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Keynote Conversation with Michigan State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks

This article appeared in the April 2019 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Q: Congratulations on being named the 47th State Treasurer for Michigan. You have an extensive back ground in both the public sector and private sector. How does your background prepare you for this new role?

Eubanks: Thank you! I am excited to serve as Michigan’s 47th State Treasurer. My background in finance has been useful in evaluating the cost of capital, taxation and other financial matters while my time on the Michigan Public Service Commission has helped me to better balance opposing viewpoints and make difficult, but necessary, decisions impacting millions of people.

Through over a decade with Robert W. Baird & Co, I’ve had the privilege to work on bond financings on behalf of public entities, including the State of Michigan, Michigan Finance Authority, and the Michigan Strategic Fund. We generated the funds to help community colleges invest in technical skill training programs, worked to ensure Michigan could pay unemployment benefits during an unprecedented economic downturn, turned on the streetlights in Detroit, and helped the state locate paths to save money.

These experiences have led me to proudly serve on Governor Whitmer’s creative, diverse Cabinet. Together we will take on some of the greatest challenges facing Michigan and I’m excited to be part of the team.

Q: What is your vision for the department?

Eubanks: As State Treasurer I will focus on transparency, integrity and service delivery for taxpayers and policymakers. I want the department to be a resource in shaping policy and to be a place that stakeholders feel they can approach to resolve issues in a collaborative way. I’ll also work to ensure that as a department we are always faithful stewards of public funds and the public interest. Further, I want to be forward thinking to ensure we have the right technology, people, and systems in place to make interactions with the department more positive. At the core of these objectives are our people. In order for employees to do their best work we must continuously strive to create an inclusive and diverse environment. That is critical to attracting and retaining an exceptionally engaged and talented workforce.

Q: What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing Michigan?

Eubanks: As Governor Whitmer outlined in her State of the State address and Executive Budget proposal, Michigan’s greatest challenges are around infrastructure and education. We know that when we neglect infrastructure, we’re setting ourselves behind as a state. It becomes a less attractive place to live, work and play. It creates risks to our health, safety and wellbeing.

Michigan’s manufacturers know firsthand how our deteriorating roads have a negative impact on our economy. And manufacturers have recognized Michigan’s talent shortages. With many skilled baby boomers retiring combined with the rapid pace of innovation and technological evolution, strengthening the talent pipeline is essential to the state’s future economic success.

Michigan’s manufacturers are critical to the state’s success. We must keep the end in mind as we work together to identify and implement solutions to build a better Michigan.

This article appeared in the April 2019 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Q: Congratulations on being named the 47th State Treasurer for Michigan. You have an extensive back ground in both the public sector and private sector. How does your background prepare you for this new role?

Eubanks: Thank you! I am excited to serve as Michigan’s 47th State Treasurer. My background in finance has been useful in evaluating the cost of capital, taxation and other financial matters while my time on the Michigan Public Service Commission has helped me to better balance opposing viewpoints and make difficult, but necessary, decisions impacting millions of people.

Through over a decade with Robert W. Baird & Co, I’ve had the privilege to work on bond financings on behalf of public entities, including the State of Michigan, Michigan Finance Authority, and the Michigan Strategic Fund. We generated the funds to help community colleges invest in technical skill training programs, worked to ensure Michigan could pay unemployment benefits during an unprecedented economic downturn, turned on the streetlights in Detroit, and helped the state locate paths to save money.

These experiences have led me to proudly serve on Governor Whitmer’s creative, diverse Cabinet. Together we will take on some of the greatest challenges facing Michigan and I’m excited to be part of the team.

Q: What is your vision for the department?

Eubanks: As State Treasurer I will focus on transparency, integrity and service delivery for taxpayers and policymakers. I want the department to be a resource in shaping policy and to be a place that stakeholders feel they can approach to resolve issues in a collaborative way. I’ll also work to ensure that as a department we are always faithful stewards of public funds and the public interest. Further, I want to be forward thinking to ensure we have the right technology, people, and systems in place to make interactions with the department more positive. At the core of these objectives are our people. In order for employees to do their best work we must continuously strive to create an inclusive and diverse environment. That is critical to attracting and retaining an exceptionally engaged and talented workforce.

Q: What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing Michigan?

Eubanks: As Governor Whitmer outlined in her State of the State address and Executive Budget proposal, Michigan’s greatest challenges are around infrastructure and education. We know that when we neglect infrastructure, we’re setting ourselves behind as a state. It becomes a less attractive place to live, work and play. It creates risks to our health, safety and wellbeing.

Michigan’s manufacturers know firsthand how our deteriorating roads have a negative impact on our economy. And manufacturers have recognized Michigan’s talent shortages. With many skilled baby boomers retiring combined with the rapid pace of innovation and technological evolution, strengthening the talent pipeline is essential to the state’s future economic success.

Michigan’s manufacturers are critical to the state’s success. We must keep the end in mind as we work together to identify and implement solutions to build a better Michigan.

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