Ascension Finance Department receives second national award

Lester Kenyon, Public Information Officer, Ascension Parish Government
The Ascension Parish Finance Department is shown with it’s recent certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award include front row, from left, Parish President Tommy Martinez, Theresa Poche’, Dawn Caballero, Lynda Timmons, CFO Gwen LeBlanc, Amanda Berot, Jamie Villnerve and Joan Shivers. Second row, from left, are Cynthia LeBlanc, Angela Colar, Charlotte White, Ann Falcon, Shelley Villar, Ashley Barnes, Laurie Lemoine, Sherri Bellina, Toni Ourso, Carol Celestine and Janice Brown.

For the second year in a row, the Ascension Parish Department of Finance has received the government finance industry’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Chief Financial Officer Gwen LeBlanc and the finance department received this award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the department’s comprehensive annual financial report. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

“I am again honored to accept this award on behalf of the Finance Department, President Martinez and the Parish Council,” Leblanc said. “This award is a testament to the outstanding work of my staff and the team leader on this project, assistant treasurer Amanda Berot.

“This award not only is an additional factor to improve our bond rating, but also provides the citizens of Ascension Parish the confidence that their public funds are maintained at the highest level of accountability.”

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to see if high standards were met by the parish finance department including “demonstrating a constructive ‘spirit of full disclosure’ to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read (the report),” according to a release by the Government Finance Officers Association.

“Again, I am so proud of Gwen and her staff,” said Parish President Tommy Martinez. “This is the second year in a row and the public should be happy to know that their parish finances are managed by such a professional group of people.”

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals. Ascension Parish Government joins eight other parish governments in Louisiana receiving this award.