Olmsted County Administrator stepping down after 11 years

(ABC 6 News) — After 11 years of service to Olmsted County, County Administrator Heidi Welsch has announced she will be leaving Olmsted County to serve as Dakota County manager.

She will be working with Olmsted County until the end of July.  

Welsch began working for Olmsted County in 2013 as director of Family Support and Assistance. Her work as county administrator began in 2017.

During her tenure at the county, Welsch has made an incredible impact on both employees and residents. Some of her notable achievements include:

  • Leading an organization named as one of the Best Places to Work in southeast Minnesota by Workforce Development, Inc. We received this honor in 2024, 2023, and 2020.
  • Launching the county’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative – One Olmsted in 2017. 
  • Helping to keep Olmsted County in good financial standing. Olmsted County maintains an “AAA” rating from Standard & Poor’s and an “Aaa” rating from Moody’s Investors Service – ratings only received by 3% of counties nationwide. Olmsted County has maintained these ratings since 2001. 
  • Leading Olmsted County through the COVID-19 pandemic with grace, creativity, a commitment to communication, and a strong focus on keeping Olmsted County residents healthy and safe.
  • Overseeing major capital projects for the county and helping to secure state and federal funding for several projects including the CSAH 44 and TH 14 interchange project, a materials recovery facility (MRF), and an exhibition center at Graham Park. 
  • Helping to establish a new 2024-2028 strategic plan for Olmsted County to ensure a shared vision for the future of the Olmsted County organization.
  • Playing a significant role in the creation of the Rochester Community Warming Center, an emergency shelter for area adults, in late 2019.
  • Developing a strong organizational structure with divisional leadership and an executive management team. 

“We deeply appreciate the leadership and vision that Heidi brought to Olmsted County,” stated Olmsted County Board Chair Sheila Kiscaden via a press release. “Her skillful management and leadership have laid a strong foundation for Olmsted County to continue delivering innovative solutions to improve residents’ quality of life.”

“Heidi’s leadership fostered a culture of collaboration with various partners throughout our cities, townships, and beyond,” said Olmsted County Vice Board Chair Mark Thein via a press release. “Her legacy of service and impact will be felt for years to come, as she leaves our county better and stronger.”