Everyone at the AOC is a big fan of Monte Harris. That might be because he’s the person who makes sure we get paid.
Really, everyone at the AOC is a fan of Monte because he’s a great coworker. He’s nice to everyone and patient when we come to him with problems. While he spends much of his time sequestered in his office pouring over numbers, when he does emerge he has a smile and a pleasant word for everyone.
Monte is the AOC’s Payroll Manager. He works with HR to ensure all employees get paid for their hard work and have access to their benefits. He is also the person who stands between the AOC and the IRS.
Monte is a native Georgian and has lived his life in Metro Atlanta. He spent his early years in Decatur, then his family moved to Stockbridge where he attended Morrow High School. After college, Monte moved intown, living in Virginia Highlands. After living in the city for 10 years, Monte was ready for yard work, so he bought a home on the National Historic Register in College Park.
Monte comes from a Georgia Tech family. His grandfather was Class of ’41 and his family has been attending Tech football games all his life. Monte grew up expecting to study architecture at Tech but when it was time to go to college knew he couldn’t face four years of Calculus. So he headed to Athens to attend the University of Georgia. Monte thought about becoming a pharmacist, but his Chemistry class cured him of that idea. He then toyed with the idea of becoming a weatherman and studying atmospheric science to predict weather. Finally, he decided to use his love of the outside and working in the yard and began to pursue a degree in landscape architecture. After his first year, Monte returned to the Atlanta area and decided to work on his core classes closer to home at Clayton State University. There he quickly realized he liked his business classes and knew a business degree would guarantee employment, so he pursued a degree in Accounting then added a second degree in Management.
After college, Monte worked briefly for a pharmaceutical company in general accounting, but he really wanted to serve the public and work for the State. He applied to work as an accountant at the then Georgia Public Defender Standards Council (GPDSC). He didn’t get that job, but the folks at GPDSC were so impressed, when a job became available at the AOC they recommended Monte. Monte interviewed at the AOC and was offered the job that day before he could even leave the office. He started work at the AOC on April 1, 1999 (insert April Fool’s joke here).
Monte is meticulous. One thing he likes about his job is, if he does everything right, the result is a definite correct answer. He does not like to make mistakes. He vividly remembers a time, about 15 years ago, his reconciliation was off by 50¢. Yes, you read that right, 50 cents. He worked diligently for days to find the small miscalculation and corrected it. His reconciliations have been perfect ever since.
After working with numbers all week, Monte enjoys the freedom of his time off. In addition to enjoying Georgia Tech football, Monte is an Atlanta United fan. He has been a soccer fan from way back having grown up playing soccer and following the English Premier League long before Atlanta became a soccer powerhouse.
As mentioned before, Monte loves the outdoors. His is constantly working in his yard, having gotten his green thumb from his grandmother. On weekends, he and his wife Kelly hike locally. They especially love hiking the Davidson Arabia trail in Lithonia. Monte enjoys mountain biking and tries to ride once or twice a week, preferring dirt single track trails. If he has to stay indoors, he enjoys listening to live music, watching documentaries about history and true crime and reading biographies and books on World War II.
When he needs to get out of town, he prefers the Georgia coast where his family has vacationed since he was a little kid. The Golden Isles are so special to him, he and Kelly were married on Jekyll Island at Driftwood Beach. They honeymooned in Sedona, Arizona where they hiked every day. Monte also enjoys exploring National Parks and dreams of visiting all of them. To that end, two years ago, Monte hiked the Grand Canyon, down and up in one 100° August day. He is as committed to his leisure time as he is to his work at the AOC.
Monte loves working at the AOC. The work is interesting, but he understands, if he does his job right, folks in the office might take him for granted. He really likes the people at the AOC. His work can be very stressful, he has hard deadlines every two weeks, so he appreciates the relaxed attitudes of his co-workers. He intends to be with the AOC until he retires. You can bet that Monte and his wife will then don their backpacks and hiking shoes and head off to the next National Park on his list.