As a way to introduce them to members, the MMA is sitting down for interviews with the new presidents of the member groups who took office in January.

George “Bud” Dunham

When George “Bud” Dunham was a graduate student at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, he watched as many of his classmates took federal and state jobs, with very few seeking roles in local government.

But Dunham, the town manager in Sandwich since 1993, is glad that he took the road less traveled, given the direct impact his job has on the lives of residents.

“I guess I’ve always believed in the whole concept of public service, and, you know, good government and trying to do positive things to influence everyday lives,” Dunham said.

Before becoming town manager, Dunham had served four years as the assistant. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse. Long active in the Management Association, Dunham has been serving on the MMA Board of Directors for about a decade. He was the Management Association’s first vice president last year, and second vice president in 2020.

“I do think you reach a point in your career where you feel like you have something to give back,” he said, “and it’s important to invest that time.”

In terms of Management Association priorities and concerns, Dunham said he hopes to have more in-person meetings this year if possible. Another concern is that many communities are grappling with employee turnover and the struggle to find replacements. And managers are facing much more public scrutiny now because of social media, he said.

To deal with those pressures, Dunham relies on a Cape Cod managers’ group, friends, and a text group with other managers. He also relies on his “incredibly supportive” wife, Trish Brown, and daughter Katherine, who is pursuing a master’s degree in public health. He also has five adult stepchildren: Michelle, Emily, Theresa, Catie and Max.

Outside of work, Dunham enjoys soccer, golf, “all kinds of music,” and summer vacations in the Adirondacks. He also enjoys cooking, and loves to grill.

“Some of the people who’ve known me the longest at work call me a food pusher,” he said.

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