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Cherri Phifer is scheduled to start Aug. 14.
provided by city of Branson
Cherri Phifer is scheduled to start Aug. 14.

Branson hires finance director

Posted online

Last edited 3:26 p.m., Aug. 3, 2023 [Editor's note: A statement regarding the former finance director has been clarified.]

The city of Branson has hired a new finance director more than a year after an exodus of key employees shook up the leadership of the municipality.

Cherri Phifer is scheduled to start in the role on Aug. 14, according to a news release. She has 17 years of finance experience and leadership, most recently as director of accounting and finance for the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas and previously as a senior accountant for FedEx Freight.

“I accepted the role as finance director for the city of Branson because I think my skills and experience are a good fit for what Branson is seeking,” Phifer said in the release. “I am a certified public accountant who has gained a wealth of experience in fund accounting, management of state and federal programs, software utilization and project management."

The finance director role became open in April 2022, when former leader Jamie Rouch was dismissed from the job, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Former City Administrator Stanley Dobbins and Assistant Finance Director Stacy McAllister also were dismissed around the same time last year.

Accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly US LLP, which was hired by the city in May 2022, will be available to assist with the transition and participate in finance and economic development project analysis, according to the release.

Phifer is slated to join the city finance department as the municipality is implementing enhancing accounting software and process improvements. The director of finance, who reports to the city administrator, is responsible for managing, director and supervising the activities of the department and for performing accounting analyses, officials say.

“When we learned of Cherri’s experience and qualifications, we knew she was a strong choice to continue our positive momentum as a city,” City Administrator Cathy Stepp said in the release. “We will lean on that experience as we launch a new era of transparency for our finance department."

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