Geneseo City Administrator: "I'll miss the City with all my heart"

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic

Geneseo City Administrator, Joann Hollenkamp, will be leaving the City to accept a new position with another community in Southern Illinois, but will be leaving a big piece of her heart here.  

Hollenkamp joined the Geneseo City team in the summer of 2019. She is leaving, citing the desire to spend more time with family, effective February 9.  City Clerk and HR Director, Brandon Maeglin, will be assuming many of her duties as Interim City Administrator. 

Coming from a background in Home Construction Project Management,  Hollenkamp was forced to re-assess her career, when the housing market crashed in 2008.  She then acquired a degree in Computer Science from Lindenwood University in St. Charles MO. 

The City of Carlyle hired Hollenkamp as their City Administrator, while she earned her Masters Degree in Public Administration at Southern Illinois University. 

She became aware of the opening for the City Administrator position in Geneseo, and  interviewed for it.  Before making the four hour drive back to Carlyle, she and her husband decided to stop at the Cellar to eat.  "I don't do a good job remembering names, but it made such an impression on me, I'll never forget it.  April, our server asked what we were doing in town, and after I told her I interviewed for a job, this wonderful woman proceeded to tell all the reasons why I should move to Geneseo.  People here are Ambassadors for the City." recounted Hollenkamp, She stated that it had happened multiple times, even before she had committed to the position. 

"If I could, I'd bottle the attitude and spirit of the people of Geneseo, and take it with me." stated Hollenkamp. 

Jo Hollenkamp, and "Jackson" prepare for an early winter's ride near Geneseo.  
Hollenkamp will be turning over the administration duties of the City to Brandon Maeglin early in February, in order to spend more time with her husband in southern Illinois.

Before arriving in Geneseo, Hollenkamp, an avid horseman, was given multiple leads on places to board and ride her horses.  When she arrived in Geneseo with her possessions, members of the city were on hand to help her settle in.  

When asked what accomplishments she was proudest of during her tenure as City Administrator, Hollenkamp responded, " I am most proud of building a sense of unity between the City staff and the community.  I will miss everything; Geneseo so far is unmatched as a City with servant leadership and extending grace to our neighbors.  I will miss the team at City Hall making me laugh everyday and the camaraderie that I have never before experienced."

Veteran Councilman Bob Wachtel, summed up the feelings of many who have worked with Hollenkamp,  "I will always be grateful to Jo  for the job she has done for our City of Geneseo during the past challenging 2 1/2 years. She, along with Mayor Sean Johnson and her leadership team,  managed to work through the City finances maintaining a balanced budget. And, with the cooperation of all City employees including our City attorney, enabled us to keep City services at a high level. I'd like to thank Jo for her work here and I wish her the best."

Brandon Maeglin, Interim City Administrator, has some big high heels to fill, admittedly. “JoAnn has been a positive influence on the city workforce along with many projects in the city over the past 2 ½ years. She will be missed, but I am glad she is prioritizing her personal life and doing what is right for her family.”