Employee of the Year, team award honorees announced at county awards night

Catawba County Manager Mick Berry presents the County's 2016 Employee of the Year award to Assistant Chief Financial Officer Jeanne Jarrett at the County's awards night Tuesday.
Staff Writer

special to the o-n-e
Catawba County Assistant Chief Financial Officer Jeanne Jarrett has been named Catawba County’s Employee of the Year for 2016. Jarrett earned distinction for her “above and beyond” work to ensure the County’s Finance Department ran smoothly during the nearly year-long absence of a Finance Director and several other staff transitions during that time.
Jarrett received the honor during the County’s Annual Awards Night October 18 at Catawba Valley Community College’s Tarlton Complex. She has been employed with Catawba County for 14 years.
“It’s rare you find someone who can handle multitasking and attention to detail with such skill,” said Catawba County Chief Financial Officer Bob Miracle, who nominated Jarrett for the award. “All of these extra duties led to some very long workdays. It was no surprise to find Jeanne working late and coming in early. At any given moment, she could be asked to ‘switch hats’ and step up to assist with whatever task was needed. Many people would cave under this tremendous amount of stress; however, Jeanne handled everything with ease and poise.”
Miracle noted several achievements Jarrett accomplished during her tenure as interim director, including her preparation of two key award-winning reports for the County: the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Report, which won the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 27th consecutive year, and the Fiscal Year 2015 Popular Annual Financial Report, which won the Government Finance Officers Association’s Award for Outstanding Achievement for the eighth consecutive year. Jarrett also presented the Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Financial Report and Update to the community, including the Board of Commissioners, community leaders, and local media.
“It’s also worth noting that the Finance Department is known for having a very stable staff with little turnover,” Miracle added. “However, during this time, several employees either retired or moved away. These vacancies added stress and uncertainty for the coworkers left to pick up the slack until new employees could be hired and properly trained. Jeanne was able to keep morale, recognition and job satisfaction high while providing the superb customer satisfaction the department is known for.”
Nine other Catawba County employees were nominated for Employee of the Year for 2016. They included Susan Branch, Business Manager II, Sheriff’s Office; Jennifer Brown, Administrative Assistant I, Sheriff’s Office; Greta Bumgarner, Programmer, GIS Technology; Andrew Hopper, Social Worker Supervisor III, Social Services; Jimmiann Huffman, Economic Services Supervisor, Social Services; Donna Mull, 4-H Extension Agent, Cooperative Extension Service; Thu Ngo, Administrative Assistant I, Social Services; Brandy Watts, Administrative Assistant I, Utilities and Engineering; and Tyler Whisenant, Sergeant, Sheriff’s Office.