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Why a Retiring Forsyth County Employee Will 'Miss it All' After 26 Years

Throughout her career, Stephanie Holbrook has worn many hats as she’s worked across various Forsyth County departments. But now, after 26 years of service, she’s hanging up her final hat and retiring.  

“There’s a lot I’ll miss about working for the County, but it’s mostly the people,” Holbrook said. “You just become so close to your coworkers that coming into work every day is worth it.”  

Holbrook worked as a senior administrative assistant with the Forsyth County Fire Department since fall 2022, but before that, she worked with the County’s Procurement, Water & Sewer and Planning & Community Development teams.

Senior Administrative Assistant Stephanie Holbrook

At the fire department, Holbrook said her coworkers were like her family.  

“Everybody at the fire department has been great and welcoming,” she said. “It’s like a family here. This is definitely a department that still has that type of an environment. People are your family members, not just your coworkers.” 

She said she will miss “hearing people laugh and having a good time as they get their jobs done,” and the relaxed and friendly feel of the fire department. But of course, Holbrook said, she would miss her smiling coworkers the most, especially Fire Administration Manager Zach MacTavish, her supervisor.  

“I appreciate how Zach has trusted me after working with him for a long time when I was in Procurement,” Holbrook said. “He’s been a really amazing mentor even while he juggles being a manager and helping grow the fire department. He’s been a big part of my growth, and I appreciate everything he’s done to support me.”  

Support was a common theme throughout Holbrook’s career with Forsyth County, as she said she always felt supported by her coworkers, supervisors and the County.  

Holbrook spent most of her career working in Procurement—over 20 years—where she “purchased anything from pens to trucks to tractors—whatever the department needed to get their job done,” supporting employees from every County department. 

“Being able to purchase things that departments needed was very rewarding,” she said. “Just being a part of that process and knowing you were able to help the County employees that are serving the taxpayers was special.” 

One such project Holbrook worked on that Forsyth County residents might recognize is the giant painted eggs scattered around the county, which she assisted Parks & Recreation in purchasing.  

Holbrook said it was neat to drive around the county today and still see the eggs—reminders of how she had been able to support a County department to provide citizens with interesting and fun art.

One of the many "Eggstraordinary Outdoor Art Exhibit" eggs scattered around Forsyth County.

While working with Procurement was “high-paced” and “challenging since you never knew what each day held for you,” Holbrook said she was thankful for her time in the department as she was able to grow personally and professionally.  

Holbrook explained that she began in Procurement as an administrative assistant and worked her way to becoming a procurement agent II, utilizing the County’s offerings of training and educational opportunities.  

“The County offers a lot of education and training, so I’ve always appreciated that and taken advantage of that—any educational or professional training,” she said. “I love that the County is invested in its employees and offers that to help people grow.” 

On the topic of growth, Holbrook said her time with the County was special as she’s been able to watch Forsyth County grow around and with her.  

“I have seen a lot and been through a lot of changes and growth with this county,” she said. “It’s like we’ve grown together. I’ll definitely miss it here.” 

In her retirement, Holbrook will be moving to a new house in a new city, a place where she will be able to spend time relaxing with family members. But she will take a piece of Forsyth County with her, she said.  

“Working a government job is rewarding because it’s something different every day, you’re always learning something new and you’re providing services to the taxpayers,” Holbrook said. “I’ll never forget my time with the County. It’s been amazing to grow, the coworkers have been the reason I stayed so long, and I’ll just miss it. I’ll miss it all.”  

Stephanie Holbrook receives an honorary plaque from Fire Chief Barry Head to celebrate her retirement.

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