Conference scholarships, Student Engagement, and CSMFO Gives Back

By Steve Heide, Finance Director, Chino Valley Fire District, Chino Hills, California

By now, hopefully you’re well aware that annual conference registration for Anaheim 2020 is now open. Now’s the time to register to take advantage of our discounted early bird conference rates, and our preferred Disney hotel room rates. Early bird registration closes on November 17.

And speaking of the upcoming conference, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedicated efforts of our CSMFO members serving on this year’s annual conference Host Committee.

In addition to the significant commitment of planning for our 2020 conference, each Host Committee member also serves CSMFO in other volunteer capacities, in addition to their very full-time day jobs and personal lives. It is for their extraordinary efforts that I am deeply grateful. Their hard work and leadership is why we have fantastic annual conferences.

Conference Scholarships

I’m pleased to report that we received a strong response to our 25 full conference scholarships offered to first-time attendees. In fact, we filled the 25 slots within the first few days of registration and created a waiting list for others who applied. Due to the overwhelming demand, we closed the scholarship application process at the end of September.

In addition to government scholarships, we also have a student scholarship program. I’m also pleased to report that we have expanded our student scholarships to now pay for conference registration AND provide a daily per diem for parking and other incidental costs. As a reminder, student membership in CSMFO is free so there is no barrier for any student to join and apply for a conference scholarship. Active student engagement is an important element of our current three-year strategic plan and we’re excited to provide this opportunity for students to join us at the conference.

CSMFO Gives Back

On a different note, I am particularly proud that our CSMFO Gives Back to the Community initiatives are coming together nicely for the 2020 conference as well. This starts with purchasing our conference tote bags from the FEED 10 Project, where each attendee’s bag will provide funding for 10 meals to combat hunger in countries around the world.

We’ll also be supporting the CSMFO O’Dell Scholarship Fund through various conference initiatives. Administered through the CSU system, this scholarship fund was established by CSMFO in 1987 and has since provided California State University students studying public administration with scholarship opportunities for over 30 years and counting.

And finally, we’ll be supporting the Orangewood Foundation, a local nonprofit provider of services to current and former foster youth in Orange County. Orangewood is located just a short distance from our Anaheim conference location. We are pleased that we’re able to support a very worth local children’s charity.

Be sure to visit the CSMFO 2020 conference website for additional details regarding conference registration, scholarship opportunities, CSMFO Gives Back to the Community, and much more.

To quote Walt Disney,

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world,
but it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Amen to that, Walt. Please join us on the doorstep of the most wonderful place in the world for CSMFO’s 60th Annual Conference – Yesterday, Tomorrow and Finance – taking place January 28-31, 2020 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

Steve Heide is the Finance Director, Chino Valley Fire District, Chino Hills, California.

Over 30 years of professional finance experience, having worked in government and private industry in a variety of finance positions with progressive levels of responsibility. Previous positions in public accounting, healthcare and non-profit/government.