It is important to note that out of any conference I have attended pertaining to local government administration, the ICMA Regional Summit was distinguished and surpassed in areas of professionalism, education, and overall quality.
I had the chance to attend the Women Leading Government sponsored panel “You Have What it Takes to be a Resilient Leader” on Thursday morning. This was not only one of the most valuable panels I have attended, but also one of the most encouraging. As a woman seeking out a career in local government administration, hearing stories from such strong, competent, and successful women who have excelled in this field further reaffirmed my confidence in my ability to do the same. Though sexism and discrimination in white and male dominated fields still exists, the panel and those women are testament to the fact that things are improving each day; this is not only encouraging, but it motivates me to work to break through that glass ceiling.
Another thing I found valuable about the Summit was the “A Conversation with Bob O’Neill and Felicia Logan: Staff Meetings that Create Organizational Engagement” on Friday morning. A few months ago, I read The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni and, due to my lack of experience in the field, felt as if I was largely speculating about the ways in which it could apply to local government administration. However, it was very interesting and informative to hear both Bob and Felicia’s interpretation of the section of The Advantage concerning transforming meetings. I look forward to watching the interview with Lencioni that Bob discussed.
In sum, this was the most informative and enjoyable conference I have ever had the opportunity to attend. I am not only grateful to ICMA for allowing student chapter members to attend free of cost, but also for the organization-wide emphasis placed on next generation development as a whole. It was beyond rewarding to network and learn from professionals in my field. I am thankful to be part of an organization that holds ethics and integrity at the heart of their efforts and encourages, welcomes, and embraces student participation in their professional development initiatives.
Logan Bradshaw, Auburn University, ICMA Student Chapter President