St. John’s new CFO hoping to build on success
Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 11, 2012
By ROBIN SHANNON
LAPLACE – With a background in banking and a previous history of management positions at various levels, newly appointed St. John the Baptist Parish Chief Financial Officer Randy Vincent said he hopes his experience can contribute additional momentum to an already successful financial department.
“The staff has been doing a tremendous job, even without a director in place,” Vincent said. “The awards over the last eight years are well documented, and I certainly want to continue that trend.”
Having been on the job a little less than a month, Vincent said he is still working on getting a feel for how the parish handles every transaction. He added that he is looking forward to developing the infrastructure of the department to match Parish President Natalie Robottom’s five-year plan for the parish.
“There will be a lot of coordination with the purchasing and utilities department especially when it comes to documentation and reporting,” Vincent said. “As the parish grows, so do the finances. Doing things like scanning all financial documents into the parish’s electronic filing system will benefit us and make things like the audit process run smoothly.”
Vincent also said it will be vital for the finance department, along with the parish president’s office, to be more involved in the parish’s drive for new economic development.
“We need to keep pace with the anticipated growth,” Vincent said. “Things like new infrastructure and new store fronts are elements that we need to have input on especially when it comes to how funds are being spent.
Vincent said although the parish has functioned well over the past nearly two years without a chief finance director, the position will help take some of the pressure off Robottom and Chief Administrative Officer Theresa Rodgers so their focus can be on the day-to-day operations.
“The biggest challenge for any government is meeting the needs of citizens each day,” said Vincent, who has experience working in government as director of community services for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury system. “I hope to be an extra sounding board for them when needed.”
Originally from Lake Charles, Vincent said he left after high school to pursue his degree at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. After quitting basketball in college, Vincent said he was given a job under the dean of Auxiliary Services. He has also spent time working in grocery retail management and sales for a pair of Fortune 500 corporations. Having lived in five states, Vincent said he was glad to finally get an opportunity to return to Louisiana.
“My wife and I had a goal to move back to the state after gaining education and outside experience,” Vincent said. “It took us 27 years to do it, but it felt great to come back.”
When he and his wife returned to the state in 2005, Vincent worked more than six years with Calcasieu Parish before coming to St. John Parish. He and his wife Bernadette actually purchased a house in the area in 2010 so she could be closer to her work in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
“We would come in on weekends or whenever I had a meeting close by, but we never got very acquainted with the region until now,” Vincent said. “There is a great deal of diversity here and lots of opportunity for growth. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”