Staff Spotlight: An Interview with Melinda Smith

January 20, 2017 | by Michael Wilt

Categories: Spotlight

This week, we are spotlighting Melinda Smith, TSAHC's Chief Financial Officer. Melinda oversees our accounting team and ensures TSAHC complies with required financial reporting and auditing.

Melinda joined TSAHC as our CFO in 2001. She earned her CPA certification in 1982 and boasts more than three decades of accounting, auditing and executive level experience in private and public practice. Below is our interview with Melinda to help you get to know her a little better.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up on the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas.  My father was a navigator during the Cold War, and my mother was a teacher. I went to the University of Arkansas, and after two years I moved to Eugene, Oregon where I met and married my husband. I finished college at Portland State University and graduated in 1980. Shortly thereafter, my husband and I moved to Austin. We immediately fell in love with Austin and decided to raise our children here. I’m so glad that we did!       

2. What accomplishment are you most proud of (personal or professional)?

I’m most proud of my two beautiful daughters. I'm proud of how I raised them and the lives they lead as grown women.

3. You’ve been at TSAHC almost since its inception. Looking back on your tenure, tell us some of the highlights of working here and what you enjoy the most. 

I'm very fond of the work we did in the early days of TSAHC to help low-income Colonias residents own their homes. We did this by diligently working to replace their contracts for deed with mortgages. That way, they could finally be homeowners and have the peace of mind that comes with that. 

I’m also very proud of our Homes for Texas Heroes program because we help out veterans, teachers, firefighters and other unsung heroes of our communities. Overseeing the financial accounting for TSAHC, I’m in a unique position to work on the details of each program. It is a privilege to work on all of them.    

4. As CFO of TSAHC, you do a lot of number crunching. Have you always been a numbers person? 

No. I have always viewed myself as more of an artist than a mathematician. I started out in music, specifically piano. My brother, who was also a CPA, convinced me to change my major to accounting.   

5. What do you like to do in your free time? 

There's nothing I love more than being a grandmother! When I'm not doing that, I enjoy gardening and growing flowers.

6. Tell us about your most memorable trip. 

My most memorable trip was to Europe. My husband and I took my mother to England and France, and everything about that trip was glorious! The art and the architecture were incredible. We even spent an evening at the Moulin Rouge. I plan to go back again soon.

7. What book has influenced you the most? 

It's hard to pick just one. Jane Eyre and Fahrenheit 451 stand out as classics that made an impression on me. 

8. What one piece of advice would you give to your childhood self? 

Smile, and be kind to everyone you encounter each day regardless of whether you know them or whether they have been kind to you. 

9. Tell us something random about yourself that not many people know.   

I always wanted to be a police woman.

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

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