Shown in the picture are: Dean Ringle (Executive Director of the CEAO), Karen Heinrichs (Adm. Asst., Mercer County Engineer), Jim Wiechart (Mercer County Engineer), Chris Bauserman (President of the CEAO, Delaware County Engineer)

Karen Heinrichs, Administrative Assistant at the Mercer County Engineer’s Office recently received the statewide award for the County Engineer Staff Person of the Year at the recently held County Commissioners of Ohio CCAO / County Engineers Association of Ohio CEAO Annual Winter Conference.

In his nomination to the Recognition Committee, Mercer County Engineer, Jim Wiechart provided the basis of his recommendation…

Karen Heinrichs began work with the Mercer County Engineer’s Office on February 22, 2005.  She began work at our office with the challenging initial circumstance of a very short transition period taking over the Account Clerk II position.  Karen very quickly demonstrated her financial management skills and clerical acumen.  In a small county engineer office, each staff person has to be able to multi-task and master a variety of skill sets to help achieve the overall mission of the office.  Karen continued, improved and built upon the computerization and technology as related to the entire financial side of the office as well as the numerous clerical/administrative tasks that were set before her.  Karen’s detail oriented efforts, per pleasant, professional personality and her pride, determination and willingness in doing a job “right” are a credit to her as an employee and the diligent public servant she is.  Her efforts allow her to manage multiple tasks while working very well in a team environment with others.


In 2013, she had additional responsibilities added to her plate as she was promoted to the Administrative Assistant position adding many additional duties to an already full plate.  In particular in the later part of her time with our office, three elements stand out as meritorious.  With a calm professional tenacity she was instrumental in working through the exceedingly bureaucratic process of getting an “approved” fringe rate through the ODOT Office of Finance.  Secondly, and more consequentially, for the numerous federal and state funded projects we have been involved in through the years, she greatly helps keep me out of trouble by being my right hand as it relates to attending to the voluminous and myriad array of red-tape ever present in this public work.  Lastly, she was instrumental in applying for and obtaining 0% interest financing in the necessary loans which helped make the construction of the Mercer County Engineer’s Facility a reality.  Karen participated in the Commissioners Clerks & Engineers Administrative Professional Association.  Her efforts throughout the years, behind the scenes back in Mercer County, have helped to allow me to be as involved in our Statewide Association as I am.