Jenni Byers presently holds the position of Interim Director of Economic and Community Development for the City of Bakersfield. Since 2005, she has progressively broadened her technical expertise, experience in the public sector, and dedication to service while employed by three distinct public agencies. Her career commenced as the Community Development Department Secretary for the City of Porterville. She was subsequently promoted to Assistant City Planner, then advanced to Project Manager, ultimately achieving the role of Community Development Director in 2014. In 2020, she relocated to the City of Lakeport, assuming the position of Community Development Director. During this tenure, she diligently addressed the challenges posed by a five-year period where 70% of Lake County had experienced wildfires, focusing on assisting affected businesses and addressing the emerging housing crisis. In 2022, with her family still residing in Kern County, she returned home to serve as the Assistant Director of Economic and Community Development and presently serves as the Interim Director.
Jenni thrives on the challenge of striking a balance between the community's needs and the regulations and requirements of the city and state. Being a Bakersfield native, she feels a personal connection to the Quality of Life initiatives affirmed in the strategic goals established by the City Council and the community through the passage of the Public Safety and Public Vitality sales tax measure. Through this measure, the City Council reinstated the Economic and Community Development Department, adopting both the Economic Development Strategic Plan and the Affordable Housing Strategy. Jenni currently oversees a team of 18 professionals in Economic Development, Neighborhood Vitality, Affordable Housing, and Community Development.