The PLC alumni have always been very proud and dedicated to the current PLC program, its history, and its future. Class members from all four decades engage with the program through selection interviews, class lectures, guest seminars, PLC special events, hosting an experiential weekend overnight, giving donations, networking with students, providing internship and job connections, and serving on the Board of Advocates. Now, through the PLC Alumni Club, the alumni are more engaged than ever.
As a Transportation Section Manager for Salt Lake City, Cris Jones (PLC 1999) is using his role in government to help promote healthier and greener transportation methods, all while helping community members save money along the way. Cris oversees a team that works to improve sustainable transportation in the city, something that Salt Lake City desperately needs considering it has some of the worst air quality in the nation. Cris believes that his role is to allow community members to take part in decisions that affect their everyday life.
Cris gained an interest in government work, and transportation specifically, after being personally affected by it in his hometown of Pueblo, CO. Growing up in a low-income area, Cris and his siblings ended up attending different high schools when the district line that determined whether students got bussed to the good or bad school in town shifted. Looking at the opportunity gap he and his siblings encountered, Cris understood how one government action could make a big impact on an individual’s future.
Cris first entered the transportation sector through an internship in Colorado Springs, he found through PLC, focusing on alternative forms of transportation. After that, Cris spent over 12 years working for the City of Boulder before transferring to his role in Salt Lake City. Cris explains PLC not only helped him get his foot in the door, but it also allowed him access to unique opportunities that gave him a leg up on his competition. He especially loved how through PLC he was surrounded by high achieving individuals, allowing him to see what could be accomplished with a highly capable team – something Cris still aspires to create in his current role and enjoys doing; he advises, “Once you find the thing you are really passionate about, have the stamina to stick with it”. This advice has not only allowed Cris to move up quickly, but it has also helped him find fulfillment in his career.
Outside of his government role, Cris loves traveling, spending time outdoors, and developing relationships outside of his career. Cris firmly believes that is important to be a part of something impactful that is completely separate from his career, leading him to serve on a number of boards including Out Boulder, and the philanthropic arm of Elevations Credit Union. Cris is actively seeking how he can be a better leader and give back to his community, whether that be through his career or through service elsewhere.