Jackie Thiel promoted to Upper Arlington assistant city manager

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group

Search Assets Jackie Thiel has been promoted to Upper Arlington assistant city manager.

Thiel, who had been the city engineer and public service director, began her new job March 15, a week after the announcement by City Manager Steve Schoeny.

Thiel, 39, replaces Dan Ralley, who left in December to become Hilliard assistant city manager.

Jackie Thiel, Upper Arlington assistant city manager

“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” Thiel said. “Over the past eight years, I’ve had the honor to serve as the city engineer and public service director, helping oversee reinvestment to our city’s infrastructure through the 10-year capital improvement program that was established back in 2014."

Thiel joined the city in September 2013 when she was hired as an assistant city engineer. She was promoted to lead the department in May 2014 after Dave Parkinson stepped down as city engineer to take a job in the private sector.

In January 2018, Thiel’s duties were expanded to include serving as deputy public service director and held that position until being promoted in January 2019 to lead both the Public Service Department and City Engineer’s Office.

“One of the best parts of that job was getting to experience first-hand how the city’s projects positively impacted this community," Thiel said. "When the assistant city manager position became available, I looked at it as an amazing opportunity to assist our talented group of directors, City Manager Schoeny and (Upper Arlington) City Council, on a variety of projects that will continue this community’s success that I wouldn’t necessarily be a part of in my previous position. That is something I couldn’t pass up.”

Thiel will receive an annual base salary of $165,640.28, with benefits totaling $24,272.

“I truly believe a lot of our success was because of the outreach and communication to residents and the collaboration with other departments,” she said. “I love seeing the big picture, and this opportunity will allow me to see all the moving parts and how they all come together in the end.”    

Upon announcing the promotion, Schoeny said he “couldn’t be more pleased with the decision.”

Abby Cochran, human resources director, said Thiel was selected from 217 applicants.  

“She possesses strong management, project and organizational skills and has been at the forefront of many of our community engagement activities related to activities and projects in Public Service,” Cochran said. 

Thiel’s duties will include “oversight on many of the large-scale projects occurring within the city,” Cochran said, adding Thiel also will oversee the information technology, police and fire divisions.

“My primary focus will be helping a variety of departments implement large-scale initiatives, such as body-worn cameras for our police division, continued reinvestment in our city’s infrastructure and assisting parks with continued implementation of their comprehensive plan,” Thiel said. “Depending on the outcome of the May 4 election regarding the community center, I would have an active role in the next steps if the residents decide they want a community center.

“I would also like to assist departments to seek outside funding and grants to help offset costs for the city. Lastly, I want to look at new ways to engage with the community in post-pandemic environment.”

Carla Odebralski, who has been assistant city engineer since 2014, will serve as interim city engineer. Janie Hollingsworth, who was hired by the city last month, will serve as interim public service director.

Thiel, who has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Ohio University, was an engineer II for the city of Columbus from January 2008 to August 2013.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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