GFOA's 106th Annual Preconference Seminars


Preconference sessions will be held at the
McCormick Place West Building

2301 South Indiana Avenue • Chicago, IL 60616

Taking a morning session?
A continental breakfast will be available in your session room.

Taking an afternoon session?
An afternoon snack will be available in your session room.

Taking a morning and afternoon session?
Enjoy a continental breakfast and afternoon snack in your session room,
as well as a grab-and-go lunch.


Friday, June 8, 2012


Best Practices in Procurement
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. • 4 CPE Credits

Procurement practices can make a substantial contribution to the bottom line. Inefficient, overly time-consuming processes can result in unnecessary cost, while innovative, customer-focused procurement procedures can cut the time and costs for providing services to the community. This workshop is designed to provide finance officers with a practical understanding of recent innovations and best practices in public-sector procurement that simultaneously provide effective stewardship and excellent customer service. Some of the concepts to be covered include best practices in managing vendor and supplier relationships, performance contracting, and value-based contract management.

  • Speakers:
    • Tina Borger, Director of Research and Technical Resources, National Institute of Governmental Purchasing
    • Kathy Muse, Purchasing Director, Fairfax County, VA
    • Paul Terragno, Product Manager, Product and Services, NACO
  • Register by fax/mail or online

Taming Employee Health-Care Benefit Costs
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. • 4 CPE Credits

The ever-escalating cost of employee health-care benefits is a perennial challenge for both public and private employers. While there is very little public employers can do to counteract macro-level factors – such as increasingly sophisticated and expensive medical technology and an aging population – some governments have taken advantage of key leverage points to manage and contain their health-care benefit costs. This session will explore these leverage points and provide attendees with specific cost management strategies along with ideas for improving the quality of benefits.

  • Speakers:
    • Cheryl Walker, Health and Wellness Manager, City of Asheville, NC
    • Ed Barrett, City Administrator, Lewiston, Maine
    • Shayne Kavanagh, Senior Manager, Research & Consulting, Government Finance Officers Association, Chicago, Illinois (Bio)
    • Pat McCollough, Assistant Vice-President, Public Sector, Colonial Life
  • Register by fax/mail or online

Using the CIPFA-GFOA FM Model to Achieve Your Financial Management Goals
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. • 4 CPE Credits

The GFOA’s new financial management assessment tool, the CIPFA-GFOA FM Model, enables governments to compare their current financial management practices to best practices and to pinpoint areas for improvement. This session will focus on using the FM Model to understand your organization’s current financial management “profile,” whether it's basic stewardship, performance-focused, or strategic financial support, and how to change practices to conform to the profile your government aspires to. Practitioners who have used the model will discuss their experience. The session will conclude with an overview of how to report progress toward achieving financial management goals.

  • Speakers:
    • Michael E. Bailey, Finance Director, City of Redmond, Washington (Bio)
    • Susan Iverson, Director of Finance and Administrative Services, City of Arden Hills, Minnesota
    • Rob Roque, Senior Manager, Research & Consulting, Government Finance Officers Association, Chicago, Illinois (Bio)
  • Register by fax/mail or online

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Taking Charge of Internal Control: A Managerial Perspective
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. • 4 CPE Credits

Many managers mistakenly view internal control as something of concern primarily, if not exclusively, to accountants and auditors. Yet the fundamental purpose of internal control is to provide managers with reasonable assurance that they are meeting three of their most basic managerial objectives: 1) operating the organization effectively and efficiency, 2) complying with applicable laws, regulations, and policies, and 3) preparing reliable financial reports. Moreover, experience has demonstrated, time and again, that internal control cannot be effective without active management support and involvement. This one-half day preconference seminar will provide managers, regardless of their professional background, with a solid understanding of what constitutes a comprehensive framework of internal control, and of the role they need to play as managers in implementing, monitoring, and maintaining that framework.

  • Speakers:
    • Stephen Gauthier, Director, Technical Services Center, Government Finance Officers Association, Chicago, Illinois (Bio)
    • Anne Kinney, Director, Research and Consulting Center, Government Finance Officers Association, Chicago, Illinois (Bio
  • Register by fax/mail or online

The Finance Officer’s Role in Labor Relations
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. • 4 CPE Credits

The fiscal impact of bargaining agreements is an important factor in maintaining structural fiscal balance in state and local governments. This session will focus on what the finance officer must know to effectively participate in formulating and carrying out their government’s labor relations strategies. Presenters will cover key practices for structuring negotiations, modeling the cost of proposals, and reaching win-win outcomes. This session will also address how to make financial analyses understandable to non-financial participants in the bargaining process, and factors that make the finance officer an effective member of the government’s negotiating team.

  • Speakers:
    • Jay Goldstone, COO, San Diego, CA
    • Dennis Houlihan, Policy Analyst, AFSCME
    • Chris Swanson, Inventor of Municast and Excel Modeler Extraordinaire
  • Register by fax/mail or online 

Using Performance Management to Rethink Service and Funding Priorities
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. • 4 CPE Credits

Governments across the country have been applying the National Performance Management Advisory Commission’s recommended framework and incorporating performance-based practices into their planning, budgeting, and management processes. This pre-conference seminar will provide a review from the field on what has been accomplished, and how performance management techniques are helping governments to rethink their funding priorities and service strategies, as well as to understand and learn from results. Practitioners will discuss which performance-based tools have been most effective, how they have gained support for performance-driven management, and what they learned along the way.

  • Speakers:
    • Rick Hoppe, Chief of Staff, Mayor's Office, City of Lincoln, NE
    • Jay Panzica, CFO, City of Ventura, CA
    • Janet Woolum, Management Analyst, Maricopa County, AZ
  • Register by fax/mail or online  

Taking the Mystery out of Alternative Service Delivery Options
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. • 4 CPE Credits

Public-private partnerships and intergovernmental service agreements are alternative approaches that can allow governments to provide services to the public at lower cost. Yet relatively few governments have taken advantage of these alternatives. This half-day seminar will offer examples of successful alternative service delivery arrangements. Practitioners who have implemented such arrangements will describe lessons learned and effective approaches that reduce risk and provide transparency to the public. Effective approaches to negotiating workable agreements based on GFOA research will also be presented.