BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
After 40 years of service with the City of Greenville and The Water Works and Sewer Board (GWWSB) of Greenville, Velma Briggs officially retired on Friday, June 28.
At her retirement reception, GWWSB manager and Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said, “Velma was the best employee I ever worked with. Over the 19 years I worked with Velma, I learned I needed to listen to her.
“She taught me a lot. I look back on things and I realize how fortunate it was for me to work with you. You will be missed.”
Briggs served 35 years as Manager/Secretary-Treasurer for the GWWSB. During that time she served under four chairmen to include: Grady Norrell, Joe Hendrix, Bill Lewis, and Joby Norman. She also served under two GWWSB managers who were Ernie Smith and Dexter McLendon.
During her career she also served with five field superintendents. They were Otto Duke, Kenny Philpot, Jerry McCullough, Bruce Branum, and Kris Findley.
Briggs feels that her greatest accomplishment was keeping the GWWSB financially sound. McLendon echoed that sentiment by saying, “You left it a better place than you found it.”
Briggs stated, “This has been a good place to work. I’m very grateful to the board members I served and to the mayor.”
Briggs has two sons, Marcus and Wood, and four grandchildren.
The proclamation from Mayor McLendon read:
WHEREAS: On this most fortunate occasion, the City of Greenville is privileged to recognize Velma Briggs on her retirement from the Greenville Water Works and Sewer Board; and
WHEREAS: Velma started her career with the City of Greenville in 1979, as Clerk Typist 1. She was the first black female to be employed in the Clerk’s Office in the history of Greenville; and
WHEREAS: Velma’s proficiency was recognized in August 1984, when she earned the position of Office Manager/Secretary-Treasurer of the Board at the age of 22; and
WHEREAS: Velma became the driving force behind our water department, having developed and implemented procedures that were in the best interest of our citizens and the department; and
WHEREAS: Velma has literally become the icon of our Water Works and Sewer Board, taking it to a high level of competency; and
NOW, Therefore, I, Dexter McLendon, as Mayor of the City of Greenville, and the members of the Greenville City Council, express our congratulations and best wishes to Velma S. Briggs on her retirement from the Greenville Water Works and Sewer Board. She has been an inspiration and friend to her coworkers as well as fair and honest with our citizens. The difference she has made will never be