I will be forever grateful to ICMA and the Town of Norwood, MA for giving me the opportunity to attend their 2019 Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee last October 20 – 23, 2019.
I flew from Washington D.C. to Nashville with my 2 Co -Pro Fellows from Myanmar and Thailand. We were welcomed by our host organization from the Town of Norwood and helped us checked – in to our accomodation.
After getting settled in our Airbnb, we head to the Music City Center to attend the Opening General Session and to listen to the first keynote speaker of the conference Jake Wood. We didn’t catch the first part of his speech but basically he talked about how to respond to chaotic situations like natural disasters.
After the opening of the general session we went to the grand opening of the exhibit and was able to taste the diversity of Nashville and Tennesse. We were also able to go around the pavillion and visit the different vendors and was able to get a lot of freebies…
On the second and third day of the conference, I attended several sessions and was able to learn a lot from the different speakers. The sessions that I attended were about Building Community Resilience to Environmental Hazards, Recycling is Broken: An Update on the Crisis, Blue Goes Green, Podcasting your story, Advice to My Younger Self: Avoiding Career Killers, Combat Loneliness, Improve Employee Health, Well – Being, and Productivity, What Does it Take? Landing Leadership Positions and The Balancing Act of Being a Parent and Chief Executive.
Aside from the different learning sessions and workshops, I was also able to attend social gatherings during the conference. The town of Norwood invited us for dinner and we also attended the International Reception of ICMA. I met a lot of public servants. and town managers through this conference.
Our last evening in Nashville was a blast! We went to Honky Tonk Central and had a great time dancing and listening to the different bands. Nashville is indeed one of the exciting places in America to visit.
The experience I had in this conference is very rich in culture and the learnings I gained are very useful for my profession and my organization. I will definitely keep in touch with all the people I met here and hopefully have some collaborations with them in the future.