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

Pages


Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:00am

Peter Bregman will speak to GFOA delegates on how to handle difficult situations, maintain your ground in the face of uncertainty, respond productively to opposition, act powerfully and courageously, and build your leadership pressence.

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.

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 - 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 - 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.

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.

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.

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator/Speaker
Grants Accounting Supervisor
City of Fort Worth
Speaker
Owner / Director of Governmental Audit Quality
Rehmann, LLC

Intergovernmental grants make up a significant portion of the funds available to many governments, providing resources for some of the most important public services like education, housing, and public safety.

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 - 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.

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.

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: 
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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator
Accountant
City of Peoria
Speaker
Senior Vice President
Simmons Bank
Speaker
Chief Financial Officer/Director of Administrative Services
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Every government finance officer worries about internal and external fraud exposures facing their government. Even the most robust policies and controls may not prepare a government against the fraud of the future. This session will highlight various fraud schemes involving internal and external sources. Attendees will also learn about methods for identifying fraud, and how to have appropriate internal controls to safeguard against such events.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Innovation Practice Lead
Change and Innovation Agency
Speaker
Department Fiscal Administrator
City of San Antonio, TX
Speaker
Executive Director
Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, Inc.
Speaker
Economist
California Legislative Analyst’s Office

Whether new taxes are supported by the community or not, the finance officer plays an important role in tax administration by ensuring that taxes are collected efficiently, fairly, and correctly. Speakers in this session will discuss how governments implemented new sales taxes, marijuana taxes, sugar taxes, land taxes, business taxes, or adjusted existing taxes to changes in legislation, court rulings, or citizen behavior governments. In addition, speakers will highlight key impacts that governments can expect from the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision and the streamline sales tax initiative.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Room: 
411
Moderator
Senior Manager, RCC
GFOA

GFOA's Urban Forum will provide networking opportunities and speakers discussing issues facing larger organizations, in particular GFOA attendees representing governments from metropolitan areas with over 1,000,000 people. Specific discussion topics will be based on a survey of GFOA Urban Forum members and will be announced in May.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Room: 
Hall G
Moderator
Managing Director, Public Finance Group
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
Speaker
Treasurer
State of California

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, CPA will address several hot topics her administration is facing in California similar to states across the United States. Come to this session to hear about the vital role of the municipal bonds in the capital markets, advocacy for affordable housing and other current challenges facing local government, such as marijuana tax revenues and pensions. Treasurer Ma will discuss some of the policy challenges and solutions of her administration and provide food for thought as other states address similar challenges

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.

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 - 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.

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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Room: 
411
Speaker
Finance Director
Town of Hillsborough, NC
Speaker
Finance Director
City of Golden, CO

Finance officers in small governments face unique challenges not found in larger organizations. This forum will encourage participants to share challenges and also to offer solutions to the unique needs of small governments.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Management & Budget Director, OMB
Mecklenburg County Government
Speaker
Finance Director
City of San Luis Obispo
Speaker
Director of Financial Management
City of Long Beach, California
Speaker
Chief Financial Advisor
City of Boulder, CO

By design, government makes tough decisions every day. Even well-seasoned budgeteers can recall when they first learned to say "no." This session will provide recommendations from experienced finance and budget officers on how to have difficult conversations; coordinate an effective process that facilitates discussion and collaboration; and involve elected officials in the decision making process early enough to better balance competing demands in the face of varying pressure.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:50pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator/Speaker
CFO
Huntsville Utilities
Speaker
Debt Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Speaker
President/CEO
Municipal & Financial Services Group

Utility finance requires detailed knowledge in rate setting, enterprise accounting, asset management, and understanding regulations. This networking group is composed of GFOA members from utility organizations and municipalities that operate utilities.