corps
  • Willamette University

Dream job:

My dream career is to be able to hold positions for 5 – 8 years at the top of many different professions.  Here’s the list:

  • City Manager
  • Governor
  • National News Anchor (Morning or Evening)
  • Outside Magazine Editor-in-Chief
  • University President (Willamette preferably)

Your happy place (place you go when you need to get away):

Outside. I love to run, hike, bike, golf, ski, snowshoe, and kayak.

Goals for 2013:      

Professionally: Continue to expand my portfolio and responsibilities (specifically budget experience).

Personally: Get married to my beautiful fiancé, Stephanie!

Your life will be fulfilled if………..

I go to bed with a smile on my face 98% of the time.

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