April 15, 2005
Charlotte, NC - Calling on the board of directors to lead with their presence, Mecklenburg County Manager Harry L. Jones, Sr., took the helm of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) during its annual conference in Richmond, Va., this week.
"You can't teach what you don't know, and you can't lead where you don't go," Jones said after being sworn in as president of the 2,500-member organization during an awards banquet on Wednesday.
Founded in 1983, NFBPA's mission is threefold: to strengthen the position of Blacks within the field of public administration, to increase the number of Blacks appointed to executive positions in public service organizations, and to groom and prepare younger, aspiring administrators for senior public management posts in the years ahead. It is governed by a 27-member board of directors elected annually by the membership. Members of the board hold policy-level positions in government, business and institutions of higher learning.
"I pledge to you all that I can give, every waking moment," said Jones in remarks to conference attendees. "My vision is for NFBPA to be the best professional development organization for black public administrators."
Jones became Mecklenburg County manager in October 2000, and has worked in public administration since 1975. He holds a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In accepting the NFBPA presidency, Jones, who succeeded Cheryl Perry League of Oakland, California, challenged members to ponder their purpose for being in the organization.
"Let's serve with distinction, and let's serve with honor," he said. "I am proud to be your president."