#MACoCon Academy Electives to Focus on NG911, 5G, Veterans, Foster Care, Firefighters, AND MORE!

County Fellows of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance are required to complete 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Credits – MACo announces 11 Electives to be held at 2019 Summer Conference.

Core Courses to be offered: Conducting Effective Meetings, Public Information Act

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

New Look 9-1-1 – Everything Will Change…Except the Numbers

Description: Maryland’s legislators heard the call of county governments and other stakeholders and voted this year to modernize Maryland’s 9-1-1 system. This landmark legislation will update state laws—and the 9-1-1 financing system—to provide the flexibility and resources needed for the deployment of statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911). But the legislation is only the first step in ensuring a timely, well-coordinated, consistent, and secure rollout of a statewide NG911 network. Cybersecurity, emerging technologies, interconnectivity, and records retention are just some of the issues on the 2019 agenda for the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland. Attend this session to learn how Maryland is accelerating its move toward NG911, harnessing public safety industry leadership and expertise, and focusing on effective coordination with communications providers to deliver these essential services equitably across the state.


  • Ross Coates, Manager, Emergency Services Communications Center, Harford County
  • Bill Ferretti, Director, 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center, Montgomery County
  • Jack Markey, Director, Emergency Management, Frederick County
  • Anna Sierra, Deputy Director, Emergency Services, Caroline County

Moderator: The Honorable Cheryl Kagan, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 14, 2019; 11:00 am – Noon

Maryland’s Small Cell Roll Out: Making 5G a Reality

Description: 5G wireless technology is on the horizon and small cell infrastructure is the path forward. Don’t get caught flat-footed. It’s time to act now – the Maryland way. Make sure your county is deploying this infrastructure and preparing for this technology on the best terms for your communities. In this session hear from experts in the field who will help you sort fact from fiction and properly deploy 5G small cells in accordance with federal law and local authority.


  • Andrew Afflerbach, CEO and CTO, CTC Technology and Energy
  • Victor Tervala, Chief Solicitor, Law Department, General Counsel Division, Baltimore City
  • John Seefried, Deputy Chief, Bureau of Engineering, Howard County Department of Public Works, Howard County

Moderator: The Honorable Brian Feldman, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 14, 2019; 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Held Hostage: Protecting Your Data from Cyberattacks

Description: Ransomware, a malicious malware of cryptovirology, threatens to publish secure and sensitive data or perpetually block access to computer systems unless a ransom is paid. Cyber threats are commonplace now, and governments – including counties – are prized prey for these cyber criminals. As elections, public safety, and healthcare systems employ more sophisticated technology, they become even more attractive targets – the more interconnected these systems are, the greater the potential fallout. In this session, state and county IT experts will share best practices in data protection and data handling, and share next steps in protecting vulnerabilities.


  • Michael G. Leahy, Secretary, Maryland Department of Information Technology
  • Kyle Bryans, Program Specialist, MS-ISAC Stakeholder Engagement Team, Center for Internet Security
  • Keith Young, Enterprise Information Security Official, Montgomery County
  • John Contestabile, Program Manager, Emergency Preparedness & Response Systems Johns Hopkins, Applied Physics Lab

Moderator: The Honorable Dutch Ruppersberger, US House of Representatives, Second District

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 14, 2019; 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Conduit Street Podcast Live with US Census

Description: The US Census plays an essential role in American democracy. Most fundamentally, it ensures that communities get the right representation in government. Less obviously, it plays a critical role in distributing hundreds of billions of federal dollars for a wide range of public services – including education, health, transportation, housing, community services, and job training. In this session, Maryland coordinators for the United States Census will join a live recording of the Conduit Street Podcast, as a fast-paced Q&A-style discussion of our “complete count” efforts. Attendees will learn about state and local resources and best practices to promote the most accurate 2020 Census.


  • Michael Sanderson, Executive Director, Maryland Association of Counties
  • Kevin Kinnally, Associate Director, Maryland Association of Counties
  • Rob McCord, Secretary, Maryland Department of Planning
  • Ron Brown, Partnership Coordinator, U.S. Census Bureau

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 14, 2019; 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm

Family First: Child Welfare and Foster Care Under the New Federal Law

Description: This year has seen enormous changes in the way child welfare services may be delivered in the United States due to the passage of the Family First Preservation Services Act (FFPSA). When a child is identified as a “candidate” for foster care, the new law assists troubled families by engaging them in substance abuse and mental health treatment, alongside in-home parenting services. However, the single greatest change is the creation of a federal funding mechanism to prevent the need for children to enter into foster care. This new child welfare redesign requires collaboration between county and state governments and collateral community partners (specifically local mental health and drug treatment providers). It is imperative that all stakeholders individualize services and organize providers for their specific communities in a way that will maximize their ability to pull down federal funding. Learn more about the FFPSA and local collaborations at this session.


  • Martha Okafor, Regional Administrator, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Region 3
  • Michael Piercy, Jr., LCSW-C, Director, Washington County Department of Social Services
  • Keith Fanjoy, San Mar Family and Community Services
  • Rebecca Jones Gaston, Executive Director, Social Services Administration

Moderator: The Honorable Mary Beth Carozza, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, August 15, 2019; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Serving and Supporting Our Veterans

Description: Veterans in your community are properly a priority for targeted services. Your county may need to develop cross-agency strategies to help locate and serve these citizens who have served us all. This session will cover county- and state-level efforts to stand up for veterans, review some public-private collaboration best practices, and introduce the Veterans Services Specialist (VSS) Program in State Government.


  • The Honorable Angela Alsobrooks, County Executive, Prince George’s County
  • Kim Huerta, Senior Director of Compensation, Perdue Farms
  • Dana Burl, Director, Outreach and Advocacy, MD Department of Veterans Affairs

Moderator:  The Honorable Douglas J.J. Peters, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Thursday, August 15, 2019; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Beyond the Classifieds: Finding and Keeping the Employees You Need

Description: As a recruitment tool, the newspaper is no longer enough…and neither are the traditional methods of retention. Faced with generational change and evolving workplace cultures, today’s county human resources officers are reaching out across many platforms and breaking open new ways to entice and position top employees. What’s cool about county service to Millennials and Generation Z? How do county benefits deliver for Gen Xers? And, how can a county draw from those in their second or third careers? In this session, learn the best ways to find and keep excellent government employees across all generations, including recruitment tactics and changes to human resources policies.


  • David Johnson, Vice President and Senior Consultant, The Segal Group
  • Sam O’Neill, Office of the Baltimore County Executive
  • Shelley Heller, County Administrator, Kent County
  • Richard Brooks, Director of Emergency Services, Cecil County

Moderator:  The Honorable Tawanna Gaines, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 16, 2019; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Delicious or Deadly?  A Food Safety Update

Description: Food safety is a critical function of local health departments. Improperly prepared food and unsafe kitchen practices have caused the deaths of Maryland residents. The 2019 Legislative Session saw the passage or consideration of various legislation changing food safety requirements. Panelists will discuss the state’s ban on polystyrene for food containers, potential restrictions on plastic straws, changes to cottage food products, and reduced restrictions on private kitchens.


  • Jessica Speaker, Acting Assistant Commissioner: Environmental Health, Baltimore City
  • Patricia Vauls, Director, Office of Food Protection, Maryland Department of Health
  • The Honorable Sara Love, Maryland House of Delegates

Moderator: The Honorable Paul Pinsky, Maryland State Senate (invited)

Date/Time: Friday, August 16, 2019; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

Active Shooter Response Training

Description: Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. While an active shooter scenario may unfold in various locations, public and government settings are particular targets. These terrifying events are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, so individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to survive the situation before law enforcement arrives. In this deep-dive session, a public safety expert will share the best way to prepare for the worst-case scenario with take-away lessons in safety for all attendees.

Speaker: Deputy First Class Thomas Wehrle, Sniper Section Coordinator, Special Operations Division, Harford County Sheriff’s Office

Date/Time: Saturday, August 17, 2019; 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Stoke the Fire: Volunteer Recruitment and Resources

Description: According to the National Fire Department Registry from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than 60% of Maryland’s firefighters are volunteers. Persistent and worsening staffing shortages threaten these critical partners in fire response statewide. This session will examine staffing levels of volunteer fire companies and rescue squads in the state, and explore best practices for recruitment and retention of volunteers, including the efforts of other states to address and combat volunteer fire company and rescue squad staffing shortages.


  • The Honorable Joseph M. Woods, Council Member, Harford County
  • Kate Tomanelli, Executive Director, Maryland State Firefighters Association
  • Dr. Candice McDonald, Fire Corps State Advocate (Ohio), National Volunteer Fire Council, Special Agent, Office of Protective Services, NASA (invited)
  • Tracey Johnston, Fire & EMS Commission, Queen Anne’s County (invited)

Date/Time: Saturday, August 17, 2019; 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Title: Sound the Siren: Maryland’s Fire Service Needs Help

Description: The Maryland State Firefighters Association advises that there are 362 volunteer fire companies and approximately 28,000 volunteer firefighters in the state. Staffing and funding shortages among volunteer companies are not limited to one or two jurisdictions – they are statewide and worsening. This session will explain the landscape of volunteer and career fire service in Maryland. And, even as the idea of a full-fledged transition from volunteer to paid service may raise alarm, panelists will examine the contours of challenges faced in rural, suburban, and metropolitan volunteer fire companies and rescue squads and posit the best path toward resiliency for each.


  • Sam Goldwater, Strategic Planner, Singerly Fire Company, Cecil County
  • Pete Mellitts, Firefighter Recruiter, PG Volunteers, Morningside Fire Company, Prince George’s County (invited)
  • Michael B. Rund, President, Professional Firefighters of Maryland, Lieutenant, Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (invited)

Date/Time: Saturday, August 17, 2019; 10:15 am – 11:15 am

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

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