The Team Chandler Spotlight Is On ...

Traci Tenkely

IT Project Manager

How long have you been with the City? I have been with the City since April, 1997.

What do you do? I work with different departments to analyze their business needs, find a great solution and get it delivered.

Upcoming challenges or opportunities in relation to your job? We recently wrapped up the Webex training sessions so if you didn’t get a chance to attend they are ready and available for you to take in LEAF! There are two projects for Human Resources that are ramping up so hopefully we can get those delivered and make their jobs even a tiny bit easier.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job? The most enjoyable part of my job is helping others be more efficient or do their jobs a little easier. I have been extremely fortunate to benefit from all of the amazing things the city has to offer so I love getting the chance to help someone else realize benefits in other areas.

Have you worked in any other areas of the City? I have worked in Community Services, Human Resources and Information Technology. I’ve spent most of my city life in flip flops and tank tops as a lifeguard, water safety instructor, assistant pool manager, head pool manager, Recreation Coordinator I and Recreation Coordinator II.

Then I had the amazing opportunity to take my training and development skills to Organization Development in Human Resources with Beth Chepelsky and then enhanced a few technical skills by assisting Sonia Ebert with the systems side of HR.

Another amazing opportunity presented itself in IT last fall when I was able to join Kerstin Nold’s team as an IT Project Manager.

What did you do before you came to work for the City? I started with the city as a 15-year-old lifeguard. Shout out to Fire Captain Brandt Lange and Fire Captain Craig Knight who started as lifeguards with me and Battalion Chief Keith Welch who was one of our pool managers. I worked in the Lifetouch portrait studios, in the before and after school FACTS program in Flagstaff, and at the Student Recreation Center at ASU as a management assistant for a brief period. But my dream came true when I was hired full time to hang out at the pool.

Describe some of your personal or professional accomplishments. The city has afforded me so many opportunities to learn and grow professionally. Early in my career I wanted to learn as much as possible so I signed up for every class IT had to offer in the training room to learn word, powerpoint, excel and more. Kristen Poe was the trainer at the time so I credit her for teaching me everything I’ve needed to know!

I collected all of the certifications I could in the aquatics world and was an American Red Cross Instructor Trainer for lifeguarding and water safety instruction. I was selected to speak at national conferences and had the opportunity to travel quite a bit during the off season. When I started in 1997 there were only three aquatic centers with the fourth being built. I hung around long enough to be a part of the design, construction and opening of the sixth aquatic center, Mesquite Groves, and opened that facility in 2008.

I took advantage of the Tuition Reimbursement program to obtain my master’s degree in public administration and went through the mentor program twice. I learned so much from both of my mentors and was able to obtain my Project Management certification through the mentor program under Janine Blake. I was part of the ActiveNet implementation team with Nancy Jackson and then the LEAF implementation team with Beth Chepelsky, Sonia Ebert, Sunitha Uppala, Robin Miller and Tanya Keeton which built on both my training and development skills coupled with my techy side.

I was privileged to get the opportunity to work in Organizational Development and HR Systems when I made the move to Human Resources. Then most recently I had the opportunity to tackle IT Project Management.

There are so many different projects, experiences and opportunities within the city that have been both challenging and rewarding and I am grateful for the strong and determined women I have been able to learn from. I’ve picked the color of a waterslide and helped implement a citywide talent management system – a weird mix of awesome you can only find working for a city.

Where were you born and raised? I was born in Mesa at the Banner Desert Hospital where my husband and both of our children were also born. Then grew up moving around from Mesa/Chandler/Gilbert before calling Tempe home. I went to Frost Elementary which is now Summit Academy, San Marcos Elementary, Islands Elementary then finally Playa del Rey Elementary, Mesquite Jr High School and graduated from Gilbert High School. I decided I had to move far, far away for college and made it about as far away as Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University. I guess I never made it very far!

What are your hobbies, or interests away from work? I swim with a masters swim team. I’ve always been a water based animal, no running or land based exercising for me!

Describe your family. My husband, Thomas, and I have been married for 15 years with two handsome, smart, funny boys – Brodie, 7 and Brock, 4. They are the absolute highlight of every day. We have a 2 year old lab, Mabel, who is currently in a lot of trouble for eating a cake off the counter! I have twin brothers that are 15 years younger and both in dental school and an older brother who is a pediatric dentist. I guess I missed the memo on becoming a dentist. My in-laws live in West Chandler and my family is in Phoenix so it makes it easy to spend time with everyone being right in the middle.

Tell us something that your coworkers or other employees would be surprised to learn about you, or your job. When I was in the fifth grade I made my mom sign me up for the IronMan kids triathlon. The application was on the back of the IronKids bread bag I was reading while shoving a sandwich in my face. Needless to say up until then I was definitely not an “active” kid. My mom was even surprised I asked but signed me up anyway. We went out to Cactus park in Scottsdale and I swam, biked and ran the whole dang thing. My mom even ran along side me at the end because she was so shocked I made it that far. When I finished, I told her I hated all of it except the swimming part. The next week she signed me up for swim team that practiced at the old Chandler High School pool (not the one it is today) and I’ve swam ever since. I also still hate the running and biking part.

What is one thing that you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet? I would absolutely love to visit all the Disney locations. So far, I’ve only been to Disneyland and Disney World. Next up would be Disney Aulani, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Disney Sea in Japan, and a Disney Cruise!