By Taylor Dorman (Intern - Public Information)
On Thursday, April 16, a retirement party was held at District Seven in honor of the departure of Terry Hensley, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Operations Manager and Sun Guide Center guru. The colorful, Dr. Seuss-themed party was inspired by Seuss’ famous book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! The appropriate theme symbolized the opportunities and exciting adventures that await Terry as he begins the next chapter in his life after retiring from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
After ten years with FDOT, he made the decision to leave the agency to pursue new interests. “I leave DOT with mixed emotions,” Terry stated at his retirement party. “I’m happy to be doing something different with my life and spend more time with my family, but I’m a little sad to be leaving the group I’ve been working with. They’re such an excellent group and so good to work with.”
Terry made it clear how much he appreciated and respected his coworkers, and it was obvious the feelings were reciprocated. His coworker, Cathie McKenzie, has known Terry for eleven years and shared many kind words about her experience of being able to work beside him. “Terry has proven to be one of the most valued mentors in my life. I look to him as a leader who helps me to achieve my day to day working goals here at the Department. His outstanding ability to maintain calm, divert crisis, and carry on are what I admire and aspire to be.”
As District Seven prepares to adjust to a workplace without Terry Hensley, it’s clear the TMC will never be the same without his presence. Angela Allen has known Terry for six years and is aware of just how instrumental his role has been for the agency. “Under his leadership, District Seven has become increasingly more prepared for any disaster or planned event that may come to this area,” she states. Not only will his professional character be missed, but also his ability to show compassion towards others. “He has been extremely caring and understanding in times of personal struggles,” Allen states about her former supervisor. “His emphasis on family first, while still maintaining the professionalism of meeting the objectives of the District, is one of the things that I admire about him most. He is, in my opinion, irreplaceable.”
The room filled with people who gathered to send Terry off with a heartfelt goodbye. As Terry became overwhelmed with his coworkers saying farewell, it is evident that he is beloved by all and will truly be missed. When asked what he will miss the most about District Seven, Terry answered, “The people. I know it sounds like a cliché, but in this case it’s very true.”
District Seven wishes Terry Hensley all the best in his future endeavors and hopes he continues to inspire and have a positive effect on the people around him. As Dr. Seuss said in Oh, The Places You’ll Go! “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way!” Enjoy your next big adventure, Terry.