With 22 years of experience working with all things financial for Salt Lake City, Mary Beth Thompson is set to become the city’s new Director of Finance.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski recently appointed Mary Beth to the post. Her appointment is subject to the upcoming advice and consent of the Salt Lake City Council.
Mary Beth has been the Interim Director of Finance since May 2016. She began her career with the city in 1995 as an accountant and has worked her way up the Finance Department ladder—with positons as a revenue analyst, financial analyst, auditor, and director of financial operations. She has also been an accountant in the private sector.
“I’m very excited for Mary Beth to lead our Finance Department,” Mayor Biskupski said. “She brings broad experience in city financial operations and also great leadership skills to the director’s position. She is respected by her own team and by employees throughout the city.”
In overseeing a 2016-17 budget of $259 million, Mary Beth said her major goals as director will be continued fiscal responsibility and stronger collaboration with city departments. She will manage 64 employees in Finance, but she must communicate and understand financial operations across the city. Her toolbox includes budget development and management, financial forecasting, fraud detection and prevention, audit reporting management, and more.
Mary Beth credited previous director with great mentorship, noting “I’m following people who showed me strong leadership and management skills and I’m looking forward to this next step.”
During her municipal career, Mary Beth has helped on various teams in Finance to steer the city through three recessions.
“The last recession, especially, was tough,” she said. “I realized how we need to be absolutely, fiscally responsible —always, but especially in lean times for the residents of Salt Lake City.”
Mary Beth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Idaho State University and a second B.S. in business management from Western Governors University. She anticipates completing her Master of Science in management and leadership from WGU in 2017. In her spare time she enjoys bicycling, camping, and spending time with her family.