Perez named Whitfield County employee of the month for May

Valeria Perez

Valeria Perez may be in the Whitfield County Human Resources Department, but her efforts are paying benefits for other departments, too.

Take, for example, the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, where three staff members have been so impressed with Perez’s work that they successfully nominated her as Employee of the Month for May.

“Over the course of the last several months, I have had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Perez on several new projects conducted by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office,” says one of the nominators, Jose Rivera. “During these occasions, Mrs. Perez has always gone above and beyond to help our office with each of these projects. She exhibits great problem-solving skills, works well under deadlines, and has an infectious personality that creates a great working environment.”

According to Rivera, Perez helped with the interview process conducted by the sheriff’s office to implement a bilingual polygraph examiner, providing the interview oral board with directives on the questions that should be asked of each applicant “which ultimately resulted in the most qualified candidate being found,” Rivera said.

He called Perez’s interpersonal skills, bilingual abilities and dedication to assist co-workers in any Whitfield County department “an invaluable asset to have in our Human Resources Department.”

Another leader at the sheriff’s office, Paul Woods, praised Perez for her help on several projects during the past year.

“Recently the sheriff’s office was attempting to venture out into the world of Facebook advertising and didn’t know where to start or even how to start this project,” Woods said. “Again, like many times before, we reached out to Valeria for her guidance on a difficult situation. As usual, she was excited to assist the sheriff’s office and took this project to the next level.”

He said Perez designed, implemented and produced the sheriff’s office Facebook ad for employment, which is netting more than a 300 percent increase in applicants.

A third sheriff’s office worker, Daniel Jones, also praised Perez for her help with a recruiting advertisement.

“She went above and beyond for me,” Jones said. “Not only did she facilitate the actual construction of our ad, she posted it and kept me in the loop as to what was going on until she left for her honeymoon. Her work led us to getting the sheriff’s office in front of countless people.

“We’re very lucky to have someone of Valeria’s caliber working on our team,” Jones said. “She answers questions quickly and doesn’t ever hesitate to assist. Her turnaround time on calls is short, and she is always over the top helpful.”

To give local residents an insight into her personality, Perez filled out the following fun questionnaire.

Job title: Human Resources Specialist.

Time with the county: Four years in August.

Where I went to high school: Gordon Central High School.

My role as a county employee: Assist all Whitfield County departments with their HR tasks, including recruiting and on-boarding.

What keeps my job interesting: My co-workers!

What gives me a sense of accomplishment on the job: I love helping people and I feel like I get to do that in my current position. I love learning new things and being able to apply them to my everyday work.

The most important thing I’ve done on the job: We wear many hats in Human Resources, but one of the most challenging tasks is developing new techniques to help departments increase their applicant pool and make sure all new hires have a positive on-boarding experience.

Where I grew up: I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, but grew up in Resaca.

Family: I live with my husband, Wilmer, and our dog, Jax. I come from a large family, and I love each and every one of them! My parents, Daniel and Cristina Perez, live here in Georgia, with my youngest sister. I have two sisters and one brother, who live in Texas with their spouses and my nieces and nephews. My in-laws also live here in Georgia.

After work, I enjoy: Reading (mystery novels, mostly), working out, the occasional Netflix binge and spending time with my friends and family.

Community activities: Volunteering with my church, coaching recreational soccer for the youth and teens.

Favorite TV show: I can’t pick just one! "Game of Thrones," "Friends," "Law & Order: SVU," "Designated Survivor."

Favorite sport/sport team: Dallas Cowboys football — you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl!

Favorite meal: Anything with french fries.

Favorite song: “First Date” by Blink 182.

Favorite Whitfield County restaurant: Cherokee and Spiced Apple.

Favorite Whitfield County event: Concerts at Burr Park, Dalton block parties.

You can pick four people to have dinner with (anyone from any time in history) — who are your four people and why? Martin Luther King Jr. — He was such an important person in the civil rights movement and helped change history for the better. Mother Teresa — She devoted her life to serving people and received the Nobel Peace Prize. Stephen King — He is my favorite author, and I would love to hear his scary stories in person. Ellen DeGeneres — She is constantly helping people and is hilarious.

I’m most proud of: My nieces and nephews. They are the coolest little people to be around.

Cats or dogs? Dogs.

Cake or pie? Both.

Host or be hosted? Both.

Early riser or sleep-in? Sleep-in!

Favorite vacation ever? My honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.

Best teacher you ever had: I am lucky to have had many amazing teachers, but Mrs. Shannon Rainwater was my favorite.

Pet peeve: When people are mean just to be mean.

If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s: Being positive is better than being negative.

Who has had the most impact on my life? My parents — They’re the reason I am who I am today.

What’s left on my bucket list? There’s still a lot I want to see and do, but the first thing that comes to mind is catching a huge monster catfish!

If I could have been in any profession of my choosing, I would have been an: FBI agent. (I can’t imagine myself being this cool.)

If I could have two wishes, they would be: 1. Clean oceans and lands. 2. A hate-free world.

You’d be surprised to learn that I: Really enjoy fishing. Ever since I was a kid, I’d go with my Dad. I even caught a pretty tuna deep sea fishing in Miami.

The best advice I ever got: “You live and learn.”

Anything else you’d like to say: I am so grateful to have been chosen for May 2019 Employee of the Month! Thank you to those who nominated me and the kind words you’ve said. I love being a part of Whitfield County!

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