Valdosta Mayor John Gayle honored Deborah White as the May 2019 Employee of the Month at the May 9, City Council meeting. White received a framed certificate, a check for $200, and her name will appear on a plaque displayed in City Hall.
Mrs. Deborah White began her employment with the City of Valdosta in 1977 in the Parks and Recreation Department. In 2001, she became the Utilities Operations Coordinator with the Utilities Department. The Utilities Operations Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the operations of the administration division of the Utilities Department.
During her 42 years of service, Mrs. White has exemplified herself as a professional. She has mentored her staff, worked tirelessly to improve operations and efficiency, as well as personified the definition of commitment, loyalty, duty, and trust. Her passion for helping people is shone by the way she has touched many employees in our Department, whether to offer condolences during a meaningful moment in their lives or to ensure adherence to a City practice or policy.
Being an employee for the City of Valdosta has never been just a job for Mrs. White. Currently, she is serving on the Employee Relations Committee and as a Commissioner on the Public Housing Authority Committee. Mrs. White constantly strives to reach out and make a difference in our community. As an example, Mrs. White co-operates a candy and soda store called "The Little Corner Store" in the Utilities Department. When asked why we had these provisions, she stated, "It was initially started to help the men because they would often come in from the field, having missed lunch, or extremely hot and thirsty. They could leave an IOU and get a drink, cookies, or chips for .50 cents. But after a while, the funds had grown to the point that something had to be done with the money. It was then the "Little Corner Store" began to make donations to various charity groups throughout the City." Those groups include LAMP, Police Department, Fire Department, The Haven, The Children’s Advocacy Center, Relay for Life, and the American Heart Association. On average these donations have exceeded $5,000 per year. Mrs. White has also been instrumental in assisting in the Great Promise Partnership program. Last year one of the students received a check to help with his college tuition compliments of "The Little Corner" store.
Another example occurred when one of our Utility employees was diagnosed with a medical condition that caused him to use all of his sick leave hours. Mrs. White jumped into action and spearheaded a fundraising effort to help alleviate the employee's financial burden. The Utilities Department held luncheons, dinners, sold snack items and collected donations to help benefit the employee. Thanks to Deborah's leadership, the employee was able to endure financially until other means of income was made available.
It is because of her dedicated service and contributions as an outstanding public servant that Deborah White has been honored as the May Employee of the Month.