Conference Sessions

GFOA’s Annual Conference will include more than 75 concurrent sessions featuring leading practitioners, subject matter experts, and top researchers. Each session will contain 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. GFOA’s concurrent sessions will be organized into separate “core” tracks that focus on essential elements within public financial management. GFOA will also place an emphasis on emerging topics that provide finance officers with information critical to supporting their organizations and communities in today’s current environment.

The complete program for the GFOA annual conference is now available below.

89 Sessions

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Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Speaker
Director, Technical Services
GFOA
Speaker
Chairman
Governmental Accounting Standards Board
Speaker
Executive Director
National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers (NASACT)

Speakers will provide a comprehensive overview of the key developments in accounting, auditing, and financial reporting that affect state and local governments. Topics covered will include recently promulgated standards and upcoming implementations with related practice issues as well as developments related to current GASB projects likely to affect issuers and auditors in the near future.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Moderator/Speaker
Chief Budget Officer
City of Savannah, GA
Speaker
Finance Director
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, TN
Speaker
Deputy Chief Financial Officer
City of Detroit, MI
Speaker
Director of Office of Management & Budget
Montgomery County, OH

Budgeting requires funding services to meeting community conditions. For most governments, the traditional budget process supports maintaining the status quo, but this is not always appropriate. Rising costs, changing demographics, societal pressures, economic development, and major challenges facing a community from job loss to opioids to homelessness to gentrification can cause significant shifts in service demand and delivery. What is a finance officer’s role in helping operating departments through these changing service needs? Speakers will discuss lessons learned and how they have worked with operating departments to address challenges related to budgeting for changing service levels and developing public services to meet an ever-dynamic environment

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Speaker
Budget and Program Evaluation Manager
City of Madison
Speaker
Administrative Services/Finance Director (retired)
City of Ontario, CA
Speaker
Assistant City Administrator
City of Smithville, MO

Much attention has been put on governments' need to recruit the next generation of finance officers. But what do you do once they are hired? This session will discuss how to on-board your new finance staff and ensure they become effective components of the finance staff. The session will also feature case studies from GFOA's recently released research paper titled Realizing the Best of Both Worlds: An Engaged Workforce and More Satisfied Citizens on how to create and maintain a culture that encourages shared mission and goals between the organization and its staff.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Speaker
Budget Director
City of Baltimore, MD
Speaker
Co-Founder
Center for Priority Based Budgeting
Speaker

While every state and local government will eventually develop and adopt a budget, the process to arrive at that final plan can differ substantially. Over time, several common approaches to budgeting have emerged. This session will explain the difference between common approaches including incremental budgeting, zero-base budgeting, target-base budgeting, performance-base budgeting, priority-base budgeting, budgeting for outcomes, and more. Practitioners with experience using each method will discuss advantages, disadvantages, cautionary tales, and overall preferences.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Speaker
Associate Professor, School of Accountancy & MIS
DePaul University
Speaker
Retired Partner
Clifton Larson Allen
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, including the City's attorney and representatives from the U.S. Marshall's office,will share their unique and direct experience with this situation and provide recommendations for all governments.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of Aurora
Speaker
Senior Client Manager and Vice President
Swiss Re

Insurance helps protect against the consequences of rare events that have a big negative impact. However, because the events which insurance protects against are rare, it can be easy for insurance to fade into the background. This session will demonstrate smart practices in using insurance and applying risk management. You will learn how to help optimize your government’s approach to insurance, thereby better protecting your community from the unexpected.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm

Government budgets are driven upward by personnel costs and related benefits. Generally, one of the biggest personnel budgets belongs to the police department. However, the nature of services that police do exposes local governments to additional financial risk. While they make headlines across the country for the social impact, everything from car accidents, bias and discrimination lawsuits, employee relations issues, to excessive force cases and more can have a significant financial impact. This session will features speakers that help discuss some of these difficult issues from the perspective of a finance officer and provide recommendations for how to limit the financial risk that is inherent within public safety.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Speaker
Director of Business Services
Ascension Parish School Board
Speaker
Director of Research and Technical Activities
Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

GASB continues to evaluate making changes to its reporting model which received its last comprehensive review in the project leading to the adoption of GASB Statement No. 34 issued in 1999. Speakers will provide an update on this important project. Attend so you can provide feedback to the GASB and comment on how these potential changes will affect your government.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Speaker
Deputy Director of Finance
City of Kansas City, MO

GFOA recommends that governments procure banking services through an RFP process, which are discussed in GFOA’s RFP for Banking Services Checklist. Industry experts will discuss how governments should determine their banking services needs related to credit card processing, cash management, and general treasury operations, and know the types of banking services available. In addition to establishing the criteria for a banking services RFP, Industry experts will also address selecting the right bank for your entity, negotiating banking services contracts and fees associated with various services

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer, Director of Finance and Management Services
City of Asheville, NC
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Segal

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.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Moderator
Senior Manager, Membership Engagement
GFOA
Speaker
Communications Manager
City of Tigard
Speaker
Budget Officer
City of Thousand Oaks, California

When engaging the public on finance and budget-related matters on social media, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for a large city probably doesn’t work for a small town. Similarly, different types of organizations may find they need a different approach to attract followers. At this session, speakers will provide examples from a variety of organizations who use social media but adopt different approaches. Speakers will also discuss how to effectively present finance and budget-related topics to citizens and how all organizations can engage the public through video, polling, and more.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Moderator/Speaker
Senior Policy Advisor
GFOA

GFOA's Black Caucus supports the aspirations and achievements of African-American public finance officers, helps them pursue professional development opportunities, and sponsors projects which assist African-Americans seeking careers in government finance.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Speaker
Treasurer
State of California

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, CPA will address several hot topics her administration is facing in California similar to states across the United States. Come to this session to hear about the vital role of the municipal bonds in the capital markets, advocacy for affordable housing and other current challenges facing local government, such as marijuana tax revenues and pensions. Treasurer Ma will discuss some of the policy challenges and solutions of her administration and provide food for thought as other states address similar challenges

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
Moderator
Finance Director/Treasurer
City of Minnetonka
Speaker
Bond Program Manager
City of Dallas, Texas
Speaker
Local Government Specialist
Local Government Finance Professionals Queensland Inc.
Speaker
Director of Accounting
San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans); Caltrain; San Mateo County Transportation Authority

GFOA's Committees have recently developed a number of best practices that provide guidance to finance officers in all types of organizations on how to organize, manage, and implement an effective capital improvement and capital asset management program. Leading practitioners will highlight GFOA's best practices provide examples of capital planning policies, capital asset management, capital reserve and replacement policies, and procedures for capitalizing and tracking assets and asset improvements.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:10pm
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Iowa Finance Authority
Speaker
Executive Director
Minnesota Higher Education Facilities Authority

Conduit debt is issued by governments that may or may not be responsible for its repayment, repaid by obligors via lease-like agreements that don't get accounted for as leases, and result in assets to which governments may or may not ever hold title. Come learn about GASB's newest (anticipated) guidance and how it will affect government issuers of conduit debt.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Speaker
Chief Operating Officer
Clerk & Comptroller of Palm Beach County, FL
Speaker
Vice President, Market Strategy and Government Affairs
ICMA-RC

Since the Great Recession, defined contribution (DC) plans have increasingly garnered attention among public employers. Join this session to hear how DC plans have evolved in the public sector and some of the top issues they face including the challenges of keeping participants in the plan and creating lifetime income streams for plan participants. This session will feature a discussion led by administrators of DC plans and cover the various strategies they have adopted including asset allocation and plan offerings.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Speaker
President
Rahban CPA & Consulting Inc.
Speaker
Principal - Business Risk & IT Services
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Speaker
Manager, Accounting I
Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Speaker

Government services must be able to withstand not just natural disasters, but also other emergencies such as terrorist attacks, cyber crimes, mass shootings, and IT fraud. Ensuring your government’s ability to provide essential services during and after a disaster means planning to protect critical systems and business processes. In this session, experts will discuss the components of a business continuity plan and include how to manage IT systems, handle accounting tasks, prepare necessary invoices, maintain internal controls, and safely accept and distribute funds, . This session will highlight case studies of entities who have had to address these issues – and the tips they have to help other governments prepare for the unforeseen.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Moderator
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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Moderator
Finance Director
City of Centennial, CO

Ideally, all GFOA members would have great managers who help them succeed and make them feel valued. Unfortunately, not everyone has this ideal situation. In fact, in GFOA’s recent survey regarding employee engagement and job transitions, the number one reason for a member to leave an organization was due to conflicts with their supervisor. During this session, speakers will discuss strategies on how to manage up, evaluate the overall situation at hand, and assess if it is really time for a change.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
West Basin Municipal Water District
Speaker
Technical Specialist
North Dakota Office of the State Auditor
Speaker
Budget Director
School District of Palm Beach County
Speaker
Audit Senior Manager
Grant Thornton

So you're in the process of evaluating items you account for in your fiduciary funds to see if they qualify as fiduciary activities under GASB 84. But what do you do with the items that don't qualify? In addition to discussing GASB's new standards and implementation guidance, this session will look at how to determine the correct accounting for the assortment of items previously reported as fiduciary.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Moderator/Speaker
Director of Finance
City of Westerville, OH
Speaker
Controller
City of Los Angeles, CA
Speaker
Budget Operations Manager
City of Kansas City, MO
Speaker
Finance & Central Services Division Manager
Anoka County, MN

As stewards of shared resources, finance officers are tasked with managing public funds in an efficient and effective manner. Inherent in this role is an expectation of accountability and transparency to the community being served. As the availability of information has grown, the methods of accountability and transparency have rapidly evolved. This session will explore the meaning and purpose of financial transparency and how budget and performance information can be clearly communicated to the public. Speakers will address what financial transparency is in the modern era and why it’s important to enhance financial reporting and budgeting.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Moderator
Interim Finance Director
Bradley, Il
Speaker
Director, Capital Improvement Program
DC Government
Speaker
Senior Financial Policy Advisor
DC Government
Speaker
Director of Asset Management/Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute
Innovyze/ASCE

Governments often struggle to properly fund asset maintenance and as a result end of replacing assets sooner. This session will provide an introduction to life cycle costing and explain how governments can implement this strategy to save money and more effectively maintain assets. Topics covered will include what is life cycle costing, why finance officers should be interested, how governments that have successfully implemented it, and some of the various benefits they have reaped from it. Life cycle costing is integral to an organization's ability to efficiently and effectively allocate scare resources to get the best return on investment for your capital assets.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Speaker
Senior Manager, Business Development
BondLink
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Breckinridge Capital Advisors

Over the years there has been a greater breadth of investors interested in municipal bonds. Whether it is retail investors wanting to contribute to their community’s growth and well-being, or an international fund investor that is attracted to the safety and other positive attributes of municipal securities, governments need to know how to attract a variety of investors in today’s market. This session will focus on how issuers can market their communities and investment opportunities to this diverse and steadily growing pool of investors.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 1:30pm to 2:20pm
Speaker
SVP Corporate Security
Sierra-Cedar

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.


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