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Posted on April 15, 2020 at 1:12 PM by Melitta Duncan
As I evaluate and communicate new information for many hours daily, some of which is not good, I know how important a positive attitude is for all of us during this challenging time. I choose to keep my head right and know that God is in control of this situation. Please join me with a positive attitude and as I “tell you something good”, please also forward some positivity to another person today.
Let me introduce to you our talented team with the City of Southaven who helps me and serves our citizens in a tremendous way daily.
Today’s introduction is Ray Humphrey, our Utilities Director. Ray began his service with the City on September 28, 1986 when he was hired as a serviceman in the Utilities Department. He was later moved to a water/wastewater operator position until March, 2001 when he was promoted to Assistant Utility Director. He served in this position until June 18, 2009 when he was promoted to his current position as head of the department. Prior to joining the City, he worked as a photo lab tech and telecommunications installer from 1979-1986 after graduating from Southaven High School in 1979.
Professionally, Ray considers his completion of extensive requirements to become a Certified Water Operator as well as his promotion to the top position as Director of one of the largest utility departments in the State of Mississippi as two of his most-valued accomplishments. When asked, “Why do you do what you do?” Ray responded, “I do this job because I love serving people. I try to create an atmosphere for my co-workers where they enjoy what they do in a field that is often overlooked. I have an outstanding staff that is a pleasure to work with. Also, I want to leave a legacy that this department is better than when I was given stewardship of it.”
Ray has been married to wife, Sonya Humphrey for 18 years and together, they have 3 children and 3 step-children. When not working, Ray enjoys hunting, fishing, and traveling.
Ray has responsibility for services that many citizens do overlook or take for granted. Water and sewer services meet two of the most fundamental needs of our citizens and supervision of these services is a major responsibility that never ends on a clock. Water and sewer lines break at all hours of the day and Ray has his team ready “24/7”. When our citizens are sleeping, Ray is awake checking water tower levels from his phone to make sure our entire city has adequate service.
When I think about my assessment of Ray and his value to the City, I admit it is difficult for me to find words that measure him justly. When my service began in 2013, I had never met many of the department heads and knew very little about most of them. It didn’t take long for me to smile inside and think, “Wow, the City has a good one right here!” Ray Humphrey is the ultimate teammate! “Google” great teammate and his picture will pop up. Let me tell you what I know, you will never find this guy carrying any kind of calendar or “to-do” list. The reason is because his list never ends and the next thing always on his list is whatever he may do to help anyone. I’ll guarantee you that his fellow department heads would agree that if the City ever had any type of major crisis, they would all ask, “Where’s Ray?” No one can outwork this guy and he is a greatly-respected leader of his team because they all know that he cares about them and puts their needs first. After looking back to his response to my question about “why he does what he does” and his goal to leave a legacy, I think I’ll go ahead and tell him to “put a check in that box”. #tellmesomethinggood