The theme for the 2014 conference is "Daring Greatly." The day will focus around encouraging one another to dare to pursue our biggest goals. We want attendees to find the support that can enable them to take risks - even if it means potentially making a mistake or showing vulnerability - if those risks can lead to opportunities to achieve greatness.

Schedule and speakers are subject to change.

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Registration Open, Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. Welcome & Overview
Beth Linn, 2014 Conference Chair & City Administrator, City of Edgerton, KS

Reggie Robinson, Incoming Director, KU School of Public Affairs & Administration (Start date: July 1, 2014; news release»)

8:45 a.m. Getting Acquainted
Pearl Rovaris MacDonald, Entertainment Professional


9:00 a.m. Keynote Presentation
Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas 2013, platform issue: empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers

Dental Technician, Kansas Army National Guard Medical Detachment
ICMA Practice Groups: 6. Initiative, Risk Taking, Vision, Creativity, and Innovation; and 18. Personal Development

It may be surprising to see Miss Kansas as a keynote for this conference. Without knowing more about Theresa Vail, it’s easy to assume the person who wins that title is “just” a beauty queen who represents something passé about women’s roles. But Theresa instead has been using this opportunity to turn those assumptions upside down. She has purposefully centered women’s empowerment in her statements and activities and represents what daring greatly can mean.

10:00 a.m. TED Talk Video & Break

“Daring Greatly” – An engaging TED talk about leveraging the feelings of vulnerability and shame to propel us toward innovation, creativity, and change.
Facilitator: Sara Singer, Deputy City Manager, Tualatin, OR
ICMA Practice Group: 18. Personal Development

10:30 a.m. Panel Discussion: "Navigating the Daring Journey"
Panelists will discuss the hardest parts of their journey (so far) and what effect those have had for the best parts of their journey. They'll also talk about quitting, saying "no," pruning life's garden, and how failure can simply be a step towards a new opportunity.
Panel Members:

  • CiCi Rojas, President & CEO, Central Exchange
  • Theresa Porter, Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Region VII, Great Plains, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
  • Carla Wilson, Director of Athletics, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Moderator: Stephanie Moore, Program Supervisor, Community Development, Unified Government of Wyandotte County / Kansas City, KS
ICMA Practice Groups: ICMA Practice Group: 6. Initiative, Risk Taking, Vision, Creativity, and Innovation; 17. Integrity; and 18. Personal Development

11:30 a.m. Table Discussions: Navigating the Daring Journey
Facilitator: Maggie Mahoney, Assistant Director, Dole Institute of Politics

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Registration Open for afternoon-only attendees

12:00 p.m. Lunch & Networking
Making Connections to Support Our Journeys

1:00 p.m. Presentation: "Increasing Women's Civic Engagement: Just ASK!"
Barbara Kerr, Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Counseling Psychology, University of Kansas

Professor Kerr will present her findings on research she conducted that looked at the potential barriers (and mitigating solutions) to women citizens when it comes to serving on boards, commissions, and task forces for the City of Kansas City, MO. This research was sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
Introduction: Kimiko Gilmore, Assistant City Manager, Kansas City, MO
ICMA Practice Groups: 8. Democratic Advocacy and Citizen Participation; and 9. Diversity

1:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: "Triumphing After Failure: Declaring Your Win"
Panelists will share their thoughts on skills they wish that someone had told them they would need, how they have found ways to be their own advocate, and what stances, skills, etc. they've found they needed as they rose higher on the ladder, especially those that feel uncomfortable due to lack of previous experience or cultural expectatations of women. They'll also discuss some skills that we should be practicing now in "safe" environments.
Panel Members:

Moderator: Susan Sherman, Assistant City Manager, Olathe, KS
ICMA Practice Groups: 6. Initiative, Risk Taking, Vision, Creativity, and Innovation; and 18. Personal Development

2:25 p.m. Zumba (Yes, Zumba!)
Amber Smith, Owner, Judah Fitness

This will be a low-key introduction to Zumba; you will not need your workout clothes. However, this is one of the reasons why we've announced the conference attire as casual - we want you to be comfortable moving! (Plus, sometimes heels and suits get in the way of productive head space.)


2:55 p.m. Keynote Presentation
Joyce Wilson, City Manager (recently retired), City of El Paso, TX

Introduction: Caitlin Gard, Assistant to the Public Works Director, Shawnee, KS
ICMA Practice Group: 6. Initiative, Risk Taking, Vision, Creativity, and Innovation; 17. Integrity; and 18. Personal Development

3:55 p.m. Closing Remarks

4:00 p.m. Reception

Please join us for an hors d'oeuvres reception to connect with fellow attendees around the inspiring and challenging messages from the day. Connect with new and old friends to find ways to support our leadership journeys.
Cash bar will be available.

Schedule and speakers are subject to change.

To see schedules and speakers from previous years, click here:

2013 Conference

2012 Conference

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