Pres. Earley: Get Passionate about Our Profession

During his first speech as ICMA president, Darnell Earley (City Manager; Saginaw, Michigan) encouraged each ICMA member to rediscover and act on their passion for the profession and public service. He highlighted professional development and personal health as 2 ways to get invigorated and invested, and also talked about the ICMA Fund for Professional Management. The Fund, as many of you know, exists to support professional local government management through civic education initiatives and involvement in form-of-government campaigns.

Darnell experienced a challenge to the council-manager form in his own community 2 years ago, so he knows firsthand how valuable the Fund and ICMA can be as resources. He says that the Fund’s support, in particular, meant so much because it represented his colleagues reaching out a helping hand in what was a very difficult time.

The Fund, as Darnell sees it, is a perfect way for ICMA members to act on their passion. During the next year, he pledged to be an advocate for the Fund with the goal of significantly increasing the number of members who donate (currently it’s only 10% of the membership). To get things started–and to show that he’ll practice what he preaches this year–Darnell wrote a check to the Fund for $1,000 and presented it on stage. But the point isn’t to have everyone at that giving level…it’s to have everyone giving.  That’s why he also encouraged people to take a first step toward donating by tossing their leftover Canadian coins and bills into buckets at the exits of the hall.  Every dollar and every donor matters!

To learn more about the Fund, visit; to make a contribution, establish a pledge, or set-up an automatically drafted recurring gift, visit Any questions you have can be directed to


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