Mayor Announces First-Ever Denver Urban Fellows
Mayor John Hickenlooper held a news conference Thursday to announce the first six fellows in the Denver Fellowship in Urban Government, which will begin on January 12, 2004. Phase I of the fellowship, housed in the new Denver Office of Accountability and Reform, aims to tap the expertise, creativity and city know-how within the city workforce to spearhead Denver’s efforts to streamline services, create efficiencies and improve customer service. Phase II of the fellowship, which will be announced within the next six months, will involve members of the private and non-profit sectors.
“This is really an extension of the City’s efforts to shape our operations around achieving our five overarching goals of increased private sector job creation, improved customer service, modernized work environment, enhanced quality of life, and strengthened fiscal responsibility,” said Hickenlooper. “In order to be successful, we need to have the people who work in the City involved in shaping future improvements. We are particularly grateful to the city departments who are generously sharing their talented employees with us. Their sacrifice for the greater good underscores how important our mission is.”
The competition for Phase I of the Denver Fellowship in Urban Government was strong. One hundred seventy-five (175) city employees applied, representing 27 city departments. The applicants had worked with the City for an average of 12 years, with a combined total of roughly 1,800 years of City experience. The selection panel consisted of City Council Liaison Happy Haynes, Clerk and Recorder Wayne Vaden, Deputy City Attorney Michelle Lucero, Boards and Commissions Director Chantal Unfug, Human Services administrative assistant Thomas Hurley, Director of Accountability and Reform Dana Bryson, and Accountability and Reform analyst Monica Martinez.
“We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of the applications we received,” said Dana Bryson, director of the Denver Office of Accountability and Reform. “ The enthusiasm and innovation of these city employees was inspiring and speaks to the commitment of the City’s workforce to our community. The ideas submitted by all of the applicants will help shape the improvements we make.”
The six, first ever Denver Urban Fellows are as follows:
Stephanie Karayannis Adams is currently a Contracts Manager and Analyst in the Office of Workforce Development, supervising nine employees and managing over 30 contracts worth over $7 million combined. Stephanie has been with the City and County of Denver for almost five years, previously working in the Office of Budget Management. Before moving to Denver, she worked as a Budget Analyst for the City of Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University with a bachelors degree in journalism and received a Masters of Public Administration from Ohio State University.
Lori Brown is currently a Senior Personnel Analyst for the Career Service Authority. During her 15 years working for the City and County of Denver, Lori has gained extensive experience by working in four different departments: Art, Culture and Film, Aviation, Excise & Licenses and Human Resources. Her human resources analysis experience includes working with diverse industries, cultures, operations, organizational structures, and management/employee levels. She holds a bachelors degree in communication and is currently a member of State Senator Gloria Tanner’s Leadership Institute.
Joaquin Gonzales is currently a Chief Inspector with the Neighborhood Inspection Services division of the Community Planning and Development Agency. During his 19 years of working for the City and County of Denver, he has also held the positions of Project Manager, Zoning Specialist and Zoning Inspector in the Planning Department. Joaquin was also involved with the Renaissance Design Team in working to improve customer service in the planning department. He is a licensed real estate broker and studied business at Metropolitan State College.
Danny McCoy is a Special Projects Manager and Technician in the Denver Police Department and has worked for the City and County of Denver for 12 years, where he has served on the Police Department’s Commendations Board, Strategic Planning Committee, and Retiree Health Board. He has been active in the community, helping students at Manual High School and the Glenarm Recreation Center. Prior to moving to Denver, he spent eight years in the United States Air Force working in electronic intelligence.
Tina Southard is currently a Risk Manager at Denver International Airport and has worked for the City and County of Denver for five years, including a previous city position as a Claims Supervisor. At DIA, Tina is responsible for identifying and assessing risk to personnel, airport business partners and the general public, as well as developing and implementing solutions to mitigate potential hazards. Previously she was the Director of Operations at Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield in Denver. She holds a Master of Education from the University of North Texas and an MBA from Regis University.
Shaun Sullivan is an Assistant City Attorney and has been working for the City and County of Denver for nearly 14 years in the contracts division of the City Attorney’s Office. Previously, he worked as an associate in the natural resources department of the Denver law firm of Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw & Harring and served as a law clerk for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Shaun received his Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College and his law degree from Georgetown University.
The Urban Fellows will serve six-month to one-year assignments working on programs initiated by the Denver Office of Accountability and Reform in coordination with the Mayor’s Office and City agencies. The Fellows will initially be involved with designing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to achieve the City’s five goals and working with City departments to improve customer service and reduce cost.
“We sought out a diverse group of employees - with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives - who demonstrated creativity and enthusiasm for improving the way the City does business,” said Hickenlooper. “I am impressed by all who applied; I am impressed by those who were chosen; and more importantly, I am impressed with the overall dedication and achievements of the City’s workforce.”
The Fellows will remain at their current salary, which will continue to be paid by their respective departments. Each fellow has been involved with designing and implementing their transition plans with their respective supervisors.
The Mayor’s Office will host a reception to honor all 175 fellowship applicants on Tuesday, December 16, 2003.
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