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Susan Marler remembers when Cobb County Juvenile Court bought its first computer in the 1980s.

Her boss wrote a program in DOS, eliminating the need to write by hand in the docket books.

“He trained me on the computer program, and it just evolved from there,” Marler said. “It’s not what I was hired to do.”

KEEPING BUSY: Judicial Administrative Supervisor Susan Marler has worked for Cobb County for 24 years, having started her career with a brief stint as a legal secretary. Her duties have expanded to include the Juvenile Court’s optical imaging and digital recording equipment. But now she is the designated technical expert in Juvenile Court – although that description is not in her job title. A 24-year employee, Marler has worked as judicial administrative supervisor since 1986, overseeing eight employees in the records division. “We docket all the new cases and put out all the fires,” she said. Marler also oversees the case management system, called Banner, and works closely with Information Services to ensure that it’s running properly.

“Susan is terrific,” Juvenile Court Services Director Michelle Marchant-Wellmon said. “We couldn’t do without her. She’s a real go-to person and acts as liaison between the staff and Information Services.” Marchant-Wellmon, who has known Marler for 14 years, said she is always willing to help. “Anytime I’m having a problem that’s computer- or system-related, I go to her,” she said. She is also in charge of optical imaging and digital recording, two revolutionary technological improvements to the court system. The optical imaging system scans every document, so that employees can pull up a specific one on their computer at any time.

The system also provides a back up in case of fire. “I am definitely a technical person,” Marler said. “I love new technology. I have to keep up with it to keep the

court running. It streamlines our operation.” But working for the court system isn’t the only job that keeps her busy. Marler volunteers in several areas, most recently serving as co-captain of the Cobb County Government Walk America Team for the March of Dimes. Marler is also currently serving on the Cobb Committee for Walk America. The walk is scheduled to take place April 30 at Marietta Middle School.

“I’m excited about fundraising and coordinating the efforts,” she said.

“This year, our goal is to have Cobb County Government as one team instead of individual departments.”

Not always one to take the lead, Marler says, “This has forced me to step out of my comfort zone.” She credits her new-found confidence and leadership abilities to EXCEL, the county’s management program. She graduated in 2001 and then served as co-president of EXCEL Alumni 2002-2003. She stepped out into new territory again as president of Toastmasters at the Square (2001-2002). “There was a time when I would have rather written a 2,000-word essay than give a speech,” Marler said.

Her leadership was recently recognized by the county when she was nominated for the Martha Logue Management Award in 2004.

“It was a very humbling moment,” Marler said.

Her long career with the county began when Marler was just 19 years old after a brief stint as a legal secretary. A 1979 graduate of Wheeler High School, she married Rob Marler, and they have two daughters, Christine, 24, and Angela, 17. Marler says that she and Rob are basically childhood sweethearts. They grew up in the same neighborhood, just a few streets apart. They didn’t meet, however, until middle school and officially began dating in high school.

Self-described “outdoors people,” Marler and her family enjoy camping, hiking waterfalls, boating and fishing – especially since they’re just five minutes from Lake Allatoona.

“I’m a pretty simple person,” she said. “I don’t need a lot of things. A pizza and movie at home is an awesome night for me.”

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