CVHS grad returns home to wrestle with city finances

By Tamara Steiner on January 27, 2014

Kevin Mizuno_city hall_for websiteA tall, dark haired, wiry kid with a big, wide grin who spent his senior year in high school wrestling his fellow jocks to the mat is back in town. And he has Clayton’s chart of accounts in a half-Nelson at City Hall.

Kevin Mizuno, a 2004 Clayton Valley High alum and recipient of the Pete Laurence Wrestling Scholarship, is the city of Clayton’s new Finance Manager, replacing Merry Pelletier who retired in December.

Mizuno’s first course of business, he says, is to plow through the city’s long chart of accounts, learn a bit about the history and figure out all the “sticky notes” left behind.

In 2010, the city purchased a new accounting software package and the transition was complicated. The training was limited and resources were low. The city fell behind and is just now completing the audit and reporting for fiscal year 2013. Mizuno expects to present the final audit at the Feb. 4 city council meeting.

Although only 27, Mizuno comes to the city well prepared from a four-year stint as an audit manager for municipal and public agency accounts with Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., a large regional public accounting firm.

“We’re very excited to have Kevin working with the city,” says Mayor Hank Stratford. “His previous experience auditing government entities and the fact that he is a CPA will be great assets to Clayton.” Stratford is himself a certified public accountant.

Pete Laurence, a former city councilman and mayor of Clayton and sponsor of the CVHS wrestling scholarship, remembers Mizuno as a “standout” wrestler and student.

“Wrestling builds character,” says Laurence. “You can’t be a quitter or a wimp. And it’s all about the team. We’re fortunate that Kevin is bringing those qualities and dedication back to his hometown. We expect him to do a great job.”

Mizuno holds a BS in Business Administration and Accounting from San Diego State University with a minor in German. During his senior year, he served a professional internship in Stuttgart.

Mizuno lives in Concord with his wife, Katrina, a pediatrics RN in ICU at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. They plan to move to Clayton soon to begin their family.

Along with hiking the local trails, the pair loves adrenalin charged fun – bungee jumping and skydiving top the list. They travel as much as their schedules will permit, most recently spending the first week in January in Peru with family.

Mizuno’s mother lives in the family home in Jeffry Ranch in Clayton. His father died in 2009. He has two sisters, Stefanie and Debbie, both graduates of Clayton Valley High.

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