2016 Summer Scholarship Winners

The mission of NCLGBA is to Promote the budgeting profession through education, networking, and advocacy.  Our conferences are how we live out our mission.  At every conference we aim to award two scholarships to an active Master’s level student or someone who has never attended a NCLGBA conference.  Before the conference we want to introduce you to our two 2016 Summer Scholarship winners so you can learn a little bit about them.  Make sure to introduce yourself at the conference!!

Congratulations to Ashley Qualls and Chris McMillan!

Ashley Qualls is a Budget Analyst at the City of Asheville.

2016 Summer Scholarship Winners Qualls Portrait

Why were you interested in the NCLGBA Conference Scholarship?

The Conference Scholarship is a great opportunity for students and first-time attendees to get all the benefits of a state conference at a reduced cost to themselves and/or their organizations. As a former ICMA/NCACC Local Government Management Fellow, I was fortunate to be able to attend several conferences and other events as part of the program. This was invaluable to my professional and personal development during my first year in local government. Conferences can be financially burdensome for students and organizations, so anything we can do to make them more accessible makes for a better event. I would encourage anyone new to the profession to take advantage of scholarships, student registration rates, and other benefits offered to them.

What drew you to a career in public service?

As far back as I can remember, I have always felt a calling to public service. I was very active in Air Force JROTC in high school, and it had a huge impact on me. I learned so many valuable skills and lessons that I still apply to just about everything I do. As I got older, I realized that there are so many ways to serve your community, your country, and the world.

2016 Summer Scholarship Winners Asheville ShindigShindig on the Green

If you didn’t work in local government where would you be working?

Overseas for a federal agency or non-profit.

What is one session you are looking forward to attending at the conference and why?

The #13percent session on employee hiring and retention. I am a huge fan of the ELGL team and I appreciate their work in creating a space where we can have real conversations about women and people of color in local government. As a professional, my goal is to be the best and do the best. But can I reach my full potential if I’m not also working with the best? Can organizations reach their full potential if they aren’t employing the best? Embracing and supporting diversity in our workforce is mandatory for attracting top talent to the profession. We just have to do it.

 

Chris McMillan is a Senior Corporate Performance Analyst at the City of Fayetteville.

2016 Summer Scholarship Winners McMillan Portrait

Why were you interested in the NCLGBA Conference Scholarship?

My position at the City of Fayetteville involves collecting and analyzing organizational performance data.  The sessions at the NCLGBA conference speak directly to my job function.  I saw the conference scholarship as a way to become involved with NCLGBA and to enhance my professional development.

What drew you to a career in public service?

I was looking for a way to contribute to the local community through my work and saw a career in public service as a way to do that.

2016 Summer Scholarship Winners Fayetteville Market HouseFayetteville Market House

If you didn’t work in local government where would you be working?

Probably in education in some capacity.

What is one session you are looking forward to attending at the conference and why?

I’m especially looking forward to the DataHoods session since I’m participating in it.  I hope this is one many others are excited to attend as well.