Past Presidents

Beth Smayda
*Initial Co-President, Lifetime Status

Beth SmaydaA public finance professional for over twenty years, Beth began her public finance career at Moody’s Investors Service after working as a researcher on intergovernmental and local government fiscal issues for the New York State Legislative Commission on State-Local Relations.  She then went to MBIA where she worked for eighteen years analyzing, marketing, executing, monitoring, and remediating municipal bond transactions.  At MBIA she managed the Public Finance Enterprise Insured Portfolio Management Group, headed up the Armonk office of the Public Finance Western New Business Group, and was Managing Director and Head of the Healthcare New Business Group.  Beth is currently a Director at ACA Financial Guaranty in portfolio monitoring and remediation. 

Beth has also been a City of White Plains Common Councilwoman since January 2010.  She chairs the City’s Budget and Management Advisory Committee and was chosen by her Council colleagues to be Council President for 2012 and 2013.

In 2006 Beth co-founded, with JoAnne Kennedy, the Northeast Women in Public Finance (NEWPF).  They served as Co-Presidents through 2012 and she still serves as a member of the NEWPF Board.  

Beth received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration from Augustana College, Rock Island, IL and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin, TX.

JoAnne Kennedy
*Initial Co-President, Lifetime Status

JoAnne KennedyJoAnne Kennedy has worked in the financial services industry structuring debt and equity placements for over 35 years.    JoAnne started her career as the Director of Research and Special Projects for the State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she developed the “linked deposits” program, the first state targeted investment program and the first state “minibond” program.  She started her Wall Street career as an associate and then vice president at Salomon Brothers and then moved to Credit Suisse First Boston where she became a worldwide Managing Director.   At CSFB, she headed up housing, served on a four-member Management Committee and the Credit Committee and was in charge of the firm’s international municipal finance efforts and domestic privatization activity. After CSFB JoAnne held senior positions at other firms including Herbert J Sims (specialists in financing long term care) and Belle Haven Investments (specializing in raising capital for first stage health care companies) She also was an Executive Director, specializing in housing, at JP Morgan.  Most recently JoAnne was a Managing Director at ButcherMark Financial Advisors/BondFactor, which was initially a financial advisory firm but then changed its business direction to bond insurance. 

JoAnne has served on the Board of Celotex Corporation, a building supply company in Tampa, Florida and also on the Board of the Shelter for the Homeless in Stamford, CT.  She is presently a Commissioner on the New Canaan Connecticut. Utilities Commission and is on the Board of the League of Women Voters in New Canaan.

JoAnne, with Beth Smayda, co-founded Northeast Women in Public Finance (NEWPF) in 2006, after serving on the Board of Women in Public Finance, based in Chicago.  JoAnne and Beth served as Co-Presidents through 2012 and she is still a member of the NEWPF Board.  

JoAnne received a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Newton College of the Sacred Heart and an M.B.A. in Finance from Boston College Graduate School of Business. She attended the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as the Wharton/Spencer Stuart Director’s Institute. She also attended the Center on Dispute Resolution at Quinnipiac University School of Law and is a Certified Mediator.

Kimberly Lyons

Vivian Altman