Dr. Candice McDonald

Breaking Through Recruitment and Retention Challenges

Dr. Candice McDonald

With decades of experience both as an emergency services volunteer and an accomplished academic, Dr. Candice McDonald comes to FASNY Convention to discuss the critical issue of recruitment.

Dr. McDonald, who currently works for NASA in the Office of Protective Services as a special agent, physical security specialist and contracting officer representative, is founder of Success Up. As a consultant, she empowers corporations, associations, government entities and not for profits to create better relationships, strategically plan for the future, and recruit and retain strong team members while building better stakeholder relationships.

Dr. McDonald’s engaging and honest approach to achieving outcomes in life and business has led her to contribute to numerous publications, speak and provide training all over the U.S. for over 20 years.

This workshop, entitled “Breaking Through Recruitment and Retention Challenges,” is based on a three-year doctoral study and will offer participants proven strategies to reduce turnover and increase recruitment among all generation of volunteers. These strategies are not based on costly recruitment campaigns and incentives, but offer practical professional applications that can be easily deployed.

The volunteer fire service is experiencing its biggest challenge to date with volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention. With today’s era of competing demands for the volunteer/potential volunteer firefighter, the question becomes, “What strategies are volunteer fire departments using to successfully recruit and retain volunteer firefighters?”

Dr. McDonald, presenter on a wide variety of topics at more than 60 events across the country, has served her community for over a decade as a firefighter and EMT. She is a Director with the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association (CVVFA) and Co-Chairs the CVVFA Reputation Management Committee. She serves on the ResponderSafety.com outreach team and is a Trustee of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services. She is a member of the FDIC/Fire Engineering Advisory Board and serves as an alternate on the Congressional Fire Services Institute National Advisory Committee. She was identified in 2018 by the U.S. Fire Administration as a subject matter expert in recruitment and retention.

She holds a doctor of business administration with a specialty in homeland security, a master’s in organizational leadership, a bachelor’s in organizational management and an associate’s in health and human services.

Prior to working at NASA, she was the program coordinator for the Research Center for Educational Technology at Kent State University.  Before joining the Kent State family, she spent six years working for the State of Ohio in marketing. Prior to that, she spent ten years working as a mental health case manager and drug and alcohol counselor.