Meet HR

Rick French, Director of Human Resources - ext. 6399
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”.                                   

Jennifer Weldon, Assistant Director of Human Resources– ext. 6430
Jennifer oversees the various divisions within the HR Department including the City's employment division. While managing the employment division, she is responsible for staying current with employment law changes, job posting requirements, recruiting, selection, the pre-employment processes and educating hiring supervisors on safe and legal hiring practices.  Jennifer also provides guidance to supervisors and employees on City policies, 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.    

Leslie Davis, Human Resources Office Services Coordinator – 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.   

Kerry Graham, Employee Services 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, Human Resources 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.

Elizabeth Craven, Benefits Manager - ext. 6487
Elizabeth manages all the employee benefit programs and coordinates various employee events such as the annual retirement seminar and the health fair.  Elizabeth 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.  Elizabeth assists in the wellness programs and administers the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Vacation Donation programs.  Elizabeth also plays an active role in ensuring that the City's benefits are 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, Human Resources 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.

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
As a Risk Specialist/Civil Service Coordinator, Grace updates records for Workers’ Compensation claims and is a liaison for employees with on the job injuries.  She coordinates care between employees and providers while serving as the City’s Civil Service Coordinator.  As the Civil Service Coordinator, Grace coordinates and administers Civil Service Entrance Exams, Promotional Exams, and the Assessment Center Process. She also ensures our Civil Service records are complaints with the City records management system.

Doy Ward, Risk Specialist - ext. 6410 
Doy maintains a variety of files, filing systems, and databases within the Risk Management Division.  She also updates records for injury status changes when received and contacts departments to verify injured worker’s work status. Doy is responsible for collecting and preparing wages and time information for injured employees indisposed for a predetermined period.  She is an expert in the Workers’ Compensation field and takes pride in answering injured employee’s questions regarding their worker’s compensation claim.

Kimberly Little, Civil Service Recruiter – ext. 6384
Kim serves as a liaison between the Mesquite Police Department and college career recruiting centers. She works to build relationships with university professors and instructors to identify key talent and recruits to the City of Mesquite.  Kim it the first contact to manage applicant inquiries with regards to minimum qualifications, background requirements, police operations, career ladder opportunities, salary and benefits information, and application processes.  Kim assists in managing the advertising and marketing strategy for the Police and Fire Departments with regards to recruitment including brochures, mailings, flyers, and online recruiting.