PODCAST: Step Out of Your Box - Step Out of Your Office

In this episode of United Front, Dana Muscott, city manager of Bay City, Michigan, opens up about the importance of work/life balance and why it's okay to just say no.

Dana Muscott is the first female city manager of Bay City, Michigan. In this episode of United Front, a special season of Local Gov Life, Muscott opens up about the criticism she has received about her education credentials - and how she overcame it; the management of a big career and a family; how to remain grounded in the CAO role; as well as the importance of mentorship in the profession. She also discusses why she chooses a hands-on approach as a local government leader with both her employees and the community - stating that everyone needs to have a voice - "so step out of your box, step out of your office!" 

Also Inside

  • State of work/life balance for women.
  • Prioritizing self-care and private time.
  • Obstacles as the first female city manager of a community.
  • Significant barriers to female leadership in the profession.
  • Getting men in on the conversation of getting more women into the local government management profession.
  • The biggest challenge for women coming up in the profession.
  • How women can find mentors.

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Dana Muscott, city manager of Bay City, Michigan

Get to Know Dana

Favorite leadership-oriented books and/or podcasts. 

Most of my free time is catching up on PM from ICMA, Governing, or The Review from Michigan Municipal League.

A leader/influencer Dana recommends local government leaders follow on LinkedIn or Instagram. 

Condoleezza Rice.

Professional associations she recommends joining, and why. 

ICMA, of course. This organization is top-notch. Since becoming a city manager, ICMA always has the information needed to complete a task. Their website is a valuable tool for all. Other associations, I recommend everyone join a local civic group, whether it be Rotary, Lions Club, Optimist, etc. It is amazing the feeling you get when you give back to your community when you are a member of a civic group.

Interests outside of work. 

Golf. I love to play golf when the weather is hot and beautiful – so a fair-weather golfer. It is so relaxing to be out in the open enjoying the beauty of the day.  My “perfect” foursome is myself, my husband Chris, and our two grown boys Cody and Connor. Second interest is my fur-babies. Currently, we have a lab and a german shepherd, and they are part of the family.



As you follow along with United Front, a special season of Local Gov Life, and listen to these brief stories of six women leaders in local government, join the conversation on social media. Look for the hashtag #SheLeadsGov on Twitter and use it to share stories about the groundbreaking women in local government whom you know. 

Join ICMA's Erika White on the United Front podcast, a special season of Local Gov Life, as she takes you behind-the-scenes with women chief administrative officers who have been selected as their community's first female manager. Listen in for a real discussion on how they made it to the top and what advice they have for women looking to lead in the same role. Subscribe to Local Gov Life on iTunes or Google Play Music

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