Oakwood school officials have named Julia Belden as the district’s new chief financial officer/treasurer.
The district also conducted its “State of the Schools” address, stressing passage of the proposed May levy and fiscal responsibility as Belden takes over for Kevin Philo, who left the job after 24 years to take the same position for Fairborn schools.
Belden served as the CFO of the Community Blood Center and Community Tissue Services from 1993 to 2016. In her role as CFO, she was pivotal in the development and implementation of strategic plans that saw revenue for the center increase from $13 million to $120 million. Most recently, she served as the CFO at Five Rivers Health Centers, where she was responsible for all finance and accounting functions, including budgeting, payroll, purchasing and facilities.
“I commend the current board and administration on the Master Facilities Plan, which will bring the schools’ infrastructure and learning environments up-to-date,” she said. “As CFO and treasurer, I will maintain and strengthen the district’s overall financial position and provide strategic direction for the future. I love the district’s mission and its important relationship with the community.”
The board hired Gilman Partners, an executive search and recruiting firm, to search for its new CFO/treasurer. A district screening committee met with multiple candidates for the position, according to Board President Todd Duwel, who added that Belden will officially begin her tenure with the district Jan. 22.
“She brings an impeccable reputation for integrity and financial acumen, measured by a focused commitment to mission to make sure our district and community’s interest are best served at every turn,” he said. “As we move forward with the many opportunities that lay ahead, Julie will be a tremendous partner for those of us who love to call Oakwood home.”
Duwel also delivered the “State of the Schools” address and challenged Belden to “conduct feasibility studies around alternative revenue streams for operational expenses and economic development potential, drive charitable and planned giving, and partner with anyone, anywhere who shares our commitment to the value of an Oakwood education and continuous learning and growth.”
He said in 2019, a key to the district’s success will be getting the ballot issue in May approved. It is one request with two distinct parts, a 4.99-mill operating levy and a bond at approximately 2.7 mills.
“The operating levy ensures our ability to provide the quality education our community has long valued. The bond will pay for Phase I of the Master Facilities Plan,” Duwel said. “Phase I is focused on prioritized, foundational infrastructure at the junior and senior high buildings, and targeted infrastructure at Smith and Harman to address critical upgrades.”