Jellison joins ESD as administrator

Alma Jellison joins the Williamson County ESD #4 as its administrator. She was recruited for the position by Chief Anthony Lincoln (right). (Christine Bolaños)

Alma Jellison joins the Williamson County ESD #4 as its administrator. She was recruited for the position by Chief Anthony Lincoln (right). (Christine Bolaños)

By Christine Bolaños

After 20 years of working at First Texas Bank, Alma Jellison accepted the administrative role recently at Williamson County Emergency Services District #4 to take on a new challenge and continue helping the community in a different way.

“It’s a challenge, something different,” said Jellison, who began her new job Feb. 8, after working as bank manager. “I’m in charge of all the administration. I’m the (Human Resources person).”

Chief Anthony Lincoln knew he wanted Jellison from the beginning and instead of spending time and resources to recruit a larger pool of applicants he focused on her.

“There will be a lot of employee interaction,” Lincoln said. “She’ll be the first point of contact. If something is wrong with the payroll they go to her first and stuff like that.”

Though her responsibilities at First Texas Bank differed from those at the fire station, Jellison will still carry over her quality customer service skills.

“I had seven employees under me at the bank so I was able to manage that,” Jellison said. “I hit that moment where this opportunity came up and I felt like it was something I needed to do. I’m looking forward to the opportunity of working with Anthony and the crew here.”

Though she has only resided in Liberty Hill for about six months, Jellison has been an intricate part of the community for a long time. She has previously served on the boards of multiple organizations including the Lions Club, Liberty Hill Christian Business Leaders, and the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce. She currently is active in the Chamber’s Women in Business organization.

“I like to be able to help and that was my way of giving back to the community that allowed me to be a part of it professionally,” Jellison said.

Lincoln said he recruited Jellison because of her successful professional career and reputation in business development.

“I targeted her to see if she wanted to go to work here,” Lincoln said. “I spent months kind of recruiting her. Her professional career wouldn’t allow us to have an open process. Somewhere during that time she bought into the fact that we could make a difference.”

He said the closed process was a unique situation the ESD found itself in, but he completely supported Jellison and her profession’s organizational standards.

“You don’t want to rock the boat for them,” Lincoln explained. “Once she finally did commit then there was also an exit plan.”

The position opened in February 2015 after the arrest of former administrator Tiffany Wells, who was charged with Misappropriation of Fiduciary Property/Financial Property from $20,000 to $100,000 — a third degree felony.

Lincoln got permission from the Board of Commissioners to fill the position full time in October, which is when he started his recruitment efforts.

“We had a professional relationship because we banked with them also,” Lincoln said. “When I started looking to hire I knew I wanted to hire someone at that level.”

Lincoln believes Jellison’s interpersonal skills will be of significant benefit to the ESD.

“We don’t really have a product to sell here, but we have customers,” Lincoln said. “Any time you’re selling the organization to customers because we’re dealing with public funds and they’ve got to trust us that we’re doing the right thing with those funds. Anything we can do to boost credibility is a plus.”

In addition to the high standards Jellison will bring to her post, Lincoln is confident she will also ease the load on him and other staff at the fire department.

“Immediately when she comes to work we could start picking up the pieces,” Lincoln said. “Nothing was hurting or lacking so we started doing some proactive things.”

Jellison hit the ground running by working on the annual audit.

“It was trial by fire and we survived that,” Lincoln said.

Jellison said she looks forward to seeing the Liberty Hill area continue to grow and growing alongside it.

“I look forward to all the new challenges that working for the ESD is going to give me,” she said.

Lincoln is confident that having Jellison on staff is a huge opportunity for the ESD.

“It’s a loss for the bank, but an opportunity for us to really excel and make a lot of positive things happen,” Lincoln said.

Jellison is ready to get to work.

“I look forward to the different atmosphere and being part of this organization and being part of this community in this aspect and still being able to work with the community as much as I can and with the customers.”

Chief Lincoln said Jellison’s salary will be $47,228.