When Opportunity Knocks

Gina Chamness

After 10 years with the city, Finance Director Gina Chamness will become Holladay City Manager

Gina Chamness came to work for the Salt Lake City Department of Finance 10 years ago, where, in her own words, “I was on the ‘mommy track.’ I thought it would be very short-term.”

Later this month, Finance Director Gina Chamness will leave the city to become the new Holladay City Manager – an opportunity to serve the community she lives in and to share her budget, management, and leadership skills.

“As hard as it is to leave, we are in a great place financially in Salt Lake City,” Gina said, adding “I’ve been watching Holladay City government and thinking about the [city manager] role for eight years. It’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.”

She moves on with the respect of her staff, her fellow cabinet members, and with the full support of Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

“It’s been my great pleasure to work closely with Gina on financial policy, and most especially on our proposed budget. I will miss her,” the Mayor said. “She is professional and candid in her advice. Her work is not colored by politics—she is guided only by the interest of the city we serve.”

Added Human Resources Director Julio Garcia: “This is a great step for Gina. Holladay made a good choice.”

Gina recalls starting in Finance a decade ago as a senior administrative analyst with no other women on in the office. “I’ve seen big changes as we’ve steadily brought more women to the team,” she said. Gina became budget director in 2008 and finance director in 2014.

Gina and her team worked to incorporate the Mayor’s fiscally responsible goals into the FY17 budget, which was presented to the City Council on May 3. “This budget is setting a foundation for good things,” she said. “We retain our Triple A bond rating and are paying attention to deferred maintenance needs and paying down capital project debt for the residents.”

Her last day with the city is May 24, following her attendance at a public hearing on the budget before the City Council.

A search for Gina’s replacement will begin soon. She leaves with fond memories. “I’ve loved the people throughout the city,” she said. And she offers a bit of sound advice for an incoming Budget Director: “Build strong relationships with department heads and the City Council. Work hard to preserve our bond rating and be flexible. You have to look out ahead and be prepared for the economy’s ups and downs.”

Thanks for your fine service, Gina. Good luck to you.


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