Director of Public Works
City of Grandview, Mo.
Employees: 21
Population served: 25,000
Budget: $1.3 million

Public works is a diverse profession that’s continuously and rapidly changing.

“You may not be a technical expert in every area, but you need to know enough to make the right decisions for the present and the future,” says Dennis Randolph.

In addition to keeping up with technical developments, he encourages young professionals to constantly educate themselves about people and their evolving needs.

“The bottom line of public works is not building things,” he says. “As a part of government, we need to solve problems so citizens attain the rights our Declaration of Independence grants: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Randolph also emphasizes the need to share institutional knowledge with the profession’s up-and-coming leaders. He contributes by teaching civil and construction engineering courses through the American Public Works Association and University of Missouri in Kansas City. He has also written 80 books, papers, and articles on engineering, management, and public works.

More 2015 APWA Top 10 Leaders.