Government Employees earn Certified Public Manager Designation

Participants in the Tennessee Certified Public Manager (CPM) program, based in the UT Institute for Public Service’s Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership, finished their program and graduated in January at the Capitol Building in Nashville.

Twenty-five participants from local, state, and federal government positions graduated as members of the program’s 2019 class. In just its second year, the Tennessee CPM program had cohorts in both Knoxville and Nashville. The Knoxville class graduated nine participants while Nashville graduated 16.

The ceremony included an address from Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

“I am confident the CPM graduates are not only going to make a positive difference on the future of our state but will inspire others to a higher level of performance as well,” Hargett said. “I know this program will yield great dividends for Tennessee.”

The 2019 graduates and the titles of their capstone projects are:

  • Scott Collins, city of Fayetteville; Enhancing Economic and Community Development in Fayetteville.
  • Chinwe Ejiofor, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Improving Efficiency in Securing DIDD Waiver Provider Nursing and Medical Residential Provider.
  • Leigh Ferguson, Department of Commerce & Insurance; From Many to One: Streamlining Public Records Requests.
  • Dean Flener, Department of Military; Help Before Help Arrives: Renewing & Sustaining Community Emergency Response Teams in Tennessee.
  • Michael Foster, city of Rocky Top; City of Rocky Top Strategic Plan.
  • Diane Giddens, Williamson County; Building on Communication.
  • Mike Gregory, University of Tennessee System; University of Tennessee Fleet Management.
  • Jeff Hundley, Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership; Utilizing University Resources by Capturing Rewards.
  • Gary Jaeckel, UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service; Use of Alternative Work Sites in the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service and the Municipal Technical Advisory Service.
  • Bill Lord, Tennessee House Development Agency; Realigning the Physical Property Inspection Requirements and Processes Across Multiple THDA Divisions.
  • Jeff McCormick, city of Goodlettsville; Debris Management Plan for the city of Goodlettsville.
  • Crystal Ottinger, Cocke County; Funding in a Rural Community.
  • Denise Paige, Tennessee Municipal League; TML Municipal Advocacy Committee
  • Michael Parson, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, TBI Leadership Development Program.
  • Lisa Piefer, city of Germantown; Travel Initiatives: Increasing Employee Satisfaction and Process Efficiencies.
  • Floyd Price, TennCare; TennCare Provider Fraud, Waste and Abuse Recoveries and Cost Savings.
  • Dwaine Raper, UT Center for Industrial Services; Leveraging Customer Feedback at UT CIS.
  • Mark Ridings, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency; Utilizing Agency Resources – Finding the Most Efficient Data Solutions for TWRA
  • Susan Robertson, UT Institute for Public Service: Digital Asset Management: Saving Time with Easier Access.
  • Cameron Ross, city of Germantown; Designing Efficiency: The Case for Improvements to the Germantown Development Services.
  • Rick Scarbrough, UT Law Enforcement Innovation Service; Law Enforcement Professional Development Initiative.
  • Chris Shults, UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service; Are we Meeting the Training Needs of Tennessee Municipalities? Using Data to Develop a Strategic Approach to Providing Training Services to Tennessee Municipalities.
  • Laura Smith, city of Decatur; Personnel Policy Manual Creation.
  • Marty Spears, UT County Technical Assistance Service; County Technical Assistance Service Consulting for the Future.
  • Joseph Waldrum, Tennessee Highway Safety Office; Cost Savings and Data Driven Approach to Media.
  • Jerremy Weaver, Finance & Administration; Development and Implementation of the Office of Inspector General CID Field Training Evaluation Program.

Participants in the yearlong program learn about current trends in public management by hearing from subject-matter experts with experience in the field.

The program helps participants gain proficiency in seven fundamental areas: personal and organizational integrity, self-development, work management, public service, leadership of people, change leadership and systemic integration.

The Tennessee CPM program is accredited by the National Certified Public Manager Consortium and available to UT employees.

For more information on the CPM program visit