After serving the town for more than two decades as its finance director, Jane Le Clainche will step away from that role next month.
A Michigan native who spent 10 years as the comptroller and collection director for the city of Kankakee, Illinois, Le Clainche was hired by the town in 1999 after she saw a posting in a professional publication for the position of finance director in Palm Beach and applied for the job.
Le Clainche had spent winters in Palm Beach County as a child, and she longed to return to the warmer weather, she said. She also wanted to try something different with her career.
“I got tired of what I was doing,” she said. “I wanted to get out of there. I was reading the Government Finance Officers Association newsletter, and the job was posted. I decided that’s what I wanted. I applied, and I got the job. I’ve been here ever since.”
Le Clainche was born and raised in Michigan, and attended college there, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University.
She moved to Illinois to attend graduate school, and then worked for a major automobile dealership in Chicago, serving as an assistant vice president and business manager. The job in Kankakee followed.
As the town’s finance director, she is responsible for the town’s accounting, investment, budget and long-term financial planning.
Her duties have remained consistent during her tenure with the town, Le Clainche said, though she has had the opportunity to assist with a variety of new and unique town projects.
“With this job, there are a set of duties that remain the same, the budget, accounting, audit, treasury — the usual,” she said. “But then there’s continuous new projects that come up from council and the town manager that we need to develop financing plans for. There’s been a lot of change in my 23 years. Then there’s restructuring plans that have happened over the years that I’ve been involved in. There’s always been something new happening.”
Le Clainche, who lives in Juno Beach with her husband, Jeremy, said her favorite part of her job is the budget process.
She works closely with her team to ensure that the process, which culminates in September each year with passage of the town’s annual budget and property tax rate, runs smoothly and effectively.
“I do enjoy the budget process,” she said. “I enjoy it a lot. I also enjoy working with our team in developing the various reports that we have done, and do. Last year, we produced another annual report. I enjoy putting together products for the citizens.”
As much as she has cherished her work with the town and her time on the island, Le Clainche said it was time to step away and embark on a new phase of her life.
She and her husband plan to travel extensively after she finishes work Jan. 27.
“My husband has relatives in France and Italy, and we have friends in Spain and Germany,” she said. “We think we may live over there for awhile. We want to start our next chapter.”
Le Clainche said she will miss her friends and colleagues in Palm Beach. Her retirement, she said, is ‘bittersweet.’
“I’ve enjoyed working with my team and the council and the citizens all these years,” she said. “It’s been a fabulous learning experience. I’ve met a lot of interesting people. I will cherish all of that forever, but I’m hopeful and looking forward to the next chapter. I’ll miss everybody.”
The town will not fill Le Clainche’s role as finance director, opting instead to fold her responsibilities into a new role created for Bob Miracle, who the town has hired from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Miracle, a certified public accountant who most recently served as deputy chief financial officer for Mecklenburg County in Charlotte, has been named deputy town manager for finance and administration. His duties will include Le Clainche’s responsibilities as well as direct oversight over risk management, procurement and information technology.
“He’ll have a little bit broader responsibilities,” Le Clainche said.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Daily News: Palm Beach’s longtime finance director to retire next month after 23 years