Sheila A. Weinberg, Founder & CEO


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 


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, the Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet, and the Board of Directors of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.  

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. Bill also leads our federal projects. Bill has written more than 400 articles at "Bill's Blog." Bill teaches finance courses at Loyola University Chicago. He has more than 30 years of financial market experience, including thirteen years as an economist and policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Bill 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).

Kevin Hoffman, Communications Manager


Kevin Hoffman is the Communications Manager at Truth in Accounting. He is responsible for updating content on the Truth in Accounting and State Data Lab websites, as well as managing communication interns throughout the year. Additionally, Kevin organizes the hundreds of data points for the FSOS and FSOC.

Kevin graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in journalism, political science and international studies. Before joining TIA, Kevin was a staff writer and editorial assistant for Reboot Illinois, a digital media startup covering state politics and news. 

Courtney Fox, Operations and Marketing Manager


Courtney Fox is the Operations and Marketing Manager for Truth in Accounting. She is responsible for TIA’s social media pages, email platform, and is a certified Salesforce Administrator. In her role, she also creates content, develops outreach strategies, and manages marketing campaigns to further TIA’s mission of educating people on the truth behind government finances.

Courtney is a recent graduate from Michigan State University’s James Madison College, where she earned a B.A. in Social Relations and Policy.

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.

Karen Danford, Editor and Project Director


Karen Danford has a Ph.D. in German Languages and Literature from Yale University. She taught German and literature for over twenty years at various universities, during which she developed a passion for grammar and clear writing. For many years she directed small academic conferences and then managed large conferences at two major universities for state and federal judges on law and economics. Before joining Truth in Accounting, she was the editor of public policy at Ballotpedia for nearly three years, building out the projects and editing hundreds of articles in several policy areas.