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It's easy to look at our local government as a bunch of offices making decisions rather than recognizing the individuals who handle the nitty-gritty stuff from day to day. For example, did you know that right now in the Macon-Bibb County Human Resources Department – there's someone who has worked for the city for nearly thirty years, is a cancer survivor, an award-winning runner, wellness coach, and self-taught construction handy-woman who built her own house from the ground up? We think that's awesome! That's why this week, Shannon Dobbs is our Staff Spotlight!

Shannon began working for the City of Macon 28 years ago. She started in the Parks and Recreation Department. In 1999, the Human Resources Department recruited her to join the team. Ever since, she's handled a variety of tasks including hiring, personnel issues, FMLA and insurance paperwork, and more. Currently, her job is a little more fine-tuned to her area of expertise – the human experience. Shannon works closely with the Fire Department to make sure all firefighter applicants go through the right kinds of fitness training and assessments. This Candidate Physical Agility Test, or CPAT, is what ensures our firefighters can climb, jump, lift, and handle the hard work of being part of our Class One Macon-Bibb County Fire Department.

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"Shannon Dobbs has been a vital part of the hiring process for our firefighters," says Fire Chief Shane Edwards. "She oversees the testing and physical assessments, and then for those who pass all their testing, she then gives us a list of names who are qualified applicants that can join our team. We appreciate her service and commitment to not only the Macon-Bibb Fire Department, but to the community for ensuring we've got the best of the best to keep everyone safe."

In addition to her work with the Fire Department, Shannon is our recently named Wellness Coordinator for Macon Wellness Matter. It's an initiative which educates and supports Macon-Bibb employees relating to their health and wellness goals. Shannon schedules events, classes, sends out information, and more to help support the team. She's the perfect person for the job. Several years ago, Shannon was going through a hard time in her life and fighting cancer along with it. Long story short – she beat cancer and decided to start focusing more on herself and well-being.

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"I just started cycling. I knew I had to do something," says Shannon. "Little by little, I noticed the effort I put in physically was making me better mentally. I know the kind of toll it can take on your physical health when you're going through a hard time emotionally. I've been there! That's what I want to pass on to my coworkers and all Macon-Bibb County employees through this program. I understand, and I care, because I've been there. We're all in this together!"

Shannon completed her first Spartan race in March, she's a weightlifter, and along with her husband Jeff, built their house from bottom to top. She tells us while they got professionals to handle the scary stuff like electricity, they did the rest including pouring the foundation, putting up the walls, the plumbing and all of it. She can even operate a bobcat and an excavator!

"I try to keep a smile on my face no matter what I'm going through, because I want to be a positive and encouraging force for my teammates here at the County," says Shannon.

Shannon, we're proud to have you as part of #TeamMaconBibb!

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