Iowa Governmental Roundtable (VIRTUAL CONFERENCE)More Courses
IGR-WEB | Virtual Live & In-person | Update | Scheduled
- Accounting & Auditing
- Auditing- Governmental
Governmental accountants or CPAs involved in governmental accounting, auditing and other finance issues.
To stay on top of the latest governmental issues affecting those who work in or with governmental entities.
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.
Tim R. Stiles
Tim Stiles is the finance director for the City of West Des Moines, a position he has held since 2011. West Des Moines is currently the 6th largest city in the State of Iowa with a population of just under 68,000 and the city employs nearly 500 full-time staff. Tim manages a finance department staff of seven individuals who oversee all aspects of the city's finances. Prior to his time at the city, Tim spent 11 years with the Des Moines International Airport as finance director. He also serves as a Trustee for the Iowa Public Agency Investment Trust (IPAIT). He is a graduate of Luther College and is a licensed CPA as well as a graduate of the State’s Certified Public Manager Program. Tim is a member of the Iowa Society of CPAs
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 CPA and is a member of the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants.
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 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.
Melisa Galasso is the founder of Galasso Learning Solutions LLC. With nearly 20 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 also supports essential professional development, audit level training, and train the trainer efforts.
Melisa is a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) and has earned the Association for Talent Development Master Trainer™ designation. Her passion for instructional design and adult learning techniques is one of the differentiators that set her apart from other CPE providers. Within the industry, Melisa serves on the FASB’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee (NAC), AICPA Council, and the VSCPA’s Board of Directors. She previously served on the AICPA’s Technical Issues Committee (TIC) and is a past-Chair of the NCACPA’s A&A committee. Melisa also authors the AICPA’s State and Local Government Guide and serves as a SME for the Center for Plain English Accounting.
Melissa J. Finestead
Melissa Finestead is a manager for Iowa’s Office of Auditor of State and has worked for the office for almost 15 years. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and is a Certified Fraud Examiner. Melissa’s primary responsibilities include supervising and reviewing performance and investigative audits.
Rob Sand was sworn in as Iowa’s State Auditor on January 2, 2019.
Rob grew up in Decorah. He graduated from Brown University where he was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar. He then attended the University of Iowa Law School on a full merit scholarship. 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.
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.
As State Auditor, Rob established a tri-partisan leadership team and enacted internal reforms that are saving over $30,000 per year. He has worked to make public employees personally financially responsible for losses they cause to taxpayers, added law enforcement professionals to the Office’s investigative division, reduced travel for employees, and encouraged employees to live anywhere they like in Iowa rather than only Des Moines.
Chris Pembrook, MBA, CGAP, CPA, CRFAC is a Shareholder at Crawford & Associates, P.C., in Oklahoma City. Prior to joining the firm, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Oklahoma Police Pension & Retirement System and the Deputy Director of the Local Government & Special Services Division of the Oklahoma State Auditor & Inspector’s Office.
Chris currently serves as a committee member of the AICPA State and Local Government Expert Panel and the Oklahoma Society of CPA's Government Accounting & Auditing Committee. He also was selected to serve on the joint COSO-ACFE Task Force for the development of the group’s Fraud Risk Management Guide.
Robert Palmer is general counsel and director of government affairs for the Iowa League of Cities. The Iowa League of Cities is a statewide association encompassing more than 870 member cities that provide state and federal level advocacy, training and serves as a unified voice of cities across Iowa.
Robert is an attorney and governmental and external affairs professional with experience in economic development, negotiations, legislative policy development and management, customer engagement, sales, and customer service. His experience includes both non-profit and for-profit companies.
Robert currently serves on the board of directors for the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, the West Des Moines Community Foundation, the Drake University College of Arts & Sciences National Advisory Council, and the State of Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy.