Finance Director

City of Cedar Rapids, IA | Full-time


The Position

The City of Cedar Rapids (City) is seeking an experienced and highly regarded strategist to serve as the City’s next Finance Director. The next Director will have the opportunity to join one of Iowa’s premier communities, with exceptional financial management, working alongside talented professionals in a dynamic environment. This position is a trusted financial advisor to the City Manager, Mayor and City Council, and departments, guiding the City in solid budget, financial systems, and long-term financial planning.

The Finance Director is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and managing all of the City’s financial activities. In this capacity, the Director interprets and applies the principles and practices of public finance administration and establishes Departmental policies and procedures. This includes executive-level management support for Finance, Risk Services, Purchasing/Contract Services, and City owned entertainment venues and parking system.

The Finance Director provides ongoing financial forecasting and planning, tracks the adopted budget, and prepares periodic budget and fiscal reviews for submission to City departments. As the head of finance, this leader participates in the creation and management of the Finance Department’s (Department) annual work plan and budget through continually evaluating accounting, purchasing, and financial controls.

The Finance Director represents the Department internally and externally, responding to public inquiries. The Director fosters cooperative working relationships among City departments and with intergovernmental and regulatory agencies. The Director routinely presents to City Council and explains and interprets financial data. Similarly, the Director should be able to prepare, review, and organize well-conveyed summary financial information for City Council, the City Manager, department heads, City employees, and the public.

In collaboration with staff, the Director also stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of finance, identifies opportunities for improvement, and implements necessary change.

The Finance Director reports to the City Manager, providing status reports on Departmental operations, any major shift in policies or procedures, and recommendations for future development. The Finance Director has six direct reports.


  • Develop strong working relationships with the City Manager, other Directors, and the Finance Department staff; spend time learning operating systems and work practices and meeting with key staff.
  • Build an environment of trust and cross-departmental cooperation, support open and reflective decision-making, and leverage the team’s collective knowledge and power.
  • Monitor the impact of the Flood control project on the City’s debt service and other large capital projects that have an impact on the City’s long-term financial plan.
  • Develop a sustainable long-term financial plan for operational and capital improvement needs.
  • Conduct a review of user fees and charges.
  • Identify new opportunities to further diversify revenues and/or reduce expenses.

The Successful Candidate

The City of Cedar Rapid’s next Finance Director is an experienced and skilled financial manager with the ability to prepare and administer complex budgets, draft financial reports, and explain complicated issues.

This candidate can conduct long-range planning, evaluate intricate financial systems, and recommend goals and practices for providing effective and efficient services. With a forward-thinking approach to financial management and local government, it is essential for the Finance Director to focus long-term and provide financial sustainability. A strategic and visionary leader, the Director is innovative in their approach to financial structures and systems and collaborates with City leadership to identify opportunities for change and transformation.

The Finance Director demonstrates an adaptive approach to leadership and advanced emotional intelligence. The successful candidate is a collaborative partner to the City Manager and provides sound advice and guidance in support of broader organizational alignment. The Director is focused on providing excellent customer service and values cross-departmental collaboration to provide a high level of service to the community. An effective communicator, the successful candidate is confident yet humble and diplomatic in all interactions and can clearly and effectively articulate the financial position and needs of the City to the City Council, City leadership, staff, and the broader community.

As a genuine and authentic leader, the Finance Director is approachable and actively nurtures an open and welcoming environment. The successful candidate is an active listener, maintains effective working relationships, and works to build a responsive, equitable, and strategically collaborative organization. It is important for the Director to set the tone for the Department and bring a sense of calm and stability while simultaneously managing change. The Director is recognized as a highly effective leader and employs a leadership style that invites participation, builds trust, and empowers staff. The ideal candidate brings a proven background in mentoring and developing employees and works to build the internal capacity of the team. The Director models empathy and compassion and supports the team by enabling a healthy work-life balance.


Minimum requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, or a related field and at least seven years of experience in government accounting, budget administration, and financial planning. Extensive organizational leadership and staff management experience, excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population are also required.

Strongly Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree and Certified Public Accountant or Certified Public Finance Officer designation. Experience with a GFOA-award-winning budget and financial reporting, long-term financial forecasting, and significant experience with utilities and financing large capital projects is also preferred. Work within a complex local government with strong financial performance is also strongly preferred.

Inside The Organization

The City of Cedar Rapids serves more than 137,000 people who live, work, and play in the City of Five Seasons. The City is operated under the Council-Manager Form of Government and is governed by a part-time, nine-member City Council elected by the public.

More than 1,300 people work for the City of Cedar Rapids, providing services for all residents and businesses. In addition, the City of Cedar Rapids has seven unions that cover frontline employees in various departments.

Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) presented a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for its Annual Budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021, which marks over ten years of receiving this award. To receive this award, a governmental unit must publish a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, as a financial plan, as an operations guide, and as a communications device. The City has also earned GFOA’s Excellence in Financial Reporting for over 25 years.

Under the responsibility of the Finance Director, the Finance Department is responsible for the accurate and timely recording of all financial transactions of the City and safeguarding the City’s assets and financial resources. The City’s approved all-funds budget for the current fiscal year is $693M. The Finance Department’s total annual budget for the current fiscal year is $5.7M. The Department’s Core Services are defined as the following:

  • Finance Operations — handles accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, treasury, and general ledger functions including preparing annual reports, managing grants, and maintaining capital assets, as well as being responsible for cash and debt management functions.
  • Purchasing Services — provides procurement services, issues purchase orders, and handles contract activities.
  • Analyst — provides analysis and reporting; prepares budget, budget amendment, and financial plan; creates cost of service models; and monitors debt compliance.
  • Risk Services — develops safety awareness through department training and protects the City’s assets through identifying and analyzing exposures, evaluating costs, and implementing methods to eliminate, minimize, transfer, or pay for risk.

Additionally, at Cedar Rapids, the concept of organizational health is an important framework that fosters effective teamwork and productivity – organizational health is achieved by building a cohesive leadership team, establishing clarity among our leaders, communicating mission, vision, and values to all City employees, and integrating organizational health into the fabric of City operations.

The City of Cedar Rapids has implemented the Organizational Health Model from best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni. This model consists of five principles. Each principle builds on the previous principle. City teams conduct team assessments and create playbooks to maximize performance and achieve results. City leaders are trained in integrating organizational health concepts within the areas of responsibility.

Organizational Health is the responsibility of every leader and employee at the City of Cedar Rapids. Leaders and employees from every department have earned certifications in organizational health and have been instrumental in integrating the model throughout the organization.

The Community

Situated on the banks of the Cedar River in eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids is a thriving Midwestern community rich in history, art, and culture. As Iowa's second-largest city, Cedar Rapids is a central economic hub and enjoys a diverse, stable business environment. The community is affordable, inclusive, and safe – the qualities often cited as the reasons Cedar Rapids is one of the nation's best places to live, work, and raise a family. Cedar Rapids has something for everyone with ample parkland and green space, a large variety of nightlife and restaurant options, and a year-round calendar of exciting events.

There is never a shortage of things to do in Cedar Rapids. The City's expansive park and trail system span more than 4,170 acres of land and green space, and the Cedar River provides a wide range of water recreation opportunities. Cedar Rapids even has a small island on the Cedar River. Mays Island houses the Linn County District Court and Correctional Center, the Veterans Memorial Building and Coliseum, and two small parks. Downtown Cedar Rapids is a shopping and dining destination, and the nearby Veterans Memorial Stadium is home to Minor League Baseball's Cedar Rapids Kernels, a Minnesota Twins affiliate team.

For those seeking culture and history, the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, African American Museum of Iowa, and the historic Paramount Theatre are sure to please. The Czech Village/New Bohemia District, located in the heart of Cedar Rapids, celebrates the community's distinct Czech heritage. Home to the most extensive collection of Grant Wood paintings in the world at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the Brucemore mansion – Iowa's only National Trust Historic Site – Cedar Rapids has unique offerings that can't be topped.

Cedar Rapids boasts a large and diverse tax base due to its substantial commercial, health care, food processing, manufacturing, telecommunication, and aerospace companies. The City's largest employers include Collins Aerospace Transamerica, St. Luke's Hospital, and Cedar Rapids Community School District. Other sizeable industrial utility users include International Paper, Ingredion, ADM, JRS Pharma, Cargill, and Dupont. General Mills and Quaker Oats also have plants here.

The Cedar Rapids Community School District serves most students in the community, with portions of the City served by the Linn-Mar Community School District and the College Community School District. Higher education opportunities are available at one of the two private liberal arts universities in Cedar Rapids – Coe College and Mt. Mercy University. Kirkwood Community College is in Cedar Rapids and the University of Iowa is located less than 30 miles south of the City.

Every year the Cedar Rapids community experiences the wonders of changing seasons in typical Midwestern fashion. Some say that taking the time to appreciate everyday beauty extends life, almost like an extra season is added to every year. Cedar Rapids offers a unique balance of big-city amenities without all the typical hassles and headaches of a large city. This extra time afforded to residents and visitors is why Cedar Rapids is known as "The City of Five Seasons." This fifth season affords residents time to enjoy all other seasons and to enjoy life.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 137,710
  • Median Household Income: $58,511
  • Median Home Value: $141,800
  • Median Age: 36.3

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compensation and Benefits

The expected hiring range is $154,745.36 - $216,643.51 depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package. Learn more about our options and employee-based benefits here.

Benefits offered include the following:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Flex Leave
  • Longevity
  • Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Retirement (IPERS)
  • Retirement (MFPRSI)
  • Deferred Compensation
  • Educational Assistance
  • Employee Recognition Program
  • Parental Leave
  • Benefit Summaries by Classification / Unit

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The position is open until filled. Apply immediately.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at and Kelsey Batt at

Download Recruitment Brochure