PYSK-TomDarrough-BooneCountyTreasurer

Age:

50

Job description:

The county treasurer is an elected official responsible for receiving, disbursing and investing all funds for the county and ensuring that monies are correctly segregated into separate funds as required by law.

Years lived in Columbia/mid-Missouri:

35.

Original hometown:

I was born in Northfield, Minnesota and moved to Columbia when I was 4.

Education:

I attended MU from ’83 to ’87. In 1989, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with an emphasis in finance from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Community involvement:

I have participated in many different activities and organizations over the years, from coaching youth basketball, baseball and soccer to helping organizations such as Granny’s House and Love INC. Recently, I have been helping with much needed repairs at the Central Missouri Humane Society.

If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would:

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had two great careers already. I love my current career and hope to continue it for a long time. I’ve always had an interest in farming, so if I weren’t doing this for a living, I might have been a farmer.

What people should know about this profession:

Treasurers have a wide variety of responsibilities in their purview. Willingness to research statutes and to consult with legal counsel, financial advisors, bond counsel, the other amazing elected officials and the remarkable employees in the county goes a long way toward success. At the end of the day, the treasurer makes the decisions on many financial matters, but there is no lack of resources available to aid in the process.

Why I’m passionate about my job:

My job as Boone County treasurer is really challenging and interesting, but what is so enticing about it is the responsibility to be a good steward of the taxpayers’ dollars. I strive to maximize the return on the sizeable county investments while being very sensitive to the risks associated with each type of investment option. My high level of enthusiasm is enhanced by the positive attitude of all the Boone County employees. The atmosphere in the County building is incredibly positive, and all employees enjoy their jobs and being around each other.

What I do for fun:

I have fun wherever I am — working, playing or otherwise. I love any activity that involves family or friends. I play golf, though I am horrible. I exercise, though not near enough. I hunt, fish and watch sports. My favorite sports to watch are those of my three sons.

Professional background:

After college, I began working as a computer programmer, which led to a 14-year career that culminated with me being a consultant who traveled the country. I worked on many projects that helped me grow as a leader and a mentor. I learned about my strengths and weaknesses. Sometime after 9/11, I decided that I no longer wanted to travel every week, and I started a construction company. I began with a small remodel, and two years later, I was building custom homes. Columbia is a great place for a small contractor to thrive. I learned about budgeting jobs. I worked with city and county governments to get projects approved. I built and owned a gas station and convenience store. I’ve been fortunate to work on around 400 projects, and I really appreciate the friendships that I’ve made along the way, including customers, suppliers, employees and subcontractors. After 14 years in construction, I was honored to be selected by Gov. Nixon and his staff for the Boone County treasurer vacancy.

Most people don’t know that I:

I take my work and responsibilities very seriously, but I don’t take myself very seriously at all. I know I’m a goofball.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of:

I have had the great fortune of vastly exceeding my own expectations for my life. I did some really cool things as a computer programmer, including a project in Washington that saved Bell Atlantic and Nynex tens of millions from the performance enhancements I made while consulting there. As a contractor, I was a part of amazing remodels, beautiful new homes, gas stations, retail spaces and more. But by far, I am most proud of the three amazing sons that my wife, Cheri, and I have raised. They are so far beyond me as gentlemen, scholars and athletes. But more importantly, they are really good people. I must make a disclaimer that most people who know me think that my wife has had a much larger role in this success. But this does not change how proud I am of all three.

A Columbia businessperson I admire and why:

There are so many amazing businesspeople in this community. From the entrepreneurs and bankers to the physicians and lawyers, this is a great place for owning and running a business. Two people I really admire, out of the hundreds I could name, are Wally Bley and Terry Wilson. Wally is a very highly respected lawyer in Missouri and beyond. He is thoughtful and wise and treats everyone with complete respect. Terry is a very successful fitness center owner and developer. He is a marvelous salesman, fearless in business and very competitive. But what I love most about both is that they would give you the shirts off their backs. They work hard and play hard, but as tough as both appear, they have hearts of gold.

Family:

My wife, Cheri, and I have been married for 28 years. We met at a swimming pool in Columbia when we were 16. She has been in finance and accounting for her entire career. We have three boys. Connor is 22 and married to the former Lexie Hollinger. She teaches at Derby Ridge, and he graduated from MU in December with a degree in biomedical engineering (he works at Nanova). Luke is 19 and a sophomore at MU. He’s on the track team, and he’s a gifted pianist. Eli is 14 and attends Rock Bridge High School, as his brothers and his mother did before him; he is a talented track athlete as well. I often tell the boys that they won the mom lottery. She is their fiercest defender and most ardent encourager. She expects a lot from them, and they appreciate it.

Favorite place in Columbia:

Picking a favorite place in Columbia is like picking your favorite ice cream — there are so many great ones. I love downtown, day or night. Our family has forever enjoyed the Katy Trail and Rock Bridge State Park. Columbia really offers a lot for anyone who likes to be outdoors.

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