About Us


Publication: 2013-10-09



Name:Center for Priority Based Budgeting


A non-profit incubator project of the National Environmental Health Association


  • Jon JohnsonCo-Founder -- Jon has more than 25 years of experience as a practitioner in financial administration for municipalities, counties, school districts and public universities. Throughout his career as a finance/budget director, he has been responsible for the management of all aspects of local government finance operations for both small and large organizations. Jon brings with him not only the "hands-on" technical skills associated with the day-to-day financial operations of local governments, but also the ability to apply a diagnostic approach to the analysis needed to assess the fiscal health of an organization and the management experience to implement the resulting solutions from that diagnostic analysis. Most recently, Jon served as the Director of Budget and Management Analysis for Jefferson County, Colorado. Previous to that position, he was Assistant Director of Finance for Douglas County, Colorado. Prior to moving to Colorado in 2002, Jon served as the Director of Finance for several municipalities in Missouri, including the City of Blue Springs, the City of Joplin, and the City of Kansas City (MO) Aviation Department. With Chris Fabian, he coauthored the article "Getting Your Priorities Straight" published by ICMA in the June 2008 issue of PM magazine and additionally co-authored another article, "Leading the Way to Fiscal Health," published by Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) in their December 2008 issue of the "Government Finance Review". Jon holds a B.A. in political science and a B.S. in accounting from Missouri Southern State University, as well as a master's degree in College Administration from Pittsburg (KS) State University.

  • Chris FabianCo-Founder -- Chris has provided consulting and advisory services to numerous local governments across the country. His consulting experience has focused on public entities at all levels, advising top municipal managers, department heads and program directors from over 60 organizations concerning the fundamental business issues of local government. Of most significance, his work has centered on the budget process as a lever to produce results, accountability and change; performance and outcome-based management; purpose, productivity, and efficiency in operations; and rigorous financial analysis and strategy. Pursuing the objectives of Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO), Chris was a partner of the consulting team that implemented BFO in Ft. Collins, Colorado, one of the leading organizations using this approach. Most recently Chris has served as a budget practitioner with Jefferson County, Colorado, where he incorporated the lessons learned from BFO into the development of the Budgeting for Priorities process. Chris has been a featured speaker at numerous national and regional conferences and workshops sponsored by ICMA, GFOA and the Alliance for Innovations. He and Jon Johnson have co-authored a two-part article appearing in the September and October 2009 issue of PM magazine entitled "It's All in the Questions: The Manager's Role in Achieving Fiscal Health". He holds a B.S. in engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

  • Kathleen M. Novak, M.S.Senior Advisor -- Kathie Novak is currently a Senior Advisor with the Center for Priority Based Budgeting, a non-profit located in Denver, Colorado. She is currently a part time lecturer for the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Kathie has experience in the private, public, and not for profit sectors. Kathie has 19 years of elected public service, eleven as a member of the Northglenn City Council, and an additional 8 years as Mayor. She was term-limited in 2010. During her time in public office, she served as President of the National League of Cities in 2009, and held numerous other leadership positions. She consults in the areas of leadership development, management training, team building, and facilitation. She has worked as an international consultant, specializing in program development, curriculum development, and training. Kathie has been a presenter and speaker at numerous national and international conferences. She earned her Master of Science in Management from the University of Colorado at Denver, and has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has been teaching management at the graduate and undergraduate level since 1991. Her awards include the 2012 John V. Christensen Award for exemplifying the tradition of John V. Christensen in promoting and working for good, strong, representative local government and regionalism in solving mutual problems; "9NEWS Leader of the Year" for 2003, "Businesswoman of the Year," awarded by the MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce, "Excellence in Teaching Award", from Regis University, and was awarded an American Marshall Memorial Fellowship, for travel in Summer 2002.

  • Peter HamesSenior Advisor -- Peter Hames has more than 30 years of experience in executive and top management positions in local government. The emphasis in these positions has been upon management, finance and budgeting, project management, performance management and policy analysis. Peter brings with him a myriad of practical experience when it comes to managing and understanding fiscal health for both small and larger local governments. In November 2007, he retired as finance director for the City of Montgomery, Ohio. Since then, he worked as the Village of Lockland, Ohio's acting administrator. He has served as a senior management consultant on fiscal health and wellness for the International City-County Management Association (ICMA), making several presentations, including ones to international audiences in Mexico City and Montego Bay. Previously, Peter was Hamilton County, Ohio's project manager for a full-scale homeland security exercise, and the senior executive assistant county administrator. During two periods in St. Paul, Minnesota, he served as the city's director of financial services (CFO) and director of technology and management services (CIO). He was Tracy, California's assistant city manager and San Jose, California's city policy analyst. He has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Minnesota. Peter also attended the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

  • Michael A. FreemanSenior Advisor -- Mike is the CEO for the Rocky Mountain Innosphere -a technology incubator with a diverse client base in clean energy, biosciences, water technology and hardware/software. Previously, Mike served as a senior consultant to Colorado University's strategic initiatives to improve their incubation capacity. He has held significant management positions in both the public and private sectors. Mike offers over 23 years of extensive management and innovation experience. Mike has also served as the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Fort Collins, Colorado. Responsibilities included overall management of the City's finances, budgeting, strategic planning and economic development. In addition, he was a management consultant focusing on economic development and strategy for local governments. He managed the Local government Solutions Group and was the Regional Director of HDR's Management Consulting Group responsible for the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Prior to consulting, Mike was City Manager of Ashland, Oregon, and held numerous positions with the City of Thornton, Colorado. He holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration, George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts, English Language & Literature, University of NC Chapel Hill. His professional affiliations include the following boards: Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative, Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster and Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation. He is also on the Task Force on Creative Economy for the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, State of Colorado.

  • Erik FabianChief Creative Officer -- Erik has over 15 years of senior level finance and operations experience in both the public and private real estate sectors. This includes over 10 years with the Housing Authority of Portland, Oregon, and most recently as a Portfolio Manager with a leading West Coast real estate service corporation. Over this time, he has established a reputation as a cutting edge manager with a proven history of: * Autonomously managing multiple and competing priorities * Analyzing and improving the financial positions of unique assets both publicly and privately owned * Assessing and reorganizing public and private sector department operations * Engaging and inspiring public sector employees to embrace change and execute operational efficiencies * Proactively leading public constituents through transition * Developing and implementing creative and original ideas and concepts * Providing effective and proactive strategic guidance to public and private sector Board Members and Senior Executives * Proven record of successfully training and leading personnel and driving the successful completion of complex projects and initiatives. Erik consults in areas of public relations, marketing, product development, client relations, operations and development of creative concepts. He has overall responsibility for the creative strategies and direction of CPBB advertising, marketing materials and campaigns in addition to evaluating and ensuring the quality of creative content for existing and new business opportunities.