Breckenridge Texan

Robertson-Caraway receives state-wide ‘Emerging Leader’ award

Robertson-Caraway receives state-wide ‘Emerging Leader’ award
November 07
09:58 2020

By Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge City Secretary Heather Robertson-Caraway has been recognized with a state-wide award from the Texas Municipal Clerks Association. She was presented with the group’s 2020 Emerging Leader award during a virtual meeting on Oct. 29.

“It’s very much an honor; I was very surprised,” Robertson-Caraway said.

The TMCA’s Emerging Leader Award  is a new award this year and Robertson-Caraway is the first person to receive it. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills that exemplify TMCA’s mission and/or vision. According the group’s website, the act of leadership can be through service to the nominee’s city, citizens, TMCA chapter, or to the municipal clerk profession. She was nominated by Diane Latham, Breckenridge assistant city secretary.During the meeting in which the award was presented, Robertson-Caraway said, when the person presenting the award was talking about the winner she had no idea at first it was her who had won award.

“She (the presenter) was going on and on about the city secretary who won this, and she had done this and this and she had to handle this,” Robertson-Caraway said. “I turned around and looked at Diane (Latham), and I’m like, that’s me, but she hadn’t mentioned my name yet.”

At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, Interim City Manager Scott Dixon announced the award to the commissioners and those attending the meeting. “That’s the first time they’ve ever given it out to anybody in the whole state of Texas, and our Heather got it. So very well deserved. I think it’s fantastic,” Dixon said. “It’s certainly a career highlight … That’s fantastic. And, I’ll be honest, it says a lot for Breckenridge.”

During the TMCA awards presentation last week, Jeana Bellinger of Brenham, the chair of the TMCA Awards Committee, said, “The 2020 Emerging Leader goes to a city secretary that during a pandemic also dealt with the following crises: retirement of the city manager and being named interim city manager, current budgetary shortfalls due to COVID, reduction in force resulting in the closure or transition of four departments, organizing planning and preparing the FY 21 budget, reviewing and analyzing bids for bank depository and insurance services, getting ready for a November election, and doing all of those things while being a city secretary. As interim city manager, she met one-on-one with employees affected by the reduction in force, she organized and facilitated the transition of two city departments to other agencies, and she made hard decisions related to departmental funding due to budget shortfalls. She not only emerged as a leader for her city of over (5,000) citizens, but she also emerged as a leader for TMCA by demonstrating the overall mission and vision of TMCA, while also applying the principles of TMCA’s code of ethics. I, as chair of the 2020 Awards committee, am so proud and humbled to present the first ever TMCA Emerging Leader Award to Heather Robertson-Caraway with the City of Breckenridge.”


Cutline, top photo: Interim City Manager Scott Dixon, right, announces City Secretary Heather Robertson-Caraway as the recent recipient of the inaugural Emerging Leader award by the Texas Municipal Clerks Association as City Commissioners Rob Durham and Tom Cyprian and Mayor Bob Sims look on. (Photo by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan)


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