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Aitkin Excellence!

All in!

Collaboration, Integrity
A Tale of
All in!
Contributed by

Bobbie Danielson

Employee Spotlight

Chris Hagen


Tourism, Improved External Relationships, Improved Services

All in!

We are excited to share a story about a remarkable woman named Chris Hagen, who worked at Aitkin County's Long Lake Community Center (LLCC). Chris had been the Food Service Coordinator at LLCC for 25 years, starting her journey on January 3, 1995, and retiring on January 3, 2020. Her unwavering dedication made her one of the hardest workers in the county. Tragically, she passed away on September 1, 2020, at the age of 62, leaving behind a legacy of kindness and service.

Chris's passion for nature and her community extended far beyond her role as Food Service Coordinator. She selflessly volunteered her time and expertise for various environmental causes, including the loon study, phenology programs, Monarch tagging initiatives, and teaching birding classes. These endeavors were not part of her job responsibilities; Chris wholeheartedly embraced them out of her genuine love for these programs and her desire to share their wonders with children who may not have otherwise experienced them. The joy she witnessed on the children's faces fueled her dedication. Chris firmly believed that every child should have the opportunity to connect with nature firsthand, which motivated her to go above and beyond her duties at LLCC.

During slow periods at work, Chris would spring into action, taking on additional tasks without being asked and without a single complaint. She cleaned, mowed the lawn, tended to the gardens, pulled weeds, painted—she did whatever needed to be done to ensure that LLCC was a welcoming and well-maintained space for everyone. Her tireless efforts reflected her exceptional work ethic and commitment to her colleagues and the community.
Moreover, Chris's punctuality and dedication were unwavering. She rarely missed a day of work, unless it was planned time off, a family emergency, or when she was genuinely too ill to attend. Her reliability and dependability were exceptional, setting a standard for professionalism in the organization.
Chris Hagen embodied the core values of Aitkin County's local government in numerous ways. Her commitment to innovation was evident through her involvement in the phenology programs and Monarch tagging, where she brought creative solutions and educational opportunities to the community. Her collaborations with fellow volunteers and her teaching of birding classes demonstrated her dedication to working together to achieve common goals.
However, it was Chris's people-focus that truly stood out. Her selfless actions and involvement in various volunteer activities showcased her deep care for others—be it the children attending LLCC or the wider community.

By providing opportunities for children to explore nature, she contributed to their personal growth, education, and well-being. Chris's impact reached beyond the walls of LLCC, leaving an indelible mark on the citizens of Aitkin County.

Though Chris's retirement was cut tragically short, her legacy will forever inspire others to embody the values of innovation, collaboration, people-focus, professionalism, and integrity. Her commitment to the mission and purpose of LLCC, her boundless generosity, and her love for nature and the community will continue to resonate, creating a ripple effect that fosters a stronger connection between Aitkin County employees and the citizens they serve. In memory of Chris Hagen, her dedication and selflessness will serve as a beacon, reminding others of the profound impact one individual can make within a local county government.

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