by Dennis Dalman
Sartell Finance Director Rob Voshell received quite a surprise during a special presentation at the Jan. 22 city council meeting from council members.
During a special presentation, he was a bit tongue-tied and taken aback when they thanked and honored him for achieving the status of Certified Public Finance Offer. Voshell worked so diligently on the 18-month course that he passed its last test in January – six months earlier than the 18-month training program. And he did it all while serving full-time as Sartell’s financial director.
A certified public service officer learns leadership skills for state and local government and acquires a thorough knowledge of best practices and standards in public finance.
Mayor Ryan Fitzthum noted there are only 500 active people in the United States who are certified as public-finance officers.
“And now there’s 501,” said the mayor, looking over at Voshell and smiling. “Congrats, Rob. We appreciate your dedication to our community, and we’re so glad you came back to serve Sartell.”
After council applause, Voshell was invited to come to the front of the council chamber to have his photo taken with wife Grace and young daughter Isla, who gave her daddy a trio of helium balloons.
The Newsleaders contacted Voshell Jan. 24 via email to get his reaction and for background information. He acknowledged he was “slightly embarrassed” by the surprise special presentation at the council meeting.
“But the acknowledgment,” he added, “was truly special, and having my family present made it icing on the cake.”
Shortly after Voshell started his job as Sartell finance director in July 2020, Anna Gruber, city administrator, encouraged him to enroll in the CPFO program.
“My initial years with the city were dedicated to thoroughly comprehending the role,” Voshell said. “It was only until I felt prepared from a family and career standpoint that I decided to enroll (in the program).”
Voshell said he had a sense of relief and accomplishment after completing the CPFO training course.
“The extensive studying and the myriad of resources at our disposal have helped us with our decision-making, managing our resources effectively and ensuring compliance,” he said, referring to the Sartell city staff. “I feel better equipped to serve Sartell more effectively.”
Raised in St. Cloud, Voshell moved with his family to Sartell when he was a sixth-grader. He graduated from Sartell High School in 2010 and then went on to graduate from St. John’s University.
He and his wife are expecting their second daughter at the end of February.