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Commonwealth's Counties

Conference Planning Committee decides on theme

VACo’s 2017 Annual Conference Planning Committee met on May 8 to discuss the 83rd VACo Annual Conference theme, general and breakout session topics and speakers and conference logistics. Led by Committee Chair Bob Thomas, Stafford County Supervisor and VACo Second Vice President, the group agreed that communications should be the focus of the conference and the theme will be “Communications | Engagement | Knowledge | Success.” General and breakout session topics will tie into this theme.

The Committee selected Dr. Chris Kilmartin, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Mary Washington as the Opening General Session speaker. He will focus on microaggressions in daily verbal, behavioral and environmental situations and how they negatively affect effective communication. Attendees will learn to identify these behaviors, modify them and move forward. Tuesday morning’s Closing General Session will be a moderated panel discussing the November elections.

The Committee discussed possible breakout session topics including: Board of Supervisors/School Board communications and relationships, Fiscal Stress Work Group findings, addressing the Opioid Epidemic, Agritourism, Q&A with General Assembly members, a program by our Certified County Board Supervisors program leaders and recognition of the Achievement Awards winners. The VACo Team will meet mid-summer to finalize the breakout session list. Stay tuned to future articles for details.

In keeping with the theme, the committee requested a series of workshops in addition to the breakouts where counties can share tools used to engage their communities in Board meetings electronically, methods for interacting with constituents, identifying barriers and solutions in communication, and a social media how-to workshop.

As a reminder to all, the Hotel Reservation Form will be sent to VACo Board members, County Administrators and confirmed exhibitors on June 15. Attendee Registration Forms will be sent on August 15. For information on the room reservation process, or any questions about the VACo Annual Conference, contact Carol Cameron or Amy V. Sales.

VACo Contact: Amy V. Sales, CMP

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