Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misspelled Matt Nielson’s last name.
REXBURG — For the first time in 34 years, Rexburg has a new chief financial officer.
Matt Nielson officially was appointed Wednesday as the main money man for the city of 25,500.
He had been groomed for the job during nearly eight years as Richard Horner’s deputy. Horner retired as city CFO on May 31.
“I love the work,” Nielson said Monday in the deputy financial officer office he still occupies. After working in that capacity for nearly nine years, he’s taking his time moving into the CFO office across the building.
Nielson, originally from Bountiful, Utah, graduated in 2002 from the University of Utah with dual majors in accounting and information systems.
It was that education that helped him get the job at the city. With his skills in both accounting and information systems, he helped implement new computer software to keep track of all the city’s financial business. It was a multi-year project and, along the way, he was cross-trained to be able to step into the CFO job.
“Being second in command helped me gain a lot of experience and will make this a very easy transition,” he said.
He also has worked as a controller and office manager for an electrical engineering office in Utah, and as a parts manager and financial officer in two St. Anthony businesses.
He’s had more than eight years to learn the ropes at the city offices, and he has confidence in his “awesome” and “productive” team of six full-time and two part-time employees in taking on the responsibility.
One of the challenges he sees ahead is fulfilling the role of CFO is in decision making to work well with other department heads and city officials as well as the public.
“I would love to make this my career,” he said. “It’s interesting because of the variety of new issues and challenges. I like working with others and making things happen.”