July 12, 2016

Flexibility is Vital

I’m a millennial. And a working mom. I started my journey through parenthood early and completely unprepared. (Although, I’m not really sure what a truly prepared new parent looks like. If you know one, I’d be interested in meeting them.)

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Topics: Culture

June 28, 2016

Many Heads Are Better Than One

There really is no better way to decide how to spend the funds from Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) than to involve the community that will directly benefit. Community engagement is a part of HUD requirements when implementing CDBG funding and sometimes grantees see this as simply a box that needs to be checked. What if we could encourage grantees to use this engagement as a collaboration opportunity instead of just another step?

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

June 21, 2016

Using Fraud Prevention Skills for Hiring

Not only is making a bad hire extremely expensive to your firm or organization, but a tremendous amount of your success rides on making the right hires. Interviewing is more of an art than a science. All too often, candidates who look good on paper and ace the interview process can choke on the job. How do we stay away from making these bad hires? Is it possible to weed them out in the interview process by using fraud prevention techniques?

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Topics: Culture

June 07, 2016

Hurricane Season Is Here

Two years ago, President Obama launched the National Disaster Resilience Competition for leaders in communities affected by disaster who are working to increase the security of their neighborhoods and people. The nearly $1 billion competition allowed disaster-torn communities to vie for recovery funds and has the thought of “resilience” on everyone’s mind.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery, CDBG

May 31, 2016

The Importance of Mentorship

Recently, over dinner with one of our partners, I was reflecting on how I made the transition from being a shy, awkward college student with no real direction into an early career in policy at the Texas legislature. Those years at the legislature were fundamental to my professional development, and helped me learn skills in policy and program development, facilitation and conflict resolution, research and writing, and networking and relationship building.  All of these skills have contributed to my success at HORNE and enabled me to provide better service to my clients.

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Topics: Culture

May 17, 2016

Creating a Culture that Values Diversity

Recently, I started the conversation on HORNE’s Culture Matters blog about our commitment to improve our culture, which focused on defining my own career/life integration while maintaining my client service expectations. We spend a lot of time and money at HORNE on improving our culture. It’s an investment that focuses on improving career/life integration, personal flexibility, workplace diversity, and continuous feedback. We believe these investments are necessary to win the war for talent in the changing business environment. Today,let’s focus on the impact of diversity.

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Topics: Culture

May 10, 2016

Flexibility In Your Recovery Plan

Presidential disaster declarations are becoming more commonplace. Simply search “disaster recovery funding” and you’ll find many opinions and research documents that attempt to explore the reason for the increase in disaster declarations and the subsequent outpouring of Federal funds.  How are the States and local communities financially preparing for a disaster’s impact?

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

May 03, 2016

The Ebb and Flow of Work and Life


I am a career-life integration superstar.  Or so I thought. While my husband was a full-time stay-at-home dad for our two children, I could sneak out of the house at 6 or 7 am to get to the office early while everyone was still soundly asleep. No mismatched little socks to fumble through, lunches to be made, or clothing and coaxing of groggy children to get me out the door, just the silence of choosing my own wardrobe, grabbing my laptop, and setting the course for my day.  

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Topics: Culture

April 19, 2016

The Ins and Outs of Deobligation

At HORNE, we work with the end goal in mind.  When it comes to disaster response and recovery, the scale of efforts is massive. From first responders in the wake of tragedy to the individuals and groups involved in the years of sweat equity as State and local jurisdictions rebuild, a purpose and vision to carry out the team’s mission is vital. Here, we can only see success if we plan from the beginning.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

April 12, 2016

Is it Possible to Balance Family & Career?

Two years ago, I threw some things into a bag and jumped on a last-minute evening flight from Austin to New York. Those “things” included a few suits, a laptop, and a breast-pump (never mind the bottles, because I already knew, being my second child and 1,700 miles and all, that there would be no mini-coolers toted through security this time around).

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Topics: Culture

March 29, 2016

Value Is Determined by Results, Not Time

The question of the “right price” is critical. Many times, the “right price” is simply based on perspective. As a consumer, I generally think the price I pay for goods and services is too high. On the other hand, as a provider, I think the price for my services is often too low. One thing is certain, whether I need something or simply want something, I feel better when I feel like I got my money’s worth.

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Topics: Culture

March 22, 2016

Preparation vs. Response

Government agencies, let’s ask ourselves a question - how exactly are we investing in recovery? You partner with FEMA and local responders to coordinate simulated responses for everything from hurricane evacuations to a zombie apocalypse, but how are we bringing our communities back to normal after the first responders leave? How will our homes be repaired? Who rebuilds our schools? And, the lingering question - how do we pay for it?

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

March 15, 2016

Leading with Transparency

Transparency has ceased being an option. We are seeing that today’s primary currency is credibility, which means it’s time to put all of your cards on the table, get those skeletons out of the closet, and lay bare the operations that serve our clients.

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Topics: Culture

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