Sanford finance director accepts Cumberland job

Jul. 19, 2013 @ 05:03 AM

After more than a decade with the city, Sanford Finance Director Melissa Cardinali has been hired for the same position in Cumberland County.

The new position is a "good professional move," she said, but added that leaving the city of Sanford will be difficult.

"It's very bittersweet," Cardinali said. "I have had the privilege to work with some wonderful people and have always been welcomed in Sanford. It was a hard decision, but the right career decision for me to make."

Cardinali, a Chapel Hill native, served as a portfolio administrator with the city of Durham and then as finance director with the town of Southern Pines.

It was Cardinali's leadership that led to Sanford's strong financial standing, according to City Manager Hal Hegwer.

"In the last 15 years, she's provided excellent guidance through tough economic times," he said.

Cardinali has trained an exceptional staff, Hegwer said, and the city will not "miss a step" during the interim process.

"I will miss her," he said. "This is a great opportunity for her and her family, and we wish her the best. But she will certainly be missed. She has exceptional knowledge, experience and expertise."

As Cumberland County finance director, reviewing the budget process, the annual financing reporting and audits, and debt management will all fall under Cardinali's purview, she said.

"I have made a lot of really good friends and worked with some really wonderful people," she said. "I am looking forward to the opportunity of working with a larger unit of government, and Cumberland County has an excellent reputation. I am looking forward to being a part of that team."

Cardinali and her husband, John, will relocate to Cumberland County, and she begins her new position Aug. 19.