Heflin named Whitfield County's Employee of the Month

Latasha Heflin

Latasha Heflin is excited about her job with the Public Defender’s Office, so much so that she has been named Whitfield County Employee of the Month for December 2020.

The assistant public defender received the award during the Feb. 10 board of commissioners meeting.

“Latasha is very passionate about her job,” said April Reece, who nominated Heflin for the monthly honor. “She is also the attorney over Conasauga Mental Health Court, and she loves all of her clients. She has referred to them as her kids, and she gets so excited when they are doing well in the program and succeeding. She has also been raising money for a local foster home.”

In fact, Heflin works with foster homes to get supplies for the children, including a current fundraiser for suitcases to give children something to hold their belongings when they do have to move from place to place, Reece said.

In 2019, Heflin received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” award.

To let local residents learn more about her, Heflin filled out the following questionnaire.

Name: Latasha Heflin

Job title: Assistant public defender

Time with the county: Two years

Where I went to high school: Carrollton High School

My role as a county employee: To ensure my client’s rights are not violated, and to advocate zealously on their behalf.

What keeps my job interesting: There are several things that keep my job interesting. First, I get to do what I love, which is to debate with the DA’s office about the interpretation of the law. Second, I get to be the voice for someone who cannot necessarily speak for themselves. And lastly, I interact with people from multiple backgrounds, and with each interaction the conversation is different. Thus, this job keeps me on my toes.

What gives me a sense of accomplishment on this job: Knowing that my clients believe that they have someone on their side.

The most important thing I’ve done on my job: Convincing a client to enter into the Conasauga Mental Health Court program.

Where I grew up: Carrollton

Spouse/children: I am not married and do not have any children.

After work I enjoy: Taking naps, reading and working out.

Community activities: I recently volunteered my time to be a mentor for the Level-UP leadership program. The Level-UP was a 10-week leadership program for youth in the seventh through twelfth grades. I am also the founder of a nonprofit organization called Talks with Tasha, which is a platform created to bring awareness to civil and human rights while sharing real world experiences and discussing law practices based on my expertise. Most importantly Talks with Tasha affords me the opportunity to share my personal experiences in foster care and to mentor foster care children who are facing similar experiences.

Hobbies: When I am not inside the courtroom or mentoring kids, I enjoy playing traveling kickball.

Favorite TV show: "Law and Order: SVU"

Favorite movie: "Love and Basketball," "The Great Debaters" and "The Princess and the Frog."

Favorite actor/actress: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett

Favorite meal: I do not have a favorite meal; I simply love food.

Favorite singer: Le’Andria Johnson, a gospel singer.

Favorite Whitfield restaurant: Cyra’s

Favorite Whitfield County event: The Santa in Uniform program.

If you could pick four people you can pick four people to have dinner with (anyone in time in history) who are your four choices?: I would choose only one person, my mother, Katrina Pinkard. I choose my mother because she passed away when I was 10 years old. I was so young. I did not have the chance to say goodbye or tell her that I loved her. I am sure she knew I loved her, like I knew she loved me. But losing her so early in life, I feel like we missed out on sharing so many wonderful moments together. I know she is with me in spirit, but I want us to be able to cry, laugh, smile at all the great things I’ve done and all the obstacles I’ve overcome. I want her to hold me, tell me how proud she is of me, and tell me she loves me.

I am most proud of: Passing the bar and becoming an attorney.

Dog: I have a dog named Marley.

Cake: My favorite cake is red velvet, with pecans.

Cornbread or roll?: Cornbread.

Favorite car: Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon.

Host or be hosted: I like to host and be hosted.

Early riser or sleep-in: I am not a morning person; I prefer to sleep in.

Favorite vacation: Every vacation that I’ve taken is my favorite, because each vacation I experienced something new.

Pet peeve: I dislike being lied on.

If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s: To never become complacent and do whatever makes me happy.

Who has had the most important impact on my life: There is not just one person who has impacted my life. There are multiple people that helped me on my journey, and I appreciate all of them. Just to name a few, all of my foster parents, my first mentor Jan Jackson, my best friend Nathaniel Hendry, my high school basketball coach Shon Thomaston, and my college advisor and friend Darren Abner.

What is left on my bucket list: There is a lot left on my bucket list. I want to skydive. I want to visit Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, India and Austria. I want to travel and experience other cultures. I want to write a book.

If I could have been in any profession of my choosing, I would have been: I would still be an attorney.

If I could have two wishes, they would be: One, to have all of my student loan debt paid off. And two, to be gifted a trip to anywhere in the world I want to go.

You’d be surprised to learn that: I don’t know what people would be surprised to learn about me. Maybe that I was in foster care.

The best advice I ever got: Enjoy the journey.

Anything else you’d like to say: I am truly honored to be nominated and selected to be Employee of the Month. I appreciate the recognition from my co-workers.

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