Looking for a Big Exhibitor Opportunity? Exhibit at #MACoCon!

MACo’s Summer Conference Exhibitor Registration is Now Open!


The 2018 MACo Summer Conference offers the potential to bring exhibitors big results. County governments are searching for vendors offering virtually every business function and service found in Maryland. From logistics to printing, finance to office administration, training to trash removal – county governments are looking for YOU! Or your competitors.

Needless to say, if you want to do business with Maryland’s counties, you should exhibit at the MACo Summer Conference. For more details and to fill out the application form, download our MACo 2018 Summer Conference Exhibitor Brochure or register online here.

Interested in a FREE premium booth in the entrance aisle? Contact Nicolette at 410.269.0043 or nquerry@mdcounties.org to find out how to get one! (HURRY – only a few left!)

The theme of this year’s Summer Conference – “Water, Water Everywhere” – will focus  on all the ways counties work with water. From the health of the Bay and Maryland’s waterways to the infrastructure, treatment, and regulations that ensure safe and healthy water flows through our pipes, county governments are keeping our residents afloat. Conference sessions will discuss the Bay, water infrastructure, watermen and oyster/fishery/habitat issues, floods and other natural disasters, and ways to put the wind back in the sails of a tight budget.

Benefits of being a MACo Summer Conference Exhibitor:

  • Exhibitor description and contact information displayed on MACo’s conference mobile app and website!
  • Create a 30-second video clip to be displayed as part of our online Virtual Exhibitor Showcase. The Showcase is available for viewing to everyone—conference participants and others—and goes online one month prior to conference to help participants get acquainted with your company’s services
  • Each booth will receive a list of conference attendees and their contact information
  • Exhibitors may participate in all MACo conference sessions at no additional charge
  • Table draping for your booth is included!
  • Each booth receives 2 tickets for Thursday and Friday lunches, Thursday afternoon Ice Cream and Fruit Break, and for the Thursday evening Taste of Maryland Reception
  • Additional tickets for the social events are available to exhibitors at the County Member rate (our lowest rate!)
  • Exhibitors may sign up for the Golf Tournament (additional fee and registration required)

More than 2,000 people are estimated to attend this conference, including: County Executives, Council Members, and Commissioners; county staff from all county departments; business representatives; Senators and Delegates; Congressmen; State and Federal officials and staff; basically, anyone who has anything to do with local government in Maryland!

Don’t miss this opportunity to show what your company can do for Maryland’s counties!

Read more about our Summer Conference exhibit halls in the brochure.


Summer #MACoCon Registration is Open! Don’t Miss “Water, Water Everywhere”

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference, “Water, Water Everywhere,” will be held in Ocean City, Maryland, on August 15-18. Registration is now open. Register today!

Photo Courtesy of DHCD

MACo’s Summer Conference attracts approximately 2,500 local and state government
leaders and professionals who will spend 4 days discussing county government issues and solutions. Highlights include more than 30 educational sessions, a 50-booth Tech Expo, and a 250-booth Tradeshow.

The 2018 conference will focus on water. From the health of the Bay and Maryland’s waterways to the infrastructure, treatment, and regulations that ensure safe and healthy water flows through our pipes, county governments are keeping our residents afloat.

Conference sessions will discuss the Bay, water infrastructure, watermen and oyster/fishery/habitat issues, floods and other natural disasters, and ways to put the wind back in the sails of a tight budget. More details.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

U.S. Senate Hearing Focuses on Water Infrastructure Needs, Local Role

The National Association of Counties representative testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works full committee hearing, “America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges.”

NACo Associate Legislative Director Julie Ufner testifies before the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee to discuss the role counties play in strengthening America’s water infrastructure, and the importance of the Water Resources Development Act to counties as they fulfill our water resources responsibilities.

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will focus on all the ways counties work with water. Mark your calendars and join us on August 15-18, 2018 to discuss “Water, Water, Everywhere.”

From the health of the Bay and Maryland’s waterways to the infrastructure, treatment, and regulations that ensure safe and healthy water flows through our pipes, county governments are keeping our residents afloat. Conference sessions will discuss the Bay, water infrastructure, watermen and oyster/fishery/habitat issues, floods and other natural disasters, and ways to put the wind back in the sails of a tight budget.


Kent Center Receives $5,000 Award to Benefit Adults Needing Special Care

MACo leadership visits Kent Center to deliver $5,000 award check, sponsored by MD-DC-DE Beverage Association.

As part of MACo’s 2017 Summer Conference, the county exhibit booths competed to win a $5,000 award for a charity of their choice. The competition was sponsored by the MD-DC-DE Beverage Association and focused on economic development, county service innovation, and the work of the charities each county represented. The 800+ attendees who participated chose Kent County IT as the winning booth, with Kent Center being the recipient of the $5,000 award.

Group Shot
MACo Representatives Present Kent Center with $5,000 Award

On October 16, MACo President Jerry Walker (Council Vice Chair, Anne Arundel County) and Immediate Past President John Barr (Commissioner, Washington County), visited Kent Center in Chestertown, MD, to tour the facility and present the award. They were joined by Kent County Administrator Shelley Heller, Kent County IT Project Manager April Bitter, and MACo Member Services Director Virginia White.

Kent Center is the primary provider in Kent and northern Queen Anne’s Counties of daytime, vocational, CSLA, respite, supported employment, and/or residential services for 70 adults. Kent Center’s services are tailored to meet the specific needs of each person they serve, with a team of program coordinators and professionals who focus on enhancing their lives in multi-faceted ways. President Walker and Past President Barr took a tour of the Kent Center facility, meeting the clients and learning about the services provided.

As part of their programming, Kent Center runs a diverse business services program, including a mailing center, assembly and packaging services, confidential shredding, banquet hall rental, and the Kent House Kitchen. The Kitchen serves a daily boxed lunch menu and “cafe to go” meals prepared by their clients and led by Executive Chef Chris Bove.

Kent Center Executive Director Karine Ireland invited all of the participants of the program to be present so they could accept the award together, with special thanks to two of the program participants who traveled to Ocean City to help talk about Kent Center in the Kent County booth. Ms. Ireland noted that the award money would be used to help Kent Center buy new buses and vans to transport their clients and connect them with services and opportunities to make their dreams come true!

MACo and Kent Center thank the MD-DE-DC Beverage Association for their generous sponsorship of this award!

2017 Summer #MACoCon Photo Recap

MACo’s 2017 Summer Conference – “You’re Hired!” – on August 16-19 focused on Maryland’s economy, job growth, and ways to bring more businesses to Maryland.

This was MACo’s second record-breaking year in a row with final attendee registration totaling 1,135, exhibit booths coming in at 242, booth staff numbering well over 950, and nearly 50 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 15-18, 2018 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD.

Photography was sponsored and provided by Grant L. Gursky Photography

Clean Energy Economy Discussed at 2017 #MACoCon

From Left to Right: Michael Richard, Dereck Davis, Mary Beth Tung, and Kelly Shulz

County officials received an overview on the jobs generated by the clean energy economy on August 17 at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference. The panel was called “The Clean Energy Economy – Generating Jobs, Producing Power” and moderated by House Economic Matters Committee Chair Dereck Davis.

Maryland Energy Administration Director Dr. Mary Beth Tung summarized the impact of renewable energy on Maryland’s economy.

Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Kelly Schulz provided an overview of apprecticeship and training programs available for renewable energies.

Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) Commissioner Michael Richard discussed the role of the PSC and need for in-state renewable energy sources to meet Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements. Richard also discussed MACo’s 2017 solar energy legislation (HB 1350).

Maryland Clean Energy Center Kathy Magruder provided further statistics on energy sector jobs and career paths, noting that the solar and wind industries are creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than other industries and is now 7% of the state’s total workforce.

Maryland DC Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association Executive Director David Murray noted that solar installation jobs cannot be exported and that their average wage is $18 per hour. Murray also discussed the different types of solar projects, including residential, commercial and industrial, and utility scale solar.


Phase III WIP & Bay TMDL Update at 2017 #MACoCon

From Left to Right: Adam Ortiz, Benjamin Grumbles, Bruce Williams, and Carin Bisland.

Attendees to the 2017 MACo Summer Conference heard an update on the status of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) on August 18. The facilitated discussion panel, “What Will We See in Phase III? A Bay TMDL Update”, was moderated by Local Government Advisory Committee Chair Bruce Williams. 

United States Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program Associate Director Carin Bisland provided a history of the Bay TMDL and gave an overview of entire TMDL and WIP process.

Maryland Secretary of the Environment Benjamin Grumbles stated that the “final targets for Bay TMDL are within reach” for Maryland, subject to sustained federal funding and proper use of enforcement backstops.  Grumbles cited the State’s targeted approach to the use of best available technology for nitrogen removal (BAT) for septic systems, the recent passage of the Clean Water Commerce Act, a the pending implementation of a nutrient credit trading system. Grumbles also stated that Maryland does not intend to have counties develop individual Phase III WIPs. Instead, the State will incorporate county actions into a statewide Phase III WIP.

Prince George’s County Environmental Resources Director Adam Ortiz stressed that counties are in the “delivery business” and faced various challenges in meeting the Bay TMDL goals, including funding and lack of project contractors. However, Ortiz was overall optimistic on restoration efforts and believed “We are entering a ‘golden age’ for the Chesapeake Bay.”

Panelists also dealt with audience questions concerning the Conowingo Dam, cross sector trading, sector specific accounting, and the use of oyster farming for nutrient credits.

Public Safety Hiring Best Practices at 2017 #MACoCon

A panel of county public safety experts discussed the hiring and retention challenges faced by public safety services on August 18 at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference. The panel was titled “The Key to Public Safety: Locking Down Your Hiring Process” and was moderated by Maryland Senator Cheryl Kagan.

From Left to Right: Anna Sierra, Cheryl Kagan, Lisa Myers, and Timothy Cameron

Captain Lisa Myers, Howard County Police Department Human Resources Bureau, focused on the broad challenges facing law enforcement personnel, including: (1) social media expectations; (2) cell phone and body camera video prevalence; and (3) proper training. Myers noted that millennials have different workplace expectations than previous generations, including a better work/life balance.

St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy Cameron expanded on the millennial issue for both law enforcement and corrections officers, noting that millennials like to be in charge/have independent authority, and offer and receive immediate feedback. Cameron noted that his department has worked to revise interview practices and forms . Cameron stated that while the number of employment applications for the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department have increased, the number of high quality candidates has actually decreased to about 1 in 100.

Dorchester Emergency Services Director Anna Sierra discussed the issue from a 9-1-1 center perspective, noting the significant skill set differential between call taking and dispatching. Sierra noted that even with a computerized aptitude test, the required background check and polygraph test can create a long application process.

The speakers also discussed retention strategies, including: (1) access to upgraded technology; (2) new training and career growth opportunities; (3) government support, such as through tax credits; (4) assignment rotation; and (5) recognition for performing well.

Anirban Basu Delivers Economic Forecast at #MACoCon

In the 2017 MACo Summer Conference session, “Markets, He Wrote: Looking for Clues into the Economy’s Direction“, economist, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group, Inc., Anirban Basu, provided audience members with a local, state, national, and global economic forecast.

Senator Middleton Introduces Economist Anirban Basu.
Senator Middleton Introduces Economist Anirban Basu.

Basu discussed positives such as the state’s overall job growth and economic standing. But tempered that news with recognition that there is regional disparity between Washington and Baltimore metro counties which are experiencing growth, while rural areas in the east and west are experiencing stagnation or decline. Overall, Basu had ominous predictions for the future with threats of a downturn as soon as 2019.

The session was moderated by Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton and held on Friday, August 18, 2017.

The MACo summer conference was  held August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme was “You’re Hired!”.

Tackling Complex Public Works Projects at #MACoCon

During the 2017 MACo Summer Conference panel “Flushing Your Troubles Down the Drain, the South Kent Island Solution” attendees learned how Queen Anne’s County and the Maryland Departments of Planning and the Environment were able to address public health and environmental concerns by connecting 1,518 existing homes and eight commercial properties to a safe and effective public sewer system.

Todd Mohn, Director, Department of Public Works, Queen Anne’s County, began the session by providing an overview of the South Kent Island sewer project. Mr. Mohn discussed why the project is necessary and identified the numerous stakeholders involved with the planning and implementation of the project.

Steve Cohoon, Public Facilities Planner, Queen Anne’s County, discussed the areas impacted by the project. Mr. Mohn also described how the county was faced with an alarming septic system failure rate on South Kent Island (70-90%), and how environmental and health concerns made the project a top priority for Queen Anne’s County.

Julie Barown, P.E., Northeast Regional Municipal Systems, Orenco Systems, Inc. talked about the technical specifications of the South Kent Island sewer system, including why the STEP (Septic Tank Effluent Pumping) system is far superior to OSDS (On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems) systems. According to Mrs. Barown, in addition to reducing costs, the STEP system will greatly reduce the amount of nitrogen being discharged into the Chesapeake Bay from the South Kent Island service area.

Queen Anne’s County Commissioner At-Large Jim Moran concluded the panel by discussing how limited funding, Smart Growth requirements, and anti-growth concerns—among many other concerns and challenges—made it necessary to create a unique solution. Commissioner Moran also talked about the potential political consequences that can result from controversial public works projects, and how the county sought to mitigate concerns by seeking citizen input throughout the planning process.

The session was moderated by Delegate Shane Robinson and was held on Friday, August 18. The MACo Summer Conference was August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. This year the conference’s theme was “You’re Hired!”.