Vivian Hixenbaugh was not surprised to see her boss, Dennis Sanders at the statewide conference for key personnel of Georgia since Mr. Sanders was one of the speakers. Even as he began his talk, she was not surprised that he mentioned that key personnel of his staff were present at this year's conference.
But what happened next caught Mrs. Hixenbaugh off guard. Mr. Sanders introduced her as the 2004 Key Personnel of the Year for the State of Georgia.
Georgia recognized Mrs. Hixenbaugh in Athens in the presence of about 400 other key personnel throughout the state. As Mrs. Hixenbaugh came forward to accept her award and to be recognized, she was met with other members of her office who presented her with long stem roses to honor the moment.
As Mrs. Hixenbaugh stood before the group, she was noted as setting the standard with her dedication, her pleasant demeanor, and her commitment to excellence.
Mrs. Hixenbaugh first started working in the District Attorney's office when she was just out of high school in 1976, making $6,000 a year. After nine years, she was only making $14,000 per year. And she's still in the District Attorney's office 29 years later.
During Mrs. Hixenbaugh's time working in the District Attorney's office, she has seen nine different chief justices of the Supreme Court of Georgia, five governors of the state of Georgia and six presidents of the United States. She has worked with a number of different clerks, sheriffs and more law enforcement officers than she would care to remember. She has worked with and in many cases helped train numerous assistant district attorneys who have represented the state working in her office. But as Mr. Sanders pointed out, though there has been many changes in the district attorney's office, there was always one constant -- Mrs. Hixenbaugh.
Mr. Sanders said Mrs. Hixenbaugh has been his "right hand" throughout the years.
"She simply ignores the clock and works well past 5 p.m. almost every evening," he said in a press release. "She is never out with illness and has never taken all of her annual leave time any year of the 29 years that Vivian has worked here."
In fact, Mr. Sanders said, he sometimes has to "strongly suggest" that she take some time off. She has the perfect demeanor for any office.