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Mercer Island hires communications coordinator

The city of Mercer Island has welcomed a new face to its team. On May 3, Stephanie Schwenger began as the part-time communications coordinator at City Hall. Joy Johnston vacated the position in March to take on a job with the city of Bothell.

Schwenger, who is finishing up her master's degree in public affairs at the University of Washington, will work two days a week until June, when she will increase her time at the city to 60 percent.

The Seattle resident said she is excited about the position, and eager to get acquainted with Mercer Island.

"I'm pretty new to Mercer Island. It has a wonderful reputation for being community oriented and a family-friendly place. I'm looking forward to working here," she said.

City Manager Rich Conrad has known Schwenger since the two met through the Washington City Management Association (WCMA) last year. Conrad said he was immediately impressed with the UW student's wit and professionalism.

"When Joy left, I called Stephanie to see if she'd be interested in the position for after grad school. She seemed a good fit. She's an excellent writer, good speaker, has communication background and is interested in a career in local government," Conrad said.

In her graduate studies, Schwenger focuses on public management and leadership. She has a particular interest in open government initiatives.

Outside of work and school, Schwenger enjoys cycling, hiking, traveling and spending time with her boyfriend of four years.

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