It is a great honor to serve as president of GFOA. I look forward to working with the Executive Board, our standing committees, state and provincial organizations, and all of the members of the GFOA. Thank you for the important role you have played, and continue to play as a leader in your organization.
GFOA is here to provide you with the resources, connections, education, and advocacy you need to be successful in this leadership role. The best practices and advisories developed by our seven standing committees are the core of our mission to serve you. They are developed so that we can better serve our communities. For those of you who heard Jim Collins's keynote speech at GFOA's 2017 annual conference in Denver, the best practices are our "hedgehog"--they are what differentiate GFOA from other associations. The best practices provide us with well researched, relevant, practical guidance, and according to membership surveys, they are what you value most from your membership.
In recognition of their importance, this year's Awards for Excellence in Government Finance were awarded to entities that demonstrated exceptionally well implemented best practices and creative solutions to common challenges. GFOA also awarded an Award for Excellence for Creative Solution to a Common Challenge. See the listing that begins on page 40 of this issue of Government Finance Review, or on gfoa.org.
While we remain focused on our core services, GFOA is also constantly striving to seek new ways to assist you. Let me tell you about a couple of these initiatives.
I have heard from many of you about the challenges you face attracting and retaining talent in your organizations--particularly getting new graduates interested in careers in state and local government finance. This initiative has leveraged the work of come of GFOA's great leaders, including Bob Eichem, chief financial officer for the City of Boulder, Colorado; Heather Johnston, city manager for the City of Burnsville, Minnesota; Marc Gonzales, director of the Department of Finance for Clakamas County, Oregon; and Patrick McCoy, Director of Finance at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York --all former presidents of GFOA. This is time to double down and build new partnerships in this area. It is my impression that many in the generation now entering the workforce have a strong sense of mission--they want to work for organizations that make a difference in the world. Unfortunately, they may...