A Golden opportunity

New Chief Administrative Officer Mike Golden settling into new position

Michael Golden, a life-long resident of the Kansas City area, continued a 30-year history in transportation when he began work Monday as ITD Chief Administrative Officer.

His experience in private- and public-sector transportation began after graduation from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1970. His first position at Yellow Freight System (now YRC Worldwide) was staff accountant in 1971. When he left the company 24 ½ years later he was vice president of taxation.

While working for the transportation company, Golden also earned a MS degree in accounting from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Golden entered the public sector in 1997 as chief operating officer at the Missouri Department of Transportation, a position similar to his new responsibilities at ITD. He left MoDOT in 2004 as chief financial officer.

When he was there, the department had about 6,400 employees, but the numbers have been shrinking the past few years as a result of challenging economic conditions.

He is familiar, on a personal level, with organizational streamlining – his wife Sharon is assistant director of Human Resources at MoDOT. She has been with the department since 1996 and also is an attorney with a background in labor compensation and organizational structure.

She remains in Missouri temporarily and might continue to work for the department in the near future through telecommunication from Idaho.

Among his accomplishments at the MoDOT were:

  • Issued $75 million in state bond incentives that helped create an estimated 6,300 new jobs and investment of $1.2 billion
  • Implemented aggressive cost controls that saved the department about $70 million over three years
  • Provided advice and guidance on innovative financing alternatives
  • Guided bond issuance, resulting in AA bond ratings
  • Re-engineered cost estimating, leading to a national award for procedures, and
  • Restructured medical plans, erasing a $6 million deficit

After leaving MoDOT, Golden worked briefly in preparing individual and small business tax returns, financial consulting and the last few years as a finance officer for the Missouri Development Finance Board.

Golden said his duties at ITD, which include responsibility for Financial Services, Business & Support Management, and Enterprise Technology Services, will be an integral part of the executive team as the department moves forward with reorganization. Other than continued efforts to become more efficient from an administrative perspective, he doesn’t expect to make immediate changes.

“I have been hugely impressed with the progress since 2010, with some of the changes to make the organization more streamlined and efficient, ” he said.

“Clearly the department has made great strides in terms of image in a very favorable way. Brian (Ness) and the folks in the department have a lot to be proud of.”

The Goldens have two grown children who live in the Kansas City metropolitan area – one on the Kansas side and the other across the border in Missouri. Although his new home in Idaho will be his first outside of the Kansas City area, he looks at the move as a long-term commitment.

“I’m here to stay,” he said. “This is not a short-term assignment.”

Published 5-6-2011