Sarah Hayden named Rock Island community engagement manager

The City of Rock Island has hired former Dispatch-Argus and Quad-City Times reporter Sarah Hayden as its new community engagement manager.

In a news release Friday, Aug. 12, the city said Ms. Hayden joined the city in the newly created position on Monday, Aug. 8.

“I am very excited about joining such a strong and talented team already in place with the city,” she said in the release. “I look forward to building a communications strategy, fostering civic engagement and connecting with residents and community partners. Rock Island is a dynamic city blessed with a rich history and a future full of potential.”

Ms. Hayden graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. She had worked as a reporter for the Dispatch-Argus since 2012 – the past five years as senior politics and government reporter for both the Dispatch-Argus and Quad-City Times.

She has won numerous journalism awards from the Associated Press, Iowa Newspaper Association and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association for investigative and feature reporting.

Ms. Hayden will manage communications to and from the city, serve as social media manager and oversee community engagement and outreach with residents and Stakeholders. She will work closely with Todd Thompson, the new city manager, and department directors to grow the city’s brand.

“We are excited to welcome Sarah. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position of community engagement manager,” Mr. Thompson said. “Community engagement is a top priority for the city and Sarah will help us make sure we are achieving excellence in this area.”

Mayor Mike Thoms also welcomed Hayden to the city noting her knowledge of the Quad Cities and her qualifications. “The city is dedicated to improving communications and community engagement with its citizens. I believe we found the right individual to assist in this task.”

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