We recently spoke with Herbert Gordon, who serves as the Program Manager for the Georgia Courts Registrar and as the Program Manager for the Office of Court Professionals at the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts.
Condensed and edited for clarity
Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez: Would you please share your professional background with our readers?
Herbert Gordon: Sure, I’ve been with the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts for nine and a half years. I started working here part-time in 2013 supporting the County and Municipal Probation Advisory Council. In 2015, I began my journey with the Georgia Courts Registrar as a full-time employee. In 2018, I was promoted to program manager of the Georgia Courts Registrar. In March of this year, I was promoted to program manager for both the Office of Court Professionals and the Georgia Courts Registrar. I have a bachelor’s degree in merchandising and, in 2019, I received the Certified Public Manager Certification from the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute.
NL-A: A bachelor’s degree in merchandising. That’s interesting.
Herbert Gordon: Growing up, I imagined owning a huge marketplace selling all types of garments and accessories. I’ve always been in tune with fashion. I went to a small school in Atlanta called Bauder College and received my merchandising degree, but then the recession of 2008 hit. Coming out of school during that period made it very difficult to find employment, but I was fortunate to secure a part-time position doing basic office work for the Georgia Department of Corrections where I met Shavonda Fields who, after she’d moved on to the JC/AOC for a couple of years, contacted me and encouraged me to apply for a position. I’ve been here ever since.
NL-A: What a testament to your work that you were sought after by a former colleague.
Herbert Gordon: Thank you.
NL-A: Now, what exactly is the Georgia Courts Registrar?
Herbert Gordon: The short answer is that the Georgia Courts Registrar is a database. It is a repository of information on the certification and licensing of court professionals: court reporters, process servers, court interpreters, and neutrals. That database also tracks court information and continuing education hours for Municipal Court Judges and Clerks. My team and I provide a lot of hands-on assistance to ensure that credentials for court professionals are properly documented. I owe a lot to the Georgia Courts Registrar Staff they are the gears that keep it going.
NL-A: How would you describe your job? What do you do for the JC/AOC?
Herbert Gordon: As Program Manager for the Office of Court professionals, I provide staff support to the Judicial Council’s Standing Committee on Court Interpreters, the Council of Municipal Court Judges, the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, the Judicial Council’s Board of Court Reporting, the Judicial Council’s Standing Committee on Court Reporting Matters, and the Georgia Certified Processor Program.
As Program Manager of the Georgia Courts Registrar, I oversee and assist with a diverse set of activities relating to certification, registration, and licensing of court professionals. I oversee technical and customer service support to our court professionals and ensure a high level of customer satisfaction for our stakeholders.
NL-A: How large is the team that you lead?
Herbert Gordon: On the Georgia Courts Registrar side, I manage three full-time employees and one part-time employee. On the Office of Court Professionals side, I’m a one-man band.
NL-A: What drives you to do your work?
Herbert Gordon: I’ve been here nine and a half years, a long time. Although I am new to the Office of Court Professionals, I have a lot of experience with the Georgia Courts Registrar, and I really enjoy that work. When I start to explain it to people, they will often comment that it has a lot of moving parts. I’m lucky to have been a part of the Georgia Courts Registrar since the beginning, so I have a good understanding of how it all works.
What I like most about my work is that it allows me to see what so many other judicial branch employees do. My team and I assist so many groups. For instance, when I first started at the JC/AOC, I wasn’t familiar with the process of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution or the Committee on Court Interpreters. In this position, I get a full understanding of the judicial branch. I tell people all the time, the AOC is a great springboard. You have an opportunity to learn so many different things when you work for the JC/AOC.
NL-A: What do you hope to achieve in your position? What is your big picture goal?
Herbert Gordon: I strive for complete customer satisfaction. Even at home with my family, I’m the fixer. I always make sure everyone is ok, feeling right, and comfortable. That translates over to my work as well. On a personal note, I want to continue to grow professionally. I’ve met so many wonderful people working for the JC/AOC, and I’ve learned so much along the way. It is inspiring to be in a work environment that encourages professional development.
NL-A: Continuing on a personal note, did you grow up around here?
Herbert Gordon: No, I’m originally from Hartford, Connecticut.
NLA: Insurance capital of America and home of the Yard Goats! I thought my hometown double-A baseball team—the Portland Seadogs—had an odd name until we played the Hartford Yard Goats.
Herbert Gordon. Yes, we’re the Yard Goats! And, yes, Hartford is a hub for insurance companies and that is one reason why I left in 2006 because unless you want to be involved in insurance, there’s not a lot of opportunity.
NL-A: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Herbert Gordon: My wife and I have three kids. So, they keep us very busy. Also, I’ve always enjoyed sports and investing. I was a big basketball player as a kid, and I really enjoy the stock market. In high school, I earned a basketball scholarship to attend a private boarding school. That was a wonderful opportunity—really broadened my horizons.
NL-A: Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
Herbert Gordon: Yes, I want readers to know that I appreciate the leadership at the JC/AOC. I worked here prior to our Agency Director, Cynthia Clanton, taking the helm and, thus far, for the entirety of her tenure. She’s created a very positive work environment with flexibility, encouragement, and collegiality. She’s also very direct, which I appreciate. I feel very supported by Cynthia and all of our senior staff, in particular, Stephanie Hines. We’ve got great role models in leadership here.