Seward recognized as one of the top financial executives in the Tampa Bay area
Jeff Seward, Chief Financial Officer of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, has been named CFO of the Year in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2014 CFO of the Year Awards in the Government Agency category.
On Wednesday, February 26, at A La Carte Event Pavilion the Tampa Bay Business Journal made its much-anticipated announcement of the winners of the prestigious CFO of the Year Award.
The award ceremony is an annual event hosted by the Tampa Bay Business Journal to recognize top financial executives and finalists are chosen by an independent panel of judges. The event honors Chief Financial Officers from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk and Hernando.
Six distinct industry categories are honored, and Seward won in the Government category.
Seward has more than 25 years of local government, private-sector and military experience, providing leadership for various areas, including financial advising, strategic planning, economic development and auditing.
As CFO, Mr. Seward is responsible for Accounting & Financial Reporting, Budget, Cash Management, Internal Audit, Procurement, Contracts Administration, Grants & Planning. Those vitally important departments execute the long-term financial strategy of HART, manage major capital projects, secure grants to enhance our current infrastructure and implement investment tools to improve fiscal sustainability.
His latest accomplishment is establishing the Regional Revenue Collection Working Group with 6 other regional transit agencies as well as partnerships with the FDOT and TBARTA to establish a streamlined fare collection system where passengers, regardless of where they live or transit service they use, can move between counties in the region with one single smart card. This is the first of its kind public transportation regional partnership in the Tampa Bay area. Partnering with FDOT will allow this to be a model that is used elsewhere in the State of Florida.
“This recognition is well deserved and we’re fortunate to have Jeff, a proven leader and dedicated HART employee, as our CFO,” said HART CEO, Philip R. Hale. “The CFO of the Year award in the Government category was competitive and we’re happy that Jeff has been recognized for his unique vision and exceptional execution.”
“I am truly humbled by this recognition and I appreciate the opportunity that Mr. Hale, our CEO, has given me to help move this organization forward, but it is the HART Board and staff that truly deserve the accolades for getting HART to where it is today, and that is a provider of public transportation for over 14 million passengers a year – THAT is an achievement!” said Mr. Seward.
About Jeff Seward
Mr. Seward started with HART in 2011 as the Chief Financial Officer, and is responsible for the financial stewardship of the organization, including the execution of the long-term financial and transit development strategy, management of major capital projects and procurements, and the securing of grants to enhance the authority’s current infrastructure as well as the implementation of financial strategies to improve overall fiscal health and sustainability. A high energy, fiscally conscious, and goal-driven executive, Jeff approaches each new business challenge with his intrinsic flair for innovation and creative problem-solving to drive consistent bottom-line improvements in the stewardship of public funds.
Prior to joining HART, Jeff was the Chief Financial Planning Officer for Sarasota County where he was responsible for the management and execution of the County’s billion dollar annual budget, managing to build reserves to the point where very few services were required to be cut during the height of the recession. He also was instrumental in the financing strategy and planning for a $32 million major league baseball facility, which led to the Baltimore Orioles’ making Sarasota its new spring training home.
Jeff has held various challenging positions such as Vice President and Program Manager of Analytical Process Improvement Information Systems Reengineering for a Department of Defense contractor and Senior Manager of Six Sigma and Strategic Quality and Improvement for a private medical transcription and technology company. He also served 13 years in the United States Navy, serving in the nuclear powered submarine program, the National Science Foundation’s U.S. Antarctic Program and staff duty in Washington, D.C. attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
He is also an adjunct professor teaching applied business statistics, operations/project management and the senior business simulation capstone in the Webster University MBA program at the St. Pete and Sarasota campuses.
Jeff earned his master’s degree in public administration from California Lutheran University and a bachelor’s degree in history and government from Columbia College. He is a past President of the Southwest Florida Government Finance Officers Association and has served on various committees with the Florida City & County Management Association, the International City/County Management Association, and the Florida Association of Counties.
He and his wife Theresa have four children; Noah 13, Tyler 18, Jordan 19, and Zachary 23.