July 15th marks the last day for a long time CRESA employee, Karen Murphy, who will be beginning a new chapter of her life. When I asked her if I could share a little about her and this new journey she gladly said yes, as long as it wasn't about her.
Those of you that know Karen, know how fitting that statement is for her, and the role she has played as the Human Resource Manager for CRESA for so many years. Karen has always looked out for those of us that work here at CRESA, making each and everyone of us her priority, the best that she could. Karen has viewed her role as "serving in a position that supports the people that serve the public."
As we continued down memory lane she reflected on when she came to work directly for CRESA and that major turning point for the agency. "CRESA turned the page from being a large, small agency as we emerged to a small. large agency." Prior to that time, CRESA contracted, like we did for some other services through the county for HR services. The realization that "we had grown to the point we needed to have our own HR personnel and IT in house was a major step for CRESA . The agency really began to blossom." The agency grew from a philosophy that by creating a regional model, we could add services, and by thinking "We can do this better together," the area and residents we serve began seeing the results of "We are already doing this better," and finally to where we are now, "Regionally together where can we still do better?"
I asked Karen what was one of her biggest challenges in her time at CRESA, and her response was, "Learning to speak Dispatcher." She recalled a time in her early days at the agency, where during an In-service, she was to lead an ice-breaker activity. As she was explaining the activity, she remembers looking up and seeing administration and management staff nodding along, yet when she looked at the dispatchers, they all had a different look on their face. Finally someone helped "translate" the activity and they all saw it. Over time she learned to appreciate what some would consider blunt straight forward talk, and the benefits that can come with the direct dealing of something instead of the windy curvy path in parts of the outside world.
As I wrapped up the few minutes I took to sit down with Karen, I asked her about her fondest memory in her time here at CRESA. She talked about the people that work here. From walking the hallways of the building, and seeing everyone she had a part in hiring, to crying with dispatch staff on the floor after a really bad call, there is a very human connection with people that work in public safety. "It might take them a bit to let you in, but once they do, they don't want to let you go!"
As Karen begins her next big adventure in life, she hopes she has been a good steward, leaving CRESA a better place than when she found it. Karen I can say.. Yes you Have!!
We salute you Karen, as you jump into your next adventure.. .CRESA and all of us will miss you!!