• Willdan Financial Services
  • Harris.
  • Cutwater Asset Management
  • NBS
  • PFM Asset Management LLC

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*Please note that updates are continually made to the Job Board section of the MiniNews (PDF format) after its original release. Check the Job Board regularly.

President’s Message

By: Laura Nomura, City of Riverside


I can’t believe the time has come for me to pass the baton to the new leadership of CSMFO. At our upcoming 2013 Annual Conference in Oakland, California, I will present the gavel to Pauline Marx who will become our new President. Joining Pauline as President-Elect will be Pamela Arends-King, and two new Board Members, Joan Michaels Aguilar and Margaret Moggia.

Being the CSMFO President has been an amazing experience and will always be something that I cherish dearly.  Having spent the last two years, as President-Elect and President, I have seen first-hand the tremendous work and dedication that goes into making CSMFO the great organization that it is today. There are so many dedicated members who commit time and energy: the Board of Directors, Committee Members; Chapter Chairs, and our League Policy Appointees. I am humbled to be associated with such an outstanding group of individuals.

In addition to our great volunteers noted above, we are fortunate to have a phenomenal Executive Director, Melissa Dixon, and her outstanding staff at Smith Moore & Associates.  I would like to personally thank Melissa for the tremendous administrative support she provided me this past year.  She always made sure I shined in my role as President – thank you Melissa from the bottom of my heart!

There were many highlights during my presidency.  First and foremost, was the opportunity to be intimately involved in the planning of our 2012 conference held last year at Disneyland.  This conference was a major success, breaking attendance records and generating a significant profit for the benefit of providing operating resources to our membership.  This could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of our Annual Conference Host and Program Committees and also our event planners, Teri Antecivich and Janet Salvetti from Meeting & Association Management Services.  I thank each and every one of you for making this event such a success!

Another highlight was being the ambassador for CSMFO in visiting our sister organizations. It was an incredible experience to attend and participate in their annual meetings, share ideas and develop friendships with other Presidents.  CSMFO is truly held in high esteem by these organizations.  I look forward to reuniting with some of them at our conference in Oakland.

During my tenure as President, CSMFO was in its second year of our Three-Year Strategic Plan (2011-2013).  The leadership met in October before the start of my presidency to outline the goals to be accomplished for 2012.  Details of all the accomplishments for 2012 are contained in the 2012 Annual Report, which will be distributed electronically prior to the conference. Many thanks go out to the leadership team, and special recognition goes to Past President Scott Johnson, President-Elect Pauline Marx, and Melissa Dixon for being such great leaders; working with the Chapters and Committees in carrying out and completing the goals that were set for 2012!

California Finance…and All that Jazz!

I hope I will have the pleasure to see many of you in Oakland, California.  The Annual Conference is our premier event and is a great opportunity to sharpen our skills and knowledge and network with our peers.  If you have not done so already, please check out the conference website for the pre-conference and break-out sessions being offered, as well as, the keynote speakers who are scheduled at our upcoming conference to be held February 20-22 at the Oakland Marriott.  Should you attend, I am certain you will take away useful information that will help you in your day-to-day functions from all of the fabulous training being offered.

In closing….

Overall, my two primary objectives as President were to purposely focus on meeting the Strategic Goals set by the Board and also to motivate our members to get involved either at the Chapter level, Committee level or Board level to ensure a great succession of leadership in the upcoming years.  I am very happy with what all we have accomplished this year.  I would like to personally thank Past Presidents: Scott Johnson, Ronnie Campbell, Viki Copeland, and Thomas Fil who all reached out to me with insight, advice and support leading into and throughout my presidency.  Lastly, I would like to acknowledge Agnes Walker, who told me many years ago when I was Vice Chair on the Professional Standards & Recognition Committee that one day I would make a good President.  Thankfully her vision came true and hopefully I served you well.  Thank you again for allowing me this wonderful opportunity and the honor to serve as your 2012 President!


Executive Director’s Message

By: Melissa Dixon, CAE

The CSMFO Annual Conference is almost upon us!  I have it on good authority that this is shaping up to be the largest Northern California conference CSMFO’s ever seen.  I, for one, cannot wait to be on-site at the Oakland Marriott to see our year’s worth of planning finally come to fruition.  I have to say, I am particularly excited for this year’s Thursday night banquet.  We’re taking the convention center and creating a “Street Party”—complete with food trucks, street performers, caricature artists, even park benches and streetlamps to complete the “look”.  Remember to dress casual!


One of my favorite parts of the conference is that I get to meet so many of our wonderful attendees!  I always feel, though, that I’m constantly running to some thing or other, and I never get to spend the time I’d like just talking to our members.  In one instance last year I was stopped by a woman, but got interrupted with some crisis or other and she didn’t get the attention she deserved.  To this person, I’d like to apologize for my scattered focus and invite you to come see me this year at the CSMFO booth in the exhibit hall.  In order to ensure that I can set aside time to meet with the members, I signed up to help staff the CSMFO booth during the following times:

Wednesday, February 20, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 21, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Please come say hi to me!  I am always interested in hearing what you think we’re doing well, what you think we could improve on, any needs you may have in your profession that CSMFO isn’t meeting…any knowledge you think could help me better serve CSMFO and the membership, please stop by and impart!

In addition, we’re instituting a new session this year, immediately prior to the opening luncheon.  It’s designed to give newcomers to the conference (or CSMFO in general) an overview of what to expect and how to get the most out of CSMFO.

Date:  Wednesday, February 20

Time:  11:00 a.m. (opening lunch begins at 11:30 a.m.)

Location: Jr. Ballroom 4

Veterans are welcome as well, to help lend perspective and welcome our new members and first-time conference attendees.

I hope to see all of you in Oakland!


CSMFO 2013 Annual Conference

By: Pauline A. Marx, Chief Assistant Treasurer City and County of San Francisco

With the Superbowl now behind us, we can focus on the event that REALLY matters—the CSMFO 2013 Annual Conference!

As you must already know we will be in Oakland this year for our 53rd Annual Conference “California Finance…And All That Jazz”.  The conference is being held February 20–22, 2013, at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Online registration closes on February 5, 2013, but on-site registration will be available during the conference.

This will be the third conference that our organization has held in Oakland.  Some of you may remember the 1979 conference (I am not one of them!).  If anyone can tell us about that one or the 1969 Oakland conference, please share your recollections.

In 2012, The New York Times “Places to Go” list named Oakland the top North American place to visit and the 5th Best Place in the world to visit. I hope that you have a chance to enjoy Oakland, which is where I hang out, enjoy dining, entertainment and shopping (the small town I live in is entirely surrounded by Oakland).  The Program and Host Committees have planned a very busy three days, so you will have to squeeze that in as you can.

This year we are offering an exceptional conference with superb speakers, timely and targeted sessions, and great networking opportunities. In addition, the Host Committee has enjoyed planning some other special activities:  a golf outing and a tennis tournament on Tuesday, three special tours on Wednesday morning, and a unique take on the Thursday night banquet.

I’m sure the 2013 CSMFO Annual Conference will meet all of your expectations and I look forward to seeing you there!


Be a Host for CSMFO’s Accounting and Fiscal Policy Classes

Do you want to be more involved with CSMFO? Consider hosting one of our classes in 2013!

In case you didn’t know, CSMFO offers Introductory, Intermediate Governmental Accounting and Fiscal Policy Training classes throughout the year. Each class is taught separately by highly respected instructors.

The Accounting classes are appropriate for individuals that have some accounting background, but may be new to the government sector or for employees who have recently assumed responsibility for financial and accounting reporting. The classes are also appropriate for anyone interested in brushing up on basic government accounting skills. Once a basic understanding of accounting concepts is reached, these concepts can easily be applied to the unique requirements of the governmental area.

Host Site Requirements for the Accounting classes include:

  • A minimum of 20 registrants
  • Seating for 60 participants with tables and chairs
  • 1 rectangular table up front for speaker
  • Table and chair in back for registration
  • ***Room open and available at 8:00 a.m. for set-up (*** 7:30 a.m. for Intermediate classes)
  • Parking alternatives for up to 60 participants, preferably free parking
  • A computer with a remote to advance PowerPoint slides
  • A port to allow for a USB flash drive
  • A screen and projector

The host site will need to provide lunch (with beverages) and light morning/afternoon refreshments for the attendees. The host site will be reimbursed actual costs up to $15 per attendee, including the instructor, by CSMFO.

The Fiscal Policy Training classes are offered as ½ or 1 day sessions. Good times come and go, but your values shouldn’t – which is what fiscal policies are all about. Setting clearly articulated fiscal policies builds a strong foundation for protecting your agency’s long-term fiscal health. As recent economic events have shown, no agency is immune to economic downturns. But agencies with clear fiscal policies in place with a tradition of following them have a significant strategic edge over those that don’t. Policies make tough decisions easier by providing guidance both when times are good by preventing problems to begin with, as well as when the inevitable tough times do arrive.
Host Site Requirements for the Fiscal Policy Training classes include:

  • A minimum of 10 registrants
  • Seating for 60 participants with tables and chairs
  • 1 rectangular table up front for speaker
  • Table and chair in back for registration
  • ***Room open and available at 7:30 a.m. for set-up (*** 12:30 p.m. for afternoon sessions)
  • Parking alternatives for up to 60 participants, preferably free parking
  • A computer with a remote to advance PowerPoint slides
  • A port to allow for a USB flash drive
  • A screen and projector
  • Location convenient to lunch options for attendees (preferred).

The host site will NOT need to provide lunch or refreshments for the attendees. Attendees are on their own for lunch.

For all classes, the host site gets two free attendees. Unless otherwise provided by the Hosting Agency, one of the attendees will be designated to registering participants, checking room set-up, assisting the presenter, assisting with food, and assisting with set-up as needed.

CSMFO will handle the online registrations and fees for the classes.

CSMFO and the host site will be responsible for marketing and promoting the courses. The host site is strongly encouraged to market and promote the courses to local agencies and chapters to maximize attendance.

If you are interested and able to host any of the classes in 2013 or for more information, please contact Margaret Moggia, Chair of the Career Development Committee at margaretm@westbasin.org.


CSMFO MiniNews Committee Member Feature

Brent Mason


Name: Brent Mason       

Agency: City of Riverside, Finance Director/Treasurer

Committee Chair of: Vice Chair, Membership Benefits


Q: How long have you been in the municipal finance profession? Why did you choose this profession?

Approximately 22 years, almost all of which has been with the City of Riverside.  As an auditor with Price Waterhouse, I spent the largest portion of my time on the audit of the City of Riverside. This exposed me to that specific industry of the accounting field.  I got to know folks in this field and it appealed to me as a career choice that would allow me to better manage the balance between work and personal life. I then spent three years with the City of Rialto as their Assistant Finance Director, then moved to Riverside as its Controller, and have gradually taken on new challenges here over the last 19 years, arriving as the Finance Director about 2 ½ years ago. Best decision of my life!

Q: How long have you been a CSMFO member? Served on a CSMFO committee?

I have always been a member of CSMFO, maybe even back to the Price Waterhouse days.  I spent several years early on in local level rolls of Chapter Chair or Treasurer.  Then about five years ago, got asked to join the Membership and Benefits Committee.

Q: What committee are you a part of now? Why did you become involved with CSMFO’s committee(s)?

When asked to join the Membership and Benefits Committee I was flattered to have been asked and was excited to join the leadership team that helps navigate this organization.  Riverside has had a long history of being very involved (past president, etc.) and it’s “part of the culture” here.  The professional opportunities to help yourself and others are limitless, and the people are extraordinary.  The degree of selflessness demonstrated by the leaders over the years has always amazed me and I am very grateful to be able to be a part of that history.

Q: How did you come to be involved in the leadership of CSMFO?

As noted above, I was asked, felt honored and absolutely wanted to be more involved.

Q: What are your goals for the committee for the coming year, and how do they relate to the overall organization’s goals?

Good question.  The goals are really set by the group as a whole each year at the highly productive strategic planning workshop each fall.  From that the duties fall to the respective committees.  As the Vice Chair, my primary goal is to make the Chair look good! We are particularly excited about a new session we’re putting together now for the conference in February.  We will have a brief “Welcome to the CSMFO” session just prior to the start of the conference for new members and first time attendees.  The objective is to make them aware of the opportunities the organization provides, and to help them maximize their time at the conference for those three days.


Coaching Corner

“Make 2013 Your Best Year Yet” – special sessions at Annual Conference

By: Don Maruska, Director, CSMFO Coaching Program

Wherever you are in your career, CSMFO has resources to help you make some big strides in both performance and satisfaction. Be sure to take advantage of these special sessions at the Annual Conference:

Pre-Conference Workshop: How to get to…You’re hired!
8:00-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 20

Sign up for this hands-on, interactive workshop that will address the following:

  • What core skills do you need to progress in your career?
  • How do you package yourself in an effective cover letter and resume?
  • What top 10 mistakes do candidates make in the interview process?
  • Successful interview strategies

This workshop will be followed by one-on-one resume review and mock interview sessions.
Presenters: Bobbi C. Peckham and Phil McKenney, Peckham & McKenney


Take Charge of Your Talent: Three Keys to Thriving in Your Career, Organization, and Life
8:30-9:45 a.m., Thursday, February 21

Enjoy a lively and engaging session that will boost your career and personal fulfillment. This session will include hands-on applications of key insights so that you can apply proven tools.

  • See how you can shift from being a victim of your circumstances to the hero of your talent.
  • Learn practical ways to accelerate through obstacles.
  • Discover how you can multiply the payoffs for yourself and others.

Don draws from decades of work in helping managers and teams gain breakthroughs for themselves and their organizations. This session will benefit participants at any stage of their careers.
Presenter: Don Maruska, Master Certified Coach, Director, CSMFO Coaching Program, and author of “Take Charge of Your Talent.”


Welcome New CSMFO Members!

  • Richard Hertz, Supervisor, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Sonia Gomez-Garcia, Junior Accountant, San Gabriel Valley Chapter
  • Deborah Gunderson, Finance Administrator, Orange County Chapter
  • Pio Martin, Finance Director, South San Joaquin Valley Chapter
  • Anna Van Degna, Vice President, Peninsula Chapter
  • Marie Nguyen, Budget Officer, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Rosie Gaede, Accounting Supervisor, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Renee Murphy, Accounting Manager, Central Los Angeles Chapter
  • Phil Evans, Finance Supervisor, East Bay Chapter
  • Damien Charlety, Debt Analyst, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • Kathie Alves, Modoc County Supervisor Dist. 3, Northwest Counties Chapter
  • Steve Elam, Project Manager, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Lewis Clinton Jr., East Bay Chapter
  • A.J. Lopez III, Director of HR & RM, Central Los Angeles Chapter
  • Kaye Hobson, Group Finance Director, San Diego County Chapter
  • Steven Popelar, Director of Finance & Administration, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Marietta Santos, Senior Accountant, San Gabriel Valley Chapter
  • Neal Skiver, Senior Vice President, Out of State
  • Jim Van Iwaarden, Consulting Actuary, Peninsula Chapter
  • Jason Johnson, Budget Officer, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • Mike Wallace, Analyst, East Bay Chapter
  • Peggy Xu, Sr. Accountant, East Bay Chapter
  • Doug Skarr, Research Manager III, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • Sallie McAndrew, Senior Accountant, Monterey Bay Chapter
  • Marcelo Penha, Senior Budget Analyst, North Bay Chapter
  • Jason Simpson, Director of Finance, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Jenny Bisquera, Account Clerk, San Gabriel Valley Chapter
  • Bradley Johnson, City Administrator Analyst, East Bay Chapter
  • Geoffrey Kischuk, President, Channel Chapter
  • Bryan Wong, Supervising Accountant, South San Joaquin Valley Chapter
  • David McPherson, Revenue & Tax Administrator, East Bay Chapter
  • Clarissa Domen, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • David Siu, Accounting & Financials Systems Analyst, East Bay Chapter
  • Joseph Maestretti, Chief Financial Officer, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • Ryan Cornell, Accounting Supervisor, Central Coast Chapter
  • Gardenya Duran, Staff Accountant, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Genivive Schwarzkopf, Senior Accountant, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Megan Hackney, Audit Supervisor, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Gary Leong, Director of Administrative Services, Coachella Valley Chapter
  • Nedko Nedev, Assistant Vice President, East Bay Chapter
  • Li Zhang, Chief Financial Officer, North Bay Chapter
  • Perry Stottlemeyer, Director of Accounting, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • Paul Rankin, Associate, East Bay Chapter
  • Justin Benavides, Accountant, South San Joaquin Valley Chapter
  • Ryan Kincaid, Senior Accountant, South San Joaquin Valley Chapter
  • Robert Larkins, Managing Director, East Bay Chapter
  • Christina Valencia, Chief Financial Officer, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Susan Leong, Financial Analyst, Coachella Valley Chapter
  • Richard Morales, Debt Manager, East Bay Chapter
  • Scott Miller, Chief Financial Officer/Director of FASD,    Out of State
  • Karen Nixon, Accountant, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • Bhavna Chaudhary, Financial Services Manager, East Bay Chapter
  • David Ramberg, Assistant Director, Peninsula Chapter
  • James McHugh, Senior Accountant, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • Germaine Fisher, AR/AP Accountant, South Bay Chapter


Education Opportunities

Introduction to Governmental Accounting – March 6, 2013
A One-Day Workshop


Chapter Updates

Chapter Chair Breakfast ~Reminder~

 CSMFO Annual Conference
– February 21, 2013

The CSMFO Chapter Chair Breakfast is an annual event that allows fellow Chapter Chairs to meet with one another and discuss Chapter operations, exchange thoughts and strategies, as well as meet their Board Liaisons for the coming year.

Breakfast will be held on Thursday, February 21, 2013, from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP by COB Friday, February 8, 2013 to Chase Wymore.