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Smith County Employee Recognitions

Mandy Zehren plans to spend her entire career helping probationers in Smith County.

After working 20 years for the Smith County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (Adult Probation), Mrs. Zehren is well on her way.

“I like being able to help the probationers realize they can change their lives if they want to,” she said of what she loves most about her job. “I like to help them make positive changes in their lives.”

Ms. Zehren was studying biology in college when her friends told her about a criminal justice course. She took a class to try it out and became hooked, she said. At 22 years old, she started out as a probation officer for misdemeanor offenders and admittedly had no clue what she was doing. But she learned fast and after three years, she moved to felony courts. When a civil program was created to supervise people ordered to pay child support, Mrs. Zehren became the only probation officer for that program, which now has eight officers.

Mrs. Zehren was promoted in January to supervisor. She oversees a unit that consists of employees who conduct pre-sentence investigations, pretrial, community service coordinator and three probation officers. “I just love it over here; I love the people,” she said. “We’re like a family.”

She was honored for 20 years of service to the county by the Commissioners Court on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

Deputy Director Janet Fugler said it has been a pleasure to work with Mrs. Zehren for 20 years.

Also during Commissioners Court, Esmerelda Delmas, Human Resources Coordinator, was recognized for earning The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) certification. The organization is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. SHRM provides education, thought leadership, certification, community and advocacy to enhance the practice of human resource management and the effectiveness of HR professionals in the organizations and communities they serve.

Ms. Delmas has been the HR coordinator for Smith County for more than a year. She also worked as a probation officer for the Adult Probation Department for six years. Ms. Delmas said she was able to get the SHRM certification because of her bachelor’s degree in human resources, as well as her experience in the field. She had to take a course and study six books before taking the test.

“It’s a personal accomplishment for me,” she said of the certification. “It proves that I know the HR field.”

As HR Coordinator, Ms. Delmas handles employee medical leaves, terminations, unemployment claims, employee interviews and new hire orientations. “I like being able to help people,” she said.

Other employees recognized this month for years of service to Smith County include:

10 Years: Alex Jones and Wendell Kelley, Sheriff’s Department; and Alma Spencer, Adult Probation.

5 Years: Keven Fite, District Attorney’s Office; and Tim Maloney, Constable Precinct 2.

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