SGF Newsletter Member Spotlight – Anne Marie Downen, CPA, CGMA

Photo of Anne Marie Downen.

Anne Marie Downen, CPA, CGMA is the director of finance and treasurer for the Greater Boise Auditorium District. She oversees the financial management, risk management, and treasury functions for the organization. In her previous role, she served as the senior financial officer for a group of companies with over $200 million in revenue, as well as two manufacturers. Prior, she served as vice president and commercial loan officer and as a credit administrator for local, regional, and national banks and left the industry in 2007. She also owned and operated a CPA firm for twenty years. 

She has a  business degree with an accounting emphasis from the University of Idaho and is a CPA. Anne Marie currently serves as  treasurer for a local nonprofit for which she is a founding member and served as first  chairperson. She is a member of the Idaho Public Purchasing Association, Idaho Society of CPAs, and American Institute of CPAs. 

Q&A with Anne Marie

What makes your community unique?

Boise is Idaho’s capital city and hub of commerce, government, industry, and innovation. Boise is the third largest city in the Pacific Northwest and Boise’s metropolitan area (known as the Treasure Valley) has a combined population of 795,000. The city is nestled between picturesque foothills and pristine mountains with a river that runs right through downtown. The region is ranked consistently among the fastest-growing areas in the country. Boise’s high quality of life has attracted agribusiness, high-tech, and manufacturing businesses. Companies founded and headquartered in Boise include Albertsons, Micron Technology, Inc., and J.R. Simplot Company. The area is home to Boise State University, known for its academic and athletic excellence and a secondary University of Idaho campus.

Residents and visitors enjoy Boise’s abundant outdoor activities. From the Boise Greenbelt 25-mile pedestrian and bike path to hundreds of miles of hiking trails, white water rafting, skiing, golfing, and fishing, Boise has an activity for everyone. Downtown Boise offers plentiful local dining, breweries, shops, cultural attractions, and entertainment. Boise was recently named one of America’s Next Great Food Cities by Food and Wine magazine.

Why do you serve as a finance professional?

As finance professionals, we perform an essential public service by ensuring that the public interest is not compromised, and financial information is transparent. The decisions we make either positively or negatively affect the financial stability of our organization, as well as the lives of our employees, residents, and businesses. It is a rewarding to serve the public interest and ensure that our decisions positively impact our community. My career as a finance professional has also been fulfilling because it is dynamic, diverse, and challenging, with opportunities to grow and explore. 

What are the challenges you think finance professionals will be facing in the near and the distant future?

In these turbulent times, we face many challenges; finance professionals face pressure to close the books faster and integrate systems to provide more financial transparency, manage increasing risk, maintain profit margins with rising costs, and attract and retain talent.  These are certainly challenges to overcome and it takes adaptation and resourcefulness to address the opportunity hidden inside adversity.  There are opportunities to strengthen relationships, improve processes to be more efficient, lower fixed costs, and take other actions to make our organizations more fiscally stable and resilient.  We also need to foster a work environment that is open and honest, inclusive, collaborative, flexible, and supportive of our employees and their families and other organizational partners.