100 wanted to assist Augusta mayor

One hundred applicants sought the position of executive assistant to Mayor Deke Copenhaver, from experienced executive assistants and secretaries to real estate agents and Fort Gordon personnel.

The ad was posted for only five days.

All were seeking the post held for nearly eight years by Karyn Nixon, who left the mayor’s office for the chief of staff’s office at Georgia Regents University.

In the end, former LeanCor sales executive Al Dallas was extended a job offer July 5 at a salary of $41,488.40, according to a document obtained by The Augusta Chronicle.

The applicants included Natasha McFarley – who is already an assistant to Copen­haver but classified as an executive assistant I (the top assistant job is executive assistant II). Another city employee, 911 officer Jessica Wright, also applied. Both hold master’s degrees.

Copenhaver said the ad’s specification that a master’s degree was desired helped him narrow the large pool of applicants. Among them, 32 held master’s degrees, 47 held bachelor’s degrees and three held doctorates.

“Out of 102 applicants, there were obviously some good résumés out there,” the mayor said.

Copenhaver, who selects his own staffers, said he sought a candidate with a business background to assist him with the goals of his final 18 months in office. He expects the next mayor to select his or her own assistants.

“I had hoped to find somebody with a business background just based on the fact that it’s an 18-month position with a lot of economic development projects,” the mayor said. Dallas is “very qualified, so I know he’ll do a good job.”

The city took more than three weeks to provide public information on the applicants requested by The Augusta Chronicle under the state’s Open Records laws and tried to bill the newspaper $131.54 to get it.

The initial request was filed in late June. City staff attorney Jody Smitherman responded July 2 that it would cost The Chronicle $131.54 to obtain the documents, because of about four hours of labor needed to review and redact potentially confidential information from the applications.

To reduce the cost, the newspaper submitted a revised request July 9 for the first page of each application, but neither the city law office nor the designated records custodian acknowledged or responded to the request until Monday, eight days after the three-day window in which local governments are required under Georgia’s Open Records Act to respond had ended. On Monday, Smitherman provided, for $17.36, 103 first pages of applications; three were duplicates.

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List of applicants
  • Angela Bing, Augusta, Richmond County Department of Family and Children Services executive assistant
  • Albert Dallas, Augusta, LeanCor sales executive
  • Natasha McFarley, Augusta, executive assistant to Augusta mayor
  • Molly Pafford, Augusta, intern for food writer Rebecca Lang Cooks
  • Quadelya Bennings, Augusta, Department of Defense executive secretary
  • Jennifer Broussard, Grovetown, former PDS Tech staffing technical document administrator
  • Murlene Ennis, Allendale, S.C., Genesis Consulting Associates consultant
  • Terrence Farmer, Martinez, Augusta Worship Center chief financial officer
  • Jennifer Flagge, Augusta, Navy veteran
  • Erica Goodwater, Evans, U.S. Army instructor/writer
  • Toney Griffin, North Augusta, Charlie Norwood VA medical center work study student
  • Alicia Hewitt, Hephzibah, former teacher assistant/cook aide
  • Dominique Massie, Evans, former Air Force security forces
  • Traci Nelson, North Augusta, Keller Williams Realtor
  • Shayla Walden, Hephzibah, Army ammunition specialist
  • LaQuinta Williams, Grovetown, Booz Allen Hamilton consultant
  • Tiffany Agnew, Hephzibah, former NAF Civilian Personnel Advisory Center human resources assistant
  • Charles Anderson, New Ellenton, S.C., former Walgreens assistant manager
  • Delma Badillo, Grovetown, former Virginia College financial planning officer
  • Shondra Bailey, Augusta, Digistar Genesis office manager
  • Tanae Bell, Dearing, Ga., Fairway Management property manager
  • Deidria Bolden, Atlanta, as-needed Administration for Children and Families federal grant reviewer
  • Harold Brown, Augusta, Serenity mental health worker
  • Ethan Brown, Martinez, Sheraton sales administrator
  • Lakeisha Brown, Augusta, YMCA program director
  • Shawn Burton, Augusta, Georgia Army National Guard section sergeant
  • Amanda Cameron, Aiken, none listed
  • Shameka Chandler-Ashley, Williston, URS Corp. finance and accounting assistant
  • Mary Chapin, Tybee Island, St. Michael’s Catholic Church office manager
  • Amanda Chittum, Martinez, former Emmanuel College financial aid director
  • Carmen Clark, Martinez, Elanco senior assistant QA release
  • Karen Clark, Augusta, Doctors Hospital unit clerk
  • Maria Cook, Augusta, Americorps VISTA/United Way community outreach representative
  • Barbara Covington, Augusta, Georgia Regents University information analyst
  • Tyronda Dixon, Waynesboro, Aerotek client support
  • Anika Dunn, Thomson, Augusta YDC correctional officer
  • Stacy Eidson, Augusta, former Metro Spirit editor
  • Regina English, Augusta, orthodontic assistant
  • Diane Erickson, Augusta, United Launch Alliance operations and compliance auditor
  • Valerie Finley, North Augusta, former Aiken County Detention Center deputy
  • Kirsten Fitzgerald, Augusta, Reese Library student assistant
  • Crystal Fleming, Thomson, Thomson High School long-term substitute
  • Omar Forbes, Augusta, Wells Fargo lead teller
  • Janice Freeman, Martinez, former USC-Aiken assistant registrar
  • Kristen Gabriel, Louisville, former Jefferson County elections clerk
  • Christy Gilliard, Augusta, RLM Communications human resources administrator/recruiter
  • Dianna Giraldo, Fort Gordon, former Eagles Insurance Agency administrative assistant/licensed provider
  • Rita Ham, Augusta, former owner/CEO, Home Owner Remodel
  • Tiffani Hampton, Augusta, former Augusta State University administrative assistant
  • Kourtney Hayes, Augusta, T-Mobile USA coach
  • Carovita Hill, Augusta, Burke County Department of Family and Children Services case manager
  • Demory Hill, Augusta, Richmond County Special Olympics treasurer
  • Michele Holt, North Augusta, The Family Center practice manager/instructor
  • Daniela Hudson, Augusta, General Dynamics senior administrative assistant
  • Martine Hughes, Hephzibah, former Workforce Capital office administrator/recruiter
  • John Jones, Hephzibah, former TaxSlayer customer service specialist
  • Christina Kapral, Evans, former Sentinel Offender Services probation officer
  • Kristi Keyes, Augusta, none listed
  • Robert Lee, Athens, Olive Garden food server
  • Stacy Lee, Augusta, former BellSouth customer service sales specialist
  • Ana Rosa Melendez, Augusta, Augusta Staffing, Boral Industries accounts payable analyst
  • Beverly Mills, Augusta, Career Personnel general clerk
  • Mary Moon, Evans, former Capital Bank assistant controller
  • Ma-Keisha Mullings, Grovetown, former Defense Contract Management Agency executive assistant to commanding officers
  • Kiki Murray, Augusta, Georgia Department of Human Services case manager
  • Stacey Nathan, Warrenville, former buyer, URS Professional Solutions
  • Krishna Nichols, Evans, Curtis Baptist School secretary/receptionist
  • Antoinette Noble-Webb, Martinez, Richmond County Department of Family and Children Services community resources specialist
  • Karie Olsen, Aiken, former NCGS document migration coordinator
  • Nichelle Parker, Aiken, former Nova/SRS administrative assistant
  • Chris Parks, Hephzibah, Serenity Springs Private Duty Service business manager
  • Kay Pounds, Augusta, Dorr Appraisals administrative assistant
  • Ashley Pressley, North Augusta, Savannah River Remediation production operator
  • Quisha Riche, Huntsville, Ala., contract attorney
  • Stephanie Rickard, Trenton, SRP Credit Union financial specialist
  • John Russell, Augusta, none listed
  • Cynthia Santana, Grovetown, former teacher, Our Lady of Mercy School
  • Angela Scarborogh, Evans, Kohl’s sales associate
  • Veleta Scott, Augusta, Mobile Venture Partners store manager
  • Tina Shaw, Augusta, Americorp Vista contract worker
  • Teri Shepherd, Evans, former Owens & Minor general manager
  • Natalie Sherrod, Hephzibah, Prudential Beazley support manager/financial coordinator
  • Alejandro Sira, Kissimmee, Fla., administrative secretary to Osceola County Board of Commissioners
  • Samantha Sprague, Martinez, Dillards sales associate
  • Leslie Stegmaler, Grovetown, former Air Force community readiness specialist
  • Nicole Surrency, Evans, Aspen Heights project administrator
  • Kim Tavares, Ridge Spring, former Augusta 911 communication officer
  • Tara Taylor, Augusta, Augusta Housing Authority case manager
  • Shenita Thomas, Aiken, Convergent Outsourcing finance agent
  • Jaisimran Tiwana, Thomson, Wells Fargo personal banker
  • Angela Tyson, Savannah, Savannah Economic Opportunity Authority bus driver
  • Eboney Webb, Augusta, former Teleperformance administrative assistant
  • Shellana Welch, Grovetown, former Valparaiso Law School research assistant
  • Ashley Wells, Augusta, Ross retail associate
  • Millicent West, Hephzibah, New Bethlehem Community Center consultant/grant administrator
  • Ebony Wheat, Brandywine, Md., U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union member services officer
  • Matasha Williams, Martinez, former Lowes receiving clerk
  • Sara Wilson, North Augusta, Lower Savannah Council of Governments business service representative
  • Marquita Woods, Augusta, Labor Ready customer service representative
  • Jessica Wright, Hephzibah, Augusta 911 communication officer

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