Calling All Superstars – Nominate a Program or Leader Today for MACo’s County Champion Awards

MACo invites nominations for their County Champion Award series – awards will be issued for innovative county programs and a county leader demonstrating extraordinary public service. Nominations are due October 19, 2018, and award winners will be celebrated at MACo’s Winter Conference on January 2, 2019.

Dorchester County accepts the 2017 County Innovation Award for their Tax Lien Program

Award nominations should be completed and submitted to the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance through the University of Maryland School of Public Policy no later than October 19, 2018. Details are included in the application links below.

Please follow the nomination instructions carefully:

Award winners will be celebrated at MACo’s Winter Conference Welcoming Banquet & Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Approximately 400 county elected officials and staff, legislators, State and Federal officials, and commercial and nonprofit representatives will be present to congratulate them and learn from their programs and experiences.

If you have questions about either of these awards, please contact MACo’s Member Services Director, Virginia White.

See How It Went: The 2018 Summer Conference Photo Recap Is Here

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference – “Water, Water Everywhere” – on August 15-18 focused on all the ways county governments work with water.

This was MACo’s third record-breaking year in a row with final attendee registration totaling 1,266, exhibit booths coming in at 236, booth staff numbering well over 980, and 61 Tech Expo booths. Thanks to all who participated!

The full conference schedule and program of events can be viewed online.

Save the date for MACo’s next Summer Conference: August 14-17, 2019 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD.

Photography was sponsored and provided by Grant L. Gursky Photography



Charting the Course – Submit Your Proposal for Winter #MACoCon by Sept 21

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Charting the Course,” will take place on January 2-4, 2019. Interested speakers should submit proposals (using the proposal outline) by September 21, 2018).

MACO-WINTERCONFERENCE-2017-DAY1-OHI157MACo’s Winter Conference will focus on the path ahead following the election, as new and returning officials convene to discuss the upcoming legislative session. Approximately 600 attendees are expected to attend the three-day conference.

With a heavy focus on county governance issues for new officials, topics will include overviews of budgeting, consensus-building, leadership, the Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act. Attendees will also be able to take a deeper look at some of the current hot policy topics: advancing broadband connectivity, local infrastructure, small cells, and the opioid epidemic…to name a few.

Interested speakers should review the Call for Proposals and submit their topics to Virginia White by September 21.

Charting the Course – County Leaders To Start Off the New Term with MACo Winter Conference

MACo’s Summer Conference has just ended, but it’s never too soon to start looking ahead to the next great MACo event: Winter Conference will be January 2-4, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, MD – “Charting the Course.”

MACO-WINTERCONFERENCE-2017-DAY1-OHI157MACo’s Conference Planning Committee and Board of Directors are proud to announce the theme for the Winter Conference: “Charting the Course.”

The Winter Conference is normally held in December. However, every fourth year – following an election – MACo’s Winter Conference moves to January to give newly elected officials the opportunity to attend. Since the legislative session starts on the second Wednesday in January, the Winter Conference will be held on the first week (indeed, the first few days) of 2019.

“Charting the Course” will help set the direction for the new four-year term. Important to that goal will be a focus on county government fundamentals, building relationships with newly elected officials at the county, state, and legislative levels, and strategic planning for coming years. There will be workshops and panels for veteran officials as well, diving deeper into issues likely to be “hot” during the legislative session: 5G, small cells, opioids, etc.

The highlight of this Winter Conference will be MACo’s highly acclaimed “Newly Elected Officials Orientation.” This one-day intensive workshop for new county officials covers the basics – budgeting, open meetings, the Public Information Act – but also more abstract topics: the county official’s role in the legislature, building consensus, working within a governing body as a team. Seasoned officials will serve as mentors in a roundtable discussion allowing new members the chance to ask questions and learn from their experiences and insight.

With this being the first MACo conference of a term, we are expecting very high attendance: 600+ attendees and 70 exhibits.

Registration will be open soon, but for now – save the date!

Interested in receiving an announcement email?

Maryland Leaders Discuss Local Challenges and Solutions at #MACoCon

The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) 2018 Summer Conference concluded on August 18 with a closing address by Governor Larry Hogan. By all accounts, this year’s conference was the largest gathering of Maryland government stakeholders the event has seen since 2006 – and the best.

Approximately 2,500 participants gathered at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City to discuss county government challenges, solutions, and partnerships. See the list of session coverage below.

The theme of the conference was “Water, Water Everywhere” with topics focusing on the many ways water affects Maryland’s residents – the environment, the Chesapeake Bay, public health, weather emergencies, tourism, and the marine industry, just to name a few. Sessions also highlighted issues that weren’t water-themed, but were important for local officials to be discussing: the opioid epidemic, modern 9-1-1 technology, wireless connectivity, and school funding.

Coverage of the sessions can be found here (and will be updated as more content becomes available):

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Save the Dates:

  • Winter Conference: January 2-4, 2019, Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Cambridge, MD
  • Summer Conference: August 14-17, 2019, Roland Powell Convention Center, Ocean City, MD


#MACoCon Participants Rave About Connections and Content

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference wrapped on August 18 and is being touted as the best conference the county association has held in recent memory.

See what the participants had to say about the event on Twitter:




Check out #MACoCon to see more about the conference and what attendees learned.

Be Proactive: Plan for the Unpredictable

MACo’s Summer Conference is quickly approaching (Aug. 15-18). The conference is focusing on water issues with its “Water, Water Everywhere” theme, but strives to offer “something for everyone.”

Back by popular demand is the Active Shooter Response Training presented by Deputy First Class Thomas Wehrle of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division. Join this session on Saturday, August 18, from 8:30 am – 10 am at the Ocean City Convention Center to learn about active shooter situations – how they normally unfold and what you can do keep yourself safe.

As a recent addition to the session, conference sponsor Multivista will make a 2-minute presentation:

Be Proactive:  How Interactive Visual Technologies Can Help Us Plan for the Unpredictable in Our Public Areas

Jason Donahoe, Senior Regional Partner with Multivista, will demonstrate how the latest Reality Capture technologies are being used for critical safety preparedness initiatives. Come see how the mapping of 2D imagery combined with 3D immersive visual technology provides an interactive resource that supports our public safety planning teams.

Don’t miss this session! Register today.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

What Does It Mean to be a Torchbearer? Find Out.

Torchbearer BannerThe Academy for Excellence in Local Governance is a voluntary certificate program founded by MACo and the Maryland Municipal League (MML), sponsored by the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT), and facilitated by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. Academy Fellows include county and municipal elected officials and employees, who are dedicated to building a strong foundation of local governance knowledge, best practices, and ongoing professional development.

The certificate program requires county officials to complete 8 Core Courses and 6 Electives within a 5-year period. Following their graduation from the Academy, Graduated Fellows can then pursue graduate courses through the Academy: 1-day or 2-day courses focusing on deeper aspects of governance, like leadership and consensus-building.

To provide even more opportunity to build on the foundation of the Academy certificate program, the Academy proudly announces its newest graduate designation: TORCHBEARER.

A “Torchbearer” is a leader in government who continuously seeks knowledge
and inspires others to strive for excellence in public service.

Once an Academy Fellow graduates from the Academy program, they may become a Torchbearer by participating in this annual program. Graduate Fellows are encouraged to reach at least 100 Torchbearer points annually for their service within the Academy. Points are given for participation in Graduate courses, retaking Academy Core workshops, or participating on various Boards and Committees. Graduate Fellows who reach and maintain this level are recognized as Torchbearers at the MACo and MML
Summer Conferences. Learn more.

For more information on the Torchbearer program – or the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance certificate program – contact Academy program coordinator, Aisha Washington. MACo Summer Conference participants can stop by the University of Maryland/School of Public Policy booth on the upper level of the Ocean City Convention Center, August 15-18, 2018, for more information.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

U.S. Senator Cardin to Update Counties on Federal Issues at #MACoCon Town Hall Forum


Congress’s decisions on transportation, education, healthcare, and the environment affect every state in the country and each county in Maryland. To learn more about Congressional policies and what they mean for your county, attend this year’s MACo Summer Conference.

U.S. Senator Cardin leading a Federal Town Hall Forum at MACo’s 2017 conference.

On Friday, August 17, in a town hall setting, Senator Cardin will give an update on legislation in the 115th Congress and speak with county elected officials about their top priorities. Senator Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, and fiscal issues as a member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He is also a leading advocate for the Chesapeake Bay – the economic, historical, and cultural heart of Maryland. Senator Cardin was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. The session is scheduled for 10:30 am – 11:30 am and will be moderated by Greg Cox, Supervisor – San Diego County, CA and President of the National Association of Counties (NACo).

The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18, 2018 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

When It Rains, It Pours: Communicating in a Crisis

MACo’s Summer Conference is next week – August 15-18, in Ocean City, MD. Thousands of stakeholders in local government will meet to discuss all the ways counties work with water to serve their residents.

Every crisis is different and comes with its own challenges and situational complications. Whether it’s an active shooter, a tornado, or a broken water main, residents want – and deserve – to be informed on how local government is handling the crisis event. Fulfilling that responsibility can be nerve-racking even under the best conditions. Now imagine yourself in a crisis situation where the reporters have tough questions needing quick answers. What would you do? What do you say?

Mark Weaver will deliver #MACoCon Keynote on Crisis Communications

Join us and our keynote speaker Mark Weaver, a national communications advisor with nearly three decades of national and Ohio-based experience with public and private sector clients on crisis communications and media relations.  He’ll share tips for responding to the public and the media, especially in a crisis situation. Learn how to gather the details you need with your team, frame your message, and deliver it in a way that reassures and informs.

By the end of the session, you’ll not only have a much better idea of what it feels like to actually be in a crisis communication situation, you’ll have a summary of specific take-away points to help you face one in real life.

The keynote presentation, “When It Rains, It Pours: Communicating in a Crisis,” will take place on Thursday, August 16, at 9:00 am. The keynote speaker is sponsored by the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT).

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: