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Article posted: 2/13/2013 4:07 PM

Kane County hires new chief financial officer

By James Fuller

Starting Tuesday, Kane County will have a finance director for the first time in more than six months as county board members approved the hiring of Aurora University Controller Joseph M. Onzick into the role Wednesday.

Onzick has been controller for Aurora University since 2008. For two years before that he was the controller for Friendship Village of Schaumburg. The bulk of his career was spent as the chief financial officer for Nexgen Software Technologies in Naperville where he worked from 1994 to 2006. Onzick also has work experience as a computer programmer. He brings a CPA and an MBA to the job, but Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said there will be a little bit of a learning curve for Onzick in terms of government accounting.

"Our previous financial officer (Cheryl Pattelli) was highly qualified, but she did not come into her position with a CPA or an MBA," Lauzen said. "During the time she worked here, she got those credentials. On the other hand, she had a lot of government experience. Joe starts with the MBA and CPA, but my focus with him over the next six months is going to be working on the government accounting."

Lauzen has his own professional background in accounting to rely on for that training. Onzick has already familiarized himself with the county's accounting software. Onzick will team with County Treasurer Dave Rickert and Auditor Terry Hunt to help create a budget for the county, Lauzen said.

Onzick was chosen from a list of four finalists. However, he wasn't Lauzen's first choice for the job. That first choice bowed out of the running shortly before a vote by the county board. Lauzen said the first choice candidate was dissuaded from the position by people he would not name. Onzick will collect a salary of $115,000 plus pension and health insurance benefits.

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