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It is so gratifying for us to share news from the City of Burbank (Calif), where City Manager Justin Hess has just announced that longtime employee Jennifer Becker is the City’s newly appointed Financial Services Director!

“Jennifer has been with the City for 20 years and has done an outstanding job while serving as the Interim Director for the past 5 months,” Hess wrote in an email to the staff. “She has proven to be a very knowledgeable finance professional and knows the City’s finances better than anyone. Her passion and commitment to the City clearly shows. She is excited about the challenges ahead, and will no doubt be a positive force in helping the City accomplish many of its current and future goals.”

Her appointment was no cakewalk, in that we worked with Hess to conduct a comprehensive executive recruitment, to ensure that the right candidate rose to the top. Nearly 50 applicants, two panel interviews with industry and government finance pros, and a final one-on-one interview with Hess later, Becker was clearly the top of the list.

Since November of last year, Becker has been serving as interim Financial Services Director, overseeing accounting, budget, purchasing, accounts receivable and revenue collection, accounts payable, payroll, deferred compensation administration, Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) reporting, debt management, and internal audit functions. In her spare time (ha!) she also has to ensure that the City’s fiscal operations adhere to the City Council’s adopted Financial Policies, including maintaining a balanced operating budget for all governmental funds, monitoring all proprietary funds to ensure that they remain self-supporting, maintaining appropriate reserves, and complying with all bond covenants.

Becker started as a budget analyst in the department in 2001, and by 2004 she was the Administrative Officer of the Burbank Fire Department, where she also got a taste of the city’s EMS (Emergency Management) and EOC (Emergency Operations) functions. In 2008, Jennifer returned to the Financial Services Department as the Deputy Financial Services Director, where she oversaw the Budget, Revenue, and Purchasing Divisions, and later Assistant Financial Services Director, adding the oversight of the Accounting Division to her responsibilities.

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California (USC). She is a current member of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), Association for Budgeting & Financial Management, and the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO), where she currently serves as Vice Chair of the San Gabriel Valley CSMFO chapter.