Program Information

Wednesday, October 25

7:30 AM

Annual Golf Tournament

The 2017 MMASC Annual Golf Tournament will be hosted at the Riverwalk Golf Club, on Wednesday, October 25. Shotgun Start will begin promptly at 7:30 AM.
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Check-In & Coffee

8:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Site Tour: North City Water Reclamation Plant

Want to learn what goes on behind the scenes in implementing water purification technology to provide a safe, reliable and sustainable drinking water supply? Join us for a tour of the City of San Diego’s North City Pure Water Facility and learn about San Diego’s water supply challenges and how water purification can provide a reliable, sustainable and cost-effective drinking water supply for San Diego.
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Customer Service Workshop: Dealing with Difficult People

Customer service is no longer a department, it is a culture that flows through the veins of every great organization. Your customers can instantly rave or complain to millions of people with one click of their mouse, DO NOT LEAVE THEIR COMMENTS TO CHANCE!  It’s, therefore, more important than ever to create exceptional customer experiences – a story that they can share with their neighbors, friends, and family. Based on Barbara Khozam’s book, “How Organizations Deliver BAD Customer Service (And Strategies that Turn it Around!),” session attendees will learn how to turn a complaint into an opportunity so they can not only create delighted customers and employees, but exceptional results as well.  By attending this workshop, the attendees will learn:
  • Why an emphasis on customer services is so important.
  • Why complaints may not be as bad as we think.
  • How to turn around 95% of difficult customers.
  • Simple ways to blow off steam before reaching a boiling point.
With humor and role-playing, Barbara teaches you how to deliver an extraordinary experience to every customer, every time.
10:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Learning Lounge: Modern Mentoring: A Mentee/Mentor Perspective

Mentorship is an often-overlooked pipeline to building leadership in organizations and in the profession. Young professionals often enter the workplace with a lot of education, but no real experience on what’s needed to function. From this lack of experience, mistakes and misunderstandings can result. A mentee gains the perspective and guidance of an experienced professional when they enter into a mentorship relationship. They are able to ask questions on work related issues, seek assistance on job searching and preparing for next steps, and get advice from someone who has years of experience to draw from.

What’s often not highlighted are the benefits of being a mentor. While giving back is an important aspect, the mentor also gains a unique perspective from someone who is lower in the organization and may see issues/challenges differently. They are able to connect with someone who is able to give voice to how to work with employees in their generation and learn about next generation ideas such as technology and trends.

The purpose of this presentation is to provide both perspectives on mentorship from panelists who fulfill those roles successfully and enjoy a balanced, learning relationship.
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Opening Session & Luncheon

Make C.L.E.A.R. Your Path: Create a Professional Road Map

Gaze into your crystal ball and what do you see as the future role for the public sector professional? Is the rapidly evolving for government imminent? What impact will that have on your career?  What’s your personal brand?  Patrick Ibarra, a former city manager and since 2002, a national consultant and speaker, as he shares a C.L.E.A.R. approach to navigate the future.
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Breakout Sessions:

Staff Management

A quick look into common bad habits of management that can lead to high staff turnover. Good staff quit and burn out when their managers do not provide an environment that is supportive and that allows for staff to grow and develop. Learn to look at your management style and see if you are a part of solution or problem. Take home some easy practice skills to enhance your leadership style and build a stronger team unit.
     Staff Management Session PowerPoint

CIP Needs Assessment

Using case studies from two communities, featuring a fire station and civic center, the panel will discuss the key role of needs assessment studies to help direct future planning of public facilities. The panel will discuss the timing of needs assessment studies in the overall capital delivery planning process as well as the benefits, options, and political advantages. We will provide a step-by-step overview of how to initiate, conduct and evaluate results of needs assessments. The two case study projects provide different examples—one requiring internal operations analyses and the other requiring community input.

Governments Engaging Youth

Looking for ways to address the overwhelming number of government employee retirements? Want to engage your community’s youth in local government? Governments Engaging Youth, a project of the Institute for Local Government, is helping to prepare the next generation by fostering authentic interest in public service in terms of local government career potential and an engaged, informed and active community of leaders. This session will highlight how two communities are implementing civic engagement and work-based learning programs to provide their youth with opportunities to build interest in public service careers and gain skills to become college, career and civic ready. Hear more about how to implement these programs as well as a new online toolkit that can be used to support or enhance your community’s youth-civic engagement efforts.
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Professional Headshots

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM


2:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Power Talk: Show Me the Way Up: Lessons Learned on the Way Up

A personal reflection on growth experience and a not so linear path "up" from intern to Assistant City Manager. Hear about the variety of twists and turns one career’s journey took, the perks of that unexpected path, and lessons learned along the way.
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Learning Lounge: Standing Out from the Crowd with Your Online Reputation

Go Google your name right now. Do you like what you see? Will others? The Internet has become the dominant place to make a first impression, and those in the public eye have the most at stake when it comes to their "online reputations." When you apply for a new job, an agency or recruiter's first step is to search for your name online and you can bet they will ask about anything negative they find. Join us in this session as we educate you on how to protect your legacy as a public servant.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Breakout Sessions:

Leading with Emotion

The Basics of Community Choice Aggregation

Industry experts will provide an overview of Community Choice Aggregation, discussing the positive impacts of a CCA, risks and how they can be mitigated and the steps that will get a city from concept to full implementation of their CCA.  The California Choice Energy Authority will be discussed as an option for cities who want to maximize benefits and reduce operational costs of their CCA.
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Ethics & Integrity in the Workplace (CGL Course - 1/2 Credit)

Many sticky issues that arise in city management are taken care of behind the scenes and rarely discussed openly. Examples include city council interpersonal disputes, suspicion of ethics violations, conflicts of interest, and personnel matters. Managing these situations requires professional tact to apply laws and/or policies, usually quietly, to rectify the situation. Whether they include alleged or real ethical issues with councils, or simply the use of obscure rules in state law that rarely come into play, managers often learn how to deal with these issues only once they are in the middle of them. This session dives into first-hand stories, collected from City Managers around the state, that were one-off or odd, and explores solutions to them.
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

MMASC Awards & Celebration Reception

Thursday, October 26

6:00 AM

Boot Camp in the Park

Lace up your sneakers and get ready to start the day with an energizing boot camp in the park! This 45-60 minute session is open to all skill levels and will start with a short jog to the Mandell-Weiss Eastgate City Park. At the park, we will begin with active stretching and then by 30-40 minutes of conditioning. The conditioning will consist of mostly body weight exercises, such as push-ups, sit-ups, lunges and squats. Come work up a sweat before digging into Thursday’s sessions. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle. 

Meet in the Hotel Lobby for a group jog to Mandell-Weiss Eastgate City Park

RSVP and Fill Out the Liability Form

7:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Continental Breakfast

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

General Session: FBI Cybersecurity

Today, organizations need not only to understand current trends in security threats but also be able to identify inherent vulnerabilities within existing systems. With government agencies’ priorities fixated on risk, organizations need to focus more on how they are securing their networks by reviewing risk management processes for business operations. Michael Sohn, Supervisory Special Agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Cyber Division will share about the cyber threatscape affecting small and medium sized agencies and review what is to be protected and why within your organization. This session will provide the basis for an understanding of the risks that need to be mitigated, the threats to be defended against and the vulnerabilities that should be addressed. Mr. Sohn takes a serious look at the future and risks of living in a continuous and over connected environment and will review the current problems and approaches to social media.   Mr. Sohn will examine the “Internet of Everything” including the bad things coming to your organization and the requirement for government agencies to rethink their IT security strategy. Mr. Sohn will additionally explore strategies to assist organizations in ensuring security is an enabler to their business drivers, mission and strategic initiatives. The presentation will cover the blueprints for building a solid security program across all endpoints, mobile devices and tablets for administrators and users.  
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Breakout Sessions:

Leadership Theory

Hear from three leaders on the new expectations of effective leadership. Speakers will address the growing need for humility among leaders, how to avoid the creation of a toxic triangle: destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments, and the requirements to foster a more nimble, adaptive and sustainable model of leadership, one built on authenticity and personal development. Throw out the cookie cutter, ditch the corporate speak, and prepare to start your journey towards the new leadership.

Big Changes in Small Cities: Addressing Demographic Shifts 

Hack the Beach

The time is right for innovation in local governments. Government must be able to attract and retain tech-ready workers and constituents demand 24/7 access to services, more transparency, and the type of digital experiences they get from companies like Amazon, FedEx, or Domino's.But how do local governments keep up? The City of Santa Monica created Hack the Beach to bridge these gaps and address the City's needs for better technology and services. A panel will review the program, talk about lessons learned, and teach participants how to create their own plans for technology collaboration, improve transparency, boost workflow efficiency and develop better performance management tools.

Professional Headshots

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM


10:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Learning Lounge: Interviewing Tips & Tricks

Help advance your career by learning to manage and establish goals, understand the standard public agency recruitment process, and learn "tips and tricks" for a successful interview.
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM

Breakout Sessions:

Building & Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce

Never before has there been such a diversity of generations in the workforce. Distinct, age-based cohorts coexist, each with different values, attitudes, expectations, needs, and motivations, all of which can make it more challenging to manage and integrate into a corporate culture. With this broad field of individuals populating the corporate world, it becomes challenging to describe the “typical” workforce, let alone manage and maximize its talent assets toward higher productivity and profits. Recruiting is the first hurdle. Over the long haul, retention is the highest hurdle by far. Delve into these work environments and hear about the challenges that a multi-generational workforce presents and how you can best build and manage an all-star, mixed-gen team.

Strategic Planning

A great way to "leave your mark" in the public sector is through a carefully crafted Workforce Strategic Plan. Public agencies must be thoughtful and intentional about how they recruit, retain, develop, train and empower their employees. A good Workforce Strategic Plan (which incorporates Succession Planning) should build upon the solid foundation of the agency's talent and culture and provide a roadmap to address workforce needs for the foreseeable future. The speaking opportunity will include a general discussion about Workforce Strategic Planning. The discussion will outline the City of Temecula's efforts towards maximizing organizational effectiveness through the implementation of a Workforce Strategic Plan in an effort to satisfy the needs of the community.

San Diego County Diversity & Inclusion

The County of San Diego’s commitment to valuing diversity and practicing inclusion advances our vision of a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely and Thriving.  In this workshop, participants will learn how and why the County recently implemented a Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion including developing diversity and inclusion champions, an Executive council and Resource Team, and strengthening our Employee Resource Groups.  We will also highlight some of the outcomes and benefits that the County of San Diego has experienced thus far as a result of this work.  Participants will receive a copy of the County of San Diego’s Strategic Plan and also experience an activity that demonstrates the power of inclusion.
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

General Session & Luncheon

Kick But Solutions: Convert Obstacles Into Stepping Stones for Your Success

Everyone has aspirations and plans, but … obstacles get in our way (time, money, people, etc.). Learn how to shift your thinking and actions so that obstacles actually accelerate your results. Learn “kick-but” solutions to the three biggest buts local government professionals face. Don Maruska, Director of the ICMA Coaching Program, Master Certified Coach, and co-author of “Take Charge of Your Talent: Three Keys to Thriving in Your Career, Organization, and Life,” will energize you to power up your talent story and thrive.
1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

Learning Lounge: Fiduciary Responsibility

Interested in serving on a deferred compensation committee or have responsibility for administering a 457 plan? This presentation will discuss recommended practices and industry trends for meeting fiduciary oversight for 457 deferred compensation plans.
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Breakout Sessions:

Sharing Economy

Like the ‘information super highway’ of 25 years ago that changed the way we shop and conduct business, the sharing economy is revolutionizing how consumers and businesses choose a ride, a vacation location, a parking space and even wardrobes.   While the emergence of this new market is undeniable, the implications on local government continue to evolve, leaving many cities and counties unsure of the proper approach. How is collaborative consumption shaping future tax policy? How are others managing this trend?  What are sharing economy platforms doing to address these challenges for local government?  Participants will learn about emerging trends and discover practical ways (policies, partnerships, etc.) to respond and create new opportunities.  

First 100 Days

With a new president in the White House, much attention is focused on his accomplishments in the first 100 days in office. Arguably, your first 100 days on the job whether at the staff-level or executive-level sets the tone for time at the agency. Hear from three new City Managers about their first 100 days in the top chair and what they expect from new employees that join their organizations.

Cutting Edge Talent Strategies

To deal today’s big challenges, local governments need great people. In December 2016, Cal-ICMA launched the Talent Initiative to engage executives and emerging leaders in a conversation about attracting, retaining, and growing our most vital assets. This interactive session will review initial findings  and recommendations from the Talent Initiative and engage attendees to further explore three critical questions:
  1. What are the talent challenges that confound California’s cities, counties, and special districts?
  2. What obstacles hinder our efforts to address talent challenges?
  3. What innovations, best practices, and culture-building strategies from the private and public sector can we utilize to better attract, retain, and grow talent?
Come join in the discussion that will help local governments create workplaces where employees can thrive!
2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Partner Networking Break

Professional Headshots

Resume Review

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Breakout Sessions:

Baby on Board!

What happens when employees bring their babies to the office? The City of Rancho Cucamonga is piloting a “Baby on Board” initiative that lets parents do just that. Hear about the pilot program, how it works, and the lessons learned so far from the perspectives of both managers and participating parents. How are they managing workplace distractions, liability, and safety? What are the benefits and the difficulties associated with the program? And most importantly, how can we foster and overcome obstacles to all types of innovation in the workplace?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

Cities continue to become more urban. People want to live, work, and have meaningful experiences within the same safe and walkable community. Businesses are also looking for new ways to compete with their online counterparts. Learn from two cities which have successfully implemented Benefit Districts and the team that helped them achieve it.


8 cities, 18.5 miles, 0 cars. Inspired by the return of Light Rail to the San Gabriel Valley (east Los Angeles County), 626 Golden Streets was the largest open streets festival in the United States to date, successfully staged on Sunday March 5, 2017. Panelists representing City and non-profit organizers will share what it took to put on this massive event, including project funding, lessons learned, and if they'd do it again!
4:30 PM

Annual Business Meeting

5:30 PM

Dinner On Your Own

7:30 PM - 10:00 PM

President's Reception

Friday, October 27

7:30 AM

Living in the present moment through mindfulness practice

Our lives are filled with countless distractions that can leave our minds confused, anxious, exhausted and stressed. Learn a simple, time-old technique to quiet the mind and live in the present.

Paul Manasjan, a 30-year plus practitioner and instructor in a meditative tradition,  will be a giving a brief group instruction in the practice of mindfulness.

Meet Outside at the Pool

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Light Breakfast

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Concurrent Sessions:

MMASC Strategic Planning

Speed Coaching

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Brunch With an Executive: Promoting Learning Agility and "Smart Risks"

This interactive closing session will explore the need to develop learning agility as an indispensable competency for 21st century leaders.  The experience will include mini-presentations, stories, a critique of a case study, and participant exercises.  Topics will cover:
  • The very big challenges facing local governments
  • Differentiating technical vs. adaptive challenges
  • Indispensable competencies for 21st century leaders
  • Tips and resources for promoting learning agility and smart risk-taking