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R-MA hires new Chief Financial Officer

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

A new chief financial officer at Randolph-Macon Academy has been chosen to replace Joan C. Burke, who has retired after 28 years in the position.

Desiree Kardashian of Berryville will take over as CFO. Kardashian holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Connecticut, and has worked in finance at many institutions, a majority of them health care-related. She worked as the CFO at Piedmont Medical Laboratory in Winchester for almost 15 years, and most recently held the same position at ConVerge Diagnostic Services in Peabody, Massachusetts.

"I was commuting every other weekend for that job, so I was really looking for something closer to home," Kardashian said Tuesday.

In addition to the job requiring less of a commute, Kardashian said it was appealing because the longevity of other R-MA employees told her that "it was a great place to work."

"What really pulled me in, though, is that I get to be involved with students and kind of mentor them," she said. Once the school year starts, Kardashian will be assigned to several students who she will check in with once a week to evaluate their academic progress. She will also serve as a source of support for the students.

Kardashian has been with the school for just over a week, and besides getting to know the basics, she said it hasn't been too difficult.

"RMA is in a great position with a million plus in the bank," she said. "They're definitely financially sound." Kardashian added that one thing the school's president liked about her was that she had experience in the "for-profit world."

Kardashian will be working in the coming weeks with students in summer school, and in the meantime she said she plans to "sit back and take it all in."

Burke, of Front Royal, spent a total of 35 years at the school. RMA President Major Gen. Henry M. Hobgood stated in a release sent out recently that "words are inadequate to describe Ms. Burke's positive impact on our mission over the years."

He added, "Indeed, R-MA is financially strong and stable today because of her great work, dedication and commitment. We are eternally grateful."

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