Camas, WA – The City of Camas has selected two new department heads: former City of Boulder Deputy Communications Director Bryan Rachal will become Camas’ first-ever director of communications and current University of Portland Associate Vice President for Land Use and Planning Trang Lam will become the director of Parks and Recreation.
“Today I am pleased to announce two wonderful additions to our City of Camas staff,” said City Administrator Jamal Fox. “I am certain they will not only carry on a legacy of excellence within the organization but also bring new ideas for enhancing our commitment and connections to Land, People and Honesty throughout the community.”
Director of Communications: Bryan Rachal
“Bryan’s energy, positivity and overall experience in communications make him the perfect choice for our first director of communications. He is excited to bring his family to Camas and make it their home,” said Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell.
Rachal (pronounced ra-SHALL) has over 12 years of experience and earned his accreditation in public relations (APR) in 2016. As deputy director of communications for the city of Boulder, Colorado, Rachal served as a spokesperson and worked closely with city leaders on cohesive communications strategies.
Prior to joining the Boulder team, Rachal served as the director of university communications for the University of North Alabama. There he managed a team of award-winning professionals in the Office of Communications and Marketing, helping to rebrand the institution. During his time in Alabama, Rachal was a member of Rotary International and served as a board member for Downtown Florence Unlimited.
A storyteller at heart, Rachal has also worked as a reporter for NPR affiliate KUAF in Northwest Arkansas, and as a reporter and news producer for ABC and NBC affiliates in Colorado and Arkansas. Rachal’s credentials include a B.A. in journalism from the School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Rachal has been married to his high school sweetheart, Andrea, since 2006; they have two children, Alex (12) and Annabelle (9). The Rachal family is an outdoors family, enjoying hiking and evening walks with their two Brittany Spaniels, Lolli and Cocoa. They are also a foodie family and look forward to experiencing all the restaurants the area has to offer. Rachal is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fly fishing and skiing.
A graduate of the of the University of Arkansas, you can usually hear Rachal cheering on the Hogs most weekends in the fall. Rachal is a voracious reader of news and books alike and also a movie buff. He’s even named his cat Fredo in honor of his favorite movie of all time, The Godfather.
Director of Parks and Recreation: Trang Lam
“Trang has a true passion for parks,” said McDonnell. “Her leadership and experience combined with her energy will help us take our parks and recreation department into the future.”
Lam comes to the City of Camas with over 20 years of experience in leadership roles at the University of Portland, Portland Parks & Recreation, and Prosper Portland, and as an entrepreneur.
She has led high-performing teams focused on outcomes that promote people’s health and wellbeing through connection to nature and recreation; community development that centers on economic opportunity and prosperity for small business and underserved communities; and, at the University of Portland, the creation of campus spaces that foster a complete learning environment for future leaders, across academia.
Prior to her work as a civil servant and in higher education, she led her family’s fledgling food manufacturing company and grew the company to a traded sector business.
Lam immigrated to Portland when she was four, and her family has called the Pacific Northwest their home ever since. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Portland State University. On her time off, you can find her and her husband in the great outdoors hiking and kayaking.
Timing and Selection
Rachal will begin his communications post Jan. 11. He was selected from a pool of 130 candidates from across the country.
Lam will fill the former role of Jerry Acheson, who retired October 31 after 30 years of service, starting Jan. 25. The city received 60 applications for the parks and recreation position from candidates nationwide.
Both positions were advertised on local, regional, national, and diversity job boards. Prior to selection, each candidate went through a multi-week process that involved input and involvement from all staff levels as well as an initial round of video interviews followed by multiple virtual interviews with a variety of panels.