Las Vegas CPA named MSD’s top financial position

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Holyoak to replace 34-year-old veteran corporate director

The Millard School District announced its new corporate director last week after school board members unanimously selected a Las Vegas CPA with local ties.

Corey Holyoak was selected from a dozen candidates interviewed to replace Keith Griffiths, who has held the district’s first financial position since 1987.

Holyoak is expected to start working with Griffiths on November 1. Griffiths officially retires on January 1.

“Everyone here loves you Keith and we hate replacing you,” Superintendent David Styler said at Thursday’s monthly board meeting.

Styler thanked the board for their work in selecting a new corporate director, adding “for the record” that he and Griffiths played little role in directing the process.

“The board has put a lot of effort into this, a lot of time,” he said. “We had absolutely exceptional candidates… there were so many. The council took this decision unanimously. And, for the record, due to the circumstances, I want to say that it was just the board. Keith and I only gave our opinion on request. They made this decision.

School board member Adam Britt later revealed that Holyoak is Styler’s nephew by marriage. He said that while the relationship was a small inconvenience during the interview process, overall it was little taken into account in the final decision as it became apparent that Holyoak was the best person. for the post.

“After his interview, and he left the room, I’ve seen so many interviews over the years… it was amazing how good and professional this man was. He literally blew my socks off. I’m excited, ”Britt said.

Joyce Barney, a board member, said all of the nominees – all 12 nominees were first considered by the state’s board of education – had ties to the Delta region, which, according to her, reflected the attractiveness of the region.

“I was really impressed with all of the candidates we had… each one of them had a Delta connection,” she said. “For so many people, who are so educated, want to come back to this community and live, when sometimes their first excitement is to get out of here. I think it reminds all of us of what great educators and great people we have. ”

Holyoak is originally from Overton, Nevada and graduated from 2000 Moapa Valley High School. He attended Southern Utah University (SUU) for a year before moving to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for a two-year assignment, according to a press release from the district.

After his assignment, Holyoak returned to SUU, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2007. He worked for the State Bank of Southern Utah and continued his education, earning a master’s degree in accounting in 2014, according to the district.

Holyoak moved to Las Vegas in 2014, worked for an international accounting firm, and obtained a CPA license two years later.

The pandemic is what brought Holyoak and his family to Millard County.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges; However, for our family it also brought a unique blessing, ”Holyoak said in the district press release. “While schools in Las Vegas have been forced to close for the 2020-2021 school year, we were fortunate that Jen and our children were able to stay with her parents in Oak City to allow our children to attend school in no one in Delta. ”

Holyoak is married to former Jen May, who graduated from Delta High School in 2004. The couple have four children, Olivia “Livvy”, 13, Mason, 11, Hayes, 9, and Landry, 6.

Styler and board members were asked why their interviews with the 12 candidates were not conducted in a public place, a concern raised by more than one local official. Styler said if the district filled a vacant council seat, a public cadre to choose a new council member would be needed. But, because the corporate director position is purely administrative – this person essentially manages the district’s $ 41 million annual budget – the hiring process is more akin to that of any other company, done in private. , the members of the board of directors making the selection on behalf of the taxpayers.

Styler was also asked if he was concerned about raising issues within the community since the selection involved a family member, albeit by marriage. He said he was open to criticism, but felt the decision was entirely in the hands of the board members. He noted the rural nature of the district, which, like many of these areas, is teeming with interconnected families, many of whom serve in various public offices and capacities. He noted that the district has adopted a policy of nepotism and that close family members, such as nephews and nieces, indeed cannot be hired for such positions, but not in-laws.

Meanwhile, Griffiths, one of a handful of District employees over 30, is counting down the days until retirement. He is one of the few long-time employees who have spent all of their time in one position.

It’s like a long goodbye for the company administrator. Council members were enthusiastic as they told Griffiths how much he meant to them and to the district. Office staff who help with the district’s financial affairs have been asked to hear about Griffiths’ replacement choice.

On several occasions, the members of the board of directors repeated that Griffiths was replaced, but that he was far from being “replaceable”.

One of Griffiths’ roles at board meetings is to keep minutes. A number of times, the members and Styler criticized him for his lack of precision – he didn’t write down all the compliments and wishes he received regarding the start of the next chapter in his life.

In a mumbled response to a cracked expression in Styler’s voice, Griffiths told the assembled group that he considers them all to be family.

“I love everyone here. It’s a family. We had some very good adventures, ”he managed to say.


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