Women's History Month Employee Profile: Rachel Darken
by: David Wermedal, Operations Clerk
For Women’s History Month, we at Fleet want to recognize our Administrative Assistant Rachel Darken who was recently featured in the WIC + Women’s History Month Spotlight. She’s been with Fleet since 2019 and has become the go to person for payroll, ordering fuel, personnel functions, and a litany of other areas and tasks. She’s helped organize the inaugural Fleet Expo. Rachel was also able to work with the IT department this year in getting Fleet on an updated electronic payroll system, thus eliminating the need for paper timecards and furthering Fleet’s departmental goal of being completely paperless. In addition to those projects Rachel coordinates Fleet’s high school apprentice program and works with our partner organizations to facilitate outreach programming for local students. Originally from Madison and a graduate of LaFollette High School, Rachel got a BA in Religion and a minor in International Relations from the University of Rochester in New York.
Those who know Rachel know that traveling and experiencing the diverse cultures of the world are some of her passions. During her time at university she was able to study abroad in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan for a semester (visiting Cairo, Egypt and Istanbul, Turkey while there). She explained that when she travels she prefers to immerse herself in the local culture as much as possible by forgoing the touristy comfort of a modern resort and instead choosing to have journeys like: hitchhiking back from the Dead Sea in the cab of a dump truck, picnicking on a remote beach in Sagres, Portugal, or enjoying a New Year’s Eve fireworks show in Costa Rica. Other stamps in her passport include France, Germany, Austria, Italy, the Bahamas, and Croatia. She’s eagerly awaiting the next adventure post-pandemic!As the Vice Chair of the Women’s Initiatives Committee (WIC), she’s gotten to know many amazing people from many different areas of City government and worked closely with the Multicultural Affairs Committee (MAC) and other organizations to make a larger impact in our workplace culture. She notes that WIC has been “integral in championing inclusive policies to make the City of Madison a truly equitable workplace”, policies like the inclusive workplace APM 2-52 and the lactation policy.
When Rachel isn’t in the office, she enjoys spending time and doing outdoor activities with her husband Dan and 15 month old son Colin. Dan is a City of Madison employee with the Madison Police Department in the Information Management and Technology division. Rachel’s father also works for the City of Madison; he’s been a driver at Metro Transit since 2014. She’s looking forward to an upcoming summer with many safe and healthy visits with family and friends and showing Colin all the beautiful places and events the City of Madison has to offer, specifically the Henry Vilas Zoo (always fun for the whole family!). We thank Rachel for her continued commitment to Fleet and the City of Madison. We appreciate you Rachel!