Employee Excellence

The Employee Excellence webpage recognizes those county employees who ensure that resources and services are available for our residents, businesses and guests through innovative adaptations to processes, integrating new technologies and overall committed efforts and resiliency. Many of these stories are recognized by County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey at the monthly Board of Supervisors meetings for exemplifying everyday excellence in service to the county. 

This video serves as a thank you to our county employees who have modified and adapted to continue providing everyday excellence to our citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We stand ready to serve you!

  1. July Excellence:  Tamara Highsmith   and Sara Elkins
  2. June Excellence:   Laura Jensen
  3. May Excellence: Environmental Engineering
  4. April Excellence: Information Systems Technology
  5. March Excellence: Taiwan Everette
  6. February Excellence: Jill Bryant
  7. January Excellence: Sheriff's Office
  8. 2020 Archive

July 2021 Everyday Excellence: Tamara Highsmith and Sara Elkins
(Learning and Performance Center, Animal Services)

During the Wednesday, July 28 Board of Supervisors meeting, Chesterfield County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey recognized two members of the Learning and Performance Center (LPC) staff as recipients of the July 2021 Everyday Excellence for their volunteer work with Chesterfield Animal Services to foster animals until they are ready to be put up for adoption. 

LPC’s Tamara Highsmith, strategy and performance coordinator, and Sara Elkins, performance consultant, both serve as Animal Services’ go-to fosters for young kittens and puppies that aren’t old enough to be adopted. 

“It started with Tamara reaching out to us and wanting to help us expand our foster program,” said Andrea Ramat, Animal Services supervisor. “When we get small kittens in that needed to be fostered, there are a very small number of employees who were willing or able to foster, and without fostering, so many kittens and puppies would not make it to their adoption days.”

Highsmith has a background in fostering animals and animal care, so it was a natural fit for her to volunteer as a foster. Her passion and enthusiasm for fostering helped recruit several other county employees, including Elkins. In fact, Highsmith and Elkins were instrumental in organizing the first-ever foster training program for county employees in October 2018 and continue to assist with training and recruiting county employees for the program. Today, more than 45 county employees participate in Animal Services’ foster program.

Since the start of the county employee foster program, the number of animals being fostered has more than doubled—allowing for more pets to be saved and adopted. According to Animal Services, between Highsmith and Elkins, they have fostered well over 100 animals, sometimes having 5-10—or more—kittens or puppies at a time. 

In addition to fostering and recruiting others to join the program, they also assist when they can with providing supplies. Although all necessary items for fostering are provided by Animal Services, Highsmith and Elkins will often purchase milk, litter and other supplies with their own funds for their fosters. Their generosity ensures Animal Services has enough supplies for other foster animals.

“I can say, without a doubt, that if it wasn’t for Tamara and Sara, our foster program would not be as successful as it is today,” said Ramat. “So many citizens of Chesterfield have their furry best friends thanks to the dedicated efforts of Tamara Highsmith and Sara Elkins!”

For more information, view the Everyday Excellence presentation during the July 28, 2021 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Adoptable animals can be viewed on the Animal Services Facebook page, Instagram page and on Petfinder.com

Tamara Highsmith and Sara Elkins

Tamara Highsmith and Sara Elkins