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, the University of Denver's School of Accountancy Advisory Board, the Illinois CPA Society Governmental Executive Committee and the Consultative Advisory Group for the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board. 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. She chaired the Union League Club of Chicago's Public Affairs Committee. 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.

Karen Danford, Editor and Project Director


Karen Danford oversees collecting, updating and documenting the key demographic, economic and government financial data from public and private sources on Data-Z.  She also serves as editor for TIA publications and media outreach.

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 on law and economics at two major universities for state and federal judges. Before joining Truth in Accounting, Danford was the editor of public policy at Ballotpedia for nearly three years, building out projects and editing hundreds of articles in several policy areas.  

 Judi Willard, Communications and Development Manager


Judi Willard has a wide range of communications skills from a public speaking background, digital work to written communications. Her bachelors degree is in Communications with a concentration in Radio/Television. She was a disc jockey and the producer of a cable television program. She worked as a Development Director for a Catholic Missionary school, also development and communications for both the Policy Circle and Illinois Policy Institute. Fun fact: She has performed stand-up comedy with her own written material.

Shawn Cruce, Senior Research Analyst / Consultant


Shawn Cruce, CPA, has been with Truth in Accounting since 2010. His responsibilities include data retrieval, database management, publication editing, and coordination of interns. 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 received his certified public accountant (CPA) credential in 2021.

Grace Zhang, Research Analyst / Consultant


Grace Zhang is a Research Analyst Consultant for 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 publications, "The Financial State of the States" and “The Financial State of the Cities,” 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.