News Flash

City Administration

Posted on: May 4, 2022

City of Lake Wales hires Joanna Abernathy as new deputy city manager

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The City of Lake Wales welcomes Joanna Abernathy as Deputy City Manager. Abernathy will be working alongside City Manager James Slaton overseeing various municipal operations.

“I’m both honored and excited to be chosen as Lake Wales’ Deputy City Manager,” Abernathy said. The City is experiencing tremendous growth, and I’m thrilled to be part of a forward-thinking municipality,” she added.

Abernathy has 30 years of experience working in government. She previously served as Assistant City Manager both in Palm Beach and Polk Counties. Additionally, she obtained her Master Municipal Clerk designation in 2012, and she brings with her more than 10 years’ experience working as a City Clerk for Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and Greenacres in Palm Beach County. Her proudest accomplishment was implementing a Department of State Passport Processing Facility within city hall in Greenacres, which has proven to be a resounding revenue source for that municipality. 

“Our new Deputy City Manager is an accomplished and results-oriented leader who has served in diverse government settings,” City Manager James Slaton said. 

Abernathy boasts a successful track record managing capital projects. She grew up working for her parents’ construction company in upstate New York. She also has extensive experience in the operations of development services and land use planning. Her other skillsets include strategic business planning, financial budgeting, grant writing, public relations and emergency management.  

Abernathy holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history with a master’s degree in public administration and emergency management.

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