Thursday, March 29, 2012

Greater Richmond Chamber Supports Schools Review Task Force

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced today that the Mayor’s Schools Accountability and Efficiency Review Task Force will receive funding from the Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation in the amount of $35,000. The funds will be used to procure the services of the Robert Bobb Group and Alvarez and Marsal, two firms specializing in public sector turnarounds.

In thanking the Greater Richmond Chamber, the Mayor said, “The Greater Richmond Chamber has a long history of commitment to education in the City, including its focus on early childhood education. I appreciate the Chamber’s willingness to step forward to help us with this important effort, through both the short term and long term. This assistance will help the Task Force meet the quick deadline for addressing the short-term budget issue.”

Greater Richmond Chamber President & CEO Kim Scheeler said that the grant from the Foundation, “reflects the importance that business leaders place on education in the city of Richmond. The system of K-12 education is the best economic development driver we have, and the Chamber is very happy to help to improve the RPS system.”

The consultants will work with the Task Force on its short term work to focus on closing the $24 million budget gap. They will:

1. analyze cost savings proposals submitted by the Richmond Public Schools (RPS) Superintendent to her Board,

2. review organizational and efficiency recommendations from previous internal and external studies of RPS,

3. identify and recommend strategies to redirect non-instructional savings to classrooms, including business operations, financial operations, asset management, human resources and benefits, and the use of grant funds,

4. conduct a benchmark analysis of statistical data comparing outcomes for Richmond with similar school divisions across the state, and

5. support the overarching objective of the Task Force to target and redirect resources to programs that improve student achievement.

The Mayor also stated his interest in broadening the membership of the Task Force for its longer term work. He announced the inclusion of Kim Scheeler, President & CEO of the Greater Richmond Chamber, starting immediately. The Mayor will have other appointments in the near future.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mayor Jones Announces City’s New DCAO of Finance

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced the appointment today of Sharon Judkins to the position of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) of Finance and Administration. Judkins has more than 25 years of strategic leadership and executive management experience, and is noted for her expertise in financial planning, organizational development and performance-based management. She previously served for more than 19 years in various leadership capacities for the City of Richmond and was recognized as a knowledgeable and results-driven leader. Her first day of City service is March 26.

Mayor Jones stated, “Sharon Judkins’ accomplishments and comprehension of government finance and management reforms will prove to be a tremendous resource as we continue to position ourselves to become a Tier One City.”

Prior to returning to the City of Richmond to accept the DCAO position, she served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Santa Clara Valley Water District in San Jose, CA. As a key executive for the second largest special district in California, she directed the operations of Budget and Financial Planning; Human Resources and Labor Relations; Information Management; Corporate Business Services, including Contract Administration and Procurement; Fleet Services; and the Ethics and Equal Opportunity programs. Serving as a member of the district’s leadership team for approximately eight years, in two separate terms, she also served as Interim CEO and Deputy Administrative Officer where she provided leadership for the Financial and Corporate Services Division and the Office of Emergency Services.

Judkins earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History/Political Science from Virginia Union University and a Master of Arts in Human Resources Development with a focus on Organizational Development from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.