Photos by David Hathcox
NACo’s 2013 leadership team takes the stage at NACo’s County Solutions and Idea Marketplace. (l-r) Linda Langston, president; Riki Hokama, first vice president; Sallie Clark, second vice president; and Chris Rodgers, immediate past president.
A redesigned and rebranded 2013 NACo annual conference made its debut in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas last month. The newly-christened County Solutions and Idea Marketplace ran one day less than its predecessors, yet featured more workshops and a special leadership track for attendees, intended, as 2012 NACo President Chris Rodgers said, “to make it more productive, more educational and less costly to members.”
At the Annual Business Meeting, held in conjunction with the conference, delegates elected Linn County, Iowa Supervisor Linda Langston as NACo’s 78th president, and in the first contested election for second vice president in several years, Sallie Clark, commissioner, El Paso County, Colo., won the official slot on the Executive Committee
Rounding out the NACo leadership team are Riki Hokama, first vice president and council member Maui County, Hawaii, and Chris Rodgers, commissioner, Douglas County, Neb., as immediate past president.
In her inaugural remarks, Langston pledged to take NACo to “great new heights” with the help of members, affiliates and staff of the association.
She will have one key presidential initiative this year, under the banner of building Ready and Resilient Counties – Prepare, Respond, Thrive. (See report on her inaugural speech, page 4)
Also elected to the executive team as regional representatives were Commissioner Joe Bryan, Wake County, N.C., eastern region, and Commissioner Tim Josi, Tillamook County, Ore., western region.
In the policy arena, delegates approved 13 new policy resolutions, several platform changes and reaffirmed 91 resolutions initially adopted at the 2012 annual meeting and the 2013 Legislative Conference. (See page 15 for the new resolutions.)
As family and friends look on, Jane Halliburton, (l) former Story County, Iowa supervisor, swears in Linn County, Iowa supervisor Linda Langston as NACo’s new president. Also pictured are: Langston’s husband, Dave; son, Eric; son-in-law, James; son, Evan; daughter-in-law, Amanda; Susie Younger, “Iowa sister;” and Bill Patterson, Iowa State Association of Counties executive director.
General session speakers and panelists, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, targeted the Affordable Care Act and its impact on counties, and the future of health care in their remarks. One panel discussion focused on innovative responses to newly emerging county challenges while another speaker extolled the benefits of freight rail. (You can read more about their presentations on page 14.)
Those attending the conference had their choice of more than 40 educational sessions including a new workshop block devoted exclusively to enhancing leadership skills and knowledge, a town hall meeting on violence prevention and a morning-long educational forum that explored the challenges and opportunities oil and gas development bring to counties. (See report beginning page 13)
For conference attendees who had workshop scheduling conflicts, NACo’s Web-based Conference Learning Center (www.naco.org/clc) will have the session materials and, in some cases, audio recordings available at no cost.
Also new this year was the Awards Luncheon, which acknowledged the winners of NACo’s many award programs. Among those honored at the event were Achievement Award, National County Government Month and presidential scholarship award winners.
Next year’s County Solutions and Idea Marketplace will be held in New Orleans, July 11–14, 2014.