Sedona Director of Finance Cherie White accounts for city’s dollars and cents

Sedona Director of Finance Cherie White accounts for city’s dollars and cents

“I really do not know if it is operating with numbers or the way I was raised that triggered me to be a perfectionist,” defined Cherie White, the city of Sedona’s director of finance. “Those do go with each other. I would say in all probability in some regard, since my father was very considerably that way, and he put that tension on us as little ones. [I] just learned to be incredibly thorough about not creating blunders … Not that I never, since I’m not a robotic. I certainly make them, but I try out to hold it quite unusual.”

White has been operating for Sedona given that Nov. 9, 2015. With around 35 a long time of accounting working experience, she manages and oversees the functions and operations of the city’s Finance Section, which consists of accounting, income administration, treasury management, monetary planning and budgeting. It is White’s accountability to balance the city’s $105.7 million budget. She has documented that budget in a 369-web page tome that sits neatly on her desk.

Each individual yr, the Governing administration Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awards the Certification of Accomplishment in Excellence in Money Reporting, a person of the greatest kinds of recognition in governing administration accounting. The city of Sedona has acquired that award for every single of the final 23 years and is the award of which White is the most proud.

She attributed that accolade in substantial part to the get the job done of her financial companies department, recognizing their “participation and support in guaranteeing economical info is accurate and [our] reporting meets the greatest requirements.”


Profitable is essential to White, and she admitted that she is really aggressive, which she reported stemmed from her childhood.

“In [elementary] college, we would do these math races the place you’d multiply 312 moments 658 or what ever,” White recalled. “There’d be two young ones at the board — I was constantly up there, and there was this just one kid, I even now bear in mind his title — Tim King. He was often so mad at me for the reason that he was also incredibly smart … I’d just stop pondering and belief that I understood the solution mainly because which is the only way I could conquer him. When we started out to start with grade, we ended up the only two youngsters who realized how to examine.”

White reported that her mother taught her to read through when she was 3.

“When I was in 1st grade, we were being supposed to go through one particular e book a month,” she mentioned. “I go through very well over 200 [a year]. In the 2nd quality, the very same point happened. We were intended to go through a single ebook every month, and I read around 500 [a year] and which is just been my factor.”

Her decision of looking through materials is wide: Nonfiction, fiction and romance novels — anything at all that would seem intriguing to her at the time. Presently on her nightstand is “The Excellent Alone,” Kristin Hannah’s 2018 novel about a family members who moved to Alaska and lived off the grid.

White’s father labored for IBM, which relocated them each and every 6 months to 5 decades.

“IBM jokingly stands for I’ve been moved,” White chuckled. They went from San Diego, in which she was born, to Oklahoma, New York, Oklahoma all over again, Chicago and last but not least Tucson.

“I went to three distinctive elementary colleges,” White claimed. “I was capable to get through junior higher simply because it was only two many years and 3 various large educational facilities. I’m incredibly a lot an introvert. It wasn’t super effortless creating close friends. You would make good friends, then you’re off to the next place and start out the course of action once more. It was just a way of daily life.”

Off to Arizona

When the family landed in Tucson, her father made a decision it was time to remain put.

“My mom was born and lifted in Phoenix and had in no way lived wherever else until she married my father and he took her all more than the spot,” White claimed. “I have rather a several relations in the Phoenix location and my relatives, most of them, is even now in Tucson.”

White gained a bachelor’s degree in company administration with a important in accounting from the University of Arizona. Doubtful of her occupation route, she interned for an accounting firm.

“I became the most senior individual at this firm,” White explained. “I was obtaining the most significant, most difficult audits. It boosts your self-confidence when they rely on you to do those factors and so, I generally experienced that type of aid in the company entire world, and I shown that I’m capable.”

White develop into a accredited general public accountant, accredited fraud examiner and qualified governmental financial supervisor. She has due to the fact worked for the California metropolitan areas of San Clemente, Royal Oak and Nationwide Metropolis. She was also a companion at Heinfeld, Meech & Co., P.C. in advance of going to Sedona.

White describes herself as “a Type A alpha woman.”

“Over the years, it’s confirmed that I’m a female and can be just as effective and do all these things,” White explained. “I experienced that form of travel to establish that I can do this.”

She also characteristics her demeanor to her father.

“One of the points increasing up that my father said a large amount was, ‘always do your most effective.’ And, when you’re a child, and you’re impressionable, that stuck with me. Which is what’s shaped my character — the Sort A and the constantly seeking to be as great as I can get it,” White reflected.

To Sedona

“In Sedona, we’re really blessed for the reason that we’re in a pretty good fiscal place,” White mentioned. “Our funds are robust, and seeking to stability every thing out has not seriously been a enormous difficulty.”

She is keeping a near eye on the chance of an impending recession.

“I know everyone’s concerned if there’s a recession coming and it depends on which economists you pay attention to mainly because you’ve bought some that are declaring it’s essentially not going to transpire, or there is not going to be 1 for a even though … Who understands? We really do not know what it’s heading to be. We do not have a crystal ball, but we’re seeking to approach for the various what-ifs. What if this took place? Would we be Ok?” “I can be incredibly, very conservative with regards to fiscal matters,” White included. “So I’m normally hoping to make certain we’re not remaining also intense on factors, and we’re making an attempt to be conservative and be protected with the revenue.”

Left Mind, Right Brain

Although White is immersed in remaining-brained finances, she also has a appropriate-brain, creative facet.

“When I was in California, I was taking acting courses,” White unveiled. “I was element of this group, and we were carrying out Shakespeare in the Park, which I liked, and number of other performs. In excess of the a long time, I have gotten involved in choirs at various factors in time, and so I adore accomplishing that as well. So I have some of that [right-brain personality], but I’m still rather analytical.”

Previous July, White married in an out of doors ceremony at Submarine Rock in Sedona. Her partner, John, was a photographer in the U.S. Air Force. Jointly, they care for a menagerie of animals, like two canines, Brutus and Sweet Pea, her cat Diego and an huge sulcata tortoise, also regarded as an African spurred tortoise, named Chirp.

At age of 55, White is considering about retirement. She suggests that she imagines animals will often be a aspect of her everyday living, and at some point, she would appreciate to are living in the woods — someplace secluded — surrounded by mother nature with “a massive, large, big stack of books” by her side.

In the meantime, she admitted to loving each her work and her coworkers.

White brought up a estimate from writer James A. Michener that she said does a good task of expressing her sights on daily life: “The grasp in the art of dwelling makes small distinction concerning his perform and his perform, his labor and his leisure, his intellect and his overall body, his details and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly understands which is which. He basically pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving other folks to choose no matter whether he is functioning or taking part in. To him, he’s constantly performing both.”