The 2018 National CFO Photo Contest has come to a close. After narrowing the field to 10 finalists, Nick Ciarniello, Treasurer of Boardman Local Schools in Boardman, OH, was selected as this year’s winner. Nick’s photo showed him enjoying the natural beauty in Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia and was very popular among voters.
Nick sat down with us to share more on his background, his work in Boardman schools and his life outside of the office.
Please share a bit about your professional background.
I used to be a government auditor with Rea & Associates, which gave me the skills needed to pursue my passion as a School Treasurer/CFO.
Tell us about your current role at Boardman Local Schools. What makes your work there unique?
As the Treasurer/CFO, I oversee the financials of a school district with a $60 million budget while also dealing with local politics and state-wide funding shortfalls to the public schools. As a result of these shortfalls, we had to go back to the local taxpayers for a new tax levy in May 2018. Fortunately, we were successful on the first try and have financially stabilized the district with the goal of maintaining a positive cash balance for the next 10-plus years.
Your winning photo features you exploring Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. What took you there and what was your favorite part of the trip?
My girlfriend and I went to Croatia because that is where her grandparents came from. We have always heard about how beautiful it is there and the beauty at Plitvice Lakes was second to none. Plitvice Lakes had to be our favorite part of the trip, so much so that we stayed longer and missed our dinner reservation!
Traveling to new countries takes patience and organization. How do your travel skills translate to your work as Treasurer?
Organization is definitely an important travel skill, especially when facing layovers and language barriers. We mapped out our plan there and back, as we had a layover in Dublin, Ireland, and wanted to make sure to maximize that as well. In Croatia, we had an entire itinerary in place that kept us on schedule and moving so that we didn't waste a minute.
What else do you like to do in your free time?
Outside of traveling, I enjoy doing CrossFit with my girlfriend and going on hikes with my dog.
What excites you most about being this year's CFO Contest grand prize winner?
It is an honor being selected as the winner but the most exciting part was competing with like-minded individuals who are doing so many awesome things outside of their job duties. Being a Treasurer/CFO is time consuming, so it’s nice to see others spend some time away for themselves.