Meet HR

Rick French, Director of Human Resources - ext. 8399
As the Director of the Department, Rick provides strategic direction for the organization by setting goals and ensuring policies, procedures, and practices provide value-added services to citizens, management, and employees. Rick is often found counseling management about employee relations issues; chairing a committee on the City’s medical plan or policy manual, administering civil service examinations,  responding to employee inquiries/concerns; working with staff to develop programs to build a better workplace environment and to enhance delivery of all services to our customers.  Rick implements and evaluates all City hiring, employment, and benefit programs to make sure they are understandable, effective, and in compliance with state and federal regulations.  Rick’s philosophy is, “Human Resources must be accessible, approachable, and accountable to our customers in order to effectively deliver the services they deserve and need”.  

Leslie Davis, Executive Secretary – ext. 6322
Leslie provides clerical and secretarial support to the HR Department.  She monitors department expenditures to include review, reconciliation and payment of all vendor invoices.  She coordinates annual and amended budget activities.  She also coordinates and schedules Trial Board and Civil Service meetings with all the Civil Service Commissioners and City Officials.  Leslie is also responsible for coordinating the annual service awards ceremony and Administrative Professional’s Day.

Jennifer Weldon, HR Benefits Supervisor - ext. 6430
Jennifer manages all the employee benefit programs and coordinates various employee events such as the annual retirement seminar and the health fair.  Jennifer presents the employee benefits in New Employee Orientation and responds to insurance questions or claim issues. She is also responsible for data analysis of the self-funded medical plan and maintains various databases.  Jennifer assists in the wellness programs, administers the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Vacation Donation programs, and contributes to several benefit communications pieces, such as the HR Update, Employee News Digest, and Inside Mesquite.  Jennifer also plays an active role in ensuring that the City is benefits compliant with IRS and federal regulations.

Denise Childs, Benefits Administrator - ext. 6463
Denise serves all employees and retirees of the City of Mesquite with their benefits including health; dental; life insurance; AD&D; voluntary disability; critical care.  She is a certified benefits administrator for Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) and processes retirements for the City of Mesquite.  Denise is also familiar with the payroll process and procedures.  The City of Mesquite’s Cafeteria/ Section 125 Plan (known as Tax Saver) is also administered through Denise.  She is one of the go-to people on the benefits team to assist with claim issues; questions concerning benefits and payroll; TMRS retirement procedures; and provides information for voluntary benefits.

Brandi Odom, HR Specialist – ext. 6742
Brandi supports the Benefits team by answering, researching and responding to employee and retiree questions regarding all City provided benefits.  She also analyzes the functions of HR and makes recommendations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of HR operations.  Brandi is the compliance contact for the City’s preventive benefit requirement and maintains the wellness database for all City employees.  She prepares, analyzes and evaluates a variety of HR data for presentation to City departments and HR staff.  As a Human Resources team member, Brandi provides information to various individuals regarding the City’s policies, procedures, and benefits.

Employment, Employee Relations, and Payroll 
Lety Yanez, HR Manager - ext. 8524
Lety manages the employment division which includes staying current with employment law changes, guiding the job posting, recruiting, selection, pre-employment processes and educating hiring supervisors on safe and legal hiring practices; Lety also provides guidance to supervisors and employees on City policies and HR processes and procedures and other workplace issues; in addition she oversees the compensation process which includes maintaining the City’s pay plans, conducting job analysis and salary surveys, and job description administration.            
Kerry Graham, Compensation and Payroll Coordinator  – ext. 6388
Kerry supervises the biweekly payroll for all departments and coordinates payroll activities with the Accounting Division and IT Department.  Kerry is responsible for providing consulting guidance and assistance to employees, department supervisors, managers and directors regarding policies, programs, recruitment, selection, retention, benefits, employee relations, compensation, legal compliance, training and development.  She also researches and completes special projects for the HR Manager and/or HR Director.
Pamela Dunworth, Payroll/HRIS Technician – ext. 6493
Pamela prepares and processes the biweekly payroll for all departments and coordinates payroll activities with the Accounting Division and IT Department. She also maintains the Cities Human Resources Information/Payroll System utilizing various software applications, answers questions and provides information to employees and department payroll administrators about payroll procedures. As a Human Resources  team member, Pamela serves as a resource for both employees, supervisors, managers, and directors regarding guidance on City  policies and procedures.    
Claudia Rodarte, Staffing Coordinator - ext. 6387
Claudia serves as a leader on the Employment team by providing customer service answering the main HR phone number and assisting walk-in customers as needed. Claudia uses her bilingual skills in Spanish to assist customers and employees when needed. She also assists in the administration of civil service testing for police and fire; and researches and completes special projects for the HR Manager and/or HR Director.  Claudia aids hiring supervisors with the contingent offer process and administers the pre-employment paperwork for new hires. Also, she is responsible for creating and conducting training on interviewing and recruitment and other courses to ensure effective employee training program.
Carla McKinnon, HR Specialist -  ext. 4120  
Carla supports the Employment team by providing customer service answering the main HR phone number and assisting walk-in customers as needed. Her particular expertise is screening and processing all employment applications as well as internal job bids and volunteer applications. Carla assists in processing job requisitions and posting job vacancies on the City’s website which includes administering the City’s employment testing process for job applicants. Carla communicates with hiring supervisors on a regular basis and answers questions about the hiring and selection process. She also aids hiring supervisors with the contingent offer process and administers the pre-employment paperwork for new hires. Carla also provides support in civil service testing for police officer examinations.

Risk Management
Charles Gillenwater, Risk Manager - ext. 8168
The Risk Management Division protects people and property that make our community a better place to work, live and trade.  Charles is available to assist with all aspects of Property & Casualty issues confronting the City of Mesquite.  Charles is responsible for providing and sourcing Risk Services that include protecting and insuring the City against loss of all types (Workers' Compensation, Property, and Liability); as well as City Safety Programs, Accident/Incident Investigation, Substance Abuse Prevention and related training needs. 
Grace Jones, Risk Specialist/Civil Service Coordinator
- ext. 8167
Doy Ward, Risk Specialist - ext. 6410 

Have questions regarding Workers' Compensation claims; Injury & Accident documentation, reporting and compensation?  Contact Doy or Grace with your concerns and she will respond to your inquiry.  Additionally, both can coordinate minor injury care and provide substance abuse testing options for employees that sustain an injury or become involved in a fleet accident.