Under the leadership of NACo President Mary Jo McGuire, NACo is focusing on the spotlight "ForwardTogether." The three pillars of the spotlight are:

  • Connect, focused on building bridges to advance excellence and networks in county government
  • Inspire, focused on driving community engagement and residents’ trust in county government, and  
  • Lead, focused on spearheading local, state, federal and tribal intergovernmental partnerships and common-sense policy solutions.

“We are poised for great accomplishments in the coming year. As county leaders, we have unlimited potential to advance to our priorities and lead forward together.”  

NACo President Mary Jo McGuire


NACo President Mary Jo McGuire announces ForwardTogether

Connect & Build Peer Bridges

County officials have a proud culture of finding common ground and common-sense solutions. Relationships matter among county officials, from the local courthouse to our statewide association partners to NACo’s national footprint. We have the unlimited potential to harness - through our networks and connections with nearly 40,000 elected officials and 3.6 million professionals - the collective ingenuity, expertise and passion to advance excellence and merit trust in county government.

Inspire Community Engagement

Together, county officials lead most effectively when we listen and engage with all of our residents, including those who are most difficult to reach. Even though counties are diverse in structure and how we deliver services to our residents, all counties share the mission of achieving healthy, safe and vibrant communities. As the local foundation of our democracy, the engagement and trust of our residents is fundamental to our long-term success. We must connect with community partners and the public, including our youth and underserved.​

Lead Intergovernmental Partnerships

Counties are uniquely chartered and positioned to implement and administer vital intergovernmental systems at the statewide, regional and community levels. To be successful, we must amplify and elevate the awareness, relationships and understanding of our federal, state, local and tribal partners about the fundamentals of county government.​

Latest on ForwardTogether

DSC03474 (1).jpg
County News

'All the way' is the only approach Mary Jo McGuire knows

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. 

Related News

NACo President James Gore, Sonoma County, Calif. supervisor, pauses for a photo Monday after being sworn in, with First Vice President Judge J.D. Clark of Wise County, Texas; Second Vice President George Dunlap of Mecklenburg County, N.C. and Immediate Past President Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire of Ramsey County, Minn. in Hillsborough County, Fla. Photo by Denny Henry
County News

Sonoma County’s James Gore takes the lead at NACo

Surrounded by his family, Sonoma County, Calif. Supervisor James Gore was sworn in July 15 as NACo’s new president at the association’s Annual Business Meeting at the Tampa Convention Center in Hillsborough County, Fla. 

Dominique Dawes holds her Olympic gold medal as she delivers an inspiring address to NACo members July 14 at the Tampa Convention Center. Photo by Denny Henry
County News

Olympic gymnast: ‘Check your ego at the door’ to excel at teamwork

Three-time Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes championed teamwork, saying “checking your ego at the door” is the key to success, at NACo’s General Session on July 14. 

Davison County, S.D. auditor Susan Kiepke recounts asking her friends if their college-aged children would be interested in working her county’s post-election audit. Orange County, Fla. Mayor Jerry Demings sits to her left. Photo by Denny Henry
County News

Counties are positioned to heal dissatisfaction with American democracy

When political tension threatens to further divide Americans, it falls to county governments to build on the connections and demonstrate the responsiveness that engenders trust and confidence. 

Tareq Azim at the 2024 NACo Annual Conference general session. Photo by Denny Henry
County News

Tareq Azim shares strength borne by fear

Author, coach and entrepreneur Tareq Azim spoke about confronting fear and changing narratives during the Opening General Session.

NACo President Mary Jo McGuire of Ramsey County, Minn. at the 2023 Annual Conference. Photo by Denny Henry
County News

‘Keeping us together’ informed McGuire’s year as NACo president

Ramsey County, Minn. Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire looks back at her NACo presidency.

Upcoming Events

St. Paul, MN

2024 NCCAE-NACo Knowledge Management Forum

Ramsey County (St. Paul), Minn.

The 2024 NCCAE-NACo Knowledge Management Forum, held August 14–16 at the Association of Minnesota Counties headquarters in Ramsey County (St. Paul), Minn., will bring together representatives from state associations and NACo for strategic discussions on shared policy priorities, with a focus on emerging county issues, such as economic development, housing and tax reform.

2024 LUCC-RAC-Board Header

Joint Board of Directors, Large Urban County Caucus and Rural Action Caucus Symposium

Sonoma County, Calif.

NACo’s fall symposium, jointly hosted by the Board of Directors, Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) and Rural Action Caucus (RAC), will feature mobile workshops and engaging opportunities for all counties.

Stay Up-To-Date on ForwardTogether