#MACoCon Academy Electives Discuss Biotech, the Environment, P3s, and More!

Academy logoCounty Fellows of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance are required to complete 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Credits – MACo announces 7 Electives to be held at 2017 Summer Conference.

Core Courses to be offered: Open Meetings, Employment Issues
***The Open Meetings course DOES fulfill the State’s Open Meetings Act training requirement.***

Academy Fellows with questions about their transcripts should contact registrar Aisha Washington at awashin1@umd.edu or (301) 314-2641.


Tech Expo Deep Dive Session: BIOTECH BAIT: Can Maryland Net a Boom in Biotechnology?

Maryland counties have a big stake in a potential boom of the biotechnology industry – if Maryland lands it. What is the county role in making Maryland an international hub for biotech? In this session, industry leaders share what they are looking for when they scope new locations, and what they need to grow in the land of crabs and corn. Speakers: Aviation Systems Engineering Company


  • Julie Garner, Senior Director, Government Affairs, AstraZeneca Medimmune
  • Rich Bendis, President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation
  • Chris Frew, Executive Director, BioBuzz
  • Robert Scheer, CEO, Scheer Partners, Incubator & Real Estate Rep

Moderator: Tom Sadowski, Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University System of Maryland

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 16, 2017; 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm


 Tech Expo Deep Dive Session: Headsets On: Get Ready for Virtual Reality and the Social Shake-Up

Virtual reality is one of the hottest and most mysterious types of tech. Virtual reality’s tempting serum, poured over snowballing social media use, could turn the way that government interfaces with the public into one heck of a snow cone. VR applications for county governments already include tourism, economic development, and information science, with more to come. Join this session to hear more about the opportunities presented by virtual reality and its integration with county services.


  • Jason Michael Perry, Vice President of Engineering, Mindgrub
  • Julie Lenzer, Associate Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development and Co-Director of UM Ventures, University of Maryland
  • Will Gee, CEO, Baltivirtual
  • Kathleen Slattery Booth, Vice President of Marketing Strategy, IMPACT branding & design

Moderator: Brian Darmody, Associate Vice President for Corporate and Foundation Relations, University of Maryland

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 16, 2017; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


Second Chance for Workplace Success – A Good Program is Good for Your County

Programs to provide workforce development are the foundation of a healthy economy. County social services agencies are championing workforce development by assisting low wage workers and job seekers with their employment-related challenges; from job coaching, trainings, and apprenticeships to family counseling, case management, expungements, and personal presentation. By preparing these individuals to succeed in the workforce, public and private programs are working together to develop a community built on self-reliant individuals. Results from these programs often include decreased costs for county governments, and – more importantly – a diversified and healthy community thriving in a more economically stable environment. This session will showcase innovative practices counties and communities are using to incentivize, train, and support many of Maryland’s vulnerable and overlooked residents.


  • Michael Piercy, Jr., LCSW-C, Director, Washington County Department of Social Services
  • Melissa Jones-Harris, Child Support Lead Supervisor, Caroline County Department of Social Services
  • Carnitra D. White, Director, Anne Arundel Department of Social Services
  • Caryn York, Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships, Job Opportunities Task Force (JOBTF)

Moderator: The Honorable Cory McCray, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, August 17, 2017; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


Round Up the (Un) Usual Suspects – There’s a Broader Pool of People for Your Tech Hiring Needs

TechHire, an initiative powered by Opportunity@Work in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, is a nationwide, community-based movement that helps underrepresented and overlooked job seekers start technology careers. TechHire works with community partners and education providers that teach in-demand skills to people who want to take part in the modern economy—from overlooked youth, to veterans, to the long-term unemployed. Then, TechHire helps them find jobs by connecting them to a network of employers looking for tech talent. In this session, attendees will learn how to implement TechHire in their communities.


  • Keyon Smith, Community Engagement Manager, Opportunity@Work
  • Kati Townsley, Executive Director, Carroll Technology Council, Inc.
  • Tracey Turner, Executive Director, Howard Tech Council
  • Denise L. Beaver, Deputy Director, Carroll County Economic Development

Moderator: The Honorable Marvin Holmes, Jr, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, August 17, 2017; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm


Flushing Your Troubles Down the Drain, the South Kent Island Solution

When septic systems fail, they allow noxious odors and dangerous pathogens to rise to the surface. They can also endanger the Chesapeake Bay by allowing pollutants such as nitrogen to flow into its waters. For many years, community leaders on South Kent Island (SKI) in Queen Anne’s County had serious concerns about public health and the environment due to this very issue. Faced with an alarming septic system failure rate on SKI (70-90%), limited funding, Smart Growth requirements, and anti-growth concerns-among many other concerns and challenges-it was necessary to create a unique solution. Attend this session to find out how Queen Anne’s County and the Maryland Departments of Planning and the Environment were able to solve this dangerous issue to connect 1,518 existing homes and eight commercial properties to a safe and effective public sewer system.


  • The Honorable James J. Moran, County Commissioner At Large, Queen Anne’s County
  • Todd R. Mohn, Director, Department of Public Works, Queen Anne’s County
  • Julie Barown, P.E., Northeast Regional Municipal Systems, Orenco Systems, Inc.

Moderator: The Honorable Shane Robinson, Maryland House of Delegates (invited)

Date/Time: Friday, August 18, 2017; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm


Walking the Tightrope: Protecting the Public and Energizing the Economy

Environmental health officials work to protect the health and safety of county residents. They also play an important role by increasing confidence in our growing and changing economy. From familiar needs like restaurant cleanliness to the challenges and opportunities presented by the up-and-coming food truck industry, these dedicated officials always have health and safety – and the economy – in mind. For example, by ensuring the safety of our food, environmental health officials increase consumer confidence to eat at restaurants. By ensuring proper sanitation in our homes, they increase lender confidence when providing mortgages or developer loans. Speakers will discuss the roles environmental health officials play in both protecting the public and energizing the economy, and highlight how those roles work with respect to home lending and the emergent food truck industry.


  • Donald Wilson, Environmental Health Director, Caroline County
  • William Castelli, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Maryland Realtors Association

Moderator: The Honorable Edward Reilly, Maryland State Senate (invited)

Date/Time: Friday, August 18, 2017; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm


Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads: Let Career Training Transport Maryland Students

It’s back to the future for Maryland’s students. Not all need a college degree to succeed, but training will be key. Schools are changing course to prepare students for a new economy. And even for those who pursue higher education, technical skills are an asset. Hear how high schools are incorporating careers into the classroom through partnership with industry experts, and programs that provide job training and certification.


  • Rhonda Hinch, Cadet Coordinator, Harford County Volunteer Fire Department
  • Lynne Gilli, Assistant State Superintendent – Division of Career and College Readiness, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Michael Thomas, Director, Office of Learning to Work, Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Kristine Pearl, Supervisor Career and Technology Education, Frederick County Public Schools

Moderator: The Honorable JimRosapepe, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Saturday, August 19, 2017; 9:00 am – 10:00 am


Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: