A five-year veteran of Ottawa City Manager Richard Nienstedt’s staff is leaving to accept a position with the City of Gardner.

Leslie Quillen, executive assistant to the Ottawa city manager, said she has accepted a position as executive assistant to the city administrator of Gardner. Her last day with the City of Ottawa is scheduled to be Friday.

Nienstedt announced Quillen’s departure during the Ottawa City Commission’s Monday study session at City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa.

Quillen has been a valued member of the city’s staff and has done a tremendous job, Nienstedt said.

“I want to thank Leslie for all she has done for the city,” he said.

Quillen thanked Nienstedt and city commissioners for the opportunity to work for the city and serve the community.

“It’s been an honor and a pleasure,” she said.

Sara Caylor, Ottawa mayor, also thanked Quillen for her service.

The search for Quillen’s successor is ongoing, Nienstedt said.

Quillen agreed to help train her successor when the position is filled, she said.

“Ottawa has been very good to me,” Quillen said. “It’s hard to leave a job you love, but this new position will give me an opportunity to grow professionally and do some other things.”

Quillen does not plan to move, she said.

“I’ll be staying in Ottawa, and I want to remain involved in the community as much as I can,” she said.