116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Public Works Director Jen Winter is leaving her position to take on a new role in Florida, City Manager Jeff Pomeranz announced Tuesday.
Winter began her role overseeing about 200 employees in the city’s Public Works Department in 2015 after serving as the regional director at engineering firm HR Green in Cedar Rapids. She has played a key role in responding to natural disasters — efforts to stave off the 2016 flood and respond to last summer’s derecho.
Winter’s last day is Friday. Deputy City Manager Sandi Fowler will serve as interim director after her departure.
After her last day, Winter will move with her husband to Florida, where she will continue her career, Pomeranz said.
Emily Breen, city public services communications specialist, said the city contracted with the Novak Consulting Group for the search for a new public works director. The city used this firm for the utilities director search last fall. Pomeranz said the search is anticipated to take about six months.
Pomeranz, announcing the news at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, said Winter has done “an absolutely phenomenal job for this community" while working with residents and city staff and directors.
“Winter has just handled all those with expertise and with diplomacy and with competency, and so I just want to say how much I appreciate the work of Director Winter,” Pomeranz said.
When the 2016 flood threatened and the city rushed to create temporary barriers, bring in temporary pumps and take other emergency steps to contain the cresting river, Pomeranz said Winter pulled her team and the community together, and leveraged relationships with the private sector to respond to the disaster.
"All of that meant a very, very successful outcome with a bit of a mess, but lots of success as far as protecting this community,” Pomeranz said.
Winter again took on a challenge when the hurricane-force winds of the Aug. 10, 2020, derecho pummeled Cedar Rapids, Pomeranz said. She used her team, relationships and her “everyday know-how and abilities to help all of us bring this city back from a most devastating situation, and that was from the very beginning until today.”
"Without Jen, we would absolutely not be in the very, very strong position that we are in today,” Pomeranz said.
Winter earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Iowa State University. Before spending more than a decade at HR Green, she worked for Ament Design in Cedar Rapids; for Strand Associates in Madison, Wis.; and for Kirkham Michael Consulting Engineers in Omaha, Neb.
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