The Queen Creek Town Council unanimously voted last night to appoint Bruce Gardner as the new town manager, effective Jan. 23.
With more than 28 years in the public sector, Gardner currently serves as Queen Creek’s assistant town manager, according to a press release.
In his role as assistant town manager, Gardner assists the town manager in providing leadership for a variety of departments, long-term planning for the organization, policy development and regional coordination.
“Bruce has been instrumental in many of the strategic initiatives the town has been working towards,” stated Queen Creek Vice Mayor Jeff Brown in the release. “He has demonstrated strong leadership, a commitment to the community and wealth of knowledge. Additionally, Bruce will provide continuity and consistency, which are both key as the town continues making progress toward key efforts like water diversification, enhanced public safety, more roadway connectivity and expansion of the town’s employment base.”
Gardner joined the town of Queen Creek in 2007 as the human resources director. His duties were expanded to include IT, becoming the workforce and information technology director. In 2015, Gardner was promoted to assistant town manager. Prior to working with the town of Queen Creek, Gardner served as the human resources administrator for the city of Tempe.
Gardner serves as a trustee on the Arizona Municipal Risk and Retention Pool Board, the Valley Schools Employer Benefit Group Operations Review Board, and represents the town on several other regional management committee boards, including Central Arizona Governments, Valley Metro, The Connective and the Arizona State Telecommunications Group.
In 2016, Gardner received the Ann Byrnes SPHR Award for Professional Excellence from the Arizona Society for Human Resources Management and in 2021 he received the Muriel M. Morse Achievement Award from the Western Region International Public Management Association for Human Resources. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Master’s in Public Administration, both from Arizona State University.
“I am honored to be appointed by the town council as the next town manager for Queen Creek,” Gardner stated. “I am humbled and look forward to serving the town council, community partners and the employees in order to continue the incredible momentum of making Queen Creek the best place to live, work, and play for our residents and businesses. Luckily, I have had the opportunity the last 15 years to work for an excellent mentor and current town manager, John Kross, whose leadership I have not only greatly admired, but hope to also replicate for a seamless transition for the organization.”
Gardner will replace Kross, who will retire on Jan. 20. Kross has served as Queen Creek’s town manager since 2007 and will continue in that role until his retirement.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Bruce for over 15 years, with the last seven as my assistant town manager,” Kross stated in the release. “Bruce has an excellent rapport with our employees, the community foundations, and understands the dynamics of the position including the traditions of our organizational culture. I look forward to watching him work with the council and our executive team to take the town to its next steps of growth and development.”
In early 2023, the town will contract with a temporary assistant town manager to assist with the transition. During that time, the town will conduct a nationwide search for a new, permanent assistant town manager.