All Our Dreams Can Come True…

By Joan Michaels Aguilar, 2019 CSMFO President

…if we have the courage to pursue them.” This quote from Walt Disney seemed an appropriate way to launch my final message and ring in 2020. Time flies when you are having fun and here we are in 2020 with the Anaheim conference just around the corner and I know there was an earlier teaser about some advice on getting the most out of attending the 2020 CSMFO Annual Conference. It is such a great event that offers fabulous training and networking opportunities, and it’s adjacent to the most magical place on earth – Disneyland; plus California Adventure. While we are all busy people with our work and personal lives, it is not too early to start planning.

Get Connected

First off, if you don’t have the Guidebook app on your phone – I encourage you to get the app or update to get the 2020 CSMFO conference info which is already available. You can check out the Exhibitor/Sponsor list, an alphabetical list of speakers, check out the schedule by date and mark the sessions and activities you want to attend. The app is great – it lets you know the rooms the educational sessions take place, the applicable training track for the session, e.g. “Accounting and Financial Reporting”. You can even filter using an icon at the bottom right hand corner of the screen if you are specifically interested in certain subject matters. Plus, you can rate the sessions. I know for those of you attending the full conference – you are as excited as I am about the keynote speakers – and the private party at Carsland on Wednesday Night January 29th at Disney’s California Adventure. If you prefer more details, the conference portion of the CSMFO website has a plethora of info on the conference as well and you can download here a PDF copy of the full conference agenda.

Meet New People

We have a tendency at chapter meetings and conferences to sit with familiar faces and I totally get it.  There are people I only see annually and I want to catch up at the conference… but mix it up and sit at a table with folks who are new to your network; perhaps it will be one of our student scholars. Don’t forget to pack some business cards; whether it be to enter a vendor give-away or to share with one of the new colleagues you’ve met meet or at the vendor reception on Wednesday or chapter networking breakfast on Friday. You never know when that networking connection will come in handy during the work year to reach out and call or e-mail someone with a question.

Hello 2020

What a year 2019 was for me. To simply be involved with CSMFO is rewarding but to act as the 2019 President for the many members and committed folks in CSMFO leadership was a privilege. It was an honor as well to represent the organization at out-of-state conferences in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, as well as CMTA and GFOA, and preside over the “Guardians of the Finance Galaxy” 2019 Annual Conference in Palm Springs. Over the years with CSMFO I have observed how much this industry allows us to move into new agencies or new positions within our agencies. This profession and CSMFO in particular fosters professional growth, and it is this daily dedication to our personal development that unlocks our futures. I want to leave you with a few quotes that I am taking into 2020 and beyond:

“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.”

“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.”

“It’s your time to shine.”

To all of those within CSMFO who seek and find new opportunity (and I know there are many), to all of you I say, Congratulations!

Joan Michaels Aguilar is the 2019 President of CSMFO. Joan has over 20 years of experience in municipal finance, including having served as the Deputy City Manager or Finance Director in City of Dixon, King City, and serving as the Budget Manager in Burbank, Colton, Azusa and Covina.

Joan has been actively involved in CSMFO for most of her career, serving in multiple CSMFO Chair roles including the Communications Committee, Budget Committee, and Administration Committee. Joan has also served as a CSMFO Board of Director, Vice Chair of the Conference Site Selection Committee, and member of the Program Committee, 5 Host Committees, League Policy Committee Appointee, and Nominating Committee.