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Awarded: Jenny Dimsho recognized as Employee of the Year

Awarded: Jenny Dimsho recognized as Employee of the Year

The City of St. Helens named St. Helens Associate Planner and Community Development Project Manager Jenny Dimsho employee of the year.

“I’m incredibly honored to have been selected,” Dimsho said. “To the management staff who nominated me and to the reviewers who selected me, it is incredibly rewarding to be appreciated for the work I do to make the city a better place.”

The award recognizes an employee who “consistently goes above and beyond for the public and fellow co-workers,” according to a city news release.

Nominations are submitted by city employees and then reviewed by a panel of community members to make a final selection. For the 2023 Employee of the Year selection process, the city assembled a panel of seven community members who are not related to the City of St. Helens to judge nominations.

The panel was asked to set aside all bias and judge the nominees solely based on the nominations received, emphasizing the quality of the nomination and employee rather than the quantity of nominations. The city announced the award on Feb. 16.

About Jenny Dimsho

Dimsho began working with the city in 2013 through the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) AmeriCorps Program as a Parks and Trails Project Manager.

The city then hired Dimsho in Dec. 2014 as an Assistant Planner. In 2017, she was promoted to Associate Planner. She became the Associate Planner and Community Development Project Manager in 2021.

While working for the city, Dimsho has spearheaded the application process for millions in grant money. In 2023 alone, she successfully helped the city acquire approximately $3 million in grant funds, which will be used to address sanitary sewer deficiencies, plan for an off-street trail between St. Helens and Scappoose, and build an accessible portion of the path for the Riverwalk Project.

Dimsho said that the process of securing grants can vary greatly from project to project. Dimsho said that during the application process, she involves all relevant stakeholders in the preparation of the various grant materials, including the project narrative, budget, plans, and timeline.

“It is very typical that a project involves partnership among multiple departments, so my first step is to confirm interest and priorities from the relevant stakeholders, including our City Council, before applying for a grant,” Dimsho said. “Sometimes grantors require a presentation to the review board before decisions are made. The excitement among staff at City Hall the day we are notified of securing a grant is easily one of the best parts of my job!”

Dimsho said that the city has been “incredibly successful” over the past year in securing large grants for various projects.

Dimsho was also recognized for her consistent teamwork, problem-solving, initiative, and investment in the quality of her work, according to the release.

Going forward, Dimsho wants to ensure that the city successfully manages the projects for which grants have been secured.

“Specifically for me, this includes managing the Riverwalk Project in Columbia View Park, the Economic Opportunities Analysis update, and the St. Helens Scappoose Trail Refinement Project,” Dimsho said.

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