It is the final day of ICMA’s 98th Annual Conference. We have attended our final forum sessions and meetings, celebrated some very impressive service milestones, heard from Deputy City Manager Bonnie Svrcek, incoming ICMA President, and heard an inspiring keynote from Janet Echelman about the importance of art in public spaces.
I was most impressed today by the service milestones achieved by many of the managers in attendance, some of whom have been working local government for 40 years or more. Along with the important sessions, workshops, and forums, I have also had the opportunity over the past several days to meet and talk with some of these award winners. In addition to each of them having a great insight and attitude about the profession, the one thing I have picked up on is that every manager I have met this week is dedicated to supporting the profession and other managers. From us five-year folks, just starting out, to the forty-plus year veterans, there is an amazing current of support that flows through all ICMA professionals.
Hearing the remarks from our new ICMA President, Bonnie Svrcek Deputy City Manager from Lynchburg, Virignia outlined her view for her coming term. Her commitment was truly heartfelt, as she talked about leaving ICMA as a stronger, more vibrant version of the great organization we know of today, challenging each of us to do just one thing. A dedication to the women and students and growing their numbers in the profession is an exciting idea and I look forward to Bonnie’s and ICMA’s success in these areas.
Janet Echelman, with her serene and melodic voice led the final keynote with an inspiring calm that achieved a complete silence in the room as we watched her presentation filled with visually stunning images showing her impressive works of art from throughout the world.
Good conferences always provide a great source of motivation and this week was just that. From hearing Jim Collins talk about how we can achieve success, great success, regardless of the chaos and ever changing environment we all face, to reflecting on the importance to our communities of the arts and the transformations art can have on our communities. Through the well thought out workshops, forums, and sessions I have some great ideas and proven best practices to take home and apply to local projects and programs in my corner of the world in Moscow, Idaho.
Just as important, has been the ability to meet and talk with others in the profession. From meeting with my Emerging Leaders Development Program mentor, Ted Staton from Upper Arlington, Ohio, to networking and developing contacts with other first-time attendees and other assistants in the profession the networking this conference provides is top notch. Time spent with fellow Idaho managers has been a treat as well. The only group missing is my fellow ELDP classmates, hopefully we’ll be able to catch up in Boston next year.
Thank you to ICMA for a wonderful conference!