GFOA's 108th Annual Preconference Seminars


Preconference sessions will be held at the

Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55403

Taking an afternoon session on Friday or Saturday?
An afternoon snack will be available in your session room.

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

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


Friday, May 16, 2014

Recruiting and Retaining High Quality Finance Staff
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ● 4 CPE Credits
According to the experts, employees new to today’s workforce begin their careers with an approach toward work that can be different from that of earlier generations. For example, recent graduates often make lateral moves among organizations to increase their own learning and job satisfaction, rather than focusing on upward advancement in a single organization. In this environment, finance officers must create strategies not only to recruit good staff, but also to selectively train and develop them once hired. In addition, finance officers must establish appropriate plans for retaining institutional knowledge in light of increased staff turnover. This half-day session will feature speakers who have successfully faced these challenges.

  • Speakers:
    • Patrick Ibarra, Owner, The Mejorando Group, AZ (Bio)
    • Terri Steenblock, Minnesota Assistant Commissioner for Individual Taxes, Minnesota Department of Revenue, MN (Bio)

Excellence in School Budgeting: Introduction to GFOA’s New Budget Award Criteria for Schools and Community Colleges
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ● 4 CPE Credits
In late 2014, the GFOA will roll out new budget award program criteria that recognize excellence in budgeting practices for K-12 schools and community colleges. This half-day session will feature presentations by leading school practitioners and researchers on practices that support improved student outcomes, which will be the focus of the new budget award criteria. Attendees will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on draft criteria. The training is complimentary for school and community college finance officials and staff.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Practical Best Practices for Long-Term Financial Planning
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ● 4 CPE Credits
In this half-day session, public managers who have successfully used long-term financial planning tools will provide practical advice based on their experiences with long-term planning processes. In addition, the session will highlight forecasting innovations that take into account uncertainty from rapidly changing economic, political, and policy environments. Attendees that are new to financial planning will leave with practical knowledge on how to implement long-term financial planning, while financial planning veterans will benefit from learning how to fine tune their financial planning processes.

  • Speakers:
    • Malisa Files, Deputy Finance Director, City of Redmond, Washington
    • Sam Savage, Professor, Stanford University, CA

Tomorrow’s Finance Officer
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ● 4 CPE Credits
Best practice organizations leverage the finance officer as technical expert, manager, and leader. The successful finance officer requires an ever-evolving skillset to fill those roles. This half-day session, featuring leading practitioners and experts in organizational change and leadership, will focus on topics including leading change, resolving conflicts, negotiating, communicating, and managing interpersonal relationships.

  • Speaker:
    • Joseph P. Eriole, Esq., Deputy Comptroller, Ulster County New York/ Professional Management Consultant
    • Dr. Richard Fursman, Owner and President, Brimyer Fursman, LLC., Maplewood, MN (Bio)
  • Registration form / Register online

Internal Control: The Latest Guidance from COSO
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ● 4 CPE Credits
In May 2013, the Council of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting issued a significantly expanded version of its classic Internal Control: An Integrated Framework. This half-day session will offer participants a solid grounding in the latest COSO guidance, placing special emphasis on its relevance and application to state and local governments.

  • Speakers:
    • Stephen Gauthier, Director, Technical Services Center, Government Finance Officers Association, Chicago, Illinois (Bio)
    • Robert B. Scott, CPA, Chief Financial Officer/Assistant City Manager for the City of Carrollton, Texas (Bio)
  • Registration form / Register online

Getting the Most from Lean
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ● 4 CPE Credits
Lean thinking and tools can be used for a variety of applications, from improving accounts receivable processes to redesigning constituent communication systems. Gains in process speed of more than 50 percent are not uncommon. Improvements can often be accomplished in a few days using in-house staff, once Lean techniques are learned and applied. Lean can also be a critical management tool for budget planning. This half-day seminar will provide an introduction into Lean thinking and tools and prepare you to apply Lean in your government.

  • Speakers:
    • Harry Kenworthy, Principal and Manager, Quality and Productivity Improvement Center, Marlborough, Connecticut
    • Andrew Kleine, Budget Director, Baltimore, City of, MD

Tech Tools and Trends for the Finance Officer
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ● 4 CPE Credits

This session will feature trends, tools, and techniques to help finance officers keep up with technology advances, from personal productivity tools to the latest in systems that integrate information organization-wide for improved decision making. Attendees will hear about new desktop applications in data analysis and presentation applications, advantages and disadvantages of so-called “cloud” systems, and new developments in enterprise-wide applications. This half-day session will also include advice on how to deal with vendors who call you to sell their latest products. Finally, GFOA staff will discuss the technology resources available to all GFOA members and how to access these resources.

  • Speakers:
    • Sam Savage, Professor, Stanford University, CA
    • Kara Skinner, CFO, Colorado Springs, City of, CO
    • Paul Taylor, Chief Content Officer, e.Republic, Olympia, Washington