- Last Updated on Friday, 01 February 2013 14:00
Winter Haven Names Deric C. Feacher City Manager
WINTER HAVEN, FL – Congratulations to Deric C. Feacher, who takes leadership as Winter Haven City Manager, effective February 1, 2013. In the City’s 102-year history, the 36-year-old Winter Haven native will be the first minority and one of the youngest, if not the youngest, men to be named City Manager of Winter Haven.
In Central Florida, Winter Haven is known as the Chain of Lakes City, and is home to 35,000 residents, with an annual budget of $90 million.
Winter Haven City Commissioners unanimously appointed Feacher September 10, 2012, when Dale Smith announced his retirement as city manager, after 34 years with the City of Winter Haven.
Feacher graduated in 2000 from Bethune-Cookman (College) University, Daytona Beach, FL, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a minor in Public Administration. He is also a 1995 graduate of Winter Haven High School.
Assistant City Manager since February 2012, Feacher began work for the City of Winter Haven in 2001 as a Recreation Supervisor III. Since that time he has filled a number of roles within the City, including serving as the City’s first Public Information Officer, and later went on to serve as Assistant to the City Manager and Support Services Director. As Support Services Director, Feacher was responsible for the City’s Marketing, Communications and Records Management Divisions, as well as Fleet and Facilities Divisions. Shortly after being hired in 2001, Feacher entered a one-year management training program where he spent time in each of the City’s nine Departments to gain an understanding of how the City organization operates.
Prior to his full-time employment with the City of Winter Haven, Feacher served as a campaign manager for the Florida Democratic Party; Community Relations Coordinator for Keiser University, Daytona Beach; and was an administrative assistant to the Chaplain at Bethune-Cookman University. For several years, while attending college, Feacher also was employed in the City’s summer recreation programs.
From an early age Feacher has been goal oriented. He was chosen to participate in the 1994 class at the Florida American Legion Boys State program, where he was elected Governor by his peers. He has remained active in the Boys State organization, serving as its director for three years (2009-2011), and board member for the past several years.
He is a member of the International City and County Management Association (ICMA), Florida City and County Management Association, life member of Bethune-Cookman University National Alumni Association and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., on the state, district and international levels. He is also a member of Toastmasters International, Focus on Leadership Advisory Committee and Facilitator, Polk County School Board Head Start Policy Council, Sons of the America Legion, Winter Haven Post 201, Samson Masonic Lodge No. 142 F&AM, NAACP, Polk County Chapter, Polk State College Corporate College Advisory Board, and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. He also serves on the board of directors for Polk Vision, Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Central Florida and former founding chairman of New Beginnings High School. He is a graduate of Winter Haven Leadership XXIII, and Leadership Polk III.
Deric is a member of Hurst Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Winter Haven, has traveled and spoken in more than 30 states and seven European countries. He and his wife, Keshia, are the parents of one son, Jay.
- Last Updated on Friday, 06 January 2012 15:54
Boys State is a comprehensive one-week leadership course in state and local government, developed to offer youth a better perspective of the practical operation of government and to show that the individual is responsible for the character and success of government. Delegates who are selected to attend this program will "learn by doing" as they progress through the various phases of government. Florida American Legion Boys State is a "leadership action program" where qualified male high school juniors take part in a practical government course. It is designed to develop a working knowledge of the structure of government and to impress upon each delegate that our government is what we make it. They will have the opportunity to learn the political process. Each level of government will be run by those delegates who are elected to serve. Instruction will be presented on the law and court system, legislative procedure, and Florida political history.
- Last Updated on Friday, 06 January 2012 16:00
A sports lockout isn’t just about seeing your favorite teams compete
Before now, few people probably thought that an intersection between sports and politics even existed. The recent threat of a lockout in the NFL, and the lingering threat of a cancellation of the NBA season have pushed the intermingling of the two to the forefront. For Joe Briggs a former collegiate football player, politics may be like a game, but in all actuality it’s very serious business. At stake is money, power, respect, and success. Briggs, the public policy counsel for the NFL Player’s Association is an emerging D.C. power player. He takes time to take us behind the scenes of his job, and to explain why a sports lockout isn’t just about seeing your favorite teams compete.
Name: Joe D. Briggs, Esq.
Title: Public Policy Counsel, NFLPA, Professor at Georgetown, Founder and Director of IMPACT
Alma Mater: Texas Christian University (Business, ‘99) + Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (MASS ’03) + Florida State University (JD’06)
Loop 21: Describe to us the single defining moment in your life that confirmed for you that politics was your calling?
Joe D. Briggs: Witnessing the power of Florida Boys State in 1994. We saw the way the different pieces of a government structure fit together to benefit the citizens of that state. We witnessed the problems that faced the different branches and had to come up with our version of solutions to those problems. It made me learn the importance of civic engagement.
Loop 21: As a former college player, give us three examples of how the football game is like the political game.
Briggs: One, you have to know your team’s ability. If you know there are deficiencies on the team but choose not to address them your success will be limited. The same is true of approaching a piece of legislation or a policy position. Your goal should be to overcome those deficiencies and fill the gaps that may present themselves in your position, plan or goals so that ultimately you find yourself on the right side of history. Two, you have to play your position and play it well. Your team will have confidence in you if you do what you say you are going to do, even more when you do it well. The position you have been given is typically not given without a great amount of thought by your team leader. Whether a staff director or a head coach, they have evaluated the strengths of the team and placed your position accordingly -- if they are good leaders. You choosing to play out of position may throw off the timing of the team and may also lead to you not experiencing the best potential outcomes. But that leads to point three: You have to believe in the game plan. Often times when folks play outside of their position it's because they don’t believe in the game plan that placed them in their position. Getting buy-in from the members of the team is always the most important step in any process. If the team is not onboard with the plan, the team will not give all that is needed for success.
Loop 21: Name something in your work as public policy counsel for the NFL Players' Association that you've had to deal with that you never thought would be part of your job description.
Briggs: Most of the job is unique. I am grateful that the leadership team at the NFLPA had vision and put thought behind how we work through ensuring the voice of the players are heard. Being the first in this position allows for everyday to be a new adventure.
Loop 21: From your view of the NFL and NBA lockouts, tell readers how they as consumers are impacted.
Briggs: Consumers are affected most greatly by the economic impact that not playing games will have on local government and small business. Thousands of small businesses across the country make large portions of annual revenues off sports, and things ancillary to sports. Bars, restaurants, hotels and other venues in the entertainment industry will feel the direct blow but the concentric rings that flow out from that group will touch many areas. Sales taxes tied to car rentals and hotel spaces provide revenue to service many governmental bond programs and improvement funds. Employment in service industry jobs were typically, second and third options before the recession, now many are primary jobs and during the last lockout that caused lost games, some industries saw huge job cuts outside of the sport itself. These are reasons that fans should be concerned. A big part of your job is to make sure political and civic leaders understand the interests of professional football players, why do professional football players need a voice in Washington?
Football players and other professional athletes don’t exist in a vacuum. Athletes have charities that they care about and they have thoughts on things off the field and that is the most important reason they lend their voice to many causes here in D.C. Additionally, players need the ability to answer questions directed to players. Who better to tell the world what players think about concussions, return to play, or any host of other issues that concern competition than the men that participate in our sport every day?
Loop 21: You help run the organization IMPACT, which you co-founded to encourage civic engagement among young leaders. Give us three examples of how IMPACT has successfully impacted Washington?
Briggs: We created the IMPACT Fellows Program, giving opportunities for young professionals to expand on their experience in Washington, DC. Two, we have successfully hosted five IMPACT Interns Events, bringing together all the interns in Washington, DC to network in a unique and cross-discipline way after seeing that most interns only meet other interns in the same exact field. We witnessed as classmates and fellow students from the same institution learned that a person who attended their same school but perhaps with a different major or focus actually worked up the street from them all summer and they didn’t know. Three, we have created a tool to give back to our more seasoned fellow organizations in time, funding and help with membership growth. It’s a blessing to say that we stand at the gate for more seasoned organizations helping usher our peers to the causes that they are passionate about.