Thrive in Local Government with the New ICMA Coaching Program

ICMA announces a new resource for local government staff looking to develop, advance, and do great things for their communities.

ARTICLE | Jan 7, 2016
Speed coaching (pictured at the ICMA Annual Conference in Seattle) is a part of the Coaching Program.

ICMA announces the launch of the ICMA Coaching Program, a complimentary service to local government teams and staff. The ICMA Coaching Program provides resources on best practices and career development to local government professionals nationwide and to a growing global community in service. The program uses the knowledge and expertise of experienced managers and leaders to inspire, support, and guide emerging and mid-career professionals.

New, Exciting, and Invaluable Resources

To promote individual and organizational support, all resources are complimentary to anyone interested in the local government profession. They include six engaging and relevant webinars each year. The live webinars feature interactive polling and Q&A sessions and typically consist of insightful presentations from three leaders in the field sharing a diversity of perspectives, best practices, and concrete resources. High-quality digital recordings and PDF agendas are available after the webinars have aired.

The program connects professionals at all levels looking for personalized mentoring with practiced executives to share best practices and fresh perspectives with 1 to 1 Coaching. Working with coaches dedicated to the development and advancement of up-and-coming local government management talent and those new to the profession, 1 to 1 Coaching encourages both formal and informal coaching relationships by providing invaluable resources. These include guidebooks; the Coaches Gallery, packed with more than 100 coaches and growing; and the forthcoming ICMA online matching service, Coach Connect. Coach Connect is an online matching service that ICMA has contracted with to help you find coaches who match your individualized interests. The Coaching Program will also continue to facilitate the always popular and informative Speed Coaching session at the ICMA Annual Conference.

The ICMA Coaching Program adds valuable career development resources within the career network to inspire, provide guidance, and spur new thinking on the important issues faced by local government professionals every day. Dr. Frank Benest will continue providing informative and engaging leadership and career guidance in the Career Compass column. Career Stories offer career insights and tips from ICMA leaders and rising stars through video interviews and personal stories.

History and Development

The ICMA Coaching Program builds on the success of the Cal-ICMA Coaching Program and the 15 ICMA state association Coaching Program partners - growing to 20 as we launch in 2016. The Cal-ICMA Coaching Program began as a conversation among city managers Frank Benest, Tim O’Donnell, and new-comer Amy Cunningham from their desire to foster the development of a coaching program that would utilize the knowledge of the best and brightest to help develop the careers of emerging local government leaders.

The team hired Don Maruska to serve as director and worked with 40 dedicated volunteers to develop the program. With funding from numerous nonprofit and corporate entities, the program became a success. In 2013, ICMA increased its support of the program to help interested state associations expand the program into their states. By 2015, the Cal-ICMA Coaching Program had partnered with 15 state associations to provide complimentary coaching webinars and coaching programs to over 5,700 local government attendees.

With the generous support of ICMA-RC, ICMA is able to expand the program nationwide to serve all states. In addition, ICMA welcomes 15 returning state partners and six new state partners to provide these services and guide the program: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin.

The ICMA Coaching Program supports ICMA’s mission to create excellence in local government by developing and fostering professional local government management at all career stages. This initiative exemplifies ICMA’s dedication to work with state associations to provide the best possible and most effective resources to ICMA members and to new and aspiring local government professionals worldwide.

Now and Moving Forward

Visit the ICMA Coaching Program pages to have all of these resources available at your fingertips. Connect with a coach today, browse 10 years of archived coaching webinars, read new and back issues of Career Compass, and encourage your staff to become involved.

Learn more at and watch for more at #icmacoaching!


Questions or suggestions? Contact Don Maruska, MBA, JD, Master Certified Coach, director of the ICMA Coaching Program,, or Rob Carty, director, ICMA Career Services at

The ICMA Coaching Program is made possible by the funding of National Platinum Sponsor, ICMA-RC and Gold Sponsors ICMA and Cal-ICMA.


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