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County recognizes employee service milestones
5 County service awards pic
Billy Thurmond, director of Dawson County Emergency Services, receives a plaque for 35 years of employment from County Manager Cindy Campbell. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

35 years

Billy Thurmond, emergency services

25 years

Greg Rowan, sheriff's office

20 years

Jennifer Burt, probate court

Lisa Henson, park and recreation

Buffie Hamil, park and recreation

Johnny Holtzclaw, sheriff's office

15 years

Cindy Rayner, tax commissioner's office

10 years

Russell Lowery, sheriff's office

Jeremy Thompson, sheriff's office

Eddie Savage, public works

Greg Yarbrough, emergency services

5 years

Jennifer Alday, magistrate court

Kristan Bean, sheriff's office

Sherry Boatfield, administration

Cindy Campbell, administration

Beth Hill, probate court

Milton Keller, emergency services

Joshua McPherson, sheriff's office

Daniel Sibenaller, sheriff's office

Keith Stratton, transit

Aleisha Rucker, sheriff's office

Bobby Samples, sheriff's office

Tony Tarnacki, magistrate court



Billy Thurmond was still in high school when he first starting working with Dawson County Park and Recreation in the late 1970s.

Now three and a half decades later, he is the longest serving employee in Dawson County government.

His 35-year anniversary was recognized last week during the Dawson County Board of Commissioner's work session meeting.

"I like helping people I know and I've got to do that through my entire career, first with the parks and later in public safety," he said.

Thurmond began his career with Dawson County in 1978 with the parks and recreation department. He also worked in the tax commissioner's office and with dispatch during his first year.

Two years later, he joined emergency services, where he has remained for three decades, climbing the ranks from EMT, to paramedic, to director of emergency medical services and most recently director of emergency services, while also serving as director of emergency management.

Over the years, there were many offers from other counties, with larger departments, better equipment and higher pay, but Thurmond has always been content to stay local.

"There's something to be said that I've never wanted to go anywhere else," he said. "I always told them, ‘no, I have a job already.'"

County Commissioner Gary Pichon praised Thurmond and the nearly two dozen employees also reaching employment milestones who were recognized for their tenure last week.

"I've always thought that accumulated experience brings a certain anchoring to an organization. Billy brings a very broad perspective of experience through those years, which is valuable not only to his own organization but also to the rest of us," he said. "We're lucky to have employees that do have that kind of accumulated, local knowledge."

Dawson County Manager Cindy Campbell, along with human resources director Sherry Boatfield, presented the awards.

"We just wanted to recognize those people for the service ... and just wanted to thank those employees who are celebrating their milestone anniversaries and years of faithful service," Campbell said.