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

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator
Business Services Manager
Bureau of Environmental Services, City of Portland, OR
Speaker
Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Speaker
Managing Director
Swap Financial Group
Speaker
Director of Finance
Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York

Starting in 2022, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) will replace the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as the benchmark for derivative and swap transactions in the municipal market. This session will summarize work done so far by representatives from GFOA to the Alternative Reference Rate Committee (ARRC) on the transition to the alternative rate. Speakers will also discuss the complexities of the conversion process to inform issuers on how they should approach existing and future transactions.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator/Speaker
Assistant County Manager / Budget Director
Thurston County, WA
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
City of Roseville, CA
Speaker
Executive Officer
LA Metro

Referenda are an important tool for funding the business of local government, but they're hardly straightforward. A government's finance officer should play a crucial role in putting referendum proposals in perspective from the fiscal standpoint. Finance officers can provide a thorough analysis about funding that will help the organization put together a referendum that uses taxpayer money effectively and answer residents' concerns about whether the money is really needed and how it will be spent — without any political spin. In this session, finance officers who have extensive experience with referendums will share their tips and ideas to help you make the most of this funding tool.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator/Speaker
Chief Executive Officer
San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA), California
Speaker
Executive Director
Maine Public Employees Retirement System
Speaker
Senior Consultant
The Hyas Group
Speaker
Partner
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

There has been discussion on Defined Contribution (DC) asset allocation and trying to convert them to lifetime income streams. Several plans are looking into re-designing their DC plans. The session begins by examining the current landscape for DC plans, and understanding the fiduciary duties.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator
Senior Debt Administrator
Office of Budget & Finance, Hennepin County, MN
Speaker
Senior Director and Sector Lead – U.S. Public Finance
S&P Global
Speaker
Senior Managing Director
Kroll Bond Rating Agency
Speaker
Head of U.S. Public Finance
Fitch Ratings
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Moody's Investor Services

Finance directors remain mindful about credit rating agency criteria for state and local governments in this rapidly changing environment. This panel will discuss major components and recent changes in methodologies utilized by rating agencies that are important for finance officers to understand. A review of GFOA’s best practice on engaging with rating agencies will also be highlighted.

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.

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
152
Moderator
Director of Finance
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Speaker
Deputy County Executive/CIO
Oakland County, MI
Speaker
Leader, Digital Government
Amazon Web Services
Speaker
Director Infrastructure Consulting Services
ClientFirst Technology Consulting

As governments rely more heavily on software vendors to provide essential applications through the cloud, they also need to understand how to manage and understand the risks with cloud applications. Speakers in this session will discuss how to manage ongoing risk through SLA’s, evaluate system and data security, understand SOC reports, and ensure compliance with HIPPA, PCI, and other standards Attendees will understand key lessons-learned to protect your organization from common risks associated with cloud applications. In addition, important considerations when integrating existing on premise solutions to cloud applications will be discussed.

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of New Bedford, Massachusetts
Speaker
Assistant General Manager
City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department (EMD)
Speaker
Finance Director
County of Chatham, GA
Speaker
Disaster/Flood Recovery Manager
City of Longmont, CO

When the disaster itself is over, governments need to help the community recover and rebuild. These efforts focus on both short-term issues such as safety, clean-up, and restoration of infrastructure and government services; and long-term resiliency efforts including rebuilding in ways that enable the community to withstand future storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is part of that process and helps communities reduce risk, emergency officials preparefor all hazards, and people get back on their feet after their lives are disrupted by a disaster. Experts presenting this session will discuss topics including how to help your community immediately after an emergency; prioritize areas for rehabilitation and rebuilding; and use the lessons learned to lower the risks and costs of the next disaster.

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: 
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.

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.

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.

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 - 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 - 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.

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 - 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.

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 - 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.

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.

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.