2024 GFOAz Winter Conference

Conference Note:

We are aware of a winter storm warning this week in Flagstaff, Arizona. At this time, GFOAz does not have a weather cancellation policy for this conference as the weather conditions in northern Arizona this time of year can differ greatly.  

In addition, GFOAz has already guaranteed and paid for the hotel food and event expenditures for this conference. 

We encourage you to check traffic conditions on AZ511 here, and to drive slowly and safely to the conference.



Registration Opens & Platinum Sponsor Exhibit Set-Up
9:00 AM  |  Conference Foyer/Flagstaff Room

Education Committee Meeting
11:30 AM 12:30 PM | Executive Board Room

Fraud Prevention Panel
1:00 – 1:50 PM | Grand Ballroom


In this 50-minute session, our distinguished panelists, comprising experienced professionals from various CPA firms, will delve into the unique challenges faced by government entities in combating fraud. From prevalent types of fraud cases to proactive prevention measures and the integration of cutting-edge technologies, this discussion aims to equip attendees with practical insights and strategies crucial for safeguarding government finances.

Emilie Deveraux, Signing Director, CLA
McKay Hall, Audit Partner, HintonBurdick
Brian Hemmerle, Partner, BakerTilly 
Michael Lauzon, Partner, HeinfeldMeech
Shauna Woody-Coussens, Managing Director, FORVIS

Refreshment Break with Sponsors
1:50 PM |  Flagstaff Room

Finding the Funny in Change
2:00 – 4:00 PM | Grand Ballroom
2 CPEs

Get ready to transform the way you and your team deal with change! The pace of change is faster than ever, leaving many leaders and organizations feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. In Jan’s electrifying keynote, “Finding the Funny in Change,” she shows you how to turn tension into laughter and get your point across with ease. She’ll equip you with the humor tools to diffuse tension instantly, initiate those tough conversations, and facilitate communication through using well-placed, appropriate humor. By using Jan’s tips, you will not only keep your teams more engaged, but also more likely to remember their message. You will walk away with a fresh perspective on change, and best of all, laughing all the way to the next level of success.

Jan McInnis
, Comedian/Speaker/Author, The Work Lady

Finding the Funny in Change Presentation

Membership Committee Meeting  
4:00 – 4:50 PM | Executive Board Room

Regional Leaders Meeting
4:00 – 4:50 PM | Spruce Room

New Member Meet & Greet
5:00 – 5:30 PM | Flagstaff Room

Join new and current GFOAz members in a 30-minute meet and greet with the GFOAz Membership Committee. We’d love to see you there!

Welcome and Sponsor Reception
5:30 – 7:00 PM | Flagstaff Room

GFOAz welcomes members to join us for an opening reception to thank our sponsors. The ongoing success of GFOAz is dependent on several factors, but possibly none as important as the continued financial support of our corporate partners.


Full Breakfast  
7:30 – 8:00 AM | Flagstaff Room

Bouncing Back: Handling Setbacks Like a Comedian
8:00 – 8:50 AM | Grand Ballroom

Bouncing back. That’s the key in life. Whether it’s personally or professionally, we all hit bumps in the road when things go “not as planned.” Comedians know this more than anyone because they have a very high-profile job. And when something goes wrong, it needs to be fixed fast and on the spot. In this fun and informative keynote, Jan offers tips and insights on dealing with life’s pitfalls – how to avoid, handle, and recover from them – so you can move through these challenging situations. Don’t let blunders and mishaps hinder your future success!

Jan McInnis
, Comedian/Speaker/Author, The Work Lady

Bouncing Back: Handling Setbacks Like a Comedian

Beyond the Hype: How to Harness the Power of Generative AI
9:00 – 9:50 AM | Grand Ballroom
1 CPE 


It is being labeled as the 5th Industrial revolution!  Generative AI is here to stay and it’s important to understand the opportunity for huge advancements with one of the most powerful technologies of our time. We will explore how artificial intelligence will transform the way we work and share the potential challenges to overcome. Plan on an interactive session to learn how these tools can be helpful in your day-to-day workflow.

Eugene Mejia, Chief AI Strategy and Transformation Officer, Gilbert

Beyond the Hype Presentation

GASB Update
10:0011:30 AM | Grand Ballroom
1.5 CPEs 


This session will be a refresher on recently issued Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statements (GASBS). Following this session, you will have an understanding of the implementation dates for upcoming GASBS, a general understanding of GASBS that will impact your organization and how your organization should be preparing for upcoming GASBS. Preparation will include key activities your organization should be focusing on now in preparation of implementation and discuss the key elements and effects the statements will have on financial reporting and disclosures.

Shauna Brewster, Audit Manager, HeinfeldMeech
James Shankland, Audit Manager, HeinfeldMeech

GASB Presentation

Break and Networking with Sponsors
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM |  Flagstaff Room

Lunch, Annual Business Meeting and Sponsor Recognition
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Grand Ballroom 

All attendees are welcome to attend the annual business meeting in the Grand Ballroom. President Tanya Wright will recognize GFOAz’s current sponsors and recognize new GFOAz board members. 

Tanya Wright, 2024 GFOAz President    

Break and Networking with Sponsors
1:00 – 1:30 PM |  Flagstaff Room

Future of Public Sector Finance Profession
1:40 – 2:30 PM | Grand Ballroom
1 CPE 

During this session, we will discuss the landscape – historical, present, and future of the public sector finance department, including an in-depth discussion on the importance of attracting and retaining talent as an industry.

Laura Allen, GFOA President, Budget Analyst III, Capital Budgeting, Maryland Department of Budget
and Management

Future of Public Sector Finance Profession Presentation

The Annual Expenditure Limitation Report
2:40 – 3:30 PM |  Grand Ballroom

Arizona’s expenditure limitations are intended to control the growth of local government entities.  Standard reporting forms are required to demonstrate compliance with the entity’s limit annually.  This session will discuss the state-imposed expenditure limit and alternative expenditure limit options including report preparation considerations. 

Cherie White, Director of Financial Services, Sedona

The Annual Expenditure Limitation Report Presentation

Break and Networking with Sponsors
3:30 – 3:40 p.m. Flagstaff Room

Reading and Understanding Actuarial Reports – Pension Funding and Accounting
3:40 – 5:10 PM |  Grand Ballroom
1.5 CPEs

The first half of the session provides a basic background and overview of the key actuarial concepts related to pension plan funding and accounting and the key actuarial measurements used by public pension systems.  This session is intended for audiences of all levels.  The session starts with beginner level concepts then builds on those concepts for an intermediate level focus. The second half of the session includes preparing the pension funding information for your annual report. The needed information for the journal entries and notes required for the ACFR reporting on pension funding.

Mark Buis, Vice President, GRS Consulting
Michael Lauzon, CPA, MBA, Partner, HeinfeldMeech

Reading Actuarial Reports Presentation
Pension Funding Presentation

GFOAz Board Meeting 
5:15 – 6:00 PM |  Executive Board Room 

6:00 – 7:00 PM  |  Flagstaff Room 


Full Breakfast
8:00 – 8:50 AM  |  Flagstaff Room 

Economic Update
9:00 – 10:20 AM | Grand Ballroom 
1.5 CPEs 

This presentation will provide an overview of the status of the U.S. and Arizona economies as they currently stand with a look towards near term trends and what we can expect in 2024.

Annette Gaston, Senior Managing Consultant, PFM Asset Management
Zachary Milne, Senior Economist and Research Analyst, CSI
Luke Schneider, Managing Director, PFM Asset Management

Zachary Milne Presentation
Luke Schnieider Presentation

Legislative Update
10:30 – 11:50 AM |  Grand Ballroom
1.5 CPEs   

This session will provide an update for members on a variety of timely legislative issues. Representatives from the League of Arizona Cities & Towns and the County Supervisors Association of Arizona will provide an overview of the 2024 legislative session and explain the challenges and opportunities currently facing Arizona cities, towns and counties going forward.

Vanessa Fielder, Research and Analytics Manager, County Supervisors Association of Arizona
René Guillen, Deputy Director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns

Legislative Update Presentation

Conference Concludes & Platinum Sponsor Exhibit Tear Down
12:00 PM


Little America, Flagstaff
2515 East Butler Ave., Flagstaff, AZ 86004

The conference rate is $103 plus tax per night for 1-person occupancy. The room block is available for booking through January 16, 2024. To make your hotel reservation, please click this link: https://littleamerica.ihotelier.com/little-america-flagstaff/book/dates-of-stay?groupID=3994710

The hotel block fills up fast! We recommend registering and booking your hotel room as soon as possible. Please note that you may only book one room per full conference attendee. The hotel group rate will end January 16.

Please contact info@gfoaz.org if you have any questions.


$190 Member: Active, Commercial, Associate
$75 Spouse/Guest
$80 Student Member
$270 Non-member; Government Employee
$385 Non-member, Non-government Employee
$270 GFOAz Sponsor


The Government Finance Officers Association of Arizona (GFOAz) awards four scholarships to the state association’s Winter conference. Four recipients will receive up to $500 to be used toward reimbursement for: registration, lodging and travel.

Winter: Click here for further details and to view the application.

Apply by January 5, 2024


Online registration will close on 1/26/24 

If you need to pay by check, please contact info@gfoaz.org. Cancellations must be received in writing prior to January 26, 2024, to receive a partial refund. No refunds will be provided after this date.


Advance registrants unable to attend the Conference are eligible to receive a partial refund of your registration fee by sending a written request before January 26, 2024. If a written cancellation request is received before January 26, 2024, a $30 processing fee will be charged regardless of the reason for cancellation (including medical emergencies). Registrants who are unable to attend the conference may appoint a substitute. There will be no refunds for any cancellation after January 26, 2024.

Cancellations must be emailed to info@gfoaz.org. Cancellations will not be accepted by telephone.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors!

GFOAz Corporate Partners