Better know your leaders: Dickinson City Administrator Shawn Kessel
Name: Shawn Kessel
Positions with the city: City Administrator
For how long: Since 2009
When did you move to Dickinson: Born in Dickinson, moved back in January 2009.
Did you realize what you might be getting into when you took the job as Dickinson city administrator?
There was no way I could predict the amazing activity that is going on in Dickinson and western North Dakota.
What experience from your past has best prepared you for your role as administrator of a growing community?
My undergraduate degree is in social work. Learning about systems theory and human relations has played a big role in my growth as an administrator. I have also had great people to work with in Dickinson, both elected and appointed.
Since becoming city administrator, what has been the biggest surprise?
Dickinson being the third fastest growing small city in the U.S. has been a huge surprise. Having Dickinson named the Best Small City in the U.S. in 2013 was more satisfying and I hope all the resident take pride in being part of that honor.
What is the biggest public misconception about your job?
Many people think the Park Department is part of the city. We work very closely the Parks and Recreation staff, but they are an independent political subdivision.
If you could be anything other than Dickinson city administrator, what would it be and why?
I have always enjoyed helping others. I believe being a part of someone else success is very satisfying. I am interested in being a college professor or public speaker at some point in the future.