RU, VGFOA celebrating a decade of service and commitment

For the past 10 years, Radford University's College of Business and Economics (COBE) has partnered with the Virginia Government Finance Officers Association (VGFOA) to design and provide a certificate training program for finance professionals who work or aspire to work in the Commonwealth's state and local governments.

The program provides professional training in accounting, budgeting, cash management, debt, administration, internal controls, Virginia law and various other topics pertinent to state and local governments.

COBE's Governmental and Nonprofit Assistance Center (GNAC) works with VGFOA to develop the curriculum.

The partnership began a little more than a decade ago when VGFOA asked Bruce Chase, professor of accounting and GNAC director, to develop advanced courses for a program. From there, the relationship developed, and now Chase and other RU faculty members plan and teach classes in the program, many of which are offered online.

Ten classes – eight mandatory and two electives – are required to complete the program. More than 16 of these courses are offered across the state each year.

Individuals receive a certificate upon completion of the program. Nearly 200 individuals have completed the program during the 10-year partnership.

"If you go to any sizeable local government office, you're likely to find one of our certificates hanging up," Chase said. "We have provided professional training for many government finance officials, mainly local government finance officials, in Virginia."

In addition to its partnership with VGFOA, GNAC provides quality professional financial education and technical assistance to governmental and not-for-profit organizations. It has developed alliances, partnerships and other arrangements with other selected professional organizations and associations, such as the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and Treasurers Association of Virginia.

The purpose of these relationships is to identify educational and training needs and to provide programs and delivery systems to meet those needs. This approach allows GNAC to complement the programs of existing professional organizations, Chase explained.

GNAC offers a variety of workshops and online seminars throughout the year, covering topics about public sector finance and management that are of interest to local government finance officials.

"GNAC allows for a level of excellence in training and management through its certificate program that is consistent with VGFOA's mission of developing leaders with financial and management expertise to foster excellence in government," said Barbara Dameron, VGFOA president and director of finance for the City of Roanoke. "GNAC has been a valuable resource to VGFOA members with the certificate program providing quality training through classroom and Internet instruction."

GNAC has been operating for about 12 years and is one of COBE's major outreach projects, Chase said.

To learn more about GNAC, contact Chase at (540) 831-6734 or

Oct 29, 2014