New finance director takes helm

Published 9:52 pm Friday, April 24, 2009

After a career that has taken him all over Michigan and to Washington, D.C., Dale Walker has come to Suffolk to take the role as the city’s director of finance.

City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn announced Walker’s appointment earlier this month. He will supervise a staff of 12, and earn $113,000 per year.

Walker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Ferris State College. He also has a Master of Business Administration degree from Central Michigan University.

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Walker began his career in 1970 as the director of finance for the city of Owosso, Mich. He also served as an internal auditor for John Wesley College before beginning his career with the city of Cadillac, Mich. in 1977. He retired from Cadillac, an area he describes as a “tourist Mecca,” as its deputy city manager and director of finance in November of 2007.

Not finding retirement to his liking, Walker moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as the chief financial officer for the District of Columbia Retirement Board, which included the firefighters, police officers and teachers of the nation’s capital. After staying there about a year, he began hunting for other job offers. He eventually found Suffolk amid offers from California, Texas and Colorado.

“I want to work, I don’t have to work,” Walker said. “I want to be here – I could be any place in the United States.”

After about two weeks on the job, Walker said he already enjoys the people he’s working with, and has yet to explore the city.

“I’m not sure that I’ve found the city limits,” he joked, after remarking that the city has a “great team concept going.”

As finance director, Walker will be responsible for all major accounting functions, including payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, internal controls and preparing for audits. Despite the vast expanse of numbers involved in his job, Walker admits he’s a people person at heart.

“I’m a different accountant,” he said. “I’m about mentoring people.”

“I want to share as much background as I can. We will not allow for failure because we’ll help them succeed.”

To contact Walker, call 514-7500.