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New City of Mill Creek communications and marketing team formed

The city has taken two steps forward and one step back in the formation of a new communications and marketing team. Two experienced communications professionals were hired, but the city lost a valued employee who provided over 12 years of service.

By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek, July 23, 2021.

The good news is that City Manager Michael Ciaravino hired two experienced Communications and Marketing Department employees in the last month to begin restoring services lost during the pandemic.

He hired Scott Harder at the end of June, and Jody Hawkins in July.

Harder is a long-time Mill Creek resident bringing years of experience implementing community outreach for Puget Sound Energy, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska & Washington, the Summit at Snoqualmie, and AT&T.

In a press release he said, “I am so excited to start working in a city where I live, play and shop. I feel lucky to be able to bring my strengths and knowledge to this wonderful community and raise engagement and awareness within our community.”

Hawkins is a long-time Everett resident who left Boeing to take the job with the city.

In a press release Ciaravino stated, “As a communications and marketing specialist, Hawkins enjoyed five years at Boeing Future of Flight, formerly the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour. She held multiple roles, including Public Relations & Social Media Associate Director and Marketing Director.”

In the same press release Hawkins remarked, “My greatest professional joy has always been working directly with the public, and I am genuinely excited for the opportunity to bring my experience and love of people to this new role for the City of Mill Creek!”

The bad news is that the city lost significant institutional knowledge when Communications and Marketing Coordinator Kristen Rasmussen left Mill Creek to take a job with the City of Marysville.

She is well respected in the community for the work she did with the city’s youth and recreation activities as well as planning and organizing city events.

At the July 6th city council meeting Ciaravino said he was very sorry to see Rasmussen leave and praised her performance at the City of Mill Creek, “After serving for more than 12 years with all of us, we can say that Kristen has done a fantastic job.”

He went on to explain Rasmussen will be taking a position as Marysville’s Recreation Supervisor “to advance her career.”

The city’s Marketing and Communications Department is charged with delivering a number of key services to the community including coordinating and planning community outreach, communicating information to the public and staff, and managing the city’s youth and recreation programs.

Covid-19 caused the city to curtail many of these activities and the city’s 2021-2022 budget reflects this.

The 2021-2022 Budget Book states, “The 2021-2022 Budget includes funding for one position in Communications and Marketing and a position in Recreation that is in Budget but unfunded until the City feels confident that the economy is in full recovery and after the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The city’s recreation programs are just starting to be brought back now in July as anticipated when the city council approved the budget back in November 2020.

This year they hoped to bring back the Preschool Pals program, hire a recreation subject matter expert for summer activities, and staff to support the new youth program.

It remains to be seen how soon these goals will be achieved.

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