Jesse Quirion is a May 2007 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the Daytona Beach campus. He is currently the Interim Public Works Director for the City of Menlo Park.
I began my career taking an internships with the City of Port St. Lucie, FL while finishing my senior year of my undergrad Civil Engineering program at ERAU. I did not originally intend on going into public sector work when I started school but the opportunity came up and I gave it a shot. After working as a college intern for 6 months for the City of Port St. Lucie I was offered a full time job upon finishing my undergrad. I accepted the offer and joined the City of Port St. Lucie under the position of Engineering Intern which is a full time engineering position with the City. I held that position from 2007 until 2010 when I was promoted to the position of Traffic Operations Manager. Under the position of Traffic Operations Manager I oversaw 13 staff members and a budget nearly $2.9 million, I held that position through 2011.
In 2011 I was offered the position of Associate Transportation Specialist for the City of San Jose, CA. This position required a drastic change as it was in a completely new area and required me to move across the Country, but I expected it to provide me with new opportunities in the future. Then in 2012 I was offered a promotion to the position of Acting Senior Transportation Specialist for the City of San Jose, CA where I lead a team of 5 engineers and staff members.
In 2013 I was offered the position of Transportation Manager for the City of Menlo Park where I lead a team of 5 engineers and staff members and an annual budget of nearly $2.3 million.
In 2014 I was promoted to the position of Interim Public Works Director for the City of Menlo Park where I now oversee nearly 70 staff members with an annual operating budget of nearly $19 million not including our capital improvement program budget. In this role I am responsible for the following divisions; the City’s water/utilities Division, Engineering services, Capital Improvements Division, Storm water and NPDES services, construction inspections services, Transportation Division, Environmental Services Division, Transportation Demand Management Services, City building’s and infrastructure, the Parks Department, Streets Division, and the City’s vehicle fleet services including the police department and emergency services.
I gained invaluable skills sets from attending an aeronautical based university that I would have not captured would I have attended a traditional educational institute. For example my Civil Engineering program provided me with the skills sets needed to perform in a municipal engineering capacity but also provided me with the framework to understand airport design operations and aircraft construction which proved to be an assets with the City of San Jose which oversees the Mineta San Jose International Airport. I believe that diversifying your education and openings your eyes to all skill sets and experiences is the only way to succeed and set yourself apart from the pack in today’s economy. I am grateful for the aviation focus that I received at ERAU as that experience coupled with my work background and management experience has and will continue to open doors for me and may lead to opportunities for me to reenter the aviation field in a management role down the road.
What has been your greatest accomplishment in your professional career?
No matter what level or position I have held I have continued to seek out new opportunities to grow my knowledge base. During my time with the City of Port St. Lucie I completed a Master of Public Administration from Nova South Eastern University, during my time with the City of San Jose I joined the San Jose Chamber of Commerce where I was appointed to the role of Board Chair with the Young professionals and Board member for the Chamber of Commerce, today I am evaluating opportunities to continue my education and I may began working a doctorate degree in the near future. With that, I would say that my greatest accomplishment has been my ability to multitask between a work-life balance while continue to look for opportunities to gain new skills and networking opportunities.
What are your plans for the future?