Town Hall Thoughts

by Jennifer Montrose, Marketing & Technology Specialist- Human Resources

The semi-annual Town Hall meeting was held May 22nd at the Libbie Mill Library; this time with a slightly different format than ones in the past. This Town Hall had a panel of five employees, each with about 40 years of service for Henrico. Each person in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions, listen and learn about each of the panelists experiences and knowledge working for the County. In return, Demetria D. Edwards (Library Circulation Supervisor), Megan Ambrose (Business Supervisor Finance), and Brian Viscuso (IT Manager) were asked about their experience attending the Town Hall meeting.

  1. What were your overall thoughts on the Town Hall Meeting?
    • “I enjoyed the informal format of the meeting. The format allowed County leaders and employees the opportunity to connect and share information with one another. The panelists motivated several of the employees in attendance, including myself, to create a self-development plan and take advantage of career resources like the Emerging Leaders Certification Program, the Leadership Development Program, the Career Development Program, and other courses available through the County’s Human Resources Department.” –Demetria D. Edwards
    • “I loved the format of this meeting. It was focused more so on employee experiences than in the past. I enjoyed getting to hear about how each employee began their work with the County over 40 years ago, what has changed over time, and what they have enjoyed about their work.” –Megan Ambrose
  2. Did you learn anything new about Henrico County and the employees who currently work here?
    • “Interacting directly with other staff helps you gain perspective as well as build a network within the County, both are vital to sustaining “The Henrico Way.” The other thing that was reinforced was how dedicated to the County each panelist was. It was clearly visible they all see the County as being much more than just a job, but a sense of community as well. Many of the panelists have 40, or near 40, years of service. All of them could easily retire and move on. But their sense of dedication… to continue to contribute is what motivates them to keep coming to work every day.” –Brian Viscuso
    • “Yes. I learned that Henrico County has grown rapidly in a short period of time. Many of the panelists mentioned how several of the current commercial areas were rural farmland when they started working for the County. I also learned that several employees attending the meeting have worked for the County for twenty or more years. It’s very rare today to have such a high employee retention rate.” –Demetria D. Edwards
  3. How can what you learned at the Town Hall, help you in your current role?
    • “You should enjoy what you do, make friends, and build relationships with employees in other departments. We are all working towards the same goal, and that is to serve our citizens the “Henrico Way.” –Megan Ambrose
    • “It helped reinforce the need to always reach out to other staff when possible to help achieve the combined vision of service for the County. It also made me feel lucky to work at a place where my contributions do matter and that there is more to the job than just financial reward.” –Brian Viscuso
  4. What is something new you would like to see at an upcoming Town Hall?
    • “I think these meetings play an essential role in creating opportunities for interdepartmental collaboration. In the future, the County might try a Virtual Town Hall to accommodate those employees who cannot attend in person.” –Demetria D. Edwards
    • “Having a panel discussion was very enlightening. However, most of the discussion focused on the past to the present. There wasn’t much discussion about the present and into future. Having some shorter tenured and younger employees on the panel to hear their thoughts on the County’s future would have been great to compare against the past.” –Brian Viscuso
  5. Any additional thoughts or comments?
    • “It would be nice to see how our hard work, new initiatives and or outreach is realized either for Henrico citizens or internally. Having a citizen come in and speak to the value or impact of an interaction or service they received would be a great motivator and help personalize our everyday efforts.” –Brian Viscuso
    • “I have worked for two other localities, neither of which hosted Employee Town Halls. It was nice to have the opportunity to communicate directly with County leaders and with employees from different departments about the current and future goals of the County.” –Demetria D. Edwards