Leaving a place better than you found it is a motto many strive to achieve.
Danetta Jones, head of management/fiscal operations for Fort Valley State University’s College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology, takes pride in knowing that even with an early retirement scheduled for late June, she will leave FVSU knowing she helped to financially sustain Georgia’s 1890 Land-Grant University.
Jones, who came to FVSU with years of experience in accounting and fiscal affairs, gives credit to her faith which helped her make challenging decisions that allowed the College of Agriculture and Cooperative Extension Programs to thrive.
“Working here really allowed me to think outside the box,” Jones said. The mother of three describes herself as an inquisitive person who found working in fiscal affairs intriguing and rewarding.
“Every day was a new adventure. I got to do a variety of things,” Jones said. Some of her duties included working alongside federal agencies like the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and helping land-grant administrators manage million dollar budgets.
With her retirement date approaching, the Fort Valley native said she took pride in her work. No matter how big or small the tasks, she worked hard because she has respect for FVSU.
“FVSU means a lot to me. It was more than a job, it is my alma mater,” she said proudly.
Jones began working at FVSU in 2003 as a data entry clerk and after years of experience in that role and service as an accounting clerk, she rose to the title of head of fiscal management in 2008.
During her 15 years of service, the 66-year-old said she has seen several processes improve to include the procurement process and the establishment of a relationship with the university’s business office. Jones said she’s also thankful for the mentoring relationships she built with students, some who are now full-time employees of the university.
As she reflects, Jones said many of the experiences she had prior to FVSU helped her succeed in serving the university.
Some of her experiences include employment with the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration (E. St. Louis, IL) Gulf Oil Company U.S. (now BP) and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development for the City of Macon.
When she returned to her home state of Georgia, Jones accepted a job at Robins Air Force Base where she worked with computer systems and payroll.
“I learned about all the different software and coding languages that make systems operate, I liked that,” Jones said.
Due to this experience, during the late 90s, Jones left Robins Air Force Base and decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. She earned that degree from Fort Valley State University, becoming an alumna in 1998. She continued her education and also earned a Master of Public Administration from Central Michigan University.
As her retirement date approaches, Jones said her days ahead will include much needed relaxation.
“I’m going to learn to rest. Out of all the years I worked, I stayed busy. My weekends were full too, because I serve as a licensed evangelist missionary in the Church of God in Christ, Inc.” she said. In addition to resting, Jones also plans to make a few special trips.
“I want to go on the Price is Right. If I get picked, great! If not, I’ll be happy still. Just to be there in the audience will be fun,” Jones said.