Episode Overview:

Host Joe Walker sits down with Alachua County tax collector John Power, to discuss the importance of providing excellent customer service and the impact of agile design on public facilities and employee satisfaction. John's journey to being elected into public office highlights the significance of nurturing individuals within any business or organization. He emphasizes the need for creating a positive environment for employees and customers, and how investing in physical infrastructure is just as crucial as investing in software for businesses. The discussion delves into the tangible impact of well-designed facilities on employee morale, customer experience, and the organization's operational efficiency, underscoring the interplay between physical space and organizational success.

John shares the comprehensive approach of the tax collector's office in addressing the diverse needs of its clientele and the importance of training employees to provide empathetic and compassionate service. The episode also touches upon John's unconventional path to becoming a tax collector and the office's philosophy of making fact-based decisions to move projects forward. The conversation concludes with John discussing the significance of good facilities, well-trained employees, and the importance of treating employees well for retaining and nurturing a high-performing team.

Key Takeaways:

Employee satisfaction and the working environment: John emphasizes the crucial role of the physical workspace in influencing employee attitudes, performance, and retention.

Focus on excellent customer service and public interactions: John and Joe talk about the importance of providing efficient, compassionate, and respectful service to a diverse clientele.

Agile design methodology and organizational excellence: They highlight the application of agile design methodology in creating inclusive, efficient, and enjoyable workspaces. John's office's focus on organizational excellence, including the Sterling Award for eight years, reflects their commitment to providing exceptional service.


  • 11:42 – Shifting from wealth focus to helping others.
  • 17:17 – Prioritizing customer service in an agile business process
  • 26:39 – Good workplace design supports employee morale and performance
  • 37:37 – Listen to employees, review documents and guide appropriately
  • 47:11 – Creating a positive work environment

About John Power, Alachua County Tax Collector:

Alachua County Tax Collector John Power has built his career on public service.  He has successfully served as Tax Collector for 10 years. Prior to being elected in 2014 John served as Chief Deputy Tax Collector for 14 years.  John also served with the Alachua County Property Appraiser as a Senior Level Appraiser and Tax Roll Analyst. He has a  combined 33 years of tax roll experience in Alachua County and insists on delivering service to the public with integrity, innovation, fiscal responsibility, and respect.

Under John’s direction as Tax Collector, his senior leadership team adopted the Sterling Management System for Organizational Excellence in 2014. In 2022, after an 8 year journey, the office was awarded the Governor’s Sterling Award for Organizational Excellence. The only organization in Florida to receive the award that year. John has implemented policies and procedures which have increased efficiency within the Tax Collector organization and achieved excellent ratings for fiscal responsibility and customer service.  He has received the Legacy Award for Financial Excellence every year since 2016.  The office has now received a clean audit for 21 consecutive years while processing over $400 million dollars and serving over half a million customers each year.

John’s leadership abilities are recognized by his collogues & peers statewide. He was elected to the Board of Directors for the Florida Tax Collectors Association (FTCA).  He has served other leadership roles with the FTCA including the Secretary of Education, Vice-President, and President of the statewide organization.

John is actively involved in the Gainesville/Alachua County community, leading the Tax Collector office staff’s participation in community efforts through fundraising and advocacy for charitable organizations such as United Way, Strike Out Hunger, Donate Life, Cell Phones for Soldiers, Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, etc.  John previously served on the Community Investment Council for the United Way of North Central Florida and currently serves on the Board of Directors.

A Gator through and through, John is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Master’s Degree from the College of Business along with a Bachelor Degree in Public Relations.  John is an accredited Certified Public Manager, a Certified Florida Collector, State Certified Appraiser, as well as a Florida Real Estate Broker.  John is also a graduate of Leadership Gainesville and current Board member for Radiant Credit Union.

John lives on a small horse farm just outside of Gainesville in Melrose with his wife Linda, and their numerous animals.

Connect with Joe Walker

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-walker-335b0914/
Website: https://walker-arch.com/

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