Government go-getters: Meet Dennis Daniel

Dennis Daniel is the director of public facilities for Forsyth County. KATHLEEN STURGEON/Herald

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Every Sunday night Dennis Daniel doesn’t go to bed dreading the start of a new work week the next morning.

Instead, he is excited, and he has been for six months since he was hired, to go into work as the director of public facilities for Forsyth County.

“My best moment here was realizing after a week I was going to totally love this job,” Daniel said. “I could see some of the challenges ahead and knew they could be fixed. I realized the gravity of how important this job is.”

After being at various jobs from UPS to animal health company Merial, Daniel was in between jobs when he ran across the Forsyth opening online.

“I knew it was it the minute I saw it,” he said. “To be honest about it, once I applied I didn’t worry about it. I was so confident I’d get it as it was a perfect match. And I have to say, I love this job more than any job I’ve ever had.”

Daniel and his crew do the maintenance on all county facilities, custodial work and construction on anything that gets built like parks, fire stations or county buildings.

“It is awesome,” he said. “Within a mile of where I live (in Forsyth County) we are building a park and a fire station. It will service my house. I will go with my kids and grandkids to play in a park I had a part of building.”

During the recent ice storm he was impressed when he saw employees go to the county Public Safety Complex and work with the various county departments.

“There wasn’t a person in that room that didn’t deeply care about every resident of this county,” Daniel said. “They wanted to get the roads clean and make sure people were safe.”

He’s especially proud of the team that works in his department. He said he strives for his team to provide a customer experience that is great from beginning to end.

“It is by a fairly large measure my favorite group of people I’ve ever worked with,” Daniel said. “When I came in, I was new and never worked in government, only industries. It’s different. Every one of the staff was deeply gracious and giving of their time to get me up to speed.”

At any one time, the department has roughly 30 open projects. They are divided up between employees so all items can be addressed.

“You can’t look at them all at the same time,” Daniel said. “You pick the low-hanging fruit and put it to bed. It’s best to get something done quickly because when there’s too many in the air, they start hitting the ground.”

And while they like to have fun with each other, the department does serious business, he said.

“It affects every employee and resident in this county,” Daniel said. “From fire stations, to public safety buildings to parks, we build those things. When weather is bad, we make sure the sidewalks and parking lots are passable. It’s important.”

It also hits close to home when he realized what he does in his day job will ultimately impact his family.

“It’s an opportunity to quietly go about and do things in the community that affect everyone,” Daniel said. “This is a great county, as our schools, weather and parks are good. Our emergency services are world class. There’s not a drawback I can think of to live in Forsyth County — to have a small part in making it better and continuing that by building quality fire stations that last a long time; parks that my grandkids can enjoy. The day I realized this will be my favorite job was my best day here.”

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