Shantavia “Tavia” Conner has been named as the city of Kissimmee’s new Finance Director and is already on board.
She took over the city’s vital Finance Department on June 30 from longserving Amy Ady, who retired last month after over three decades with the city.
Conner was previously the Assistant City Manager and Chief Financial Officer for the city of Haines City in Polk County, where she oversaw operations of many departments for over five years.
“Having the experience of managing multiple departments, I was drawn to the City of Kissimmee because I saw the same progressive, pro-active approach to growth style of leadership here,” said Conner.
Conner is a statelicensed Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the University of Central Florida. She has also previously held positions in the private sector and with the Orange C ounty Sheriff ’s Department. In her previous role as the Haines City Assistant City Manager, she oversaw the Human Resources, Information Technology, Utility Billing, the Community Redevelopment Agency, and Special Projects, in addition to the Finance and Accounting Department.
Conner sees filling some vacant key positions on the Finance staff as her first priority, with the Assistant Finance Director, Accounting Manager, and Grant Account Manager positions all open. Given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic roiling the economy, Conner was asked about the state of the city’s financial health.
“It is very strong” Conner happily said.
When asked what she would like the residents of Kissimmee to know, she said, “I have a true passion for the financial portion of local government, ensuring transparency, developing strategic planning, and helping all of our departments to find creative ways to fund projects needed to serve our residents.”
On the personal side, Conner is an adjunct professor at South Florida State College in her hometown of Avon Park, and an ardent world traveler.
“I set a goal to travel to 30 countries by the time I was 30 [years old], I am up to 39 countries now,” Conner said, noting Iceland as one of her favorite countries she has visited.
The city has scheduled its annual City Commission Budget Workshop for July 23, to finalize the 2021-22 fiscal year’s budget.
Conner is one of three new Kissimmee Department Directors, with the incumbent assistant directors of the Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments (Natrevia Gradney-Mitchell and Steve Lackey) being promoted to director positions at the end of June 2021.
“We would like to congratulate Natrevia, Steve, and Tavia in their new roles with the City of Kissimmee. These individuals have a strong understanding of government operations, and we are looking forward to continuing the City Commission’s vision and priorities for the future and the desire to enhance the City’s standing as a great place to live, work, and play,” City Manager Mike Steigerwald said.