Finance Department’s Christine Tsao latest to receive City Manager Leadership Award


City Manager Tom Hatch presented accounting supervisor Christine Tsao with the September City Manager Leadership Award at this month’s Meet and Greet on Thursday Sept. 28.

“Christine is a part of our top-notch Finance team that continues to earn awards for excellence in budgeting and just recently helped us bring our Standard & Poor’s ratings to Triple A status,” City Manager Hatch said. “I truly appreciate the leadership and dedication that Christine brings to her job each and every day.”

As Accounting Supervisor, Tsao is in charge of year-end closing and assists in the annual financial audit and CAFR preparation. She also oversees accounts payable and payroll and serves as the backup payroll coordinator when necessary.

She is universally described by her co-workers as always positive, gracious, responsive and willing to help. She has been especially helpful in assisting the interim assistant finance director. She works very hard and is efficient, prompt and accurate.

In her service to the City, Tsao has been responsible for various accounting assignments, including reconciling the City’s monthly bank accounts, accounting for the City’s capital assets, filing the quarterly federal grant claim report, and preparing journal entries for accounting transactions into the general ledger. She was also very involved in the Successor Agency dissolution accounting process in 2012.

Tsao joined the City of Costa Mesa in 2001 and worked as an accountant for six years and was promoted to Accounting Supervisor in 2007.

Prior to joining the City, Tsao worked for two years at Arthur Andersen, one of the world’s largest accounting firms at the time, as an accounting information system auditor. Then she joined another regional CPA firm, specializing in Governmental Accounting services.

As a lead auditor, Tsao conducted financial audits in many different cities and special districts in southern California before she took her first government job as an accountant in the city of San Clemente.

Tsao received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, majoring in accounting, from Eastern Michigan University in 1992. She continued studying and earned her master’s degree in Management Science Information Systems from Cal State Fullerton in 1995. She also has been a Certificated Public Accountant in the State of California since 2000.

In addition to Tsao, City Manager Hatch welcomed several new employees and congratuled others on promotions and one on her retirement.

Robert Matsuura joined the city as a Human Resources Technician, Jeffrey Tol is the new Building Technician II in Development Services, Lily Lorenzana is the new Management Analyst for IT and Ashley Avalos has been hired as a Recreation Leader II.

Hatch recognized Kelly Dalton, Irina Gurovich  and Christina Oquendo, who were all promoted to Assistant Engineer and Cherie Pittington, who recently retired as  Senior Communications Supervisor after 31 years with the city.