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Posted on: April 28, 2020

City of Aspen Hires Assistant City Manager


Press Release

City of Aspen Hires Assistant City Manager
New Position Will Aid in Transition with Retirement of Parks and Recreation Manager

Contact: Sara Ott, Aspen City Manager, 970-230-2692 or sara.ott@cityofaspen.com


ASPEN, CO. – April 28, 2020 –  The City of Aspen is forging a new leadership path today as it announces the retirement of long-time Manager of Parks and Recreation, Jeff Woods, and the hiring of a new Assistant City Manager, Diane Foster of Park City Utah, for the position that has been vacant for more than 16 months.  The City has been under an interim administrative structure over this time period and filling this critical vacancy finalizes the organizational changes that began in January 2019.

The transition time over the next few weeks will be critical for the City of Aspen as the assistant city manager position oversees the parks department, the largest one in the organization.

Foster was chosen from 71 applicants and comes to the City of Aspen with over a decade of municipal leadership experience and expertise.  She most recently served as the Park City City Manager.  Her position as assistant city manager for Aspen is more critical than ever as Foster will assist in the implementation of COVID-19 recovery strategies as well as overseeing and guiding Aspen’s Downtown Vitality and Parking, Transportation, Wheeler Opera House, Parks and Recreation, and Kids First Departments while supervising the staff of the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority in accordance with the governing intergovernmental agreement. Two of these departments, the Wheeler Opera House and Parks and Recreation, are currently undergoing leadership transitions that will not be permanently filled for several months.  

Jeff Woods’ retirement from the Parks and Open Space and Recreation Departments is effective June 30 and represents both a source of sadness and pride for the City of Aspen.

Woods has worked for more than two decades serving the residents and visitors of Aspen overseeing Parks and Open Space, Recreation, and Special Events.  He has contributed greatly to the physical and emotional landscape of the City.  His accomplishments are made visible to all who wander through the various open space properties and the beauty of the John Denver Sanctuary, to name a few.

Woods’ service to Aspen is timeless as his environmental stewardship set a guidepost for preservation of thousands of acres of land, the designation of wildlife corridors, the beautification of urban travel over pedestrian bridges and trails, the protection of the Roaring Fork River, and the creation of beauty out of the important environmental strategies of cleaning stormwater before it enters the river in projects like the Jenny Adair wetlands.  In addition, he has overseen the creation of a new public recreation center, ice facility, and special events that have defined Aspen.

One of Foster’s immediate tasks will be to oversee the transition of the departments Woods oversees.  Foster is intimate with the type of work as in Park City she led advancements in affordable housing challenges, implemented the nation’s first electric bus rapid transit route, and helped put the framework in place to create a year round tourism economy.

Sara Ott, City Manager, said “It’s a bittersweet moment today but I am so honored to have had the chance to work with Jeff Woods and witness his unwavering commitment to masterfully joining environmental, social, and human concerns in the natural and built environment in Aspen.  I wish him all the best as he moves on to a life of enjoying our parks and open spaces off the clock.  The hiring of Diane is positive news for the City of Aspen as an organization and a community.  She has the experience to help us implement policies to move forward with our economic and social recovery as well as the insight to lead our organization into the next phase of service to the community and to our staff. Along with Diane’s experience, she brings a strong work ethic, open communication, and a collaborative approach.”

Woods said of his time in Aspen, “What truly gives me the most satisfaction is the amazing team I have developed during my tenure with the City. My construction crews are the best in the valley; our golf club is top ranked as a municipal course; and the maintenance of our parks ranks consistently high on the community satisfaction surveys. I am so proud to work with this amazing team that helps make Aspen stand out with its world‐class parks and facilities, I am pleased I had the opportunity to help make this earth, and Aspen, a better, more sustainable place.”

Woods will work with Foster on the transition planning.  Foster’s first day will be May 11 and she is looking forward to working from home in her new home community.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with the Mayor and Council, staff, and the community through this unprecedented time with a long-term lens focused on supporting and enhancing the quality of life in Aspen,” said Foster.

Foster holds a Master of Business Administration in International Business from Cambridge Judge Business School in Cambridge, UK and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah.  
 

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