Interim Executive Director's Corner

Dave Wills

Dave Wills

Benefits of Attending the ACCG Annual Conference

ONE OF THE best opportunities county commissioners have each year to invest precious taxpayer dollars to produce great returns for their respective communities is attending the ACCG Annual Conference. ACCG has prepared the stage for county officials to reap a huge benefit in knowledge gained and resources garnered from April 27 – 30. The only thing needed to ensure success is your attendance.

The conference begins and ends with educational courses from the Lifelong Learning Academy. In total, 22 classes will be taught, with invaluable knowledge imparted. In between the first and last day of the conference, the agenda includes keynote speakers, meetings for county attorneys, clerks and managers/administrators, plus legislative updates and concurrent sessions, one of which deals with mental health and the opioid epidemic, a timely subject.

As if the foregoing offerings aren’t enough to entice even a reticent official into attendance, the ever-popular Buyers’ Mart is shaping up to be one of the best yet. If you are interested in speaking directly to the scores of vendors who work directly with counties in Georgia, you will not want to miss strolling the aisles while engaging in conversations with company representatives who can provide your county with needed services and equipment.

Beyond the program agenda, officials who have attended the ACCG Annual Conference in past years invariably reported that they learned as much from other officials in casual discussions as they did through courses and presentations. Those statements augmented, rather than diminished, the value of the official agenda, adding value for participants. The conference, then, represents an un-paralleled opportunity for peer to peer exchange among county officials in Georgia.

If you were harboring thoughts of skipping the conference, I hope they’ve been dispelled. If not, consider these questions. If you do not attend, will you miss that great idea that could have saved your county precious resources? Will you regret not having spoken with the vendor that had the solution to the problem in which your government has been vexed? How will you know what you’ve missed? Just how much will your absence at the conference cost your county in lost returns?

In a commencement speech many years ago, James Lehrer of the PBS NewsHour, said “A college diploma does not mean you are educated. Quite the contrary. It means you have been opened up to a perpetual state of ignorance and thus a lifelong hunger for more—more ideas, more knowledge, more good thoughts, more challenges, more of everything.”

No matter how long you have served as a county elected or appointed official, no matter how many educational courses you have taken, no matter how many conferences you have attended, there is more to learn, more to benefit from, more to take home from the ACCG Annual Conference to benefit your citizens through the provision of excellence in county government services. Invest wisely. Attend the ACCG conference!