MACo Announces Keynote Speaker for 2012 Summer Conference

MACo’s 2012 Summer Conference will be held on August 15 – 18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. The theme of the conference is “Breaking Through, Working Together for Maryland’s Counties.” For the first time in MACo history, the Welcoming Session has been scheduled for Thursday instead of Friday!

As our conference became more popular, it became necessary to build additional days onto the beginning of our event to meet all of the needs of our attendees. Now, with pre-conference events starting Wednesday afternoon and our sessions and exhibit halls opening on Thursday,  it makes sense to have the official kick-off of the conference on Thursday morning, instead of on Friday.

Please plan to attend our Welcoming Session on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 9:00 am – it will be an event that you will not want to miss!

To mark our scheduling change, we have invited a keynote speaker to join us who is sure to inspire our attendees with his extraordinary life experiences. Neal Petersen will deliver a keynote presentation entitled “No Barriers-Only Solutions.”

Neal Petersen shares how he overcame the formidable barriers of a childhood physical disability, poverty and the humiliation of Apartheid in South Africa to compete in one of the most dangerous of all sports: solo yacht racing around the globe—27,000 miles, 9 months at sea—alone, and in a yacht he designed and built himself. 

In his captivating and empowering No Barriers—Only Solutions keynote, Neal demonstrates how success is realized— through innovation, balancing risk against return and being flexible enough to adapt to constantly shifting winds.  

In these challenging times of uncertainty, many feel like solo sailors—adrift, grasping for survival. Neal lays out the importance of a clearly communicated vision and direction, followed by detailed planning, preparation, passion and execution, using his personal story to show audiences how they, too, can achieve their goals.

Audiences will better understand:

  • The importance of realizing goals through perseverance, determination, dedication and passion. 
  • Choosing conquest over adversity. Never give up!
  • The power of positive attitude and how it affects one’s performance.
  • With choices there are consequences—choose wisely.
  • Change—adapt to wind shifts and stormy seas by knowing when to alter course.

Neal helps prepare audiences to tackle their barriers by providing hope, a change in attitude and the vision to navigate challenging times ahead, not just for today—but, more importantly, for the next generation.

 Read more about Neal Petersen by going to his website.


If you or your company is interested in sponsoring Neal as our Keynote Speaker, please contact Emily Hollis at or download our Sponsor Brochure for more information.



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