Palm Coast, FL (November 17, 2021) In a riveting, two-part lecture, it was a succinct lesson in business administration that was the crux of the audience takeaway as Rafael Borrás, CEO of the Homeland Security and Defense Business Council, spoke to members and guests of the Flagler Tiger Bay Club during the November luncheon at Channel Side in Palm Coast on Wednesday, November 17.
The simple truth – it’s about the people, seems a difficult concept to fathom when contemplating the size and scope of the United States government and the nearly 3 million individuals who made up the civilian federal work force in 2020.
But for Borrás, who has held positions in municipal government during his earlier years before taking on high profile assignments that have included serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce in the mid-1990’s, and as the Under Secretary of Management for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2010-14 with more than 20 agencies and 240,000 employees under the department’s umbrella, it really does come down to the people.
Implementing fundamentals such as consistency, accountability, and ownership has helped cultivate and positively influence company culture throughout his career, and on Wednesday he was willing to share the secrets of successful administration with the next generation of leaders.
It’s a management style Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin says is important to a sustainable organization.
“I share that same belief. As a leader in government or even in private business, you want to make your staff, your employees, or your workforce own the project. In other words, you need to find a way to let them own it and they’ll do a better job,” said Alfin.
Homeland security, business, and law and justice students from both Flagler Palm Coast High School and Bethune-Cookman University were eager to hear from Borrás as he shared key experiences from the public and private sector before delving into a presentation on the homeland security and defense industries.
“I think that his insight that he brought from a homeland security perspective talking about the operational part and the execution, and separating the policy from execution was just excellent,” said Greg Davis, president of the Flagler Tiger Bay Club.
“I think that the other points he made which were also excellent were talking about being able to measure what success looks like, and to make sure that you have systems and processes in place that deliver on what success looks like. We had 15 Young Tigers here today and I think they just got a master class in management direction.”
Flagler Palm Coast High School senior Brian Soudrain, a Flagler Tiger Bay Club Young Tiger and president of the Flagler County Junior Chamber of Commerce appreciated the opportunity to attend.
“He really spoke a lot of wisdom to us and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Soudrain.
Speaking with attendees after the luncheon, Borrás hopes his presentation helped shed light on the work done daily by men and women across the United States to protect America, and the pride they feel in the work they do.
“My expectation, my hope, is that people saw the other side of government, the side that goes to work every day, dedicated to improving the lives of the American public, keeping America safe, without any interference, basically to do the right thing and a lot of that is what people don’t get to focus on,” he said.
“I saw this as an opportunity to share that message with folks here. (There are a) tremendous number of hard working people who love America, who want to keep us safe and spend every day committed to that. I hope that if I just changed the perspective of a few people to look beyond the noise and recognize that it’s important that the people who sacrifice, whether they’re on the front lines or even in the back room, they’re all doing it to keep America safe and they deserve our recognition and our prayers,” said Borrás.
The next Flagler Tiger Bay Club event will feature Harvard Fellow, Republican strategist and CNN Political Commentator Alice Stewart for a formal dinner and entertainment on December 8 at Channel Side, starting at 6 p.m.