LACEY, Wash. — Saint Martin’s University welcomes Sarah Saavedra, MBA, CPA, as the new vice president of finance and chief financial officer (CFO) for the University. As vice president of finance and CFO, Saavedra is responsible for the ongoing business, budget and financial reporting and analysis needs of the University; the supervision and leadership of student financial services, the business office, payroll, facilities, investments, purchasing, the bookstore and, with the president, integrated technology services. In addition, Saavedra reviews and monitors contractual agreements between the University and other organizations, leads the University through the budgeting and audit processes and serves as staff liaison to the Finance, Audit and Investment Committees of the Board of Trustees. Saavedra will work closely with the president and provost as well as other key members of the community in articulating and implementing the University's strategic plan.
“We are excited and pleased to have Sarah join the University in this leadership role,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “I am confident she will do well and look forward to introducing her to Saint Martin’s.”
Saavedra most recently worked as the financial audit manager and higher education program manager for the Washington State Auditor’s Office, where she supervised the $54 billion Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Washington State, performed outreach and presentations to higher education associations and coordinated the audit efforts of all 34 community colleges and six four-year universities in the State of Washington. At the team level, she monitored the state teams’ expenditures, revenues billed and received; procured new audit services contracts with clients; ensured appropriate team-level budgets; served as final reviewer on state financial and compliance audit reports; and reviewed fraud investigations and citizen hotlines for Washington State, among other duties.
Prior to that, Saavedra served as an assistant audit manager for the local audit team of the Washington State Auditor’s Office. Her responsibilities included supervising staff on her audits; working on financial and compliance audits for Thurston County, the City of Lacey, City of Tumwater, Skamania County Public Utility District and Port of Olympia; auditing local governments to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, internal policies and governmental accounting standards; and resolving technical questions from clients.
She began her career at a CPA firm in Portland, Oregon, in January 2006. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. She obtained her Certified Public Accountant license in 2009 and earned her master’s degree in business administration from Western Governors University.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors and 11 graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
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