WCMA Awards and Professional Recognition

The Washington City/County Management Association has a longstanding tradition of recognizing the achievements of its members in the field of public management. For over twenty years the association has considered nominations for awards for distinguished achievement for managers, administrators and assistants in the following categories:

The Award for Excellence recognizes an outstanding administrator or manager who has enhanced the effectiveness of local elected officials and consistently initiated creative and successful programs. Members are eligible for the Award for Excellence in two categories; one to a member with a jurisdiction population greater than 5,000 and one to a member whose jurisdiction population is less than 5,000.

The Assistant Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes the contributions of local government professionals who serve as assistants to chief local government administrators/managers and who have made significant contributions toward excellence in leadership.

The Award for Skill in Intergovernmental Cooperation recognizes a member who has demonstrated significant success in representing his or her local governments’ policies at the state and/or federal level in such a way that regulatory relief is granted or legislative change is effected; or, recognizes a member who has demonstrated significant success in establishing a working relationship with the county, state, or federal level in such a manner that enables the local jurisdiction to better serve its citizens.

The Program Excellence Award for Innovations in Local Government Management recognizes a member that has successfully applied the concepts of reinventing, reengineering, total quality management, customization, Lean principles or other cutting-edge organizational tools. Applications may include, but are not limited to, programs involving intergovernmental relations.

Finally, in 2008 the Washington City/County Management Association established the L. Joe Miller Award for Distinguished Public Service to recognize outstanding leadership as a local government professional manager.  The award is named in honor of the late L. Joe Miller.  Joe was a long time city manager of Bellevue WA during its formative years (1961-1977). He is considered one of its “founding fathers” of WCMA.  Joe was the President of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in 1975. He also served as the Board President of the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (MRSC) for several years during the 1990’s following his retirement from paid public service. Joe also served in many other distinguished capacities. Those who worked with him in any capacity remember him as an absolutely helpful individual who always had a positive and cheerful presence no matter what was going on.

The WCMA board deliberately set a high bar in creating this award.

The individual must have been:

  1. A member of ICMA for at least 30 years,
  2. A Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) member for at least 20 years,
  3. A City or County Manager or Administrator for at least 15 years – with at least 10 of those years having been in the state of Washington,
  4. A President or Vice-President of ICMA,
  5. A President of WCMA. 

There have been 8 recipients of this award:

Richard Cushing

Joni Earl

Bob Jean

Al Locke

Eldon Marshall

Erling Mork

Dave Rowlands

Richard Zais