City Manager Makes Interim Appointments for Economic Development and Finance Director Positions

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen announced today the appointment of City Comptroller Alice Kelly as interim director of the Finance Department and Finance Operations Administrator Taylor Adams as interim director of the Economic Development Department. Kelly's appointment follows the retirement of Finance Director Patti Phillips. Adams' appointment fills the vacancy left following the departure of the former director, Warren Harris. Both positions are effective Dec. 1.  Deputy city managers Ron Williams and Tom Leahy collaborated on these appointments; Williams oversees Economic Development as part of his portfolio and Leahy oversees Finance as part of his.

Adams joined the City in 2015, initially serving as the City's purchasing agent. He was promoted to finance operations administrator in early 2017. He was instrumental in making a number of changes to the City's contracting and procurement processes that are expanding opportunities for small, minority and women-owned firms. Prior to coming to Virginia Beach, Adams held several progressively responsible positions in both the private and public sectors, including chief administrative officer/director of finance for the City of Starkville, MS, purchasing manager for Mississippi State University, partner/operations officer for Benefits Concepts PA in Columbus, MS and business development officer/commercial credit analyst for the National Bank of Commerce. He earned an MBA from Hult International Business School and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Mississippi State University.

"Taylor's background and skills are well-suited to this position," said Williams. "He has proven himself to be an effective collaborator and strategic leader during his tenure here at the City."  

"I appreciate the confidence the manager and deputies have shown in me," said Adams. "We have tremendous opportunities to grow the economy of Virginia Beach, in part by advancing the focus on small businesses. I'm committed to achieving the levels of transparency and accountability Dave Hansen and Ron Williams are expecting," said Adams. 

​While Alice Kelly recently joined the City of Virginia Beach, she is no stranger to municipal government or finance. She worked for the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk as well as several private sector organizations before coming to Virginia Beach in June.  She was the chief financial officer for the City of Portsmouth and she held a number of positions in Norfolk, including director of finance, assistant director of Public Works, financial manager and enterprise controller for Public Works. Kelly also served as an accountant for the National Council for Urban Economic Development in Washington, D.C. and senior accountant for Health Enterprises in Fairfax, VA. Kelly is a Certified Public Accountant and graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

"Alice is a seasoned professional who has quickly made her mark in Virginia Beach," said Leahy. "She implemented a software solution to more easily capture the information needed to produce the comprehensive annual financial review, (CAFR), and trained the staff in how to use it. Patti is leaving the department in good shape and I am confident Alice's extensive background and experience will only enhance the fidelity of the processes and reporting for which Finance is responsible."

"The Finance Department has outstanding staff and is a leader in the field of financial accounting so accepting the position of interim director was an easy decision for me to make," said Kelly. "Implementing the software solution so quickly is a testament to the quality of the reporting already being requested. I look forward to continuing the good work this department is known for."

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