Following a nationwide search, Lee Ann Shortland, a city employee for more than 11 years, has been selected as Westerville's next finance director.

Following a nationwide search, Lee Ann Shortland, a city employee for more than 11 years, has been selected as Westerville's next finance director.

She replaces Jack Winkel, who retired in September after 30 years with the city.

For the last three years, Shortland has been finance manager for the city's Electric Division, overseeing a $45-million budget. She joined the Income Tax Division in 1999 and has worked as an accounting supervisor for the city.

Shortland, a CPA for 14 years, held management positions in private-sector companies and worked as a tax accountant before working for Westerville.

The city received 57 applications for the position and interviewed 10 candidates, city manager Dave Collinsworth said.

In addition to Shortland, the city interviewed:

James Ni-cholson, director of finance for the village of New Albany.

David Delac, a missionary and treasurer for International Mission Board in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Westerville City Schools treasurer Scott Gooding.

Christy Russell, interim director of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners' Office of Management and Budget.

Gahanna finance director An-gel Mumma.

Chris Monacelli, an accounting supervisor for the city of Westerville.

Catherine Armstrong, Up-per Arlington finance director.

Westerville interim finance director Gina Love, who serves as assistant finance director.

Bexley finance director Beecher Hale.

The candidates were interviewed by several committees, Collinsworth said, and Shortland stood out to everyone involved in the interview process.

"We were very impressed with what Lee Ann had to offer," he said.

The city also benefits by selecting an internal candidate, he said, because officials chose someone with a proven track record.

"When you know an internal candidate, you know what their values are," Collinsworth said. "You know what and who you are hiring."

Hiring an internal candidate also shortens the orientation process because the candidate knows the city's employees, operations and goals, Collinsworth said.

"She can hit the ground running. That orientation period will take a lot less time," he said.

Shortland, who worked under Winkel for many years, said she's also familiar with Westerville's record of financial excellence, and she said she learned a lot from Winkel that she'll put into play as finance director.

"I feel like I've retained all of the best practices he put into place in the city," she said.

Shortland's appointment is scheduled to go before council April 5. If she is approved, she'll start April 6.