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Plan Now for APWA-MN Spring Conference 2016, May 11-13

March 22, 2016

By Jupe Hale, Co-Chair, Conference Planning Committee

The days are longer, the breeze is stronger, and our local news stations are doing no better than Punxsutawney Phil in predicting what Mother Nature has in store for us. It must be time to start making your plans for the APWA Minnesota Chapter 2016 Spring Conference!  As is our custom, we will hold our event at Grandview Lodge on Gull Lake the week before Fishing Opener, May 11-13. Your Conference Committee has put together a program that will speak to many aspects of your personality:

For the Developing Leader: Thursday morning features two sessions with Kimberly Miller: “Perfecting Your Show” and “Getting Out of Your Own Way.” Dr. Miller is a licensed psychologist and an organizational consultant who has provided a variety of consulting services to non-profits, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, treatment centers, and banks. Her concepts are designed to strengthen and improve not only the individual line-level employee skills but also work to improve supervision, management, and the entire organization. For more information, visit her website.

For the Inner Geek/Techie: The Wednesday evening keynote features Tom Fisher, professor and director of the Metropolitan Design Center at the University of Minnesota, discussing the hot topic of driverless cars. Get caught-up on the latest from the front lines of this ever-changing technological and social discussion -- from what implementation obstacles remain to what impacts this concept (soon to be reality) could have on the way we plan for and maintain public works. 

To Fill the Need to be “In The Know”: Several sessions touch on public works happenings in our area -- planning for the Vikings new practice facility in Eagan, SmartCities project to inventory our existing infrastructure, legislative happenings and updates from the Minnesota DOT. Impress your public works colleagues with how much your finger is on the pulse of our community!

For the Active APWA-MN Member: Lots happening with APWA in Minnesota, both at the chapter level and nationally. We have a contingent of four national/regional AWPA representatives (including the new executive director) slated to attend and network with us! A lot of planning and organizing for PWX 2016 is underway -- updates on that will abound, both formally and informally. On the chapter level, we have a multitude of education and training components continuing to support our members, and Thursday will see the graduation of this year’s Leadership Academy.

For the Giver in You: This year’s conference brings, for the first time, a service project on Thursday afternoon. The US Army Corps of Engineers needs some help restoring split rail fence at the Gull Lake Recreation Area that was severely damaged in last year’s storm. Be sure to indicate your willingness to participate when you complete your registration, and bring some work gloves and hand tools.

And it goes without saying, of course, that all these things, coupled with the retreat-style setting and cabin/lodge structure, provide a great environment to connect with others in your public works community. Whether it is learning together, dining together, working together or just plain being social, there’s no better opportunity to develop and rekindle relationships that form your professional network. Come join us!

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