To put an end to the biggest headaches City Hall faces in the world of permitting, we work to understand exactly the pain you and your colleagues face.
That’s precisely why our Government Services team helps set OpenCounter apart in the GovTech space. They’re our in-house experts with deep experience in the public sector, who know first-hand how complex zoning, permitting, and licensing can be — and the problems they cause municipal teams every single day.
And that bench of permitting experts just got even deeper, now that Rachel Meng, OpenCounter’s new Support Analyst and Trainer, has joined the OpenCounter team.
Turning Public Sector Experience into Permitting Expertise
Rachel joins OpenCounter fresh off a year of traveling and finishing up her degree in business after six years with the City of Orlando. She first joined the city as a permit technician (certified by the International Code Council) and later worked as the city’s customer service supervisor. In that time, she worked in all areas of permitting — from residential, commercial, and right-of-way permitting to business licensing — to support some of the city’s most prominent organizations, including Universal Studios, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, and major utility providers like Spectrum, Verizon, and Duke Energy.
For Rachel, the brightest moments in her time in Orlando showed her exactly how vital and impactful her work was to the city and its people.
“The project I’m proudest of was working on the re-opening of the Camping World Stadium, a 75,000-seat arena that hosts large-scale sporting events like the annual Citrus Bowl and concerts featuring the biggest names in music,” she said.
“I was the stadium’s designated permit technician, so I managed the end-to-end process for every one of their permits, from intake to issuance. Because of the role I played, I was invited to the grand re-opening event and was left in awe, witnessing months of hard work become a reality in which tens of thousands of people could come together and celebrate a new chapter for one of the city’s premier venues.”
Rachel’s time in Orlando was also her first experience working with OpenCounter.
“The city was upgrading many of its technical platforms, and I worked directly with Linh Vuong, Director of OpenCounter’s Government Services team, to test and launch the latest version of Orlando’s OpenCounter portals. That project was incredibly rewarding every step of the way, and I realized how much I love automation and streamlining processes.”
“It was amazing to take everything I learned working with Linh and her team and apply it to other permitting innovation projects. Over time, I was able to help hundreds of Orlando’s businesses — from small brick-and-mortar shops to international corporations — realize their dreams.”
Bringing a Career of Customer Service to OpenCounter
From the age of 18, when Rachel started her first job as a ground staff agent at Los Angeles International Airport, she’s been driven by helping people — a trait we’re thrilled she’s bringing to OpenCounter. As our first-ever Support Analyst and Trainer, Rachel will support our clients in training and post-implementation support so they can make the most out of their OpenCounter investment. Given her experience in permitting for local governments, she knows the challenges City Hall teams across the country face — and what it takes to overcome those chronic headaches.
“I’ve loved seeing the immediate impact OpenCounter has on cities and their constituents. No one should be deterred from starting a new business or making improvements to their homes because of complex municipal codes and ordinances,” she said.
“What I’m looking forward to most being at OpenCounter is transforming those dense webs of information into simple language everyone can easily understand. I see my role as a sort-of technological evangelist, working with clients to show how OpenCounter’s products can help them do their jobs better every day and make permitting easier — and more accessible — for all. I find true joy in helping people improve their lives.”
We couldn’t agree more, Rachel. Glad to have you on the team!