After 33 years, Turner takes on a new role
The task of administering payroll oftentimes goes unnoticed unless there’s something wrong. But Martha Ann Turner has never gone unnoticed and it’s not because of payroll errors or discrepancies. It’s because for the better part of 33 years, she made sure each and every payroll check for each and every employee was accurate and on time.
“We’re all excited when we get our paycheck on Friday,” said Regina Auletta, vice president of administrative services for Bennett and Martha Ann’s longtime friend and coworker. “But we don’t really realize all the work behind generating each paycheck. You only notice if there’s a wrong deduction but you don’t really notice all the hard work that’s put into getting it right.”
And in her position in Payroll, Martha Ann took pride in getting things right.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a focused and dedicated person as Martha Ann,” Auletta said. “You could be in a room with her and have a conversation with someone else and she wouldn’t even realize someone else was there because she was so focused on her work.”
And Marcia Taylor said she never had to worry about payroll because she knew that with Martha Ann handling things, she would get it done.
“We never missed a payroll in all the years that Martha Ann was over the payroll department,” Taylor said. “She always made sure that payroll got out no matter how many hours it took.”
Timeliness and improvement, always with a smile
Turner, who has been described as both honest and dedicated, started working in Payroll working with Ms. Dorothy shortly after coming to work for Bennett in 1981. At that time the corporate office was located on Highway 81. For much of the time Martha Ann was also the manager of settlements.
Over the years Martha Ann Turner has been recognized and received several company awards including Employee of the Month (1996), Employee of the Year (1996), Leader of the Quarter (2007, 2014), Department of the Quarter (2010, 2014), and she was “Caught in the Act” for Integrity in December 2012. In Addition Martha Ann received the John Pini Award of Excellence in 2002, the J.D. Garrison Award in 2010, and Service Award for 30 years of service in 2013.
During her years in Payroll, Martha Ann continually improved how payroll was processed. When she first started everything was done manually, but then over the years, computer systems came into the workforce. Regina said Martha Ann would learn the system to see what was the best way to handle this and handle that, and she was always right on and could spot anything that was wrong or out of the ordinary.
“She would make the process much better than the computer software because she knew the company and she knew Marcia…she knew what Marcia wanted and what Marcia wanted for her people,” Regina said.
And Martha Ann was always one step ahead of what was going on.
“Most of the time if you questioned her about something she would say, ‘I got this or I’ve already done that,’” Regina said.
And even though Martha Ann was considering a change in position as far back as a year ago, she proved her loyalty and dedication and staying in Payroll as they transitioned from one payroll company to another.
On a personal note, Regina said Martha Ann is her best friend.
“We just go back a long way,” she said of their friendship. “She is a rock. She’s one of those people, she’s so confidential and trustworthy that everybody needs to know in life. You know you can go to her for anything and she will always give you good advice. And you know that once you tell her something in confidence, it will never go any further. And I think that’s what she brought to our payroll team, the confidentiality.”
And Regina said she expects Martha Ann to bring all those traits to her new position.
“I wish her the best of luck,” Regina said. “I just want my friend to be happy.”
A profound effect on her coworkers
Even though Martha Ann is still at Bennett sitting in a different area and new desk surrounded by different people, her former coworkers will miss seeing and hearing Martha Ann on a daily basis.
Caren Graves and Beth McCard said they will both miss her ringing the bells upon entering their area and saying her jingle…’It’s me, it’s me, it’s Martha T!’ It always made them giggle. And as serious as Martha T could be about the job, Caren said she always has a funny story to tell that leaves you laughing.
Rosie Mullins added that she will miss the conversations she and Martha Ann would have going back and forth across the hallway. And you could always tell what kind of day Martha Ann was having based on the number of her sometimes loud and sometimes heavy sighs.
Sue Betsill said she will always remember Martha Ann saying, ‘I don’t care how long it takes us to get it done. It’s got to be done right even if we have to stay here all night.’ And a couple of times, they did just that!
Martha Ann has been a big help to others as they came on board to work at Bennett.
Martha Ann hired Janice Lovern as bookkeeper and trained her on everything she knows. Janice said she is glad that she was hired when she was so that she could be trained by the best – Martha Ann. And Lynne’ Foster said Martha Ann taught her a lot in the 15 years they have worked together – most everything she knows about payroll.
Melissa Pirtle is now taking Martha Ann’s place and has been training her the last couple of months. Melissa said during her training, Martha Ann was always gracious with her five million questions, and she will miss Martha Ann sitting across the hall in Regina’s office and those two giggling like school girls.
And speaking of laughing, Beth McCard said they will miss hearing Martha Ann’s laugh on a daily basis.
“It’s very contagious,” Beth said. “Caren and I will hear her laughing and then we start laughing, and we don’t even know what she’s laughing about.”
They are all happy for her and her new role at Bennett and glad she will now have more time to enjoy with her family.
A wish for continued success from Mrs. Taylor
Marcia Taylor is sure that Martha Ann will bring much success to her new role at Bennett.
“It was a pleasure and a blessing to have the opportunity to work with Martha Ann over the last 33 years,” Marcia said. “Martha’s loyalty, dedication, and commitment to her job and to Bennett helped set the foundation that helped Bennett to grow and succeed over the last 40 years. I know that Martha will be very successful in her new role with BME and will bring that same loyalty, commitment, and dedication to her new position.”
Have a fun memory of Martha Ann? Would you like to thank Martha Ann for her many years in Payroll? Or perhaps you want to congratulate Martha Ann on her new position. Feel free to share by leaving a comment below.