Donna Huff was selected the Town of Garner Public Works Department Employee of the Year for 2014 and presented her award at a picnic held by the department in commemoration of National Public Works Week last month. She was selected by her fellow employees after a nomination and election process.
Huff began working with the town full time as an office assistant in December 2000. Her position was reclassified in 2008 to her current title of administrative support specialist.
Since she’s been with the town, Huff has worked hard to improve her skills both on the job and through training. She has completed training in 17 continuing-education courses on various subjects including Microsoft Office, English grammar and Spanish. Huff served her coworkers for two years as a member and secretary of the Public Works Forum. This group is used to bring suggestions and ideas forward in the department and improve communication between management and staff.
She has been heavily involved in helping with Garner’s solid-waste contract proposals and the town’s conversion from approximately 7,800 recycling bins to 65-gallon carts several years ago. Her records are the basis of the Town’s annual NCDENR Solid Waste Report to the state.
“Among our many unsung heroes here at Public Works, we are proud to recognize Donna Huff as our 2014 Public Works Employee of the Year,” Public Works Director Paul Cox said. “Her dedication and willingness to help all who come her way are much appreciated. I am confident that when we receive calls from the public, they will be handled professionally and with courtesy. We are in the service business. Donna’s approach toward her work shows her support of our values of professionalism, partnership and cooperation in delivering excellent service.”
A Garner native, Huff’s family lived next to the old Garner High School on Garner Road where her father ran a produce business and her mother worked at the school cafeteria. She graduated from Garner Senior High School in 1970. Her professional experience includes working for American Defender Life Insurance, First Citizen’s Bank and Northern Telecom. She and her husband spent a year as house parents for 12 children at the Methodist Home in Raleigh.
Prior to joining the town, she and her husband operated a successful solid-waste collection business, Garner Area Disposal Service, from 1980 to 1997. The business was acquired by Waste Industries during a time of industry consolidation in the late 1990s. This experience has proven invaluable in helping manage the Town’s solid-waste contract and providing customer service for the Town’s approximately 11,000 residences.
Along with a plaque recognizing her as Employee of the Year, Huff received an invitation for lunch with Town Manager Hardin Watkins, a fishing pass or shelter rental, a special parking spot and sign at the Public Works complex and a work pass the day of the July 3 Independence Day Celebration at Lake Benson Park, which tends to be the busiest workday—and night—of the year for Public Works staff.