Leadership Workshops at the GFOA Conference

Finance officers are leaders and leadership requires unique skillsets and competencies. While the GFOA conference is an excellent opportunity to engage with subject matter experts and take in over seventy-five sessions related to accounting, budgeting, debt management, treasury, and technology, this year GFOA is providing a new opportunity for attendees to engage in focused leadership training. GFOA is offering three featured leadership workshops facilitated by recognized leadership speakers, coaches, and experts. Each workshop is intended to be interactive to allow attendees an opportunity to engage in discussion, exercises, and opportunities for skill refinement.

Note: Interactive leadership sessions are limited to 250 individuals per workshop and require pre-registration. GFOA will select attendees through a lottery system. To enter your name for a chance to participate in one of these featured leadership workshops, please complete the form at the bottom of this page by May 4, 2023.

GFOA will identify attendees of each leadership session on May 5, 2023.




Date / Time



Common Sense Improvements to the Budget Process

Brian Elms

Monday, May 22 - 2:40 to 4:40



Leaders, We've Got This! Unlocking Belonging in Organizations

Ritu Bhasin

Tuesday, May 23 - 10:20 to 12:00



Leading with Authentic Confidence

Ben Fauske

Tuesday, May 23 - 2:00 to 4:30


Workshop 1: Common Sense Improvements to the Budget Process

The budget process is often referred to as the most consequential in government. However, many staff in government find the steps that organizations go through to create the budget as time consuming, confusing, and outdated. Worse, many approach the process as something to survive missing out on great opportunities to innovate and collaborate. Fortunately, there is a better way and all finance officers can learn simple strategies for process improvement that can be applied to your budget process. In this session, join Brian Elms in an interactive workshop to break down key components of the budget process and apply proven process improvement strategies to eliminate waste, achieve better outcomes, and become a leader (and hero) in your organization.

About the Instructor: Brian Elms

Brian Elms

Brian Elms is the author of Peak Performance and an Urban Leadership Fellow at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He served as the Director of Peak Academy and Analytics for the City and County of Denver for more than five years. Brian specializes in government innovation and process improvement providing management expertise to government agencies, elected officials, and nonprofits.

“Irreverent, honest and straightforward,” Brian is nationally recognized for sparking innovation in governments throughout the country. His work has been replicated in more than a dozen cities around the country.

Brian is a Lean Black Belt, a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, and a Change Management Professional. In his prior role as Director of the Peak Academy, he developed curriculum, training, and consulting services that focus on employee-led performance management and continuous improvement. Since its inception in 2012, Peak Academy initiatives have saved the City and County of Denver more than $30 million and the Academy has provided training to more than 7,000 public and nonprofit professionals.

Workshop 2: Leaders, We've Got This! Unlocking Belonging in Organizations

Many team members feel constant pressure to mask and curate who they are at work—to perform as someone they're not rather than be who we are. And it strikes at their ability to belong. But, as leaders, by cultivating psychological safety, trust, inclusion, and creativity in how we work, we can unlock belonging in our organizations for everyone. In this practical, research-driven session, award-winning speaker and author Ritu Bhasin will uncover:

  • The key pillars for unlocking belonging in your organization as a leader
  • How to leverage the Three Selves Framework™ in how you lead and manage teams and stakeholders
  • How to create cultures that are rooted in belonging, psychological safety, trust, inclusion, innovation, and empowerment
  • Leadership strategies for fostering empathy, authenticity, and trust

About the Instructor: Ritu Bhasin

Ritu Bhasin

Ritu Bhasin, LL.B. MBA is the CEO and Founder of bhasin consulting inc. (bci) and an award-winning speaker, author and internationally recognized expert in diversity, equity and inclusion, authentic leadership, anti-racism and personal empowerment for people from equity-seeking communities. As a passionate advocate for authenticity, equity and belonging, she’s presented to hundreds of thousands of people around the world and personally coached over a thousand people. Her Amazon bestselling book, The Authenticity Principle, was released in fall 2017.

Workshop 3: Leading With Authentic Confidence

Over-confidence is repelling and under-confidence stalls progress. Both can be toxic and difficult to address. In this session, learn how to find, coach, and communicate with Authentic Confidence. This type of confidence attracts talent, teamwork, and the results you deserve in your career. Hear author and coach Ben Fauske share lessons learned from real-world experiences coaching thousands of leaders. In this session, you will walk out with a concrete plan for how to find, coach, and communicate confidence in every area of your career and life.

About the Instructor: Ben Fauske

Ben Fauske

Ben is a confidence researcher who equips leaders with the tools to build their ideal careers. His clients describe him as passionate and committed to their success. Thousands of leaders have accelerated their careers through the Authentic Confidence Process. Prior to founding RISE Leadership and creating the Authentic Confidence Process, Ben was the Director of Organizational Development for a Canadian based multi-national corporation with over 1100 employees, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. He led the training and leadership development process from the executive level to the shop floor.

Ben specializes in executive coaching, culture development, employee engagement and performance management. Ben has led strategic planning and designed talent and culture assessments for individual and team development. Organizations looking to implement a leadership development platform to increase employee engagement and drive productivity have found significant results in the customized process. Ben works with service driven organizations including: startups, non-profits, governmental agencies and large corporations. His clients describe him as passionate, invested, and committed to the process of individual and organizational development.

Workshop Interest Form

The RSVP period to request to attend one of the leadership sessions is now closed.