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South Salt Lake Journal

City’s finance director retires after 17 years

Feb 07, 2022 03:10PM ● By Bill Hardesty

After 37 years, Kyle Kershaw retires from SSL. (Courtesy of SSL)

By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]

After 17 years, the SSL Finance Department has a new director with Kyle Kershaw’s retirement in December. 

“Kyle Kershaw has been a presence and part of the fabric of SSL for as long as I have been involved in city government,” said Mayor Cherie Wood. “His stewardship of funds and careful consideration for the best use of taxpayer and grant funds is what I most appreciate about his work. Kyle embodies what being a public servant is all about; his work and sense of humor will be greatly missed at City Hall.” 

Early Kershaw

Kershaw was born and raised in SSL. He moved in his early 20s.

He began his 37-year career with SSL working part time maintaining the grounds around the old City Hall. A few months later, he began working full time as a custodian while attending college.

“One of the high points was getting that first part-time groundskeeper job. That job set the stage for me being able to be associated with the city over the next 37 years. I have no idea what would have happened, career-wise, had I not been offered that first job,” Kershaw said.

After graduating from college, he started to work in the Finance Department, processing payroll and disbursements. During this job, he first learned about the Director of Finance position and its impact on the city.

Kershaw’s advice for his young self is to “treat your coworkers, customers, residents and others with as much courtesy, kindness and respect as possible. Appreciate the hard work and accomplishments that others are able to achieve. And lastly, realize that time moves quickly, and don’t forget to appreciate the good times and even some of the bad times.”

Director of Finance Kershaw

Kershaw was appointed Director of Finance in 2004, which means he prepared a lot of budgets.

“Another high point is working with the mayor and city council to adopt an annual balanced budget was always gratifying,” Kershaw said. “There are always more requests and needs than there are resources available to meet those needs. However, through discussion and cooperation at multiple levels, a financially responsible budget, which met the most urgent needs, has always been adopted. Being involved in that process was always rewarding to me.”

Retirement Kershaw

Speaking about how SSL has changed in 37 years, Kershaw said, “When I began working for the city, the population was around 14,000 residents, and it was considered a sleepy, mostly forgotten suburb of Salt Lake City. Due to annexation and growth, the population has nearly doubled. Over the years, South Salt Lake has become a destination for many shoppers, developers, and employers who see real value by coming to the city. In fact, growth is a major challenge the city is currently faced with which no one could have seen coming even 10 years ago.”

Kershaw commented, “I will miss being around and working with some of the finest individuals I will ever know. I have grown to love so many in our ‘South Salt Lake Family,’ and it’s hard to imagine not seeing them often. I will also miss working with and assisting the mayor and the city council with the difficult jobs that they have. And, I will miss being involved in the exciting projects and initiatives that will happen in the city in the near future.”

His retirement plans are still open. But, post-COVID, he wants to travel.

“I’ve been told that I’m unable to sit still for too long, so I hope various things will present themselves to fill my time,” Kershaw said.

His advice to his successor is: “Remember that you are a public servant and treat the public and the public’s funds with respect. Also, remember that the success of each individual in the department translates into the department being successful.”

Crystal Makin

Crystal Makin was sworn in as the new director on Jan. 11.

Makin brings over 25 years of accounting experience to the city. In addition, she has served as an accountant in the city’s Finance Department for the last five and a half years. 

“While the city is small, it is leading the way in so many creative and progressive ways, and I love being a part of it,” Makin said. 

Makin’s background includes public, corporate, and tax accounting, but she admits to gaining her fondness for governmental accounting after joining the city’s finance team. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Utah State University and a master’s from the University of Utah. She has been a licensed CPA for 13 years.  

In her spare time, Makin serves as a foster parent, travels, creates handicrafts, attends hockey games, and enjoys spending time with her family. 

“I am looking forward to serving the citizens and employees of South Salt Lake as the city leaps forward in this new decade of growth and development,” Makin said.