Agenda

TuesdayWednesday Thursday Friday

Topics and speakers are subject to change.
This conference was made possible in part through Hotel Occupancy Tax Revenue funded through the City of College Station along with our GFOAT Sponsors.


Tuesday, November 2

Noon–4:00 p.m.
BUDGET PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP– MAKING SENSE OF THE MADNESS: WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MUNICIPAL BUDGETS  (4.0 CGFO/CPE) (box lunch included)
Hullabaloo, 2nd Floor

Whether you are new to municipal budgeting or need a refresher, join us for a discussion that will focus on the fundamentals of a developing a municipal budget. Topics covered will include personnel, capital budgeting, forecasting techniques, revenue and expenditure analysis, and communicating the budget message.
Aaron Rector, Director of Administrative Services, City of Keller; Karen Rhodes-Whitley, Director of Budget and Research, City of Plano; and John Zagurski, Finance Director, Town of Northlake

HANDOUT


Wednesday, November 3

8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
BUDGET PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP – MAKING SENSE OF THE MADNESS: WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MUNICIPAL BUDGETS Continued
(4.0 CGFO/CPE) (continental breakfast included)
Hullabaloo, 2nd Floor

8:00 a.m.
BRUCE TESTA SEMIANNUAL GOLF OUTING
The Bruce Testa Semi Annual Golf Outing is scheduled for Wednesday, November 3 at The Golf Club at Texas A&M. Tee time is 8:00 a.m. with a modify shotgun start. The cost is $55 plus tax per person, which includes the green fee, cart, range, and lunch. This will be a Florida Scramble (bogey is your friend), four closets to the pin contest, and long drive holes contest for men and women. The golf outing is limited to 50 golfers so sign up right away by emailing Tony Sekaly at tony.sekaly@texasclass.com or call 713-502-8575.

10:00 a.m.–Noon
CERTIFIED GOVERNMENT FINANCE OFFICER’S (CGFO’s) EXAM STUDY GROUP
Traditions, 2nd Floor

1:00–2:00 p.m.
PROGRAM COMMITTEE MEETING
Reveille, 2nd Floor

1:30–6:00 p.m.
REGISTRATION
Conference Concierge Desk, 2nd Floor

2:00–3:00 p.m.
GFOAT COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Committee Meetings – Show your commitment to GFOAT and your career; attend a committee meeting and get involved. The informal nature of these meetings allows you to experience more than one committee. You can pick the committee that best suits you.

Ethics and Internal Control Committee – Oak, 2nd Floor
Governmental Affairs Committee – Eagle, 2nd Floor
Membership Committee – Laurel, 2nd Floor
CGFO Committee – Corps, 2nd Floor
Communications Committee – Hullabaloo, 2nd Floor
Scholarship, Fellowship, and Foundation Committee – Ross, 2nd Floor

2:00–4:30 p.m.
CGFO TESTING
Traditions, 2nd Floor

3:00–5:00 p.m.
GFOAT EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
Reveille, 2nd Floor

5:00–6:30 p.m.
WELCOME RECEPTION Music by Ethan J. Hanson
Pool Terrace, 3rd Floor

8:30 p.m.–Midnight
TEXAS HOLD’EM Sponsored by Texas Class
Block T Lounge, 3rd Floor  Music by Ethan J. Hanson
A donation of $25 to the GFOAT Foundation will be taken at the door.


Thursday, November 4

7:00–8:00 a.m.

NETWORKING BREAKFAST
This breakfast is for all conference attendees.
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor

7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
REGISTRATION
Century Ballroom Foyer, 1st Floor

8:00–8:50 a.m.
WELCOME AND OPENING GENERAL SESSION (1.0 CGFO/CPE)
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor


President’s Address
 – GFOAT President Adrienne Lothery, (left) Assistant City Manager, City of Colleyville

Executive Director AddressMartie Simpson,  Executive Director, GFOAT

Welcome and Keynote Address
John Sharp, Chancellor, Texas A&M University

 

 

 

8:55–9:45 a.m.
GENERAL SESSION (1.0 CGFO/CPE)
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor

Legislative Update
After a regular and multiple special sessions this year, TML Executive Director Bennett Sandlin will bring us up to speed on new tax, finance, and administrative bills passed in Austin.  And he’ll give a preview of what to expect in 2023 on property taxes, debt, sales tax sourcing, and much more.

Bennett Sandlin, Executive Director, Texas Municipal League

 

9:45–10:05 a.m.

REFRESHMENT BREAK/SPONSOR NETWORKING
Century Ballroom Foyer

10:05–10:55 a.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS (1.0 CGFO/CPE)

“Healthy, WELLthy and Wise-It’s Dollars and Sense!”
Century Ballroom 1st Floor
Yes. The spelling is correct! This session will provide a practitioner’s perspective on how to make sense of your risk, benefit plans and wellness initiatives so that they work for you instead of against you. We will discuss practical strategies to assess your plans, know your costs, and impact your people and/or your bottom line. Ideas offered vary from free to at-cost options to fit varying needs, staff resources and city culture.
Lisa Norris SHRM-SCP, Human Resources Director, City of Grand Prairie

Hot Topics – American Rescue Plan Act
Corps, 2nd Floor
Come join your colleagues for an open discussion on how the American Rescue Plan Act has benefited your community, and challenges associated with reporting.
Moderated by Aaron Rector, Director of Administrative Services & Finance, City of Keller

General Controls Over Technology—More Important Than Ever repeated on Friday 9:00-9:50 a.m.
Ross, 2nd Floor
Has your organization experienced: a) Frequent network outages, b) Successful ransomware attacks, c) IT implementations that were over budget, past deadlines and never worked as intended, d) Large, unexpected and urgent budget requests from IT, d) High IT turnover, or e) All of the above? If so, you are not alone and General Controls over Technology can help. In their 2013 revision of the Internal Control Framework, COSO added a principal that those responsible for Internal Controls (sounds like Finance to me) but eight years later, many of us still do not understand what this means to us. This course will discuss how to improve general controls from a non-IT perspective.
Robert B. Scott, Assistant City Manager and Chief Financial Officer, City of Carrollton

11:00 –11:50 a.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS (1.0 CGFO/CPE)

From Fishing Trips to Phishing Scams: Today’s Top Municipal Fraud Traps and How to Avoid Them
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor
Fraud can be anything from an employee siphoning off cash to pay for a weekend fishing trip to a complex scheme to divert millions of dollars of municipal funds into a bogus bank account. Join us as we identify some of today’s most common “fraud traps” and review recent fraud cases that made the news so that you can ensure your internal controls are up to date. We will also discuss the emergence of analytics in combatting fraud and look at some of the ways new data tools can help deter fraud, waste and abuse. We will also discuss the emergence of analytics in combatting fraud and look at some of the ways new data tools can help deter fraud, waste and abuse.
Travis Casner, Managing Director of Forensics and Litigation, and Morgan Page, Senior Manager, Risk Advisory Services, Weaver

Navigating a Successful Bond Referendum
Corps, 2nd Floor
Session will include discussion regarding the life cycle of a bond referendum including before and after the election plus hear how the citizens of Plano overwhelmingly approved the largest bond referendum ever through active citizen engagement.
Karen Rhodes-Whitley, Director of Budget and Research, City of Plano and Jason Hughes, Managing Director Hilltop Securities Inc.

Learning the Ropes
Ross, 2nd Floor
Are you interested in becoming more involved with GFOAT? Come learn about leadership opportunities and how can become a part of the GFOAT leadership team.
Facilitated by the GFOAT Leadership

11:50 a.m.– 12:55 P.M.
LUNCH, BUSINESS MEETING, AND AWARDS
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor
Presiding: GFOAT President Adrienne Lothery, Assistant City Manager, City of Colleyville

1:00–2:00 p.m.
GENERAL SESSION – LEAD WITH INFRASTRUCTURE: THE STATE OF LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE (1.0 CGFO/CPE)
Century Ballroom 1st Floor
Local budgets for infrastructure have been stretched to the breaking point. New policy actions – including the American Rescue Plan – contain support for both local government and frontline infrastructure agencies, but the impacts of the pandemic and the economic downturn on budgets, capital plans, and long-term financing will be felt for many years. This panel conversation with experts from local government and finance explores how infrastructure projects and local budgets have been impacted, and what policy tools should be considered as Washington debates stimulus in the months ahead.
Emily Brock, Director, Federal Liaison Center, Government Finance Officers Association

2:10-3:00 p.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS (1.5 CGFO/CPE)

Governmental Accounting and Reporting- The 30,000 foot view
Century Ballroom 1st Floor
For elected officials or even new staff with accounting backgrounds, governmental accounting can be intimidating and difficult to understand. This session will discuss the basic concepts behind governmental accounting, why it is so different from the private sector and how to explain it to elected officials and others. It will also discuss what the role of the annual audit and what the annual financial statements can tell us and just importantly what they can’t.
Robert B. Scott, Assistant City Manager and Chief Financial Officer, City of Carrollton

Utility Rates – Are We Minding the Store on Our Proprietary Funds?
Corps, 2nd Floor
Proprietary enterprise funds provide essential services to your community but can only do so if managed properly. “Minding the store” includes all facets of running these utilities, and neglecting to invest in system needs, staff appropriately or set adequate user rates can be devastating. This session will highlight recent trends and proven best practices finance professionals can employ to help keep their utility operations and related revenues aligned with community objectives.
Chris Ekrut, Partner and Chief Financial Officer; Matthew Garrett, Partner and Managing Director- Water and Wastewater Practice, and Megan Kirkland, Senior Consultant, NewGen Strategies & Solutions, LLC

Traditional and Alternatives to Fleet Replacement
Ross, 2nd Floor
An established fleet replacement program allows for timely vehicle and equipment replacements while helping to avoid long-term maintenance costs. However, creating a fleet replacement program can be difficult due to costs and political buy-in. Join us as we discuss a traditional, cash-funded fleet replacement plan, the challenges of setting-up a new plan, and alternative options for traditional fleet replacement plans.
Aaron Rector, Director of Administrative Services, City of Keller and Jennifer Bertram, Account Executive Enterprise Fleet Management

3:00–3:30 p.m.
REFRESHMENT BREAK/SPONSOR NETWORKING
Century Ballroom Foyer, 1st Floor

3:30–5:00 p.m.
GENERAL SESSION – IT’S NOT JUST WHAT YOU DO; IT’S HOW YOU DO IT THAT MATTERS: A CONVERSATION ON VALUES-DRIVEN LEADERSHIP (1.5 CGFO/CPE)
Century Ballroom 1st Floor
As finance professionals, we prioritize staying on top of the latest trends, rulings, and legislation. Beyond growing our professional knowledge; however, we must prioritize our personal growth better to serve our organizations, communities, and families. This session will discuss essential tools in your soft skills toolkit and stories and lessons learned from a panel of your peers.
Clifford Blackwell III, Assistant City Manager, City of Bedford; Laurie Brewer, Assistant City Manager, City of Georgetown; Blu Kostelich, Chief Financial Officer, City of Lubbock; GFOAT President Adrienne Lothery, Assistant City Manager, City of Colleyville; and John Zagurski, Finance Director, Town of Northlake

6:00–9:00 p.m.
GFOAT’s Howdy Social
The Legacy Club, Kyle Field

We wanna to see you at GFOAT’s Howdy Social featuring William Beckman!
Wear your best Country Chic!
The Legacy Club is located on Level 4 of the west side of Kyle Field (walking distance from hotel and conference center)


Friday, November 5

7:00–8:00 a.m.

NETWORKING BREAKFAST
This breakfast is for all conference attendees.
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor

8:00–8:50 a.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS (1.0 CGFO/CPE)

GFOAT Governmental Accounting Academy Overview
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor
Accountants and auditors new to the public sector must immediately face the daunting challenge of familiarizing themselves with the highly specialized rules, guidelines, and practices applicable to state and local governments. Join us as we discuss the highlights of the three-day workshop intended for those who already possess at least a basic knowledge of private-sector accounting –and combines lecture, discussion, and exercises to help newcomers make this difficult, but essential, transition
Debbie Reid, Director of Finance, City of Amarillo

Burn the Budget Book: Join the Digital Revolution!
Ross, 2nd Floor
Building a GFOA Distinguished Budget document is an extensive, time-consuming, and exhaustive process. The resulting document is long, intimidating to residents, and underutilized outside of the finance department. Digital budget books offer an opportunity to engage citizens in a more user-friendly format that meets all the new criteria set by GFOA. At this session, you will see how two municipalities went about creating their digital budget book. We will showcase two different software platforms used to create the digital budget book:.
John Zagurski, Director of Finance, Town Northlake; and Meg Jakubik, Strategic Services Manager, City of Bedford

9:00–9:50 a.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS (1.0 CGFO/CPE)

Do You Need to Re-Evaluate Your Financial Strategy?
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor
One vital responsibility as finance professionals is to ensure the long-term health of your local government. As experienced in recent Legislative Sessions, the rules by which we are allowed to function are continually changing, and therefore, we must learn to adapt our operations. Join us as we review some of the recent changes in legislation and for a discussion on ways to build resiliency for your organization’s financial future.
Blu Kostelich, Chief Financial Officer, City of Lubbock

Procurement Laws: Current and New Through the 87th Legislative Session
Ross, 2nd Floor
This session will review the current procurement laws, including those recently passed this last legislative session, and answer typical questions regarding the application of procurement statutes.
Diane Palmer-Boeck CPPO, PPMC, Director Procurement and Project Management, City of Plano

General Controls Over Technology—More Important Than Ever repeated from Thursday 10:05-10:55 a.m.
Reveille, 2nd Floor
Has your organization experienced: a) Frequent network outages, b) Successful ransomware attacks, c) IT implementations that were over budget, past deadlines and never worked as intended, d) Large, unexpected and urgent budget requests from IT, d) High IT turnover, or e) All of the above? If so, you are not alone and General Controls over Technology can help. In their 2013 revision of the Internal Control Framework, COSO added a principal that those responsible for Internal Controls (sounds like Finance to me) but eight years later, many of us still do not understand what this means to us. This course will discuss how to improve general controls from a non-IT perspective.
Robert B. Scott, Assistant City Manager and Chief Financial Officer, City of Carrollton

9:50–10:20 a.m.
REFRESHMENT BREAK/SPONSOR NETWORKING
Century Ballroom Foyer

10:20–11:10 a.m.
GENERAL SESSION – HOW TO “COVID”: LEARN TO USE WHAT HAS BEEN A *FOUR LETTER WORD* AS A POSITIVE VERB! (1.0 CGFO/CPE)
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor
Events like hurricanes, the Covid-19 pandemic, and snowmaggedon have impacted how our cities operate and with each experience, our workforce has adjusted. In some instances, being forced to be flexible has opened minds and opened doors to allowing some changes to stick. In this session, we will examine lessons learned from these disaster experiences and how they have allowed organizations to make some positive, lasting changes. What did your organization “Covid”?
GFOAT President Adrienne Lothery, Assistant City Manager, City of Colleyville; Steve Williams, Assistant City Manager/CFO, City of Conroe: Josh Selleck, City Manager, City of Kilgore; and Meg Jakubik, Strategic Services Manager, City of Bedford

11:10 a.m.–NOON
CLOSING GENERAL SESSION (1.0 CGFO/CPE)
Century Ballroom, 1st Floor

State of the Economy
KC provides economic commentary as a regular contributor on Bloomberg TV and Radio, CNBC television, and TheStreet.com. He also spends his time touring major cities across the United States talking to investors about the state of the economy, the banking industry, and financial markets.
KC Matthews, Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer for UMB Bank
Moderator: GFOAT President Adrienne Lothery, Assistant City Manager, City of Colleyville