Session #21: Keynote

Crisis Management: Operational Challenges during covid 19
10:35 – 11:50 a.m.  
CPE Field of Study: Personnel/HR

As the Coronavirus crisis unfolds around the world, businesses and governments are learning real-life lessons about their crisis management readiness. Employers and employees are adjusting to unique challenges and seeking to develop and simultaneously implement strategies to maintain workforce safety and productivity. This panel will address lessons learned from the unique operational challenges presented during the Coronavirus pandemic.


Beth Pearce was appointed Vermont’s state treasurer in January 2011. She has over 40 years of experience in government finance. She previously served as Vermont’s deputy treasurer, as deputy treasurer for cash management at the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office, and as deputy comptroller for the town of Greenburgh, New York. She has a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. She is past president of the National Association of State Treasurers.

Pat McCarthy is the eleventh Washington state auditor and became the first woman elected to the position when she took the oath of office in 2017. 

Previously, Pat was twice elected Pierce County executive; she is also the first woman to hold that role. Over more than 30 years of her public service career, Pat has served as Pierce County auditor and deputy auditor, and board president for the Tacoma School District.

As state auditor, Pat is responsible for the entirety of the State Auditor’s Office (SAO). She leads 400 employees based in 15 offices across the state. Pat is dedicated to shining a brighter light on government operations for the public, because she believes audits increase public trust in government. Under her leadership, SAO’s vision and mission is to increase trust in government through independent and transparent audits of state and local governments, and to help these governments develop strategies to become more efficient and effective.

Stacy Neal is the director of accounting for the Missouri Office of Administration. She has 18 years of professional experience with the state of Missouri. During her tenure, she has worked closely with all aspects of financial reporting including the state’s CAFR, been responsible for the management of the statewide accounting system, and development of the State’s transparency site. Additionally, she has been responsible for managing the state’s debt portfolio of $1.1 billion of general obligation and special revenue bonds. Most recently, Stacy is responsible for Missouri’s $2.083 billion of Coronavirus Relief Fund money. Stacy has extensive experience working with elected officials and members of the general assembly.
Stacy graduated magna cum laude from Missouri State University with a B.S. in accounting.  She is a certified public accountant and past president of National Association of State Comptrollers.

As chief of staff for Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Kathryn R. Burton focuses on accelerating the implementation of the Mayor's priorities, ensuring the effectiveness of city services, and supporting over 18,000 employees. Burton previously served as chief of staff for then-Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman. 

During her tenure with Treasurer Grossman, the Treasury oversaw a $9.6 million operating budget, managed the commonwealth's deposits, and issued approximately $3 billion in bonds per year, as well as overseeing the Massachusetts Lottery and state pension funds.

As part of her work in the community, Burton currently serves on the Boston Children's Museum's Board of Overseers and the Beacon Hill Nursery School Board of Directors. She is a past Vice-Chair of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy Board of Directors, where she was part of the negotiation of a landmark multi-party funding agreement signed in 2017 that solidified State support and brought new funding from the city and adjacent property owners via the Greenway Business Improvement District.

Burton is a member of the Gesgapegiag Mi'kmaq tribe in Quebec, Canada and will be the first Indigenous person in a Cabinet-level position at City Hall. 

Burton holds an undergraduate degree from the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a graduate degree from Dartmouth College. She resides in the North End with her husband, Chad Jackson, and two boys Miles and Graydon.

Hillary Thompson is the project lead for Guidehouse’s State of Vermont COVID-19 Response and Recovery project and is the Policy and Program Analysis Lead in the Guidehouse COVID-19 National Center of Excellence, a collaboration among our COVID-19 teams serving state and local governments around the country. A member of Guidehouse’s State and Local Government Advisory Practice based in Massachusetts, Hillary has been working with state and local governments for more than 13 years, helping governments design policy programs, develop/realign regulations, improve business processes, and unify technology strategies.

Hillary holds a B.A. in political science and philosophy from Swarthmore College and an M.A. in political science from Boston College, where she was a Ph.D. Candidate before abandoning the ivory tower. In addition to her consulting experience, Hillary has taught courses on constitutional law and American government at several colleges in the greater Boston area.


The NASACT Community

NASACT serves as the premier organization working to bring together state auditors, state comptrollers and state treasurers to cooperatively address government financial management issues. NASACT also manages two secretariats - the National State Auditors Association (NSAA) and the National Association of State Comptrollers (NASC). Both NSAA and NASC are included under the umbrella of NASACT’s budget and utilize staff hired by NASACT.