Welcome To The GFRC: Two New Advisory Panel Members

The Government Finance Research Center (GFRC) has relied, since its inception, on a cadre of the best and brightest men and women in the various fiscally-related fields it covers. They appear as  a group as our “external advisory panel.”

We are proud to announce that we’ve added two exemplar individuals to the panel, who will add even more depth and breadth to the knowledge base upon which the Center relies. They are Shelby Kerns, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers and Joel Black, chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standard Board.

Following are two brief biographies of the newest panel members.

Shelby Kerns

Shelby Kerns

Kerns has an extensive professional background in state government and association management, including a decade in the Idaho state budget office. She has worked with numerous associations and boards, having served as executive director of the Idaho Rural Partnership; director of communications at the Washington Wheat Commission (she is  fifth generation wheat grower herself); program director at the Idaho Association of REALTORS®; and assistant executive director of the Idaho Wool Growers Association.  All of this led to powerful background as an association leader. But why NASBO?

Starting in 2009, she spent three years as a budget analyst for the Idaho Division of Financial Management, moving upward to lead the governor’s budget staff when she became budget bureau chief.

Through that period of time, she says, “being involved with NASBO while I was in the budget office was one of the best professional experiences I’d had. So, when the opportunity came to apply for the executive director’s job, it was too great of an opportunity to pass up.”

She finds herself entering this role at a particularly complex time as the coronavirus has left states and territories in an unpredictable and unprecedented fiscal time. And, given the public health emergency, “associations have to find new ways to support our membership,” she says. “The world has changed.”

Luckily, Kerns says the things “that makes me most excited about the job are the challenges.”

Joel Black

Joel Black

For about 28 years, Black learned the ins and outs of GASB from the opposite side of a virtual fence between the board and its stakeholders.  He began work out of college at KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory Services. He then transferred to Mauldin & Jenkins self described as “a highly recognized CPA and advisory firm serving public and private clients across a wide range of industries.”

Over this period of time, working as a financial statement auditor serving exclusively state and local governments, Black reviewed countless GASB pronouncements, in an effort to make sure his clients were in compliance. To be prepared to do so, he tracked the progress of new pronouncements, in order for his many clients to be prepared for their future in financial reporting. “So, GASB has been part of my life for my entire career,” he says. “That being the case, when the opportunity to join the board came up, I was very honored to have the chance to serve.”

As he commences his seven-year term as GASB’s chairman, he’ll be devoting a great deal of time and effort to completing several large projects that have been underway for some time.

“Beyond those efforts,” Black says, “I’m excited to see, over the course of my term, how we’re going to leverage the opportunities that technology presents for us to connect, engage, and receive input from our stakeholders. We’re only beginning to see the implications of how this will impact and allow for significant improvements to governmental accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments in the United States. Ultimately, that’s a benefit to all of us,” he added.