WPFN Annual Conference Recap

During GFOA’s 117th Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon, WPFN members gathered for the Annual Business Meeting, a networking event, and brunch.

During the Annual Business Meeting, Molly Talkington was elected as WPFN’s 2023-2024 Vice President. Molly will join President-elect Jean Lane and President Ember Strange.  WPFN’s 2023-2024 theme was announced: “Preparing the Next Generation of Women Public Finance Officers.”

During the networking event, WPFN members discussed as a panel and at roundtables consisting of different generations the challenges and strategies surrounding hiring and maintaining a skilled workforce in public finance. WPFN members shared creative ideas to attract talent and foster employee engagement to ensure long-term retention. Key takeaways from the discussion include:

Updating Compensation and Benefits

  • Review and update current employee compensation schedules
  • Premium pay, signing bonuses
  • Update employee benefit plans
  • Provide alternative wellness benefits such as mental health support, gym memberships, and child and adult/elder care services

Building flexible and accommodating workplace environment

  • Provide options to work from home
  • Allow casual workwear
  • Flexible/hybrid scheduling
  • Reduce work week

Promote employee recognition, development and growth:

  • Promote work/life balance
  • Provide flexible promotional opportunities
  • Provide training and educational opportunities for professional developments
  • Offer employee recognition activities such as staff retreat and appreciation events
  • Provide awards to celebrate employees’ professional and personal milestones
  • Create periodic employee surveys to understand staff’s challenges

Creative Hiring

  • Partner with local university and high schools to provide internship programs
  • Update job requirements to attract broader range of candidates

Thank you to all participants. If you were unable to attend this year’s conference, plan to join us at GFOA’s 2024 conference in Orlando, Florida, on June 9–12. Registration will open in late fall.