District financial services director recognized for lifetime achievement

SJRWMD logo on a blue background
Headshot of Mary-Lou Pickles

Mary-Lou Pickles, the district’s director of the Office of Financial Services, has been recognized by the Florida Government Finance Officers Association for lasting contributions to Floridians.

PALATKA, Fla., May 11, 2020 — Mary-Lou Pickles, financial services director for the St. Johns River Water Management District, has been awarded the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA).

“Mary-Lou is so deserving of this recognition for her leadership on behalf of the District and the people we serve, as well as her commitment to accuracy and transparency in accounting principles,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “She and her team positively impact the District’s work every day.”

The FGFOA annually honors a finance officer who has made a lasting and worthwhile contribution to the citizens of Florida through their dedication in the performance of their duties on a local level and who has served the FGFOA in its efforts to enhance the profession.

“I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to learn from my FGFOA mentors while establishing life-long friendships,” Pickles said. “Serving as a mentor and being able to give back to the profession that I enjoy so much is very rewarding. I am truly humbled by this award.”

Pickles has worked for the district for 20 years and was promoted to director of the Office of Financial Services in 2017. She oversees the district’s procurement, accounting and budget operations and ensures compliance with district, state and federal rules and regulations and accounting principles.

Pickles says she is most proud of her team’s collaborative work environment. By implementing cross training and job shadowing across office functions, this teamwork approach helps provide continuity and excellence of service to their customers.

She has been a member of FGFOA for 19 years and served as the organization’s 2014-2015 president. During her presidency, the organization established a Leadership FGFOA Program, which provides intense weeklong training to emerging government finance leaders. She also served on numerous standing and ad hoc committees and spearheaded several enhancements, such as exam rewrites and revised eligibility criteria for the Certified Government Finance Officer’s Program. She chaired the committee responsible for establishing FGFOA’s mentoring program and is a founding member of the North Central Chapter of the FGFOA.

The FGFOA was founded in 1937 and serves more than 2,800 professionals from state, county and city governments, school districts, colleges and universities, special districts and private firms.