A New Albany resident has been nominated to serve as chief financial officer of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Irving Dennis, a New Albany resident since 2002, recently retired from Ernst & Young after 36 years with the professional-services firm.

He also has served as treasurer of the board and finance committee chairman for the New Albany Community Foundation and CFO for the New Albany Symphony Orchestra.

Dennis, 58, said he retired from Ernst & Young in June and originally was interested in a part-time pursuit.

Still, he said, his goal in retirement always was to do something meaningful, and he is excited about the prospective government position.

"I'm looking forward to getting down there and hopefully making a difference within the department," he said.

A full Senate vote is required following his nomination to the HUD post, Dennis said. He said he anticipates the vote by the end of December and that a swearing-in ceremony would take place in early January.

Should the Senate approve the nomination, Dennis said, he plans to maintain residence in New Albany and commute to Washington, D.C.

Craig Mohre, president of the New Albany Community Foundation, said he has known Dennis for several years and described him as a bright and talented, community-oriented individual.

"He's been an outstanding board member," he said.

In addition to serving on the foundation board, Mohre said, Dennis and his wife, Karen, have donated to the foundation for a long time and recently established their own endowment fund to support the community foundation's Jefferson Series for guest speakers and other educational programs.

"They've been wonderful community members and leaders," he said.

New Albany Symphony Orchestra executive director Heather Garner likewise described Dennis as a "tremendous" member of the community and a great supporter of the orchestra.

Garner said she first met him through Ernst & Young, which was a donor to the orchestra.

Dennis became a donor himself and was appointed to the orchestra board this year as treasurer, she said.

Dennis also gives of his time as a volunteer, Garner said.

"He's not afraid to roll up his sleeves and help out," she said.