LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday honored retiring Department of Public Social Services Director Sheryl Spiller, who has devoted most of her life to public service.
“We owe you a great debt of gratitude,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas told Spiller.
Spiller began her county career straight out of high school, as a clerk typist for DPSS in the summer of 1967, and rose through the ranks to ultimately lead the department in 2012, becoming the first black person to be appointed to that position.
“As a clerk, I can remember that I was able to positively impact the lives of several hundred people, and as a leader, I’m able to impact the lives of millions of people,” Spiller said.
Supervisor Hilda Solis described the department as responsible “to help end poverty and to help those who can’t help themselves” and told Spiller, “It is important to see you rise and also not forget where you came from.”
Spiller said she is especially proud of enrolling roughly 1.1 million residents in Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act, moving millions of paper case files to a digital data management system and expanding customer call centers and online services.
The DPSS director began her comments by thanking God and ended with a mic drop she said was inspired by “someone who I truly admire as one of the greatest people to have walked this earth … Spiller out.”
Her apparent reference to then-President Barack Obama’s mic drop at his final White House Correspondents’ Dinner drew laughs and applause.
Spiller’s retirement will be effective Feb. 28.