Associate of the Month: September 2017
All of the cliché compliments have been said about Christina Drews, “a true leader, a can-do and get-the-job-done attitude, never says it’s not my job.” Her co-workers in the Assessment Department even call her the department’s “Google”, because when they have a question about assessment they ask her.
Christina joined the Jackson County Assessment Department in July of 2014 as Research Analyst and was promoted to Exemptions Analyst in January 2017. She turned down the Assessment Systems Administrator position three times in the past year so she can continue to focus on getting her bachelor's degree but, as a result of turning down the position, she's been asked to train three Systems Administrators this year. She continues with this task in addition to her duties as the sole Exemptions staff member.
As if her duties with the County and getting her degree were not enough, Christina is also a single mom raising four children, one with special needs. With all of that going on she still shows up to work every day with a smile on her face and prepared to work.
Christina has the willingness to lead when no one else is available. When the former Systems Administrator left in the middle of vital assessment processes, she took over those tasks and took the lead so the Assessment Systems processes would continue to function seamlessly. Since then, she regularly volunteers her time and takes the initiative to carry out additional responsibilities beyond her "regular job" assignments for the benefit of the department and public service as a whole. During the Informal Review, BOE hearing process and the resulting stipulations; Christina took a large role in sending out emails, checking them off the database list and answering many phones calls from taxpayers who had questions concerning their stipulations. All of this while still handling and processing all Exemptions and meeting regularly with County Counselor staff as part of her regular duties as Exemptions Analyst. Aside from taking over major tasks, she also helped in the transition and training of several new Research Analysts. Christina continues with this as on new staff members are brought in throughout Assessment regularly.
Christina’s attitude often saves the day. She is always willing to take phone calls from taxpayers, especially for the Commercial unit, because of key vacancies in several Assessment Units. This year is a reassessment year and that means double, or even triple, the workload for many staff members in Assessment. That being said, menial tasks are sometimes left hanging in the air without anyone willing to take extra time to see them through. That's when Christina often comes in on weekends or works evenings to get things done! Additionally, during the September taxable value certification process, she stayed in the office until 1O p.m. with other staff and worked over 1 0 hours in a single day multiple times in the same week to make sure the certification process was prepared and completed successfully.
She never says something is not in her job description but focuses on what needs to happen so responsibilities in the department can get taken care of and deadlines are met. Systems Administration is currently her "additional duties” so Christina regularly assists with, and often leads, the systems processes that need to occur on a regular basis. Even though she was promoted to Exemptions Analyst earlier this year, she continues to help train the Systems Administrator and still continues to do Research Analyst work, as needed.
Christina gives excellent, appropriate, innovative and smart input on how to solve pressing issues in the department but is humble enough to take responsibility when something didn't work out exactly as planned. Christina regularly trouble shoots problems in many areas of Assessment including specific calls to taxpayers to resolve or explain an issue; as well as IT-type issues with a particular program or piece of software. It seldom matters whether the issue is with our own IT department or an outside vendor, Christina is always willing and able to dive in and help resolve the issue effectively and efficiently. If and when an occasional error occurs, Christina researches the issue and is always willing to readily admit that she did something wrong if that is, in fact, what the research indicates. She helps to rectify the error by consistently following through until the issue is completed successfully and accurately. Moreover, as a result, she regularly writes department procedure manuals to prevent the same error from happening in the future.