Back-to-Back: ELGL Member Wins LOC Award for 2nd Year in a Row

Posted on September 30, 2013


First Mary Beth Henry, now Erik Kvarsten is honored with the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) Herman Kehril Award. The award is given to a city employee whose exceptional contributions to city government in Oregon have provided lasting benefits to the community.

Erik Kvarsten, Greshman city manager, was an early supporter of ELGL and a lifetime supporter of developing local government professionals. When Erik spoke at an ELGL forum on August 17, 2011, he spoke with a passion for the profession and also a passion for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. One takeaway from the forum was Erik’s comments on the use of reflection to connect your work to your organization’s meaning. He posed these five questions as a way of doing so:

  • Where and how do I truly add value?
  • What actions and behaviors detract from organizational success?
  • What gives me meaning in my work?
  • What do I need to let go of to help the organization succeed?
  • What do I need to embrace the help the organization succeed?

 downloadWhile many talk about the “next gen,” Erik puts action to his words. His influence can be seen throughout local government by the number of local government professionals who worked for him and have went onto successful careers. A few notables include: Molly Vogt (Metro), Stephanie Betteridge (Oregon Health and Science University), Justin Cutler (Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District), and Alice Rouyer (City of Tualatin). Just as important, Erik has mentored Gresham employees through the career ladder within Gresham including Jessica Struyk, Rachael Fuller, Eric Chambers, and Robin Franzen Parker.

Alice Rouyer, Tualatin assistant city manager, shared her thoughts on Erik in a previous ELGL profile:

Erik introduced me to many fine people in Oregon City and County Manager’s Association (OCCMA).  I am forever grateful.  His love for laughter in the workplace, the outdoors and literature continue to leave a lasting impression on me.

So when Eric Chambers asked ELGL to write a letter of recommendation for Erik, it was an easy task.  Here’s what we came up with: Letter of Recommendation for Erik Kvarsten

Now it’s your turn, share your experiences with Erik in the comment section below.

Background Check on Erik

Erik Kvarsten has served as the City Manager in Gresham since August 2004. Erik is a credentialed manager through the International City/County Management Association, and has 30 years of city management experience in Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon. Prior to his arrival in Gresham, Erik served as Troutdale’s Administrator for 8 ½ years.

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