by Barbara Moore, outreach team project manager, ICMA
ICMA’s members have generously shared their time and expertise in support of ICMA’s global programs. Some have served directly as volunteer advisers on projects around the world. Others have shared indirectly by “lending” their technical experts for volunteer assignments in the field. During National Volunteer Week, we’re highlighting a few of them.
Over a period of months, ICMA Academic Member Joaquin (Jay) Gonzalez (at right in the photo above) spent many weeks in Tanzania on the Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) project, which is designed to increase private-sector investment leading to inclusive, broad-based economic growth in three agricultural regions and in Zanzibar.
Gonzalez worked with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Morogoro, assisting in efforts to build its credibility with the private sector. Bringing public- and private-sector actors together, he facilitated an agreement by the municipal council to reduce a service levy on local businesses—a move that encouraged greater compliance by small businesses and improved tax collection by the municipality.
Gonzalez is the faculty adviser for the ICMA Student Chapter at Golden Gate University. In addition to his volunteer work on behalf of the ENGINE project, he has been an active volunteer supporter of the ICMA China Center. He recruited Golden Gate students for a study tour to China in April 2017 and shared his technical expertise in local government during meetings and forums.
As an ICMA volunteer for the Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (USAID/SURGE) project, Ron Rabun spoke about best practices in revenue generation at a technical working group meeting in General Santos City, Philippines. SURGE fosters the development of conditions for broad-based, inclusive, and resilient economic growth for secondary cities outside Metro Manila. SURGE assists cities to plan effectively, guarantee basic public services, reduce business transaction costs, promote competitiveness, and support sustainable development while ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth.
Closer to home, Rich Kerbel assisted ICMA in hosting a delegation from Guangdong Province, China, in October-November 2017. The visitors were in the United States for a training program on planning, constructing, and managing historical trails. They included representatives from the provincial Department of Housing and Urban Rural Development and several design companies. Kerbel (pointing in the photo) organized the program for the Boston area and is shown here conducting a city tour of Providence, Rhode Island.
Among the members who freed up time for other staff were Stockton, California, City Manager Kurt Wilson and Chief of Police Eric Jones. Police officers from Stockton participated in exchange visits with the municipalities of Coban, Tactic, and San Juan Chamelco, Guatemala, to showcase how Stockton has addressed the key challenges it faces with respect to crime and violence. The exchanges were facilitated through ICMA’s Municipal Partnerships for Violence Prevention in Central America and the Dominican Republic (AMUPREV).
Other Volunteers You've Read About
- Another volunteer on the ENGINE project was Kathy Dodson. ICMA shared her perspectives on the experience in the blog post The Economic Development Adventure of a Lifetime.
- Member Rodger Bennett was featured in the article Making a Difference Around the Globe.
Want to volunteer with ICMA? Learn more about how you can participate in ICMA's volunteer opportunities.