President's Message

Presidents Corner
Linda Howard, FGFOA President
President’s Message

We are already living out our theme for this year:  Equipped to Serve.  In the wake of Hurricane Irma (and maybe others to come), it is imperative that we, the finance officers, are prepared to serve in key roles throughout our state government, local government, and special districts.  I trust that you are well and are following or adjusting your recovery plans to provide the greatest and fastest benefits to the public. Remember to lean on each other for assistance as needed.  We are stronger together.

As I stated in my address at the conference earlier this year, we have two major backbones:  our state committees and our local chapters.  I encourage you to join a local chapter in your area.  These local chapters run independent of each other, but are joined together by the chapter presidents who get together quarterly to discuss lessons learned and success stories.  Our other backbone is our state committees.  They are off and running fast.  These committees are made up of members from across the state and they make big things happen.  If you have not joined a committee yet, it is not too late.  Please look at the committee summaries and see what interests you, where your expertise fits, and join today.  On the FGFOA website go to Committees and complete a short application providing your contact information and which committee you wish to join and get started serving the FGFOA today.  
The School of Government Finance Committee has set the School program in motion and it will be held during the week of October 23-27, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  The program includes a good variety of sessions and will feature several of our FGFOA member organizations with real and relevant expertise, including key lessons learned.  The CGFO review classes will be offered during the School Tuesday through Thursday with the exams taking place on Friday.

The Webinar committee has been renamed the Education & Webinar Committee.  This committee will be responsible for all educational opportunities that are offered except for the School and the Annual Conference.  They are on the ball and have already published dates for webinars, boot camps and educational seminars.  On the FGFOA website you can check out the dates for upcoming events under Training & Education.  Once again the Beginner Boot Camp will be offered at the School.  Stay tuned for registration information (delayed due to Hurricane Irma).  Our webinars continue to draw hundreds of members for each session.  These sessions are offered at no cost to current members.  This alone is a great value to our members as this type of session is offered for a fee with most other organizations.
Our Membership committee is now the Member and Leadership Development Committee.  This committee is tasked with trying to get and keep our members engaged in the FGFOA.  One of the featured programs under this committee is Leadership FGFOA.  This program has been a great success, with 40 proud graduates already.  These graduates are excited, informed and ready to serve the FGFOA on committees, as chapter officers, and leaders within their own governments.  Stay tuned for some videos from some of our graduates.  Feel free to reach out to them now to see why you should be ready to apply as soon as the applications are available!

The Certification Committee is responsible for the CGFO review sessions and exams.  They are working to make sure the review courses are offered multiple times a year as well as ensure the exams are up to date.  Because the CGFO has taken on heightened importance on job applicants in Florida, the committee is working to better promote and encourage members to consider the significance this certification can provide when seeking a new job or promotion.

The Conference Host Committee gets to have lots of fun making sure that your time at the 2018 Annual Conference is educational but also FUN.  Their work includes a golf event, Zumba, the Association Night, Opening Session, Tuesday Night event, and of course, the Hospitality Suite.  The Committee is working on something new for Tuesday night, so stay tuned for more info as the team solidifies the plans.  

The Conference Program Committee pulls together all of the great educational sessions held during the Annual Conference.  This takes a lot of hard work and coordination with speakers and this group has already laid out a great draft for the conference.  You will definitely want to plan on attending even if it is just for the CPE (not all the fun stuff).  You will not be disappointed by the topics or speakers planned in 2018.  Mark your calendars:  June 16-20, 2018.

The Communication Committee is a new committee formed specifically to keep our members informed on what’s happening within our great association.  Although we, the Board, can see all of this great stuff going on, it means nothing if the members at large are not aware or in tuned with these events.  Many of your governments have social media and the FGFOA has rolled out our social media platform.  The Committee will be getting information from other committee chairs and local chapter presidents. Please follow us on social media and let the Communication Committee know if there is some important information we are missing.  

The Legislative Committee is working hard to keep our members informed not only about what is going on in Tallahassee, but also possible impacts to your local governments and special districts.  One new feature for this committee is the Rapid Response Team.  This Rapid Response Team will rally a few knowledgeable people together as needed to quickly and intelligently respond to events at the Capital.  This Committee will continue to issue E-Bulletins to provide essential news for the broad membership of FGFOA.  Remember, the legislative session starts a little earlier this year. 

The Technical Resource Committee will continue to review proposed pronouncements and provide guidance and insight on the potential impacts to FGFOA members in their roles as finance officers of our local governments.  If you enjoy digging into the technical details, this committee is for you.

Yes, I took a little more time to share about each committee because I think it is important for you to see how the FGFOA works.  It’s all about you and your involvement.  I hope to see many of you at the School in October, join you on some of the webinars, see you at a Boot Camp, see you at a local chapter function or see you in Orlando in June 2018.