by Kea'erra Wilson, assistant program manager, Next Generation Initiatives, ICMA
The Florida City/County Management Association’s (FCCMA) 2018 Annual Conference will feature special free programming for ICMA Student Chapter members enrolled at Florida universities. Bobby Green, city manager, Auburndale, Florida; Jeff Tillman, assistant city manager, Auburndale, and founding president of the ICMA Student Chapter at the University of South Florida; and Dr. Bob Lee, Florida Gulf Coast University, have been instrumental in bringing to life the vision of integrating aspiring local government professionals into conference activities.
Green’s request for a graduate assistant to coordinate all the student chapters and to establish lines of contact between his office and chapter officials helped spark the idea to engage the future administrators and give them a peek into their future in public administration. The new Student Chapter Summit offers students an opportunity to network with administrators from around the state and also offers current managers an unprecedented outreach opportunity. FCCMA is hopeful that the summit will encourage dialogue and collaboration among Florida chapters.
Florida is home to eight student chapters, the most of any state in the United States (see student chapter roster). In the hope of capitalizing on this broad student audience, FCCMA has organized a day of student-specific sessions featuring chapter alumni, advisers, mentors in the profession, and faculty that run concurrently with traditional practitioner sessions on the first day of the conference. Students will attend these sessions and a free lunch with the FCCMA board after the conference’s general session.
Representatives from one of ICMA’s most active student chapters at the University of Southern California will also be attending the conference. After lunch, they will facilitate a discussion on their chapter’s formula for success in its community and offer suggestions and advice for Florida chapters on how to increase membership and interest, engagement with the community, and participation.
FCCMA aims to “pick up where ICMA has left off” with the 50 students that it expects to attend the summit and take on more of a parental role for all the chapters in the state. Its goal is to keep students interested and excited about local government management and to offer a closer line of support for them.
FCCMA’s Annual Conference begins May 30, 2018, at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida, and it will continue through June 2, 2018. The student summit will take place May 31. Students may opt to attend the remainder of the conference at a reduced rate.