ICMA Recognizes Jennifer Cunningham for Outstanding Professional Achievement

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Jennifer Cunningham, Assistant City Manager, City of Garden City will be honored by ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, as the recipient of the organization’s Assistant Excellence in Leadership Award in Memory of Buford M. Watson, Jr. ICMA’s Assistant Excellence in Leadership awards a local government management professional who has made significant contributions toward excellence in leadership while serving as an assistant (regardless of title) to a chief local government administrator or department head.

As the recipient of ICMA’s Assistant Excellence in Leadership Award in Memory of Buford M. Watson, Jr., Jennifer Cunningham will be formally honored during a Celebration of Service to the Profession as part of ICMA’s 2019 Annual Conference at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.

Jennifer Cunningham began working for the City of Garden City as City Prosecutor in 2012. Her diverse skill set quickly became evident and following a March 2013 Novak Consulting Group management study of our Municipal Court, she was promoted to overseeing all Municipal Court functions and personnel. The following year she was appointed interim Information Technologies Director in addition to her Prosecutor/Court Administrator duties and took on Legislative Director duties to explore her interest in becoming a local government generalist. In October 2015, Jennifer was named Assistant City Manager and continues to oversee Municipal Court, Information Technology, and Legislative Affairs. In addition, she oversees Garden City Regional Airport, Buffalo Dunes Golf Course, Lee Richardson Zoo, and Garden City’s “Big Pool.” Jennifer plays a considerable role in the overall management with the City.

“I am extremely honored to be receiving the Assistant Excellence in Leadership Award in Memory of Buford M. Watson, Jr.,” says Jennifer Cunningham. “Although grateful for the recognition I have received for my work, I could not have done it without the support of my family, staff, and mentors that have helped me reach this achievement. I enjoy working for the City of Garden City and look forward to continuing to grow here.”

The ICMA Local Government Excellence Awards Program highlights creative contributions to professional local government management while demonstrating the difference that kind of management makes to the quality of life in our communities. ICMA’s Professional Awards honor individual achievement by outstanding chief administrative officers, assistant administrators, academics, and others that may have been accomplished through tenure with a number of local governments or organizations. Nominations are evaluated by an independent, 17-person panel of ICMA members.

“This is a very prestigious award in the City/County management profession,” says Matt Allen, City Manager of Garden City. “It speaks volumes about the type of public servant Jennifer is and the great work she’s done for this organization and community.”
“We congratulate the recipients of our 2019 Professional Awards,” says ICMA Executive Marc A. Ott. “The men and women recognized this year set the standard for innovation, effectiveness, and creativity in the cities, towns, counties, and academic institutions they lead. We thank them for their commitment to improving the lives of the constituents they serve every day.”

In addition to recognition at the Celebration of Service to the Profession in conjunction with the ICMA Annual Conference, the 2019 ICMA Annual Award recipients will be highlighted in a commemorative booklet that will be posted on icma.org and published in the October 2019 issue of PM magazine.

For more information about ICMA’s Annual Awards Program, contact Joyce Lee Brown at jlee@icma.org or 202-962-3625.