Finance director accepts Honduras post

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | 1:24 p.m. CDT; updated 1:42 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, November 3, 2010

COLUMBIA — The city of Columbia will soon start the search for a new finance director.

Lori Fleming, the current Finance Department director, has accepted a position as financial and budget advisor to the Honduran Finance Ministry, according to a news release from the city. City Manager Bill Watkins made the announcement Wednesday morning.

Fleming's resignation from the city is effective Dec. 3, the release stated.

Watkins plans to start searching for a replacement soon.

"We are going to use the same process that we are using for the fire chief's position," he said. "We will recruit nationally, and we will put together a screening committee."

The applications will open next week and will be closed in early January. A new director will be appointed in mid to late February, Watkins said.

Watkins said he will start searching for a temporary replacement next week and that he plans to appoint someone by mid-November.

Fleming joined the city as finance director in 1995 after serving as the finance director in 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.

Fleming found out about the job through a weekly Government Finance Officers Association newsletter. Last week, Fleming received confirmation that she'd been offered the position.

At her new job, she will be working with the Ministry of Finance and be helping to develop accounting reports to be in compliance with international standards. She also plans to learn Spanish.

"Oh yes, I'm very excited," she said. "It's a wonderful opportunity."

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