CHICAGO – The Government Finance Officers Association recently announced its third annual Hero Award recipients, and Ventnor Chief Financial Officer Albert Stanley was one of them.
The award recognized six financial officers who displayed extraordinary actions during a time of health, financial, natural, or human-made crisis. Stanley was selected from among 21,000 CFOs who were eligible for the award.
The Hero Award Committee, composed of members of GFOA’s Executive Board, recently convened and selected Stanley, along with five other CFOs from across the country, including Michigan, Kansas, Florida, Ohio and Iowa.
Stanley was instrumental in keeping the city operating and the Finance Department working during the COVID-19 crisis by finding and procuring personal protective gear for essential personnel, including firefighters and police.
“That may not sound like much, but the city was in a panic when supplies seemed to be a challenge. Keeping our first responders safe was his critical objective,” said City Administrator Maria Mento, who nominated Stanley for the award.
Stanley filled in at City Hall when others who had contracted the disease or been exposed to it were in quarantine and working at home. Although short on staff during the pandemic, he protected the city’s critical infrastructure, ensured remaining staff were reassigned to other tasks and that vendors and employees were paid.
“For functions his staff could not perform at home, Albert handled it in the office,” Mento said.
He reviewed existing functions, practices and processes, and reinvented the Finance Office, all which benefited other city departments as well as the taxpayers, she said.
“And when he himself was quarantined due to COVID-19, and as sick as he was, he still made himself available,” Mento said.
Stanley was hired by the city in January 2019 and quickly learned the functions of his department so he could serve as a backup whenever needed, which became a reality with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to being the city’s chief financial officer he serves as its qualified purchasing agent.
“He is a resource for many. He is our brain trust, our go to guy. He has aptly handled the hand dealt to him, including his findings and challenges shortly after arriving here, never giving up, never complaining, and continually acting in the best interest of the city in a professional, experienced, educated manner,” Mento said.
Stanley made many improvements in the short time he has worked in Ventnor, she said.
“No pandemic stopped him, not physically, not emotionally. And he did it all with a smile and a sense of humor.”
The recipients will be recognized during GFOA’s 2021 Virtual Conference. For more information regarding GFOA’s Hero Award, see gfoa.org.