R.I. finance director wants to make this job her last

Posted Online: April 29, 2012, 10:58 pm
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By Bill Mayeroff, bmayeroff@qconline.com
Cindy Parchert always has had a knack for numbers.

When she was growing up in Orion, her father owned a trucking company. Ms. Parchert said she'd tag along when he went to work on weekends and count the coins people used to buy sodas.

"I would always take out all the pop money and count it," she said. "I would sit there and count it."

That love of counting and numbers turned into a career for Ms. Parchert, who took over as Rock Island's finance director in January. She said she always wanted to become a certified public accountant so she could work for her father's business, but he sold it before she could.

When she started in January, it was actually the beginning of Ms. Parchert's second stint with the city of Rock Island. She worked there as an accountant for 11 years but left in 2000 to work as a controller for the CPA firm McGladrey and Pullen.

"I left here for more money so I could help pay for my stepkids' college," she said.

She loved working at McGladrey, she said.

"To be a controller at a publicly traded company is the dream," she said. "Everything that you're taught as an accountant is geared toward those big, publicly traded companies."

After getting laid off from McGladrey, she became the controller at WQAD before she came back to the city of Rock Island. She replaces longtime finance director Bill Scott.

Ms. Parchert's life is more than just numbers. Off the clock, she said she loves to sew window treatments and even offered to make drapes for the offices of Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley and city manager Thomas Thomas. She also enjoys working in her garden.

"I love gardening," she said. "I like to get outside and weed the garden. It's a great sense of accomplishment when you're done weeding."

Ms. Parchert is looking forward to starting a garden at the house in Rock Island that she and her husband, Rich, bought in January. They and their 4-year-old Cairn terrier Dee Dee will move in when renovations are completed, she said.

"I'm anxious to plant flowers in my yard," she said.

The new house doesn't mean she and her husband are giving up their current residence in Taylor Ridge. Ms. Parchert said they plan to keep it as their "country home."

Ms. Parchert said she and her husband met each other in an unorthodox way -- through his former wife, with whom she was acquainted. One night, she said, she ran into Mr. Parchert while she was out with friends.

"He came over and said, 'I'm getting a divorce,'" she said. "Inside I'm thinking, 'Hot damn.'"

Though she never wanted to move away from the Quad-Cities, Ms. Parchert does love to travel, mostly within the United States. She said Alaska is one of her favorite travel destinations.

"It's very beautiful," she said. "That was probably my best vacation ever. I went in the winter time. We saw the Iditarod."

While she's only been finance director for about three and a half months, Ms. Parchert said a lot has been accomplished, including the passing of a balanced budget and changing the way the city does utility billing to allow residents to pay in installments.

There's still much work to be done, she said.

"The city of Rock Island has lots of challenges," she said. "There's never enough funds."

Ms. Parchert said that, while she's had a lot of different jobs, she wants this one to be her last.

"I always said I wanted Bill (Scott's) job when he left," she said. "This is where I want to end my career."

Meet Cindy Parchert

  • Hometown: Orion
  • Residence: Taylor Ridge, but she and her husband bought a house in Rock Island in January that they are renovating.
  • College: Graduated from Augustana  with a degree in accounting and business. Also has her MBA from St. Ambrose. 
  • Children: Two grown stepchildren -- Erin and Lincoln.
  • Husband: Rich. They were married in 1998. 
  • Pets: Dee Dee, a 4-year-old Cairn terrier. 
  • Hobbies: Gardening and traveling. 


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.

(More History)