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Upcoming Events

VGFOA  Professional Development Program

Strategic Planning/ Financial Policies/ Best Practices
Thursday, March 29th, 2018
Roanoke Higher Education Center
108 N Jefferson St, Roanoke, VA 24016
8:30 am- 4:00 pm


Bridging the Gap: Connecting what is Politically Acceptable and Operationally Sustainable

Dr. John Nalbandian will lead this workshop style portion of the day. John asserts that the essential prerequisite to effective governance is connecting what is “politically acceptable” with what is “administratively sustainable.” Traditionally, city/county managers have been charged with this role, but increasingly department heads—like CFOs—are being drawn into the gap working with the manager as a “leadership team.”  Working effectively in the gap requires an understanding of unavoidable obstacles – conflicting political values and differences in perspective that governing body and staff bring to their work.


Session Description




Introductions and Overview of the Day


Workshop Part 1




Workshop Part 2




Workshop Part 3




Regional Networking/ Discussion Debrief


Meet the Speaker

John Nalbandian, Professor Emeritus, joined the faculty in the public administration program at the University of Kansas in the 1970s. U.S. News and World Report ranks the School of Public Affairs and Administration’s local government emphasis as the best in the country. John was chair on two occasions. In addition to his administrative experience, John served on the Lawrence, Kansas, city council for eight years including two terms as the council’s mayor. John has also served as president of the Lawrence library board and the Willow Domestic Violence Center. He has received numerous awards for his teaching, research, and service including recognition in Kansas as both academic administrator of the year and elected official of the year.

In addition to his continuing affiliation with KU, John has served as a visiting professor of practice at both Arizona State University and presently at Virginia Tech where he supports their local government certificate program. John regularly presents his “Political Astuteness” workshop in local government professional development programs at the Universities of Texas, North Carolina, and Virginia. He also provides workshops to local government and elected official professional associations throughout the country as well as facilitating council retreats.

Registration Information

For more information and to register go to or use the link below:

Cost: $50 per participant includes light breakfast, lunch, and refreshments. Attendees will receive 7.5 hours of CPE credits

Questions? Contact Stephanie Davis, Program Director,