The first official day of the NACo Annual Conference kicked off Friday morning with a welcome breakfast for first-time conference attendees. County officials and staff attending their first NACo conference met for breakfast to learn more about the organization.
First-time conference-goers heard from NACo President Greg Cox and Executive Director Matt Chase and spoke with NACo ambassadors, who serve as volunteers and welcome their peers to the association.
“I’m interested in learning on the national level what impacts counties,” said Greene County, Ark., Judge Rusty McMillon, who is attending his first NACo conference.
Cox explained to first-time attendees that NACo offers 30 different committees, caucuses and task forces that new members can join to get involved.
“We hope this conference is going to inspire you and we certainly think that there’s plenty of opportunities for you to engage with NACo,” Cox said.
Cox told attendees one of the best parts of the conference is talking to others and sharing experiences in county government.
“Your involvement in NACo is going to provide you an unmatched value as a county official to your county,” Cox said.
Manatee County, Fla., Human Services Manager Tracie Adams said she is looking forward to learning more about human services at her first NACo conference.
“There’s a luncheon about the senior sector and that is my biggest passion,” Adams said.
Adams said she has worked in county government for more than 20 years.
“It’s interesting to get to try to meet other people if there might be similar programming, best practices, stuff like that,” Adams said.
Also from Manatee County, Fla., Joshua Barnett, a health care services division manager, explained that it is his first time in a county-level position and he is excited to hear about human services issues.
Throughout the next four days, Barnett said he is hoping to meet with other people involved in county government structures.
“As you begin your journey with NACo, we want you to feel welcome,” Cox said.