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. Information on each session including speakers, bios, handouts, and more is available below.

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

89 Sessions

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Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
151
Moderator/Speaker
City Manager (retired)
City of San Clemente, CA
Speaker
Director of Professional Services
Benchmark Analytics
Speaker
Director of Planning and Research (retired)
Houston Police Department

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
Room: 
152
Moderator
Deputy County Administrator
Sonoma County
Speaker
Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer
Lakota Local School District
Speaker
Finance Director
City of Madison, WI

Preparing for the role of a chief financial officer is challenging; each day is different. Being flexible and learning on the job is key, and navigating how to provide technical expertise while communicating in a political environment can be difficult. This session will feature several senior CFOs who will share lessons learned from their careers. Stories will highlight case studies of successes and failures to advise on actions you should consider or avoid in your own career.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
403 A
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 - 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.

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.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Assistant Treasurer
City of Chicago
Speaker
Senior Portfolio Manager
Hilltop Securities Asset Management
Speaker
Assistant City Adminsitrator/Chief Financial Officer
City of Franklin, TN

Government officials have a fiduciary duty to serve the interests of their entity and protect public funds. Even when governments rely on the advice of outside professionals, that duty remains intact. External advisors such as investment advisors and municipal advisors have federally mandated fiduciary duties to put the interest of their clients (governments) ahead of their own. Other market players – such as brokers – are impacted by factors like suitability standards and some federal regulatory actions. This session will give an overview of what the parameters of fiduciary duty standards are for internal government staff as well as external professionals to help governments understand what is expected of themselves and others.

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

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.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
150
Moderator
Director
Public Financial Management (PFM), Inc.
Speaker
Debt Manager
City of Portland
Speaker
Budget Manager
Department of Administration, Waukesha County, WI
Speaker
Interim Finance Director
City of Saint Paul, MN
Speaker
Financial Analyst, Office of Public Finance
City and County of San Francisco, CA

GFOA will host a networking session designed specifically for governments that have achieved an AAA rating. This session will allow delegates to discuss the unique challenges in achieving and maintaining that esteemed rating.

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 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator
Former Director of Finance
Clackamas County, Oregon
Speaker
Business Manager
Upper Moreland School District
Speaker
Director, Institute for Applied Economics
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Speaker
Director
KNN Public Finance

Are we headed for a recession? Some economists are worried economic expansion will not continue and warn to tread cautiously. Recognizing strong revenues might not continue, some governments are already preparing for a bear market. In this session practitioners from local governments will share their preparation strategies for thinking about budgeting over the long term. Speakers will discuss an economic outlook on state and local governments and provide perspectives on unique considerations for state and local governments as they engage in long-term financial planning.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator/Speaker
Finance Director
Summit County
Speaker
Deputy Human Resources Director
Riverside County
Speaker
Deputy Finance Director
County of Fairfax, Virginia

Finance officers and human resource managers provide core administrative services that many organizations split into multiple departments. This can lead to tension, conflict, and inefficiency. Although recognizing that these departments serve various purposes and should be different, they often need to work together. This session will feature views from both finance and human resource professionals on balancing purpose, style, culture, and goals between distinct functions. Speakers will share how they stepped out of their box to understand different stakeholder viewpoints. Techniques that consider leadership styles will be emphasized. Working arrangements, such as service level agreements, policies, and business process strategies for creating a more cohesive delivery of services, will also be addressed. Lessons learned during this session may also apply to any process requiring cooperation among multiple organizations.

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.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
411
Moderator/Speaker
Senior Policy Advisor
GFOA
Speaker
Assistant General Manager
City of Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department

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.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator
Director of Finance and Administration
City of Independence, MO
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Breckinridge Capital Advisors
Speaker
Senior Manager, Business Development
BondLink
Speaker
Deputy Director - Bond Division of Finance
State of Florida

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.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
Director of Finance
Township of Upper St. Clair, PA
Speaker
Finance & Central Services Division Manager
Anoka County, MN
Speaker
Budget Director
School District of Palm Beach County
Speaker
Finance Director
Lake County, IL

Even as governments have utilized online procurement mediums and purchasing card technology in recent years, implementation of a comprehensive P-card function can still be challenging from process, technology, and management perspectives. This session will focus on the pros and cons of P-cards, how to manage the implementation of a P-card program, and tips for developing, training, and enforcing organizational policies on P-card use. The session will also address developing P-card policies, building a relationship with your P-card provider, preventing fraud, integration of P-cards with your ERP system, and managing difficult departments/users.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
150
Moderator
Senior Manager
GFOA

Are you a young public finance professional looking to build your professional network? Join us in this interactive session to network with peers across the U.S. and Canada. During this session, you will have an opportunity to discuss issues you and your organization are facing and seek advice from other GFOA members aged 40 and under.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Assistant Division Chief, Financial Office
CalPERS
Speaker
Senior Vice President & Actuary
Segal Consulting
Speaker
Senior Research Associate
Center for State & Local Government Excellence
Speaker
Research Manager
National Association of State Retirement Administrators

What is going on in the world of public pensions? This session will highlight trends seen across pension plans and the implications they have on state and local government finance offices. Representatives from pension plans and other industry experts will provide updates on changing standards and requirements and inform finance officers what they should be aware of in the coming year.

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 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of Aurora
Speaker
Executive Vice President
Alliant Insurance Services
Speaker
Vice President
Swiss Re
Speaker
Senior Vice President
SwissRe
Speaker
Division Director
City of Miami Beach

Insurance helps protect against the consequences of rare events that have a big, negative impact. However, because the events that insurance protects against are rare, we often don’t think much about it as we should. In this session we will examine some of the latest trends in using insurance to protect against risk. You will also see how insurance and other risk management strategies complement each other. Attend this sesson to hear from insurance industry experts as well as government practitioners who have sought to optimize their government’s approach to insurance, thereby better protecting their community from the unexpected.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer (Retired)
City of Portland
Speaker
Consultant/Retired CEO, County of San Bernardino
Speaker
Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
County of San Bernardino

Financial sustainability is more likely to occur if everyone is working towards that goal. However, finance officers sometimes feel that the actions of department heads or independent elected officials are not financially sustainable. At this session, you will hear about how the independently elected sheriff of San Bernardino County and the appointed chief executive officer built a relationship which enabled the County to meet its public safety objectives and be financially sustainable. The lessons you will learn are equally applicable to the relationship between finance officers and departments heads in all types of governments and across all functional area not limited to public safety.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator
Debt Manager
Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority
Speaker
Partner
Bracewell LLP
Speaker
Senior Counsel to the Director
Securities and Exchange Commission
Speaker
Capital Finance Director
State of Wisconsin
Speaker
Deputy General Counsel
Stifel Financial Corp.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved amendments to Rule 15c2-12 that will affect the entire municipal bond market. While the SEC Rules do not directly require issuers of municipal securities to adhere to disclosure requirements, issuers have a responsibility to abide by their continuing disclosure agreements (CDA). Language related to disclosing bank loans and capital leases is required in CDAs beginning in February 2019. This session will discuss how the issuer community has responded to the amendments and what finance officers can expect moving forward.

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 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
Hall G
Moderator
Past Controller
Chicago Public Schools
Speaker
Director, Technical Services
GFOA
Speaker
Executive Director
National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers (NASACT)
Speaker
Chairman
Governmental Accounting Standards Board

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.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator
Treasurer
City of St. Paul, MN
Speaker
CEO
Vulcan Consultants, LLC
Speaker
Chief Investment Officer
Alameda County
Speaker
Senior Portfolio Manager
KCM Investment Advisors

With the Great Recession lingering in the minds of finance professionals, as well as having a more dynamic market than in previous years, governments need to be aware of what these changes in the market landscape mean for state and local governments. It is also critical that finance officers are able to discuss these trends with members of their governing bodies and the public in an accessible way. This session will provide attendees with an overview of how to review their existing investment policies and what types of investment strategies may be needed in the near future related to investment portfolios, and how to best communicate the investing landscape to those outside the finance office

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Senior Manager, RCC
GFOA
Speaker
Corporate Controller
City of Winnipeg’s Corporate Finance Department
Speaker
Director of Finance
City of Colwood, BC

GFOA's Canadian Update will focus on best practices and feature case study examples from two recent recipients of GFOA's Award for Excellence. This session will also include a facilitated discussion around the state of "best practice" implementation in Canadian governments.


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