Destin’s Deputy City Manager Steven Schmidt and Parks and Recreation Director Lance Johnson recently graduated from the Florida State University Center for Public Management Program earning their Certified Public Manager (CPM) certifications.

The CPM program is a nationally-recognized, comprehensive training and development program for public sector managers at all levels of state and local government.

“Steve Schmidt and Lance Johnson are both conscientious, dedicated managers committed to professional development and organizational excellence,” said Destin City Manager Carisse LeJeune. “They have already applied some of their coursework here at the city implementing organizational improvements. I am incredibly proud of both managers and they continue to be an asset to the city of Destin.”

The CPM program aims to professionalize the practice of public management, in much the same way that other professionals have organized themselves. Today, many public agencies are moving away from traditional management and embracing transformational leadership.

The CPM program incorporates state-of-the-art theory with practical applications. The vision of the CPM program is to create reflective practitioners who apply advanced managerial techniques to real-world problems, and to foster learning organizations that use new knowledge to improve the way they govern.

Schmidt described the program as a comprehensive review of public management.

"It’s designed to expand your interpersonal skills and open your mind to broader leadership concepts, and make you a more dynamic and influential leader," Schmidt said. "I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate in this evolutionary course of study with public administrators from municipal to state organizations.”

Johnson said the program was challenging and rewarding.

"For those who undertake the challenge and prevail, the rewards of knowledge and the development of new relationships make all the time and effort worthwhile," Johnson said. "Both the curriculum and the opportunity to work alongside quality leaders from Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa County agencies, Walton County agencies and other governmental agencies throughout Florida have helped me to refocus on skills needed to improve upon the organization’s efficiency, effectiveness and staff morale. The confidence and leadership skills gained by participating in this nationally recognized program will undoubtedly help enable me to overcome both current and future career challenges.”