Sheila A. Weinberg, Founder & CEO, Truth in Accounting


Sheila A. Weinberg, CPA, is the founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting, whose mission is to compel governments to produce financial reports that are understandable, reliable, transparent and correct. Since 2002 Ms. Weinberg has led Truth in Accounting's research initiatives, which include "The Truth about Balanced Budgets: a Fifty State Study," the "Financial State of the States," and the "Financial State of the Union." Because of her expertise in governmental budgeting and accounting, Ms. Weinberg has testified before the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB), the Government Accounting Standards Board, and numerous state legislative hearings on matters of proper government accounting.

Ms. Weinberg earned her Bachelor of Accounting degree from the University of Denver, which she attended on an academic scholarship.  She received her certified public accountant (CPA) credential in 1981. Ms. Weinberg was active in the Concord Coalition from its inception in 1992, and was honored in 1998 with their Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Ms. Weinberg is a member of the Association of Government Accountants' Financial Management Standards Board, the University of Denver's School of Accountancy Advisory Board, and is a member of the Union League Club of Chicago's Public Affairs Committee. She has served as an independent legislative adviser to members of Congress on federal budgeting and accounting issues. She was also a member of the Comeback America Initiative Advisory Council ,the Academy of Government Accountability Advisory Council and two FASAB Task Forces. Her commentary on the federal budget, Social Security, Medicare and other national issues has appeared repeatedly in numerous publications, including USA Today, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. She has been a guest on local and national television and radio shows, and is often engaged to speak on federal and state budget and accounting issues. 


Joan Colmar, President, Truth In Accounting


Joan Colmar is the President of Truth in Accounting. She has been involved with Truth in Accounting since its inception.  As President she leads operations, outreach development and strategic planning for Truth in Accounting and State Data Lab. She has previously headed two wholesale businesses and worked as a strategic planner/executive coach for small start-up companies over three decades.

Colmar graduated from Northwestern University and attended Northwestern Law School.  She currently serves on the Alumnae Board of Northwestern University, Annual Fund Board at Ravinia Festival, The Women's Board of the Field Museum, and the Board of Directors of the Joffrey Ballet. She is a member of the Presidential Circle of the Chicago Council of Global Affairs. 


Bill Bergman, Director of Research


Bill Bergman serves as Truth in Accounting's Director of Research. He is responsible for identifying, collecting and managing State Data Lab's database. This database provides healthy context for understanding state and local government financial conditions.  Bergman has over twenty years of financial market experience, including thirteen years as an economist and policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. 

Bergman earned an M.B.A. and an M.A. in public policy from the University of Chicago in 1990.


Shawn Cruce, Data Research Manager


Shawn Cruce is a Data Research Manager with Truth in Accounting and its State Data Lab project. His responsibilities include coordination of interns, project planning, data review, and publication editing. He also oversees TIA's "Financial State of the States" project. Shawn earned both a B.B.A. and M.S. in accounting from Loyola University Chicago. He is currently pursuing the title of certified public accountant (CPA).


Katherine Oxenreiter, Operations and Communications Manager


Katherine Oxenreiter is the Operations and Communications Manager at Truth in Accounting. She is responsible for managing TIA’s social media and updating content on the Truth in Accounting and State Data Lab webpages. In her role, she organizes data in the backend of TIA’s CRM tool and maintains its current status.

Katherine is a recent graduate of Loyola University Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science from the College of Arts and Sciences and a B.A. from the School of Communications in Public Relations and Advertising. 



Grace Zhang, Research Analyst


Grace Zhang is a Research Analyst at Truth in Accounting. She assists with gathering and organizing extensive government accounting and economic data for database analysis and publication. She also contributes to TIA’s main publication, "The Financial State of the States", by compiling data from states’ financial reports and related retirement plans’ actuarial reports.

Grace earned her Master of Science in Accountancy from Loyola University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her Illinois CPA certification.