By Kristen Krey
After becoming a member of ACMA in 2006, I waited almost four years to become a member of ICMA. Sometimes I
look back and wonder why I waited so long! There were, of course, all the usual excuses not enough money in
the city budget, not enough money in my personal budget, not enough time. There was also the question, "What
will I get out of the investment? After all, I'm already a member of ACMA!"
Then in 2009 I applied for, and received, an ACMA/ICMA scholarship to attend the ICMA 2010 Conference in San
Jose, California. And the journey began!
At this conference I learned all about the benefits of being an ICMA member - most importantly the advantages
of creating not only a local network, but a national network as well. I also attended a number of informative
and cutting edge sessions that I would not have been exposed to locally. From there I went on to participate
in the Arizona Host Planning Committee for our own Phoenix/Maricopa County ICMA Conference in October 2012.
This journey also took me to ICMA Milwaukee 2011, where I managed a team of colleagues who were responsible
for the 2012 marketing efforts. I made so many new friends and connections during this time that my network
increased by over 100 percent! It was refreshing to meet and work with people who are committed and dedicated
to their communities and to our profession!
We all have "good days" and "not so good days!" I used ICMA to create a network where, on those "not so good
days," I have friends and colleagues to turn to. They help lift my spirits and offer suggestions and solutions
to some of the challenges we all go through. I have gained valuable skills and hands-on experience in leadership,
teamwork, political savvy, innovation and creativity, all because I took this one step, one risk, to be a member
of ICMA. My journey led to me to becoming an ACMA Board Member, proudly serving our association and my city. I am
also member of the ICMA Task Force on Women in Leading Government. So this journey continues and I look forward
to where it will take me next…Where will it take you?
Spend some time thinking about what an ICMA membership could mean to you, to your career and to our profession
overall. Local government is experiencing critical issues today; we come under scrutiny for salaries, pensions,
work ethic, sustainable services, fiscal responsibility and more. We need to be strong in our values as
professional managers. We need to get the message out to our communities, "we are here to serve."
ICMA offers many helpful resources including "life, well run" public service announcements and other materials
available to all members for use in their cities, towns, and counties.
There are many benefits to becoming a member of ICMA, most of all it's about what you want to invest in your journey
and what you are open to receive. The investment is certainly worth it - ICMA membership, priceless!
Link to ICMA Website
Link to Life, Well Run