Mayor Ralph Announces New HR and Finance Director Appointments
Paula Painter and Teri Smith to join City
Last week Kent Mayor Dana Ralph announced the selections of the new Finance and Human Resources Directors to City staff. Following an extensive recruitment process, Paula (Barry) Painter has been chosen as the City’s new Finance Director, and Teri Smith has been selected to be the new HR Director. Both have prior experience working for the City of Kent. They will begin at the City on September 3.
Paula Painter has been a financial professional for 21 years and has broad experience and a deep understanding of municipal finance, accounting standards, budgeting operations and the financial challenges facing cities.
Painter currently works for the City of Tacoma as a senior financial manager. Prior to that, she worked in the finance departments for DuPont and Auburn. From 1997 to 2014, Painter worked in the City of Kent Finance Department filling a variety of roles, including Assistant Finance Director and Interim Finance Director.
Painter, who is a Certified Public Accountant, has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Washington University. In 2015, she graduated from the Leadership Institute of the South Puget Sound.
“We are excited about the experience Painter brings to the role, and we know she’ll continue to move the Finance Department forward,” said Mayor Dana Ralph. “Painter’s institutional knowledge of our City, combined with innovative and fresh ideas, make her a great fit to be our next Finance Director.”
“I’m thrilled to return to the City of Kent! Kent has always been a place I consider home because it is where I began my career in city government. I hold many fond memories from my years of service to the City and built many meaningful friendships along the way. I am excited to get to work,” Painter said.
Teri Smith will be the City’s new Human Resources Director. She has more than 20 years of HR experience spanning different disciplines including management, benefits, recruitment, labor relations, budgeting and risk management.
Teri has served as the HR Director for the City of Lake Stevens since 2017. She has also held HR management positions for the Snohomish Health District, City of Monroe and Yuba County, Marysville, California. She also worked for the City of Kent from 2011 and 2014 as a labor relations manager.
Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Montana and holds the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designations.
“Teri’s breadth of experience in HR will be a welcome asset as she helps set the tone for the department. She has the leadership skills and background to lead and guide the team into the future,” said Mayor Ralph.
“I was attracted to the HR director position at Kent because I started my public sector career in Kent in 2001 and served the city for almost nine years as an HR analyst and labor relations manager,” said Smith. “The director position was a terrific opportunity for me to give back to Kent for the terrific start as a public servant.”