Too Good to Miss: #MACoCon Session Descriptions Now Available

MACo’s highly anticipated “You’re Hired!” Summer Conference Registration Brochure is now available – with the full schedule and session descriptions.


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You’re Hired!

August 16-19, 2017
Roland Powell Convention Center
Ocean City, MD

The theme –  “You’re Hired!” – will focus on Maryland’s wealth of opportunities in industries such as technology, the military, clean energy, the environment, agriculture, and education. Counties play a vital role in creating, maintaining, and growing the jobs in our state. Conference sessions will discuss trending data, best practices, and partnership opportunities to help counties attract and benefit from new jobs and keep our economy on an upward climb.


#MACoCon Fast Facts:

  • Estimated 2,000+ participants: local government officials, county staff decision-makers, legislators, business representatives, and exhibitors
  • 30+ educational sessions
  • 250 exhibiting companies
  • Wednesday Tech Expo will give attendees the chance to explore Biotech and Virtual Reality and what these technologies mean for Maryland counties
  • Splash Dash 5K and Fun Run/Walk offers a fun and healthy networking activity while giving your county the chance to win $5,000 for a charity of its choice!
  • Participants will learn about:
    • Technological advances to help them solve common government issues
    • Cyber-related trends to notice and threats they should avoid
    • Strategic partners available at all levels of government and the private sector, so that Maryland’s counties can be leaders on the digital frontier of local governance

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


Back by Popular Demand: Tech Expo Makes #MACoCon Wednesday a MUST

MD Tech CouncilMACo and the Maryland Tech Council are proud to present the Tech Expo on Wednesday of Summer Conference for intense hands-on training in new and developing technologies.

MACo’s 2017 Summer Conference will focus on counties as employers and as employer magnets, drivers of the economy. As always, the conference will feature 4 days of  educational sessions along with meetings, briefings, and a 2-day tradeshow of 220+ exhibiting companies. View the registration brochure.

To add to the learning opportunities, MACo is planning a Tech Expo for Wednesday, August 16. Partnering with the Maryland Tech Council, MACo is proud to bring our attendees two Deep Dive sessions focusing on Biotech and Virtual Reality. Participants will learn what’s next for county governments on the technology frontier. The sessions will be very in-depth and interactive.

robotTechnology vendors will be highlighted through a special 50-booth one-day table-top exhibit show on Wednesday. Vendors will participate in a fast-paced IGNITE! Switch Pitch session where county officials will have the opportunity to name a technology need or challenge and have the vendors respond with possible solutions they can provide.

More information will be available soon, but the Deep Dive sessions are developing quickly:

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.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 | 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm

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.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

You don’t want to miss this new and exciting offering – be sure you register for either a Wednesday-only or a Full Conference registration through our registration website.

There is no additional fee to participate in the Expo – it comes with your Wednesday or Full registration!

VENDORS: Interested in being showcased in this special Wednesday-only table-top tradeshow? You’ll like the price. View the Tech Expo Brochure.
Register online as a vendor or contact Leslie today – spaces are limited!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Lace Up Your Running Shoes to Win $5K for Charity at #MACoCon

MACo Summer Conference Splash Dashsplash dash image
5K and Fun Run/Walk

Thursday, August 17, 2017
6:30 am – 8:00 am
Ocean City Inlet to 17th St (and back)

LEAD SPONSOR: MD-DE-DC Beverage Association

Join MACo Summer Conference participants and others for a fun and healthy networking opportunity on Thursday, August 17. Run or walk as an individual or as part of a county team, but be sure you get out there and enjoy the boardwalk, some friendly competition, and the waters, sports drinks, and other soft drinks provided by the MD-DE-DC Beverage Association.


County teams will have the opportunity to race in competition to earn $5,000 for a charity in their county. Each county may select ONE TEAM of THREE racers. The team with the lowest average race time will win!

Prizes and medals will also be awarded to individual racers by age group.


What are you waiting for? Register today!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

‘Vacants to Value’ Successful in Reducing City-Owned Properties

A report evaluating Baltimore City’s Vacants to Value program found that the program was successful in reducing the number of vacant properties owned by the City.

The program, which was launched in 2010, is intended to reduce blight and spur economic activity in city neighborhoods.

As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

The city commissioned the report for $113,930 from the Center for Community Progress, a Flint, Mich.-based nonprofit that focuses on the problem of vacant and abandoned properties. The center worked with the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute and Schaefer Center at University of Baltimore to evaluate the program.

Michael Braverman, the acting commissioner of the Department of Housing & Community Development, said the report showed the program has made progress and is worth maintaining, but he expects Mayor Catherine E. Pugh to put her own stamp on it by expanding demolition activity and pushing to include more city departments in the initiative.

Launched in 2010, Vacants to Value steps up code enforcement in areas where homes are vacant or abandoned and encourages developers to rehabilitate those properties.

The new report showed that while the total number of vacant and abandoned homes has gone up since 2010, the number of vacant properties owned by the city has declined.

There were a total of 16,548 vacant and abandoned homes in the city in 2014, 483 more than in 2010.

Over the same time period the number of city-owned vacant properties declined from 3,282 to 2,620, which Seema Iyer, associate director of the Jacob France Institute, said is a sign of the program’s success.

“When the city owns a property, the Vacants to Value program has demonstrated it’s good at getting it in the hands of people who will bring it to good use,” Iyer said.

Read The Baltimore Sun to learn more.

Tools to reduce blight and revitalize communities will be discussed at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Montgomery County Council Passes Bill to Battle Blight

The Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a bill that would create escalating penalties for owners of vacant and blighted properties that fail to correct code violations in a timely manner.

As reported in The Washington Post:

There are at least 350 vacant houses in Montgomery, many owned by out-of-state residents or developers “who simply have no short-term incentive to care for the property or put it back on the market,” Tom Hucker (D-Eastern County), the bill’s sponsor, said in a memo to his fellow council members.

Under county law, owners of vacant homes face fines of up to $500 for failing to clear up code violations within 90 days. But fines can be contested in court, where proceedings are often delayed and penalties lowered.

Hucker’s bill imposes an escalating schedule of fees — similar to those charged to owners for false fire alarms — that can’t be contested. The measure calls for the county housing department to begin a registry of poorly maintained vacant properties and inspect them for code violations. Owners whose homes remain in poor condition after 90 days would be charged for each subsequent county inspection. (Fees for false alarms start at $25 and can reach $4,000 for 20 alarm calls.)

Read The Washington Post to learn more.

Related coverage on Conduit Street:

Montgomery Passes Bill to Enforce Foreclosed Property Registry

Tools for addressing blighted and vacant properties and for spurring community revitalization will be a topic covered at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Simpler, Faster, More Routes to the Classroom for Excellent Educators

The State Board hears a report from the Support for Excellent Educators Subcommittee of the Maryland State Department of Education’s internal Every Student Succeeds Act Committee.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the federal education law that reauthorized the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.

At last week’s meeting of the Maryland State Board of Education, the Maryland State Department of Education’s ESSA Committee presented a report on educator development, retention and advancement. According to the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, the report by Sara Sprouse, of the Maryland State Department of Education, focused on certification, teacher preparation, and educator equity.

From the summary of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education:

Ms. Sprouse [of the Maryland State Department of Education] described preliminary recommendations regarding teacher preparation, including the need for revisions of institutional performance criteria and professional development school standards. She outlined the needs to expand the routes to certification, increase the types of certificates, and revise the conditional certificate timeline and requirements.

Staff presented a slide not included in the materials that displays a flow chart of the role of the State Board and other entities in approving teacher certification and preparation standards. Board member Finn and Weeldreyer asked several questions regarding role of the State Board in crafting reforms, including raising standards for entry into teacher preparation programs and new teacher residency programs.

For more information, see the Maryland Association of Boards of Education State Board Monitor and the ESSA Committee’s presentation to the State Board.

Teacher quality has been the subject of several meetings of the Kirwan Commission, and will be the topic of MACo’s Education General Session at the 2017 Summer Conference.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Discuss Jobs & the Economy at #MACoCon

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The 2017 Summer Conference – “You’re Hired!” – will focus on Maryland’s new jobs growth and the wealth of opportunities in industries such as technology, the military, clean energy, the environment, agriculture, and education. Counties play a vital role in creating, maintaining, and growing the jobs in our state. Conference sessions will discuss trending data, best practices, and partnership opportunities to help counties attract and benefit from new jobs and keep our economy on an upward climb.

View the early registration brochure.

MACo’s Summer Conference is accompanied by a 250-booth tradeshow featuring cost-saving products and services from companies across Maryland. State departments and nonprofit organizations also exhibit and talk with attendees about forming partnerships around common goals and issues. 2,000+ stakeholders in local government with attend this conference – from all levels of government and the private sector.

You don’t want to miss this event! Register today!

Get an idea of what Summer #MACoCon is like:
2016 MACo Summer Conference Photo Review

See the engagement and excitement around the event:
2016 MACo Summer Conference Twitter Feed

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


Coordinated Efforts Enforce Against Human Trafficking

An article in Stateline, a publication of Pew Charitable Trusts, highlights the ways that truckers and hotel workers can help tip off police to possible cases of human trafficking. For more information see How Truckers, Hotel Workers Can Fight Sex Trafficking, from Pew Charitable Trusts.


This year’s General Assembly is considering legislation to require the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission to expand its curriculum to include special training on the criminal laws concerning human trafficking, including services and support available to victims and the rights and appropriate treatment of victims. SB 220 has passed the Senate unanimously and is now in the House of Delegates.

According to analysis by the Department of Legislative Services,

The various local government agencies that conduct police entrance-level training and in-service training may need to modify existing training programs to meet the bill’s requirements. Some local governments can modify their training programs with existing resources, while others may incur some additional minimal costs.

At MACo’s Winter Conference last December, the Women of MACo hosted a speaker on human trafficking and how local laws can help stop human trafficking.

Learn more about the events and offerings at MACo’s Summer Conference:

MACo: Allow Maryland-Based Breweries at OCCC Tasting Events

MACo Policy Associate Kevin Kinnally testified in favor of legislation (SB 1102) that would authorize a limited-scope license for beer and wine tastings at the Ocean City Convention Center, for certain events that promote Maryland-based products.

MACo’s testimony states,

For the last four years, MACo has offered a “Taste of Maryland” reception as part of its annual summer conference in Ocean City. The event has grown to nearly 1,000 guests, and has gained popularity as a venue for our jurisdictions to showcase their many food and drink options. The event is a “sampling” event, where small portions of food, snacks, and wine have proven very popular with attendees who may not otherwise learn about the many offerings from across Maryland.

Current liquor laws apparently do not allow this event to feature Maryland-brewed beer in the same fashion as wine, and this has kept local breweries from participating in this once-a-year event. SB 1102 does not seek to upend the overall balance the General Assembly has struck regarding the two industries, but simply seeks to afford the same opportunity to showcase beer and wine at this limited type of event. SB 1102 only applies to events at the Ocean City Convention Center (itself a license holder), and only for events promoting Maryland products for “tasting” purposes.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.

Will You Be Visible & Connected at Summer #MACoCon?

Would you like to do business with Maryland’s counties, state agencies, and nonprofit and commercial organizations involved in the work of local government? BECOME A SPONSOR!

maco-sc17-sponsor-brochure-coverMACo’s Summer Conference is August 16-19, 2017. An estimated 2,000 local government officials, county staff decision-makers, legislators, and business representatives will convene at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland for an intensive 4 days of education and partnership-building.

As a sponsor of MACo’s Summer Conference, you will have the opportunity to get your company’s name, products, and services in front of the people you want to reach – decision-makers and stakeholders in local government.

In addition to other benefits listed in our 2017 Summer Conference Sponsorship Brochure, all sponsor information will be displayed on signage, online, in the printed program, and in our mobile app.

Here are several of the many sponsorship opportunities we are offering to help sponsors reach out to MACo’s Summer Conference attendees:

infused-water-bottle Infused Water Station – Provide a healthy refreshment! Our guests will be impressed that your company is the one behind this trendy conference break. MACo will provide fruit-infusing water bottles, water, and fruit for a 2-hour water station. Learn more.
 donuts Donut Break – Help us welcome guests to the Exhibit Hall on Thursday morning with a fun treat! A fun and exciting way to start off our tradeshow, you definitely want to be the one they thank for this! Exhibitors: This is a great way to encourage guests to visit your booth! Greet them at the door and tell them where they can learn more about you and your company! Learn more.
totes Giveaways like Tote Bags & Stylus Pens – Very visible, these items are given to each conference attendee! They’ll be used over and over again in counties all over Maryland after the conference! Learn more.
 crab feast Crab Feast – This is our LARGEST NETWORKING EVENT of Summer Conference – it should not be missed by those companies wishing to do business with Maryland’s local governments! Sponsorship options include the band, ice cream, cups, and beverage carts and stands. Learn more.
 email Daily Conference Email – Help our attendees know what they shouldn’t miss each day of the conference! MACo sends a daily conference email detailing hot topics and updates for each day of the conference. Sponsor’s logo, description and link will be displayed in the body of every email which gets sent to all registrants, exhibitors, speakers, and sponsors. 56% open rate = 1,400+ daily views! Learn more!

Buffet Lunches, All-Day Beverage Stations, Audio/Visual Equipment, and So Much More!

View our 2017 Summer Conference Sponsorship Brochure to see other available options, or contact Outreach Coordinator, Kaley Schultze at

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: