PAWTUCKET — Returning to the city where she once served as chief accountant, Joanna L'Heureux has been named as Pawtucket's new finance director by Mayor Donald R.Grebien.
L'Heureux will succeed Ronald Wunschel, who is retiring from that post after 14 years. She will officially assume her duties in January, and Wunschel has offered to assist with the transition. L'Heureux served as Pawtucket's chief accountant in the Finance Department, under Wunschel, for nearly four years, ending in January 2001, after previously working as a staff accountant for the Pawtucket School Department.
She later worked as town auditor for the town of Stoughton, Mass., before moving into private industry as senior accountant for more than eight years with Parmelee, Poirier & Associates, LLP, in Warwick. Here, she managed and supervised financial and single audits of several cities and towns, school departments and non-profits for compliance with federal and state regulations. Her tasks also included incorporating major changes in government accounting standards that began taking effect during that period, as well as consulting on budgeting and financial statement issues.
Most recently, L'Heureux has been the business manager for the West Bay Collaborative, where besides managing budgets, her responsibilities included long-term planning and management.
In a news release announcing L'Heureux's appointment, Grebien stated, “Joanna brings the perfect blend of public and private sector background, along with her detailed knowledge and experience with how budgets work for local governments as well as school departments. Her management experience, along with her hands-on familiarity with both the city and school budgets in Pawtucket, made her an almost ideal candidate.”
The mayor added, “She will be able to hit the ground running and I am looking forward with much enthusiasm to working with her as we continue to tackle the financial challenges we face in Pawtucket.”
L'Heureux stated, “It is a privilege and an honor to return to the city where I got my start and serve in an administration that has already begun setting a new course for fiscal responsibility. I feel I have a lot of helpful skills to offer and I can't wait to get started.”
A Seekonk, Mass. resident, L'Heureux holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Bryant University, where she majored in accounting.