Nagesh Chopra is fiscal specialist for the City of Edmond where he advocates for diversity, team spirit and leadership. He is someone you should know.
Chopra earned a Master’s graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma. Born and raised in India, he started his career in the hospitality industry before moving to United States in 2006.
He is a certified Municipal Official by the Oklahoma Municipal League. So Chopra is in his niche while he also serves as vice president of the UCO Master of Public Alumni Association.
“We can contribute in some way to any kind of scholarship, having a guest speaker coming in and talking to students,” Chopra said.
Being a fiscal specialist requires more than knowing the basics of accounting. He needs to have a wide understanding of all of the city’s departments.
“You’re the one trying to make sure the revenues match with what comes in the bank,” Chopra said. “You are basically taking care of any new asset the city purchases, adding it to its inventory in context of the city pursuing its own strategic plan.”
His work is very specialized. Chopra said a private certified public accountant would not automatically be able to relate to governmental accounting. The learning curve varies from person to person. Institutional knowledge lends itself to a better understanding of what is required.
“You have to go through a lot of training, also. It’s not possible that you can learn everything on the job,” he said.
The City of Edmond offers professionals a culture of opportunity to grow, Chopra continued.
“Being the only Asian born in India, I would have never dreamed that I would be working for the city,” he said. “The city kind of noticed what I had to offer during my internship program.”
He and his wife Kanika, a UCO professor, have a 10-year-old daughter, Jiya, who is a student at Deer Creek Elementary School. Edmond’s pace and the quality of life gives him the time to raise his family, he said.
“You can start your family and still have that peace of mind,” Chopra said.