DEARBORN — A celebratory dinner took place last Thursday, March 16 at La Pita in Dearborn to honor Assad Turfe and his recent promotion to deputy county executive of Wayne County.
Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans promoted Turfe to the position last September, following his 20 years of service for Wayne County.
He began his career in 2002 as a deputy in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. Unbeknownst to him at the time, this would be the role that would launch him into an esteemed career and lead to the position he holds today. Following his deputy role, he then moved up to investigator, then sergeant and then lieutenant before transitioning to the County Executive’s office.
Turfe told The Arab American News that being the son of immigrant parents motivated him to one day hold a position that allowed him to help those who don’t have the access or resources to help themselves.
“Growing up, being a child of two immigrant parents, I saw the disservice that I felt like the government did to them and there was a lack of access to information and services,” he said. “And I always told myself that one day I’m going to get to a position where I could help change policy, to be able to help people that remind me of my mom and dad.”
In his work at Wayne County, Turfe has successfully been able to serve and help the people, as he always sought to do.
“It’s about serving and I wanted to get to a place one day where I could help change policy,” he said. “And now I’m in that position where I can help change policy for the better.”
Elected Wayne County and state officials, and community leaders gathered at La Pita banquet Hall to honor and celebrate Turfe and all he has accomplished.
The speakers spoke highly of him and commended him for his service, his accomplishments, his career, and his character. Speakers included Evans; Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud; attorney Sue Hammoud, Wayne County Commissioners Sam Baydoun, Al Haidous and David Knezek; Melanie Brown of the Governor’s Office; Samaya Hassan; The Arab American News founder and Publisher Osama Siblani; Judge Helal Farhat; State Representative Alabas Farhat and Huntington Bank Chairman Gary Torgow.
“I am more than elated to have appointed Assad to the job of deputy county executive,” Evans said. “I don’t think anybody is more deserving.”
Photos: Abbas Shehab
Many spoke on Turfe’s dedication to the residents of Wayne County and Mayor Hammoud proudly expressed that he is one of Dearborn’s own.
“Dearborn is a very special place and especially because of the people that live here and the people that make it great,” Hammoud said. “And one of those esteemed individuals is our very own Wayne County Deputy Executive Mr. Assad Turfe.
“Whichever path that you follow, know that just as you have been there for many of us in this room, we’ll be right there for you, pushing you forward and doing all we can to make sure that we pay it back and then some,” he added. “And with that congratulations in all you have done and I look forward to all you have left to accomplish.”
Many shared their similar praises of Turfe and the person he stands to be regardless of the title he holds. Sue Hammoud touched on the person she has come to know as she works alongside him.
“He’s ambitious, but he has a big heart,” she said. “He’s tough, but he’s compassionate. He’s humble, he’s driven, he’s confident, he’s loyal, he’s committed. The adjectives are seemingly endless, but most importantly, he genuinely cares. He cares about me, he cares about you, he cares about the citizens of Wayne County and he cares about the staff at Wayne County. That is what makes Assad Turfe the person and the leader so great.”
Knezek shed light on the the diverse and profound individuals who filled the room, illustrating the impact Turfe has had in his career.
“And you see the incredible depth and breadth of individuals and industry that are represented here today, the private sector, the public sector, our school systems, it speaks volumes about Assad Turfe, the relationships that he’s built, the impact that he’s had on Wayne County, the ability to deliver on behalf of our residents,” he said.
Turfe said he aims to be a better deputy county executive every single day and expressed how important it is to him that people know the person he is rather than his title.
“I’m more concerned with people knowing who Assad Turfe is than knowing who the deputy county executive is,” he said.