CPFO Spotlight: Dean Smith

Dean Smith, CPFO, is debt management specialist for the City of Columbus, Ohio.

Photo of Dean Smith.

Why did you want to become a CPFO?

I wanted to pursue a program that would help prepare me to take on more of a leadership role in public finance and within my region. By completing the CPFO program I feel more confident and well-rounded as a public finance professional. With this new level of self-confidence and an enhanced skill set I am prepared to tackle the challenges facing the Columbus Region in the coming decades.

What did you learn going through the process?

I learned a multitude of different concepts in all corners of public finance. Most importantly, I learned how each area of public finance relates to my own specialty of debt management. By learning the major areas of our profession, I am able to communicate more effectively with public finance practitioners in other specialties.

How has becoming a CPFO made an impact on you in your profession or how do you hope it will make an impact?

Pursuing the CPFO is one of the best choices I have made in my professional career. I want to keep building upon this knowledge while I apply what I have learned to both my job and volunteer positions.

What would you say to others thinking about becoming a CPFO?

If you are eager to learn and grow, then do it! I spent countless hours and weekends studying for all seven exams. Fortunately, I had a very supportive employer along with family and friends who supported me along the way. By taking on such a challenging public finance program early on in my career, I have obtained the self-confidence to really propel my career and my community forward.

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