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Aug 13

Building a network for Citywide benefit

Posted on August 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM by Communications Office

Maria HaaseSome might assume that Maria Haase, Analyst II, must have a pretty tightly defined job. After all, she’s spent her entire 22 years with the City in the Housing Department, starting out as a Typist Clerk II and Receptionist and progressing to her current Analyst position. But that assumption would be way off base. Maria is a person who demonstrates initiative and a passion for public service, and uses these skills to address our community’s most difficult and complex challenges.

Maria’s title doesn’t do justice to the variety of roles she’s taken on to accomplish whatever is needed to support the department and the City. Maria’s a go-getter. When confronted with a problem, she considers it her job to figure it out – by doing her homework as well as pulling in others who have a stake and can contribute to solutions. She’s worked on outreach and marketing of housing programs, news releases, applying for and managing grants, and a variety of other assignments.

One recent example that demonstrates her initiative was the recent recruitment for the Chief of Police. Having previously worked on other recruitments, Maria was asked join an interdepartmental team to conduct stakeholder outreach and identify the key issues that would factor into the selection. Maria pulled together the logistics for a series of community meetings, including creative displays that allowed people to validate their feedback and really feel part of the process. She viewed this effort similar to putting together a puzzle, with her teammates each bringing needed pieces to the solution. Why did she get involved? “I told the City Manager that I was looking for opportunities and wanted to help. That led to being thought of for this project, and it was a great experience,” Maria explained. “It allowed me to meet new people in the police department and build relationships. Now I can call on them to help with other needs, such as our homeless encampment work.”

In another example, Maria developed grant applications that have since become grant awards and projects to manage, specifically to improve parks that support affordable housing. This cross-departmental effort started with her supervisor asking her to look into a new grant program, and giving her the assignment to figure out how the City could benefit from it. This led to brainstorming within Housing, followed by collaboration with the Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services Department to identify projects that would be competitive as well as priorities for the City. The hard work of coordinating a team to complete applications pays off when a grant is received, but she sees the relationships built as equally valuable – today and for the next opportunity.

When asked what she’d want others to know about working for the City, her response was that by working hard, you can achieve anything. “Get to know the right people, and show initiative. Being happy in what you do is the most important.”

Lead by example and love being of service to the community – Maria actively demonstrates bringing our Employee Values (Integrity, Innovation, Excellence, Collaboration, Respect and Celebration) – to life!

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