City of Aiken welcomes new finance director

January 27, 2019

The city of Aiken has a new finance director: Kymberley Wheat.

Wheat took on the full-time role in early January after stepping into an interim director position several months ago. Kim Abney, the former finance director, is now the assistant city manager; Wheat is her replacement.

Wheat, who graduated from USC Aiken with a Bachelors of Science in business administration, was first hired by the city as an accounting manager in October 2014.

Prior to that, Wheat worked for the Aiken County government for more than two decades.

“I love numbers,” Wheat said Thursday. “I love working with the departments and people and helping them. It’s … just kind of what I’ve done.”

Wheat – the mother of two teenagers – also holds a government finance officer certification.

“I call it the government CPA,” she said, laughing. “I had to go to several classes, take several tests to be able to do that, and I earned that in ’97.”

Wheat plans to work for the city until she retires. She said she takes her job “very seriously.”

“I plan to serve the city … efficiently and effectively just the way Kim has,” Wheat said. “Kim’s been a very good role model. She left big shoes to fill.”

Wheat said her roughly five years of Aiken experience grants her familiarity with the city, its undertakings and its atmosphere.

“It seems to be working well,” Wheat said.

City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh praised the new finance director in a prepared statement Thursday.

“Kym is extremely qualified to take on this challenge,” Bedenbaugh said. “During her career, she has ably demonstrated her ability to one day be a finance director. I am pleased she has stepped up to this important position at the City of Aiken.”

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