2014 Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Award Winner, Local Level: Melinda Hitz 

Melinda Hitz is the Finance Director for the City of Garden City, a Certified Public Accountant, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Melinda is the current Chair of the Kansas Society of CPAs, the first person from government sector to hold that position in its 82-year history.

Melinda’s journey of “firsts” began at Fort Hays State University in Hays, where she  received her degree in business with an emphasis in accounting. After 12 years in public accounting, Melinda became the first Finance Director for the City of Garden City where she continues to elevate the Finance Department to rival much larger municipalities. The State of Kansas currently allows GAAP waivers for financial reporting. Melinda used her technical skills as a CPA to provide expanded transparency for the citizens in her community by implementing GAAP financial reporting. The City has received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting every year since 1994. The population of the City of Garden City is highly diverse. Melinda ensures that all citizens are appropriately served and uses innovative technology and systems to create efficient operations for everyone, including City personnel.

Melinda is responsible for the preparation of Garden City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, with assets in excess of $100 million. She is responsible for the preparation of the City’s annual budget – a budget that had $81 million in expenditures for 2013. She handles the City’s debt issues and works with the rating agencies on the City’s credit rating. Utility billing and collection is a major component of her job duties. Melinda also maintains internal control procedures, accounting policies, and procedure manuals. All of this is made possible because of her strong foundation as a CPA.

In addition to the Kansas Society of CPAs, Melinda is active in the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA),  the Kansas Government Finance Officers Association (KSGFOA), and the USD #457 School Foundation. She has also served on the board of directors for several organizations in Garden City and statewide.   Melinda and her husband, Bob, have two grown children, Kristen and Jack.


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