Congratulations to City of Eagan employee, Ashleigh Sullivan for receiving the Aaron Sather Award for Emerging Leaders. The award recognizes and celebrates members who have made contributions to the profession, their organization, and/or APMP, and have demonstrated significant promise of leadership and continuing service.

The awarding committee acknowledged Ashleigh’s passion for ensuring that outcomes are fair and equitable. Specifically, she was recognized for her work to identify and eliminate barriers in the application and selection process for advisory boards has resulted in an unprecedented number of applicants – up 30% from 2022 to 2023. Her thoughtful, researched approach and clear commitment to the values laid the ground for a deep and meaningful policy conversation.

Ashleigh’s other work that was cited in her nomination by peers and supervisors was the initiative she has taken to ensure equitable access to learning and development for her colleagues. In 2023, she came up with a new idea to enrich the experience of interns and promote the professional opportunities within local government. In part, this was due to her recognition that our early-career workforce is more diverse than those with longer tenures, and in part her straightforward desire to help everyone learn, grow, and succeed. This year, that program is expanding this enrichment opportunity to include almost 300 seasonal staff. Also, more than 50 of her coworkers have benefited from Ashleigh’s management of an intensive, yearlong leadership program.

This award is an honor to Ashleigh and a value to our organization and community, and her professionalism and enthusiasm make a huge impact on everyone she works with.