Virtual Conference Materials Now Available Online

Presentations and videos from the Winter 2020 Virtual Conference are now available online. Find them here, or in the Resource Archive.

A final thank you to our sponsors, conference planning committee, and moderators who helped make the Winter 2020 Virtual Conference a success! If you have suggestions for future conference topics or are interested in helping with a future conference, please reach out to us by emailing

#NCLGBA20 Recap Series: Public Servants Facing ‘Wicked Problems’

Over the next few weeks, we have been featuring reflections on the 2020 Virtual Winter Conference. Our final #NCLGBA20 Conference Recap comes from Vincent Roberts, Budget & Management Analyst with Guilford County.

In a year like no other, public servants deserved a conference like no other, and that is exactly what NCLGBA was able to deliver with the 2020 Virtual Winter Conference.  From a global pandemic to social justice, 2020 was a year of many firsts for the public sector.  Many of these instances proved to be extremely difficult topics to not only discuss in a professional manner, but also to willingly address directly.  In the 2020 Winter Virtual Conference, NCLGBA showed its willingness to address such issues regardless of how uncomfortable the topic at hand.

Maurice Jones, Town Manager of Chapel Hill, led attendees through his own experience with racial strife as it pertained to a topic that seemed all too abundant in 2020, Confederate monuments.  Mr. Jones highlighted the difficulties that he was able to lead the City of Charlottesville and Town of Chapel Hill through during his time as City Manager in the presentation “Leading Through Adversity.”  From Klan rallies to domestic terrorism, Mr. Jones described the intricacies involved in our jobs as public servants and how the public will look to us for leadership during these trying times.  As public servants it is imperative to remember that we serve the greater good and must approach each situation with fairness regardless of our own personal beliefs.  Mr. Jones also reminded attendees that at its core our profession is based in politics, and this will always play a role in every situation especially those that strike a chord with the public.  It is important to remember that we serve at the pleasure of elected officials, yet do not need to sacrifice morals or integrity in order to be viewed as successful public servants.

The success of public servants is almost certainly defined by their willingness to address these difficult topics, and that was reinforced by three high-level NC budget representatives in the presentation “Racial Equity and Social Justice in Budgeting.”  Patrice Toney, Budget & Evaluation Director for the City of Winston-Salem; Federico Rios, Assistant Director of the Office of Equity, Mobility, and Immigrant Integration for the City of Charlotte; and Tony McDowell, Assistant Finance Director for Budget & Forecasting for the City of Asheville, guided attendees through the intricacies of tackling social injustice by way of budgeting.  The presentation did a tremendous job of showing how one can take theoretical solutions and apply them to real world examples in ways that truly address the problems at hand.  The speakers were able to show attendees that regardless of the amount of a jurisdiction’s budget, there are always tools and ways in which we as budget professionals can directly or indirectly influence our region to become a better place.  Budget professionals have a great impact on the organizations in which they work, and the ability to aid things such as racial equity should not be undervalued.

NCLGBA conferences are always a time of professional networking and fellowship, but the 2020 Winter Virtual Conference proved another key aspect of these conferences.  The fact of the matter is that even when we cannot gather in person, we still have each other’s backs and are constantly looking at ways to improve and address the difficult topics throughout society.

Sponsor Spotlight: Winter 2020 Virtual Conference Sponsors

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NCLGBA recently held our second virtual conference. The virtual event provided an exciting opportunity to still bring high-quality content to our members, even though we couldn’t gather in the same place. One of the factors that made the virtual conference a success was the generosity of our sponsors. Check them out below. Thank you again for your support of NCLGBA!

Winter 2020 Virtual Conference Sponsor Information

Presenting/Title Sponsors

Civic Federal Credit Union (Brochure) (Video)

Governor’s Commission

Debt Book (Flyer) (Video)

Local Government Federal Credit Union (Brochure) (UNC SOG Scholarship Info) (Products & Services) (Video)


Gallagher (Handout) (NCHIP Info) (Video)

Legislative Committee

Oracle (Handouts) (Video)

Edifice General Contractors (Video)

MGT Consulting Group (Overview)

Davenport Public Finance

W-R Martin Management Consulting


Public Input

ClearPoint Strategy

#NCLGBA20 Recap Series: Benefits of Engaging; Benefits of People

Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring reflections on the 2020 Virtual Winter Conference. If you would like to share your experience, please email

Our second #NCLGBA20 Conference Recap comes from Brian Pahle, Assistant City Manager, City of Hendersonville.

In 2015, on a recommendation from Megan Powell, I attended my first NCLGBA conference.  My first survey response was that I felt like people were not welcoming, especially the people with yellow ribbons on their nametags (Board Members! – looking at you Steve H. and Justin A.).  By my second conference I started to get more involved during sessions and was then encouraged by Josh Edwards to start moderating.  Little did I know what that entailed.  I had started getting my legs under me when Josh then asked me to apply for an “At-Large Representative” position on the Board.  Fast forward many e-mail communications with speakers, nights out getting dinner and frequenting a bar or two, stressing about speaking in front of an audience, running in a group 5k, interacting with vendors, and expanding my network, later…I now sit in the background working with a team of extraordinarily talented and compassionate individuals trying to execute [ed. note: succeeding at executing!] a second virtual conference.

The past five years engaging in this organization have been some of the most transformative of my early career.  The impact the Association, Board, and people involved have had on my life is probably unknown to many.  It is also probably unknown to many, how much of an impact engaging with one another can have on your own personal development.  For example, I would never have the friendship with my good friend Paarth Mehta that I have now, if it were not for engaging.  Nor would I have a couple great pictures of Paarth and I superimposed on bees or compared with greats like Bob Costas and DJ Khaled (a previously unimagined dynamic duo rivaling that of Batman and Robin).  I now have so many uplifting memories with so many new friends and professionals.

This benefit in my life was heightened and highlighted during this extremely difficult year.  I could not help but feel so fortunate and introspective while watching Heather Curry kick-off and lead our virtual conference.  Even though we were all apart, the impacts of great friends and mentors was palpable in my living room the past week.  Although I was Zoom fatigued, I look back on these past five years with the Association, and smile because I would not have the knowledge, confidence, and most importantly friendships that I do now if it were not for those little nudges to engage.  Do not let a chance to engage pass you by.  Trust me, I wrote that NCLGBA was not engaging in my first survey response, and then was forced to engage in ways I never could have imagined.

A huge thank you to my good friend Heather Curry for raising the bar as a master of virtual ceremony (MVC) and sharing her amazing talents and knowledge with me along the way.


#NCLGBA20 Recap Series: More Than Spreadsheets – The Human Side of Budgeteers

Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring reflections on the 2020 Virtual Winter Conference. If you would like to share your experience, please email

Our first #NCLGBA20 Conference Recap comes from Janice Hillanbrand, Budget and Management Analyst, Forsyth County.

“…looking at our members as whole people, and not just budget professionals, was something that was really important to me while planning this year’s conference.”

This was a line spoken by Heather Curry, our third Vice President, during the opening of the session “Stress and Wellness in the COVID-19 Local Government Workplace.” It was a powerful line, one that stuck with me both as a conference attendee and as a Board Member, on the thought that went into this conference and the external factors surrounding it. As someone who was part of the planning discussions for this year’s winter conference, I participated in the discussions for more holistic programming. At the time of conference planning, I would not have predicted that this kind of programming would be delivered at the peak of the pandemic (so far) in this state and nation, nor would I have been able to predict how badly I would have needed such holistic programming at the time of the conference.

I am not saying anything new or revolutionary when I say that all of the cumulative events that have occurred in 2020 have led to a hard year – not just for local government professionals, but for all of us as people. At this point it’s an accepted fact, one that we laugh and make jokes as a society about how to cope. 2020 has been a year of isolation, separation, and loss for us all. Whether it’s been choosing to work from and stay at home for our coworkers’ and loved ones’ protection; watching the reactions (or non-reactions) of those around us to the continued racial injustices and inequities bred into our society and its institutions; or the rhetoric flung between neighbors during the election – 2020 is a year that has constantly put neighbors, coworkers, friends and family both physically and mentally at odds. Despite the rhetoric you follow, this has been a shared experience felt by all. It is a never-ending battle that has taken a toll on my mental health, as well as the mental health of those around me.

The resources and takeaways that I have from this conference go beyond improving my skills as a budget professional; they are lessons that I can use to grow as a person. There were, of course, enlightening and engaging sessions related directly to me as a budgeteer – the opening economic outlook, how Charlotte is tackling climate change, monitoring financial condition, and selecting the right visualizations. Attending a conference continues to be a great resource for a young Budget Analyst like myself, not just for networking opportunities but to learn valuable lessons from my neighbors and colleagues. From each of these sessions I was able to hear and hold onto important, tangible information to bring back to better my work, effective immediately.

The sessions that have stayed with me and that have lived in my thoughts rent-free since the conference ended are not those that just impact me as a professional, but those that impact my personal self too. Attending the session on stress and wellness not only gave me tips on how to manage the personal stress I have been having, but gave me a much-needed assurance that I am not alone and that we truly are all just trying to make it one day at a time together. “Leading through Adversity” taught me that no matter how much you think you have prepared, there are some events you can never be fully ready for. What matters in those moments is how you respond and respecting your personal integrity before outsider opinions. The introduction to mindfulness gave me the much-needed reminder once again that despite how overwhelmed you are, how defeating any particular day may be, there should always be time for self-care, no matter how small.

Leaving this year’s conference, I am going into the new year with a renewed hope for my colleagues and myself. Going into 2021, my personal goals are to learn to give myself more grace, not to harbor on my perceived failures, and to continue to learn to trust and have confidence in myself and my abilities as a person and a Budget Analyst. My hope, for anyone who struggles with perfectionism and anxiety as I do, is that you find the same as we all embark into the new year together. Luckily for all of us, we are part of an association that has provided the perfect materials on where to start.

2020 Winter Conference Scholarship Application is Live

Good Afternoon –

I am pleased to announce that the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2020 Virtual Winter Conference from December 9-11. All applications are due by 11:59PM EST on Friday, November 6, 2020. Eligible applicants should submit their application via e-mail to with the subject line NCLGBA Scholarship Program. Scholarship recipient(s) will receive registration for the 2020 Virtual Winter Conference from December 9-11, 2020. In addition, NCLGBA will pay up to $250 by July 1 for any NCLGBA Board-approved professional development opportunity.

In prior years, NCLGBA has solicited scholarship applications with the intent to extend financial support for an in-person conference. Eligible recipients were first-time conference attendees which included MPA students, interns, and professionals in our field. The 2020 Virtual Winter Conference Scholarship Application is attached and available on the website by clicking here.

If you or someone you know is interested in attending the NCLGBA 2020 Virtual Winter Conference as a scholarship winner, I encourage you to apply or pass along this announcement. Please check out the NCLGBA website for information and updates about the upcoming conference. For any questions, feel free to email

Thank you,

Christopher Williams

2020-21 President, NCLGBA

Nominations Open for 2020 Vogt Award

Good Afternoon Local Government Budget Professionals:

It is my pleasure to announce and encourage nominations for the 2020 A. John “Jack” Vogt Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Advancement of Local Government Budgeting and Evaluation. This career award is the highest annual award presented by the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) to recognize individuals who have served as innovators and leaders advancing budget and/or evaluation practices in North Carolina local government during their careers.

In 2006, Dr. Jack Vogt became the first recipient of the award to honor his thirty-four year legacy as an innovator, teacher, mentor, and consummate student of local government budgeting and evaluation.

Nominees must have a minimum of ten years of local government service in North Carolina.  “Government service” is defined broadly as any profession that works in or with municipal, county, or other local government jurisdictions. Examples include budget/finance professionals, city/county managers, elected officials, academics, and local government financial consultants.

Nomination applications and a list of previous award winners can be accessed on the NCLGBA website. Completed nomination applications should be submitted via email to by 11:59pm on Friday, November 6, 2020. A committee from the NCLGBA will review the submissions and present the award at the 2020 Winter Budget Conference on Thursday, December 10th.

If you have any questions about the nomination form or process, please email

North Carolina has a strong, national reputation as a leader in local government budgeting and evaluation. I hope you will take this opportunity to recognize those who have helped us earn this reputation and charted new paths for all of us to participate, learn from and benefit.

Thank You,

Christopher Williams
2020-2021 President, NCLGBA

2020 Virtual Winter Conference – Registration/Membership Open!

Registration for the 2020 Virtual Winter Conference, to be held December 9-11, 2020, is now open!

Key word, it is virtual.  We received great survey feedback from the last conference on capacity for in-person. The conference will include content over three days, two half-days and one longer day.

Head over to the Conferences page for all the details.

If you have any questions, please direct them to


Membership for FY21 is Open

Check out the Membership page for details on joining or renewing your membership with NCLGBA.