Michael l Abels
BiographyMike was born and grew up in West Virginia and southeastern Ohio near the Ohio River. After high school he studied at Ohio University where he received a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Political Science. While an undergraduate at Ohio University Mike was a member of the Army ROTC, and in 1970 he was commissioned in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer. After serving in Vietnam Mike remained in the U.S. Army Reserves, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. While in college Mike married his high school sweetheart who also attended Ohio University. During their 40+ year marriage they have been gifted with two daughters and three grandchildren.
Upon being discharged from active duty in 1972 Mike followed a career path that led first to social services, and finally to city management. In the 1980's Mike was appointed as an associate director for a three county mental health board. His primary responsibility was administering federal funds used by community agencies for treatment of patients being released from state mental hospitals. In the early 80's Mike served as the director for a five county community action agency in northwestern Ohio. A mission of this agency was working with local governments in administering housing programs for low income families. While serving with a mayor from Defiance, Ohio, Mike was asked if he would serve as the city administrator for that city. This transition from social serves to city management set the stage for the next 20+ years where Mike served as the manager for Longwood, Palm Bay, and DeLand Florida.
The next stage in his career was in education. For ten years Mike was a Lecturer in Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. At UCF Mike taught graduate and undergraduate courses in public administration, public policy, human resource management, and other fields. At UCF Mike served as the Director for Undergraduate Programs within the School of Public Administration. After retiring from UCF in 2016 Mike became an adjunct instructor for Stetson University. At Stetson he teaches an undergraduate course in public administration.
Mike is a columnist for the PA Times On Line, and, has contributed articles to Public Management a publication of the International City/County Managers Association.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Public policy, public administration, strategic planning, leadership.
History, golf, outdoor activities
By: Michael l Abels
Through Florida League of Cities University co-presented webinar for appointed and elected local government officials on roles and responsibility for setting public policy in local government.