Finance Director

City of Gaithersburg, MD | Full-time

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The Position

The City of Gaithersburg’s new Finance Director will have the opportunity to join a financially stable, debt-free organization in one of Maryland’s premier communities. Residents of Gaithersburg enjoy an impeccable quality of life, thanks in part to its team of City staff who work diligently to provide excellent customer service. The City has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Award and Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting for many years and is consistently cited amongst the top destinations to live in the United States.

The Finance Director plans, organizes, directs, and manages all of the City’s financial activities. In this capacity, the Director interprets and applies the principles and practices of public finance administration and establishes departmental policies and procedures.

As a member of the City’s Senior Leadership Team, the Director reports to the City Manager. The Finance Director currently has three direct reports (Comptroller, Senior Budget Analyst, and Procurement Division Chief).

The Organization

The City of Gaithersburg is a municipality that shares local government taxing authority with Montgomery County, Maryland. The City operates under the council-manager form of government, wherein the Mayor and five City Council members serve as the legislative body. The Mayor and City Council are elected at-large to serve staggered four-year terms. The City Manager is appointed by the Mayor and City Council to serve as the City’s Chief Executive Officer. The City Manager is responsible for the implementation of policies and budget established by the Mayor and City Council.

The City of Gaithersburg employs 425.48 FTEs, and the City’s FY 2021 total adopted expenditure budget is $69.3 million. The City has no debt and operates on a pay-go philosophy.

As mandated by state law, Montgomery County provides schools, libraries, social services, and fire protection for the City of Gaithersburg. In addition to the Montgomery County Police, Gaithersburg residents are served by the City’s own Police Department, which will be moving in the next 12-18 months into a new facility that will also house a new City Council Chambers.

In 2019, the City conducted its bi-annual citizen satisfaction survey. Survey results that emphasize the City’s overall quality of life include the following:

  • 86% of respondents describe Gaithersburg as an excellent or good place to live
  • 79% of respondents rated the overall quality of City services as excellent or good
  • 74% of respondents gave high marks to the customer service of City employees
  • 85% of respondents rated the overall quality of City parks as excellent or good
  • Gaithersburg receives high marks for public safety, the quality of its police services, overall appearance, health and wellness opportunities, and the natural environment
  • The quality of the City’s recreation programs and recreation centers exceeds national benchmarks
  • Out of the 289 communities surveyed, Gaithersburg ranked #11 for its openness and acceptance of people of diverse backgrounds

The Finance and Administration Department

The Finance and Administration Department provides oversight of all financial transactions and is responsible for accounting, AP/AR, annual audit, budgeting, financial reporting, payroll, procurement, fixed assets management, grants, and investments. The department’s total FY2021 budget is $18.6 million with a staff of 11.

The Ideal Candidate

The City of Gaithersburg’s next Finance Director is a skilled, hands-on financial manager with strong interpersonal skills who has the ability to prepare and administer complex budgets, draft financial reports, and explain complicated issues in an easily understood manner. The ideal Finance Director empowers and develops staff, focuses on best practices, and brings innovative ideas for process improvements. This candidate is able to conduct long-range planning, evaluate intricate financial systems, and recommend goals and practices for providing effective and efficient services. He or she is an experienced leader who will oversee the work of all department personnel and recruit, train, and develop staff and can do this with staff who are working both in-person and virtually.

The ideal Finance Director is a problem-solver with excellent communication skills. The successful candidate will deal constructively with conflict and develop appropriate resolutions, exercise sound judgment within policy guidelines, and adhere to all expected ethical standards and ideals. This person is reliable and responsive and will establish positive working relationships with department staff, elected officials, colleagues throughout the organization, vendors, and the community at large. The City of Gaithersburg’s next Finance Director has experience in a wide variety of public financial administration functions, including an understanding of enterprise resource planning systems. The ideal candidate will also evaluate the City’s financial policies through an equity lens.

Gaithersburg is seeking a Finance Director with these traits:

  • Forward-thinking
  • Detail-oriented
  • Strong supervisory skills
  • Adaptable
  • Ethical
  • Apolitical
  • Team player
  • Delegatory
  • Fiscally prudent

Experience and Education 

The minimum qualifications are a bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting, finance, public administration, or a closely related field and at least five years of supervision/management experience in accounting, budgeting, and/or other phases of fiscal management. Demonstrated understanding of governmental accounting is also required. 

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, Certified Public Accountant, or Certified Public Finance Officer designation.  Experience in local government finance, including procurement, long-term CIP and forecasting, investments, and continuous improvement in budget and financial operations is also preferred.

The Community

The City of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a thriving, culturally diverse, and vibrant community in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, located north of the nation’s capital. Gaithersburg began as a small settlement at the juncture between two ancient Native American trails, now Frederick Avenue and Diamond Avenue. The arrival of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1873 sparked a business and agricultural expansion that made the Gaither settlement the commercial center for upper Montgomery County. It was incorporated as the town of Gaithersburg in 1878. A second major expansion occurred in the 1960s, when the Atomic Energy Commission headquarters (now the Department of Energy) and the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) relocated to the vicinity, spurring residential and commercial growth that continues to this day.

The City of Gaithersburg greatly values its socioeconomic and cultural diversity. Gaithersburg was recently recognized by WalletHub as the most diverse small city and, overall, the second-most diverse city in the United States. The City’s racial and ethnic demographics are 47.9% White, 25.9% Hispanic or Latino, 17.6% Black or African American, 18.6% Asian, 0.4% Native American or Alaska Native, and 4.6% who identify as two or more races. Additionally, the City had the second-highest level of educational-attainment diversity in 2019, according to WalletHub, and the fourth-highest rate of linguistic diversity.

When the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) relocated to the Gaithersburg area, it brought tremendous growth in the fields of science and research. Today, NIST is the largest employer in the immediate region. Other large employers located within city limits include AstraZeneca; Leidos; Asbury Methodist Village; GeneDx, Inc.; Sodexo USA; and Hughes Network Systems, LLC.

Gaithersburg is the third-largest city in Maryland and one of the state’s fastest-growing communities. The City is a major international location for biotech companies and boasts award-winning schools, neighborhoods, and commercial developments. Its respect for its heritage, demonstrated by the revitalization efforts in the Olde Towne residential and commercial district and coupled with thoughtful planning for new communities and a commitment to cultural and recreational activities, has earned the City national acclaim.

Thoughtful, innovative planning defines the Gaithersburg community and can be seen in a wide variety of neighborhoods, which brings diversity in the housing options for residents. The Kentlands, celebrating its 31st anniversary, is one of the first “New Urbanist” neighborhoods built in the United States and was designed to be a walkable, mixed-use community. It occupies land that was once the farmstead of Otis Kent, just as much of modern Gaithersburg is built on historic farmland. The newest development, Downtown Crown, has brought additional mixed-use with a thriving area of restaurants, retail, and residential that complements the adjacent and established Rio/Washingtonian area. Even with this growth, Gaithersburg’s rural roots still influence the soul of the City, which has retained its small-town commitments to character, customer service, and collaboration as it has grown.

Gaithersburg is consistently recognized for its high quality of life. In 2016, 24/7 Wall Street ranked Gaithersburg among the top 25 places in America to live, citing the community’s high median household income and extensive entertainment and recreational opportunities. In 2018, Livability.com placed Gaithersburg among the top 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers. Additionally, the City has earned Tree City USA status since 1990 and has been awarded the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 18 consecutive years and the GFOA’s Excellence in Financial Reporting award every year since 1978.

The City’s many special events and recreational opportunities make it a great place to work and live. Since 2010, the City has hosted the Gaithersburg Book Festival. Other large regional events include SummerFest, Oktoberfest, and the ever-popular Winter Lights Festival.

Gaithersburg is known for its entrepreneurial and startup business environment as new technology companies arrive each year to take advantage of the City’s excellent location and dynamic workforce.

Gaithersburg is accessible via many modes of transportation, allowing easy access to the Washington, D.C. area and the greater Mid-Atlantic region. The City is bisected by the 12-lane I-270 freeway connecting Gaithersburg to the Washington Beltway to points west, and Gaithersburg is the western terminus of the Inter-County Connector linking I-270 to I-95. The Metro system’s Red Line has its northern terminus just beyond the City’s southern border. The City is also served by a robust bus transit system and the Maryland Association of Rail Commuters (MARC) train, with two stops in Gaithersburg carrying rail commuters to and from Washington, D.C. The City is within an hour’s drive of all three major airports in the Baltimore/Washington region.

Because of its proximity to the nation’s capital and major global industries, the City plays host to many international and domestic visitors. Gaithersburg enjoys one of the highest educated labor pools in the country. In fact, Maryland ranks fourth in percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree and second in the percentage with a graduate or professional degree.

Quick Facts

  • Population (January 2020 est.): 70,199
  • Median Household Income (2014-2018): $86,427
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2014-2018): $389,700
  • Median Age: 35.7
  • Educational Attainment (2013-2017): 53.3% of persons age 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compensation

The expected hiring range is $140,000 to $175,000, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with the first review of applications on January 21, 2021.

Questions

Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at apply@thenovakconsultinggroup.com or 513-221-0500.

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