#24 – Jerry Andree and Dan Santoro on the art of relationship building and regional projects

Posted by: on March 17th, 2023

Today my guests are two distinguished municipal managers from Pennsylvania, Jerry Andre the former manager and Dan Santoro, the current manager, of Cranberry Township in Butler County Pennsylvania

We are going to talk about regional partnerships. Why are they important and what are the skills you need to be successful in this arena? We are going to drill down in the area of relationship building and engagement and as you will discern, this is the secret sauce that has made this Township evolve in the way it has over the years.

Cranberry Township has set a high bar for engagement. There is no one better to help us understand how that happened.

I am your host, Nancy Hess and I created PCC Local Time Podcast to start conversations among friends and colleagues in this professional field we call local government.


Cranberry Township

Jerry Andree

Dan Santoro

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5:00 Early days

9:40 Jerry would say, great idea. Ask probing questions. What is the practical application?

15:57 Board committed to spending time and resources on engaging the community.

17:25 It takes a long time to build trust with elected officials.

19:12 We had listening stations.

21:38 Early slide show, “How to grow a cranberry.”

24:54 Early on, residents identified the importance of collaboration with neighbors.

26:45 Our regional work began with informal meetings.

28:33 All parties taking ownership.

31:52 Dan versus Jerry’s role.

36:10 Why Dan left, and why Dan came back.

39:50 Jerry remained a mentor even after Dan left.

41:17 Why do it? What are the tangible outcomes for doing regional work?

44:13 Am I becoming a COG Director?

46:27 Yes. In fact, that group just earned nearly 8 million worth of grants collectively …

48:18 What can managers do to build trust?

53:37 You don’t realize how lonely it is at the top until you’re actually there.

56:41 A new acquisition of a farm in Cranberry

About Nancy J. Hess

I help leaders pioneer extraordinary change through high engagement and whole systems approaches that focus on HR and People.