|Clerk In The Spotlight - St. Lucie|
Clerk in the Spotlight
10 QUESTIONS WITH
ST. LUCIE COUNTY CLERK JOSEPH E. SMITH
1. What was your previous profession?
Before I was elected Clerk, I served as a county commissioner. Prior to that, I served as an information specialist for the St. Lucie Public Schools. When I lived in the Washington, D.C. area, I served as grassroots manager for The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations.
2. What would you be doing if you were not Clerk?
I come from a family of educators, so I suspect that I’d either be a teacher or in another field of public service. However, I would love to be a stay-at-home dad for our two boys.
3. What is your philosophy in running your office?
The most important philosophy I have about running the Clerk’s office is to provide an amazing customer experience to anyone who uses our services. The second most important philosophy is to have fun. If it’s not fun, why do it?
4. What has been your proudest moment as Clerk?
I think my proudest moment was leading our amazing Clerks of Court through the same-sex marriage events at the beginning of 2015. It was a historical moment for our state, and the people of Florida are the beneficiaries.
5. What activities have you or your office been involved with to serve your community?
The staff at the Clerk’s office has a long-standing history of supporting charities throughout the Treasure Coast. Since 1998, our employees have donated more than $141,000 and volunteered countless hours for worthy causes. We’ve walked together in SafeSpace’s Walk A Mile In Her Shoes to promote awareness of domestic violence, and we’ve bowled at events to support Big Brothers Big Sisters. We’ve also hosted food drives for local food banks and funded educational initiatives for classrooms.
6. Do you have any interesting stories about your office, staff or the citizens you serve?
I’ve got some of the best deputy clerk professionals in the state! They work hard. They encourage me, and we get along really well! I’m so blessed to lead them.
7. How do you recognize your staff and their achievements?
Our professionals are regularly rewarded for stellar service through our Ace Awards program. We also crown a Deputy Clerk Professional each quarter and highlight a professional weekly in our internal newsletter. Our staff also hosts an annual dinner each year as well as the occasional celebrations for new babies, weddings and birthdays.
8. What is your favorite book or movie title?
Favorite movie title: The Shawshank Redemption. No matter what time of day it comes on, I’m worthless if I am flipping channels and see it.
9. Name an individual that has made an impact on your life? Why?
My dad inspires me so much. He immigrated to the United States from the Bahamas in the 1950s, and he wanted to live the American Dream. I believe he has succeeded. It takes a lot of bravery to leave what you know in search of something more. Maybe that’s where I get my daring streak?
10. What knowledge base or skill has prepared you best for serving as Clerk?
Patience. Serving as Clerk is not easy because working every day to take care of others is not easy. I try to remember that everyone does not think or act the way I do. This isn’t saying that the way I think or act is right or wrong, but if we spend time patiently working together on the things that are common between us, the things that divide us will not be as divisive. At the end of the day, we share so much more in common.
ST. LUCIE CLERK’S OFFICE EMPLOYEES Step up charity work, GIVing BACK TO COMMUNITY with support from clerk
St. Lucie Clerk's office employees participate in SafeSpace's annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event to help bring awareness for Domestic Violence in St. Lucie County.
Providing top-notch customer service is one way that St. Lucie Clerk Joseph E. Smith and his office give back to the community as part of the duties provided by the office.
Another way the St. Lucie Clerk’s office gives back to the community is not by fulfilling a duty of the office, but instead, providing volunteer work for many great local charities in St. Lucie County.
Each quarter, the Clerks’ office employees help pick a local charity to give donations, volunteer time or serve the charity in other ways.
“Being born and raised in St. Lucie County, I understand the importance of giving back to my community,” said Clerk Smith. “At the St. Lucie Clerk’s office, I’m fortunate to lead a team of caring and knowledgeable professionals who continually invest their time, money and heart into the missions of numerous local charities.”
Clerk Smith is instrumental in leading the office’s charity work, but the employees in the office are the key component in making this program successful in St. Lucie. The office has an Event Planning and Charity Committee composed of employees who are not directors or managers. The committee interviews potential charities and then makes two recommendations for Clerk Smith to choose.
Joseph Abreu, Communications Manager, has assisted in coordinating the office’s charity work, and he knows it has a positive impact in the office and in the community.
“In the Clerk’s office, people can look at us like we are not on their side, but we are the community,” Abreu said. “The staff really appreciated helping with these charities. None of this would be possible without Clerk Joseph Smith.”
Whether employees donate food, volunteer at charity events or donate money, the impact locally is felt in many ways
“Our roles extend beyond protecting tax dollars and public records,” Clerk Smith said. “We are part of the fabric of this community, and it’s vital that we always pay it forward.”