2018 ICMA Assistants' Exchange

Don’t miss this preconference event, where you'll learn how other communities deliver services, engage residents, and plan for the future.

ARTICLE | May 31, 2018

What Is the ICMA Assistants' Exchange?

Participants in this year’s ICMA Assistants' Exchange, sponsored by the 2018 Conference Host Committee, will spend the day as the guest of a participating local government in the greater Baltimore metro area. 

On Friday morning, September 21, participants be transported from their hotel to their host community, where they’ll tour government operations; attend meetings; and discuss the programs, people, and issues that affect their communities. Several communities in the Baltimore metro area have already signed up to serve as hosts. 

After the full-day session, all participants will meet for a reception at a venue near the Baltimore Convention Center. 

Plan to Come Early

Because the ICMA Assistants' Exchange begins early Friday morning, participants should plan to arrive in Baltimore on Thursday, September 20. Participants will be responsible for their own expenses, except for transportation to and from their host community and lunch on Friday.

How to Apply: Spaces Are Limited!

The ICMA Assistants’ Exchange is open to all local government assistants who are ICMA members. The number of assistants that the program will accommodate is limited to the number of participating host communities, but efforts will be made to accommodate as many participants as feasible. Selections will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Take advantage of this valuable opportunity for yourself or encourage a team member in your city, town, or county to participate. 

To apply, download and complete the Assistants' Exchange registration form and send it by email to Jason Damweber, deputy city manager, Takoma Park, Maryland at jasond@takomaparkmd.gov, 301-891-7202.

Download the Registration Form

Take a Short Survey and Help Us Create the Best Session: Showcasing Yourself

Take the Survey

The survey will take less than 3 minutes to complete.

Other Assistant-Related Offerings at the 104th ICMA Annual Conference

Assistants' Luncheon
Leading from Where You Are: An Assistant’s Way Forward

Monday, September 24 ■ 11:15 AM-12:30 PM   Note: Ticket Required ($45)
The distinguishing feature of assistants and mid-career professionals is not where they sit in the organization chart, but the knowledge and resources they bring to the table. Three practicing assistants share their career journeys of how they lead from where they are. 

Moderators: Andrew Fortune, assistant to the city manager, Grand Prairie, Texas; and Kimberly Richardson, assistant to the city manager, Evanston, Illinois


  • Yaidee Castillero Fox, assistant to the city manager, Hickory, North Carolina
  • Mark Israelson, deputy city manager, Plano, Texas
  • Dan Weinheimer, deputy county manager, Routt County, Colorado

Assistants' Forum*
Leading from Where You Are: The Next Step Forward

Monday, September 24 4:00-5:15 PM
No matter where you are in your career or on the organization chart, this interactive and fast-paced session will show you how to expand your influence and make a significant impact so that you can move ahead. Through hands-on exercises and dynamic discussions with other individuals who have met this challenge, you’ll explore the leadership skills required to make projects happen, motivate people, conquer setbacks, and create inspired teams. You’ll also develop important messaging tips to demonstrate those skills and advance your career. If you are wondering what the next step in your career might be, join graduates of ICMA’s Leadership Development programs to explore the possibilities. We will also celebrate and graduate the 2018 Mid-Career Managers Institute. 

Moderators: Kelli Bourgeois, director/assistant to the city manager, Columbia Heights, Minnesota; and Deirdre Murphy, social services manager, San Antonio, Texas


  • Irina Fursman, vice president/chief facilitator, HueLife, LLC, Maplewood, Minnesota
  • Richard Fursman, president, Huelife, LLC, Maplewood, Minnesota
  • Erika Storlie, deputy city manager, Evanston, Illinois

*Cash bar and complimentary appetizers

Educational Session: Assistants' Career Track
Showcasing Yourself

Take a Short Survey and Help Us Create the Best Session: Showcasing Yourself

Take the Survey

The survey will take less than 3 minutes to complete.

Tuesday, September 25 2:00-3:00 PM (also available as part of the ICMA Virtual Conference)

What do recruiters and city councils look for in candidates? Learn to tailor cover letters and resumes to be a successful candidate for a higher-level position, to prepare before the interview, and to be ready for the offer. This session will also be included in the virtual conference.

Moderator: Eric Norenberg, city manager, Milford, Delaware


  • Catherine Tuck-Parrish, executive search practice leader, The Novak Consulting Group, Rockville, Maryland
  • Patrick Wojahn, mayor, College Park, Maryland

Registration and housing for ICMA’s 104th Annual Conference open on Wednesday, June 6, at 12 noon Eastern. Read more about the conference here and download a copy of the 2018 preliminary conference program, which will also be available in the June issue of PM magazine.


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