Conference Sessions

GFOA’s 113th Annual Conference was held on May 19-22, 2019, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It included more than 75 concurrent sessions featuring leading practitioners, subject matter experts, and top researchers. Each session contained a panel of speakers carefully selected to provide best practice guidance, discussion of current events, case studies, debate, and interactive exercises to cover a complete suite of topics pertinent for finance officers of all types and representing all forms of state and local governments. Information on each session including speakers, bios, handouts, and more is available below.

89 Sessions

Pages


Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
Town Administrator
Town of Berlin, MD
Speaker
Counsel
Nixon Peabody LLP
Speaker
Senior Fellow
Stanford Global Projects Center
Speaker
Director of Finance/Treasurer
San Diego County Water Authority

As populations evolve and grow, public finance officials must be prepared to plan for capital project developments that grow with their community and addresses the constantly changing needs of their fellow citizens. The current budgetary environment for state and local government's demands evaluating every available funding option to support growth and a high standard of living. With many localities operating through the year on slim margins, public finance officers must search for smart and innovative ways to fund their capital projects and ensure the future of their communities.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Finance Director/Tax Commissioner
Village of Indian Hill
Speaker
Vice President of Sales
Paymentus
Speaker
Treasurer
St. Louis County, MO

As electronic payment technology grows and changes, citizens will increasingly expect their governments to accept payments from a broad spectrum of platforms. The expansion of traditional online payment methods as well as new options like virtual wallets, mobile apps, self-service devices, and other payment applications, requires finance officers to understand both the benefits and limitations of each and to make decisions that balance government interests and customer service demands of the public. Governments must also weigh the costs associated with accepting payments via new technologies and accurately assess the viability of new technologies long term. This session will explore how governments can better utilize electronic payment portals, discuss the necessary internal controls and systems to accept different electronic payments, detail the current technology landscape and usage trends, and highlight electronic receivables policies and procedures for local governments.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator
Chief Performance Officer
City of Austin, TX
Speaker
Director of Certification and Community
What Works Cities
Speaker
Budget Officer
City of Kansas City, MO
Speaker
Public Information Officer
San Bernardino County

Financial sustainability requires people to work together. If people can see they will be better off working together, they will work together. A shared vision is how people see. However, "vision statements" often have the well-deserved reputation of being mere platitudes will little lasting impact. This session will go beyond the buzzwords, consulting jargon, and “pretty pictures” and feature governments that have taken a different approach to community visions and strategic plans that can be used to guide an effective budget process. Speakers will discuss how to involve the community, define vision and goals, and how to transition from long-term strategic objectives to resource allocation.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
Finance Consultant
Municipal Research and Services Center
Speaker
SVP Corporate Security
Sierra-Cedar
Speaker
Distinguished Engineer and Security CTO, U.S. Public Sector Market CTO, Data Security & Privacy, IBM Security
IBM

Is cybersecurity part of your long-term planning? If not, why not? If so, is it enough? The Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and cloud technologies will no longer be novelties in the near future; they will be expectations for a good work environment. Although exciting, the future has its risks and governments will need to make regular investments into solutions that address vulnerabilities generated by evolving technologies. In this session, speakers will provide a glimpse into the future and describe potential paths to follow to manage identified and soon to be identified technologies. Attendees will learn the importance of including cybersecurity in their long-term planning processes.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator
Interim Finance Director
City of Oklahoma City, OK
Speaker
Vice President
XBRL US, Inc.
Speaker
Assistant City Manager/CFO
City of Weston, FL

Governments face pressure from a variety of fronts to make data readily accessible. However, not all transparency efforts provide the same benefits nor are all without expenses and burden to the government. This session will provide a discussion of current efforts to both develop and mandate the use of machine-readable reporting by governments, basic explanations of the technology and how it might affect your government, and alternative technologies that might be less burdensome for governments.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator
Chief Financial Advisor
City of Boulder, CO
Speaker
Principal
Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates, Inc.
Speaker
Debt Manager (retired)
City of Portland, OR

Small governments face numerous hurdles in their debt management programs including in-house subject expertise. This session will focus on effective strategies for issuing debt, hiring outside professionals, meeting disclosure requirements, and utilizing checklists, policies, and procedures to best manage these responsibilities through the lens of a small government.

GFOA's Small Government Forum is a discussion group that identifies and explores topics of interest to governments with populations less than 25,000.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
150
Moderator/Speaker
Senior Manager
GFOA
Speaker
Riley Center Fellow
College of Charleston

One of GFOA's most important strategic initiatives is to encourage and support finance officers who take on a leadership role within their organization or within the public finance profession. GFOA has a number of opportunities to build leadership skills and enable members to take the next step in their career. This session will highlight GFOA leadership opportunities with its Executive Board and Committees. In addition, GFOA will provide an overview of its Financial Sustainability and Leadership Framework that is intended to provide leadership tools that can be used in your organization. Also, this October, GFOA will be hosting the inaugural GFOA Leadership Academy at the College of Charleston. Current members who have been involved with each program and GFOA staff will be present to answer questions and discuss how you can get more involved with the organization and build critical leadership skills.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Finance Director
City of Lake Elmo, MN
Speaker
Assistant Director for Training
Speaker
Assistant Director of Publications, Technical Services
GFOA

Implementation of GASB 87 will not only require governments to account for leases differently, it will also necessitate that finance staff gather information on all contracts that could be classified as leases, conduct analysis to determine how they should be reported, and perform required calculations. GFOA’s in-house experts will present some of the basics on how to decode lease terms, determine or infer discount rates, and calculate lease liabilities. GFOA will also demonstrate easy-to-use templates to assist with lease calculations and preparation of required journal entries.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Consulting Practice Manager
GFOA
Speaker
Chief Executive Officer
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP)

The procurement office (or procurement function within a finance office) can be a strategic resource to assist departments aiming to streamline sourcing processes, save money through competitive purchasing, encourage competition and transparency, and promote societal goals. However, in many departments, the procurement function struggles to go beyond something more than just a hoop to jump through. In this session procurement professionals will speak about how to establish a strong partnership between finance and procurement and provide lessons learned from integrating procurement into the finance office. Additionally, for organizations looking to define purchasing, representatives from the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) will communicate key elements from their competency model that will certify procurement officers.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
Hall G
Moderator/Speaker
Associate Professor, School of Accountancy & MIS
DePaul University
Speaker
Chief Inspector
U.S. Marshals Service

The city comptroller and treasurer of Dixon, Illinois, stole $53 million of public funds across 20 years–making her the perpetrator of the largest case of municipal fraud in American history. She used the funds to build one of the nation’s leading quarter horse-breeding empires, all while forcing staff cuts, police budget slashing, and neglect of public infrastructure. While extreme, her story provides learning opportunities for all local governments to better protect themselves against the next case of fraud. Speakers will share their unique and direct experience with this situation and provide recommendations for all governments.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator
Vice President
Multi-Bank Securities, Inc.
Speaker
CEO, Chief Investment Officer
Chandler Asset Management
Speaker
Assistant City Manager/CFO
City of Weston, FL
Speaker
Director of Finance & Tax Commissioner
City of Forest Park, Ohio

Small governments have the same responsibilities and duties as their large counterparts when it comes to managing and investing public funds. This session will focus specifically on how smaller entities can develop appropriate investment policies and strategies, including investing for liquidity, choosing the right benchmarks, and hiring advisors and broker/dealers.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Chief Operating Officer
City of Santa Clara
Speaker
Director of Financial Management & Reporting
Myrtle Beach, SC
Speaker
Director of FInance
City of Branson, Missouri

Whether it’s recruiting the next big business, building a sports stadium, or competing for a large convention, economic development is about generating profitable activity beyond the sum of a community’s parts. This session will focus on several different concepts of economic development and the pros and cons of each. Ranging from sports to entertainment to good, old-fashioned fun in the sun, speakers will discuss both positive and negative experiences and identify lessons learned from each project. Speakers will also cover how to monitor a project to ensure promised benefits are developing as planned.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
411
Moderator
President & CEO
Bronner Group, LLC
Speaker
Director of State Fiscal Studies
National Association of State Budget Officers
Speaker
Principal Associate
National League of Cities

Local governments continue to face the challenge of providing for communities with changing needs. Adding to this stress is pressure from state government, whether in the form of decreased funding, increased mandates or uncertainty around future support. This session will look at the current state budgetary and legislative landscape, predict what you can expect in the future, and provide strategies and recommendations for preparing for how your government can better handle the uncertainty.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
CPA, CPFO, Finance Director
City of Ames, Iowa
Speaker
Gehring Group
Palm Beach Gardens
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of Asheville, NC
Speaker
Chief, Health Account Management Division
California Public Employees' Retirement System

Even though the Affordable Care Act was signed into law almost ten years ago, the debate around health care still continues. Despite this, public employers have carried on, exploring strategies to continue providing highly-valued employee benefits while trying to contain costs.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
Petree D
Speaker
Senior Director
Alvarez & Marsal Public Sector Services, LLC
Speaker
City Manager
City of Manhattan Beach
Speaker
City Manager
City of West Hollywood
Speaker
Deputy Treasurer
Office of the State Treasurer, State of Connecticut
Speaker
City Manager
City of Newport Beach

Whether you are looking for a career change, approaching retirement, or looking to take on general administration, finance officers have many career options after reaching the title of CFO. This session will explore what a CFO can do next from the perspective of a panel of ex-CFOs that have made the jump from the finance officer. Speakers will be able to share advantages and disadvantages of life outside the finance office and answer questions from audience members on both professional and personal considerations of a career change.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer (Retired)
City of Portland
Speaker
Principal
Urban3
Speaker
City Manager
City of Lancaster, CA
Speaker
Managing Director
PFM Group Consulting
Speaker
Director of Financial Justice Project
Treasurer & Tax Collector's Office, City & County of San Francisco, CA

Local governments need revenues. However, the way in which those revenues are raised matters. If taxes or fees are seen as unfair or are levied on a weak part of the local economy, then those revenues - and the local government - will not be healthy for the long-run. In this session, you will hear from two California local governments and national experts who have worked extensively on reforming local government revenue systems to both provide adequate revenues for city services and remaining viable over time.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator/Speaker
Senior Manager, RCC
GFOA

GFOA’s Best Practices in School Budgeting is a budget process framework centered on aligning resources to student outcomes.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Director, Economic Development & Strategic Investments
Travis County, TX
Speaker
Director of Census
Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
Speaker
Deputy Regional Director
Los Angeles Region, U.S. Census Bureau
Speaker
Regional Program Manager, Los Angeles
California Complete Count Census 2020

As the federal government gears up for the 2020 decennial census, local units of government also need to be preparing to make sure all residents are counted in what will be the first-ever electronic census. At this session, learn why the census matters for your community and what your organization can do to help ensure a complete count of your jurisdiction. You will gain a better understanding of the intricacies of the census process from representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, you will learn more about the strategies other local governments are implementing to make sure the census is as accurate as possible.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator/Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of Roseville, CA
Speaker
Manager, Technical Services Center
GFOA
Speaker
Senior Program Manager, Technical Services Center
GFOA
Speaker
Manager, Technical Services Center
GFOA

GFOA has recently updated and reformatted the checklist of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and program requirements for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR Award) Program. In addition to incorporating new GAAP and citations referencing the GASB’s Codification, the checklist focuses additional attention on newer, more complex standards, such as those related to pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB), while somewhat condensing coverage of other topics. This session should be attended by anyone interested in preparing a better CAFR by making the most of this notable resource. This session will also include a discussion of selected common reporting deficiencies noted by reviewers.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
411
Speaker
Finance Director
City of Rosenburg
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Strategic Government Resources

Finance officers in small governments face unique challenges not found in larger organizations. This forum will encourage participants to share challenges and also to offer solutions to the unique needs of small governments. Topics to be discussed include recruiting finance staff and managing with limited resources. GFOA's Small Government Forum is a discussion group that identifies and explores topics of interest to governments with populations less than 25,000.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator/Speaker
Treasurer
Sandoval County, NM
Moderator/Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System
Speaker
Managing Director in U.S. Public Finance
Moody's Investor Services
Speaker
Vice President and Actuary
Build America Mutual
Speaker
Director
S&P Global Ratings

With increased emphasis on pension decisions, how does plan management affect a state and local government’s credit rating? Does it differ for single employer, agent employer, or cost-sharing plans? In this session, learn how rating agencies view funding, assumptions, and governance and what effective financial management strategies plan sponsors can take.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
408 A
Speaker
CFO and Assistant Dean
UCLA Law School
Moderator
Assistant City Manager, Director of Finance
City of Webster Groves, MO

Whether the finance office is explaining certain budget expenditures to the council, making a presentation to a rating agency, or training staff on good internal controls, presentation style and delivery skills matter. All too often, good information can get lost or confused by a presenter that doesn't understand the principles of a good presentation. Public speaking and communication experts will discuss how to avoid common mistakes we all make in our presentations. Attend this session to learn practical tips for analyzing your audience, develop and communicating clear messages, and explaining complex topics (like government finance) to non-technical audiences.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator/Speaker
ERP Project Manager
City of Port Orange
Speaker
Assistant to the City Manager
City of Berkeley
Speaker
Deputy CFO / Director of Financial Planning & Analysis
City of Detroit, MI
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Kenosha County - Public Works and Development Services

ERP system projects are some of the most dreaded in local governments. Many local governments that relied on decades-old systems for critical financial and payroll functions are now facing the reality that a replacement is needed. Anyone that has been through one can tell you that ERP replacement projects are complex, tough, and organizationally challenging. Sound project management techniques, such as quality assurance and active management of your vendor, are pathways to success on your ERP project. But it also takes good leadership, a commitment to best practices, and focused work efforts to yield long-term returns on investment. Hear from ERP implementation veterans as they reflect on their ERP projects, share lessons learned, and discuss how to avoid the many pitfalls that have made ERPs so infamous over the years.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of Asheville, NC
Speaker
National Public Sector Health Practice Leader
Segal Consulting
Speaker
Controller
City of Asheville

Self-insuring your employee health benefit offers the potential for substantial cost saving. However, it could entail some risk. At this session, you will hear from local governments who have self-insured their employee health plans and have done it well. You will learn the strategies they used to keep their plans financially strong, provide a quality benefit for employees, and mitigate the potential for unexpected losses.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
Department Fiscal Administrator
City of San Antonio, TX
Speaker
Debt Finance Manager
San Diego County
Speaker
Assistant Finance Director
City of San Antonio, TX
Speaker
Senior Policy Analyst
U.S. Government Accountability Office

The awareness and implementation of diversity and inclusion programs has become a trend in recent years. Although great strides have been made, both public and private sector organizations still face challenges as the issue itself covers a broad range of topics.