Dedicated government employee honored at retirement party


When it comes to retirement parties, one would be hard-pressed to host a more exciting send-off from a long government career than the party for Baltimore resident Patricia Burns.

Pat with her daughter Lauren Burns and grandchildren Justin and Layla Burns

(Courtesy photo)

Pat with her daughter Lauren Burns and grandchildren Justin and Layla Burns

In her own description of the September 25, 2015 event at Martin’s West in Windsor Mill, Burns, who worked for more 35 years as an employment specialist and in various other capacities at the state Department of Labor Licensing and Regulations, kicked off her stilettos and partied through the night.

“It was so much fun,” said Burns, who, among other tasks helped to provide services to jobseekers who were ex-offenders. Burns assisted them in expediting their re-entry into employment.

“We did a little bit of everything at the party, from exercise to a fashion show and nutrition instructions,” Burns said.

The farewell to government employment party included appearances by longtime Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings; former NAACP president and five-term Maryland Democratic Congressman Kweisi Mfume; Weight Watchers CEO Joanne McCorkle-Smith; and Toastmasters International president Mohammed Murad of Dubai.

To top off the pomp and circumstance that permeated the ceremonies, citations were received from President Barack Obama; Maryland Governor Larry Hogan; and Democratic Maryland State Senator Delores Kelley; Delegate Keith Haynes and Baltimore City Comptroller Joan Pratt.

“I’m very politically active too, so they all came and supported me and they sent citations,” Burns said.

In addition to state big wigs and other high-profile heavy hitters, Burns’ husband Clarence Burns; daughter Lauren Burns and grandchildren Justin and Laila Burns; and son Sean Burns also accompanied her throughout her big and memorable night.

Also, for those wondering whether Burns will seek to vacation or just relax during her retirement, she said she is writing still another chapter.

“I’m a motivational speaker and I’ve already been asked to talk to young people who have had problems with the law,” she said, adding that she’ll also keep busy volunteering with the SEED Academy headed by her former boss Emelda Johnson. “I will be busy with helping young people stay engaged in education and in the arts,” Burns said.