Each year, County News interviews the outgoing NACo president for a look back on their term. Douglas County, Neb. Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson offers her reflections here.
How would you describe your year as NACo president?
My presidency has been quite unusual to say the least. From personal family issues, to a public health pandemic to civil unrest, I can honestly say this year has been challenging, exciting and sad. But I am so proud of NACo because everyone stood tall and never missed a beat through all of these circumstances. This year, I have grown a deeper admiration and appreciation for our NACo staff and county leaders. We continued our important work for counties across America despite the many obstacles. I am so impressed with the dedication, leadership, innovation, toughness and compassion of our NACo family and proud to have been able to lead our family this year. While this has been an unprecedented presidency, I would not trade it in for anything. It truly has been one of the greatest honors during my tenure as a county commissioner.
What was the most challenging part of your role?
The most challenging was not being able to see everyone in person. Not being able to travel and experience your counties in person.
What did you find most interesting or exciting?
The most interesting was my visit to Great Falls, Mont. and seeing a live mermaid swimming in a pool behind a bar. Most exciting was traveling to Lake Placid and flying in a crop plane for the first time. Also, our Legislative Conference — it was the best ever. So many outstanding sessions, speakers and, of course, having the president of the United States and bipartisan members of Congress address our members.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of all of you! Proud to have been given the opportunity to lead our association that is made up of so many amazing leaders and staff.
What advice would you give your successor?
The advice I would give my successor is “enjoy” your year! Absorb all you can because it comes and goes in a blink of an eye.
What’s next for you?
I will continue to work on my initiative that focuses on our precious older Americans and caregivers. I will continue to be involved in our association and continue our work on making America counties stronger and relevant.