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Draper Journal

Christina Oliver joins Draper City as community development director

Apr 06, 2018 10:44AM ● By Michelynne McGuire

Christina Oliver. (Christina Oliver/Draper city community development director)

Draper City’s newly appointed Community Development Director Christina Oliver has worked many hours as a civil service leader. Oliver has worked for Salt Lake County as an associate division director for parks and recreation, as a department manager for Utah Transit Authority and other various civil service positions. 

 She has managed large budgets and pursued negotiations that have brought hundreds of millions of dollars of investment to the state of Utah. “You have to work really hard and a lot of hours,” said Oliver. 

Oliver is a first-generation college graduate, with parents who were very supportive toward her college aspirations. Her father was from Holland and her mother from the states. “They knew I had to go (to college),” she said. Oliver added they were “great parents” who told her to pursue her passions.  

At the suggestion of her mother, Oliver went on to get her masters of business administration, and a graduate certificate, in finance from Westminster College.

Falling into her calling with hard work and happenstance, Oliver remembered how she was working as a waitress during college, at the Salt Lake Country Club, meeting two figures who had a hand in helping her take the next steps in her career.

Izzy Wagner, a business man, patron of the arts and known for being generous; and his attorney James Holbrook, who was a professor at the University of Utah, were members at the country club, and took interest to advance Oliver’s scholastic endeavors.

 “I have such great mentors that took me under their wing. (Holbrook) was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known in my life,” Oliver said. “This gentleman (Izzy Wagner) was one of the greatest philanthropist in this state of Utah…Izzy became like a grandfather figure to me, and was just absolutely wonderful.” 

Always having a knack for calculation, Oliver continued to advance her career. “Numbers were my thing; I love taxes and legislation and processes and I just kind of went from there,” she said.

Oliver is looking to simplify the city codes in an effort to clarify the process and hear what the people want “to ensure that what is developed not only in the town center, but generally in the city… reflects what the community actually wants,” she said. 

Oliver hopes to use social media to bridge the gap for working people and busy families who may not always be able to attend meetings or public hearings. 

As a leader in civil service she is also paving the way for other women interested in pursuing careers of their own in city service positions. She and her husband are raising two young children, and she hopes she can act as a positive role model for all women out there who may have hopes of pursuing careers while raising families. 

One of her goals is to be a strong female figure. “I want to be strong in this position so that hopefully other women can, and see that it is okay to work full time and raise two kids, and be in positions of leadership, especially in economic and community development,” Oliver said.  

Having had a career with various leadership roles, she is confident in her ability to assume her position as community development director, and looks forward to “creating documents that are more transparent and streamlined and easy to follow,” said Oliver.