#MACoCon Academy Courses Focus on Tech, Tweets, and…Talking!

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Charting the Course,” is coming up on January 2-4, 2019. Sessions will focus on next steps as the state begins a new term. Academy for Excellence in Local Governance courses will be offered to help attendees build a firm foundation of local government leadership practices.

Academy logoThe Academy for Excellence in Local Governance is a volunteer certificate program for elected and appointed county and municipal officials. The program provides a strong background of necessary skills and knowledge for local government leaders. It was founded by MACo and MML, is facilitated by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, and is sponsored by the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT).

Academy courses are open to ALL conference registrants – Academy Fellows must complete evaluation forms for each class to earn credit.

If you have questions about your Academy transcript, please contact the registrar, Aisha Washington, at awashin1@umd.edu or 301.314.2641.

In addition to the 2 Core Courses to be offered, MACo is also hosting the following courses for Elective credit:

Foundations for Local Leadership

Description: A strong foundation of knowledge and skills is needed to successfully navigate the many different facets of being a local government leader. In this session, speakers will briefly touch on the basic skills and information every county government practitioner needs to know: risk management, conducting meetings, reaching consensus, financial management, ethics, employment issues, and the Open Meetings and Public Information Acts. All of these topics are covered more fully in the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance certificate program through the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, but this introductory overview will get participants started on the path toward becoming an accredited county leader!


  • Consensus & Team Building: Thomas Reynolds, Director, Education Services, Maryland Municipal League
  • Basics of Risk Management: Larry Bohlen, Director of Field Services, LGIT
  • Employment Issues/County Finance: Ted Zaleski, Director of Management and Budget, Carroll County
  • Effective Meetings/Ethics: Ernest Crofoot
  • Open Meetings/PIA: John Mathias, County Attorney, Frederick County

Date/Time: Wednesday, January 2, 2019; Noon – 1:00 pm

Elective Category: Leadership Development

Are We There Yet? How New Technology Is Driving Government Policy

Description: From wireless use to cloud-based computing, technology is not only driving cultural change, but also propelling government policy. As broadband, small cells, and 5G service raise standards for constituents and define economic development resources, cloud-computing expands possibilities for government, including information-sharing services, data-sourcing techniques, and telecommuting. However, these new technologies also expose governments to a new level of cyber-threat. Learn the basics, and hear more about the push for policy shifts in this survey of contemporary issues in county technology.


  • Mitsuko R. Herrera, ultraMontgomery Program Director, Montgomery County Office of Broadband Programs
  • David Swillum, Kronos Cloud Specialist, Public Sector Kronos Cloud
  • Megan H. Delgaudio, Manager, Information Technology, Queen Anne’s County
  • Joseph E. Klausner, Director, Technology Services, Calvert County

Date/Time: Wednesday, January 2, 2019; 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Elective Category: Technology

More Than a TV Show: The Real Issues of “Parks and Recreation”

Description: The hit television show “Parks and Recreation” highlighted the challenges facing county parks and rec departments. From funding uncertainties, land use and environmental concerns, and of course, recreation issues, running a successful parks and rec program takes a multi-faceted approach. Panelists will give an overview of the role and benefits of public recreation and dive into some of the Maryland hot topics you might not have seen on screen…like the importance of Program Open Space funding and the heated debate over synthetic turf fields.


  • Ann Jones, Director, Partners for Open Space
  • Raul Delerme, Chief, Bureau of Capital Projects, Park Planning and Construction, Howard County

Date/Time: Thursday, January 3, 2019; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Elective Category:  Intergovernmental Relations, Service Delivery

Hold That Tweet! Mastering the Art of 21st Century Communication

Description: The right communication strategies can build a bridge between government officials and the public they serve. The wrong strategies can find you treading in dangerous waters. Officials must find the right methods for engaging with constituents to foster trust, support, and understanding. In this digital age, social media is just one increasingly powerful tool that-when done correctly-can be a fast and effective way to deliver messages and learn about your community’s needs. Attend this session to learn how to effectively navigate modern communication channels and steer clear of perilous pitfalls. 


  • Sandra Barry, Public Relations Consultant
  • Kelly Jarvis, CRO & Digital Strategist, Enradius
  • Kevin Karpinski, Karpinski, Colaresi & Karp, P.A.

Date/Time: Thursday, January 3, 2019; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Elective Category: Communications, Legal & Liability Issues

The County Official’s Guide to Lobbying in Annapolis

Description: Each year, the Maryland General Assembly faces countless issues that affect Maryland’s counties. How can you, as a county official, best influence this process? Attend this candid and participatory session to learn some insider tips and sharpen your own skills.

FORMAT NOTE: This is an interactive session. The participants will be given tips and pointers on formulating persuasive oral testimony. Then they will be assigned fictional bills and policy issues to argue during a mock testimony hearing. A panel of legislators will participate as the committee receiving the testimony, giving feedback and constructive criticism after each group makes their presentation.

Moderator: Patrick Roddy, Lobbyist, Rifkin Weiner Livingston, LLC

Date/Time: Friday, January 4, 2019; 11:00 am – noon

Elective Category: Intergovernmental Relations, Leadership Development

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: