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2019 Conference

2019 Annual Statewide Conference

Forging The Future

April 28 – May 1, 2019
The Penn Stater Hotel, State College, PA

The 33rd Annual GFOA-PA Statewide Conference offers education, resources and networking opportunities that support high standards in finance for all governmental entities in Pennsylvania. Long-time members of our organization will not want to miss this occasion and those who haven’t attended a conference in the past will be in for a great first time. This is the one event of the year where you can gather with your peers from across the Commonwealth in an atmosphere charged with learning, sharing, and understanding. As always, this year’s conference is also a great way to earn CPE and APMM credits.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

11:00 am – 7:00 pm Registration area open
3:00 pm – 3:50 pm

Foundations of Governmental Accounting, Part 1

Tracey L. Rash, Maher Duessel CPAs

For all of you who are new to the world of governmental accounting, and even those of you who need a refresher, this presentation will cover the very basics of governmental accounting, including what resources are available for you, what a fund is, what a basis of accounting is, and what gets reported in what fund. Come and ask the questions that you’ve wondered about since starting in this wonderful world of governmental accounting.

4:00 pm – 4:50 pm Foundations of Governmental Accounting, Part 2
3:00 pm – 3:50 pm

Debt Administration for the 21st Century

Andrew Flynn, Aquorn, Inc.

Public agencies are faced with increasing pressures and responsibilities related to their borrowing programs. Regulators, investors, rating agencies, oversight boards, and citizens are all demanding more transparency and efficiency. In this session we will discuss the evolving risks of managing a borrowing program and the application of technology to make those programs more transparent, secure and efficient.

4:00 pm – 4:50 pm

Internal Controls: What Could Go Wrong and Best Practices

Karen Mahoney, SEK, CPAs & Advisors
William Oyster, SEK, CPAs & Advisors

Effective internal controls are the responsibility of management, and are necessary to protect assets from accidental/fraudulent loss; ensure information is timely, accurate, and complete; ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and promote efficient and effective operations. The session will include an overview of the components of internal controls, examples of what could go wrong, and best practices.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Welcome Reception and Exhibit Hall Open

Come and meet with fellow GFOA-PA members and visit with our supporting exhibitors for an early reception. Following the reception, you are free to enjoy a nice dinner in town or at the hotel’s restaurant.

Monday, April 29, 2019

7:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration Area Open
7:00 am

Optional Informal Fun Run/Walk

Interested participants will meet in the main level courtyard, near GFOA-PA registration.

Why run or walk alone in the morning when you can join new and old friends? Get some exercise and fresh air to start your morning off “on the right foot!” Participants will meet in the Penn Stater’s main level courtyard and divide into two groups: one to walk and one to run. There are 1-mile, 2-mile, and 3-mile routes available; the decision is yours, but all will be fun!

8:00 am – 9:00 am

Breakfast with Exhibitors or New Member Breakfast

8:00 am – 7:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Open

9:00 am – 9:15 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Judy Kording, President

9:15 am – 10:35 am

A Day in the Life of a Nerdy Government Finance Professional

Beth Ziesenis, Your Nerdy Best Friend

So many apps…so little time. How can you put the technology at your fingertips together to make your life easier at work and home? This fast-moving, laugh-filled session takes you hour-by-hour through the day in the life of a tech-savvy government finance professional. You’ll learn how a professional nerd solves a security crisis before 10:00 am, learns to make more out of a lunch hour with a set of virtual hands, saves money on software before the staff meeting, and brings the team together online before the day is done. Participants will:

  • Understand how technology fits into every part of the day
  • Learn about technology systems that streamline projects and tasks
  • Get a vision for how the technology in each toolbox works together
10:35 am – 10:45 am

Break with Exhibitors

10:45 am – 11:35 am

Commonwealth Fiscal Challenges and Mounting Pressures on Local Budgets

Eric Kim, Fitch Ratings
Shannon McCue, Fitch Ratings

The Commonwealth has some budget issues it needs to deal with and there will be implications for local governments (tax changes, school aid). By April/May of next year, the re-elected (or new) governor will have introduced their executive budget so that could be a natural jumping off point for this discussion. Discussion would also center around pressures from pension costs and significant healthcare increases which would reduce the total share of local spending for other critical budget items. Our speakers will comment on the Commonwealth and local governments.

10:45 am – 11:35 am

The Top 10 Things a New Government Finance Officer Needs to Know

Raymond Palmer, Silver Spring Township
Tracey L. Rash, Maher Duessel CPAs

Are you new to the world of government finance? Did your predecessor leave you any guidance? Are deadlines slipping past and people speaking in acronyms that you don’t understand? This session will help those new to government finance and those that need a refresher with the top 10 things a seasoned finance director would believe a new finance officer should know.

11:35 am – 12:00 pm

Annual Membership Meeting

12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Lunch and Visitation with Exhibitors

1:20 pm – 2:10 pm

Preventing Employee Theft and Embezzlement

David A. Worthing, M & T Bank

Are you confident that you are protecting your local government entity from internal fraud? Have you considered and addressed any holes in your practices and procedures? Attend this session to learn about internal controls and why they are so important, as well as common fraud exposures and how you can reduce its risk.

1:20 pm – 2:10 pm

What You Told Us: The Power of Trust

Steven Gibson, GFOA President

In the world of public finance, trust can be a powerful word. What does it mean to the organization internally and externally? What impact does it have on the effectiveness of the organization? Over the past couple of years, GFOA has been looking at trust through several lenses. In this session, learn about the steps we’re taking to revise GFOA’s Code of Professional Ethics and our current research on trust.

2:10 pm – 2:20 pm

Break with Exhibitors

2:20 pm – 3:10 pm

Cybersecurity in Today’s World

Jeffrey J. Wiley, M & T Bank

Mr. Wiley will share with the audience the role of Cybersecurity and the threats we need to be aware of in government. He will define Cybersecurity and the roles it plays in everyday lives along with educating individuals on recognizing the threats we may see on a daily basis.

2:20 pm – 3:10 pm

A Balancing Act: Ethics, Controls, and Efficiency

Steven Gibson, GFOA President

Governments are challenged to operate more efficiently, but as public finance officers we exercise caution over concerns of internal controls. Is there a way we can balance it all? During this interactive session, we will ask participants to address this question and how we can contribute to a high performing finance organization that values trust.

3:10 pm – 3:20 pm

Break with Exhibitors

3:20 pm – 4:10 pm

Labor Costing in the Face of Rising Retirement Costs, Part 1

Charles D. Francis, OpenGov
Marita J. Kelley, Center for Local Government Services
Jasmine Nachtigall-Fournier, GovInvest Inc.

During labor negotiations, agencies struggle to cost-out all the complex proposed benefit changes requested by groups. Often, negotiations can get delayed for months with less than ideal outcomes. This session will discuss strategies to quickly cost-out proposals while clearly communicating the fiscal impact of proposed changes to decision-makers and stakeholders.

3:20 pm – 4:10 pm

A Local Government Guide to Financial Policies

Jennifer L. Diercksen, Davenport & Company LLC

Effective financial policies play an important role in a local government’s fiscal health. This session will explore the various types of financial policies, their key components, as well as the process by which these policies are established. The session will also discuss the associated benefits that result from the adoption of such policies, including an overview of how they are viewed by the rating agencies and their potential impact on credit ratings.

4:10 pm – 4:20 pm

Break with Exhibitors

4:20 pm – 5:10 pm

Labor Costing in the Face of Rising Retirement Costs, Part 2

4:20 pm – 5:10 pm

The Case for Payment Automation

Mark Romito, CPFO, Township of Upper St. Clair
T B D, Nvoicepay

Why do local governments still make so many payments by paper check, even as technology has made checks nearly obsolete in the consumer world? Learn why and how Upper St. Clair Township completely eliminated paper checks, creating significant savings and reliable income through payment automation.

5:45 pm – 6:30 pm

Reception with Exhibitors

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Dinner

8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

After-Dinner Networking

Relax after dinner with coffee, cordials, and the famous Penn State Creamery sundae bar! Enjoy a relaxing atmosphere where you can easily converse with your fellow conference attendees. You may even choose to participate in some fun games, such as Yard Yahtzee and cornhole.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

7:00 am

Optional Informal Fun Run/Walk

Interested participants will meet in the main level courtyard, near GFOA-PA registration.

7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Registration Area Open

7:45 am – 8:45 am

Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:45 am – 10:55 am

GASB Update

Deborah Beams, CPA, Governmental Accounting Standards Board

Our speaker will provide an overview of the GASB standards that become effective in the coming fiscal years. Find out what is in progress at the Board level, on the agenda and scheduled for future consideration.

10:25 am – 10:55 am

Break with Exhibitors

10:55 am – 11:45 am

Best Practices in Multi-Year Projections

Vieen Leung, Public Financial Management
Jamie Schlesinger, PFM Financial Advisors LLC

You know how hard it is to keep your government’s finances in balance from year to year. You’re scrambling to make sure to you collect enough revenues to keep providing the services your residents expect and it seems like the gap between what you have and what you need keeps growing. What if there is a better way to think about how to keep your finances balanced over the long term? Multi-year financial planning can help you rethink that challenge. We’ll talk about why you want to do multi-year planning, how to do these projections, ways to use them, and why they can be key to reframing your annual budget challenges.

10:55 am – 11:45 am

Cleaning Up Costly Traps in Your Collective Bargaining Agreement

David E. Mitchell, Esq., Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller. P.C.,
Shon K. Worner, Esq., Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller. P.C.

Lurking in many collective bargaining agreements is often overlooked language that hinders employers’ ability to manage efficiently and cost effectively. This session will identify common provisions that can increase your costs and complicate managing employees. Emphasis will be placed on provisions to propose eliminating or adding in upcoming collective bargaining.

11:45 am – 12:45 pm

Lunch for Non-Golfers

11:45 am

Rob Lent Cup Golf Outing at the Penn State Blue Course (optional, additional fee)

12:30 shotgun start with a box lunch included

Learn more about the Penn State Blue Course here.

12:45 pm – 2:15 pm

Escape Room (optional, additional fee)

Escape Room Inc. is an interactive, immersive puzzle game located in downtown State College. Filled with riddles, gadgets, and mind tricks, the mysteries behind the Escape Room doors will challenge you and your teammates to a period of isolation where only problem solving, creativity, and resourcefulness will set you free. Space is limited for this event, and registration is available on your conference registration form.

12:45 pm – 1:35 pm

Taming the Beasts: Trends in Funding and Investing Pensions and OPEB

William Burns, Vanguard
Joshua Mayhue, Conrad Siegel
Maureen Toal, Public Agency Retirement Services

This session explores new and innovative approaches to managing long term retiree benefit obligations including pensions and retiree healthcare, managing GASB 68 and GASB 75, low fee and cutting edge investment strategies, sources of funding and financing, benefit designs, case studies from Pennsylvania municipalities/authorities and trends from around the country.

1:35 pm – 1:45 pm

Break

1:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Optional GFOA Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO) Exam

Register online at www.gfoa.org/cpfo

1:45 pm – 2:35 pm

Simplified Leadership- Confidence or Another Word for Trust

Rajesh “RC” Chainani, PSDLAF
Chase Byler, PSDLAF

Trust is the building block for every relationship, especially professional relationships and interactions. The focus of this interactive workshop, including the fun and interactive exercises, will be on the key drivers that can help an individual grow a very tangible asset.

2:35 pm – 2:45 pm

Break

2:45 pm – 3:35 pm

Top 10 Ways to Strengthen Your Banking Relationship

Garrett Macdonald, Three Plus One

Learn how to effectively communicate and manage expectations with your bank/bank administrator; learn the value of liquidity and understand the importance of how much your cash flow is worth to you and your bank; learn the value of a tailored treasury service plan specifically designed for your entity; know the advantages of soft bank fees and hard bank fees; and learn the new banking technologies available in the marketplace and why you should implement them in your office.

3:35 pm – 3:45 pm

Break

3:45 pm – 4:35 pm

Communicating Financial Results to Constituents

Jeff Kowalczyk, Arbacane, Thornton & Company LLP

Your monthly and annual financial reports contain a wealth of information that is valuable to board members, lenders, and members of the public. But between the budget, state filings, and your annual financial statements, the amount of information available and differences in measurements can lead to more questions than answers. This presentation will focus on ways to highlight key financial results, explain differences in measurements and focus between reports, and get constituents the information they need to make informed decisions.

5:45 pm – 10:00 pm

Open Evening and Dine-Around

Restaurant menus and sign-up sheets will be available in the GFOA-PA registration area. Most restaurants will be accessible via our complimentary shuttle, but others may require private vehicles, taxis, or Uber rides. The shuttle will depart for downtown State College beginning at 5:45, and will run a continuous loop until the last one departs downtown at 9:45 pm. Please make sure to have your GFOA-PA badge with you in order to access the shuttle.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

7:00 am – 11:45 pm

Registration Area Open

7:00 am

Optional Informal Fun Run/Walk

Interested participants will meet in the main level courtyard, near GFOA-PA registration.

7:30 am – 8:30 am

Breakfast

8:30 am – 9:20 am

Creating Job Descriptions and Why They Need to be Accurate

Elliot Dinkin, Cowden Associates, Inc.

Job descriptions fulfill many roles. They are an account of duties, responsibilities and reporting relationship. Understanding the legalese of job descriptions, the do’s and do-not’s as well as their importance as written documents and how they fit into the overall philosophy of an organization.

  1. How to create effective job descriptions
  2. What to do and not do when creating job descriptions
  3. Understanding the importance and legal aspects of accurate job descriptions
  4. How job descriptions fit into overall organizational philosophy
9:20 am – 9:30 am

Break

9:30 am – 10:20 am

Development of Job Description Through Interviews

Elliot Dinkin, Cowden Associates, Inc.

The session will discuss how to develop job descriptions utilizing interviews. The interviews will be conducted with managers, and employees for various job classifications and seek to identify key criteria to determine minimum requirements. We will discuss the type of information required related to skills, education, experience, licensing requirements, and other needed capabilities.

We will discuss how obtaining information from both the manager and employee perspectives also will identify any gaps or misinterpretations of the job requirements.

We will demonstrate mock interviews for managers and employees that will show how what managers believe are required and what the employees’ job is vs. what the employee feels their job is, and how to utilize
both perspectives to develop the ultimate job description.

  1. Understanding the requirements of job descriptions
  2. Ensuring both managers and employees are on the same understanding
  3. Bridging the managers and employees perspectives to develop an accurate job description
10:20 am – 10:30 am

Break

10:30 am – 12:10 pm

Five Key Principles for Effective Leadership

Ken Graham, Ph.D., Development Dimensions International

Whether you lead an entire organization or are the informal leader of a project, your success as a leader depends on the quality of your interactions with others. In this presentation, Ken Graham will demonstrate five key principles that will transform your interactions with direct reports, peers, and managers to maximize your effectiveness as a leader. In this interactive presentation, learn how to give meaningful feedback, meet people’s personal and practical needs at work, and achieve results by building interpersonal relationships.

12:10 pm – 12:30 pm

Door Prizes

12:30 pm

Conference Concludes

Free Time
Time has been set aside on Sunday and Tuesday evenings to ensure you have opportunities for visiting State College. In addition, Monday’s dinner is designed to provide networking opportunities for all participants.

Taking the Wealth Home
Speakers are asked to provide handouts in advance. Approximately one week before the meeting, the materials we have received will be made available online to registered attendees. Through a protected link, there will be the option to make a printed copy to bring along. Handouts will also be available on the conference mobile app.

Rates

Government Official Early Bird (on or before March 15)

Government Official Member $400
Government Official Non-Member $475

Government Official Early Bird (after March 15)

Government Official Member $425
Government Official Non-Member $500

All Other Registrations

Business Associate Member $425
Business Associate Non-Member $500
Sunday Only $150
Monday Only $275
Tuesday Only $275
Wednesday Only $150
Golf, 18 Holes $65
Escape Room $25
Additional Guest Meal Plans $225

Education

CPE Credits:
Has a potential of 19.0 hours for the full program.
Credit type will depend on sessions attended.

APMM Professional Education Credits:
Applied for a maximum of 9.5 credits.

Go to www.gfoapa.org for updates on the hours
approved as information becomes available.

See information provided on-site for your certificate
of attendance, program sponsor numbers, and any
other continuing education updates.

Sponsorships & Exhibitors

If your company provides products and services to members of GFOA-PA, you want to be at GFOA-PA’s annual statewide conference next year. The conference is again taking place at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.

A sponsorship builds your brand and gains you respect as a company that supports the professionalism of our members.

Learn more about becoming a sponsor

The conference also offers exhibit opportunities to showcase your company to finance officers who are hoping to draw on the knowledge of specialized experts, increase their support networks and prepare for future purchases.

  • GFOA-PA puts you in touch with individuals working in financial positions at all levels of government throughout Pennsylvania.
  • The 2019 conference is expected to attract more than 300 municipal financial officers, municipal managers, and public finance professionals.
  • Sponsors are acknowledged to the entire membership of more than 500 people on the mobile app and in the newsletter.
  • Sponsors get double exposure with a free exhibit booth included at all sponsor levels.
  • Exhibits are the focus of multiple functions to ensure profitable face-time, your best way to build relationships.

Last year, exhibit space sold out, so please act fast to guarantee your space. Marketing opportunities are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Learn more about becoming an exhibitor

Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel

Penn Stater Hotel

The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel

215 Innovation Boulevard
State College, PA 16803-6603

Reservations: 800-233-7505
Front Desk: 814-863-6603
www.thepennstaterhotel.psu.edu

The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel is the location for the 2019 Annual Statewide Conference. A limited number of guest rooms have been blocked for our registrants at the reduced group rate of $129.00, plus hotel occupancy tax.

To make reservations:
Call toll free, 800-233-7505 and use this reference number: GFOD19B or mention you are with GFOA-PA. We do not suggest using the online reservation system. The discount will expire on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The group discount applies until March 28 or until the block is filled, whichever comes first. GFOA-PA cannot guarantee room availability.

Kickstart your government finance career today!

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