Stephen Whatley Celebrates 50 Years of Federal Service
By Suzanne Hensell, OPACE
Golden anniversaries are rare, especially in the workplace. FSIS recognizes an employee who reached this impressive milestone in November 2021, having served with multiple federal departments.
Financial Management Specialist Stephen Whatley has worked in FSIS’ Office of the Chief Financial Officer for 20 years and is presently assigned to the Financial Management Division (FMD). He enjoys his work in fighting waste, fraud and abuse and in improving effectiveness and efficiency by reviewing unliquidated obligations, improper payments and internal controls. In this important role, he ensures that taxpayers’ dollars are accounted for properly. During his FSIS career, he has achieved numerous milestones, including combining multiple Department internal control questionnaires into a single document, developing multiple internal control questionnaires for FSIS use, and helping develop training CDs for FSIS supervisory personnel, which saved the Agency time and money.
A graduate of West Virginia State University with a degree in economics, Whatley went on to earn a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Illinois University. His career in federal service has spanned several departments. He began his service in 1971 as an administrative assistant with the Navy (Department of Defense), then progressed to economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Department of Labor), during which time he also served in the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1977, Whatley took an economist position at the Bureau of Economic Affairs (Department of Commerce). He then served as a financial specialist at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board for over 20 years before landing a position as a financial management specialist at FSIS. He first learned about FSIS from a family friend, Vincent Fayne, the now-retired Chief of the International Audit Branch in FSIS’ Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit.
Whatley retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 22 years. His military service as quartermaster officer and as an assistant inspector general helped prepare him for his work at FSIS. “I dealt with logistics and financial issues. I was a subsistence officer and managed food supplies for major military exercises,” he said.
Whatley and his wife Annie have one child. In his spare time, he serves as an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 4 of Washington, D.C. He also enjoys playing golf, hand dancing and card games.
In 2017, Whatley (left) manned the grills with Staff Accountant Kevin Blackburn at the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s (OCFO) annual summer cookout. Photo taken by an OCFO employee.