Amy Allen: UW Alumna '86 & Public Servant

Her Campus: What is your position? How long have you held it?

Amy Allen: I am currently the Director of Public Services for the City of Rock Springs, Wyoming.  I have held this position since May 1 of 2016.

HC: How did you end up in the position?

AA: After retiring from an engineering consulting company in Rock Springs, Wyoming where I had worked for 23 years I was appointed by the Mayor of Rock Springs to head the Department of Public Services.

HC: What are your duties?

AA: I oversee The City of Rock Springs’ Public Services department includes Planning and Zoning, Building Department and Inspection, Water Reclamation Facility and Sewage Collection, Urban Renewal Agency/Mainstreet and the Vehicle Maintenance Shop.  Daily I am in charge of the operations of these departments, including personnel, purchasing, budgeting etc.  I interface with the Mayor and council about important issues that come up in these departments. I deal with the public when controversial situations arise.  Also, I interact with consultants for various design contracts for wastewater collection, the water reclamation facility, software management etc.

HC: Where are you from originally?

AA: I was born in Durango Colorado but was raised in Rock Springs.  My parents both were born and raised in Rock Springs and are University of Wyoming Graduates.

HC: How did you end up at UW?

AA: I originally wanted to go into Architecture and looked at Boston College and The University of Arizona.  I ended up enrolling in Architectural Engineering/Civil Engineering at the University of Wyoming because I love Laramie.

HC: What degree did you obtain from UW, and what years did you graduate?

AA: I graduated from UW in 1986 with a bachelors in Civil Engineering/Architectural Option.  I did not think I wanted to pursue engineering at that point so I enrolled in the MBA program in the College of Business (then known as C&I, College of Commerce and Industry)  I had to complete 60 hours of business courses (30 undergraduate hours) and completed my MBA in 1989.

HC: How did your experience at UW help you get to where you are now?

AA: I have to say that going to the University of Wyoming is living the total college experience.  Academically and Socially.  After returning to Wyoming in 1991 the network I have all over the state and region because of the contacts I made while attending UW is invaluable.  After running a 35 person engineering consulting company as Vice President and then President my Business Management Skills obtained through my MBA were also extremely valuable.  The higher up you go in an organization the less engineering you do and the more marketing, writing, presenting, human resources, and management you do.  These skills are must haves in the workforce to advance.

HC: What is the best advice you can offer a woman going into your field?

AA: Though great strides have been made in the last few years with women in engineering and STEM we still have a long way to go.   There still is a glass ceiling in our industry for woman to advance and succeed.  My best advice is to support our fellow women in work and positions outside of work.  Network with women and grow an extensive female support network.  When you have an opportunity to promote and/or appoint new positions (such as boards and committees) look outside the box and try to achieve a diverse culture that includes women and minorities.  All people have different points of view and the strongest decisions are made in business and in governing when several points of view are presented.  Women/minorities need to be at the table to achieve the best solutions. Secondly make good life decisions.  Marry a partner that supports you and your efforts.  Balance work and your home/family life.

HC: If a current UW student in your field had more questions about your journey to success, would you be open to talking with them? If so, what is the best way for them to reach you?

AA: I can be reached at [email protected].   I am happy to answer any questions or respond to any comments.

HC: Is there anything else you would like to share?

AA: I have two sons 18 and 15. My oldest son Wayne is attending the College of Engineering and Applied science this fall to study engineering.   My parents, my husband’s parents and grandmother, my husband, my brother and brother-in-law have all graduated from the University of Wyoming.  We are proud supporters of the University of Wyoming and my husband served on the UW Alumni Association Board for six years and as Alumni President in 2013-2014.Look at all experiences in life as an opportunity.  Finally, Life is always evolving and changing.  Opportunities are often veiled in failure and mistakes.