Press Release Ohio Auditor of State

Ohio Auditor’s Chief of Local Government Services Unice Smith Recipient of Hugh Dorrian “Lifetime Achievement Award”

Friday, September 21, 2018

Columbus – Unice Smith, chief of the Ohio Auditor of State’s Local Government Services Section, on Thursday received the Hugh Dorrian “Lifetime Achievement Award” recognizing her service to the public and through the Ohio Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) with integrity throughout her career.

Smith was recognized at a luncheon held in Cincinnati during the Ohio GFOA’s 31st Annual Conference and Membership Meeting.

Smith began her career in public service in 1987 working for the Ohio Auditor’s Local Government Services Section (LGS). LGS offers comprehensive assistance to government entities throughout Ohio by serving as a consulting and fiscal advisory group. Smith was one of the first employees of the section created by then-Auditor Thomas Ferguson. She was appointed chief of the program in 2009, a position she has held since. She manages a statewide program of 60 employees who, under her direction, provide assistance to entities in fiscal distress as well as with financial reporting, training programs and conferences. 

LGS has been responsible for the Auditor of State-sponsored annual Local Government Officials Conference for the past 24 years. Smith coordinates the multi-day event for more than 600 attendees from across Ohio. The training features 80-100 training sessions. 

Throughout her career, Smith has been recognized as a mentor who shares her accounting knowledge and management and supervisory skills with employees who go on to work with local governments throughout Ohio.

“One of the most difficult times a local government can experience is any time spent in fiscal caution, watch or emergency,” said Ohio Auditor Dave Yost. “Unice rolls up her sleeves and does whatever is necessary to assist clients. She works with all branches of local government to make sure that good fiscal management and accounting is put into place and to ensure that everyone involved participate in the process. Whenever a government or school district emerges from fiscal distress with Unice’s assistance, they are always stronger and more knowledgeable as a result,” Yost added.

Among the criteria for the Hugh Dorrian Lifetime Achievement Award : 

  • Serving the public as a government finance officer for at least 20 years;
  • Contributing to the enrichment of education within the field of Ohio public finance;
  • Serving in a mentoring capacity to advance the careers of individuals in government and/or individuals employed in the field of public finance;
  • Demonstrated continuing excellence and innovation to the field of public finance;
  • Made significant substantial and widely recognized contributions to the public and the Ohio public finance community;
  • Actively participated in Ohio GFOA.

Smith has been an active member of the GFOA since the organization began.


The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies.  Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.

Beth Gianforcaro
Press Secretary