Iowa Governmental RoundtableMore Courses
IGR | Conferences | Update | Scheduled
- IMPORTANT: ISCPA CPE course manuals are now all paperless. No printed copies will be distributed onsite. eMaterials will be available to download 5-7 days prior to the course in the My CPE Tracker section of the ISCPA website. Learn more here.
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- Auditing- Governmental
- Accounting- Governmental
- Business Law
Marlys K. Gaston
Marlys Gaston is the Deputy in charge of the Financial Audit Division of the Iowa Auditor of State’s Office. She is a graduate of Buena Vista University and joined the staff of the Auditor’s office in 1985. As a Deputy in the Financial Audit Division, Marlys’ responsibilities include directing the activities of the audit teams, reviewing the audit results and ensuring compliance with office and professional standards. She also participates in various local government training programs and provides technical assistance to local governments and their auditors.
Marlys is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Government Financial Manager. She is a member of the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Government Accountants and the City and County Finance Committees.
Ernest H. Ruben
Ernest Ruben is a Director for Iowa’s Office of Auditor of State and has worked for the office since 1993. Ernie is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. His responsibilities include supervising local government, university and State agency audits. He also participates in the Auditor’s Office Quality Review Program of CPA firm reports and workpapers and is responsible for coordinating the Auditor’s Office in-house training program. Ernie is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Jennifer Campbell is a Manager for Iowa’s Auditor of State’s Office and has worked for the office since 1999. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. As a Manager in the Performance Investigation Division, her primary responsibilities include supervising and reviewing performance engagements and special investigations and providing technical assistance and training to local governments and their auditors. In addition, Jennifer oversees the process for petition audits and re-audits. Jennifer is a Certified Public Accountant.
Mark Cory is a shareholder at the Ahlers & Cooney law firm. He represents cities, counties, utilities and special districts with respect to the state law, federal tax and federal securities aspects of public financing projects.
Ted Nellesen is senior fiscal and policy analyst, local government budgets, for the Iowa Department of Management. Ted joined the Department of Management in July 2012, taking over city, township and miscellaneous levy authority budgets. Prior to joining the Department of Management, Ted worked as a consultant for Public Financial Management (PFM), a municipal finance advisory firm. Ted obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Iowa State University in 2005 and his Master of Public Administration from Drake University in 2010.
Carrie Johnson is senior fiscal and policy analyst, local government budgets, for the Iowa Department of Management. Carrie graduated from Iowa State University and started her career working with local governments at the Iowa League of Cities. She worked for the League for more than eight years in various roles in the membership services area. After taking some time off to be at home with her daughter, Carrie rejoined the workforce with Public Financial Management, Inc., a financial advisory firm that works with many Iowa cities and counties. In 2010, Carrie joined the Iowa Department of Management as property valuation and county budget administrator. In her current role, she works with the property valuation system and the Utility Replacement Tax. She also works with county budgets and annual financial reports, as well as county hospital, county/city assessor, and county agricultural extension budgets
James S. Cunningham
Jim Cunningham is a Director for Iowa’s Office of Auditor of State and has worked for the office since 1989. Jim is a graduate of Iowa State University and a Certified Public Accountant. Jim’s primary responsibilities include supervising and reviewing performance and investigative audits and providing technical assistance and training to local governments and their auditors.
Melisa Galasso is the founder of Galasso Learning Solutions LLC. With over 15 years of experience in the accounting profession, Melisa designs and facilitates courses in advanced technical accounting and auditing topics, including nonprofit and governmental accounting. She closely monitors regulatory bodies for changes in auditing and accounting guidance and serves as a subject matter expert in implementing the updated guidance.
Melisa earned the Association for Talent Development (ATD) Master Trainer™ designation. She is a member of and frequent instructor for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA), and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA).
In 2016, Melisa was appointed to the AICPA’s Technical Issues Committee (TIC), which is responsible for monitoring the activities of the various accounting and attestation standard-setting boards and submitting comments and recommendations during the due process phase. Melisa serves on the Board of Directors for the VSCPA.
Melisa received the 2013 Women to Watch – Emerging Leader Award from the NCACPA and AICPA. She is a graduate of the 2014 class of the AICPA’s Leadership Academy. In 2016, Melisa was honored as one of the 50 Most Influential Women by the Mecklenburg Times and received the Top 5 Under 35 Award from the VSCPA. She received a 5.0 Speaker award from the NCACPA in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Melisa received the Don Farmer Award from the NCACPA for the highest combined average scores on knowledge, skills, and materials from participant evaluations for all courses taught in a technical area. Melisa is a 2017 and 2018 recipient of the AICPA’s Outstanding Discussion Leader award which is given to the top 10% of all AICPA facilitators around the country.
Lisa Parker is a senior project manager with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Prior to joining the GASB in 2008, Lisa worked for Runyon Kersteen Ouellette CPAs for 10 years, the town of Old Orchard Beach, Maine as finance director and interim town manager for 2 years, and the city of Saco, Maine as finance director for 8 years.
Lisa is a certified public accountant and a chartered global management accountant (CGMA). She is a member of the Association of Governmental Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants, where she served as president. Previously, Lisa was president of the Maine Governmental Finance Officers Association, an executive board member of the New England Governmental Finance Officers Association, and a member of a national GFOA standing committee.
Lisa attended Boston College and the University of Southern Maine graduating with magna cum laude honors and a bachelor’s degree in accounting
Rob Sand was sworn in as Iowa’s State Auditor on January 2, 2019. He grew up in Decorah. Rob graduated from Brown University where he built a reputation for being able to work productively with individuals of all political persuasions, which led to the creation of an institute for productive political discourse that still thrives today. While there, Rob was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar. After college, Rob returned to Iowa to attend the University of Iowa Law School. He was the first student ever to be both a President of the Iowa Student Bar Association and an Editor-in-Chief of a law journal. He also led a student volunteer effort to commit over 1,000 hours of volunteer labor to cleaning and rebuilding Cedar Rapids after the 2008 floods. Before graduating he was awarded the Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, the University of Iowa’s highest award.
As an Assistant Attorney General from 2010 to 2017, Rob was Iowa’s first chief financial crimes prosecutor. He successfully prosecuted attorneys, investment advisors, embezzlers, and those who exploit the elderly. He also led the investigation that discovered the largest lottery rigging scheme in American history and brought down an international Ponzi scheme. In his first weeks as State Auditor, Rob established a tri-partisan leadership team and enacted reforms that are saving the Office over $10,000 per year.
Scott Sanders was appointed as City Manager of Des Moines in September of 2014. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city. Scott supervises all city staff, serves as the primary advisor to the city council, directs major economic development initiatives, and is the chief negotiator for the cty. He joined the City of Des Moines in 2011 as finance director and also served as assistant city manager. Scott has a strong background in city management with an emphasis on finance, budgets and administration.
Scott received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University and a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning also from Iowa State. He has worked as a senior managing consultant at Public Financial Management; as the finance director for the City of Council Bluffs; assistant city manager and finance director for the City of West Des Moines.
Dan Simpson is an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service for the Midwest Local Government Rating Team that covers credits primarily in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Nebraska. He is the state lead for Iowa local governments and is a member of Moody’s Cyber Security Task Force.
Prior to joining Moody’s, Dan worked at Bernardi Securities, Inc., in the Municipal Credit Department were he performed credit analysis on a broad range of local government credits in the Midwest and the Public Finance Department where he structured debt transactions for local governments in Illinois. Dan holds a B.S. degree in Economics from the University of Utah and a M.S. in Applied Statistics from DePaul University.
Kristine Stone is a shareholder at Ahlers & Cooney law firm in Des Moines. Her practice focuses on representing cities, counties, utilities, and other public entities in the exercise of their powers and in litigation. In her general municipal practice, she counsels clients in all aspects of their operations, such as policy development, risk avoidance, public bidding, public records, open meetings, annexation, eminent domain, and more. Kristine currently serves as city attorney for two central Iowa communities.
Alan Gutierrez-Arana is a principal, national leader payment card industry services for RSM US LLP in Charlotte, North Caroline. He has over 20 years of experience providing IT security and controls assessments, regulatory compliance consulting services for a broad range of insurance, banking, finance and high technology entities.
Alan specializes in Payment Card Industry (PCI) IT controls assessment and compliance, federal and state IT regulatory compliance (PCI-DSS, HIPAA-HITECH, SOX, BASEL II, FFIEC), controls design and implementation, SSAE 16 assessments, disaster recovery, IT outsourcing and off-shoring, IT governance, business continuity, change management, information security, computer operations and e-business. His client portfolio includes several Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, with locations in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the U.S.
Alan leads RSM’s national Payment Card Industry (PCI) Services practice servicing and assisting local, national and global clients with their payment card security and compliance needs. He is also RSM’s chair at the PCI council’s global executive assessor roundtable (GEAR), an executive committee level advisory board comprised of senior executives from PCI assessor companies. The GEAR serves as a direct channel for communication between senior leadership of payment security assessors and PCI SSC senior leadership. He is also a member of the high-tech crime consortium (HTCC). HTCC is an international organization connecting cyber cops and investigators, sharing information and offering each other help and advice in Cybercrime matters since 1998.