Federal Way mayor names finance director finalist

Adé Ariwoola was selected as a finalist for the city of Federal Way
Adé Ariwoola was selected as a finalist for the city of Federal Way's finance director position. He is currently finance director for the city of Ellensburg.
— image credit: Courtesy city of Ellensburg

The Federal Way City Council will undertake their first confirmation of a department director under the elected mayor system voters established in 2010 on March 4.

Mayor Jim Ferrell has selected Adé Ariwoola as his choice to be the city’s new finance director.

“I am delighted to be able to recommend to the City Council for confirmation a candidate with such outstanding qualities as Adé Ariwoola,” Ferrell said. “Adé is a person of character, integrity and ethics who brings an impressive background in finance and accounting in municipal and county government settings.”

Ariwoola is currently finance director for the city of Ellensburg, a full-service city with a $115 million budget. There, he managed the city’s Finance Department, developed and administered the budget, while earning a valuable “AA” rating for city bonds and overseeing the customer service division for the city’s five utilities.

During his tenure at Ellensburg, the city received the prestigious Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award and the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation award four years running.

Ariwoola is a leader in government finance organizations, serving on the board of directors for the GFOA of USA and Canada, and the executive board for the Washington Finance Officers Association.

Under the structure of the elected mayor/council system in Federal Way, appointments to key department directorships are made by the mayor, but must be confirmed by the City Council. The Council will consider Ariwoola’s qualifications March 4 and will hold an informal “meet and greet” with the candidate at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers. The confirmation decision is scheduled for the regular Council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. that evening. If Ariwoola is confirmed, his start date will be April 1.

The city began its search for a finance director position after long-time director Tho Kraus left in October 2013 to become assistant city manager in Lakewood. There were 29 applicants for the position and five finalists were interviewed.

Prior to employment with Ellensburg, Ariwoola served as the financial services manager for Kitsap County for eight years, and has also worked as the Chelan County chief accountant and as a financial officer for EPIC, a Yakima nonprofit organization.

Ariwoola has a Master of Business Administration from Gonzaga University and is a certified government financial manager.


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