Tributes to Jim Mudd: Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009

Editor’s note: Jim Mudd resigned last week after eight years as Collier County manager to devote his time and strength to his fight with brain cancer. The Daily News invited readers to submit tributes. They started in Sunday’s Perspective section and conclude today (Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009). Links to the other packages of tributes can be found at the bottom of this story.

* * *

As a granddaughter of a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, I respect, honor and salute Jim Mudd. I feel privileged to be able to say that I have worked with Jim.

Jim Mudd embodies all of the characteristics that a leader and manager represents. He is a man with a solid work ethic, who carries himself with dignity and pride, and enjoys the experience and lesson learned regardless of the circumstances.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, and I look forward to welcoming you back once you have conquered this.

Semper fi.

— Tamara L. Althouse

Legal assistant,

Collier County Attorney Office

* * *

Jim, you are truly a special man. I feel blessed that I was able to work with you and learn from you.

— Donna Fiala

Collier County Commissioner, District 1

* * *

Thank you for all your dedication and being a great inspiration who has set a standard for Collier County.

You have been an exceptional county manager! I appreciate you!

I enjoyed your letters at holiday time and I sensed a person of great compassion. I sensed a person who is very close to family, a person who has his priorities in the right place!

You are in my thoughts and prayers! I pray that you have much strength and determination every day to get you over this mountain.

I am believing you are going to be well! I wish the best for you and your family!

Thank you again for all you have done and a job well done!

God bless.

— Delicia Pulse

Collier County Code Enforcement

* * *

In tribute to Jim Mudd, we would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for the many things he did that encouraged, inspired and supported us as staff.

Mr. Mudd, you were a demanding taskmaster, expecting the very best from us. That encouraged us to achieve more. You helped us to coordinate our program with other county efforts, which made our efforts more productive. You always thanked us for our work, which made us feel appreciated.

You were always on top of county business, which gave us confidence and pride in our organization. Your presence and your leadership will be remembered and greatly missed.

We honor and salute you and wish you and your family the very best.

— Melissa Hennig, Alexandra Sulecki, Christal Segura, Linda Sujevich

and Kirsten Wilkie

Conservation Collier program staff

* * *

I have been honored to be assistant to County Manager Jim Mudd for the past five years. Working with Jim and Deputy County Manager Leo Ochs, two exemplary men who complement each other in extraordinary ways, has been the most rewarding, enriching and empowering experience of my life. They are my heroes, my role models, through the good times and especially the past six months when the camaraderie has been priceless.

They have been outstanding leaders, educators, friends and contributors and in part responsible for the greatest achievements in Collier County history.

What I admire most about Jim, in addition to his brilliant intellect, is his adherence to the West Point oath: Don’t lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.

I will miss him — my boss, my brother — but he leaves me with lessons learned.

— Debbie Wight

Naples

* * *

Naples Botanical Garden gratefully recognizes Jim Mudd’s leadership and support.

We also wish to extend our appreciation for all his hard work for the citizens of Collier County.

He will be sorely missed as county manager and we wish him and his family all the best.

— Amy Kessler

Communications manager,

Naples Botanical Garden

* * *

Having met Jim Mudd casually only a few times, but having witnessed his dedication as Collier County manager, a short summation would be to say whatever he chooses to address is done with all his heart and soul.

The position of county manager is a delicate balance of many components which Mr. Mudd has handled with professional finesse. It seems a fitting tribute to have the new county Emergency Operations Center bear his name.

Thank you, Jim Mudd, for everything and for being the right person at the right time.

— Elizabeth Hull

Naples

* * *

When we think of Jim Mudd and his years of service to Collier County, we think of a man who is smart, tough, honest and fair. We think of a county manager who always took a long-term view of what was best for Collier County, and who had the courage and personal integrity to stick to his convictions.

We also can’t help but think of a guy with a great sense of humor.

Today, as we contemplate Jim’s departure from county government with considerable sadness, we note that the personal qualities that we have long admired are fully on display — courage, straight-forwardness, honesty — and his sense of humor is still intact.

We hope for his recovery.

— Collier Enterprises

* * *

Thank you, Jim Mudd, for being one of the good guys!

Rarely does an employee get to say that about their boss, but you are the exception! Collier County is going to miss you, but your employees will miss you twice as much.

I could say a thousand things you have done for Collier County to make it a better place to live, but I want you to know how much it meant for you to care. You have always made us feel like we were part of a family and not just employees of Collier County.

I know this all sounds sentimental, but I love reading your special holiday e-mails; you always remind us to enjoy being with our families, be safe and to keep someone less fortunate in our thoughts and prayers. Sometimes people say those words but they don’t always mean them.

Fortunately for Collier County you have proven many times over that you meant every word. You will always be in our hearts and a part of Collier County.

We will miss you.

— Wyona Hall

Collier County Pollution Control,

Public Utilities

* * *

There is an aura surrounding Jim Mudd which creates a definite impression that this is a man with distinctive leadership qualities. Many of us who have had the privilege to know him have witnessed these qualities in action.

I am particularly impressed by the fact that when you talk with Jim, he is really listening to you. He cares about what you have to say. Collier County is a better place because of Jim.

God bless you, Jim Mudd.

— Mary Margaret Gruszka

Volunteer coordinator,

Collier County Museums

* * *

“Duty, honor, country” are the words that Jim Mudd lives by. Dedication, commitment and selfless service is the legacy he leaves us.

Simply stated, thank you for your leadership, mentorship and everything you did for this community.

— Joseph K. Schmitt

Administrator,

Community Development and

Environmental Services Division

* * *

Jim Mudd — dedicated to serving his country as a colonel in the Army and as our county manager. Although I have only been in Naples for 17 years, I believe the impact I have seen Jim make on this community will last a lifetime.

Jim impressed me the moment I met him in 2001. His ability to share the vision he had for Collier County clearly became reality. Jim also engaged the citizens through committees and task forces. I sat on the Productivity Committee for two years and the pleasure was all mine.

Jim will continue to be a role model for all of us through his leadership and his actions.

Thank you, Jim Mudd. I wish Jim and his family the best and thank all of you for your commitment to Collier County.

— Colleen Kvetko

Naples

* * *

In my 43-plus years’ involvement in local government, Jim Mudd is simply the finest public-sector manager I have ever known. He is a true leader, a consummate professional and a genuinely nice person. It has truly been my pleasure to know him and to work with him. Collier County is so much the better for his service.

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

— Jim Gibson

Naples

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