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Introducing Cheryl Grant, MRSC's Newest Finance Consultant

Introducing Cheryl Grant, MRSC's Newest Finance Consultant

Let me start by acknowledging it’s not the best picture of me. Yes, I know there are strands of hair on my face. My husband wanted to fix it, but it’s me. Life’s messy sometimes and so am I. Besides, a bird in the hand… We’ll get to them; but first, how I got here, meaning MRSC.

I am a native of Washington, born and raised on the eastside (of the state, that is, not Bellevue). I left home after high school, got married, lived in Japan, had two kids, and came back with a husband and said kids in tow. I got my first job (the start of my career) in local government public service when I was hired by my hometown as the deputy clerk for the City of Colville.

Both the job and my first marriage ended early, so I found work with a law firm for a short stint (doing real estate closings) before I was hired by the City of Kettle Falls as their clerk/treasurer. While there (seven years), I met my second husband, eventually wed, left the city, and went to work in employee benefits management in the Stevens County Auditor’s Office. While there, we had two daughters, both born at the same hospital where I was born some 35+ years earlier (that’s four now; three girls and a boy). I then moved to the county’s IT department to work part-time. And no, I am absolutely not tech-savvy: I ran reports — lots and lots of reports.

My husband worked for the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and with any advancement in his career came moves to new locations. With three kids in tow (we let the oldest stay with friends to finish her last two months of high school) we moved to Shelton (Fawn Lake, if you’re familiar with the area). He was an instructor at the WSP academy, and I worked for Mason County, mostly handling L&I claims and reviewing the budget. Then, I had another child: a girl who went by the name “baby girl Grant” for about two weeks (long story).

When my husband advanced to become a detective with WSP, we moved to Wenatchee. My next stint was as a WSP communications officer. More importantly following that, my next career move was the opportunity to work as clerk/treasurer for the City of Leavenworth, which was a great learning experience that I feel lucky to have had. I stayed there for seven years, until, growing tired of the long commute, I took a position as clerk/treasurer for the City of Rock Island, which was much closer to our home in East Wenatchee. I had thought that this was to be my last move and my last job before I retired. Ha!

Instead, a position with the City of Chelan came up, and after much discussion, I decided to apply. I was fortunate to have been selected as their next finance director and can definitively say this was my best career move. I had the opportunity to focus solely on the finance side, had full support for training—for myself and my staff—and worked with an overall great group of elected officials and staff. I feel I grew immensely in that position, was more involved in administration, and worked much more closely with the other directors, including public works, parks, community development, and the city clerk. I owe much of that to a couple of great city administrators. I broke my longevity record by staying with Chelan for 13 years before retiring and getting into providing a little one-on-one assistance to local small cities.

One thing I have learned from this entire experience so far is that when you move around, you have an opportunity to leave the bad and take the good. And sometimes you get lucky and get to spend an entire career doing something you love. Small city finance is it for me. Every city and county I worked in taught me something new to take to the next. I’ve learned to keep an open mind because there may be more than one way to perform a task and these different options may all be “right.” My plan is I get lucky twice and get the chance to continue doing what I love. Now that I have joined MRSC I look forward to working with folks who have taken up careers as finance professionals in small cities and helping to make your jobs easier/better/less intimidating. We’ll get there!

Now, back to the birds. Basically, one led to another and now I have five. Four of the five are rehomes or rescues, and three of the five are over 15 (which, depending on the species, is only a third of its life). If you prefer cats, I’ve got two rescues, one of whom I’m quite sure is the worst cat ever. Dogs? A 15-year-old Bouvier and Frankie the Tibetan Spaniel rescue. (My husband is a saint.)

I look forward to getting to know more about each of you, whether or not you’re a fan of feathers, fur, or scales.

MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.

Photo of Cheryl Grant

About Cheryl Grant

Cheryl joined MRSC in August 2023 as a finance consultant. Born and raised in Washington State, Cheryl has many years of experience working in local government finance, particularly with small cities. Prior to coming to MRSC, Cheryl spent 13 years as the finance director for the City of Chelan, as well as consulting on a variety of finance-related topics for small cities.