2015 Scholarship Winners Announced

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has announced the recipients of its 2015 scholarships. The GFOA’s mission is to enhance and promote the professional management of governments and the awarding of scholarships is one of the ways the GFOA accomplishes its mission.

The recipient of the $12,000 Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship is Julia Carter, who will graduate in May 2016 with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Guelph, Ontario. Carter currently serves as an Assistant Negotiator to the Director of Intergovernmental Relations at the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC). She has contributed to financial negotiations and organizational management, and leads a project on economic measures in under-resourced communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories of Canada. She previously served as a Community Economic Development Project Director for the IRC. Locally, Julia volunteers with the Inuvik Youth Centre, serves as a board member for the Inuvik Justice Committee, and assists with various community events (such as the Petroleum Show and Northern Games). In the short term she plans to continue in her current position with the IRC. Ultimately, Julia wants an advanced financial leadership role with the IRC. Funded by the Girard Miller Foundation.

The recipients of the two awards for the Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship are April Haring and Michelle Kinder. Each will receive $7,000. Funded by the Government Finance Officers Association.

  • April Haring will graduate in December 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Rasmussen College. She presently serves as the City Auditor this position, April is responsible for budget preparation, administering personnel activities, supervising and maintaining utility billing and overseeing collections, and financial statement preparation. She also serves as the Community Development Director for the City where she is involved in planning, organizing, and funding numerous community projects. Prior to obtaining her current position, she was Deputy County Auditor for Dickey County, Ellendale, North Dakota. Eventually, April wants to obtain a position with a larger community in North Dakota or with the State so she can be of service to more people.
  • Michelle “Shelley” Kinder will graduate in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah. Currently, she is the Chief Financial Officer for the School District of Washington, Missouri. Her responsibilities include budget preparation, coordinating the development and implementation of a five-year financial plan, managing investments and cash flows, preparing and presenting monthly board reports, and overseeing the audit process and preparation of financial reports. Her previous position was Director of Accounting for the Wentzville School District in Missouri. Shelley plans to continue in her current position and has the goal of obtaining Standard and Poor’s AAA rating for the School District’s next bond issue.

The recipient of the $7,000 Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship is Jose R. Leon, who will graduate in June of 2016 with a Master’s degree in Accountancy from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago, Illinois. He recently became Account Technician I with the Department of Children and Family Services for the State of Illinois. His duties include verifying financial documents; posting information to journals, registers, and ledgers; preparing financial statements and reports; and assisting with the maintenance of the accounting system. Ultimately, Jose would like to obtain an internal auditing position with a government or a department of a government. Funded by Tyler Technologies.

The recipients of the four awards for the Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship are Nancy Clark-Gonzalez, Barbara M. Newman, Kimberly J. Stein, and Jina E. Turowski. Each will receive $7,000. Funded by the Government Finance Officers Association Scholarship Reserve.

  • Nancy Clark-Gonzalez will graduate in May 2015 with a Master of Business Administration degree in Management from Brenau University, Gainesville, Georgia. She is currently the Assistant Director of Finance and Budget for Camden County in Woodbine, Georgia. In this position she assists with the management and supervision of accounting policies and procedures, assists with the preparation of the budget, maintains the general ledger and reviews all accounting transactions for accuracy and compliance with generally accepted accounting principles, performs fiscal year end closing, and establishes the new budget in the accounting system. She previously served as an accountant with the County. Nancy plans to continue in her current position with the County as it grows and implements its new five-year strategic plan.
  • Barbara M. Newman will graduate in the Fall of 2015 with a Master of Accountancy degree from Rutgers Business School, Newark & New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is currently the Assistant Controller with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. In her current position she supervises employees in the areas of grants, contracts, accounts receivable and payable, and public housing accounting. She is responsible for the treasury and cash management functions, develops and implements standard operating procedures and internal controls for the Authority’s transactions, and has approval authority for cash disbursements, journal entries, and capital asset additions and disposals. Previously, she held other positions as accounting manager, financial analyst, and staff accountant with the Authority. Barbara’s ultimate career goal is to direct a department in a governmental agency or provide assistance to public authorities to develop new, cost-efficient, and effective processes that have a strong emphasis on internal control and data reliability.
  • Kimberly J. Stein will graduate in May 2015 with a Master’s degree in Accounting from American University in Washington, DC. Stein is currently the Financial Accounting Manager for the City of Rockville, Maryland. In that capacity she supervises the City’s accounting, internal audit, accounts payable, and payroll functions, establishes and maintains internal controls for finance functions, ensures adherence to generally accepted accounting principles, prepares the comprehensive annual financial report, ensures compliance with federal grant and internal revenue service requirements, and prepares offering statements related to bond issuances. Her ultimate goal is to be a Finance Director for a government.
  • Jina E. Turowski will graduate in May 2015 with a Master of Public Administration degree from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. She is currently the Finance Director for the City of Louisville, Ohio. Her responsibilities include preparing and administering the City’s annual operating budget, preparing and presenting monthly Finance Reports, updating and enforcing policies and procedures, and preparing the comprehensive annual financial report. Jina also previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Louisville City Schools, Ohio, and as the Treasurer to the Board of Education. She plans to continue working as a full-time City Finance Director.