Commission’s Delta Leadership Program Honored

American Society for Public Administration annual awards logoWEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 11, 2023) – The Delta Leadership Program – a joint program of the Delta Protection Commission and the Delta Regional Foundation – has received the 2023 Government Innovation Award from the American Society of Public Administration’s Sacramento Chapter.

The Government Innovation Award is presented to an individual or organization that implemented a new program, policy, or solution that made a significant improvement in public service delivery or performance. Here is a list of all eight winners this year.

The Delta Leadership Program was created to build and support sustained leadership development within the Delta community. It consists of a five-day intensive curriculum completed over the course of four months (one business day every three to four weeks), with an additional day-long Delta water tour. Each workshop is integrated with half of the day spent on regional issues such as water and agriculture, public safety and economic development; and the other half spent on skill development such as negotiation, team building, innovation, values and organizational momentum.

The Leadership Program “was selected for the award based on the innovative way it meets a regional need and is configured to cross pollinate across all of the communities of the Delta as well as all of its sectors,” according to the Awards Committee. “The focus of the program is also innovative. It is designed to build leaders through shared learning that expands the region’s social networks and instills the values of the Delta as an evolving place.”

Program Facilitator Lisa Beutler, senior principal with Stantec, said, “The awards committee also appreciated the fact that the program evolved from a visioning process and that a state agency was willing to assume a completely new role to achieve its mission.”

Graham Knaus, CEO of the California State Association of Counties, congratulated the Commission. “The ASPA awards are a significant local honor, and we were pleased to see the state-local Delta Protection Commission’s Delta Leadership Program honored,” he said.  “We are keenly interested in successful state-local partnerships and innovative strategies to engage our communities on issues of critical importance. The Delta Leadership Program is a prime example of both, and we hope to share its success with counties across the state and nation.”

The goals of the Delta Leadership Program are:

  • Identify and promote regional leaders in the Delta community.
  • Develop skills and awareness to increase the pool of effective Delta leaders.
  • Expand leaders’ knowledge regarding the key issues, opportunities and challenges that face the Delta region.
  • Identify emerging leaders and deliver skills and tools to enhance their contributions to the Delta community.
  • Build relationships of trust and cooperation between businesses, government, non-profit, civic, religious and cultural groups.
  • Foster a shared sense of community throughout the Delta region.

To learn more about ASPA awards, please click here.