HIGH SPRINGS – Hubert Jacques, who at almost 60 says he is “at the pinnacle of his advanced career in governmental finance,” will be the man who will help chart the City’s financial future as the new finance director.

Jacques, who will come onboard June 24, 2013, has had more than 25 years experience in state and local governmental financial management and operations. He has been a Certified Government Finance Officer (CGFO) in Florida since 2001 and has been a member of the Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA) since 1997.

According to his resume, Jacques has been a Senior Finance Manager and Business Division Manager for Seminole County Environmental Services Department since 2010. He provided strategic financial leadership, which included rate making, rating agency reviews and modeling of utility acquisition and sale opportunities.

He led four sections in the county’s Business Division, which include permitting, billing, customer service and accounting. He also oversaw accounts receivable and payable, grant accounting, general accounting purchasing, payroll and financial reporting.

He developed and administered two large budgets; a $48 million annual operating budget and a $300 million capital budget that built and expanded surface water treatment, ground water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities. He also collaborated with other division managers and the director in allocating financial and human resources.

One aspect of his experience that High Springs commissioners may appreciate is his ability to brief commissioners on matters coming to the board for approval. In his current position, Jacques personally reviews all the financial reports, makes corrections and then translates the numbers into verbal or written reports to help staff, elected officials and citizens better understand what those figures mean.

Although Jacques has a financial manager in his current position, he explained, “I do not have any qualms about doing the day-to-day operations of a finance director in a small town. I am well versed in all of the current rules and regulations that need to be followed and routinely attend seminars and take advantage of other continuing education opportunities.”

Asked why he would consider moving to a small town after providing financial leadership to a government serving 123,000 water and wastewater utility and 66,000 solid waste customers, Jacques replied, “I’ve gone as far as I can with the credentials and experience I have. I now need to begin planning for our retirement.”

“I looked at our financial status and retirement destinations and found that the northwest Alachua County area was an ideal location for us. It has the university community nearby and all that it can offer. Also we are outdoors people. Northwest Alachua County has a huge variety of parks and recreational opportunities, which we want to be able to enjoy.”

“In our retirement planning, we targeted two areas in the state. This opportunity came along and together with its locale, makes it a very desirable situation for us.”

Not only does the university provide a rich and varied experience for the Jacques couple, but it also provides an easy commute for Jacques to maintain his 80 hours of continuing education, which is required every two years in order to maintain his credentials.

While Jacques was Director of Academic Support Services at the University of Central Florida, College of Business Administration in Orlando, he completed a full-time master’s degree in Business Administration while working full time. With additional post graduate coursework and seminars under his belt since 2008, Jacques has not yet decided if he will use his proximity to the university to advance his degree.

Instead he says he is more excited about the opportunity to help the city manager, staff and citizens to make a difference.

“I have always been a very good steward of my government’s financial resources,” he said. “I am constantly aware that it is the citizens’ money that we are administering. It is my responsibility as a finance officer to make sure their money is safeguarded and used to benefit the citizens.”

The couple visited the area this past weekend and found a home to rent nearby Newberry.

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