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Our Organization

City of Arvada Mission, Vision and Values

Vision: We Dream Big and Deliver
Mission: We are dedicated to delivering superior services to enhance the lives of everyone in our community.
Values: Innovation - We excel in creativity, flexibility and the use of best practices while valuing diverse backgrounds, ideas and perspective.

Passion - We are a high performing, inclusive team inspiring each other to pursue excellence.

Opportunity - We value our diversity, embrace possibilities, face challenges, persevere and take action to deliver quality results.


The City employs just over 725 full time employees and 300 temporary/seasonal employees. Together, we provide essential services to residents through our municipal court, community and economic development, parks, golf, hospitality, housing, police, public works, and utilities departments. Several internal support service departments including human resources, finance, legal, and information technology assist in accomplishing the City’s mission. Our organization is not only a great place to work; our employees are dedicated to making Arvada a great place to live.

Our Organizational Awards

The City of Arvada dedicates itself to performance excellence and has been recognized for customer focused excellence, societal responsibility, performance management, and visionary leadership.

  • Arvada’s continuing journey to excellence has been recognized by the Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence Institute with both the “Foothills” and the “Timberline” performance awards.
  • Our finance department has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for 38 years.
  • The Arvada Police Department has been setting the standard for excellence since 1945 and has been named a flagship agency by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • The City has also been recognized as a Top Workplace by the Denver Post.
    • The Top Workplace designation is based on a comprehensive employee survey that provides feedback on employee engagement and satisfaction. We have participated in the survey every three years since 2012 and been recognized each time, most recently in 2021.

Our Organizational Culture

The culture of an organization can be related to the human body’s DNA.  Culture determines how everything else in the organization operates, reflecting deeply held values and beliefs.  In 2016, the City embarked on a process to re-define and improve our organizational culture. Some 80 employees at all levels of the organization participated in this process, drafting our Vision, Mission, and Values Statements that define both who we are and what we want to be. The City of Arvada’s Organizational Development initiative is a deliberately planned, organization-wide effort to become a high-performing, results-oriented, and customer-focused organization.

Background of Our Organizational Culture Development

Under the leadership of City Manager Mark Deven, the City of Arvada embarked on an Organizational Development (OD) initiative in 2014 with the understanding that while our organization and our culture were already good—as evidenced by our 2012 and 2015 Denver Post Top Workplace awards—we needed to establish a formal process to sustain and enhance this high-performing organization.  We needed to ensure that our systems and structures aligned with our values.  Why?  Because the demands on local government are changing, and therefore the City of Arvada must continually improve to meet those changing demands and needs, maintaining its reputation as a great city, a great place to work, and most importantly an organization that provides excellent services for our citizens.

This initiative was many faceted.  Establishing new Vision, Mission, and Value Statements was simply the beginning.  Developing those statements from the bottom up—rather than implemented from the top down—was a critical component that required many months of conversation and ideas among dozens of employees at all levels representing all departments.  Armed with these new statements, Arvada’s employees now reflect on how they impact them in their daily work—whether they are patrolling the streets, mowing the grass, processing payroll, programming computers, plowing snow, or approving development plans. 

Other Elements of the OD Initiative Included:

  • Restructuring the City’s hiring process
    • Ensure the best talent are in the proper positions and best prepared for the changing demands of each job
  • A new performance review process
    • Create a culture of accountability
    • Evaluate employees based on the organization’s Vision, Mission, and Values.
  • Embracing process improvement and innovation
    • Maximize collaboration across City functions to best leverage the synergies of an aligned, efficient operation
  • Integrating the FOCUS Performance Management initiative
    • Hold regular performance management meetings and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of our programs and services
    • Provide performance management “dashboards” and other forms of performance reports on the City’s website for citizens to review and provide comments
  • Intentionally seeking broader and more consistent citizen feedback
    • Create additional opportunities for citizens to respond to surveys beyond the citizen survey conducted every two years
    • Expand opportunities for citizens to engage with the City within neighborhoods

 This is our journey to becoming excellent and be among the “Best of the Best.”