(May 13, 2022) Franklin, TN – After serving the Franklin Fire Department for the past seven years, Administrative Assistant Marlena DeSantis will retire today. A retirement luncheon to celebrate her career and contributions took place Wednesday afternoon at Franklin Fire Department Headquarters.
Marlena grew up in Rockford, IL. She met her husband, Ralph, a Syracuse, NY native, when she took a trip there in high school to visit her cousins. She moved to Syracuse after they married. They relocated to Middle Tennessee nearly 30 years ago for Ralph’s job with GM/Saturn.
Marlena worked for Maury County Schools while their two sons were school-aged. Following that, she was hired by Lowes Home Improvement, where she worked for 17 years in varying roles, eventually being promoted to Human Resources Manager.
Marlena joined the Franklin Fire Department in 2015, because she said she wanted a new challenge outside of the retail sector. Fire Chief Glenn Johnson said she was hired for her payroll, inventory, and purchasing expertise.
Over the years Marlena helped implement new payroll and inventory systems. She was instrumental in helping to plan and schedule training and travel for personnel. She helped equip two new fire stations – Stations 7 and 8, with furnishings and essentials personnel needed to live and work in the spaces. Additionally, she was responsible for helping to coordinate numerous recruit firefighter graduation ceremonies and awards ceremonies throughout the years.
Marlena was the 2021 Support Employee of the Year. During her tenure she also earned a COVID-19 campaign ribbon.
“We are thankful for Marlena’s dedicated years of service to the City of Franklin and the Franklin Fire Department,” said Fire Chief Glenn Johnson. “We appreciate her commitment to detail and accuracy, and especially the care she took with all that she did. She has been a tremendous friend and asset to all of us. We will miss her, but are excited for her as she begins her retirement adventure.”
Upon retirement Marlena plans to spend more time with family, traveling, and helping to care for her three grandchildren.