The GFOA's new president-elect and Executive Board.The Government Finance Officers Association is governed by an 18-member executive board, which consists of 15 members-at-large serving staggered three-year terms, the current president, the previous year's president, and the president-elect. At the association's annual meeting in June, GFOA members voted for a slate of nominees for president-elect and five new members-at-large, each of whom is profiled below.
LINDA C. DAVIDSON
Financial Services Director
City of Boca Raton, Florida
Linda Davidson has served in various leadership positions for the GFOA and has been on the Executive Board since 2007. She has been a member of the GFOA's Committee on Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting; the annual conference Local Host Committee; and the Nominating Committee. From 2003-2005, Davidson served as the Florida GFOA State Representative. She has been a training instructor for GFOA sessions on fiscal first aid, and she has also prepared material for GFOA periodicals, including an article for Government Finance Review on "Budgeting for Sustainability: A Florida Perspective." Her government has received the GFOA Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting and of the GFOA Award for Distinguished Budget Presentation since inception of the program.
Davidson is a past president of the Florida GFOA, anal under her leadership, that organization worked with the local chapters to provide low-cost regional training through alternate methods; consolidated committees; and presented the first ever "Fiscal Survivor Series" to provide public finance officers with crucial long-term financial strategies. Davidson was instrumental in the City of Boca Raton's obtaining a AAA bond rating from all three rating agencies, and the reaffirmation of that rating in 2010. She has been active in both the City of Boca Raton Police and Firefighters' Retirement System and the General Employees' Pension Plan, the Florida League of Cities Investment Advisory Committee, and the First Florida Governmental Financing Commission.
Goals for GFOA
* Involve members in developing long-term strategies that provide fiscal sustainability and demonstrate strong financial and organizational leadership.
* Prepare finance officers by giving them the ability to solve challenges with prudent fiscal actions that provide accountability and transparency.
* Expand collaborations with other organizations.
I believe that during these challenging times, it is critical that GFOA provide leadership and training to public finance officers so they can guide their organizations with sustainable and resilient actions.
JULIA HARPER COOPER
Assistant Director of Finance
City of San Jose, California
Julia Harper Cooper, a GFOA member for more than 10 years, has been on the GFOA Committee on Governmental Debt Management for seven years. She served as the committee's vice chair from 2008-2010, and as the Recommended Practices Subcommittee Chair from 2006-2008. Cooper has been an instructor for GFOA training seminars on municipal bonds and has also been a presenter at GFOA annual conferences. She has contributed to Government Finance Review and co-wrote a chapter in Capital Project Planning and Evaluation, a GFOA publication. Her government has received the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 22 consecutive years, and the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 19 consecutive years.
Cooper has been a key contributor to San Jose's "Decade of Investment," resulting in the issuance of more than $4.2 billion in debt for a new City Hall, libraries, parks, community centers, fire stations, police substation, airport improvements, and affordable housing. Her efficient and effective management of the debt program has ensured that projects are delivered at the lowest cost to the residents anal businesses; this includes her role in the city's AAA bond ratings. She is active in the City of San Jose Deferred Compensation Advisory Committee and is a frequent panelist at public finance and professional association conferences and training programs for organizations including the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, California Municipal Treasurers Association, and the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission.
Goals for GFOA
During this period of extreme fiscal stress, it is critical for the GFOA to continue promoting strong professional management of government finances. The GFOA objectives that I believe should be at the forefront during this unprecedented time of fiscal uncertainty are raising public awareness of sound financial policy and practice, financial leadership, and enhanced cooperation.
STANLEY A. EARLEY
Deputy City Manager
City of Dayton, Ohio
Stanley A. Earley, an 18-year GFOA member, serves on the GFOA's Generational Change Task Force, and he is in his second terra on GFOA's Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy. He also served a term on the GFOA's Committee on Retirement anal Benefits Administration. The City of Dayton has received the GFOA's Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
Earley supervised a budget system that has managed long-term revenue decline while maintaining financial reserves and improving its general obligation bond rating from A1/A+ to Aa2/ AA.-. He also developed a multi-year financial projection system that involves internal and external stakeholders. Earley previously served as Deputy County Administrator and as Office of Management and Budget Director for Prince George's County, Maryland.
Goals for GFOA
At this point in our history, the GFOA should continue to intensify its focus on improving financial analysis by local governments. While the increased use of technology is important, along with helping local governments navigate the difficult changes in the system of accounting standards, a focus on improving analytical capacity and skills is critical. Many local governments face a significant skills gap as we move into a more complex future. This must be addressed if they are to serve their communities effectively.
Director of Finance
City of Boulder, Colorado
Bob Eichem has been a GFOA member for more than 20 years. He is a current member of the GFOA Treasury anal Investment Management Committee. Eichem is a frequent presenter on finance topics at the GFOA and other national and state organizations. He served as an instructor at the GFOA's preconference seminar on sustainability in 2009. Eichem is a graduate of the GFOA's 2008 Advanced Government Finance Institute. He also served as Treasurer of the GFOA's Local Denver Conference Committee in 2002.
Eichem currently serves as the local government finance liaison for four non-profit, nonpartisan organizations to determine the impact of three citizen-proposed initiatives for the November 2010 statewide ballot; these initiatives would radically alter local government finance in Colorado. He led the City of Boulder's first process for long-range financial planning and fiscal sustainability, which led to the implementation of Priority Based Budgeting. Eichem is the past president of the Colorado GFOA and was the education chairman for ten years. He is an in-house trainer for the city's Inclusiveness and Diversity team. Eichem is a past recipient of the Colorado Government Finance Officer of the Year.
Goals for GFOA
* Provide additional opportunities for local government finance professionals to adapt to the changing leadership role of the finance officer.
* Continue to provide leadership needed for local government finance issues at the national anal state levels.
* Promote anal encourage continual improvement of professional expectations in a]l disciplines of our profession.
* Enhance ways of providing financial leadership in sustainable practices.
* Expand and facilitate the training and mentorship programs for future generations of local government finance professionals.
JOHN A. SOFLEY JR.
Management Services Director
City of Salisbury, North Carolina
John A. Sofley Jr. has been a GFOA member for 26 years. He is the current chair of the GFOA's Committee on Treasury and Investment Management, of which he has served as vice chair and as a member for seven years. He has attended 22 annual conferences and has spoken at conference sessions three times. Sofley has written for the GFOA's Government Finance Review magazine anal Treasury Management newsletter. His government has received the GFOA's Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.
Sofley developed a capital replacement program for vehicles and technology equipment that provides a funding source for scheduled replacements. He also implemented technology and processing solutions for treasury management and a performance management system, anal he developed a capital program for maintenance and construction of city facilities. Sofley served as president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer for the North Carolina GFOA; as director for the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants; and as a member of the Finance and Administration Advisory Committee of the North Carolina League of Municipalities.
Goals for GFOA
I believe the GFOA has three objectives that should be pursued:
* Continue to serve as an authoritative source to its members through best practices, advisories, publications, anal its Web site.
* Provide training opportunities for its members, including remote training for members who are unable to travel.
* Be an advocate of members where rules, regulations, and standards are developed and issued, such as the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Congress.
Lena H. Ellis
Financial Management Service Director/Chief Financial Officer
City of Fort Worth Texas
Lena Ellis has been a GFOA member since December 1998. She is a member of the GFOA's Committee on Governmental Debt Management and served on GFOA's Committee on Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting from 2000-2005. She advised on An Elected Official's Guide: Audit Committees, a GFOA publication. Ellis is a graduate of GFOA's Advanced Government Finance Institute. She has attended every GFOA annual conference since 1997, and has served as a moderator and speaker. Ellis received the GFOA's Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for multiple local government entities.
Ellis participated on the Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association Accounting Standards Review Committee. She has improved accounting and financial reporting, including implementing ERP systems for multiple governments. She provided leadership to bring Fort Worth's CAFR reporting to a current status in fiscal 2010, after being delinquent since fiscal year 2004. Ellis participated on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Government Performance and Accountability Committee from 2003-2007; co-wrote The AICPA Audit Committee Toolkit. Government Organizations; and was selected as the AICPA's Outstanding CPA in local government for 2009. She is a trustee on the Fort Worth Employee Retirement Fund Board.
Goals for GFOA
* Build partnerships and alliances with other professional organizations and government entities to enhance professionalism and ethical standards.
* Serve as a resource on emerging governmental issues that relate to or are affected by finance and accounting (addressing transportation and other infrastructure needs; responding to local, state, and federal legislative and global initiatives; funding pension programs and postemployment benefits; responding to environmental issues and helping preserve natural resources; implementing new technology).
* Fostering innovation and creativity to more effectively and efficiently meet the demands of government finance, given rising expectations and dwindling financial resources.