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2018 Annual Statewide Conference
Charting the Course, Navigating Change
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Conference Schedule
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
11:00 am – 7:00 pm Registration Area Open
3:00 pm – 3:50 pm Sunday Afternoon Breakout Sessions
  Excel: There Has to be an Easier Way!?! (Part 1)
Dan Berty, Ross Township
Andrew McCreery, Mt. Lebanon

Come join our presenters at this one-of-a-kind excel session. They will cover tips and tricks that have been discovered over the years, but, first and foremost, our presenters want to hear from you! Send your Excel files that you struggle with ahead of time, and they will offer ideas to help improve your efficiency within the workbook and hopefully give you tools to take back and implement in your everyday work life.
  Municipal Finance in the Next Decade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Part 1)
Deborah J. Grass, Grass Root Solutions
Judy Kording, Shaler Township

New challenges have emerged in the 21st century that undermine past beliefs and practices. What will municipal finance look like in the next decade? This session explores emerging issues such as rethinking revenue generation, restructuring compensation and benefit packages, and the reinvestment in infrastructure and sustainability practices that ultimately preserve resources and reduce costs. Understanding these trends will help finance officers to develop new strategies that prepare local governments for the future.
4:00 pm – 4:50 pm Concurrent Sessions
  Excel: There Has to be an Easier Way!?! (Part 2)
Dan Berty, Ross Township
Andrew McCreery, Mt. Lebanon

Come join our presenters at this one-of-a-kind excel session. They will cover tips and tricks that have been discovered over the years, but, first and foremost, our presenters want to hear from you! Send your Excel files that you struggle with ahead of time, and they will offer ideas to help improve your efficiency within the workbook and hopefully give you tools to take back and implement in your everyday work life.
  Municipal Finance in the Next Decade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Part 2)
Deborah J. Grass, Grass Root Solutions
Dawn Lane, Township of Moon

New challenges have emerged in the 21st century that undermine past beliefs and practices. What will municipal finance look like in the next decade? This session explores emerging issues such as rethinking revenue generation, restructuring compensation and benefit packages, and the reinvestment in infrastructure and sustainability practices that ultimately preserve resources and reduce costs. Understanding these trends will help finance officers to develop new strategies that prepare local governments for the future.
5:00 pm – 6:00 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 23
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
Nick Hiriak, President
9:15 am – 10:30 am Ask Our Experts: Listserv Live!

This is a fantastic opportunity to ask questions that you’ve always wanted to know the answers to, in a room filled with experienced government finance professionals. Whether your question is about GASB, benefits, policies, the CPFO exam, or even the GFOA-PA organization itself, this is the time to ask. Questions may be submitted in advance or during the session. Also in attendance will be Chris Morrill, executive director of GFOA, who will present a 30-minute overview of GFOA using online polling software to do real-time polling of audience members regarding their greatest challenges, training needs, and more.

10:30 am – 10:45 am Break with exhibitors
10:45 am – 11:35 am Documenting the Disaster – FEMA Reimbursement Documentation
Judy Kording, Shaler Township
Timothy J. Rogers, Esq., Shaler Township

The last thing that anyone is thinking about during an emergency is “paperwork”. When an emergency happens in your community, first responders, public works, and township management are concerned with the safety of residents and protection of property. Your role as a finance professional is to begin the process of accurate record keeping so that if federal or state funding becomes available, you maximize your reimbursement amounts. Record keeping and working with your public safety, public works, and first responders is essential to this process. This session will give your tips and techniques to streamline paperwork and have department heads provide you with the necessary information that in the end makes your job easier.

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 Concurrent breakout sessions
  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.
  The Right to Know Law Training for Local Government (Part 1)
George Spiess, PA Office of Open Records
Our presenter will lead a discussion that will provide comprehensive guidance on responsibilities, deadlines, and best practices, and touch on court cases that have impacted how the law is applied. Questions are encouraged in an interactive, informal setting.
2:10 pm – 2:20 pm Break
2:20 pm – 3:10 pm Concurrent breakout sessions
  Foundations of Governmental Accounting (Part 2)
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.

  The Right to Know Law Training for Local Government (Part 2)
George Spiess, PA Office of Open Records
Our presenter will lead a discussion that will provide comprehensive guidance on responsibilities, deadlines, and best practices, and touch on court cases that have impacted how the law is applied. Questions are encouraged in an interactive, informal setting.
3:10 pm – 3:20 pm Break with Exhibitors
3:20 pm – 4:10 pm Concurrent breakout sessions
  ABCs of Liquid Fuels
Kristen Simms, PennDOT Center for Program Development and Management

This session will cover the basics of Liquid Fuels Tax Fund allocations to both municipalities and counties, as well as how the funds are distributed, allowable and non-allowable expenditures, common audit findings, and available PennDOT resources related to these funds.

  Modernizing the AG-385 Process
Jennifer L. Boger, PA Department of the Auditor General
Ms. Boger will discuss how the department took a yearly filing process and modernized it, creating a one-stop-shop for municipalities to file information to various Commonwealth agencies through the MUNSTAT system. She will do a step-by-step demonstration of the filing process, discuss the hiccups they encountered along the way, and the fixes/improvements they have made since going live January 1, 2017.
4:10 pm – 4:20 pm Break with Exhibitors
4:20 pm – 5:10 pm Concurrent breakout sessions
  Why Does Unclaimed Property Matter to you as a GFO?
Karen Gurzenda, Bureau of Unclaimed Property
Brian Munley, Esq., CPA, Bureau of Unclaimed Property

This presentation will cover four main topics including: the requirement to keep business assets active, the obligation to report annually, the ability to answer questions on existing law, and the requirement to find lost assets.

  GASB 87 New Leasing Standards
Dustin Starr, Maher Duessel CPAs
The session will include an overview of current accounting standards for leasing transactions and how these standards will be changed under the new standards found in GASB 87. Additionally, the session will include practical considerations for implementing the standard, examples of how to account for leases under the new standards, and the impact on financial reporting.
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 25
7:30 am – 5:30 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.
7:45 am – 8:45 am Breakfast with Exhibitors
8:45 am – 10:25 am GASB Update
Wesley Galloway
Mr. Galloway 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 Concurrent breakout sessions
  Introduction to Arbitrage Rebate Compliance
Katia M. Frock, PFM Asset Management
This session will provide an overview of the arbitrage rebate and yield restriction requirements placed on issuers of tax-exempt and tax advantaged debt as outlined in Section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code. The discussion will include how arbitrage is computed, the exceptions to arbitrage including spending exceptions, filing requirements, and the payment and refund process. The dual compliance requirement and distinction between arbitrage rebate and yield restriction will also be explained.
  Occupational Fraud: Prevention and Detection
John A. Falk, County of Lehigh
Our presenter will lead a discussion of fraud in the work place centering around prevention and detection techniques you can apply in your organization. Actual fraud cases will be discussed to highlight management techniques that will work to identify fraud in your organization and your daily work environment. As a manager, you are responsible for adequate internal controls. We will discuss proven risk management techniques to assist the financial manager to determine if internal controls are adequate.
11:45 am – 12:45 pm Lunch for Non-golfers
11:45 am Rob Lent Cup Golf Outing at Toftrees Resort (optional, additional fee)
12:30 shotgun start with a box lunch included
Rated as one of Pennsylvania’s top places to play, Toftrees 4.5-star, 18-hole course challenges the skill of players at all levels. Established in 1968, the course at Toftrees Golf Resort was designed by nationally renowned golf course architect, Edmund “Ed” Ault. GFOA-PA offers a 9-hole option for those who do not wish to play all 18 holes. And don’t forget, golfers will vie for the Rob Lent Cup, to be presented to the foursome with the best score.
12:45 pm – 1:35 pm Protecting Public Funds in the Cyber Age
Chase Byler, Public Fund Services
R.C. Chainani, Public Fund Services

Our presenters will discuss options that will help you identify and neutralize areas of weakness and ensure the protection of public funds by:
  • Addressing Common Myths
  • Identifying Types of Phishing Attacks
  • Reviewing Your Protection Controls
Fraud Prevention has become one of the most important issues facing organizations as the digital world introduced new areas of weakness. Join us to learn about the risks your organization faces on a daily basis, along with important safeguards that you can take to protect your funds.
1:35 am – 1:45 am Break
1:30 pm – 5:00 pm Optional GFOA Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO) Exam
Register online at www.gfoa.org/cpfo
2:00 pm – 4:00 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.
1:45 pm – 2:35 pm How Delinquent Collection Strategies Can be Utilized to Increase Current Collection Rates
Kevin H. Buraks, Esq., Portnoff Law Associates, Ltd.
Michelle R. Portnoff, Esq., Portnoff Law Associates, Ltd.

By proactively and strategically collecting delinquent accounts, municipalities can increase their current collection rates going forward. Discussion topics will include: choice of law, bankruptcy, and communicating with constituents.
2:35 pm – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 pm – 3:35 pm You Need Social Media in Your Work Plan
Laura Pace Lilley, Mt. Lebanon Municipality
Cindy Marzock, Cranberry Township

Why local governments need to be on social media. How do you make it work? Where do you find the time? Who can do this work?
3:35 pm – 3:45 pm Break
3:45 pm – 4:35 pm Interactive Social Media Work Session
Laura Pace Lilley, Mt. Lebanon Municipality
Cindy Marzock, Cranberry Township

Learn quick tips and tricks to get going on social media. If you’re already aboard, learn advanced tips to kick it up a notch. This is the time to come with your questions!
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, April 25
7:00 am – 11:45 am 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 – 10:10 am Social Media: Ethics, Errors, and Establishing Guidelines
Gina F. Rubel, Esq., Furia Rubel Communications, Inc.
Having an effective social media presence with relevant and regular content can help boost resident loyalty and engagement for government entities. Government officials, appointed, hired and elected, in all aspects of government, are using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, to communicate with their citizens. Social media offers government entities efficient and effective ways to engage and inform residents and businesses on a myriad of topics. But, in order to be ethical and effective while avoiding errors, governmental entities must understand the benefits and manage the risks of social media while avoiding common (and not so common) errors. During this program, marketing and crisis management expert and attorney, Gina F. Rubel, will address how Pennsylvania government finance officers can embrace social media to implement ethical and effective social media tactics.
10:10 am – 10:30 am Break
10:30 am – 12:10 am Unleashing Leadership Within Your Organization and Within Yourself
Dr. Yvonne Bleam, Yvonne Bleam Leadership, LLC
To achieve organizational success, it has never been more critical for leaders to recognize and leverage unique leadership skills within themselves and within others throughout the organization. Dr. Bleam will discuss the benefits of utilizing individual strengths to influence positive results and will share practical ways to build a high-performing, leader-based work environment. Panelists will share their personal leadership journeys, as well as describe their approach to maximizing leadership potential within their respective organizations. You’ll leave this interactive session with the skills to recognize and unleash leadership within your organization and within yourself.
12:10 pm – 12:30 pm Door prizes
12:30 pm Conference Concludes
174 Crestview Drive . Bellefonte, PA 16823
Phone: 814-357-9198 . Fax: 814.355.2452 . Email: info@gfoapa.org