Newcomer's Meet & Greet

Local government professionals traveled from far and wide to RESTART at the 2021 ICMA Annual Conference. While the conference experience is a familiar one to most attendees, there are many local government professionals of varying titles and levels of experience who are exploring this event for the first time.

At the Newcomer’s Meet & Greet, first-time conference attendees were invited to mix and mingle with ICMA staff, ICMA welcome ambassadors, and fellow newcomers. This mixer included attendees representing all levels of local government, from county managers to the best and brightest fellows, and everything in-between. Of this diverse batch of attendees, three were happy to sit down and talk about why they decided to attend this year’s conference, who motivated them to do so, and what they hope to gain from this experience.  

What Motivated You to Attend?

Eric Brown: After making the decision to transition his skill set (and career) from the private sector to the public sector, Eric Brown, county manager, Washoe County, Nevada, felt inspired to attend the ICMA Annual Conference to gain a deeper understanding of the local government profession and how he can further apply his experience to his new role.

Jasmine Chan: Through her participation in I-NAPA, the ICMA Coaching Program as a coach, and as a former ICMA student member, Jasmine Chan, program manager, Tucson, Arizona, was compelled to use the ICMA Annual Conference as an opportunity to continue expanding her network and meet some of her peers in person for the first time. Although her experience with ICMA and the local government profession as a whole is expansive, she continues her efforts to further her understanding of the profession.

Steve King: In an effort to gain a leg up on his official entry into the local government profession, Steve King, best and brightest fellow of Bennett, Colorado, was particularly inspired to learn from thought leaders at the ICMA Annual Conference, using those lessons to guide his way into this new career path.

Was Anyone Influential in Your Decision to Attend?

Eric Brown: Given his unique transition into the local government profession later in his career, he gave extra consideration to the advice of his direct reports. His team stressed the benefits of using ICMA, and the ICMA Annual Conference in particular, to become more acquainted with the profession and best practices as he continues his journey as county manager.  

Steve King: Because she has found a wealth of knowledge and support in all areas from ICMA, town administrator Trish Stiles insisted that King attend the conference. King did not hesitate to sign up after Stiles said attending the ICMA Annual Conference would help kick start his career.

What Do You Hope to Learn?

Eric Brown: Now that he has found his way into local government, Brown is ready to use the lessons learned at the ICMA Annual Conference to both hone his existing skills and learn new skills in order to better serve the community he loves.

Jasmine Chan: Facilitating all kinds of community conversations is more important than ever, which is why Chan wants to take this opportunity to learn different strategies from other attendees on how to open those critical doors of communication within her community.

Steve King: Rules of engagement between the CAO and councilmembers can be difficult to gauge, especially since it typically varies from organization to organization. King hopes to gain a better understanding of how to properly navigate the relationship between the CAO and councilmembers.


Join thousands for the 2021 ICMA Annual Conference, October 3-6, where attendees will RESTART by learning from the hardships, focus on what matters, and chart a new course for their communities in the year ahead. Gain full digital access to keynote and trailblazer speakers, 100+ dynamic sessions, 20+ livestreamed sessions, and conversation huddles through December 31. Register today!

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