Overview
Schedule
Rates
Education
Sponsors & Exhibits
Accommodations
Registration

Plan to Attend the GFOA-PA Annual Statewide Conference

April 19 – 22, 2020

The Penn Stater Hotel, State College, PA

The 34th GFOA-PA Annual Statewide Conference will offer 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.

Schedule of Events

Sunday, April 19
11:00am – 7:00pm Registration Area Open
3:00pm – 3:50pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2)
3:00pm – 3:50pm Foundations of Governmental Accounting, Part 1
Jennifer CruverKibi, CPA, Maher Duessel
This session will address basic governmental accounting concepts. The presenter will also discuss how such concepts apply to governments, including practical journal entries that need made to produce governmental financial statements.
3:00pm – 3:50pm Ransomware: To Pay or Not to Pay
Joe Strain, RSM,
Jason Bullock, RSM
Ransomware: To pay or not to pay… That all depends on your internal
controls. Is your organization prepared for ransomware and the aftermath? Ransomware is designed to circumvent common security controls with ease, and bring your business to a halt. It also preys on the vulnerability that cannot be patched: the user. During the presentation, we will address these topics, and provide actionable guidance on how to prepare for and recover from ransomware attacks.
4:00pm – 4:50pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2)
4:00pm – 4:50pm Foundations of Governmental Accounting, Part 2
Jennifer CruverKibi, CPA, Maher Duessel
This is a continuation of the previous session.
4:00pm – 4:50pm What Can Excel do for You?
William D. Oyster, CPA, SEK, CPAs & Advisors,
Karen Mahoney, SEK, CPAs & Advisors
We will look at step-by-step instructions to aid users in creating searchable data using the filter feature and running pivot tables to create better reporting. We will provide examples of key indicators
that users can utilize within their municipalities, and how they can easily compile information using Excel. We will review more commonly
used functions, as well as less common tips and tricks.
5:00pm- 6:30pm 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 dinner in town or at the hotel’s restaurant.
Monday, April 20
7:00am – 5:00pm Registration Area Open
7:00am 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 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 to choose.
8:00am – 9:00am Breakfast with Exhibitors or New Member Breakfast
8:00am – 7:00pm Exhibit Hall Open
9:00am – 9:15am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Judy Kording, President
9:15am – 10:35am Sticks & Stones Exposed: The Truth Behind Words and Relationships
Dave Weber, Weber Associates
This hilarious presentation zeroes in on the power of our words and the impact they have on the culture and climate of an organization, an office, and a department. What kind of atmosphere are our words creating? One in which coworkers strive to work as a strong team for the sake of the organization’s goal? Or one that is breeding an inability to trust and work together? Discover how to transform your environment and your relationships and how to build a great “community” within your group, office, and your family, while having the most fun ever!
10:35am – 10:45am Break with Exhibitors
10:45am – 11:35am Concurrent Breakout Sessions
10:45am – 11:35am Achieving the Goals of the Municipality as One Team
Brian Shapiro, Montgomery Township, Stephanie Teoli Kuhls, Middletown Township
An interactive discussion on the importance of individual departments
working together to achieve the goals of the municipality. Discussed will be the relationship between the finance department, which provides internal customer service, and the other departments, which provide external customer service, and how they can work together to complete various projects.
10:45am – 11:35am Streamline Payroll and Eliminate Hours Worked
Discrepancies
Steven Usarzewicz, PrimePoint
This session will review how automated time systems will greatly
reduce the amount of time required to process payroll, as well as eliminate discrepancies in hours worked, whether those discrepancies
are the result of human error or intentional.
11:35am – 12:00pm Annual Membership Meeting
12:00pm – 1:15pm Lunch and Visitation with Exhibitors
1:20pm – 2:10pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2)
1:20pm – 2:10pm Recent Developments in The Municipal Bond Market
David Unkovic, McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
Zachary Williard, PFM Financial Advisors, LLC
Timothy Frenz, Janney Montgomery Scott
In this session, three experience public finance professionals, including an underwriter, a municipal advisor, and a bond counsel, will review recent developments in bond issues. The topics will include an update on the municipal bond market, the effect of the market on the elimination of advance refundings, and the use of forward purchase agreements and taxable bonds in lieu of tax-exempt advance refundings; and recent changes in secondary market disclosure requirements.
1:20pm – 2:10pm Are Sponsors Taking on More Risk Than They Think?
Amy Crouse, EA, ASA, MAAA, Cowden Associates, Inc.
In an economy where benefit funding requirements are continually increasing, some sponsors are reluctant to change their investment return assumption, which is the basis for measuring future obligations, such
as pensions. The markets have changed and you may be taking on more risk than you think. This session will discuss how underlying investment risks and volatility has changed, why you may be taking on more risk than you thought by keeping with the status quo and the various risks and consequences surrounding the investment return assumption.
1:20pm – 2:10pm Marrying Labor Costing and Position Budgeting
Marita J. Kelley, MPA, Dept. of Community & Economic Development
Jasmine Nachtigall-Fournier, Charles D. Francis, GovInvest
Because most labor agreements are effective for several years, an agency’s labor relations strategy must be aligned with its financial and strategic planning process. As part of the planning process, an agency
must estimate the impacts of current contracts, as well as proposals for the next contracts, to assess its future financial condition and evaluate its ability to maintain services and expand or initiate new programs. In this session, you’ll learn about calculating and incorporating the costs of labor during negotiations into the budgeting and long-term financial planning processes.
2:10pm – 2:20pm Break with Exhibitors
2:20pm – 3:10pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (3)
2:20pm – 3:10pm GASB 87: Understanding and Implementing the New Lease Accounting Standard
Andrew Lee, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Mandy L. Merchant, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Luke Winter, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
GASB 87 fundamentally changes lease recognition, measurement, and related
disclosures for both government lessees and lessors. The standard will be effective for periods beginning after December 15, 2019, so it is imperative that your state or local government understands the new reporting requirement, and acts quickly to implement any necessary changes.
2:20pm – 3:10pm Cyber Exposure
Andrew DiProspero, H.A. Thomson
In this session, we will review the current cyber threats facing local governments, including ransomware and social engineering. We will discuss risk management to combat these threats, and provide information on cyber insurance policy coverages and limits available.
2:20pm – 3:10pm Municipal Pension Committee: Establishing and Managing via a Prudent Process
Alexander D. Langan, Esq., CFBS, Langan Financial Group
In this session, you will learn the roles and responsibilities of committee members, how to establish a pension committee, and how to manage the committee utilizing a prudent process with proper governing
documents.
3:10pm – 3:20pm Break with Exhibitors
3:20pm – 4:10pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (3)
3:20pm – 4:10pm The Cost of Harassment: Preventing Liability from Elected Officials
Michael R. Galey, Esq., Fisher & Phillips LLP
This session provides an overview of types of harassment, while offering practical tips to address these issues with elected officials and senior managers. Michael Galey is an employment attorney and elected official
who will help attendees understand their obligations and responsibilities while responding effectively to harassers who can’t be fired.
3:20pm – 4:10pm Healthcare Cost Drivers and Practical Cost Containment Strategies
Stephen J. Fallon, Insurance Buyers’ Council, Inc.
Tanya Pokhodenko, MSA, CEBS, Delaware Valley Health Trust
Healthcare costs continue to rise at a pace significantly faster than the overall inflation rate, putting a strain on municipal budgets throughout Pennsylvania. This presentation will review the factors driving healthcare costs, and will provide practical cost containment strategies and best practices in implementing these strategies.
3:20pm – 4:10pm Triggering the Next Economic Downturn
Dimitri Delis, Piper Jaffray
As weaker global growth and trade wars buffet the US economy, the risk of a slowdown increases. The US economy is showing signs of strain that may motivate the Fed to continue to cut rates. Corporate debt may be the next bubble to burst. Interest rates have nowhere to go but down.
4:10pm – 4:20pm Break with Exhibitors
4:20pm – 5:10pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (3)
4:20pm – 5:10pm Counting What Counts
Tyler Frame, three+one
This presentation will provide a framework for finance officials to think about their cash from three different perspectives, in an effort to enhance their liquidity strategies. Efficiencies in the marketplace will be discussed to inspire new ways of managing cash flow and liquidity.
4:20pm – 5:10pm The Science and Art of Finance for Capital Equipment Replacements
Vince Visoskas, Middletown Township
Would you like to start a capital replacement program for your community, but don’t know where to begin? This session will provide you with guidance on how to begin a program. It presents a case study on how Middletown
Township developed its Public Works Equipment Replacement Program over a summer, and will offer tips on how you can implement a similar program.
4:20pm – 5:10pm Single Audit Compliance: Preparing for Success
John W. Compton, Jr., CPA, CGFM, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
Federal financial assistance is a significant element of state and local government budgets, affecting programs ranging from education to infrastructure. The administrative requirements for grand management (“Uniform
Guidance”) are complex. This session will provide insight into the process and steps grant managers can take to ensure a successful single audit.
5:45pm – 6:30pm Reception with Exhibitors
6:30pm – 8:00pm Dinner
8:00pm – 11:00pm After-Dinner Networking
Relax after dinner with coffee, cordials, and fun! Details are coming soon for this event.
TUESDAY, APRIL 21
7:00am Optional Informal Fun Run/Walk
Interested participants will meet in the main level courtyard, near GFOA-PA registration.
7:30am – 5:30pm Registration Area Open
7:45am – 8:45am Breakfast With Exhibitors
8:45am – 10:25am I’m Spread So Thin You Can See Through Me!
Logan Weber, Weber Associates
In business, as the sheer volume of work has grown, everyone is being asked to do more, with less, faster, cheaper, safer, and better. Most busy professionals have more on their plates than ever, and have acquired all kinds of tools like smartphones, iPads, Google, Microsoft Outlook, or IBM Notes in their search for help in managing all the details. This workshop teaches a ‘process’ to manage all those details and never have anything fall through the cracks!
10:25am – 10:55am Break
10:55am – 11:45am Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2)
10:55am – 11:45am Changing Technology in the Public Sector
Andrew Flynn, Aquorn, Inc.
This session is an overview of the changing technology landscape as it relates specifically to debt issuance and administration for public agencies. The presenter will also address the possible impact
on finance teams across the country.
10:55am – 11:45am Collective Bargaining Bootcamp
David E. Mitchell, Esq., Campbell Durrant, P.C.
Shon K. Worner, Esq., Campbell Durrant, P.C.
Enthusiastic new elected officials with no prior experience in bargaining sometimes want to jump right in to negotiating your expiring collective bargaining agreement. How can they get ready? This session will discuss drafting proposals, responding to union arguments, bargaining trends, the status quo obligation, and the duty to bargain in good faith.
11:45am – 12:45pm Lunch for Non-Golfers
11:45am Rob Lent Cup Golf Outing at the Penn State Blue Course (optional, additional fee)
18 hole scramble | Tee time format with a start at 12:30 pm | Box lunch included
Learn more about the Penn State Blue Course here.
12:45pm – 2:15pm Optional Offsite Event: Details Coming Soon (times listed are tentative, additional fee)
12:45pm – 1:35pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2)
12:45pm – 1:35pm The Finance Function’s Role in Economic Development
Dan Connelly, Econsult Solutions, Inc.
Brittany Forman, Econsult Solutions, Inc.
Municipalities across the state are facing budget pressures that grow stronger each year. There is a direct link between local economic conditions and long-term municipal fiscal health. Our session will describe the finance function’s role in economic development, with special focus on incentives such as TIF, LERTA, and federal Opportunity Zones.
12:45pm – 1:35pm Detecting Cyber Threats in Real Time
Karen Grosset, Tyler Technologies
Craig Bowser, Borough of State College
No organization is immune to cyber-attacks. One wrong click, from any employee, can put your organization at risk. Join our session to learn about how criminals bypass traditional defenses, and how you can identify an attack before it becomes a breach.
1:35pm – 1:45pm Break
1:30pm – 5:00pm Optional GFOA Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO) Exam
Times are tentative; registration details coming soon
1:45pm – 2:35pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2)
1:45pm – 2:35pm Philadelphia Parking Authority: A Case Study on Managing OPEB Liabilities
Christopher Nawn, Philadelphia Parking Authority Dennis Mullins, CFA,
US Bank Institutional Asset Management Maureen Toal,
Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS)
This session is an in-depth examination of how the Philadelphia Parking Authority manages its retiree health care (OPEB) obligations. We will discuss how the Authority achieved full funding in
2019, including its trust, investment, benefit, and funding strategies, and lessons learned that have applications to other local governments in the state.
1:45pm – 2:35pm Preventing Employee Theft and Embezzlement and Real-World Examples
David A. Worthing, M&T Bank
Joseph Barbagallo, CPA, CVA, CFF, CFD, CFE, CFS, CFI, ABV, FCPA, CGMA, MAFF, Barbagallo & Associates PC
This session will address internal controls and provide real-world examples of employee theft. Participants will learn how to use both to help prevent theft, embezzlement, and fraud in municipalities.
2:35pm – 2:45pm Break
2:45pm – 3:35pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2)
2:45pm – 3:35pm Defined Contribution Plans: What’s New and Best Practices
Marilyn Collister, Empower Retirement
This session will focus on state and local governmental DC plans. Learn how recent legislative and regulatory changes impact your plan, and how the lessons learned from participant lawsuits can help you mitigate fiduciary risk. Specific best practices and action items for prudent plan governance will be discussed. A number of changes to governmental defined contribution plans are expected to take effect in 2020.
2:45pm – 3:35pm Internal Control Essentials for Small and Medium Sized Governments
Jeffrey A. Kowalczyk, Barbacane Thornton & Company, LLP
This session will highlight the ways that small governments, and the individuals tasked with running and governing them, can effectively implement internal control policies and procedures to protect the government’s assets, as well as the reputation of the government and the individuals.
3:35pm – 3:45pm Break
3:45pm – 4:35pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2)
3:45pm – 4:35pm Record Retention Practices and Strategies for
Municipal Fee Billing
Michelle Portnoff, Esq., Portnoff Law Associates, Ltd.
Jason Leininger, Esq., Portnoff Law Associates, Ltd.
Kevin Buraks, Esq., Portnoff Law Associates, Ltd.
This session will cover best practices concerning the retention of municipal fee billing records. The question of whether to save or destroy will be answered! Discussion topics will include: statutes of limitation, spoliation of evidence, and transitioning to a new software program.
3:45pm – 4:35pm Health Care Design Strategies for Reducing OPEB Liabilities
Colleen Deer, Mockenhaupt Benefits Group
Michael Boyd, Mockenhaupt Benefits Group / Municipal Benefits Services
This session will provide an outlook of the retiree health care market and cost drivers, as well as an overview of effective strategies for managing and reducing costs and the impact to OPEB liabilities.
Specific case studies will be reviewed.
5:45pm – 10:00pm 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, APRIL 22
7:00am – 11:45am Registration Area Open
7:00am Optional Informal Fun Run/Walk
Interested participants will meet in the main level courtyard, near GFOA-PA registration.
7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast
8:30am – 9:20am GASB Update
Pam Dolan, 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.
9:20am – 9:30am Break
9:30am – 10:20am Preparing for Change: Leadership Succession Planning
Elizabeth Vibber, Bee Bergvall & Co., a Catalyst Center
Change happens, whether we’re ready for it or not. A well-considered plan is a guide to prepare for a planned departure, but also provides direction and stability when a leadership change is unexpected. During this session, we will look at a variety of departure scenarios and discuss factors to be considered in each.
10:20am – 10:30am Break
10:30am – 12:10pm Simplified Leadership 102: Be A Human Leader Without Losing the Human Part Rajesh Chainani, PSDLAF
“Successfully Managing Change” is just the beginning. Even for leaders. The next step is clarity while caring. “Saying what you think while also showing you care about the person you’re saying it to.” Why does something so simple feel so radical? Because it’s easy to say, hard to do. Being kind means caring about what’s best for the person long-term, not just what feels easiest right now. Being clear means leaving no room for interpretation about what you really think — while also being open to the possibility that maybe your opinion is wrong. Clarity works best when it works both ways in a discussion. This interactive workshop focuses on moving from “Command-and-Control” to a “Successful Collaboration” mindset via a discussion that provides multiple tools, along with an opportunity to share individual experiences.
12:10pm – 12:30pm Door Prizes
12:30pm Conference Concludes

Rates

Government Official Early Bird (on or before March 13)
Government Official Member $400
Government Official Non-Member $475
Government Official Regular (after March 13)
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 $50
Offsite Event TBD
Additional Guest Meal Plans $225

Education

CPE Credits
Has a potential of 18.0 hours for the full program. Credit type will depend on sessions attended.

APMM Professional Education Credits
Applied for a maximum of 9.0 credits.

New this year
Submit session verification codes online. More details will be provided closer to the conference.

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

Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities

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 >

For more information, contact GFOA-PA’s business office at registration@gfoapa.org.

Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel

Penn Stater 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

The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel is the location for the 2020 Annual Statewide Conference. A limited number of guest rooms have been blocked for our registrants at the reduced group rate of $125.00, plus hotel occupancy tax.

To make reservations:
Call toll free, 800-233-7505 and use this reference number: GFOA20A or mention you are with GFOAPA. You may also reserve using this link.

The discount will expire on Thursday, March 18, 2020. The group discount applies until March 18 or until the block is filled, whichever comes first. GFOA-PA cannot guarantee room availability.

Education

Registration

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