Advanced Attendee

Monday, October 25, 2021

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Registration and Opening Reception - Conference Begins!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.


8:30 - 9:45 a.m.

Opening Keynote: 55 Ways to Add Disney Magic to Your Special District, Pete Blank
Pete Blank

In this fast-paced and engaging session, former Disney University Leader Pete Blank shares how you can add Disney Magic to your district. He will take a “magical” look at how Disney’s business and leadership strategies can impact your personal and professional life. This session will share many “magical” skills that are needed for local board secretaries and city clerks to survive and thrive everyday. Attendees will leave with actionable ideas they can immediately add to their leadership toolkit.

As a leadership expert and training manager, Pete Blank works with companies who want to create engaged employees, successful leaders and loyal customers. His “Pete’s Points” video leadership lessons reaches over 8,000 people each week, while his “Pete’s Points” daily audio briefing has thousands of subscribers in multiple countries. For 13 years, he worked with The Walt Disney Company where he developed and delivered career development programs for over 55,000 Cast Members. Pete is a Certified Speaking Professional, an Emmy-award winner, and a former Wheel of Fortune contestant, and he’s speaking to show us how to put a little Disney magic into our organizations.

First 250 registered attendees receive a copy of Pete’s book!

9:45 - 10:15 a.m.

Break, Networking with the Exhibitors

10:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Recognizing Employee Contributions
Lance Guerra, CPS HR Consulting

Recognizing employee contributions should be an integral part of any performance management strategy. The good news is it’s easy to do and usually costs nothing; the bad news is, it’s easy get wrong. In this session, we’ll discuss how to create a culture of recognition in our workplaces and brainstorm specific and meaningful ways we can call out stellar performance.

Transparency: Tips and Best Practices for Open Government
Craig Steele, Richards Watson Gershon

Public meetings influence how your agency is perceived by the public. Basic meeting management strategies can make board meetings more effective and promote an image of efficiency and transparency.

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Lunch, All Attendees

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Project Management and Project Leadership: You Need Both
Sloane Dell’Orto, Districts Forward

Standard project management makes most people think of Gantt charts and spreadsheets (ugh) - and while we’ll touch on some of the standard PM tools in this session, we’re also going to step back a bit and come at it from a different angle. We’ll start by exploring motivation, get inspired by our noble causes, and do some fun exercises together. You’ll leave with helpful tips and tools to take back and implement immediately, to ensure the next project you tackle will be a success.

The Empty Chair: Handling Board Vacancies and Appointments
Rachel Hundley, Meyers Nave

This session will explain the regulatory requirements (CA Government Code section 1780) for providing notice of board vacancies and the steps involved in three primary options for filling vacancies, including appointment, election, or action by a County Board of Supervisors. Presenter will also discuss board governance and procedures regarding board member absence, incapacity and/or misconduct (and related removal), as well as best practices for internal and external communications during times of transition and crisis.

2:45 - 3:15 p.m.

Break, Networking with the Exhibitors

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Trending: Using Social Media to Promote Transparency and Accountability
Michelle Villareal and Anahil Sargsyan, Aleshire & Wynder, LLP

This session will explore the benefits of using social media to promote transparency and accountability of local government, as well as the unique challenges arising in complying with the Brown Act in a virtual era. The presentation will look at potential violations of the Brown Act when government officials utilize social media and offer best practice tips to ensure compliance. Included will be a discussion on pending legislation to modernize the Brown Act to meet the changes and challenges of governing in a post-pandemic world.

Recent Developments in the Law for Special Districts
David Boyer, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

Learn about recent legislation and court decisions impacting special districts that are particularly relevant for board clerks and secretaries. This will include discussion ranging from ensuring compliance with the Brown Act to changes in the law and regulations governing real estate transactions involving special districts.

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Elevating the Role of Executive Assistant into a Strategic Business Partner
Dawn Benson, East Bay Municipal Utility District

The executive assistant role is expanding in the private and public sectors world-wide. This workshop will share the tips and tricks of building a strategic partnership with your executive, building your network within your company, training, and resources to develop your toolkit of skills necessary for your administrative professional success!

Understanding California’s Prohibition on Gift of Public Funds
Nick Ghirelli, Richards Watson Gershon

This session will explain the constitutional prohibition against gifts of public funds and analyze situations where disbursements of district assets trigger the prohibition or serve legitimate public purposes.

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Break, Networking with the Exhibitors

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Key Communication Tips

Tom "T-Bone" McGowian, CPS HR Consulting

Learn key communication tips to help deliver outstanding customer service to external and internal customers. This session delves into tactics for problem-solving and relationship building using emotional intelligence.

Effective and Legal Meetings in a Technology World
Lindsay Thorson, Richards Watson Gershon

Use of technology by board members, and during board meetings, can lead to more efficient and accessible meetings, but it can also open a Pandora’s box of pitfalls. This presentation will explore how districts can harness the value of incorporating technology into the board room, while minimizing the potential risks. Topics will include best practices for cloud-based document storage, electronic agenda packets, use of social media, compliance with the Brown Act, accessibility, and more.

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch, All Attendees

1:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Data Automation vs. Manual Tasks? – No Contest!
Carolyn DeLage, CPS HR Consulting

As a professional in the public sector, you are probably working with complex data sets, multiple databases, and pressure-filled deadlines. This session will show you how to automate many data-related tasks with little effort on your part, allowing you to noticeably increase your personal productivity and produce more reliable work.

Business Impact Analysis: The Cornerstone of Building a Business Continuity Program
Nora O’Brian, Connect Consulting Services

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than 40% of organizations and businesses that do not have plans fail after disaster strikes. During this COVID-19 Pandemic, special districts had to dramatically change their business processes to keep operating despite many challenges. In this session “Business Impact Analysis: The Cornerstone of Building a Business Continuity Program”, Connect Consulting Services, experts in emergency management and business continuity planning, will share resources and strategies on how to develop your Business Impact Analysis (BIA) that serves as a foundation for your business continuity program (BCP). Through the BIA process, you identify your essential business functions, the recovery time for those business functions to be brought back online post-disaster, and the staff, supply chain, work location, and technology dependencies those business functions need to operate post-disaster. Once your essential business functions are identified, this information will serve to guide your disaster recovery actions.

2:30 - 2:45 p.m.


2:45 - 4:00 p.m.

Recent Developments in the California Voting Rights Act
Derek Cole, Cole Huber

This presentation will provide updates regarding the conversion to district elections under the California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”) and the redistricting process (for those special districts that currently have district elections). The presentation will address recent court cases interpreting the CVRA and the legal requirements for creating districts.

“How to Rock Your Next Performance Evaluation (Pro Tip: Treat it like a Job Interview)”
Stephanie Smith, MMC, Best Best & Krieger LLP

Evaluating your performance before your next evaluation can be stressful, to say the least. Am I doing okay? Do I need to work on something? What will he/she say about me? Knowing how well you’re doing before hearing it from “the boss” is key to improving deficiencies and elevating your performance to the next level. In this session, participants will gain a better understanding of the relationship between performance and professional growth opportunities and how to apply that understanding to their current positions.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Analyze their current job performance to identify strengths
  • Craft an exciting opening (and closing) statement
  • Build confidence in their knowledge, skills and abilities that can be applied right now

And leave with a better understanding of:

  • How practicing for an interview can build confidence in one’s abilities, which leads to better performance and more effective decision making in the current position
  • The importance of effective listening when working in the public sector
  • 10 Things That Require Zero Talent and how those 10 things will improve performance in any position

4:00 p.m.

Event Adjourns, Graduation Certificate Distribution