Mission

It is our mission to promote sound stewardship of our stakeholders’ investment through an innovative, efficient and effective financial infrastructure.


Vision

Our vision is to be a progressive leader in governmental finance continuously pursuing the most efficient, effective, and innovative means to accomplish core services while maintaining accountability and preserving public trust.


Values

Integrity – We will serve the County ethically and responsibly maintaining accountability for our actions and continuously striving to maintain public trust.

Conscientious Service – We will seek to provide the most efficient, effective, and timely service possible to our customers, the citizens of Gwinnett County and the Elected Officials, Departments, and Agencies we support.

Continuous Improvement – We will pursue continuous improvement in all that we do understanding that the best way today is merely the baseline for tomorrow.


Financial Services Department Organization

Management Profiles



Maria Woods CFO/Financial Services Director:

Maria Woods

770.822.7850
Maria.Woods@gwinnettcounty.com

Maria Woods has served as Director of Financial Services since December 2010 and was named Chief Financial Officer in April 2014. Her 30 years of experience in local government includes her tenure with Gwinnett County, which began in October 1997. She has provided training services for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government Certified Financial Officers Association and previously was a reviewer for the Government Financial Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. She is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association and the Georgia Government Finance Officers Association. 

Maria earned a master's degree in business administration from Brenau University and a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Georgia. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Georgia, has received certification as a Certified Financial Officer Level II from the University of Georgia, and earned the designation as a Certified Public Finance Officer from the Government Finance Officers Association.


Buffy Alexzulian Deputy Director:

Buffy Alexzulian

770.822.7849
Buffy.alexzulian@gwinnettcounty.com

Buffy began her career with Gwinnett County in 2008. She has worked in the Strategic Business Development Division and served as director of the Accounting Division prior to her current position as a deputy director of Financial Services. Buffy earned a master's degree in business administration from Shorter University and a bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus in finance from the University of North Georgia. She has received certification as a Certified Financial Officer Level I from the University of Georgia and is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association. Buffy has more than 15 years of experience in various finance and accounting roles in the public and private sector. She resides in Buford with her husband and two children.


Joe Weatherford Deputy Director:

Joe Weatherford

770.822.8736
Joseph.Weatherford@gwinnettcounty.com

Joe began his career with Gwinnett County in 2012. He has worked in the Financial Services Director’s Office and served most recently as director of the Strategic Business Development Division prior to his current position as deputy director of Financial Services. Joe is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and is a Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO). Prior to joining the County, Joe worked in the retail logistics and operations industry gaining valuable experience in financial management, project management, and continuous improvement methodologies.


Laurie Puckett Accounting Division Director:

Laurie Puckett

770.822.7715
Laurie.Puckett@gwinnettcounty.com

Laurie began her career with Gwinnett County in 1987. Her 29 years of accounting and financial reporting experience include 17 years in the Department of Financial Services and eight years in the Tax Commissioner’s Office. Laurie graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Georgia College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Georgia and has earned the designation as a Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Laurie is a reviewer for the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award Program, and is also a member of the Georgia GFOA.


Mitch Giegling Budget & Grants Management Director:

Mitch Giegling

770.822.7813
Mitch.Giegling@gwinnettcounty.com

Mitch received a bachelor's degree in Finance from Texas Tech University in 1985. He began his career with Gwinnett County in 1988 in the Budget Division of Financial Services where he served as an analyst and eventually Budget Manager. In 2004, he was appointed to serve on the implementation team for the County’s new financial system, SAP. Upon project completion, he transitioned to the Department of Information Technology Services where he was responsible for providing functional support for the various modules of the financial system. Mitch joined the Strategic Business Development Division in 2009 as a Financial Manager, charged with managing the Systems Solutions section. In November 2012, he was promoted to division director. Mitch has more than 20 years of experience in public sector budgeting and finance as well as strong knowledge of SAP-based business applications.


Bryant Davis Purchasing Division Director:

Bryant Davis

770.822.8725
Bryant.Davis@gwinnettcounty.com

Bryant began his career with Gwinnett County in 1992 with the Department of Water Resources.  He joined the Purchasing Division in 1997.  He has an Associate’s Degree in Applied Technology for Distribution and Materials Management from Gwinnett Technical Institute.  He is a member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and the Georgia Chapter of NIGP.  Bryant has received his certification as a Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB).  He is a lifelong resident of Gwinnett County and resides in Lawrenceville with his wife and two children.


Eric Harris Strategic Business Development Division Director:

Eric Harris

770.822.7854
Eric.Harris@gwinnettcounty.com

Eric began his career at Gwinnett County in 2012 with the Strategic Business Development Division of Financial Services.  He has over 30 years’ experience with project management and information technology systems.  Before joining the County, Eric worked as the Director of Information Technology for the Georgia Department of Public Safety and prior to that as a manager and software developer for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  Eric has an MBA from Georgia State University, a BS in Computer Science from Western Carolina University and Project Management Certification from Georgia Tech.  


Steve Pruitt Tax Assessor's Office Division Director:

Steve Pruitt

770.822.7212
Steve.Pruitt@gwinnettcounty.com

Steve holds a bachelor's in finance from Georgia State University. He has over 25 years experience in the administration of Georgia's Property Tax System. Prior to joining Gwinnett County in August 1997, Steve was in the private industry as a property tax consultant to state and local governments. He has also served as a County Tax Assessor and was a member of the Georgia Department of Revenue's Property Tax Division. He is an active member of the Georgia Association of Assessing Officers and the International Association of Assessing Officers, where he served as chairman of the Technical Standards Committee. He resides in Cumming with his wife and two daughters.


Jim Frihart Treasury Division Director:

Jim Frihart

770.822.7753
James.Frihart@gwinnettcounty.com

Jim graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1988 with a BBA in Management, as well as from Langston University-Tulsa in 1991 with a BBA in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Georgia. Prior to coming to Gwinnett County in 2015, Jim spent his career in the private sector primarily in healthcare working more than 11 years as the Assistant Treasurer for a publicly traded home healthcare company and almost five years as a Finance Director for a privately held senior healthcare service provider operating more than 200 centers in 21 states. He also has several years of accounting experience with engineering, distribution, transportation, and IT staffing companies in various roles. Jim’s management background includes accounting, treasury, insurance, facility lease, accounts payable, and payroll. Jim resides in Lilburn with his wife and son.