ICMA Member Partners, through the Partner's Program, collaborate to foster fellowship and understanding as well as education, support, and enrichment. In addition, as ambassadors for ICMA, the Partners contribute to the vitality and sustainability of each community visited (national, regional, and state sites) by engaging in viable and pertinent community service projects
ICMA member partners across the country have spoken of their need for support in carrying out their roles as partners of local government administrators. Frequently, they are the manager's main source of support in coping with the stresses that are an inevitable part of the profession. Many aspects of the local government administrative career can have a strong impact on family stability and require special understanding and effort. How these life and career issues are managed can often make crucial differences both in family happiness and career fulfillment. Few other careers affect so many personal and daily aspects of life.
[From: Left to Right] Gina Anderson-Ford, Janis Gernert (Director, Community Relations - Austin Children’s Shelter), Marie Neiditz, Deb Bennett, Barb Childs, Debby Gaston, Laura Davis, Bev Colon, Jennie Stortroen and Edith Penny
Recognizing the importance of these issues, for many years ICMA has provided opportunities at its annual conference for partners to share experiences and seek support from others. The need for support in meeting these challenges received more focus and attention in 1986 when the ICMA Executive Board established the Partners' Program. The term "partner" was chosen to denote shared commitment—a true partnership between two individuals in facing both the problems and rewards of a local government career.
The program is dedicated to the ideals that promote partnership and:
- Provide opportunities to enhance interpersonal strengths and positive coping strategies. Improve individual and partnership communication skills.
- Foster support networks and other exchange activities for partners that create ways to exchange solutions to common problems.
- Provide information that offers practical advice on finding and using community resources and other tools for dealing with life problems.
The Partners' Program, through the resources of ICMA, includes activities detailed below.
Annual Conference Events
ICMA’s Partners Program focuses on developing related content for the annual conference, which is the single largest gathering point for ICMA members and partners. ICMA’s annual conference provides rich opportunities for networking and personal development and offers the chance to meet new friends and renew ties with old ones. Each year the conference program includes sessions designed to provide meaningful information and opportunities to discuss areas of keen interest to partners and members either together or separately.
Partners’ Conference Scholarship Program
REMEMBER YOUR FIRST CONFERENCE? Many of us remember our first conference: the place, the programs, the people we met, but ultimately knowing that you were among friends, people who experienced what you experienced and could honestly say “I know what you mean." Some partners, however, have never attended a conference. We know that sometimes a job or family make it impossible, but sometimes money is the issue. We cannot help with the job or the family, but we can help with the money.
The Partners’ Conference Scholarship Program, created in the memory of Frances “Babs” Elwell, partner of Vermont Range Rider, Corky Elwell, continues its mission to provide scholarships for partners of ICMA members who have never attended an ICMA Annual Conference. Fund-raising activities increase the fund balance and ensure that the program can provide scholarships for future conferences.
All partners of ICMA members who have not attended a conference are eligible. To apply for this scholarship, fill out an application.
Consider making a contribution to ICMA’s Partners Program. Your contribution, whatever the amount, can directly help other member partners share in the fun and learning experience of the annual conference. Make contributions payable to ICMA Conference Assistance Program and send to Partners Program, ICMA, 777 North Capitol Street, N.E., Suite 500, Washington DC, 20002-4201.