The end of Women’s History Month is upon us.
Throughout March, we’ve highlighted some of the amazing women who serve Rocket City residents through public service. As we wrap the month, take time to read more about each of them below.
‘Best thing that’s ever happened’
Jaurice Clay is an Employee Development and Training Specialist in the City’s Human Resources Department.
In her role, Clay helps shepherd new employees through orientation, makes sure all 2,500 City employees have access to in-house training opportunities, and leads Mayor Tommy Battle’s leadership development programs.
“Moving to Huntsville was the best thing that’s ever happened to me!” she said.
Clay attributes her love of Huntsville to her daughter being born here during the pandemic, her husband having a hand in opening the Mazda Toyota plant and finding a career worthy of her dreams.
“My family is growing here, we’ve added to the growth by building our home here, and Huntsville is a happy hybrid of city amenities with a small-town pace,” she continued. “After taking a break from work to care for my daughter, coming back to work by working for the best city in the country was the greatest way to learn more about Huntsville.”
‘People that care’
Niki Sothers is the Landscape Management and Green Team Manager for the City of Huntsville.
“Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work closely with community volunteers,” she said. “Green Team works closely with the community to activate people to clean their neighborhoods, plants trees, educate and make sustainable choices.”
Her duties include maintaining public spaces like Hays Nature Preserve and Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary – though her top priority is creating a green, clean city for Huntsville residents.
“Huntsville has a community with people that care about the environment and the importance of outdoor spaces, which are values I share,” she said.
‘Always an adventure’
Lady Kassama works as a Planner for the City of Huntsville.
Kassama’s day-to-day responsibilities include working with developers and property owners interested in land within the City limits. She carries them through the process from providing an overview of regulations and standards to annexation to zoning for each project.
She says her favorite part of the job is the diverse group of people she encounters every day.
“With the growth the City is experiencing, it’s always an adventure for me here in the office working with different professionals to successfully complete projects while looking after the best interests of the City,” she added.
‘Proud to call Huntsville home’
Katie Stamps works as the Historic Preservation Planner with the City’s Urban and Long-Range Planning team.
Her primary role is assisting homeowners and the Huntsville Historic Preservation Commission with design reviews, while also writing grants, reaching out to the community, leading walking tours, and planning preservation events.
“Living and working downtown gives me a front row seat to Huntsville’s growth and evolution,” Stamps said.
During her tenure, the City has added two new historic districts to the National Register of Historic Places — McThornmor Acres and Edmonton Heights. Both are mid-20th century neighborhoods with significant contributions to space and Black history, respectively.
“I enjoy taking walks around the City’s historic districts and am always on the hunt for new local restaurants and coffee shops,” Stamps said. “With all the amenities and openness of a big city and the charm of a small town, I am proud to call Huntsville my home.”
KeAirra Green is the City of Huntsville’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer.
She’s responsible for maintaining all EEO regulations, investigating employee complaints, and reviewing workforce analysis data. She says there is never a dull moment in her office.
“I love the fast-paced work environment and the conscious effort the City of Huntsville takes to foster diversity in all areas,” she said. “I love living in Huntsville and admire the growth, opportunity and success I have witnessed in the past five years of me relocating here.”
‘Highlight of my career’
Lesley Easter is the Support Services Manager at Huntsville Fire & Rescue.
In her role, Easter oversees a large staff responsible for maintaining the tools of the firefighting trade and provides budgetary, logistical and grant support to Fire Chief Mac McFarlen. Additionally, she coordinates with all divisions of the department, including fire administration, the Bureau of Fire Prevention, Fire Training Academy, communications and suppression.
“Having a front row seat to watch this city grow over the past 38 years has been amazing,” Easter stated. “Being part of Huntsville Fire & Rescue’s continued growth has been the highlight of my career with the City of Huntsville.”
‘Listen and understand’
Terri Hayes is the City of Huntsville’s Constituent Service Program Manager.
She says she lives by the Teddy Roosevelt quote, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care!”
Terri serves as a liaison between the City departments, agencies and Huntsville residents related to service needs identified through Huntsville Connect. She also advises Mayor Tommy Battle, City Council members and others on emerging and urgent issues.
“I assist each constituent with kindness and respect,” Hayes said. “I make sure to listen and understand their problem, because no two complaints are the same.”
Cindy Green works as an Administrative Aide with the Huntsville Police Department.
Green says her main duties include serving as a liaison between the police department and other City agencies, aiding Chief Kirk Giles with communications and appointments, supporting officers and their supervisors, and partially coordinating the hiring process for new police officers.
Noting a love for Big Spring Park and the downtown area, she says Huntsville is truly a beautiful place to live.
“The growth over the years has been great for our city, but we must not lose the touch of providing service to our fellow citizens and businesses,” Green said. “My coworkers and others in various departments within the City I deal with daily have been most helpful, which makes for a pleasant working environment. I refer to them as my work family!”
‘A welcoming community’
Brenda Martin has worn many hats during her time with the City of Huntsville. She currently serves as the host of Inside Huntsville on HSV– TV and formerly worked as the City’s Multicultural Affairs Director.
Brenda moved to Huntsville in 1981 with the Xerox Corporation before working as an anchor and public relations director for two local TV stations. Additionally, she opened Tiffany’s Academy, the only licensed etiquette school at that time in the area.
She joined the City of Huntsville in 1989 as part of Mayor Steve Hettinger’s Administration. She was later appointed by Mayor Battle as Multicultural Affairs Director.
“We opened a lot of doors,” Martin said. “We helped to bring about cohesiveness to the various communities that make up this wonderful city. We wanted everyone to feel like they were part of a community.”
Martin left the job in 2013 but stuck around the City as the host of Inside Huntsville.
“It gives me a purpose to get up, get going and still serve this community,” she added. “It’s a welcoming community, one that is loving, and you can find your place in to be of service. That’s the one thing I’m most grateful for.”