Freda Johnson Award

The award recognizes a woman serving or who has served in a position for a public or non-profit issuer who exemplifies the qualities that Freda brought to our industry as a trailblazer, leader, innovator, and mentor 

2016 Recipients


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We are pleased to announce the following two winners of the annual Freda Johnson Awards as well as these 9 Trailblazing Women in Public Finance. These awards were presented at The Bond Buyer's 15th Annual Deal of the Year Awards gala on December 1, 2016.

PUBLIC SECTOR

Freda Johnson Award: Marian Zucker, President of the Office of Finance & Development, New York State Homes and Community Renewal

Trailblazers:
Susan Perez, Executive Director for the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust and Assistant Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Debt Management Department
Susan Muranishi, Chief Administrative Officer/County Administrator for Alameda County, California
Laura Lockwood-McCall, Director of Debt Management, Oregon State Treasury
Portia Lee, Managing Director of Public Finance and Portfolio Monitoring at the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York

PRIVATE SECTOR
Freda Johnson Award: Suzanne Shank, founder and DEO of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co.

Trailblazers:
Jessalyn Moro,
Managing Director, Head of U.S. Public Finance, Fitch Ratings
Adela Cepeda,
Managing Director, The PFM Group
Nancy Feldman,
Managing Director, Head of Transportation and Credit Strategies Teams, Wells Fargo
Lynette Kelly,
Executive Director, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board
Barbara Flickinger, 
Managing Director and Chief Credit Officer, National Public Finance Guarantee

2015 Recipients

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We are pleased to announce the following two winners of the annual Freda Johnson Awards as well as these 9 Trailblazing Women in Public Finance. These awards were presented at The Bond Buyer's 14th Annual Deal of the Year Awards gala on December 3, 2015.

PUBLIC SECTOR

Freda Johnson Award: Carol Kostik, Deputy Comptroller City of New York for Public Finance

Trailblazers:

Natalie R. Brill, 
Chief of Debt Management, City of Los Angeles

Manju Ganeriwala, Treasurer, Commonwealth of Virginia

Bea Reyna-Hickey, CFO Regional Transportation Authority (Illinois)

Stephanie M. Scola, Director of Bond Finance, State of Delaware

Jeannette Weldon, Executive Director of CHEFA

PRIVATE SECTOR

Freda Johnson Award Winner: Meghan Burke, Head of Public Finance, Mintz Levin

Trailblazers:

Mary Francoeur, Managing Director, Assured Guaranty

Eileen B. Heitzler, Partner, Orrick

Robin Prunty, Managing Director, Standard & Poor's

Sonia Toledo, Managing Director, Wells Fargo

Suzanne Shank, CEO Siebert Brandford Shank

2014 Recipients

Pictured above: Lois Scott, Kimberley Lyons, Freda Johnson, Alexandra Lebenthal, Vivian Altman, Kym Arnone
 

At The Bond Buyers Deal of the Year Awards held on December 4, 2014, The Bond Buyers and Northeast Women in Public Finance presented the fourth annual Freda Johnson Award to Lois Scott, Chief Financial Officer of the City of Chicago, and Kym Arnone, managing director at Barclay's. In addition, the following 8 women were honored as Trailblazing Women in Public Finance: Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Julia Cooper, Katherine Craven, Alicia Glen, Susan Dushock, Diana Hoadley, Leah Sandbank, and Lisel Wells.

Download the 4th Annual Trailblazing Women in Public Finance Supplement.

2013 Recipients


Kimberly Lyons, Nancy Winkler, Freda Johnson, Vivian Altman 

At The Bond Buyers Deal of the Year Awards in December 2013, The Bond Buyers and Northeast Women in Public Finance presented the third annual Freda Johnson Award to Nancy Winkler, Treasurer of the City of Philadelphia and Muriel Siebert (posthumous). In addition, the following 8 women were honored as Trailblazing Women in Public Finance: Claire Cohen, Roberta Edge, JoAnne Kennedy, Joanne Mahoney, Stephanie Miner, Sarah Sanders, Beth Smayda, and Kendra York.

2012 Recipients

  
Kimberly Lyons, Gina Raimondo, Freda Johnson, Vivian Altman


Robin Weissman, Freda Johnson, Ann Flynn, Gina Raimondo, Frances Walton, Gail Sussman

At The Bond Buyers Deal of the Year Awards in December 2012, The Bond Buyers and Northeast Women in Public Finance presented the second annual Freda Johnson Award to Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island General Treasurer. In addition, the following women were honored as Trailblazing Women in Public Finance: Ann Flynn, Carla Sledge, Gail Sussman, Frances Walton, and Robin Weissman.

2011: NEWPF Founding Board Member Freda Johnson Honored by The Bond Buyer

Freda Johnson, President of Government Finance Associates, Inc., was honored by the Bond Buyer and NEWPF at the Bond Buyer New York/Tristate Public Finance Conference: "New Leadership. New Policies. Enduring Challenges." at a reception held at the Downtown Marriott in New York on April 13, 2011. Ms. Johnson and her husband Chester Johnson were honored for over 40 years of Public Finance Service, their individual accomplishments, and what they have done together over combined 86 years in Public Finance.

Ms. Johnson began her career in public finance at The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (D&B) and its subsidiary, Moody's Investors Service (Moody's). From 1979 through 1990, Freda was Executive Vice President and the head of the Public Finance Division of Moody's Investors Service. She also attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration Advanced Management Program, a semester-long program for senior executives. At the time of her departure from Moody's, the Public Finance Division, which she had renamed, had some 35,000 outstanding municipal bond ratings and a staff of 230, of whom some 70% were professionals and administered its sizable budget. During her tenure as head of the Division, she was chair of the Public Finance Division's Rating Committee and a member of the D&B Senior Management Group (the Group), which was comprised of the senior managers from each of the Corporation's subsidiaries and, for many years, was the youngest member and the only woman member of the Group. After leaving Moody's in 1990, she joined Government Finance Associates, Inc and was later named President, a position she retains today. GFA is an independent public finance advisory firm specializing in consulting in the debt and financial management and strategic planning areas for large and complex state and local governments. In her capacity as President, Ms. Johnson has been actively involved with all of the firm's clients.

In addition to being a founding Board Member of NEWPF, and spearheading its Mentoring Program, she is currently on the National Board of Directors of The Transition Network, a not-for-profit organization which works to promote women over 50 years old, and serves as its Treasurer. Ms. Johnson has been involved in the creation of a system of public finance in the Republic of Russia. She has been an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. She is a past member of the MSRB's Committee on Disclosure, and a past member of NASACT's National Advisory Board on State and Local Government Secondary Market Disclosure as well as the Corporate Advisory Board of Queens College. She was a member of the Anthony Commisssion on Public Finance,, together with Bill Clinton, which sought to expand the use of tax-exempt municipal bonds, and she is a past President and past member of the Board of Governors the The Municipal Forum of New York.