Member Spotlight

Brett Cast

Town of Flower Mound

Capital Improvement Manager

Hillary Cromer

City of Southlake

Tourism and Marketing Manager 

What led you to this career? 

When I graduated from Texas A&M University I took a job in Water Purification at the Trinity River Authority. This position solidified my path as a fourth-generation public works professional. Public service is in my family's blood, and it is one of the great animating forces of my life. During my time with the Trinity River Authority, I was introduced to the University of Texas Master of Public Administration program, and I was enrolled in the program shortly thereafter. I have worked in public works and public administration for the last nine years and look forward to the years ahead.

How has UMANT helped you in your career? 

I have built a wonderful network of like-minded professionals throughout North Texas. UMANT's membership embodies a profound collection of disciplines, skills, and backgrounds. UMANT has been an incredibly positive influence in my career.

Favorite Event: 

Exec Connect is probably my favorite event. Every year UMANT puts together this event to connect established executives with young professionals in a "speed dating" format. This event is a great way to strengthen a young professional's interview and networking prowess. This event also provides an avenue for UMANT's numerous alumni to help cultivate the next generation of public administration professionals. Over the years this event has resulted in many mentor relationships between Execs and UMANT Members. 

Any advice or lessons learned? 

The one piece of advice that I give to young professionals is to dedicate time to networking often and early in your career. One of the most effective ways of doing this is simply reaching out to managers and directors close to where you live and asking them to grab a cup of coffee. One of the great characteristics of the public administration field is the willingness of managers to meet and advise young professionals within our field.

    What led you to this career?

    I've always wanted to feel confident that what I'm doing on a day-to-day basis is positively impacting people's lives. In graduate school, I studied Public Administration with the intent of working for a charity but landed in local government, and I'm so glad I did because I've found it to be very fulfilling. 

    How has UMANT helped you in your career? 

    I've loved being a member of UMANT because it's given me the opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with others in the field. Some of my closest friendships have developed through UMANT. 

    Favorite Event: 

    Wine and Dine. 

    Any advice or lessons learned? 

    Remain open to feedback even when it's difficult to accept. Some of my greatest moments of growth have come from listening to advice from others about how I could improve myself.

    Urban Management Assistants of North Texas (C) 2013

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