The Town of Parker is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Lawson as Assistant Town Manager – Operations. Lawson, who previously served as City Manager for the City of Woodland Park, Colo., will begin his role with the Town of Parker in August.
“I’m excited to welcome Michael to Parker,” said Town Manager Michelle Kivela. “Michael brings a wealth of local government administrative experience from a variety of former roles to our team. In addition to successfully guiding the City of Woodland Park’s organization for the past two years, his previous work for the City of Aurora provides him with a great familiarity with the Denver South Metro region.”
As Assistant Town Manager – Operations, Lawson will work in partnership with the Town Manager to provide key leadership, strategic direction and oversight of organizational operations. He will serve as a liaison and partner on Town-wide issues and oversee the Greater Parker Foundation, as well as the Cultural and Parks, Recreation and Open Space Departments.
"It is an immense privilege to join the Town of Parker team,” Lawson said. “My family and I are truly excited to become part of the community and enjoy all it offers. I look forward to supporting the Town Manager and Council in making Parker an even greater place to live."
Lawson has an extensive history of working in local government administration. He most recently served as Woodland Park’s City Manager since 2020 after initially joining the organization as Assistant City Manager. As City Manager, he led 10 departments and more than 100 employees. His tenure saw the City pay off a major debt issuance 12 years early, stabilize staff turnover through compensation and cultural changes, adopt the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan, and develop a robust community engagement strategy.
Prior to joining Woodland Park, Lawson spent 12 years with the City of Aurora, working in the City Manager’s Office and Budget Office, in addition to stints as interim City Clerk and interim Community Development Manager. One of his greatest professional privileges was acting as Aurora's donations coordinator following the July 20, 2012 Century 16 theater shooting. Prior to his time with Aurora, he worked for the City of San Diego’s Financial Management Department.
Lawson earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California San Diego. He has written several articles and presented to national audiences on the topics of employee retention and the role of empathy in local government. He currently sits on the board of directors and executive committee for the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance and is affiliate faculty at Colorado Christian University, teaching on government budgeting in the school’s Master of Public Administration program.