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GFOA Newsletter
May 19, 2016
Get the Most Out of Your Conference Experience

GFOA’s annual conference starts on Sunday, and we have a number of tools to help you make the most of it.

The Find Your Session page lists all the annual conference sessions, sorted by areas of interest. Search by type of government, topic, or your role in the organization for your optimal itinerary.

Click on the sessions of your choice to learn more about the topic and speakers, and add your choices to your calendar by clicking the Calendar Appointment link. You can also download the slides before you attend your sessions.

Keep up with the latest from the conference—updates, last-minute changes, and news from the day’s sessions—by checking out the day’s highlights on GFOA’s website. You can also check in from your smart phone—our mobile site at m.gfoa.org is optimized for mobile viewing.

RSVP for these special events. For most of our conference sessions and events, you can just walk into the room and take a seat. But several events do require RSVPs: Canada Day, the Smarter School Spending Lunch, the Next Generation of Finance discussion, the Small Government Finance discussion, the Urban Forum, and the Utility Finance Forum.

Networking opportunities aren’t limited to these events—you can also meet up with friends and colleagues at the welcome reception, Sunday night from 5-6:30 p.m.

See you in Toronto!

Read More.
Association News
Annual Conference Badges and Tickets

Thank you to the participants registered to attend GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, May 22−25, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto. Please see the below update for some last-minute logistics before you arrive onsite.

  • Conference attendee badges and Conference Finale tickets were mailed last week.
  • Pack your badge and packet to bring with you to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The card attached to your badge must be signed and returned to GFOA Registration on the 600 level of the convention center when you arrive at the conference center.
  • If you do not receive your conference badge or Conference Finale ticket in the mail, or if you need to make a change to your badge, go to GFOA Registration on the 600 level of the convention center during conference registration hours. Look for signs indicating the lines where you can pick up your badge or make changes or additions. GFOA conference registration hours are listed in the Conference Program Guide.

Annual Conference Resources
  • GFOA’s Conference Program Guide is your complete conference manual—it’s where you’ll find what you need to know about the program, the exhibitor hall, conference sponsors, special events, and the convention center. (Any changes to the program will be made available at the GFOA Message Center, in the GFOA Today newspaper onsite, and on GFOA’s mobile site.)
  • GFOA’s mobile site at m.gfoa.org offers a convenient way to find the latest information about the annual conference and sessions. You can also look up maps and other information about the convention center, find maps of Toronto, filter exhibitors, and connect to GFOA’s social media.

Annual Conference Event Updates
  • A limited number of tickets for GFOA’s Conference Finalefeaturing Dennis DeYoung: The Music of STYX, on Tuesday, May 24, 7 to 10:30 p.m.—will be available for purchase onsite at GFOA Registration. Click here for details.
  • Take advantage of all Toronto has to offer by signing up for this year’s toursClick here for details and to register. (A limited number of tour tickets will be available for purchase at the Tours Desk located on the 600 level of the convention center.)
  • New Tour Added! Toronto’s bustling PATH underground tunnels connect 80+ properties and are used by more than 200,000+ downtown workers, residents, and tourists each day. Sign up for a free tour on Tuesday, May 24, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. or from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Tours will depart from the convention center and will be limited to 50 participants. Click here to RSVP.

 Don't Forget Your Passport!
There’s Still Time to Register

If you have not yet registered for the conference, there’s still time to sign up!

Unable to attend the full conference? Interested in sending junior staff to participate? Take advantage of the one-day rate registration fee on May 23 or 24. Click here for registration information.

If you have questions about the conference, go to GFOA’s FAQs or contact GFOA.

Read More.
Network with the Next Generation of Finance

Are you an emerging professional in public finance? The Next Generation of Finance (May 23, 2016, from 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at GFOA’s annual conference in Toronto) networking session will provide an opportunity to meet other emerging leaders, age 35 and under, to discuss current trends and issues related to public finance.

Take a look at all the sessions being offered at GFOA’s annual conference. You can also download the slides and add sessions to your calendar. 

Read More.
New Publication Available

GFOA is pleased to announce the release of An Elected Official’s Guide: Interpreting Local Government Financial Statements — How to Avoid 25 Common Mistakes.

We are all familiar with the notion of optical illusions--a mirage in the desert, for instance. Well, in local government financial statements, certain items are not necessarily what they initially appear to be, either. These “financial statement illusions” can easily lead to serious misinterpretation and bad decisions. GFOA’s new publication helps minimize that risk by examining 25 specific and commonly encountered mistakes.

Beyond serving those who seek to improve their own knowledge of local government financial reporting, Interpreting Local Government Financial Statements — How to Avoid 25 Common Mistakes also provides financial reporting professionals with a practical way to share their knowledge with others.

For information about quantity discounts, e-mail GFOA Publications.

Download the order form and mail, fax, or scan and e-mail to GFOA, or order online.

Read More.
Plan to Attend GFOA Training this July in Columbus

GFOA will host eight training seminars in Columbus, Ohio, from July 18−22, 2016. Save 10% on the registration fee when you sign up and pay in full by June 17, 2016.

Attend one or more of the following courses:

Group Discount. Register with three or more colleagues for the same seminar and get 10% off each registration fee. (To receive the group discount, registrations must be received and paid together. This discount cannot be applied to online training registrations.) Submit a training registration form or sign up using GFOA’s e-store.

A block of rooms has been reserved for the GFOA attendees at The Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, where the sessions will be held. Click here for more information on special GFOA group rates.

For ideas on what to do while you're in Columbus, go to Experience Columbus.

Update Your Profile: Add a Photo!

GFOA members can now add a photo to their membership profiles. This is a great way to easily locate colleagues and to put a face with a name for those colleagues you have not met yet. If you would like to add a photo to your profile, please follow the below instructions:

  • Log in to your member account.
  • Click on “My Account” in the top menu section.
  • Scroll down to the “Your Picture” section and click on the “Edit” tool (pencil symbol) on the right of the screen.
  • Select the picture file to upload and then click on “Save & Close.”
  • The file formats allowed are .GIF, .JPG, .PNG, .BMP, and the maximum file size allowed is 3 MB.

While you’re signed in, we encourage you to confirm that your contact information is current. Simply click the edit tool in the section you need to update. If you’ve forgotten your login information, please e-mail GFOA Logins instead of creating a new account. If you create a new account, it will not be linked to your membership record, and any purchases or registrations will be processed at the higher non-member rate.

Should you have any questions about your profile, contact GFOA Membership.

Free Webinar on What’s New in PublicPlansData.org

Tune in this afternoon—at 2 p.m. (Eastern)—to learn more about updates to PublicPlansData.org, the comprehensive database of state and local public pension plans. This free webinar will discuss new features and data, including an interactive map showing the percentage of public-sector workers covered by Social Security in each state; retirement system and plan data through 2014 (2015 data coming soon); expanded local plan data; retirement system “Quick Facts”; and governance data. Click here for more information and to register to attend. 

Pension Plan Data is a resource available from GFOA’s Pension Resource Center, part of our Federal Government Relations site. 

News Links
Governments Focus on Retaining Older Workers

Nearly every state and local government faces a “rising tide of retirement,” an immanent loss of retirement-eligible employees. Because replacing these valuable employees won’t be easy, “personnel executives are experimenting with a variety of approaches to hang on to experience, including job-sharing and telecommuting, delayed retirement programs that pay lump sums to would-be retirees to keep working, training and development, and reward and recognition programs. They also are stepping up recruiting efforts to attract older employees who work in the private sector,” according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The delayed retirement program referred to in the article, however, is a tactic GFOA has concerns about. For more information on the issues involved with these plans, see the Deferred Retirement Option Plans advisory, which recommends that governments exercise extreme caution in considering DROP plans.

Read More.
Small Community Creates Large Energy Storage System

The Village of Minster, Ohio, found a way to provide sustainable, reliable energy for its community, while saving money on electric grid updates. The small Midwest community worked with a renewable energy company on a project that integrates energy storage with an existing solar power plant, Smart Cities Council reports.

Public-private partnerships are complex arrangements that involve a number of risks; see GFOA’s Advisory on Public-Private Partnerships for more information.

Read More.
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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Jeffrey Esser

The GFOA Newsletter (ISSN 1051-6964) is published weekly by
the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
Correspondence regarding editorial and/or business matters should be sent to
GFOA, 203 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60601-1210. Phone - 312/977-9700 FAX - 312/977-4806.


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