TeraThink had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Professional Development Training (PDT) in Orlando, FL. This massive event had over 2,000 attendees between July 22-25. Our small group included Jim Levitan, Howard Campbell, Leslie Hubbard-Darr, Matt Duffy, Rodney Taylor, Todd Barber, and myself.
This year, traveling to Orlando proved to be more challenging than planned. Many people, including myself, experienced several hours of delays. Even in the midst of a slow start, the AGA managed to pull off a spectacular event. Despite arriving at 2 a.m. due to delays, Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General, GAO demonstrated quick wit and amazing recall of stats throughout the opening plenary session.
Plenty Of Opportunities To Learn
The conference offered a variety of breakout sessions covering all aspects of federal financial management. The sessions included changes within OMB-A123 and examples of increased collaboration between CFO’s and CIO’s.
Jason Kotecki whom surprisingly is not a financial manager led one of my favorite sessions. He discussed how to tackle adultitis. He challenged us to eat dessert first and to make ugly cakes for going away parties at work. However, my biggest take away from him was how calm and level headed he remained when his microphone went out. His entire message was centered around staying calm, enjoying life to its fullest, and not allowing the ‘little’ things to be the most impactful in our lives.
I also had the pleasure of listening to a panel of women lead by a woman moderator, Tracey Walker, in an Annual Women’s Forum discuss Leading in Life and Career. These women brought a different perspective to the conference. They seemed to take off their ‘financial management’ hats and put on their ‘mentoring’ ones. Lynn Moaney, Sahra Torress-Rivera, and Sherrill Norman are all women who have worked their way to be leading women in management.
They all were part of other breakout sessions involving federal financials. However, these women felt it necessary to take time to discuss the unique challenges faced by women. Their strong spirit emboldens me to always maintain my self-awareness and to never give up.
Next Year In New Orleans
AGA hosts this conference every year and they are slated to takeover New Orleans July 21-24 in 2019. It should be another great opportunity for myself and my colleagues at TeraThink and the industry to expand our knowledge.
Lastly, kudos to the fabulous team I had the opportunity to collaborate with during this conference. I felt honored to be in their presence as we represented TeraThink. As colleagues and clients came to visit, our booth allowed us to showcase our talents and expertise within federal financial management in a shared-experience environment.