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Debbie Lambert – Betty J. Lewis Unsung Hero for November

Debbie Lambert is November's Betty J. Lewis Unsung Hero!

Woman in car smiling

Debbie Lambert is the either of nine children born to her parents, the late Eddie and Jessie Cannedy. Debbie's father passed away in an accident at age forty-seven when Debbie was only six years old, leaving Debbie and her eight siblings to be raised by their mother as a single parent in Eagle Mills, Arkansas. They may not have had many material possessions, but they received plenty of spiritual guidance and love because their mother. She was a woman of faith and substance.

She became integrated her 7th grade year and graduated in 1975 from Bearden High School. She attended SAU Colleges. She began working at her first job at age 8, at the only grocery store in Eagle Mills named Montgomery Grocery. She worked after school on CETA programs in the 70s. In 1994, she worked for the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), which assisted parents in teaching their children at home prior to beginning kindergarten.

Debbie is a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Bearden. She supports her husband, who is pastor of First Baptist Church in Hermitage, AR. She has served as a Sunday School teacher and youth choir director. She and her husband, Michael, have been married for forty-seven years. They have two grown children, Michael (Victoria) and Chandra (Nakia); three grandchildren, Kristian, MaRyah and Aubrielle; and one godson, Anthony Thrower.

She became employed by the Ouachita County Assessor's office in 1993. She was hired as a deputy clerk in the office and worked under several pervious administrations. In 2011, she become the first African American and also the first African American female to hold the office of Ouachita County Assessor. Once sworn in, she made it her top priority to keep the office up-to-date with emerging technology as inexpensively as possible.

Some of her greatest achievements include:

  • ACT Data Scout having been purchased, allowing online viewing of real estate parcels county wide, and making it easier to view from the privacy of home 24/7/365.
  • The opening of a Facebook page for the citizens of Ouachita County to keep them apprised of the workings of the office.
  • Soutassess.com allowed assessment of personal property county-wide from the privacy of home 24/7/365.
  • During the last year of her administration, she had been tasked with overseeing a budget of nearly half a million dollars.

Debbie retired at the end of 2022, and is enjoying spending time with her family, traveling, and having an opportunity to spend more time with her grandchildren.

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