Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Town’s executive assistant honored as top employee

When Jonesborough’s Administrative Assistant Virginia Causey learned last December that she had been selected as the town’s Employee of the Year, she was both surprised and delighted.
But that was 2015.
Now it is 2016, and Causey is too busy to even think much about last year’s honor.
In fact, she may be more determined than ever to make sure everyone who crosses her path has an even better experience this year than in the last.
“I have been here 33 years,” she said, accompanying her comment with her characteristic warm, bright and welcoming smile. “I have sort of assumed a mother role.”
That role applies to each and every employee with the Town of Jonesborough, Causey explained, as well as any community member reaching out to Town Hall for everything from clarification to edification.
“I think the public relations with the customers is very important to me, answering the phones and answering their questions,” Causy said. She also has worked hard in her more than three decades with the Town of Jonesborough to build and reinforce the family atmosphere of which town officials are so proud.
“It makes me feel good that people now call me (when they need something,)” Causey said. “If an employee is really in need, we try to help.”
She also is usually the driving force behind birthday parties, get well cards and the town’s prayer list.
“I just enjoy helping,” Causey said. “They seem to love to talk to me and ask my guidance. It makes me feel like they trust me.”
Causey’s care for her fellow employees is one of the things that garnered her this latest recognition.
“Virginia was the one that showed me the how-to’s,” said Senior Center Director Mary Sanger, one of three relatively new town employees who nominated Causey. “Anytime I had a question, you could just call and ask her anything.”
Sanger, along with Town Environmental Services Director Coburn Rasnick and Water Treatment Director Jonathon Lucas, each had experiences with Causey as new employees with the town that stood out in their minds, and they wanted to see her honored.
“The neat thing is these are the three newest supervisors,” Sanger said. “She really knows how to make the staff feel welcome.”
Mayor Kelly Wolfe agrees.
“Virginia is an institution in Jonesborough,” Wolfe said. “Her love for her coworkers and for our family atmosphere is legendary.”
Yet while Causey may be a source of great warmth in Town Hall, she is definitely more than a big heart, co-workers say. She is also, at a minimum, the grease that keeps the administrative gears turning or — even perhaps — the power behind the town administrator’s chair.
“We’ve worked so long together, she knows what my expectations are,” Town Administrator Bob Browning said. “You learn from each other. I think we’ve grown together.”
Today, Causey helps Browning with everything from grant proposals to meeting agendas. She knows where everything is, he said, and is usually right in step for what he needs and when he needs it.
“She has a very strong desire to be part of the solution,” Browning said. “That’s just as strong today as it was 30 years ago.”
With more than 30 years in, Causey admits she has been looking at retiring and has been trying to prepare the town — as well as herself — for the moment she is finally ready to lay down her administrative assistant’s pen.
For both Wolfe and Browning, this is not a moment they will welcome.
“We know Virginia will retire one day,” Wolfe said. “We know she is probably at the end of her career. But we savor every moment and enjoy every opportunity to be around her at town hall. In today’s world, Wolfe added, you don’t usually see people staying in one place and in one job for so long, Nor, he said, ones who are so dedicated to the people they serve.
“God isn’t making any more Virginia Causeys,” Wolfe said.
And the hole she will leave, Browning acknowledges, will be tremendous.
“It’s not who are we going to get to replace her,” Browning said simply. “It’s who are the people we are going to get to replace her.”