May 23, 2023 | Spotlight

Institute recognizes Public Finance Leadership Academy graduates

Institute recognizes Public Finance Leadership Academy graduates

Writer: Tracy Arner

Seventeen participants recently were recognized for completing the six-month Public Finance Leadership Academy (PFLA). Offered in partnership between the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government and Georgia Government Finance Officers Association, PFLA equips new and emerging public sector financial management leaders with the knowledge they need to successfully manage the fiscal affairs and activities of a local government.

The program is one of the Vinson Institute’s signature programs and builds upon the institute’s Local Government Finance Officer Levels I and II certificate programs. Vinson Institute faculty and external government finance industry partners teach topics ranging from preparing the annual comprehensive financial report, human resources, economic development, local government structure and more. 

The 2022-2023 cohort kicked off in October 2022 with a two-day session on leadership led by Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award recipient Walt McBride, who leads the Vinson Institute’s Leadership Development Unit. The leadership component sets this program apart from other financial management training, according to faculty member and finance expert John Hulsey.  

Hulsey, a 2023 recipient of the Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach, crafted the program for finance professionals who wish to pursue leadership roles.

“We designed this capstone program to address the need for more advanced governmental leadership training for finance professionals across the state,” Hulsey said. “PFLA is all about identifying existing talent to build capacity in the public finance profession for local governments.”

2022-2023 Public Finance Leadership Academy Graduates

Sheryl Bowman, City of Atlanta

DeVonya Brown, DeKalb County School District

Melanie Chandler, City of Cornelia

Linda Cook, Putnam County

Elisa Culver, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

Diane Gardner, DeKalb County School District

Mariel Jennings, DeKalb County School District

Joseph Johnson, Gwinnett County

Marsha Klecan, City of St. Marys

Antoinette Lewis, DeKalb County Watershed Management

Oscar Medina, City of Brookhaven

Teri Noble, DeKalb County School District

Heather Pezanetti, Liberty County

Kizzie Sibert, Hancock County

Michelle Thorns, DeKalb County Watershed Management

Cynthia West, City of Statesboro

Linda Williams, DeKalb County School District