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

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Senior Manager
GFOA
Speaker
Chief Budget Officer
City of Savannah, GA
Speaker
Deputy Chief Financial Officer
City of Detroit, MI
Speaker
Director of Office of Management & Budget
Montgomery County, OH

Budgeting requires funding services to meeting community conditions. For most governments, the traditional budget process supports maintaining the status quo, but this is not always appropriate. Rising costs, changing demographics, societal pressures, economic development, and major challenges facing a community from job loss to opioids to homelessness to gentrification can cause significant shifts in service demand and delivery. What is a finance officer’s role in helping operating departments through these changing service needs? Speakers will discuss lessons learned and how they have worked with operating departments to address challenges related to budgeting for changing service levels and developing public services to meet an ever-dynamic environment

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
Bond Program Manager
City of Dallas, Texas

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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
408 A
Moderator/Speaker
Chief Assistant County Administrator
Contra Costa County, CA
Speaker
Senior Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Speaker
Attorney
Butler Snow Law Firm
Speaker
Partner
Schiff Hardin, LLP

Common legal roles in bond transactions are issuer counsel, bond counsel, underwriter counsel, disclosure counsel, and special tax counsel. For issuers who are infrequently in the market, distinguishing between who to engage and when is important and often a confusing part of the issuance and management of debt. Speakers will share their insights on how best to interact with legal advisors.

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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Founder and CEO
Neighborly
Speaker
Deputy Clerk - Policy & Communications
Cook County, IL
Speaker
Leader, Digital Government
Amazon Web Services
Speaker
Recorder
Washoe County, NV

Blockchain, cyber currency, and practical applications of distributed ledger technology. While government adoption of this technology has been limited thus far, it holds much promise for the future. This session will provide an overview of blockchain technology as well as a discussion of actual applications and what all finance officers need to know about future potential impacts on financial management.

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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Administrative Services/Finance Director (retired)
City of Ontario, CA
Speaker
Budget and Program Evaluation Manager
City of Madison
Speaker
Assistant City Administrator
City of Smithville, MO

Much attention has been put on governments' need to recruit the next generation of finance officers. But what do you do once they are hired? This session will discuss how to on-board your new finance staff and ensure they become effective components of the finance staff. The session will also feature case studies from GFOA's recently released research paper titled Realizing the Best of Both Worlds: An Engaged Workforce and More Satisfied Citizens on how to create and maintain a culture that encourages shared mission and goals between the organization and its staff.

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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Room: 
PeTree C
Speaker
Chief Administrative Officer
Montgomery County
Speaker
Director, Office of the Budget
Regional Municipality of York
Speaker
Co-Founder
ResourceX
Speaker
Finance/Accounting Consultant
University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service
Moderator
Senior Program Manager
GFOA

While every state and local government will eventually develop and adopt a budget, the process to arrive at that final plan can differ substantially. Over time, several common approaches to budgeting have emerged. This session will explain the difference between common approaches including incremental budgeting, zero-base budgeting, target-base budgeting, performance-base budgeting, priority-base budgeting, budgeting for outcomes, and more. Practitioners with experience using each method will discuss advantages, disadvantages, cautionary tales, and overall preferences.

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.

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: 
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 - 8:30am to 10:10am
Room: 
152
Speaker
Deputy Director of Finance
City of Kansas City, MO
Speaker
Senior Vice President, Market Leader
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Speaker
Deputy Treasurer
Town of Cary, NC

GFOA recommends that governments procure banking services through an RFP process, which are discussed in GFOA’s RFP for Banking Services Checklist. Industry experts will discuss how governments should determine their banking services needs related to credit card processing, cash management, and general treasury operations, and know the types of banking services available. In addition to establishing the criteria for a banking services RFP, Industry experts will also address selecting the right bank for your entity, negotiating banking services contracts and fees associated with various services

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: 
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: 
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 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: 
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.

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 - 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.

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.


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