Academy Courses Focus on Employment Issues, Effective Meetings, and More at Summer #MACoCon

County Fellows of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance are required to complete 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Credits – MACo announces 2 Core Courses to be held at the 2023 Summer Conference.

The 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 (register online) – Academy Fellows must complete evaluation forms for each class to earn credit.

Academy Fellows with questions about their transcripts should contact registrar Elizabeth Hinson at

All courses will be completely in-person, with no virtual option. Participants must register to attend – daily options are available.

2023 MACo Summer Conference Academy CORE Courses:

Employment Issues

  • Description: This class will provide an overview of preferred employment practices and of the legal restrictions involved in hiring, firing, promoting, and disciplining employees. The instructor will address best practices for advertising job positions and conducting interviews. Also included are risk management techniques concerning the proper supervision of employees.
  • Speaker: Kevin Karpinski, Karpinski, Colaresi and Karp, P.A.
  • Moderator: The Honorable Catherine Grasso, Commissioner, Calvert County
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, August 16, 2023; 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

Conducting Effective Meetings

  • Description: Conducting public business requires managing issues before a public body. Building an agenda, promoting useful discussion, and providing a structure for decision-making are vital goals for an effective meeting and influential public officials. The instructor for this session will cover the proper use of organized rules of order, known as parliamentary procedure. This procedure allows all voices to be heard but with a focused and civil debate.
  • Speaker: The Honorable Lynne Galletti, Council Member, Mount Airy
  • Moderator: The Honorable John Barr, Commissioner President, Washington County (inv)
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, August 16, 2023; 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

2023 MACo Summer Conference Academy ELECTIVE Courses:

Facing the Future: What Facial Recognition Means for Public Safety

  • Description: The most prominent technology companies worldwide have used facial recognition for decades. Everyone from smartphone and social media companies to software engineers and app developers is integrating the technology. In recent years, it has also produced groundbreaking public safety and crime prevention results. Hear from this panel of technology experts and public safety officials who deploy these programs to ensure communities are safe and secure for years to come.
  • Speakers:
    • Dave Engel, Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center
    • Captain Nicholas Picerno, Montgomery County, Special Investigations Unit
    • Yanet Amanuel, Public Policy Director, ACLU of Maryland
  • Moderator: The Honorable Elizabeth Embry, MD House of Delegates
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, August 16, 2023; 1:15 pm –2:15 pm

Transformational Tourism – Turning Today’s Opportunities Into Tomorrow’s Necessities

  • Description: Tourism – a major economic driver in Maryland – looks very different now than it did a generation ago. Like many county service areas, tourism has experienced significant challenges and found new opportunities post-COVID. The new “work from anywhere” corporate mindset and hot new travel trends like eco- and agro-tourism have opened up a world of possibilities. The legalization of adult-use cannabis may also become its own factor in Maryland’s tourism landscape. Focusing on emerging tourism industries and building a workforce to meet these evolving needs should be central to any county’s economic development strategy. In this panel, experts will discuss new trends, exciting opportunities, and how to best leverage today’s tourism to support the local economy.
  • Speakers:
    • Kelly Groff, President and CEO, Visit Montgomery
    • Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director, Maryland Sports Commission; President – Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland & Baltimore
    • Clint Sterline, Director, Parks and Recreation, Somerset County
    • Kristen Pironis, Executive Director, Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County
  • Moderator: The Honorable Steve Hershey, MD State Senate
  • Date/Time: Thursday, August 17, 2023; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Detention Dilemma: Mobilizing MAT in Local Corrections Facilities

  • Description: The deadline to implement medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in county jails has come and gone. While all jails have made progress, many still struggle with insufficient state funding, workforce barriers, and medication challenges. However, with the right leadership and vision, our local detention centers can help rebuild lives and redirect people toward a better path. This presentation will illuminate the implementation difficulties, provide a progress update, and propose ways for the state to collaborate with county jails to ensure these resources are streamlined, giving vulnerable inmates the unencumbered support, they need and deserve.
  • Speakers:
    • Mary Ann Thompson, Warden, St. Mary’s County
    • Christopher Klein, Superintendent, Department of Detention Facilities, Anne Arundel County
    • Brandi Cahn, Assistant Director of Justice Reinvestment, Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services
    • Marc Richman, Principal, Health Management Associates
  • Moderator: The Honorable Luke Clippinger, MD House of Delegates
  • Date/Time: Thursday, August 17, 2023; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

It’s More Than Likes and Shares – Unlocking the Power of Social Media to Engage Communities

  • Description: In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of personal and professional life. It has transformed the world, communicates, connects, and builds communities. However, social media’s true impact and potential can only be realized by effectively measuring and interpreting the metrics that drive engagement and growth. So, what is your community saying? What do they need from their government officials? And what are you missing by not being part of this online conversation? Join this expert panel as they go beyond the likes and shares and discuss how to put social media metrics in motion for county government.
  • Speakers:
    • The Honorable Evan Glass, Council President, Montgomery County
    • Renesha Alphonso, Deputy Director of Communications and Public Information Officer at the Anne Arundel County Office of County Executive Steuart Pittman
    • Kevin Schmidt, Public Broadcast Manager, Calvert County, Maryland
    • Beth Malasky, Public Information Officer, Queen Anne’s County
  • Moderator: The Honorable Odette Ramos, Council Member, Baltimore City
  • Date/Time: Friday, August 18, 2023; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Books & Beyond: Libraries of the 21st Century

  • Description: Public libraries’ traditional services have been dramatically expanded over the years, as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Libraries not only provide reading materials, they now offer informational services, educational programs, social services, economic and workforce development programming, and community meeting spaces. Today, Maryland’s libraries are also community centers, job hubs, skill development centers, arts, and recreational spaces, and so much more! This session will feature leaders in innovation in public library programming and services; they will explore how county leaders can best support their local library systems’ new and expanding roles.
  • Speakers:
    • Andrea Berstler, Executive Director, Carroll County Public Library System
    • Natalie Edington, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Baltimore County Public Library System
    • Irene M. Padilla, State Librarian
    • Heidi Daniel, President and CEO, Enoch Pratt Library Systems
  • Moderator: The Honorable Cheryl Kagan, MD State Senate
  • Date/Time: Friday, August 18, 2023; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

Embracing Without Spacing: Pre-K Expansion and Early Childhood Education

  • Description: Counties are tasked with supporting the expansion of full-day Pre-K and early childhood education under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. However, the context in which the Blueprint was enacted differs post-pandemic and amidst economic uncertainty. As a result, counties now face unexpected obstacles to expanding full-day Pre-K, including a limited workforce, supply chain, and construction disruptions, new budgetary considerations, and a jarring lack of dedicated space for early education teaching. This panel will tackle some of the challenges and opportunities of Pre-K expansion and the counties’ role in ensuring all Maryland children can access quality early childhood education.
  • Speakers:
    • Alex Donahue, Executive Director, Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC)
    • Jennifer Lynch, Member of the Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board (IAB) and Baltimore County Senior Policy Advisor for Education and Workforce
    • Bill Hudson, Executive Director, Project Director, PreK Pilot Project, Family Child Care Alliance of Maryland
    • Chris Peusch, Executive Director, Maryland State Child Care Association
  • Moderator: The Honorable Alonzo Washington, MD State Senate
  • Date/Time: Saturday, August 19, 2023; 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Read about all the sessions being offered at MACo’s Summer Conference.

MACo’s Summer Conference, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road,” will be held at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD, from August 16-19, 2023. 

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: