Riverside is searching for a new finance director after learning late last month that their current director, Christy Powell, was leaving to pursue a job in west suburban Geneva. Powell, who was hired as Riverside’s finance director in August 2003, will be taking on the role of superintendent of finance for the Geneva Park District.

Her last day on the job in Riverside will be Friday, Jan. 21.

A resident of Geneva, Powell said that the opportunity to work so close to home was impossible to pass up. The Geneva Park District has an annual budget of around $6 million and some 40 employees, Powell said.

“If I lived closer to Riverside, this job would be perfect,” said Powell, who also served as Riverside’s village treasurer. “But I have an 11 month old at home, and since he arrived it’s difficult to be so far away from him.”

Powell, a licensed certified public accountant came to Riverside from Oak Park, where she served from 1997-2003 as both senior accountant and assistant finance director. Previous to that she worked as an accountant for the City of Peoria. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, and received her degree in fiscal administration from Northern Illinois University in 2001.

Powell replaced Karen Feeney, who left Riverside in 2003 for a job in Colorado.

“It’s been great,” said Powell of her time in Riverside. “It’s been wonderful with regard to working with everyone in the Village of Riverside. The board has also been wonderful. I’m impressed by their dedication and the hours they put in. I’ve enjoyed my experience so much here.”

In Geneva, Powell, said she’ll be dealing with many of the same duties, such as preparing the annual tax levy, an annual budget and audit. Riverside in December passed its 2006 budget and 2005 tax levy, making the timing of Powell’s departure a bit more manageable.

“Things are in good shape,” Powell said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to get most of the
audit adjustments for 2005 done by the
time I go.”

Village Manager Kathleen Rush said that she would recommend that the village board hire the Paul A. Reaume (PAR) Group to conduct a search for Powell’s replacement. The PAR Group was responsible for finding both Feeney and Powell, said Rush.

The village board yesterday was expected to approve hiring the PAR Group at a cost of $15,300 plus other expenses.

“It’s a difficult position to secure,” Rush said. “There are not a lot of people in the pool. I suspect it may take three months to fill, maybe by April 1.”

During Powell’s time as finance director, she developed an investment reporting mechanism to better track and manage the village’s cash investments.

“We’ll continue to move forward with that,” Rush said. “We’re hoping to take the professionalism that’s been established and continue to move on that.”