EATON — On Wednesday, Oct. 20, Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson, state and local officials recognized longtime public servant Donna Terry and celebrated her career with a ceremony honoring her upon her retirement.
“Today we say thank you to dispatcher Donna Terry for nearly 31 years of public service to the citizens of Preble County,” Simpson said during the special luncheon ceremony. “Before coming to us, Donna served nearly three years with the Preble County Board of DD, before being hired at the Sheriff’s Office in August of 1993, some 28 years ago. She was one of the dispatchers hired when we transitioned to 9-1-1 in the county. Prior to that, Preble County never had 9-1-1.”
According to Simpson, Terry also had previous experience with the Eaton Emergency Squad,having served as an EMT for a few years.
“Over the course of 28 years of dispatching, Donna received numerous letters of thanks from the public and public service agencies for her efforts. As I went through her personnel file there were quite a few in there where people were thanking her for the job she did. Not only from the people from the public safety side of it, but from the citizens’ side, as well,” Simpson said.
He continued, “In February of 2020, Donna and two of our road units were recognized for their life saving efforts involving a female who was overdosing. Donna was recognized as Employee of the Year in dispatch four times during her career, in 2004, 2008, 2015 and 2020.”
“The skills to be successful at this career include excellent communication skills — you’ve got to be a professional, have the ability to manage your stress, and you’ve got to be calm,” Simpson said. “And most importantly, they’ve got to care about the people they serve each day. Donna exemplifies each one of these attributes and has served the citizens and the office of the Sheriff with honor, with professionalism and a positive attitude of service,” he said.
“You could come to work knowing that when she was working the shift with you, no matter how slow or how busy, the job would be done correctly.”
“Each morning, I do my best to get into the jail, into dispatch, and say good morning to the people that are working,” Simpson said. “And my greeting to Donna has always been ‘good morning, Donna Terry,’ or ‘good morning, Mrs. Terry, how are you doing?’ And I knew that with Donna and her teammates in dispatch, the day would be good — it would be handled properly.”
“Today, we honor Donna and we say thank you for all that you’ve done,” he added. “Thank you for your years of service to this county and to the sheriff’s office. Thank you for being part of our team for so many years. And you will be missed.”
Simpson presented Terry a Distinguished Service Award for her service. Also on hand to recognize Terry was Preble County County Commissioner Adam Craft.
“On behalf of myself and the Board of Preble County Commissioners, we would like to extend our appreciation to Donna for your many years of service,” Craft said before reading a proclamation from the board made in Terry’s honor.
State Representative Rodney Creech presented Terry a proclamation from the Ohio House of Representatives recognizing her service. “Going to miss calling in and hearing you respond, but I appreciate your service to Preble County,” Creech said.
“I’m very glad to be retiring but I enjoyed doing the job that I did,” Terry said. “I hope that I helped people. I hope that people enjoyed me when I did help them. But now I’m going to go on and just do what I need to do. Thank you all for coming,” she added.