By TESA GLASS
---- — MT. VERNON — Cheryl Conner of Ina has been hired as the new Human Resources Director for the city.
"You have to enjoy people to do this job," Conner said. "I'm looking forward to gaining the knowledge base Mary Jo (Pemberton) obviously has."Conner replaces Pemberton, who will be retiring from the position on April 30 after serving 13 years in the position. Pemberton will not be leaving City Hall, however, as she was elected as the new City Treasurer."I'll miss the interaction with everyone, the personnel part of it," Pemberton said. City Manager Ron Neibert added that with the new elected position, Pemberton would still be around the offices and has offered to give assistance as needed to Conner, who already has an extensive background in human resources."She has taken the classes and tests and attained her certification in human resources," Neibert said.The certification, in Professional Human Resources accompanies Conner's master's degree in education administration and finance and supervision. She has held positions at District 80, Mt. Vernon Township High School and most recently at Rural Health, Inc., in Anna. At Rural Health, Conner served as an accounting and billing supervisor before moving into the position of human resources director."The clinic where I worked never had a human resources department and hired a director," Conner explained. "She was there a couple years then left. I was already familiar with the employees and benefits, so they moved me to the department. I like to learn as much as I can about what I'm doing, so I decided to learn more and sit for my (PHR) exam."Conner said it will be nice not driving more than an hour to work every day, which she has been doing for the past nine years."I've been in Jefferson County my entire life," Conner said. "Now it will be nice to work close to home again."