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Shough tapped to fill new HR role

Donna Shough, (left), is currently serving in the dual roles of Human Resource and Finance director. She is pictured above at a recent Patrick County Board of Supervisors’ event. Geri Hazelwood, county administrator, is seated on the right. (By Debbie Hall)

By Taylor Boyd

Donna Shough is wearing two hats these days.

She has served Patrick County as the director of Finance for 16 years, and recently was selected to serve as director of Human Resources.

I feel very fortunate to be given this new opportunity and appreciate the Board of Supervisors and the county administrator having the confidence in me to fit me in as the Human Resources director, Shough said of the new assignment.

When the new position became available, Shough said she applied because she thought she would enjoy it.

I think the main reason is that I enjoy helping the employees as best I can. I really like working with the employees and helping them with the employee benefits, insurance, and helping them when they’re ready to retire,” Shough said.

She said she also decided to apply because she “assumed a lot of the duties of human resources” during her time as Finance Director. That position evolved into the new position because finance and human resources go hand and hand, she said.

Initially, Shough was hired by then-county administrator Regena Handy.

When I was hired, the position was as bookkeeper, to do the payroll and the vender payments,” she said, adding the position has evolved over the years to encompass more duties. “The title was changed to finance officer in 2008,” she added.

In her new post, Shough said she will be responsible for various internal duties including “overseeing the employee policy manual, working to hire and recruit employees, conduct employee orientation, track performance evaluations, serving as the benefit administrator, updating job descriptions, mitigating conflicts between county employees, and salary increases.

Shough said she will also “complete wage surveys of surrounding localities to see how the county falls in line with those, assist the county administrator with FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, and complete the internal payment audit of the payroll once the new finance officer takes the payroll from me.

She said the board hopes to fill the Finance Director position sometime early next year. Until then, Shough is assigned to filling the dual roles.

During her transition, Shough said she would “be there to help that new person that takes over the finance” position.

Speaking with the board, they were thinking it would take me at least a year for me to be completely out of” finance, “because there is such a volume of work with the finance,” Shough said, adding “there are so many little things that go along with it.”

Shough submitted her application and went through the hiring process “just like any county employee.”

She graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.S. in Business Management and a minor in Accounting.

While she said she currently has no plans to further her education, Shough said she would like to participate in webinars or in-person classes in Human Resources “once we’re able to start traveling again.”

A life-long resident of Patrick County, Shough lives in Woolwine, with Ronnie, her husband and high school sweetheart of 40 years. Their daughter, Valerie, 21, attends Longwood University through the New College Institute in Martinsville and is currently studying social work.

Shough also is a member of High Point Baptist Church in Stuart and serves as the church’s Treasurer.

A self-described avid reader, Shough said she particularly enjoys mystery and Amish Christian novels, and anything outdoors, especially hiking. The family also enjoys spending time together at home, traveling, and swimming.

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