NFMA members recognized for muni involvement

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CHARLESTON, S. C. — The National Federation of Municipal Analysts recognized seven members for their involvement in the muni industry during a luncheon at the group's annual conference Wednesday.

The NFMA has presented these awards annually since 1984 for individuals or entities who “further the goals of the NFMA for the advancement of the municipal bond industry.”

Mary Francoeur with PFM Financial Advisors and the NFMA's awards committee chair presented the awards during the luncheon.

The Award for Excellence in Disclosure was given to Richard Llewellyn, City of Los Angeles’ cIty administrative officer. The award recognizes issuers that embody timely and transparent release of information.

“The CAO, Richard Llewellyn, Jr. and his staff including Assistant CAO Ben Ceja and Debt Manager Natalie Brill are commended for their timely disclosure, accessibility to answer questions, and their coordination of the Los Angeles area issuers’ investor conference,” Francoeur wrote in a statement.

Veteran analyst Gabe Petek received the Award for Analytic Excellence, an award given to individuals who provide insightful analysis to important issues to the bond community. Though Petek is no longer specifically engaged in the bond market, he has a long history in the market. The award recognized a body of work that "stands out for its insight, depth and scope."

Petek worked at S&P Global Ratings for two decades and in February, he was appointed as a legislative analyst in California, where he is the nonpartisan fiscal advisor to both houses of the California legislature and oversees the preparation of fiscal and policy analyses of the state’s budget and programs.

NFMA’s Career Achievement Award was given to Daniel Heimowitz. In the first 19 years of his career, Heimowitz was at Moody’s Investor Service, eventually heading the Public Finance ratings group. Later, Heimowitz was as Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board chairman for fiscal year 2014, and was a member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council.

Kristen DeJong, senior research analyst for the Municipal Fixed Income Team at Nuveen, received the Rising Star Award. DeJong began her career in the investment industry in 2005 and joined Nuveen in 2008.

DeJong is a past president of the Chicago Municipal Analysts Society and is chair of the NFMA New Member Engagement Committee.

The Industry Contribution Award was given to Matt Fabian, partner at Municipal Market Analytics. The award is given to an individual or organization that provides a positive influence on the market to increase transparency or promote market effectiveness.

“The 2019 award recipient, Matt Fabian, has been a diligent researcher and steady commentator on distressed issuers, creating a bully pulpit to ensure that the voice of the market is heard not just on high profile issues like Puerto Rico and Detroit, but many that fall under the radar like Platte County, Missouri,” NFMA wrote.

Last, the Meritorious Service Award went to Jennifer Johnston, vice president and analyst at Franklin Templeton Investments, for volunteering time and demonstrating a commitment to NFMA.

Johnston was a NFMA society representative, chaired the annual conference, was elected officer and served as chair.

“Jennifer volunteered her time to lead the enormous undertaking of a strategic planning effort to put the NFMA on a course to continue to meet the needs of our membership in an ever-evolving industry and continues to support the organization in the implementation of the plan,” Francoeur wrote.

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