City of Arvada Announces New Director of Community and Economic Development

September 20, 2023

Arvada, CO - Jessica Garner, AICP, has been named the City of Arvada’s new Director of Community and Economic Development. In this role, Garner will provide overall leadership and direction for the community and economic development department and its divisions including City planning and zoning, building services, development, and housing as well as the Arvada Economic Development Association (AEDA). Prior to being selected to serve as the Director of Community and Economic Development for Arvada, Garner led the community development team for the Town of Estes Park.

“We are thrilled to have Jessica join the leadership team here at the City of Arvada,” said Lorie Gillis, City Manager.

“Jessica brings extensive community development experience from various municipalities to the role, which the Arvada community will surely benefit from,” she continued.

Ms. Garner brings over 23 years of local, statewide, and national land use planning, transportation and public health experience to the role. Born and raised in Colorado, she received her bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and master’s degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and Urban Design from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Ms. Garner began her career with the City of Commerce City, where she worked for over six years before moving into consulting and later joining the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, where her focus was primarily at the intersection of public health and land use planning. She later joined the San Mateo County Health System in the Bay Area as a senior community health planner, where she led and collaborated on countywide land use, active transportation, public health, and equity issues with multi-sectoral partners and agencies. While in California, Ms. Garner returned to local government with the City of Milpitas as their planning manager in 2017, where she worked in the second fastest growing community in California on a variety of long-range and current development projects, before returning to Colorado and the Town of Estes Park as the community development director in 2021.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining the hard-working and talented staff at the City of Arvada. It is a privilege to serve the Arvada community and I very much look forward to delving headfirst into the work of making Arvada an amazing place to live, work and play,” Ms. Garner said.