Tanner Coursey, Business Manager, City of Arlington, Texas (LGBTQIA+ Caucus Secretary)

Photo of Tanner.

What made you want to move from being a member to being an officer?
In my experience, GFOA has proven its commitment to providing a place for government finance professionals to learn, challenge themselves, and prepare for their next career steps, but it’s also created a space for fellowship and camaraderie. During one of my first networking events with the LGBTQIA+ Caucus, I vividly remember multiple members discussing what are generally “hard to talk about” topics in our everyday places of work. In those conversations, members were offering their own personal insight and solutions to challenges faced by other members. I immediately recognized how valuable the Caucus was not only to its members but also to GFOA at large and to our home organizations and communities. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to serve the Caucus as an officer. I hope that, together, we can continue fostering an environment of knowledge and idea sharing, providing a safe space to talk about the continued challenges our community faces, and ultimately make incremental progress and positive impacts on the lives of each Caucus member and the communities we serve.

What's your favorite part of being part of the LGBTQIA+ community?
Being raised in a suburban, Christian, and conservative family in a predominantly white part of town meant my exposure to anything outside of those characteristics was severely limited. Not shockingly, coming out as gay changed most of that, and while I am fortunate to have a wonderful blood family, it wasn’t until I started building my chosen family, people predominantly within the LGBTQIA+ community, that I met others who often thought differently than me, looked different than I looked, and expressed themselves in a way that was unique to their person. The LGBTQIA+ community is so brilliantly vibrant, diverse, and beautiful. It has challenged me, and it has made me a better a person, and I am so grateful for that.

What made you choose a career in public finance?
Truthfully, I don’t think a career in public finance was a conscious choice for me in the very beginning, but my mindset and desire to stay in public finance has remained unwavering since. I’ve been fortunate enough to interview and hire multiple candidates in our industry, and somewhere during the process I always try to steal a few moments and share about my experience in the public sector. I do this because I want to gauge a prospective candidate’s desire to make an impact on the community they might serve. I do this because, to me, it is one of the most rewarding aspects of our jobs as public servants, and it’s exactly why I come to work each day ready to find better and more efficient ways to provide services to our communities.