City of Sarasota Financial Administration Department earns another national award

Staff members mark fourth year in a row for winning ‘Trifecta’ honors, as well

The City of Sarasota Finance Department staff members for 2017 are (back row, from left) Laura Wittenbauer, Lorrie Simmons, Michele Keeler and Mark Stinson; (middle row, from left) Margie Holman, Lisa Shay and Kelly Betz; (front row, from left) Finance Director Kelly Strickland, Michelle Valentich, Susan Dodd and Deputy Finance Director David Flatt. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

For the fourth year in a row, the City of Sarasota’s Financial Administration Department has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting, the City of Sarasota has announced.

The department was honored once again for its Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), which it produces for each fiscal year, a news release notes. The 2016 fiscal year ended on Sept. 30.

The GFOA, which represents more than 19,000 public finance officials throughout the United States and Canada, “strives to promote excellence in the field,” the release explains. “This national award recognizes the best and brightest finance departments in local government,” the release adds. “The goal is to encourage government financial professionals to make annual financial reports accessible, user friendly and easy to understand for the public.”

“Our department is made up of professionals with a high standard of quality,” said Kelly Strickland, the city’s finance director, in the release. “We’re committed to transparency, and by creating a user friendly Popular Report, we’re making it easier for residents to understand the state of finances in the city.”

“This award completes ‘The Trifecta’ for the fourth year in a row,” the release also points out. “The Trifecta” refers to winning the GFOA award for Excellence in Financial Reporting, as well as the organization’s Distinguished Budget Presentation award and the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting honor, the release notes.