President's Leadership Program
Alumni: Mara (Tegler) Hotchkiss
I am a survey statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, DC. Most people probably do not think about where policy makers get the objective statistical information they need to assess a variety of federal programs. In my job, I work with a wide array of people including experienced data users, congressional offices, and the concerned public, explaining how a household survey called the American Community Survey (www.census.gov/acs) supplies the data needed for a range of programs affecting education, veterans, employment, housing and community development, public health care, commuting, services for the elderly and disabled, and assistance programs for low-income families and children. Statistics produced by the ACS guide many important decisions, and I am proud to work on a program that uses the latest statistical methodologies to supply policy makers with accurate information about our communities.
Over the past few years, I've been volunteering for different chapters of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) (www.opm.gov/cfc/). CFC is an annual workplace charity campaign that allows federal workers to make informed decisions about charitable giving and allows over 20,000 nonprofit charitable organizations to reach new audiences with minimal outreach costs. In 2008, I served as a loaned executive for the King County, WA CFC where I worked part-time for five months partnering with individual Federal agency leadership and coordinators to help them strategically plan, organize and conduct successful campaigns at their respective agencies. Since then, I've volunteered in a limited capacity planning events and trying to help out where I can. Charitable fundraising is difficult in a tough economy, but having the opportunity to introduce worthy organizations to willing donors has been very rewarding.
PLP class (the year you started PLP)
Anything memorable PLP has done for you
On the first day of many classes, in the plane on my way to a semester abroad, when calculating my community service hours, I remember thinking "What does any of this have to do with leadership?" Though I trusted the program, I was always amazed when John Bromley or another amazing professor guided us to the discovery of a profound leadership lesson in everything from the Panama Canal to English grammar. Most valuable of all, I realize that PLP taught me to assume there was a leadership lesson in everything, and now I seek a lesson from every experience.
What you hope to get out of being part of our PLP alumni network
I met a lot of wonderful people when I was in PLP that I am fortunate enough to follow on Facebook. However, I'm not as familiar with later classes and I'm not able to attend most Colorado events, so I'm looking forward to connecting with PLP alumni that I haven't met yet.