News Release 11/19/14


Norwalk, CT, November 19, 2014—Jan I. Sylvis, a current member of the Governmental Accounting Standard Board (GASB), has been named GASB vice chair. The appointment was announced today by the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), which oversees the GASB and its sister organization, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Ms. Sylvis’ appointment is effective January 1, 2015. In her new role, Ms. Sylvis will serve the Board on a half-time basis. (The GASB chair position is full-time, while other Board members spend approximately a third of their time on GASB matters.) Ms. Sylvis currently serves as chief of accounts for the Department of Finance and Administration for the state of Tennessee.

The position of GASB vice chair was created early in the GASB’s history, but was later retired. In response to increasing demands on the time of the GASB chair, the FAF Trustees decided to reinstate the position, in part because of a strategic focus on expanding outreach to stakeholders. Recent outreach has focused on GASB’s new pension standards and a proposed standard for Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB).

“Jan is ideally suited to fill the new role of vice chair at this important time in the GASB’s history,” said FAF Board of Trustees Chairman Jeffrey J. Diermeier. “As a long-time Board member with a background in preparing financial statements, Jan brings deep experience and a big-picture perspective to her new role. The combination of her technical expertise and extensive involvement with a wide range of state and local government stakeholders will make her an exceptionally able vice chair.”

Ms. Sylvis began her first term on the part-time Board on July 1, 2007. She was reappointed to a second, five-year term on the GASB on July 1, 2012.

As chief of accounts in Tennessee, Ms. Sylvis in effect serves as the state’s controller. Among other activities, she is responsible for maintaining the state’s centralized accounting records, processing state payments and payroll, preparing the state’s financial statements, and developing state accounting policy.

Ms. Sylvis is a past president of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT) and a past president of the National Association of State Comptrollers (NASC). Ms. Sylvis earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis. She is a certified public accountant and a certified government financial manager.

“Over the last few years, the Trustees have observed the increasing demands on the GASB chairman, which prompted their decision to reinstate the role of vice chair,” said FAF President and Chief Executive Officer Teresa S. Polley. “In that role, Jan will assist GASB Chair David Vaudt in representing the GASB in its interactions with our wide range of external stakeholders, a critically important focus for our organization.”

“I’m very pleased to welcome Jan to her new role as vice chair of the GASB,” said GASB Chair Vaudt. “With Jan’s deep knowledge of and experience in accounting issues, all of us at the GASB know she will continue to be a tremendous asset to the organization in her new role.”

About the Financial Accounting Foundation

The FAF is responsible for the oversight, administration, and finances of both the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and its counterpart for state and local government, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The Foundation is also responsible for selecting the members of both Boards and their respective Advisory Councils.

About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board

The GASB is the independent, not-for-profit organization formed in 1984 that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. Its seven members are drawn from the Board’s diverse range of stakeholder groups, including preparers and auditors of government financial statements, users of those statements, and members of the academic community. More information about the GASB can be found at its website,