- Ecological Services
- Endangered Species
- Habitat Conservation
- Wetlands Inventory
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Debby Heffinger, Administrative Assistant
Southwest Virginia Field Office
Born and raised in the hills and hollows of southwest Virginia, Debby Heffinger has worked as an administrative professional in the environmental conservation arena for 37 years. She first worked with the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality but now serves as an administrative assistant in the Ecological Services Program at the Southwestern Virginia Field Office in Abingdon, Va. She and her husband, Gale Heffinger, are one of those rare Service couples who work side by side in a Service field office.
Heffinger's typical day consists of answering the phone, greeting and directing visitors, filing, opening and distributing mail to appropriate personnel, purchasing supplies, processing travel vouchers and timesheets, and performing other administrative tasks. Her sense of humor and thoughtful demeanor (she never forgets a birthday) help to lift spirits and make life at the office pleasant.
One of the highlights of Heffinger's career was her one-month detail in the Regional Office assisting administratively in the Fisheries program. Getting to meet regional office staff helped her to put faces to the voices she deals with from the field, make new friends, and feel better connected.
Those who have visited the Southwestern Virginia Field Office know that her office space is famous for its display of Elvis memorabilia. Anyone who wants to know anything about Elvis or any tune from the 60s should give her a call. She also enjoys family time, especially with her 10-year-old granddaughter and 22-month-old grandson.
Although Debby hopes to have several more years with the Service, she does like to dream a bit about retirement and a new "career" of fishing in the area lakes and streams. Staff in the office joke that when she finally does pick up her fishing pole and head out the door for the last time, she will wave and a mutter a deep-voiced, "thank ya, thank ya very much."
February 28, 2017