City Finance Director Heads to Honduras Post
COLUMBIA - City Manager Bill Watkins today announced that Finance Department Director Lori Fleming has accepted a position as financial and budget advisor to the Honduran Finance Ministry. She will resign from the city of Columbia, effective Dec. 3, 2010.
This international opportunity comes through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA). During her three-year assignment, Fleming will help the Finance Ministry implement International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
According to the OTA website, its mission is to develop strong financial sectors and sound public financial management in countries where assistance is needed and there is a strong commitment to reform. The Treasury Department sends advisors to Africa, Asia/Near East Eurasia, Latin America and to Caribbean nations.
"It has been a pleasure to serve the citizens of Columbia," Fleming said. "I greatly appreciate the opportunities Columbia has provided me and sincerely believe that this position is the best that any finance director could have."
Watkins said that Fleming leaves the city in sound financial condition. "Especially over the last few years, as sales tax revenue has declined, Lori designed a financial plan to maintain stability and avoid drama. That helped us maintain our bond ratings, meet our budget and continue to improve city services. We will miss her."
Fleming joined the city as finance director in 1995 after serving as finance director in the city of Peoria, Ill. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a double major in accounting and management information systems; earned a Master of Science degree in accounting from Illinois State University; and is a certified public accountant.
Watkins plans to start a nationwide search for Fleming’s replacement in the coming weeks. "It will be a process similar to our search for fire chief," he said, "With a community advisory committee providing input."