#13Percent: My Calling

Public Service My Calling To Fulfill

By Yolanda Triplett

Today’s 13% post comes to you from Yolanda Triplett who is the Program Development Supervisor for the Division of Building Safety in Orange County Florida. Yolanda’s customer centric position provides oversight for the reception area, contractor licensing, online services, and the telephone call center and division outreach.

“Citizen Service is the very American idea that we meet
our challenges not as isolated individuals but as members of
a true community, with all of us working together. Our mission
is nothing less than to spark a renewed sense of obligation,
a new sense of duty, a new season of service.”
– William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States

The 28th day of July in the year of 1998, I embarked on this journey called public service. I liken my career as a public administrator with the Division of Building Safety, in Orlando, Florida to a journey because it has definitely taken me places both personally and professionally. Serving the public in an industry that is dominated by males; I have learned valuable lessons and earned the respect of those whom I serve along with daily. I recognize the work that I do as public service and it is my calling to fulfill.

For seventeen years, I have had the pleasure of serving the public with their building permits and inspections needs. I love to share with people that I work in a place where we help citizens and those in the construction industry go from “dirt to dollars”! The core mission of the Division of Building Safety is to ensure that buildings are built safely according to state and local codes. Citizens and design professionals start a process with a plan on paper and finish the process with a structure that they will utilize for living, working, or playing in our community. As a proud public servant, I assist those on the building and construction journey with navigating the process.

I serve the public in an area where hospitality and tourism rule, and Mickey Mouse has a nearby house. I have been afforded the opportunity to work on projects that grow the economy, expands the local workforce and blaze the trail for innovate ways to get things done. From alluring attractions, high-rise hotels, lively light shows, and mega-mansions fit for a king I have seen this city go from four-lane roads to highways paved with gold!

Over the years, I have had countless encounters with customers that left lasting impression into my memory. The first was the opportunity to assist a deaf couple get power restored at their home with the use of collaboration and communication. Then there was the coordination of a large hotel project and expand of our convention center that required construction plans that filled up rooms adjacent to our offices. Served unselfishly with our staff to restore the county as Central Florida was hit with the big three hurricanes (Charley, Frances, and Jean) in 2004. Ushered in the housing boom of 2006 that was through the roof for us, then to watch as the economy took a major downturn that affected the construction industry. I help transitioned half of our staff to other positions within the county in 2008 and those of us who remained worked reduced work hours to stay employed, for eighteen months. In 2012, we took a big technology leap and added a new web-based permitting system to integrate many of our services.

Public service is a necessary function to keep the community going and growing. As a public servant, I recognize the vital role I play in working hand in hand with business and homeowners, design professionals, all those within the permitting and development industry. Each day stands on its own and I still can say, I am equipped the journey ahead, this is truly my calling to fulfill.