By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson LeaderJanuary 10, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Tina Barnes, an administrative assistant with the Housing Division, Directorate of Public Works, has been named "Housing Professional of the Year" by the Professional Housing Management Association.
Barnes was selected for contributing "immensely to the overall success of the Fort Jackson Housing Division for the past six years," according to a story appearing in an upcoming issue of the Professional Housing Management Association's magazine, Defense Communities.
"She also displays genuine care and concern for others," the organization notes. "She has dedicated herself to providing out-the-box assistance to Soldiers and Families with all their housing needs, regardless of Family composition, on and off the installation."
Barnes has been with the Housing Division for six years, coming to Fort Jackson from Child and Youth Services at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Emma Watson, chief of Fort Jackson's Housing Division, said Barnes routinely contributes to improve Fort Jackson's quality of life.
"Tina is one of many great teammates we have here at Fort Jackson who brings her best to work everyday," said Fort Jackson Garrison Commander Col. Michael Graese. "This recognition is indicative of her total dedication to her customers that she sees on a daily basis. She's constantly working to enhance the living experience of military members, and we're unbelievably proud of her, and the entire team."
During the summer, the Housing Division, garrison commander and garrison command sergeant major highlight homes of residents who take responsibility for enhancing their community environment.
"Tina, along with one of the other employees and one of the mayors, went shopping and spent money out of their own pockets to buy gifts for our Yard of the Month winners," Watson said. "I didn't ask them to do this and they didn't include me. It's just something they wanted to do for the residents."
Barnes also goes out of her way to recognize coworkers on birthdays and holidays, with those recognitions frequently having effects off post.
"Each month, if a team member has a birthday, she'll go and decorate (that person's) office for the birthday," Watson said. "It's not just a matter of making sure we have a card that everyone signs, which could be enough, in itself. But she actually goes and decorates the office for them. That's a nice surprise for when they come in."
Last year, instead of exchanging gifts with co-workers, she donated money to Epworth Children's Home in their names, she said.
"She volunteers for a lot of stuff around post and really helps to keep the division together."
"I love my job," Barnes said. "I absolutely love it. I'm very customer oriented and I think that's a plus for this position."
Barnes said her duties as administrative assistant are centered on traffic at the Housing Division office, but requires a great deal of travel all over post.
"We greet the customers, that's a given," Barnes said. "But there's quite a bit of other responsibilities involved. We maintain the RV lot for residents who live on post. We process Exception to Policy (forms) for a wide variety of reasons, whether it's service members who are authorized to reside on post but want to reside off post, those are processed through this office with a channel to the garrison commander."
She also helps to assist customers in finding homes off Fort Jackson, as well.
"I don't go out into the community as much as (other Housing Division employees) do, but I still play a part in helping them," she said.