One of the many attributes Ponchatoula has is that its people are known for being “in for the long haul” when it comes to working.
A city worker known for his own work ethic recently celebrated his twenty-fifth year as a faithful employee, someone who has overcome massive health obstacles to prove a person can do what he sets his mind to do.
Jeff Huff at the Community Center had been reminding people for several months that his anniversary date was coming up in July so lots of congratulations came his way on the big day.
“I love my work,” he often says. “I love the people.”
And the people love Jeff, for he usually comes in early ready to greet them with a smile and a name to go with it, asking how they’re doing. He often stays late as he likes to “make sure everything is done right and done for the day.”
He’s easily spotted because he nearly always has a mop or broom in his hand, keeping the gym clean as well as the restrooms, making sure all trash is taken out to the dumpster.
Community Center Director Lynette Allen says Jeff is dependable, coming to work even when he doesn’t feel his best.
And this is a man who was injured at birth, has had numerous surgeries with his last being on his knees. Yet, he attended school in Ponchatoula and at Holy Ghost in Hammond. According to his mom, Judy Adams Stout, he has worked since age 18 from Hammond Sheltered Workshop to Walmart until recommended for his current job by the late Julian Dufreche.
Jeff is more of a homebody and this year had a healthy vegetable garden, growing squash, tomatoes and hot peppers. He loves Elvis and movies yet enjoys family outings to plantation homes. He listens to Joyce Meyer and gives to her Hands of Hope ministries for children.
Yes, Jeff Huff is a faithful worker and always on the job, but as his mom added, “The Community Center is more than his job, it’s his life.”
Mayor Bob Zabbia expressed his appreciation for Jeff and his faithfulness, saying he is honored to serve the residents of Ponchatoula alongside Jeff and other dedicated city workers.
Asked for names of others who’ve been around a long time, Zabbia said, “The city has so many employees, I’d have to start with those who’ve been here over ten years.”
Listed in alphabetical order by department starting with –
- Building: Christopher Winburn, 13
- Community Center: Lynette J. Allen, 18
- Court: Carlene R. Ott began as a PHS student in Distributive Education, 36
- Finance: Cheryl R. Hoover, 12
- Fire Department: Erlo D. McLaurin, 23; Byron K. Willie, 15; Jeremy Peltier, 11; Chad C. Roberts, 11
- Mayor’s Office: Rhonda S. Sheridan, 10
- Police: Stacey N. Laurent, 10; Donald J. Burton, 11; Carol A. Wilson, 11; Jeremy Ballard, 16; Annie Miller 16; Melvin G. McGary, 17; Alton L. Pierson, 18; Jeffrey Miller, 20; David W. Bryant, 21
- Sewerage and Water: David Opdenhoff, 29 years; James H. Triche, 10
- Streets: Richard S. Ball, 11
- Taxes: Ramona D. Umbach, Taxes, 26 years.
So, congratulations, Jeff, as an important member of an important city “family”.