Annual Conference first-time attendee orientation draws nearly 600
"This is the largest first-time attendees’ breakfast we have ever had, so give yourselves a hand,” NACo President Denise Winfrey said.
In addition to new conference attendees, each table in the ballroom included a NACo ambassador, most of them seasoned veterans, there to connect with new attendees and answer any questions they might have.
Winfrey’s message? “Get involved,” she said. “Be a part of the organization that you pay dues to. We have a spot for everybody. Make it pay off for you, your county and your residents.”
First-Time Attendee Orientation
July 21, 2023
NACo Annual Conference - Travis County, Texas
The most valuable element of being a part of NACo, she said, “is the interaction between members.” She encouraged new attendees to attend any of the 10 policy steering committee meetings that were kicking off the conference Friday, the first official day of the conference, to see which one might be a good fit.
Another benefit of being a member, Winfrey noted, is the voice NACo has in the nation’s capital, where it’s a part of “the Big Seven,” a group of nonpartisan, non-profit organizations that include the National Governors Association, the United States Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, the National League of Cities and the International City/County Management Association.
NACo CEO/Executive Director Matt Chase was quick to point out that NACo staff “are the stewards — you’re the owners. Staff does not make decisions on policies; it all comes from membership. NACo is not a special interest group. Our job is to advocate for county governments.”
“We’re not waiting for Washington to come save our communities; we want to showcase our communities,” he said. The Annual Conference, he noted, “is a celebration of your work. What this conference is about is celebrating the best and brightest of county government.”
Her involvement with her children's PTAs drove Betty Lou Ward to run for the Wake County, N.C. Board of Commissioners to work to improve schools, libraries and parks.
Mary Jo McGuire found a match for her skills and talents representing her Ramsey County district, and she's bringing the same all-in approach as NACo's president.
Ramsey County, Minn. Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire was sworn in as president of the National Association of Counties (NACo) on July 24 at the conclusion of NACo’s 88th Annual Conference in Travis County, Texas.