After over three decades of service, Cedar Falls City Clerk Jacque Danielsen is now looking forward to her next adventure as she announces her retirement.
Since 1988, Danielsen has been a familiar face for the City of Cedar Falls. Starting as an admin assistant in the Fire Division, Danielsen made an impact immediately.
"I was the first woman ever hired there," she recalls. "At the time, the division had just gotten its very first computer and no one knew how to operate it. I had come from a construction company where I had just set up their computer system and had experience so as soon as I said that I would take that responsibility on, the fire chief at the time was pretty excited. No one else wanted to do it!"
After 10 years in the Fire Division, Danielsen moved on to the position of Public Safety Secretary at the City before becoming Senior Secretary in the late 1990s. She was mentored by then City Clerk Gary Hesse and received her Certified Municipal Clerk license in 2008. Danielsen was named City Clerk in 2014 and would eventually earn her Masters Municipal Clerk license in 2018.
The clerk is one of the most important jobs in municipal government and is responsible for maintaining all official City records. In Cedar Falls, the role also manages the administrative staff and coordinates parking services.
"Our team is just the most dedicated group that I have ever met," said Danielsen. "Working in local government, no two days are the same and that is what keeps it interesting. All the different experiences that I have had at the City really gave me the opportunity to work with the most amazing people."
Originally from Dubuque, Iowa, and raised in Jesup, Danielsen moved to Cedar Falls following high school and attended what is now Hawkeye Community College. It did not take her long to fall in love with the Cedar Falls community.
"Once I got here, I knew I would never leave," said Danielsen. "People that live in Cedar Falls take pride in their city and it shows. We have fantastic parks, trails, events, and services because the citizens, organizations, and City employees here really care about their community."
"There are big-city opportunities in Cedar Falls but all within a small-town environment. It's a wonderful place to raise a family and a great place to retire. I plan to be here for the rest of my life."
Danielsen is particularly looking forward to watching her successor, Kim Kerr. Kerr started her career with the City of Cedar Falls in 2008 and served as an Administrative Assistant before becoming an Administrative Supervisor in 2020. Following an interview and hiring process which included 16 total applicants, the Cedar Falls City Council confirmed Kerr as the new City Clerk on October 2, 2023.
"I want to continue to make Cedar Falls the best place there is," said Kerr. "I love working at the City. It can be challenging but it is extremely rewarding and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to grow and learn as I follow in Jacque's footsteps."
Kerr has earned the full confidence of Danielsen as she sets out on her new path.
"Kim is very dedicated and a quick learner," said Danielsen. "She has been preparing for this opportunity for a long time through classes, studying, and training. She will do a great job."
As for Danielsen, she is looking forward to her next adventure.
"After almost 35 years, I'm looking forward to the chance to just do nothing for a bit," laughs Danielsen. "I want to enjoy the holidays and spend more time with my family including my two new grandchildren."
"Life is crazy. One day you look in the mirror and 20 years have flown by. I am so grateful for the opportunities I had at the City and I will miss my staff most of all. I will always appreciate the memories but I am excited to see what the future holds."
A retirement reception will be held for Jacque Danielsen on November 3, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Cedar Falls City Hall (220 Clay Street) in the Council Foyer. A formal presentation will take place at 4:00 p.m.