Thank you everyone.
It is my pleasure as my first official duty to be able to thank Robin for her work as President for
the past year. Robin has been an active and valued member of the board. This past year I
watched her as she balanced her role and responsibilities as president, with her job, and some of
life’s expected and unexpected milestones. She did so with grace, excellence, and enthusiasm, all
without missing a beat! Thank you for the wonderful job you have done and for your friendship.
Although not on the agenda, I would like to take a moment to thank another individual. This
individual has been a part of the Municipal Finance Officers organization for over 30 years. They
served on the board, as president, and as an advisor for many years. I have never encountered
anyone more willing to offer their guidance or being a sounding board. Jim Olivo is now easing
his way into retirement, but I have no doubt he will always have his finger on the pulse of
Continuing my list of “thank you's”, I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to attend this
week’s conference and for joining us for today’s luncheon and annual meeting.
Participation in this conference is of the main events for our society each year. I would like to
thank the NYCOM staff for all the effort they put into making this a great week of education and
comradery. Also, thank you to the Comptroller’s Office whose training staff bring a great deal of
knowledge and expertise to the week’s education session.
The New York State Society of Municipal Finance Officers was established in 1956, and today
we have more than 350 members. Our objectives include cultivating and disseminating
knowledge and information, sponsoring legislation, educating the public, developing our
members, and exchanging ideas to further the role and profession of municipal finance officers.
We strive to accomplish these goals through our participation in this training conference and
other training opportunities, our work with NYCOM throughout the year, our mentoring program
which connects newer finance officers with seasoned ones to offer one on one training and
support, our membership email group is available to provide a forum to inquire of your peers in
other municipalities regarding any finance related topic that you may be facing. We offer the
Credentialed Municipal Finance Officer Program and scholarship opportunities to encourage
ongoing education in our profession.
We couldn’t accomplish these goals without our dedicated board, a secretary/treasurer who
works tirelessly for the benefit of the organization, and advisors who serve to offer their
experience and expertise. Collectively, these individuals have hundreds of years of municipal
However, we also can’t accomplish these goals without you, our membership. Being a municipal
finance officer today is a challenging job. However, it is nice to be reminded that we aren’t in it
alone. The struggles and issues you may be facing in your municipality are often ones that we all
share. Personally, the relationships I have formed through my participation in this organization
have been one of the most rewarding and beneficial aspects of my involvement. Not only have
we shared budget preparation, negotiating union contracts, onboarding new elected officials, and
implementing new legal requirements, but we have shared births, deaths, marriages, graduations,
and vacations. We share our successes and we share our failures.
I encourage you to take advantage of the resources that your membership provides, and to help
us help you. Reach out to the members via the NYSMFO email with a question, take advantage
of our mentoring program to work with an established Finance Officer, let us know if there is a
topic you are in need of training on, or if you are interested in being more involved speak to one
of the directors to express your interest.
I’d like to close with a quote by Marie Curie, the first woman Nobel Prize winner. She said
“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end,
each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general
responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can
be most useful. “
I think her words illustrate the mission of our organization, and what makes it strong. We are
finance officers helping finance officers. Thank you again for your participation today and I look
forward to working with you all this year!
And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for…door prizes!