Local Chapter News

Big Bend Chapter
Deborah White, Chapter White

The Big Bend Chapter’s final luncheon meeting of the fiscal year will be held on May 18, 2017, at the Capital City Country Club in Tallahassee. The Chapter’s annual business meeting will also be held at this meeting, at which the officers and board member for the 2017-18 fiscal year will be elected. Partners of Purvis, Gray and Company will be giving a 2-hour presentation on the topic “GASB Update and New Uniform Guidance.” We hope to see you there.

The first meeting of the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017, will be held in August. The location and speaker for that meeting will be announced at a later date. Membership renewal notices will be sent out in June for the next fiscal year. Chapter dues are $20 for active, associate and retiree members, and are free for students

As always, if you live or work in our seven-county area, please consider joining our Chapter to network with other professionals and get quality CPE; we’d love to have you. If you are interested, please see our chapter application on the FGFOA website under Local Chapters, Big Bend Chapter.

Central Florida Chapter
Jason Loschiavo, Chapter President

The Central Florida Chapter held three meetings so far in 2017. The meeting on January 27 held at the Orange County BOCC Chambers was rescheduled from our cancelled October meeting due to Hurricane Matthew. There were 48 attendees and four hours of CPE. Thank you to Clay Austin & Aaron Carper with Florida League of Cities for doing a Health Insurance Market Update at the last minute and to Aldon Asher for his presentation on Unclaimed Property.

Our second meeting was at the City of Orlando and had 33 attendees and four hours of CPE. Thank you to Brian Battles, Deputy CFO, City of Orlando for his presentation on Workday: HR/FM ERM in the Cloud and to Carla Bruce, Florida Department of Revenue for her presentation on Communications Service Tax.

Our annual meeting was held on March 31 at the Orange County BOCC Chambers. We had morning coffee and snacks before our first two topics: Accounting Complexities by Andrew Laflin, CPA, Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP and Economic Outlook by Sean Snaith, Ph.D., Director of the UCF’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness. After the morning sessions, we held our annual meeting where the 2018 board was elected, our 2018 budget was approved, and an amendment to the 2017 budget was also approved. After a complimentary boxed lunch, the afternoon sessions consisted of Real Life Cases in Fraud by Laura Krueger Brock, CPA/CFF, CFE for Kerkering, Barberio & Co. CPA’s and IDK, LOL, TTYL… by Nicole Gasparri, CGFO, Organization Development Manager for the City of Boca Raton. Thank you to our great panel of speakers for the four sessions giving the nearly 90 attendees eight hours of CPE.

Please continue to get all information on the Chapter’s website – www.CFGFOA.org.

Gulf Coast Chapter
Anne Lawler, Gulf Coast Chapter President

In February the Chapter held an 8 hour Investment Conference at Largo Library.  The topics and speakers were:

Greg Holden, Manning & Napier, “2017 Investment & Economic Outlook”
Chris McAvoy, Manning & Napier, “Income Matters to Municipalities:  Opportunities in a Low Yield Environment”
Thomas Tight, Public Trust Advisors, “Short Term Investment Options for Daily Liquidity and the Impact of Money Market fund Reform”
Andrew Laflin, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, “Investment Policy Overview and Financial Statement Considerations – An Auditor’s Perspective”
Khalid Yasin, CHP, PFM Asset Management LLC, “Update on Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB)”
Richard Pengelly, CPA, CTP, PFM Asset Management LLC, “New Strategies for the New Markt”
David Jang, Wertz Capital Advisors, “Current Economic Environment and Impact on Local Government Cash, Investment and Pension Portfolios”

On April 20, 2017, a luncheon meeting was held at Bascom’s Chop House.  Andy Burnham, Director of Financial Services Practice for Stantec Consulting spoke on “Public Utilities Sustainable Rate & Financial Practices.”

On June 8, 2017 we will have our annual chapter meeting and election of the 2017/2018 Board and Officers.  The luncheon will be held at Bascom’s Chop House.  The speaker, Patti Graganella, Chief Administrative Officer for the Florida League of Cities, will speak on “Best Practices in Hiring and Interviewing People.”

Palm Beach Chapter
Rebecca Pine, Chapter President

Below is an update on what's been happing with the chapter over the past several months, and our plans for the remainder of the summer.    

  • Past Events:
    • Palm Beach County Government Bee:   The Palm Beach Chapter of the FGFOA co-sponsored the Palm Beach County Government Bee held on April 6, 2017 at Santaluces High School. The government bee was started last year by the Masonic High Twelve Lake Worth Club and the Palm Beach County School Board to encourage high school students to learn more about government.  The Chapter’s support helped double the number of schools participating.  Forty-two students on nine teams from seven schools participated this year. Jeremy Baker, President Elect, was on the event planning committee.  The winner was Seminole Ridge High with Suncoast coming in 2nd and Royal Palm Beach 3rd.  To support the event there were 43 volunteers from the League of Women Voters, the Palm Beach Chapter of the FGFOA, the National Council for Jewish Women, and the Masonic High Twelve Club of Lake Worth.  

Summer 2017 photo 1

  • Annual Business Meeting:  Our annual business meeting was held on April 12, 2017.  The topic was Public Fraud & Corruption was presented in a panel discussion format. We had over 50 members in attendance. 
    • Guest Speakers included: 
      • Shaun O’Neill, Special Agent from the Palm Beach Office of the FBI
      • William Brown, Internal Auditor for the City of Riviera Beach
      • John A Carey, Palm Beach County Inspector General
      •  Marci Rex, Assistant State Attorney – Public Corruption Unit
      • Mark Bannon, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Commission On Ethics

In addition to the presentation, revised by-laws were approved as well as the following slate of candidates for the 2017/2018 year:

    • President:  Jeremy Baker - PBC Office of Financial Management and Budget            
    • President Elect:  Leslie Harmon - City of Boca Raton                         
    • Treasurer:  Katie Roundtree - Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District
    • Secretary:  Ryan Ralph - City of Boca Raton                          
    • Director:  Julie Dowe - PBC Department of Community Services                                
    • Director:  Jeanette Haynes - City of West Palm Beach  
    • Director:  Nicholas Kelly - City of Boca Raton

Summer 2017 photo 2

  • Future Events:
    • Summer Business Meeting
      Topic:  Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Office Update
      Speaker: Dorothy Jacks, Palm Beach County Property Appraiser
      Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017 

South Florida Chapter
Emilie Smith, Chapter President

The South Florida Chapter has been very busy over the last few months! We held a half-day Ethics training for CPA’s on December 1st, which had 41 attendees.  This training offered 4 CPE credits towards ethics for CPA’s.  It was coordinated through the FICPA and held at the City of Sunrise Civic Center.  We also had a very successful January networking event that had 81 participants.  This was an evening event, held in downtown Fort Lauderdale.  The event included dinner, dancing, and a cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway.  We held our annual half-day Economic and Investment Seminar on March 9th from noon until 4 pm. This training was 3 CPE’s and attendees enjoyed a wonderful lunch buffet with three engaging speakers:

  • David Jang, Partner, Client Affairs - Wertz York Capital Management Group - Economic Update
  • Richard Pengelly, Director - PFM - Investments - New Strategies for the New Market
  • Brendan Connelly, Vice President - Index Fund Advisors - Evidence-Based Investing for Institutions 

Following this training, we had our Annual Meeting on April 27th with 75 attendees.  This meeting included dinner, a speaker from the Broward County Property Appraisers Office, Holly Cimino, Director of Finance, Budget and Tax Rolls, and 2018 Board nominations. I am proud to announce our 2018 Board:

  • President

    Linda Logan-Short, CGFO, CPM (current Vice President)
    CFO/Deputy Director of Finance, City of Fort Lauderdale

  • Vice-President
    Tameka Otto Stewart, CPA, CGFO (current Treasurer)
    Budget Officer, City of Miami Beach

  • Treasurer

    Ian Evans-Smith, CPA, MBA
    Assistant Treasurer, City of Miramar

  • Secretary

    Sandra Zamacona (current Secretary)
    Senior Accountant, North Bay Village

  • Past-President
    Emilie Smith, MPA (current President)
    Assistant City Manager, City of Sunrise

We presently have 218 members to date and growing!  We are an active group and always looking for more ways to educate our members and encourage opportunities for information sharing and networking.

Southwest Florida Chapter
Peter Lear, Chapter President

The Southwest Chapter recently hosted John Grady of Public Trust Advisors and Susan Boyer from Florida benchmarking Consortium on March 31, 2017.   Mr. Grady presented “Internal Controls Framework and Financial Reporting” with the group, first defining internal controls and then discussing the COSO Integrated Framework in easy-to-understand detail; finally, he taught everyone about risks an organization might be exposed to, how to put controls in place to counter threats and effectively pursue goals and objectives.   Ms. Boyer discussed development of relevant measures for a jurisdiction, how to use the data collected; then, she went on the performance measures, how performance measures have been implemented successfully, why they are important and how performance measures can improve the quality of service for a jurisdiction.   We had a great turn-out, with over 75 in attendance at the Laishley Park Marina Room in Punta Gorda.  All the attendees received 3 hours of CPE credits.

Next, the Southwest Chapter will host Amber Hughes, Senior Legislative Advocate for the Florida League of Cities. Amber will provide the group a legislative update.  Every year, the Florida Legislature has one job to do, pass the State’s budget.  They are given a 60-day session to do the necessary work to accomplish this job.  However, due to policy initiatives, leadership priorities and other competing issues, that does not always happen in a timely fashion. This year was no exception.  On May 19, 2017 the Southwest Chapter will listen to Amber as she provides an overview of the legislative process and focuses on finance, taxation and personnel issues impacting governments. This 3-hour CPE credit presentation will be provided at the Olde Hickory Country Club in Ft. Myers, Florida.

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
Judy Browning, Chapter President

The most recent Treasure Coast chapter meeting was held, April 28th, at the Creative Catering Banquet Hall, in the Springhill Suites Marriott, Port St Lucie, with 27 members attending. Stephen Spragens, Regional Sales Manager, Fiscal Technologies, presented on Fraud Prevention. Our members received 2 CPE credits.

We had election of our new officers which are:

Judy Browning, City of Stuart

President Elect
Jennifer Hill, St Lucie County BOCC

Cindy Corrente, Indian River County BOCC

Board of Directors:
Paul Schmitt, Martin County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Karen Russell, St. Lucie County Fire District
Edward Halsey, Indian River County Clerk of the Circuit Court

Our next meeting will be July 28th at Creative Catering Banquet Hall, in the Springhill Suites Marriott, Port St Lucie, at 12:00pm. We welcome anyone who is interested in attending and becoming a member of the Treasure Coast Chapter. For more information on upcoming events, membership, and chapter information please contact Judy Browning at jbrowning@ci.stuart.fl.us