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ICMA has identified 14 core practice areas that are essential to effective local government management. Below you will find a list of corresponding practice areas for each ACMA Winter Conference session. For a complete list of ICMA's practice areas, please click here.

Pre-Conference Hike in Sedona

8:30 a.m.

Last year's group hike was a big success so we have scheduled another hiking adventure, this year on the Doe Mesa Trail in Sedona to hike to the top of a Mesa! It’s about 2.6 miles out and back. The Trail has about a 400 foot gain in elevation with a steep switch back climb, as we huff and puff to the reward of fantastic 360 degree Red Rock Views! Once at the top you can just sit and stare, or explore the Mesa. We estimate the hike to take about 3 hours. We plan on meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning in the lobby of the Hilton and carpooling to the trail head which is about 30 minutes away. Dress appropriately and remember to bring water. No fee is required for the hike but a parking fee is paid per vehicle at the trail head parking lot. Registration is required as we don't want anyone getting left on the trail. To obtain a registration waiver form, please email Tim Pickering at Tim@InterimPublicManagement.com for more details and to receive confirmation of your registration.

Lunch on Your Own

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

"Staying Out of the Headlines” Ethics and the Decisions We Make

1:00 - 1:50 p.m. | Canyon Ballroom

ICMA Practice Area: 1

Jerene Watson, Life Member, ACMA & Interim City Manager, Douglas
Mike Letcher, Senior Advisor and Life Member, ACMA
Pat McDermott, Senior Advisor and Life Member, ACMA

Have you ever looked back on a decision you’ve made and wish you had paused longer to consider the ramifications? Have you been faced with where to draw the line on personal actions that could have an impact on your professional life? Join our Senior Advisors as an audience participant in this fast-paced session covering ethics in the workplace and beyond.

Recycling in the Red

2:00 - 2:50 p.m. | Canyon Ballroom

ICMA Practice Areas: 7, 8, 10, 12

Mario Saldamando, Acting Deputy City Clerk, Goodyear
Joe Giudice, Assistant Public Works Director, Phoenix
Scott Pasternak, Senior Project Manager/Associate, Burns & McDonnell
Ramona Simpson, Environmental Programs Manager, Queen Creek

Learn about trends in the recycling industry and what cities should expect in the future, the future impact of providing recycling, and strategies to manage costs and impacts. Included in the panel discussion are strategies for reducing contamination, and how cities across the country are responding to the worldwide recycling crisis.

“M&Mingle” Break and Networking

2:50 - 3:10 p.m. | Canyon Prefunction

Mary Jacobs, Town Manager, Oro Valley

Building a Talent Pipeline for the Future

3:10 - 4:10 p.m. | Canyon Ballroom

ICMA Practice Areas: 6, 7, 13

George Pettit, Professor of Practice, Arizona State University School of Public Affairs
Justin Finnerty, Assistant Director of Employment Engagement, University of Arizona
Rachel Hudgens, Marvin Andrews Fellow, ASU School of Public Affairs
John Huerta, President, University of Arizona ICMA Student Chapter
Mackenzie Letcher, Keane Scholar, University of Arizona
Alison Matthees, Marvin Andrews Fellow, ASU School of Public Affairs

This session offers: ideas to attract college talent by sharing college recruitment and college engagement strategies, programs, collaborative projects and experiential learning opportunities; data collected nationwide on student’s favorite employers, what students are seeking in an employer and how employment opportunities fit students’ aspiration; and point of view directly from ASU and U of A students interested in municipal government careers and what they desire in a fulfilling career.

Does Wellness Work? How to Save Money While Improving Benefits and Culture

4:20 - 5:20 p.m. | Canyon Ballroom

ICMA Practice Area: 5

Mike Townsend, Deputy County Manager, Coconino County
Katie Wittekind, Wellness Program Manager, Coconino County

Could you benefit from an improved culture in your organization and savings to your budget? Learn how a group of six Arizona agencies, including Coconino County and the City of Flagstaff, used a workplace wellness program to improve culture and benefits while saving $966,000 last year despite many other wellness programs failing to deliver on outcomes nationwide. You will leave with strategic steps to apply right away.

Sponsor & Welcome Reception

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. | Canyon Prefunction

ACMA welcomes members to join us for an opening reception to thank our sponsors. The ongoing success of ACMA is dependent on several factors, but possibly none as important as the continued financial support of our corporate partners.

ICMA has identified 14 core practice areas that are essential to effective local government management. Below you will find a list of corresponding practice areas for each ACMA Winter Conference session. For a complete list of ICMA's practice areas, please click here.

Continental Breakfast

7:30 - 9:15 a.m. | Canyon Prefunction and Patio

Incivility and Political Dysfunction: What Can We Do About It?

8:00 - 9:30 a.m. | Canyon Ballroom

ICMA Practice Areas: 2, 5, 9

Victoria Yarbrough, Assistant City Manager, Sierra Vista
Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Executive Director, National Institute for Civil Discourse

Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, will present an engaging and in-depth exploration of how the nation got to where we are with widespread incivility. She will present options for reviving the social norms of civility and respect in dealing with our public and elected officials, and discuss how to recreate trust within a national environment of division and distrust.

Engagement Before Content

9:40 – 10:30 a.m. | Canyon Ballroom

ICMA Practice Areas: 2, 3, 9

Jennifer Gastelum, Engagement Specialist, Mesa Arts Center
Tomas J. Stanton, Engagement Manager, Mesa Arts Center
Mandy Tripoli, Director of Community-Engaged Practice, Mesa Arts Center

This session offers an unconventional approach to connecting with the community and increasing community engagement through innovative arts, interactive programs and collaborative partnerships. The Mesa Arts Center Engagement Team will share their programs and techniques to advance the art of community building, civic engagement, and social transformation.

Learning Lab: Solar Energy & Artificial Intelligence

10:40 - 11:20 a.m. | Canyon Ballroom

Natalie Lewis, Deputy City Manager, Mesa & Victoria Yarbrough, Assistant City Manager, Sierra Vista
Keith Laake, Cost Control Associates
Lee Greene, ZenCity

Solar Energy: What You May Not Know
Depending on a solar installer or your local utility for all the information that goes into installing or operating a solar array can be risky. Many of the particulars depend on your specific needs, and contract details are often ambiguous, especially when it comes to savings methodologies. Once installed there can be issues around over-production, price escalators, inaccurate billing, meter malfunctions and more.

As an independent consultant, Cost Control Associates finds many clients don’t get the savings they expect and many overpay for electricity. President Keith Laake will discuss some of the issues and provide guidance for asking the right questions and getting the right information to make sure you get the solar benefits you expected.

AI & the City
What's all the hype around Artificial Intelligence and why should local governments be getting on board? Is your community ready for Artificial Intelligence (AI)? The answer is yes and in this session, ZenCity representative Lee Greene will show you why. This learning lab will unpack what AI means in the local government sector and discuss the power of AI, particularly in performance management, in understanding resident satisfaction in the city, and in communicating more effectively with residents.

Pensions: Problems, Reality and Possible Solutions

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Canyon Ballroom

ICMA Practice Areas: 7, 12

Matthew Williams, City Manager, Huachuca City
Kevin Phelps, City Manager, Glendale

Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps will be discussing the ongoing issues with funding PSPRS and long-term pension financial planning for cities and towns.

Lunch and Annual Business Meeting | Sponsored by HPACT

12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. | Tequa Ballroom

Shane Dille, Deputy City Manager, Flagstaff & 2018 President, ACMA
Justin Clifton, City Manager, Sedona
Jimmy Jayne, County Manager, Coconino County & ICMA Mountain Plains Region Vice President
Mike Letcher, Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona School of Government and Policy
George Pettit, George Pettit, Professor of Practice, Arizona State University School of Public Affairs
Bryant Powell, City Manager, Apache Junction & 2019 President, ACMA

All attendees are welcome to attend the annual business meeting in the Tequa Ballroom.

Leadership and Motivation

2:00 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. | Canyon Ballroom

ICMA Practice Areas: 5, 6

Natalie Lewis, Deputy City Manager, Mesa
Dean Coughenour, Risk Manager, Flagstaff

What motivates you to lead? How do you inspire others to perform their best? What is the essence of leadership? Take this 55-minute unique journey of discovery. The presentation will utilize extensive video clips to provoke thought and discussion. The session will leave you with inspirational ideas of how to motivate yourself and others to engage to achieve higher results.

Concurrent Session: Managers' Corner*

2:00 - 3:40 p.m. | Oak Creek Canyon

ICMA Practice Area: 6

*Session open to City, Town and County Managers. Pre-registration is required*

Tim Pickering, President & CEO, IPM; Credentialed City Manager, Certified Economic Developer
Bryant Powell, City Manager, Apache Junction

Senior Advisor Meetings

2:00 - 4:30 p.m. | Oak Creek Suite

ACMA Senior Advisors Mike Letcher and Pat McDermott will be available at the conference to meet one-on-one with ACMA members. This is also an opportunity for early career professionals to seek mentoring. If you are interested in meeting with the ACMA Senior Advisors please contact them to set-up a time.

Mike Letcher
520-891-1953 or bridgegroupllc@gmail.com

Pat McDermott
480-540-0274 or patm524@yahoo.com

How to Get Where You’re Trying to Go

3:00 - 3:40 p.m. | Canyon Prefunction

ICMA Practice Area: 5

Natalie Lewis, Deputy City Manager, Mesa
Drew Gorgey, Vice President, Western Region, Peckham & McKenney

Are you clear about where you’re trying to go next in your career and how to get there? Organizing and observing hundreds of high-level interviews each year, executive recruiters see it all when it comes to the hiring process. Whether or not you are currently seeking an executive position, learn what works and what doesn’t in this informative presentation about cover letters, resumes, and especially interviewing.

  • Your cover letter and resume are valuable real estate. What should stay in, and what can go?
  • Preparation, Practice, Presence, and Grit: Increasing Your Odds at the Interview.
  • Learning winning interview tactics, how to prepare, and how to avoid common mistakes.
  • "Network Blitz" Break and Networking | Sponsored by Cox

    3:40 - 4:00 p.m. | Canyon Prefunction

    Mary Jacobs, Town Manager, Oro Valley

    Managers' Corner Update

    4:00 - 4:15 p.m. | Canyon Prefunction

    A Tale of Two Cities: Honoring the Needs of Residents Who Are Housed, While Serving Those Who Are Not

    4:20 p.m. - 5:20 p.m. | Canyon Ballroom

    ICMA Practice Areas: 3, 9, 10

    Stephen Erno, Neighborhood Services Manager, Chandler
    Riann Balch, Community Resources Manager, Chandler Neighborhood Resources Department
    Scott Hall, Homelessness Projects Program Manager, Maricopa County Human Services Department
    Aaron Raine, Detective, Mesa Police Department

    The number of persons living without shelter in Maricopa County has increased 149% since 2014, with similar trends occurring across the state and Nation. Living without shelter isn’t a crime, but it is a public health and welfare crisis. Housed residents and business owners look to counties and municipalities to address unintended consequences such as encampments in public spaces, panhandling, trespassing and biohazardous waste. In this session, learn about innovative strategies recently implemented in Maricopa County to address critical quality of life concerns, while simultaneously supporting persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness. The presentation will include an overview of the City of Mesa’s Community Court, the City of Chandler’s ChangeUp Campaign, and Maricopa County’s Hand-in-Hand Program.

    Board Meeting

    5:30 - 6:15 p.m. | Juniper Room


    6:00 - 7:00 p.m. | Canyon Patio

    Recognition Banquet & Awards Ceremony

    7:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Canyon Ballroom

    Join ACMA to celebrate and honor the 2019 award recipients at the annual recognition banquet and awards ceremony. The ACMA President will recognize the winners for the following: Andrews/Esser Student Scholarships, Rachel Hut Bremen Associate's Award for Excellence in Leadership, Catherine F. Connolly Outstanding Assistant City/County Manager Award, and the John J. DeBolske Professional Excellence Award. The dinner is included with full registration. Additional tickets may be purchased.

    ICMA has identified 14 core practice areas that are essential to effective local government management. Below you will find a list of corresponding practice areas for each ACMA Winter Conference session. For a complete list of ICMA's practice areas, please click here.

    Networking Breakfast

    7:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Legislative Update

    8:00 - 9:00 a.m. | Canyon Ballroom

    ICMA Practice Area: 8

    Ken Strobeck, Executive Director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns
    Craig Sullivan, Executive Director, County Supervisors Association

    This panel will provide an update for members on a variety of timely legislative issues. Representatives from the League of Arizona Cities & Towns and County Supervisors Association will provide an overview of the 2019 legislative session, and explain the challenges and opportunities we currently face.

    “We’ve Always Done it That Way” is Over: Transform From the Status Quo to the Status Go

    9:10 - 10:10 a.m. | Canyon Ballroom

    ICMA Practice Areas: 4, 6, 10

    Gina Montes, Assistant City Manager, Avondale
    Patrick Banger, Town Manager, Gilbert
    Patrick Ibarra, Co-Founder and Partner, The Mejorando Group
    John Kross, Town Manager, Queen Creek

    During these times of unprecedented change, leaders at all levels of government must improve their ability to manage a perplexing paradox – how to stay focused on today’s business while building tomorrow’s. Leaders must disrupt the outdated mental model of “we’ve always done it that way” and replace it with a progressive approach to continuous development. In this session, learn about specific actions that leaders can implement to create the recipe leading to organizational success.

    Municipal Challenges From a Different Point of View

    10:20 - 11:40 a.m. | Canyon Ballroom

    ICMA Practice Areas: 7, 8, 9

    Deb Sydenham, Executive Director, ULI Arizona
    Trevor Barger, President/CEO, Espiritu Loci Incorporated and Principal at Arizona Strategies
    Heather Personne, Principal, Point B
    Lance Ross, President, Ross Property Advisors

    Hear from leaders in the placemaking and development industry about challenges facing Arizona municipalities ranging from economic issues to natural resources and development trends. The panelists will share their views and insight on the future of Arizona municipalities.

    Conference Concludes

    11:45 a.m.