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New city administrator works to learn the ropes, fill big shoes

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 4th, 2013


Amy Grenfell, Evanston's new city administrator and clerk, sits with a pile of work at her new desk.


EVANSTON — Evanston’s new city administrator and clerk, Amy Grenfell, describes herself as a lifelong learner. After speaking with her, one begins to realize that not only has she learned a lot, but she has also retained a lot.

Grenfell began working Nov. 18, alongside retiring city clerk/administrator/economic development director Jim Davis, to learn what it takes to do his job.

“These are some big shoes to fill,” Grenfell said during a recent Herald interview. “I went to Cheyenne with Jim and Mieke Madrid (City of Evanston grant writer) to attend the Governor’s Economic Summit during my first week on the job. It was a trial by fire.”

Grenfell, originally from Kemmerer, has lived in Evanston with her family for eight years. She has maintained a low profile, working as a consultant for a Denver firm.

“I wanted to find a way to connect to the community, to give back and to deepen our roots,” she said. “And I wanted to do something bigger, beyond my own little department. I wanted to do something with lasting impact.”

When she saw the help wanted ads in the Uinta County Herald one Friday, she said she couldn’t stop thinking about the job as city clerk and administrator.

“This is the only local job I have ever applied for,” Grenfell said. “I saw it in the paper on a Friday, and by Sunday I had applied. It feels like such a good fit, for where I want to go professionally and for where the city is heading. I feel like this is where I am supposed to be.”

Grenfell graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Later, she got her MBA from UW.

“I’m very happy to be home,” she said. “We worked in Denver for a while, and then I worked out of my home for the same firm, but now it feels good to have an opportunity to deepen those roots. You hear a lot about the ‘brain drain’ — educated people leaving Wyoming — but I am glad to be home.”

Grenfell sees a lot of opportunity for herself personally and professionally, as she develops her network and makes herself known in the community. In addition, she sees a bright future ahead for the City of Evanston. She is realistic though, about the challenges in taking over for someone like Jim Davis.

“Jim and his department have done a great job. It’s amazing the amount of work, the talent, and the commitment made by all of these people, working together to make the city better,” she said. “It’s hard to say what’s going to come, or what will happen in the future.

“I am amazed by all the different balls Jim juggles, how diverse every part of his job is, and how it all comes together for the bigger picture. I am looking forward to moving forward with the city, and with this department. This is an impressive group.”











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