A Goodbye From Kirsten

Posted on June 7, 2022

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Dear ELGL friends,

My last day with ELGL will be June 15, 2022, and I wanted to send you a note about my departure and what’s in store for ELGL.

Kent and I founded ELGL at our kitchen table after a lunch with some other local government folks in the Portland area. We saw the need for an open, inclusive, and fun organization that connected people in local government. Over the years, ELGL has grown so much – with members in every state in the US and many countries around the world. Along the way, it became clear that if we wanted our original vision for the organization to last, we needed to center sustainability as much as we centered joy, equity, and innovation.

In my five years as a full time executive director, we’ve kept an eye on that sustainability goal, knowing that the organization could continue to impact people in local government if we grew smart and kept true to our original vision. I’m pleased that ELGL is at a point where it can be most successful if we welcome new leadership to the organization, so it can grow and flourish and continue to impact more people working in public service. And personally, I’m ready for a new challenge to continue my passion for making meaningful connections so government service is the career of choice for the brightest minds.

I’m not going far – I’ll continue working in public service and will of course stay in touch with ELGL. Now that I’m not on staff, I will be gunning for a trophy on City Hall Selfie day on August 15. And, I’ll continue to host periodic episodes of GovLove because I’ll never stop being curious about local government service. 

Thank you for your membership in ELGL, and for your work in growing this amazing community.

Take care,


From Ben:
We are so excited and proud of Kirsten! She has taken ELGL through our hardest transition, from a volunteer group that wanted to make a difference to local government professionals to the most important big tent public sector professional association in the country. Her dedication, passion, and enthusiasm are part of ELGL’s identity and always will be. Although she will no longer be our Executive Director, Kirsten will remain involved in ELGL through GovLove and as one of our Co-Founders. You will surely see her at conferences and other ELGL events, probably with an even bigger smile as an attendee than she had as an event organizer.
The ELGL Board of Directors has developed a plan for the transition and we wanted to share it with you. We will be naming an interim Executive Director in the coming days to help manage the day-to-day logistics of the organization and ensure we continue serving our members well. Stay tuned for the announcement and in the meantime please  feel free to reach out to any of us for anything ELGL related. We will be undertaking the first recruitment process for an ELGL Executive Director. We want the new Executive Director to be in place for our annual conference in October which means we’ll be starting soon. Our plan is to post the position in early July and accept applications through the end of the month. We’ll need your help spreading the word to find the next leader of our organization. 
Please join us again in thanking Kirsten for all she has given ELGL and each one of us! Local government is a better place because of the work she has done and we cannot thank her enough.
– ELGL Board of Directors: Ben Kittelson (Chair), Maggie Jones (Vice Chair), Kent Wyatt (Co-Founder), Cathy Bailey, Amie Hendrix, Ashley Copeland
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