PUBLIC SERVICE SPOTLIGHT: Brevard County Government’s Lois Boisseau Puts the ‘Pro’ in Proactive
By Frank Abbate, Brevard County Manager // February 3, 2020
ABBATE: Lois truly defines the proactive nature of “Highly Effective People"
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – One of the bedrocks of Brevard County Government’s Executive Leadership Institute (ELI), a program our Human Resources Department implemented in 2006 while I was its director, is the late Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
Among other things, this self-improvement program focuses on a paradigm shift in which leaders are taught to look within themselves to effect change, rather than just reacting to the daily challenges around them.
Key among those habits is to be “Proactive,” and that is a trait reflected not only at work but also in the personal life of Lois Boisseau, our County’s Assistant Director of Information Technology.
Lois, a Rollins College graduate, started working for the County in 2005 as a Systems Analyst.
She’s helped restructure the IT Department; developed career ladders for the County’s IT employees; has overseen the efficiency efforts on County enterprise and custom software applications to the benefit of employees and citizens; revamped the County’s website to meet ADA compliance requirements; and spearheaded efforts by Space Coast Government Television to begin closed-captioning of live meetings of the Board of County Commissioners.
She manages the County Software Development Group, which is responsible for all phases of the software life cycle, including analyzing, designing and writing code for new and reworked systems.
Those are all major accomplishments and her proactive efforts have kept the County always moving forward with changing technology.
Lois is also a 2009 graduate (Class III) of ELI, which is the County’s 18-month leadership training program that focuses on leadership skills, mentoring, team building and networking.
Along with our management team, its participants include various municipalities and other organizations outside of the Brevard County Government.
So far, 300 participants have graduated, 30 are currently enrolled for ELI Class XIV and Class XV begins Feb. 6, 2020. Lois is a Lean Six Sigma green belt and proactively supports many Lean Six Sigma projects.
Through Lean Six Sigma initiatives, County managers and employees team together to streamline and improve day-to-day customer service and County operations.
One couldn’t blame Lois for plopping down on the couch once the workday is over, but that’s a rarity. Just as commendable as her output for County Government is her proactive efforts to benefit others in the community.
Lois developed a passion for running while on her high school cross country and track teams, and today uses that same passion in organizing and participating in community running and walking events.
Each year she organizes the County’s participation in the Run@Work Day event, and she is Brevard County Government’s team captain for the Corporate 5K, which raises money for the American Cancer Society and is scheduled this year for April 16 at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport.
Lois routinely volunteers her time and energy to benefit many in our community who are in need of love, compassion and assistance.
She continually works to raise awareness and support for those with breast cancer and cancer survivors and has coordinated an annual Fly Fish 5K fundraiser for Casting for Recovery – Florida, which provides free-of-charge retreat weekends to breast cancer survivors.
She also supports the community through United Way and serves hot meals to the needy at a Community Dinner event each Thanksgiving. In 2017, Lois was recipient of a Space Coast Public Service Award.
In her downtime? Lois has two children and one grandson and is also “mom” to two foreign exchange students she’s hosted and who she now visits in Europe as often as she can.
She loves being outdoors, whether it’s kayaking, running, hiking, gardening, grooming her giant schnauzer, or hosting friends around a campfire. And she’s got a motor scooter, so you might see her scootering around downtown Cocoa Village on weekends.
Lois truly defines the proactive nature of “Highly Effective People,” and I’m grateful to have her as a key member of our organization.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In a 5-0 vote, the Brevard County Commission named Frank Abbate as Brevard County Manager in July 2017. Having served in the public sector for over 32 years, Abbate’s professional career is anchored by 26 years as Brevard County’s Human Resources Director.
Prior to being named Brevard County Manager, Abbate was the assistant county manager for public safety and support services.
As County Manager, Abbate is the head of the executive branch of County Government and is responsible to the Board of County Commissioners for the proper administration of all affairs of County Government not otherwise entrusted to an elected County officer.
The Manager attends all regular and special meetings of the Board of County Commissioners and has the right to participate in its discussions.
Abbate has served as an Instructor for both Webster University and UCF in their graduate Public Administration and Human Resources Development programs.
Upon graduating from the Dickinson School of Law, Penn State University, he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1982. He served as a Staff Attorney and then as the Personnel Director/Labor Attorney for the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for six years.
After moving to Florida in 1989, Abbate was admitted to the Florida Bar.
As an undergraduate student at S.U.N.Y. @ Stony Brook, Abbate earned his Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Political Science and served as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C.
Abbate lives in Satellite Beach with his wife Rita. The couple are the proud parents of three children and three grandchildren.
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