Award for Excellence in Government Finance Awardees

The GFOA-WMA's annual Award for Excellence in Government Finance recognizes innovative programs- contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management.

The awards stress practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession adn promotes improved public finance.

Entries may be submitted for consideration in any of the following categories:

  • Accounting, auditing and financial reporting
  • Budgeting and financial planning
  • Capital finance and debt administration
  • Economic development and capital planning
  • E-Government and technology
  • Management and service delivery
  • Pensions and benefits
  • Treasury and investment management


2017 Individual Winners

Cassandra Alexander, Director of Financial Operations within the District of Columbia’s Office of Financial Operations and Systems, is honored for her leadership involving the establishment of the Committee for Advising, Responding, Empowering and Serving (C.A.R.E.S). C.A.R.E.S. is a cross-functional committee charged with developing and implementing strategies to address and resolve OFOS operational concerns and challenges. As part of this initiative, Ms. Alexander oversaw the development of a customer service survey and spearheaded the quality review process of varying OFOS divisions. The result is an increased ability to gauge customer satisfaction, and OFOS’s increased efficiency and effectiveness in meeting the customer’s expectation.

Michael Bolden, Director of Financial Operations within the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer- Government Operations Cluster, is honored for his leadership, having made significant and influential contributions towards stabilizing financial operations on behalf of District stakeholders for almost 20 years. Mr. Bolden oversees the financial operations of approximately 30 government agencies with a cumulative budget of over $1Billion. His technical understanding and budget acumen have positioned him as the “go-to” person within the organization. He continually demonstrates excellence in his work ethic and management style; employing a veteran’s approach towards tackling the more complex operational challenges.

Natalie Mayers, Agency Fiscal Officer within the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer, is honored for her sound fiscal judgment involving the remediation of 46 findings and the removal of the High Risk designation issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. Through the establishment of a Sustainability Plan and a Service Level Agreement, Ms. Mayers and her team outlined the OCFO’s commitment to its client and identified mechanisms to ensure that conditions that led to the High Risk designation were not repeated. The removal of the High Risk designation is an outstanding achievement by the Program and Fiscal team who have consistently demonstrated a spirit of excellence and fortitude; an achievement resulting from the technical expertise, diplomacy and management oversight of Ms. Mayers.

2016 Group Winner

The Unclaimed Property Unit of the Office of Treasury and Finance, District of Columbia Government is honored for the successful implementation of several operation enhancements that resulted in the return of millions of dollars in property. The Unit, led by Gracie Musher and Lynn Hall, is responsible for locating the owners and legal heirs of property, such as refunds, stocks, unpaid wages, life insurance policies, valuables left in safe deposit boxes, etc. As part of their outreach initiative, the Unit was featured on ABC News “On Your Side Help Center” segment. This led to an unprecedented number of inquiries and claims, and the processing of more than 2000 property claims valued at over $24 million.

2016 Individual Winner

Mark Kim, Chief Financial Officer for the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, is honored for his leadership involving the issuance of the Nation’s first Environmental Impact Bonds (EIB). The net proceeds from the sale of the EIB will finance the inaugural project in DC Water’s Green Infrastructure (GI) program, which is engineered to manage storm water runoff and improve water quality in the District. The GI program is part of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project which is a federally mandated, 25-year, $2.6 billion infrastructure project designed to control the estimated 2 billion gallons of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) that pollute the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and the Rock Creek annually. DC Water’s environmental impact bonds represent a scalable and replicable financing solution for other issuers, as well as a series of firsts for the municipal market.


2015 Group Winner

This year’s Award for Excellence in Government Finance group award winner is the Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE).  Accepting the award on behalf of the DPIE organization is Daniel Dornan, Special Assistant to the Director of DPIE and Haitham Hijazi, Director, Dept. of Permitting, Inspections & Enforcement.   Since its establishment in July 2013, DPIE has made tremendous strides in delivering efficient and effective permitting, inspection and enforcement services for its customers and the citizens of Prince George’s County. The process improvement initiatives that DPIE has implemented during the past two years have led to significant reductions in permitting and licensing activity processing times ranging from 63% to 95%.

2014 Individual Winner

Mark Kim, Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) for his innovation and leadership in capital finance and debt administration which resulted in DC Water making history by pricing the first century bond issued by a municipal water and sewer utility, the first certified green bond in the United States, and the first 100-year green bond globally.

2014 Group Winner

Marc Aronin and the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of Finance and Treasury (OFT), for their work establishing and managing OFT’s Central Collections Unit.

2013 Individual Winner

Valerie Brown, Controller for the District of Columbia Government Operations Cluster

Valerie coordinated with the Office of Financial Operations and Systems, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, and all of the respective agency staff both program and finance to develop the plan, from testing to implementation to ensure that the City's obligations, invoices, and DGS employees were paid on time and internal deadlines were met...without a glitch. There were many technical details and few things didn't go according to plan but she had back-up plans and continued to communicate to all of the stakeholders throughout the process.

2013 Group Winner(s)

Wanda Brown, OPRS Pension Project Lead, Janine Edwards, OPRS Pension Benefits Officer, and Joe Zertuche, Technical Project Lead from the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Technology Officer, for the “Federal Police Pension Modernization Project”

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