Local Chapter News

Big Bend Chapter
Greg James, Big Bend Chapter President

Big Bend Chapter of the FGFOA Update for the FGFOA Newsletter:

Congratulations to the new members that began their position as Board members beginning July 1, 2017. The New Officers are:

President:               Greg James, Wakulla County Clerk of Courts
President-elect:       Jordan Steffens, Leon County Clerk of Courts
Secretary:               Don Hancock, City of Tallahassee

2nd Year of two-year term
Treasurer:               Mike Gomez, State of Florida, Auditor General’s Office

1st Year of two-year term
Director:                 Susan Lincoln, State of Florida, Dept. of Economic Opportunity
Membership Chair:  Tiffany Conn, Wakulla County Clerk of Courts
Program Chair:        Suzanne Hawkins, Wakulla County Clerk of Courts

The Chapter’s final luncheon meeting of the fiscal year was a half-day seminar held at Capital City Country Club in Tallahassee on May 18, 2017. The meeting featured two hours of CPE on the topic “GASB Update and New Uniform Guidance”. The three speakers were Helen Painter, CPA & Audit Partner, Tim Westgate, CPA & Audit Partner, and Ryan Tucker, CPA & Audit Partner, all from Purvis, Gray & Co, LLP. There were 35 members in attendance earning two hours of A&A CPE credit.

The first luncheon of the new fiscal year 2017-2018 was a two-hour seminar held at Capital City Country Club in Tallahassee on August 18, 2017. The meeting featured two hours of CPE with two one hour sessions. The first speaker was Susan Lincoln, CPA & CFE, from the Dept. of Economic Opportunity. Susan spoke on the topic of “Know Your Money”, a session of counterfeit money and the security features found in our currency. The second speaker was Laura Youmans from the Florida Association of Counties. Laura spoke on the topic of “2017 Legislative Update”, a session focused on the impacts of recent legislation on local counties and cities and what to look for in the 2018 Legislative session. There were 31 members in attendance earning two hours of TB CPE credit.

Our chapter membership application can be found on the FGFOA website and membership dues are $20 for active, associate and retiree members and membership is free for students.

The Chapter’s next schedule event is a luncheon meeting on December 8. We look forward to seeing you there.


Central Florida Chapter
Kurt Petersen, Central Florida Chapter President


Past Chapter President - Jason Loschiavo (left)
Current Chapter President - Kurt Petersen (right)

The Central Florida Chapter started the new fiscal year with a half-day session covering two topics on August 25th at the Orange County Administration building.  The first topic presented by Steven Alexander, Managing Director, PFM Asset Management, discussed portfolio considerations in changing markets that provided in insight into the economy and how to adjust investment portfolios.  The second topic presented by Ronald A. Conrad, Partner, Cherry Bekaert LLP discussed ways to maximize control deficiencies and prepare for a successful audit.

The Central Florida Chapter plans to have one more meeting this year that is scheduled for October 6, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at MetroPlan.  Next year the plan is to have a half day meeting in February, a full day meeting in March, and another half day meeting in May for a total of 16 CPEs.

Please continue to visit the Central Florida Chapter website for meeting announcements and other information that may be of interest – www.cfgfoa.org.


Florida First Coast Chapter
Melissa Burns, Florida First Coast Chapter President

Florida First Coast Chapter will be holding its quarterly meeting on Friday, September 8th at Caddy Shack at World Golf Village. Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. followed by the GASB Update presented by Barbara Boyd, CPA, Partner and Timothy Westgate, CPA, Partner, Purvis Gray and Company. If additional information is needed feel free to contact Chapter President Melissa Burns at mburns@cityofsab.org.


Gulf Coast Chapter
Linda Benoit, Gulf Coast Chapter President

To improve efficiency for members and officers, we have moved to a wild apricot website, https://gcfgfoa.wildapricot.org. On our site, officers can post power point presentations for seminars; announcements and updates, which then generate notification emails to members. The website allows members to enroll in meetings and seminars, and to renew their memberships via PayPal payment. We also have a job board where members can post openings, and a discussion board for local topics. Thanks to Jason Loschiavo from Metroplan Orlando of the Central Florida Chapter for the wild apricot set up tips.

The Gulf Coast chapter has an exciting year planned. 

On September 22, we will have an 8-hour continuing education conference in Teco Hall at the Oldsmar Public Library. Our speakers and topics will include:

Public Records                                                          Matt Daugherty, SML
Federal Grants Monitoring & Procurement                  Corinne Ahrend, Crowe Horwath
Capital Assets & Intangibles                                       Andrew Laflin, CLA
Government Revenues                                              Kim Adams, City of Largo

We have chapter luncheon meetings scheduled throughout the year:

December 14,  Ken Burke, Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court
April 12,  Molly Button (FLC) and Marianne Edmunds on capital financing options
June 7,  Michael Twitty, Pinellas County Property Appraiser

We will have our annual 8-hour investment conference on February 2, 2018.


Nature Coast Chapter
Johnna L. Agin, Nature Coast Chapter President

The 2017-18 year has just begun.  We have had a great start to the year and are looking forward to continued success with our new Board or Directors.


Johnna L Agin                   President, Accounting Operations Supervisor, City of Leesburg
Jody Young             President-Elect, Finance Director, City of Bushnell
Brandy Cook           Secretary, Budget Analyst, Sumter County BOCC
Donna Morse          Treasurer, Deputy Finance Director, City of Belleview
Elizabeth Palmer     Program Director, Accountant IV, City of Leesburg
Shelley Chenoweth  Membership Director, Finance Specialist, City of Bushnell

It is never too early to start thinking about a position on the Board.  The local chapter board is a great way to support the government finance profession, to meet and network with colleagues, and to get involved with the FGFOA and statewide issues.  We thank these great members for stepping up to serve for the coming year, and lead our chapter to the next level.

The chapter held its annual Board swearing-in and educational lunch meeting on July 19, 2017.  The meeting was held during lunch and received 3 CPE’s for attendance.   We had a great session on Trim and Bond Compliance; a special thanks to our speakers!  Our next lunch meeting with be October 18, 2017 at the Citrus Golf and Country Club in Inverness.  We are looking forward to another luncheon of learning, social interaction, and networking.  We sincerely hope you will be able to attend!!


North Central Florida Chapter
Amanda Hagan, North Central Florida Chapter President

FY 2018 kicked-off with our first quarterly meeting on 7/12/17.  About 30 members attended the meeting and learned about Governmental Budgeting.  We are excited for our upcoming meeting on 10/11/17 which will include our first ever catered lunch.  William Blend, of MSL CPAs & Advisors, will be speaking on Issues Impacting Governments including fraud, data mining and single audit.  Please join us in October for some fabulous food, networking opportunities, and an excellent speaker!!  Registration information will be sent out soon but feel free to visit our website at:  https://ncffgfoa.wordpress.com/


Panhandle Chapter
Laura Picklap, Panhandle Chapter President

The FGFOA Panhandle Chapter would like to welcome our newest board members, Shandra R. Jenkins as Board Member #1 and Mindy Womack as Board Member #2.  In addition, we would like to recognize the existing board members and welcome them into their new roles.  Laura Picklap will be serving as the 2017-2018 Panhandle Chapter President, Tatiana Abernathy will be serving as the 2017-2018 Panhandle Chapter Vice President and Lakia McNeal will be serving as the 2017-2018 Panhandle Chapter Secretary/Treasurer.  The board would also like to thank Katy Nail for her dedication and leadership while serving as the 2016-2017 President. 

On October 20, 2017, the Panhandle Chapter will hold its quarterly meeting which will include 3 hours of CPE to our local FGFOA chapter.  As many of our members will be in the midst of preparing the year-end financial statements, Jack Rowell and Angela Balent with Warren Averett, LLC will provide a refresher of various governmental accounting topics and provide an overview of what is required by the Florida Auditor General as it relates to the audit presentation.  The quarterly meeting will be held in Shalimar, Florida and runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon.


Southwest Florida Chapter
Karen Vivian, Southwest Florida Chapter President

President:  Karen Vivian                                          Director:  John Lege
Staff Accountant 2                                                     Assistant City Manager
Lee County Clerk of Courts General Accounting          City of Sarasota
239-533-2173                                                           941-365-2200 ext. 4104
kvivian@leeclerk.org                                                  John.Lege@sarasotaFL.gov

President-Elect:  Cari Branco                                  Director:  Tom Kelley
Senior Division Manager                                            Accounting Manager
Charlotte County Fiscal Services Division                    City of Bradenton
941-743-1255                                                           941-932-9467
Cari.Branco@charlottecountyfl.gov                             thomas.kelley@cityofbradenton.com

Secretary/Treasurer:   Cindy Emshoff                               Director:  Kristin Simeone
Finance Manager                                                                Accountant
Sarasota Office of Housing & Community Development         City of Punta Gorda
941-951-3605                                                                     941-575-3345
Cindy.Emshoff@sarasotaFL.gov                                          ksimeone@pgorda.us

Past President:  Peter Lear                                                Director:  Terri Guidry
Interim City Manager                                                           Consultant
City of North Port                                                                City of Naples
941-429-7119                                                                      941-258-8095
plear@cityofnorthport.com                                                   pineislandk9@msn.com

 On September 29, 2017, we are pleased to offer an 8-hour Investment Seminar to be held in the Grand Foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida.   PFM will be delivering the presentation and already the Gulf Coast and Hillsborough Chapter members have been invited to join us for the exciting session. 

The Southwest Chapter offers all sessions for $25, which includes a meal, snacks and at least three hours of continuing education credits.  Once per year, an 8-hour investment session is offered, also a great value for just $25.00 per attendee.  Membership is $10 annually.  An average of 17 hours of continuing education is offered by the Chapter.


Treasure Coast Chapter
Judith Browning, Treasure Coast Chapter President

The Treasure Coast Chapter met April 28th at the Springhill Suites, in St Lucie West. There were about 35 members in attendance. Kate Grangard, from Gehring Group, spoke on looking at the, “Affordable Care Act Through the Rearview Mirror.” She did an excellent job discussing what everyone had predicted would happen to the ACA and what actually has transpired. This was an excellent discussion.

Our next meeting is scheduled for November 3rd at Springhill Suites, in St Lucie West. Contact the chapter secretary, Cindy Corrente at ccorrente@ircgov.com for more information.