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 - 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 - 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 - 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Interim Finance Director
City of Country Club Hills
Speaker
Senior Financial Policy Advisor
Government of the District of Columbia (OCFO)
Speaker
Director of Asset Management
Innovyze
Speaker
Program Manager, Enterprise Financial Systems
Government of the District of Columbia

Making sure that sufficient funding is allocated to capital needs is a challenge for all governments. To get the most out of its assets, it’s imperative governments strategically and quantitatively determine how to allocate scarce funding for asset maintenance and replacement. This session will provide an introduction to developing an asset management program and include recommendations on building an asset inventory, assessing current condition, prioritizing asset maintenance needs, and determining the appropriate time to replace or improve assets. Speakers will also provide recommendations for how to get started for governments of all sizes.

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

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.

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.

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

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 - 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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Administrative Services Director and Finance Director
City of Chico, CA
Speaker
President
Rahban CPA & Consulting Inc.
Speaker
Manager, Accounting I
Ventura County Sheriff's Business Office
Speaker
Principal, Business Risk & IT Services
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
403 B
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of Mesa, AZ
Speaker
Vice President, Market Strategy and Government Affairs
ICMA-RC
Speaker
Chief Operating Officer of Finance
Clerk & Comptroller of Palm Beach County, FL
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer
Virginia Retirement System

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 12:10pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator
Comptroller
New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority
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.

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

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.