Responsibility for a government agency’s money has some different aspects for the chief financial officer, but Brett Freshwaters has proven up to that job in more than seven years at Metropolitan Park District Tacoma. That is why he was nominated for 2015 Financial Executive of the Year.
This independent agency manages public parks within the city, plus Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and Northwest Trek — about 260 full-time employees with more than twice that with seasonal hires, and a $50 million general fund budget plus $77.2 million in capital projects.
“When we talk about the broad geographic spread for the District, and the different types of activities, the opportunity is wide for problems, which have not happened,” said Wayne Williams, the agency's director of business services. He credits Freshwaters’ broad knowledge and collaborative leadership style for continuing a 14-year string of clean audits.
Metro Parks weathered the recent recession with the aid of its CFO’s strong forward thinking that forecasted revenues and expenses accurately. Freshwaters also chairs an in-house workforce management training program that facilitates cross-training and accommodates restructuring as needed.
Service on an advisory committee for community college courses, more than 20 years as a Rotarian, plus using his experience in triathlons to teach a conditioning class at the YMCA keeps him busy.
Brett Freshwaters is among the 13 finalists to be honored at 2015 Financial Executives of the Year luncheon Tuesday, Feb. 10, at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Ticket information can be found at www.BusinessExaminer.com/financial.