Every Step In Life Counts

Article by · February 21, 2019

RAMONA BIVINS’ NATURAL LOVE FOR PEOPLE IS what gives her the desire to share her time and treat others with a high degree of respect regardless of race, gender or socio-economic background. As Chief Financial Officer for Clayton County Government, a natural love for people certainly comes in handy.
Even though her demanding career choice calls for long hours and a post graduate degree, Bivins notes that her greatest accomplishment was raising her two children, Steven and Krystal Ashley. She was a young, single woman raising a male child, in particular, on her own. That fact, coupled with disparaging statistics back then predicted a future on public assistance with at risk children. However, Ramona refused to be a statistic. Not only did she not fall on the wrong side of statistical data, neither did her children. Now adults, both having attended college, are leading successful lives. Steven is a firefighter for Clayton County Fire Department and Krystal works for a governmental agency in procurement.

A YOUNG MOTHER’S JOURNEY
At a young age, Bivins found herself in a situation that should have left her life in shambles. However, determination and passion go a long way with laser like focus. “I graduated from high school in May, married my first husband, and started junior college that June. My first child, Steven was born in July and after his birth, I returned back to college that fall,” Ramona recalls. Not long after her return back to school, Bivins found herself pregnant with Krystal who was conceived and born during her second year in college.
   With baby number 2 in tow, Ramona’s determination to continue on with her degree was relentless and unwavering. She completed all required coursework before delivering her second baby, and even assisted professors with tutoring classmates and grading assignments when she returned mid semester after Krystal’s birth.
When her first marriage ended, Ramona forged ahead and began her career in governmental accounting work as a staff accountant in the school district she’d matriculated through. For her, there was no better way to begin her career than in the place she’d taken her very first accounting class. Throughout the years Bivins has held various positions in the accounting world, from Houston Independent School District, the largest district in the State of Texas, where she was responsible for managing over $200 million, to Atlanta Public schools where she managed a billion dollar budget for over two years, to now, her current role as CFO for Clayton County.

INSPIRATION FOR OVER 25 YEARS IN ACCOUNTING
“I give credit to my mother Mrs, Tommie Mumphrey, as my first inspiration for the desire to get into accounting and make it a career. She worked at Sun Oil Company in the accounting department and seemed to love what she was doing for a living. As a young kid that liked math, I thought it was cool that she worked with numbers every day. And in high school I earned the opportunity to participate in a work study program that offered a position working in an accounting department for a large local oil and gas company”. That opportunity pretty much sealed the deal for Bivins’ career path of becoming a CFO.
   While her mother inspired her to pursue a career in accounting, Ramona is also inspired by always beating the odds and creating possibilities out of unseemly circumstances/impossibilities. Her life attests to that. However, it is her late paternal grandmother Zether Rea McCoy Willis’, affectionately known as Mother Zet, words of wisdom that inspired this CFO most. “My grandmother would always tell me and my two sisters that we could do anything we wanted to do and to never let anyone tell us anything different”. She reinforced the idea of always being in a position to take care of ourselves in the event we had to”. It was those words and her strong faith in God that gave courage to Ramona’s way of life of beating the odds. She strongly believes that your circumstances DO NOT determine your destination.

2 Comments

  • Joycelyn Lee

    Awesome Story, Awesome Lady! Congratulations Ramona

  • Karen Sullivab

    Ramona.. You are such a special Lady and a wonderful Inspiration! Keep, Charlton dancing!