The Midwest public finance community mourns the sudden death of PFM’s Claire Goodman

The Midwest public finance community is mourning the loss of Claire Goodman, veteran financial adviser, world traveler, proud Canadian and dog lover, who died suddenly on Friday. She was 41 years old.

Goodman, manager of the Chicago office of PFM Financial Advisors LLC, has worked with major borrowers from Midwest Chicago, Cook County and Illinois to issuers in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Colleagues and clients alike called Goodman a smart, skilled technical professional at the deal table who cared deeply about her clients and acted as a mentor to young professionals. All describe Goodman as a caring, funny and genuinely kind person whose friendships in the community ran deep.

“Claire has always been an accomplished finance professional who also took the time to support others and was just a generally nice person that you enjoyed being with,” said Chicago CFO Jennie Huang Bennett, whose relationship with Goodman dates back to Bennett’s tenure as an investment. banker before joining the Chicago Public Schools finance team in 2012. “To lose that kind of talent is devastating.”

GFP Councilor Claire Goodman and her dog, Hot Sauce.

“Claire’s unexpected passing was a great shock to all of us at PFM, and we will all miss her terribly. It is always difficult to lose a colleague, and especially for Claire, who was so young, talented and well-liked by her peers and of her clients,” said Dan Hartman, Managing Director of PFM. “Claire was a talented advisor, and her dedication to her clients, along with her creative and thoughtful approach, left a lasting impact on the clients and projects on which she worked. she worked.”

“Claire was my right arm and she was the most wonderful person,” said Jill Jaworski, chief executive who runs the Chicago practice PFM. “Claire has worked on a range of clients from triple A to sub-investment grade, but she really loved and shone on the most difficult and complex credits. She had a great understanding of distressed credits and was a an expert in strategies to improve their security structures. She was a star at PFM.”

In an internal message to colleagues, Jaworski wrote, “Claire has been responsible for managing our team in Chicago for several years. She was a steady hand behind the wheel, always kind and able to get the best out of everyone she worked with.

Jaworski began working with Goodman in 2011 when PFM bought Scott Balice Strategies after his co-founder Lois Scott sold the company to join Chicago as chief financial officer.

“It looks like I hired Claire yesterday, a newly minted economist with a quick wit and a warm smile,” said Scott, who currently sits on several boards including the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and the Kroll. Bond Rating Agency and is a co-founder of Fund 51. “Watching her flourish and grow to become such an important part of the public finance community has been the privilege of a lifetime.”

“Claire was smart, well prepared, analytical, insightful, never dropped the ball and had a wonderful, offbeat sense of humor,” Scott said. “Her clients adored her and always told me what a special person she was. She made a difference every day by making communities across the country stronger and more resilient places.

Goodman earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Canada’s University of Lethbridge, followed by a master’s degree in economics from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining Scott Balice, Goodman worked on strategic planning for nonprofit entities and taught and conducted economic research at the University of Georgia where she became a published author on game theory, management of risks and market competition.

Goodman was an early member of Scott Balice’s team along with Julia Harris, who recently joined Siebert Williams Shank & Co. LLC to create a specialist higher education group. “We grew up as a family there,” Harris said. “Claire was very smart. She caught it all and was really a creative thinker who knew the market so well. She was kind and she was funny. It’s just a huge loss to the industry.

“Claire has been my biggest supporter, both professionally and personally, as a mentor and friend for over a decade. We had so many inside jokes that will always make me laugh,” said Shannon Jacobson, a senior management consultant at PFM who joined Scott Balice after grad school. “She was fiercely witty, loyal, empathetic and intelligent.”

“Claire was a friend and my advisor when I was a broadcaster, my co-advisor when I was a city councilor and she was always the same Claire no matter what position you were in,” said Melanie Shaker, who recently joined FHN Financial Capital Markets. to establish a banking presence in the Midwest.

Goodman loved dogs — especially his own — a pit bull mix named Hot Sauce. She loved good food and appreciated wine and old ways. As for the origin of her dog’s unique name: “People tend to be afraid of pit bulls, and she wanted a name that was disarming, and it worked,” her brother Russell Goodman said.

Goodman’s passion was traveling – especially overseas – and she has done many hikes on her own, including a visit to Russia several years ago. “She was more of an adventurer and had no fear or qualms about venturing out on her own. She really lived her life to the fullest,” Jaworski said.

Chicago winters were no match for her Canadian blood, and she could get away with wearing ballet flats without socks in the winter without complaining about the cold. “She’s settled in really well in Chicago,” Jaworski said.

While originally from Canada, she came to call Chicago home, said Russell Goodman.

“She loved her job and she worked hard because she felt she was making a difference to the people she worked for and with whom she worked and was proud of what she and her team could accomplish,” Goodman said. about his sister. “She loved her team. She often talked about Jill and how amazing she was as a mentor, and she herself took her mentorship duties very seriously.

The cause of death is not known. Goodman felt ill last Friday but worked all day with the Ohio team to prepare for upcoming bond pricing. She died at home later that day.

Goodman is survived by his parents Greg and Barb Goodman; his brother, his wife, Elaine, and their child Genevieve “Evie” Goodman; as well as his partner Antonio Cruzado.

A local gathering for family and friends will be held in the future.


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