Photos of new Garfield County Finance Director Jamaica Watts and new Contracts and Procurement Director Scott Henriksen.

Watts named Garfield County finance director

Henriksen takes on new role as procurement and contracts director

August 31, 2022

Garfield County has elevated two of its own into important roles in both the finance and procurement departments. Jamaica Watts has taken the reins as the county’s new finance director and Scott Henriksen has been named the new procurement and contracts director.

Formerly the county’s procurement and contracts director, Watts assumed the finance director role in an interim fashion in mid-April and has accepted the position full-time. Henriksen moved into the procurement director’s seat after three years as the county’s construction contracts administrator.

Watts first served in local government for more than eight years at Eagle County, where she moved up from the mail room to the finance department. She then accepted the procurement director position at Garfield County, where she has worked for the past 12 years.

“My first job at Eagle County was in the mail room, working under the county commissioners and administration,” she said. “Working in that mail room is when I first knew that I loved local government. I was immersed in that world so quickly.”

Former Finance Director Theresa Wagenman left the county in 2021, and Garfield County Human Services Finance Administrator Lea Ann Zinnikas had filled the role on a temporary basis. Watts then took the reins from Zinnikas and rediscovered her love of finance. She said working with the skilled team in the finance department made the move very enticing.

“The idea of going back to my roots was exciting,” Watts said. “But working with that dedicated, resilient team is what helped me reach this decision. This is a great opportunity, and I am excited to take it on.”

In April, the Garfield County Finance Department earned the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (ACFR) for 2020, making the 13th straight year it achieved such honors. The award is presented to state and local governments that prepare financial documents at the highest quality, meeting all mandatory criteria.

Henriksen named new procurement director
Henriksen, who worked in construction management for more than 14 years before joining Garfield County, has a wealth of experience and remains in a department he knows well. He first served as procurement specialist for two years before ascending to construction contracts administrator.

While at Arizona State University, Henriksen was the sole recipient of the Del E. Webb School of Construction’s “Outstanding Senior Graduate Award.” In the private sector, he worked with purchasing, value engineering, bidding, and contracts, having supervised teams of employees.

“The things I most appreciate about working in procurement is the structure we bring to purchasing goods and services for the taxpayer, and ensuring that things are done in a fair, equitable, and transparent manner,” Henriksen said. “We bring the best value to the county that we can, and we have a very structured way of doing that.”

He noted that structure and organization are very important in the procurement process, all of which matches with his personality. Henriksen said that the opportunity came as a surprise, but one that he had to take advantage of.

“Working in procurement fits well with who I am,” he said. “I’d never envisioned that I’d have the opportunity to move into this position, but when Jamaica told me she was transferring and how excited she was about her new role, it lit that fire in me to take on a new challenge as well.”
Henriksen said that thanks to Watts’ efforts over the years, the procurement team is a very cohesive, professional, and high-functioning group.

“I am excited to lead going forward and build on that strong foundation,” he said.