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


Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator/Speaker
Director, Federal Liaison Center
GFOA
Speaker
Public Finance Director
Indiana Finance Authority
Speaker
Public Finance Director
City & County of San Francisco, CA

This session will highlight the recent tax reform debate and its effect on governments' ability to collect revenues and issue debt. Discussion of legislative proposals that could impact infrastructure finance and online sales tax collection will be discussed. Speakers will also highlight discussions in Washington, D.C., surrounding public pensions, rating agency requirements, and other proposals that impact a government’s comprehensive fiscal structure.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator/Speaker
Executive Director
GFOA
Speaker
Fiscal Officer
Muskingum County Library System, OH
Speaker
Director of Finance
City of Pataskala, OH
Speaker
Director of Legislative Analysis
King County, WA

Over the past year, GFOA has completely revised its approach to ethics based on scientific research indicating what works for promoting ethical behavior. At this session, you will be introduced to GFOA's new code of ethics and learn how you can put it into practice.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
Finance Director
Clark County, Washington
Speaker
Deputy State Auditor
California State Auditor's Office
Speaker
Partner
Grant Thornton, LLP
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of St. Petersburg, Florida

In July 2018, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a new version of its publication Government Auditing Standards (“GAS,” also known as “Generally Accepted Governmental Auditing Standards” or “GAGAS”). The publication is often called "The Yellow Book" based on the traditional color of its cover. Major changes include a new format, expanded independence requirements that may affect the kinds of non-audit services CPAs can provide to their government audit clients, and new guidance on auditor's responsibilities to report on waste and abuse discovered during audits. Other changes, including peer review and continuing education requirements, will directly affect independent auditors and government audit shops that perform their work in accordance with “The Yellow Book” standards. Whether you're an auditor or an auditee, come to this session to hear how these changes will affect you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Room: 
403 B
Moderator
Information Security, IT Operations & Enterprise Services
City of Berkeley
Speaker
Partner
IceMiller
Speaker
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Beauceron Security Inc.
Speaker
Managing Director - North America Security Lead (Health & Public Sector)
Accenture

This session will explore a case study in cybercrime. Speakers will discuss how the victims discovered their systems were compromised and the impacts of the intrusion. Speakers will also describe the steps victims took to successfully (or unsuccessfully) address the issue. The session will close with prevention techniques including non-technology solutions organizations should consider such as retaining legal expertise, technology insurance, and other measures often overlooked or ignored.

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Finance Director
City of Centennial, CO
Speaker
Division Chief
Riverside County Auditor-Controller
Speaker
Director of Finance and Administration
City of Independence, MO

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 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator
Director of Finance
City of Alexandra, VA
Speaker
Partner
Municipal Market Analytics, Inc.
Speaker
Managing Director and Associate General Counsel
SIFMA
Speaker
Attorney
Butler Snow Law Firm

There are a number of issues, both internal and external, that finance officers and other government leaders must have a firm understanding of as they prepare to access the municipal bond market. Local governments must balance an often limited amount of resources with the ever-changing regulatory environment, risks associated with climate change and cyber security, and pressure from investors to disclose information to the market as quickly and accurately as possible. Speakers in this session will discuss what finance officers and debt managers need to be aware of in the current market environment and how it impacts their ability to issue debt.

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 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
411
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
Virginia529
Speaker
Senior Retirement Strategist
Capital Group, Home of the American Funds
Speaker
President, CEO
ICMA-RC
Speaker
Partner and Global Wealth Strategy Leader
Mercer

The panel will discuss participation levels in state and local government pension plans, a review of the funded status of state defined benefit plans and, as a result, the importance of raising awareness and participation in the defined contribution plans. The panel will focus on how to increase government employee awareness and participation in DC retirement savings plans (e.g., 457 plans). The panel will also discuss the rise of state-facilitated retirement savings programs.

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
411
Speaker
Managing Director
PFM Asset Management, LLC
Speaker
City Treasurer / Deputy Finance Director
City of Pasadena
Speaker
Chief Investment Officer
City of Albuquerque
Speaker
Treasurer
City and County of San Francisco

Many large governments approach their investing strategies with a strategic approach. Balancing risk and return help them to achieve their constituents’ expectations of optimizing taxpayer-provided resources. However, the key tenets of safety, liquidity, and return remain intact. This interactive session will provide an opportunity for larger entities to discuss: various aspects of their investment programs, events on the horizon that could impact public sector investing, and share other investing ideas and experiences with their peers.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Room: 
151
Moderator
City Administrator
Mequon, Wisconsin
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City and County of Denver
Speaker
Deputy Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer
Port of Los Angeles

According to the most recent Report Card for America’s Infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the physical condition and needed investment for infrastructure in the United States received a D+ grade. A large portion of the infrastructure in the U.S.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Comptroller
Fairfax County Public Schools
Speaker
Partner
Crowe Horwath LLP
Speaker
Audit Director
Port of Los Angeles
Speaker
Board Member
Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Having an internal audit function provides government officials with an important tool to monitor and evaluate internal control activities that are essential to meeting government’s objectives. Learn why governments should have an internal audit function and how a government can develop and operate an effective one. For governments interested in contracting the internal audit, the session will discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing this function and how to oversee contract auditors to assure effectiveness.

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
Finance Manager
City of Hastings, MN
Speaker
Chief Administrative Officer
Municipality of Borlänge, Sweden
Speaker
Director, Head of Analytical Learning
S&P Global Ratings
Speaker
Organizational Program Manager
City of Boca Raton, FL
Speaker
Senior Consultant
GFOA of Sweden

Do you want to be a leader, a manager, or a coach? To be effective, you might have to be all three. In this session, learn the definition of a leader, manager, and coach and learn when and how to apply these roles. Keep in mind, it’s a balancing act.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator/Speaker
Finance Director
Village of Glencoe
Speaker
Executive Director
University of Central Arkansas Foundation
Speaker
Finance Director
City of Ukiah

Does it seem like the accountants in your organization speak a foreign language? This session will provide an introduction to fundamental concepts of governmental accounting. The session will be led by experienced practitioners and be taught in a question and answer format to resolve some of the most frequently asked questions about GASB standards, GAAP accounting, or specific accounting policies and practices in local government. Time will be reserved in the session for audience questions as well.

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 - 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.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Director of Finance
City of Dublin, OH
Speaker
Chief Program Management Officer
Los Angeles Metro
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of Minneapolis
Speaker
Finance Director
City of St. Helena

Finance leaders may be good at constructing budgets and financial plans but budgeting and financial planning for construction can be challenging. Whether it's the fluctuating cost of asphalt, uncooperative weather patterns, difficult labor unions, or a less-than-financially savvy public works director, completing a successful project requires more than preparing a good budget. This session will explore the role that the finance office can play to create and maintain an effective construction project monitoring function and help reduce the risk of high-profile construction projects going over schedule and/or over-budget.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
403 B
Speaker
Senior Vice President - Finance
Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas
Speaker
Deputy Executive Officer: Planning for Strategic Financial Planning
LA Metro Planning
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Utah Transit Authority

For finance officers working with a specialized mass transit agency, knowledge of the industry may be standard. Finance officers who operate transit services as part of a larger general purpose government, coordinate their government's services with a transit agency, or are looking to better utilize transit to serve a community, should attend this session. Speakers will provide information on the latest mass transit trends and issues; discuss financing opportunities; identify grant programs or other incentives for both transit-focused development and operations; and provide background knowledge to enhance the understanding of the current transit environment across the United States and Canada.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am

James and Deborah Fallows will provide lessons from their journey across America to understand the prospects of cities, towns, and places (many of which represented by GFOA members) who despite the paralysis of national politics are working to craft solutions and make things better. Their work, Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, is a collection of stories from their meetings with hundreds of civic leaders, workers, immigrants, educators, business people, artists, public servants, city planners, and entrepreneurs. They will provide perspective on topics that will help all finance officers confront challenges and work towards building strong communities.

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 - 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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Room: 
408 A
Moderator
Financial Analyst
Sacramento Regional Fire EMS Communications Center
Speaker
Consultant and Actuary
Fort Lauderdale Office of Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company (GRS)
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of Carrollton, TX
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS)

As the current state of other post-employment benefits (OPEB) continues to evolve, certain trends have begun to emerge. This session will review findings of recent research to provide a snapshot of what public-sector employers are doing to manage this growing costs. Join this discussion to learn what current or past practices could be implemented to help prepare for this changing landscape.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator
Controller
City of Rockville, MD
Speaker
Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller
Pinellas County, Clerk of the Circuit Court
Speaker
Partner
RubinBrown, LLP

GASB Statement No. 87, Leases, requires lessor and lessee governments to analyze existing lease agreements to properly measure and report assets, liabilities, revenues, expenditures, and deferred items associated with the new standard. This will have significant ramifications in terms of increasing the level of long-term debt reported by governments that use leased facilities and equipment in their operations. Speakers for this session will provide practical implementation tips including a walk-through of the steps required for analyzing and recording example leases under GASB 87, inferring interest rates when the rate charged by the lessor is unknown, and the use of GFOA’s lease resource tool.