Member Spotlight

Colby Collins

City of Midlothian

Assistant Planning Director

Chloe Sawatzky

City of Carrollton

City Secretary

What led you to this career?

I was introduced to this career through a family member.  Originally I wanted to go into an event planning career with some friends from college, then I quickly realized that continuously splitting money six ways wouldn't be the best career path.   However my family member thought that I had the right skill set to enter into the city planning profession.  After several conversations, I was willing to attend graduate school to learn more about the profession.  Since that time, I have now been in the profession for nearly 7 years and have enjoyed every minute of it! 

How has UMANT helped you in your career?

For me, UMANT has helped my career from simply being able to expand my network.  Since joining UMANT, I have been able to attend numerous events while meeting so many amazing people in the process.  Each person within the organization has a different "walk of life" that helps me learn and better myself as a professional and overall person.

What is your favorite event?

UMANT has so many amazing events, however the one that I look forward to the most is the ExecConnect vent.  The ExecConnect event allows attendees for some personal time with influential local government managers and executives from across the State of Texas in a "speed interview" format.  City Managers typically have very busy schedules, so I definitely try to take full advantage of having that many executives in the same room at once.

Any advice or lessons learned? : 

  • Always bring a treat everyone with respect and bring a positive attitude to the workplace.  In our profession(s), we can often spend more time at work with our coworkers than we do with our own family.  Due to this, don't hesitate to try and put a smile on people's face at the workplace.  That can often go a long way.
  • As you progress in your career, never forget to "pay it forward".  We can sometimes forget that we were once that student/intern/entry-level worker trying to work our way up the career ladder.  As you continue to grow your career and network, be sure to help those who are in the beginning stages of their careers as well.
  • network! Network! NETWORK! (sorry for the dramatics  ). By networking, you will always be able to learn from someone with a different perspective than you.  In addition, having a good network can also open doors for you in the future.

What led you to this career?

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a Communication degree, I wasn’t sure which career path I would follow. Luckily, I found a job with the City of Carrollton and discovered a passion for local government. There is always something exciting going on and something new to learn every day. I am grateful to have found a job I’m passionate about, and I’m excited to continue growing in my career in local government.

How has UMANT helped you in your career?

UMANT has been a great networking and professional development tool for me. The events UMANT organizes have allowed me to feel connected to others in similar positions plus gain additional understanding about topics outside of my scope of knowledge. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of such a well-connected organization.

Favorite Event:

I have to say my favorite event so far has been the annual Wine and Dine! It is a great event that promotes partnerships, builds connections, and raises money for scholarships. It is also a fun way to network in a more relaxed environment.

Any advice or lessons learned?

Sometimes it’s okay to start at the bottom and work your way up. It gives you additional opportunities to network and learn about your goal role within the organization. Hard work is noticed.

Urban Management Assistants of North Texas (C) 2013

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