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

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Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
Hall G
Moderator
Past Controller
Chicago Public Schools
Speaker
Director, Technical Services
GFOA
Speaker
Executive Director
National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers (NASACT)
Speaker
Chairman
Governmental Accounting Standards Board

Speakers will provide a comprehensive overview of the key developments in accounting, auditing, and financial reporting that affect state and local governments. Topics covered will include recently promulgated standards and upcoming implementations with related practice issues as well as developments related to current GASB projects likely to affect issuers and auditors in the near future.

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 - 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: 
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.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:55pm
Room: 
Hall G
Moderator/Speaker
Associate Professor, School of Accountancy & MIS
DePaul University
Speaker
Chief Inspector
U.S. Marshals Service

The city comptroller and treasurer of Dixon, Illinois, stole $53 million of public funds across 20 years–making her the perpetrator of the largest case of municipal fraud in American history. She used the funds to build one of the nation’s leading quarter horse-breeding empires, all while forcing staff cuts, police budget slashing, and neglect of public infrastructure. While extreme, her story provides learning opportunities for all local governments to better protect themselves against the next case of fraud. Speakers will share their unique and direct experience with this situation and provide recommendations for all governments.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
PeTree C
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of Aurora
Speaker
Executive Vice President
Alliant Insurance Services
Speaker
Vice President
Swiss Re
Speaker
Senior Vice President
SwissRe
Speaker
Division Director
City of Miami Beach

Insurance helps protect against the consequences of rare events that have a big, negative impact. However, because the events that insurance protects against are rare, we often don’t think much about it as we should. In this session we will examine some of the latest trends in using insurance to protect against risk. You will also see how insurance and other risk management strategies complement each other. Attend this sesson to hear from insurance industry experts as well as government practitioners who have sought to optimize their government’s approach to insurance, thereby better protecting their community from the unexpected.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
151
Moderator/Speaker
City Manager (retired)
City of San Clemente, CA
Speaker
Director of Professional Services
Benchmark Analytics
Speaker
Director of Planning and Research (retired)
Houston Police Department

Government budgets are driven upward by personnel costs and related benefits. Generally, one of the biggest personnel budgets belongs to the police department. However, the nature of services that police do exposes local governments to additional financial risk. While they make headlines across the country for the social impact, everything from car accidents, bias and discrimination lawsuits, employee relations issues, to excessive force cases and more can have a significant financial impact. This session will features speakers that help discuss some of these difficult issues from the perspective of a finance officer and provide recommendations for how to limit the financial risk that is inherent within public safety.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
PeTree D
Moderator
Deputy Finance Director
City of Charlotte
Speaker
Director of Research and Technical Activities
Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)
Speaker
Director of Business Services
Ascension Parish School Board

GASB continues to evaluate making changes to its reporting model which received its last comprehensive review in the project leading to the adoption of GASB Statement No. 34 issued in 1999. Speakers will provide an update on this important project. Attend so you can provide feedback to the GASB and comment on how these potential changes will affect your government.

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

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Room: 
151
Moderator
Chief Financial Officer
City of Asheville, NC
Speaker
National Public Sector Health Practice Leader
Segal Consulting
Speaker
Controller
City of Asheville

Self-insuring your employee health benefit offers the potential for substantial cost saving. However, it could entail some risk. At this session, you will hear from local governments who have self-insured their employee health plans and have done it well. You will learn the strategies they used to keep their plans financially strong, provide a quality benefit for employees, and mitigate the potential for unexpected losses.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 2:40pm to 3:30pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Senior Manager, Membership Engagement
GFOA
Speaker
Communications Manager
City of Tigard
Speaker
Budget Officer
City of Thousand Oaks, California

When engaging the public on finance and budget-related matters on social media, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for a large city probably doesn’t work for a small town. Similarly, different types of organizations may find they need a different approach to attract followers. At this session, speakers will provide examples from a variety of organizations who use social media but adopt different approaches. Speakers will also discuss how to effectively present finance and budget-related topics to citizens and how all organizations can engage the public through video, polling, and more.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 3:50pm to 5:05pm
Room: 
411
Moderator/Speaker
Senior Policy Advisor
GFOA
Speaker
Assistant General Manager
City of Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department

GFOA's Black Caucus supports the aspirations and achievements of African-American public finance officers, helps them pursue professional development opportunities, and sponsors projects which assist African-Americans seeking careers in government finance.

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

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:10pm
Room: 
403 A
Moderator
Senior Manager, RCC
GFOA
Speaker
Corporate Controller
City of Winnipeg’s Corporate Finance Department
Speaker
Director of Finance
City of Colwood, BC

GFOA's Canadian Update will focus on best practices and feature case study examples from two recent recipients of GFOA's Award for Excellence. This session will also include a facilitated discussion around the state of "best practice" implementation in Canadian governments.

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.

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 - 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 12:00pm
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.

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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.

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.

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.


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