Meet AGA's Next National President: Richard V. Norment, CGFM, CIA
Force, Marie Sullivan, The Journal of Government Financial Management
Richard Norment has the reputation in the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury's office as the "go to" man for information that others would never find on their own. His files are legendary, his organizational skills second to none. Now as Norment prepares for his year as AGA's "go to" man, he plans to put these skills to work for the Association, using the theme "Lead to Succeed."
At 58, Norment serves as the director of the division of county audit and assistant to Comptroller of the Treasury John G. Morgan. He and his staff of 92 oversee annual audits of the state's 95 counties, with 87 of the audits actually performed by his staff.
A protege of William R. Snodgrass, who retired two years ago after a remarkable 44-year term as comptroller, Norment is the second member of the Nashville Chapter to hold AGA's highest elected position. Charles L. Harrison, CGFM, director of management services and also an assistant to the comptroller, was National President in 1992-1993. Harrison, Norment and other members of the Nashville Chapter are credited with establishing AGA's Annual State and Local Government Leadership Conference in 1992. Snodgrass recently expressed great pride in seeing his staff rise to leadership ranks within the Association and the profession.
The group of AGA members who started the Nashville Chapter in 1977 has worked together in the comptroller's office for more than 30 years. Norment, who served as AGA National Treasurer in 1997-1998, has logged more than 34 years in state government and says the job has never bored him. He says he vividly remembers his first days and never once thought-"I've got 30 years to go before I can retire" He acknowledges that government jobs will never be as financially rewarding as private sector positions, but he can't imagine being more fulfilled by any career.
"I tell our younger employees that I don't look at these 34 years as an eternity," he says. When he had just started his career, he says he was told by someone he respected that government would be a good place to start, but it was not the place to make a career. "I almost didn't do it because of that negative comment."
Norment believes the example set by Snodgrass and continued under his successor John Morgan, has probably kept an entire group of people-including fellow AGA members Arthur Alexander, CGFM,Arthur Hayes, CGFM, Bob Powell, CGFM, Barbara White, CGFM, and Harrisonhappily employed for many years. "He was demanding," Norment recalls of Snodgrass, still a close friend and frequent lunch partner, "but we had freedom too. No one had to punch a clock. You might not talk to him for a week or two, but when he was ready to talk, you had better be ready with the answers"
He hopes to take the pride and professionalism he has found in Tennessee to the national stage as AGAs President. "In our office, we have a tremendous amount of pride in our work and in the fact that we are respected by the local governments we have oversight of," he says, adding that he wants to help to instill more of that pride in AGAs members and encourage them to share the message with others. …