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Students - Coming to Seattle?

Conference Call for Students Coming to Seattle

We’re having a conference call to help students who have not been to an ICMA conference before (or if you have, and would still like to listen), on Tuesday, September 22, at 2pm eastern time. This will be recorded if you can’t make it – we’ll share the audio file after the call. Our panelists are: 

  • Rafael Baptista, recent graduate and 2015 LGMF in Durham City/County, NC
  • Olivia Burrell-Jackson, recent graduate and 2015 LGMF in Decatur, GA
  • Ratna Okai, current MPA student and president of the ICMA student chapter at the University of South Florida

If you have a question you’d like to ask our panel, send it to us by next Friday, September 18. I’ve attached a calendar file if you’d like to add it to your calendars. Otherwise, the call details are:

Join WebEx meeting with PC/headset

Join by phone


Access code: 739 134 327

Remember to mute your phones when you’re not speaking! 


And...if you're attending the conference...

Please check out the "About Seattle" section of the conference web page for information about the city, weather, and attire recommendations.

Below are some sessions you might be INTERESTED in attending:



10:00 AM - 11:45 AM

This session is free but requires preregistration. Speed Coaching is back again! If you have nagging career questions and want to get or give fresh perspectives, attend this session. Space is limited, but registration is complimentary.


12:45 PM - 02:45 PM
This highly interactive forum will kick off the ICMA 101: Mastering the Fundamentals track offered at the ICMA Annual Conference and also as part of the virtual conference. Designed for small-community managers who may wear many hats or for those new to the profession, this forum will focus on the effective roles of the manager in the organization, in the community, and in working with elected officials to provide leadership. 1, 3 
  • Forum Leader: Sylvia Carrillo, City Manager, City of Aransas Pass, Aransas Pass, TX
  • Forum Leader: Dennis Gehrt, City Administrator, City of Platte City, Platte City, MO
  • Forum Leader: Opal Mauldin-Robertson, City Manager, City of Lancaster, Lancaster, TX


01:00 PM - 02:30 PM


03:00 PM - 05:00 PM

The Opening General Session of ICMA's 101st Annual Conference will feature a presentation by Shawn Achor, one of the world's leading experts on the science of positive psychology and the connection between happiness and success. Winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards, he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. Shawn will offer research-based strategies for positive leadership and improved engagement that are designed to help you increase your organization's productivity, creativity, engagement, happiness, and success.


07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Our new partnership with the Emerging Local Government Leaders Network at the networking mixer in Charlotte proved that two great organizations can be even better together. Join us for an evening of conversation, fun, and surprise entertainment following the Opening General Session. Mix and mingle at this hosted event. Wear your name badge and bring your business cards! The event is free, but registration is required as space is limited. ELGL is managing the responses; RSVP:



08:30 AM - 09:30 AM

Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly. Diversity advocate, consultant, and author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go from Well-Meaning to Well-Doing, Vernā Myers has helped break down barriers of race, gender, and sexual orientation in thousand-member workplaces. In a funny and impassioned presentation, she encourages us to recognize our own biases in order to actively combat them, emphasizing a “low-guilt, high-responsibility” philosophy. Looking closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward people who are different from us, Vernā makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable.


09:45 AM - 11:00 AM

We want to be good at our jobs, but we don’t necessarily want to be the manager! During this interactive session, current assistant managers will offer words of wisdom to their colleagues on career, management, and leadership and then will open up the forum for others to share their experiences. 18 

  • Panelist: James Becklenberg, Assistant City/County Manager, City and County of Broomfield, Broomfield, CO
  • Panelist: Bert Lumbreras, Assistant City Manager, City of Austin, Austin, TX
  • Panelist: Susan Sherman, Assistant City Manager, City of Olathe, Olathe, KS
  • Session Leader: Diane Stoddard, Interim City Manager, City of Lawrence, Lawrence, KS


09:45 AM - 11:00 AM

The city of Decatur, Georgia's, (pop. 20,000) budgeting process evolved from a traditional, linear approach to a vision-based, collaborative one. The storybook-style budget, designed around Decatur’s strategic plan principles, explains how much and how well the city is supporting those principles while engaging employees and citizens in the process. 8, 11

  • Panelist: Andrea Arnold, Assistant City Manager, City of Decatur, Decatur, GA
  • Panelist: Meredith Roark, Budget & Performance Measurement Manager, City of Decatur, Decatur, GA


09:45 AM - 11:00 AM 

Here’s another opportunity to ask an expert for suggestions how to improve your résumé. Don’t miss this chance to get a professional’s advice on how you can make your résumé stand out.  



MPA Student Session. This session provides students with a chance to collaborate with students in other programs to discuss ethical issues in local government. Ethics case will be available in the conference app, or can be obtained by emailing

Speakers: David LimardiMidwest Regional Director, ICMA,; Eric ZeemeringAssociate Professor, Department of Public Administration, School of Public and Global Affairs, Northern Illinois University

Roundtable Discussions : Mentoring to Bring in the Next Generation of Managers

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Are you utilizing interns in a manner that increases excitement for public service while positioning students on a path leading to managerial roles? Join this discussion for tricks and tips to learn how to improve your mentoring. 

Educational Sessions : Building the Workforce of the Future

12:45 PM - 02:00 PM

Many times our biases get in the way of allowing our workforce or organization to reflect the diversity of the community. But there are many reasons, including economic ones, why that diversity should be reflected. How can we make sure that it is? 1, 9, 12 

  • Session Leader: David Ellis, Deputy County Manager, County of Wake, Raleigh, NC
  • Panelist: Julie Nelson, Director, Government Alliance on Race and Equity, Seattle, WA
  • Panelist: Barry Quirk, Chief Executive, Lewisham Council, London, UNITED KINGDOM
  • Panelist: Arun Sambataro, Program Manager, Office of Equity and Justice, County of King, Seattle, WA
  • Panelist: James Tolbert, Assistant City Manager, City of Sandy Springs, Sandy Springs, GA

Educational Sessions : Eldon Fields Colloquium: Big Data, Big Deal?

02:30 PM - 03:40 PM

Just what is meant by the term “Big Data”? And in the grand scheme of things, is it really such a big deal? This session will provide examples of big data in action, its benefits, and the challenges and implications it poses for the future of local governance. 

  • Panelist: Alfred Ho, Kansas University School of Public Affairs & Administration, Lawrence, KS
  • Session Leader: Reginald Robinson, Lawrence, KS
  • Panelist: Hannes Zacharias, County Manager, County of Johnson, Lenexa, KS

Educational Sessions : Seattle Microbrews: A #13percent Exercise

02:30 PM - 03:40 PM

Free microbrews - join this interactive exercise where we’ll talk about #13Percent and how the last 30 years of CAO demographics will redefine the next 30 years. Must be 21 and over to attend this session. Kirsten Wyatt, Kimiko Gilmore, Sarah Hazel, and Julie Underwood will walk you through this exercise and discussion about how we ensure our local government leadership reflects the communities we lead. This event is hosted by ELGL & the Women Leading Government Coalition- learn more at

  • Panelist: Kimiko Black Gilmore, Assistant City Manager, City of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO
  • Panelist: Sarah Hazel, Local Government Management Fellow, City of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
  • Panelist: Julie Underwood, Assistant City Manager, City of Daly City, Daly City, CA
  • Session Leader: Kirsten Wyatt, Assistant City Manager, City of West Linn, West Linn, OR

Roundtable Discussions : Millennials and Management

04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Move over baby boomers, the millennials are here! As millennials start to make up a larger share of the workforce, how can managers adapt to and shape changing workplace dynamics? Join a group of managers and millennials to share how your community is doing it. 

Special Meetings : Early-Career and Mid-Career Professionals Meeting

04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

If you are a young professional and want to develop your leadership and management capacity, this meeting is for you. The Emerging Leaders Development Program (ELDP) and Mid-Career Manager Institute (MCMI) are designed for entry-level to midcareer local government employees. Classes are based on ICMA textbooks and taught by career professionals in a teleseminar format. Each participant is paired with a manager to act as a career coach over the two-year program and must complete a management application project to graduate. The ICMA Credentialing Board awards six months of credit toward becoming an ICMA credentialed manager after successful completion of ELDP or the MCMI. Meet current participants and coaches and learn about ELDP, the Leadership ICMA program, the Mid-Career Manager Institute, and other ICMA opportunities. These programs can also help fulfill your professional development requirements as outlined in the guidelines for Tenet 8 of the ICMA Code of Ethics. MCMI class of 2015 will receive their Certificate of Completion.

Special Sessions : Hosting a Fellow: The Value of Management Internships

04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

High-quality “apprenticeships” and mentorship relationships are trademarks of this profession. They are great recruitment and training tools in a time of increasing student debt burden and difficulty breaking in to management careers. Why don’t more cities host a full-time management intern?  Check out this session if you’re interested in hearing a panel discussion of the value of management fellowship for students, cities, and the profession.

  • Panelist: Sarah Alig, Assistant to the City Administrator, City of Woodbury, Woodbury, MN
  • Panelist: Mary Furtado, Assistant County Manager, County of Catawba, Newton, NC
  • Panelist: Carl Valente, Town Manager, Town of Lexington, Lexington, MA
  • Panelist: Jenifer Della Valle, ICMA Local Government Management Fellow (Management Analyst/ Assistant PIO), Town of Hillsborough, Hillsborough, NC
  • Session Leader: Rob Carty, ICMA

Evening Highlights : Affiliate, Alumni, and State Association Receptions and Dinners

05:30 PM - 07:30 PM


Keynotes : Leadership, Teamwork, and Organizational Health

08:30 AM - 09:30 AM

Cited by The Wall Street Journal as one of the nation's top business speakers and by Fortune as one of the “ten new gurus you should know,” Patrick Lencioni provides leadership models that improve organizational health, teamwork, clarity, employee engagement, and client service. He is author of 10 books that have sold over 4 million copies and have been translated into more than 25 languages; one of those books, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, continues to be a fixture on the best-seller list 13 years after it was first published. Sharing his thought-provoking insights with accessibility, humor, and storytelling, Pat will leave you with practical advice for immediate implementation.

Educational Sessions : LG 101: Mastering the Fundamentals: Citizen Engagement

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

How can we ensure that the public sees the value in what local government offers? In a time of government distrust, it is important to not only educate them about the services provided but also engage them so as to regain their trust. 8  Approved for 1 AICP-CM credit.

  • Panelist: Andrew Pederson, Village Manager, Village of Bayside, Bayside, WI
  • Panelist: Rebecca VanRegenmorter, Assistant Village Manager, Village of Bayside, Milwaukee, WI

Educational Sessions : Are We Out of Touch?

02:00 PM - 03:10 PM

This session will focus on how long-tenured managers can keep up with emerging talent and technology in their organizations. The format, structured for intergenerational networking and information gathering, will feature questions posed by senior managers as well as small group conversations facilitated by members of the ICMA Fellows Program. 7, 18 

  • Panelist: T.C. Broadnax, City Manager, City of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
  • Panelist: Kevin Catlin, Intern, City of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK
  • Session Leader: Lee Feldman, City Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Panelist: Genesis Gavino, Management Fellow, City of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
  • Panelist: Terri Lea Hugie, Senior Management Fellow, City of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Panelist: James Twombly, City Manager, City of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK

Featured Speakers : Extraordinary Women in Leadership

02:00 PM - 03:10 PM

Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., is CEO of the YWCA, USA, one of the oldest and largest multicultural organizations in the country promoting solutions to empower women, girls, families, and communities. Her inspiring message on the importance of expanding the number of women in leadership positions echoes and reinforces the recommendations of ICMA's Task Force on Women in the Profession.

Educational Sessions : LG 101: Mastering the Fundamentals: Strategic Planning

03:30 PM - 04:40 PM

In this step-by-step approach to developing an exciting vision for your community, elected officials, and organization, we will develop an environmental scan, create shared aspirational goals, identify concrete actions for success, explain ways to measure progress, and describe implementation techniques. 13 

  • Panelist: Amy Knowles, Assistant to the City Manager for Structural Innovation, City of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Panelist: Amy McEwan, Deputy County Administrator, County of Lake, Waukegan, IL

Educational Sessions : Preparing for the Next Step

03:30 PM - 04:40 PM

How can emerging leaders (entry- or mid-level managers) prepare to step into senior or executive-level positions? Where are the opportunities? Learn how to evaluate and hone your skills and competencies for advancement. Discover formal and informal opportunities to grow in your career. Hear from colleagues and share your experiences. 18 

  • Panelist: Jessica Cowles, Town Administrator, Town of Berwyn Heights, Berwyn Heights, MD
  • Panelist: Jenny Haruyama, Assistant City Manager, City of Livermore, Livermore, CA
  • Session Leader: Kathryn Lang, MIS Manager, City of San Jose, San Jose, CA

Educational Sessions : What Are the "Next Big Things" Facing Local Government

03:30 PM - 04:40 PM

The Alliance for Innovation has been diving deeper into that question, looking twenty to fifty years into the future. Join the Alliance for Innovation and Rebecca Ryan, Next Generation Consulting to learn more about drivers and trends facing communities, hear about potential scenarios and their implications, and discuss how your community must prepare for the future. 

  • Speaker: Rebecca Ryan, Founder, Next Generation Consulting, Madison, WI
  • Speaker: Karen Thoreson, President/Chief Operating Officer, Alliance for Innovation, Phoenix, AZ

Learning Lounge Sessions : Experts Bar: Resume Review

03:30 PM - 04:40 PM

Here’s another opportunity to ask an expert for suggestions how to improve your résumé. Don’t miss this chance to get a professional’s advice on how you can make your résumé stand out. 


Keynotes : Using Improvisation to Improve Creativity and Collaboration

08:30 AM - 10:30 AM

For more than 50 years, The Second City comedy theater in Chicago has been a training ground for some of the best comic minds in the industry, including John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey. It also provides one-of-a-kind leadership training aimed at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork. Kelly Leonard, of The Second City Communications and coauthor of the popular new book Yes, And, will offer a toolkit for thriving in a world increasingly shaped by speed, social communication, and decentralization. Using comedy and the principles of improvisation, he will demonstrate how to challenge unproductive conventions by using improvisational techniques to develop innovators, encourage adaptable leaders, and build transformational work environments.

ICMA University Forums : LG 101: Mastering the Fundamentals--HR and Team Meeting Facilitation

10:45 AM - 12:45 PM

This highly interactive and engaging forum, which will book-end the 101: Mastering the Fundamentals track at the conference, will include a discussion of human resource issues, especially as they apply to smaller communities, where the managers wear many hats, including that of HR manager. Topics will include effective recruitment processes, interviewing, hiring, setting expectations, performance reviews and retention as well as progressive discipline and termination practices. 1, 3 

  • Forum Leader: Brian Bosshardt, Deputy County Manager, County of Los Alamos, Los Alamos, NM
  • Forum Leader: Stephen Seidel, Town Manager, Town of Trophy Club, Trophy Club, TX
  • Forum Leader: Michele Siemer, Assistant City Manager, City of Allen, Allen, TX
  • Forum Leader: Melissa Stephens, Assistant City Manager, City of Cedar Hill, Cedar Hill, TX

Of course there is much more at the conference, but this is just a sampling of events you might find interesting/useful.

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