Donna Thomas grew up in a small town in a large family. She credits that experience for giving her a heart for public service. As the new Citizen Resource Coordinator, in charge of operations at the City’s Citizen Resource Center, (CRC) Donna’s friendly voice is often the first you hear when contacting City offices. The CRC is a part of the Department of Public Information & Civic Engagement and is the front door for citizen concerns.
“Showing kindness and helping others was a lesson taught early in life,” she said. “I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to use those skills in my career choice.”
Donna joined the City seven years ago, most recently serving as an assistant in the legal department. When she saw the job posting or the CRC, however, she said she knew immediately that she wanted to apply. “Customer service is my favorite thing. I believe that as City employees we are here to serve the residents of Springfield and those that come here to work and to play. Knowing that I have had a part in helping someone resolve an issue, find something they are looking for or just listen for a minute makes my day,” she said.
The CRC also includes newcomer Susan Scott, who joined the team in early 2021 from Missouri State University. Citizens can reach Thomas and Smith by calling 417-864-1010, emailing City@springfieldmo.gov, or submitting a service request through the City’s mobile app: “Go Springfield Mo.”
“There were lots of surprises that occurred during the peak of the pandemic,” Thomas said. “The City buildings being closed was probably the biggest one. The greatest feeling of accomplishment during that time was knowing that even though our buildings were closed, our citizens still received the services that they were dependent upon us for.”
She said she has been impressed with the commitment to public service she has seen at the City since joining.
“It is not unusual to have something come up at the very end of the day that needs immediate attention. This can often be an issue that could be a risk to public safety. I have never had one of those issues arise that the person I called, who was preparing to leave for the day to go be with their family, didn’t just say, ‘I will take care of it.’ Some of those things I know were not quick fixes, but always they go above and beyond to make sure the public is safe. I commend City staff for their dedication.”
Thomas said days go by quickly in the Department of Public Information & Civic Engagement.
“You never know what will happen, which is a plus in my book,” she said
Thomas’ life philosophy involves making a difference in the lives of the people around you.
“If you want to change the world, work on the things that occur in the 3-foot circle you are in the middle of first.”
Prior to joining the City, Thomas served at Mercy for 28 years, most recently serving as the executive secretary for the Springfield hospital president, chief nurse executive and vice president of human resources.