Finance Director turning heads downstate

Webb named ‘Finance Officer of the Year’ in Kentucky, elected president of statewide GFOA

COVINGTON, Ky. – Less than 15 months after becoming the City of Covington’s Finance Director, Steve Webb is earning statewide recognition.

On Friday in Bowling Green, Webb was:

  • Named the Kentucky Government Finance Officers Association “Finance Officer of the Year” for 2023.
  • Elected as president of the Kentucky GFOA for the 2024-2025 two-year cycle.

The separate but related honors – announced during the Kentucky GFOA’s annual conference – are acknowledgement of Webb’s work in Covington and his growing role in the professional organization, which is the Kentucky chapter of a 19,000-member association of state, provincial, and local government finance officers in the United States and Canada.

Wrote one person who nominated him for the award:

“Steve is a leader of marked intelligence and discernment that stands out amongst his peers. His in-depth understanding of government finance is unparalleled. I have witnessed him combine strategy and character to grow his department's professionalism and efficiency, providing Covington with a team of experts with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to advance the City forward to face the challenges of a changing economy and financial landscape.”

As finance director, Webb oversees an array of functions in the City of Covington, including budget, accounting, investments, accounts payable, revenue, accounts receivable, procurement, and payroll. He also serves ex officio on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees for the City Employees Retirement Fund, the Covington Economic Development Authority, the Occupational License Board of Appeals, the Police and Fire Pension Board, the Rental License Appeal Board, and The Fund for Covington, Inc. 

He came to the City in August 2022 after having served at the Northern Kentucky Area Development District, the State of Indiana, and the City of Indianapolis.

Covington City Manager Ken Smith said he wasn’t surprised by Webb’s accolades, given his efforts to improve the Finance Department’s efficiency and accountability, with many of those changes falling outside the public’s eye. For example, Webb has helped centralize the budget development process, increase interest income on City funds, implement lockbox programs to increase efficiency of revenue collection, reduce the net profit tax return processing timeline, improve financial reports for the Board of Commissioners and senior staff, construct a financing plan for infrastructure needs, and create the City’s first-ever popular annual financial report (PAFR) for constituents. 

“Steve is a true professional who cares deeply about his work,” Smith said.

Webb said he will continue to work on improving Finance’s inner operations while helping the City fill a revenue hole created by the work-from-home trends, finance the ongoing development of the 23-acre former IRS site, and lay the financial groundwork for a new City Hall. At the Kentucky GFOA, he hopes to expand its membership and elevate its continuing education opportunities for public finance professionals.  

He said the Finance Officer of the Year Award was particularly meaningful because it was voted on by his peers.

“The people who sit in the seat I’m sitting in and do the job I’m doing have looked at what Finance is doing here for the City of Covington and our employees and residents and concluded ‘Wow, this is something worth recognizing,’ ” Webb said. “That’s a sign of confidence and respect.”

# # #