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The energy was palpable as I attended ASPA’s annual conference this past Saturday and Sunday in Baltimore, MD, at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. Attendees were moving with purpose, not wanting to miss this best practices workshop on faith and community based organizations, or that supersession on health systems management; and heaven forbid you miss the opening plenary being given by Maryland’s own State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, the Elliot Richardson Lecture being given by former Commandant of the United States Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, or the welcome reception at Camden Yards, replete with food, networking and a tour of the stadium.
Over the last 14 years of working with ASPA and PA TIMES, I have attended several of the Society’s conferences and I must say, this one is up there with the best.
The conference continues today (Monday, March 15th) thru tomorrow (Tuesday, March 16th), with the majority of sessions yet to come. The program is packed with workshops, supersessions, panel sessions and discussion circles on every topic known to public administration and maybe even a few new ones.
Key events yet to come are the Donald C. Stone Lecture, being given by Geert Bouckaert, a professor at the Public Management Institute in Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Leuven, Belgium. Bouckaert will be speaking on public administration and trust at 1:15pm today. Then, tonight ASPA will present their annual Awards Ceremony honoring the best and brightest in public administration domestically and internationally. The day will close with a reception honoring National Public Service Award winners Colonel Joyce A. Adkins, commander, 633d Medical Operations Squadron, Langley AFB, VA; and Lester P. Claravall, child labor coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Labor.
Tuesday will see the closing plenary with the topic of “The Financial Crisis: An Opportunity Wasted? What Have the Consequences Been?” being given at 11:30am, as well as the final flurry of sessions.
If you are in the Washington/Baltimore area and looking for some great public administration networking and educational opportunities make the trip to ASPA’s Annual Conference. You won’t be disappointed.
For a detailed list of the remaining sessions and events, visit the conference website at www.aspanet.org/2011conference/.
Christine McCrehin is the PA TIMES editor. Email: [email protected]