Hires new director

by: HOLLY M. GILL - Brandie McNamee started work in January as the finance director for the city of Madras.The city of Madras conducted an extensive search for a new finance director, but ended up selecting one who already lives in Madras.

Brandie McNamee, who had been employed as the treasury controller for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, started work for the city in late January.

After the resignation of the former finance director, Kathy Snyder, in August, the city immediately began advertising for a new director. In the meantime, Summer Sears, of Bend, served as the interim director until McNamee started work.

Because the position has been vacant for so long, McNamee has been busy getting caught up on the duties of the office. "The interim, Summer Sears, did a great job of staying up on the daily and routine accounting functions, and especially getting our audit started, however, there is a lot of catch up work that this position is requiring."

Originally from Powell Butte, McNamee graduated from Redmond High School, and then attended the University of Oregon, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, with a minor in economics, as well as a master's degree in accounting.

"While in graduate school I thoroughly enjoyed governmental accounting practices, and that enticed me to get another master's in nonprofit management to better assist in my goal of one day working for a municipality," she said.

"The city of Madras is a perfect fit with my career experience and education," said McNamee. "I am thoroughly excited for this opportunity and to be working with a great team at the city of Madras."

After graduating from UofO, she worked in public accounting, doing taxes and auditing work, for two years for the CPA firm Kernutt Stokes, in Eugene, and then for three years for a Baker City CPA firm, Randy Guyer.

In the spring of 2011, she started work with the tribes. "I greatly appreciated my experience with Warm Springs," she said, adding, "This was a career opportunity that I couldn’t pass by."

As the city's finance director, she has four major goals: getting through the current audits; compiling budgets by June; reviewing policies and ordinances, specifically regarding water and wastewater, to better address the concerns of customers and the community; and moving toward a paperless office.

At her first quarterly financial report for the city on Feb. 25, city councilors were impressed with her straight-forward PowerPoint presentation, which laid out all the city's funds and compared the amount budgeted with actual expenditures for the last quarter of 2013.

"I did a lot of presentations in front of Tribal Council," she said.

McNamee anticipates that it will take from three to six months for her to bring the office back up to date. However, she added, "My goal is to have everything done by June 1."

She and her husband, Larry, a fourth-generation rancher, who works at Deschutes Valley Water District, have two daughters, 3-year-old Addie and 3-month-old Avery. They spend their weeks in Madras, and weekends on their ranch in Antelope.

Outside of work, she serves on the Children’s Learning Center Board of Directors and enjoys spending time with her family.

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