Attendee Schedule

Sunday, June 19, 2022

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

So, You Want to Be a General Manager?

Scott Carroll, CSDM, Costa Mesa Sanitary District This is a practical career development workshop for senior executives and emerging leaders in special districts. This action-oriented workshop includes group and panel discussions on the journey, roles, and skill sets of a general manager; identifying general manager opportunities; developing positive relations with the board, staff, and peer agency executives; and leadership best practices.

Sponsored by Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) 

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Coaching for Performance

Sylvette Wake, CPS HR Consulting

Coaching your staff is imperative to both your success and your staff’s success. Taking the time to invest in developing staff will help with their career development, office morale, and unit productivity. Supervisors rely on staff to complete the work, so working together to improve staff competencies benefits everyone, including the organization.

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception and Registration

Come enjoy refreshments and networking with your fellow attendees and exhibitors.
Includes a Special Celebration of Dads. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

8:00 a.m.

Conference Registration Opens

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote 

David MitchellLeading a Peak Performance Culture 

Dave Mitchell, The Leadership Difference 

This powerful program focuses on the leadership characteristics that are the foundation of the most successful organizations worldwide.  Attendees will discover the behaviors embodied by leaders that instill a desire in others to perform at a high level while avoiding environmental stress and burnout.  Notable in the content is that these are behaviors, processes and approaches that are easy to replicate, not nebulous values that can be subjective and hard to manifest.  They are designed to help all leaders drive a successful ideology throughout the organization (of any size) and reconcile the challenge facing leadership of being the fulcrum between authority (ownership/C-Suite leadership) and impact (line level execution).   

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. 

Break and Networking with the Exhibitors 

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

Breakout Session Options 

  • How Leaders Master the Art of Crucial Conversations Around DEI 

    Jacques Whitfield, CPS HR Consulting 

    It is essential to learn how to have hard conversations that address the current environment of social justice and racial equity. We will explore topics like cultural intelligence, acknowledgment vs. agreement, Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter, how to be an ally, and the best way to address employees. This session will share practical and timely guidance on how to engage employees around the complex and passionate issues related to systemic racism, the need for transparency and accountability in organizational practices, and the need for civil discourse. 

  • Leading Your District through Challenging Times “Depolarizing Skills” 

    Randy Lioz, Braver Angels 

    Your district likely has board, staff and community members that hold strong opinions on a variety of issues from climate adaptation to mask mandates. Much of today’s polarization is driven by how we talk with like-minded people about those on the other side. Too often, we stereotype, dismiss, or ridicule our fellow citizens who support the other political party, its leaders, and its policies. 

    This session will cover:
    • How to be more aware of their own “inner polarizer”
    • How to be critical without demonizing, dismissing or stereotyping large swaths of the population
    • Strategies for intervening constructively in social conversations with like-minded peers when these conversations veer into contempt and ridicule for people who hold other political views.
  • A Special District Leader’s Guide to Investment Options 

    Public Trust Advisors 

    Developing a safe and diversified public funds investment program is essential to effective financial leadership, and it sets the foundation for creating protocols and internal controls, constructing, and managing your portfolio’s investment strategy, navigating changing economic conditions, and communicating information to stakeholders. While different types and sizes of governments require differing levels of complexity in their investment programs, all financial leaders need to recognize their fiduciary responsibility. Implementing an established public funds investment program provides the structure to effectively set policy, make decisions, and safeguard your district's financial assets. 

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.  

Networking Lunch with Exhibitors   


1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Breakout Session Options 

  • Building Better Leaders through The Power of Understanding People 

    Dave Mitchell, The Leadership Difference 

    “The Power of Understanding People” provides the tools to understand each participant’s own unique communication and leadership style.  This info-filled, energizing training event provides an ideal combination of strong content, laugh-out-loud humor, and audience interaction.  Attendees discover the cornerstone of high performance and tips for enhancing communication, teamwork, employee engagement and influence.   
  • Mastering the Hybrid Work Environment: Cultivating Culture and Overcoming Challenges 

    Jon Barilone, Tripepi Smith;

    Scott Carroll, CSDM, Costa Mesa Sanitary District 

    The post-pandemic world has opened up the possibilities for major changes in how agencies conduct normal day-to-day business operations as many shift to hybrid workspaces. With these changes, agencies may find it difficult to keep staff motivated and to sustain morale. By developing a cultural identity, agencies can form and retain a strong team that maintains productivity and morale. 
  • Proven Methods that Leaders Use to Make Public Meetings and Hearings More Effective and Productive 

    Martin Rauch, Rauch Communications Consultants, Inc 

    Every district needs to hold public meetings and hearings – whether it is for a rate increase, construction project, environmental, or any other action that impacts its public. This session provides proven guidance on how to set up and facilitate a variety of small and large group meetings and hearings both virtual and in-person. This session provides tips on everything you need to know, advertising, linking the meeting with other outreach, dealing with angry customers, setting up productive question and answer sessions, using digital white boards for virtual meetings, and more. This session is built on real-district examples and will provide opportunities for questions and answers. 

3:00 – 3:30 p.m.  

Break and Networking with Exhibitors 

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Breakout Session Options 
  • Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of Special District Leaders 

    Panel Discussion Facilitated by Institute for Local Government 

    Special districts are faced with broadening the future workforce’s knowledge of special district employment opportunities, recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce, and planning for the retirement of current organizational leaders. This session will encourage general managers and executive staff to ask, “What will draw talented professionals to our organization and encourage them to stay?” Speakers will address challenges in developing and retaining the next generation of civic leaders and creating a successful and appealing organizational culture.   
  • Challenging Situations for Managers 

    Margaret Long and David Prentice, Prentice Long PC 

    What do you do when one of your board members is sexually harassing staff?  How can you get your board members to attend legally required trainings? What happens when your board members personally attack each other and engage in bullying behavior? In this session you’ll learn what your responsibilities are for ensuring that the elected officials in your agency follow the laws. You’ll also learn about practical tools and resources for successfully dealing with elected officials who refuse to comply. And finally, you’ll learn about what can legally be done if your attempts to resolve these issues have failed. 
  • The Special District Leader's Emergency Communications Playbook - How to Cover Your Digital Bases 

    Mac Clemmens, Streamline 

    Wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, and sudden closures can leave district leaders wondering how to best get the word out. In this talk, Streamline and FEMA will cover the 8 most important communication channels to cover in an emergency: Your website, social media, email, text, push notifications to local cellphones (reverse 911), Nextdoor, local media, and public information registries.  

5:15 – 6:45 p.m.

Food & Wine Experience Reception

Join your fellow attendees and exhibitors for more networking while enjoying food, wine, and beer sampling.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.  

Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors 

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.  

General Session with Keynote

Pamela Barnum, M.P.A, J.D. Crack the Code on Trust: Insider Techniques for Leaders 

Pamela Barnum, M.P.A, J.D. 

Sponsored by Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) 

Studies show that the higher the level of trust, the more successful the outcome will be. Nonverbal communication is a significant data source used to make decisions around trust. Using insider techniques, Pamela will help you and your organization Crack the Code on Trust by learning to: 

  • Accurately assess others' nonverbal cues (body language).  
  • Discover and learn strategies used to build trust quickly and easily with anyone, including demanding clients, difficult customers, and challenging stakeholders. 
  • Behave in a way that communicates confidence and trustworthiness in every situation. 
  • Develop nonverbal communication techniques that make people feel validated and appreciated. 
  • Create an environment that fosters authenticity and trust - turning first impressions into winning impressions. 

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.  

Break and Networking with Exhibitors 

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Breakout Session Options 

  • Leadership Lessons: Maximizing Collaboration as an Organizational "Operating System" 

    Steve Barber, Barber & Gonzales Consulting Group 

    Using an interactive format this session presents and provides for examples and simulation(s) of the principles and processes of honest to goodness collaboration.  "Collaboration" is a lot more than "talking nice"!!  In reality the principles and operationalizing processes of collaboration are a tool for critical thinking, organizational management, conflict management/resolution, and multi-party decision making of any kind.  

    Learning outcomes include: 
    • an introduction to the principles and processes 
    • examples of application 
    • an awareness of how the collaborative paradigm is antithetical to the conventional approach to management and leadership 
    • a roadmap to the introduction and sustainability of the approach to any organization   
  • Leading Your District Through Financing Facilities and Funding Services with a Tax Measure 

    Sara Mares, NBS; Mrunal Mehta Shah, Best Best & Krieger LLP;  Nikki Winslow, Altadena Library District 

    Many special districts face aging infrastructure in need of repair and modernization, whether libraries built in the 1960s or a swimming pool built in the 1950s. Coupled with the need for funding operations and maintenance, special districts are faced with difficult service decisions. Broad community support is critical to addressing these challenges to create a sustainable path forward and deliberate groundwork is the foundation for successful implementation. This session will provide practical revenue options, focusing on special taxes, including a case study with Altadena Library District.  
  • Leadership Lessons: How to Prepare Your Board for a Successful Financing

    Consultants from CSDA Finance Corporation; Patrick Kaspari, McKinleyville Community Services District 

    As general manager or finance manager of a special district, you know it is of utmost importance to have the funds you need for critical infrastructure improvements. In many cases, accessing the capital market can be the most efficient way of making sure those funds are available. However, a financing cannot be successful without first getting the buy-in and support of your Board of Directors. 
    In this session, CSDA Finance Corporation consultants and a special district general manager discuss project prioritization and timing, the financing process and team, and the responsibilities of elected officials related to debt financing. Topics include strategies for communicating with and educating your Board so that they understand the need for financing and are confident in the solution presented.   

    12:30 – 2:30 p.m.  - Lunch included

    State and National Advocacy and Public Affairs Issues 

    Kyle Packham and Cole Karr, CSDA; Kristi More, The Ferguson Group 

    This presentation will be a mid-year, executive-level update on the most significant advocacy and public affairs issues facing special districts in and around the State Capitol as well as on the national landscape. Learn about the matters facing special districts, including the opportunities ahead and the threats lurking from behind. 

    2:30 p.m.

    Event Concludes