GFOA's Second Annual Hero Award recognizes finance officers who have demonstrated extraordinary actions during a time of financial, natural, or human-made crisis. The Hero Award Committee, composed of members of GFOA’s Executive Board, selected the following recipients of the inaugural award.
2020 GFOA Heroes
LaShea Lofton, Finance Director, City of Dayton, Ohio
The City of Dayton had a year that required a tremendous amount of leadership.
- The year started with a water catastrophe due to a significant water main break under a river that left citizens without municipal water service for several days in February 2019. This emergency impacted more than 400,000 people.
- In May 2019 the KKK held a rally in downtown Dayton. Administrators spent months preparing for a coordinated public safety response. The event cost the City over $600,000.
- Also in May 2019, more than a dozen tornadoes swept through the Dayton region. Over 200 people were treated with storm-related injuries. The area received a federal disaster designation with 942 homes destroyed in the region and 837 homes received at least minor damage.
- In August 2019 Dayton was the site of a mass shooting in the Oregon District. Nine people were killed and 32 were injured.
Lofton worked with departments throughout the City to ensure that the City’s dollars were accounted for, coordinated with federal and state agencies to ensure maximum federal reimbursements, and guided the departments to ensure the City maintained transparency and accountability for public funds.
John Troyer, Finance Director, Town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Based on experiences with Hurricanes Matthew (2016), Irma (2017), and Dorian (2018), the Town implemented an increase to their reserved debt capacity. Later, when Hurricane Dorian passed by the Town and hit other areas in North and South Carolina, the Town was able to send first responders to other jurisdictions to help in their responses with the leadership of Troyer.
To date, the Town has collected more than $40 million in federal and state reimbursements of over $50 million spent in responses. With the leadership of Troyer, emergency planning, and training, the Town has been an example of all areas of staff working together.