Come to Augusta in October
by Chris Lockwood, MMA Executive Director
(from Maine Townsman, August/September 2001)

Mark October 10-12 on your calendar. That's when the 2001 MMA Annual Convention will be held at the Augusta Civic Center. MMA staff and the convention steering committee are putting the finishing touches to a high quality program for 2001. The convention offers elected and appointed officials from communities of all sizes the opportunity to "network" with your peers and participate in workshops that provide "hands-on" learning about current issues facing municipal officials. The convention will also feature over 100 exhibitors with a broad array of products and services of interest to municipalities.

The theme of this year's convention is "Working Together, Winning Together" and the program content will be developed around the theme. The convention program will offer workshops to help municipal officials improve interpersonal skills and look at ways we all can work more effectively in groups. The programming will focus on helping individuals learn ways to improve their personal and professional working skills and also explore examples of cooperative efforts that have addressed community or regional issues. 

The convention kicks off Wednesday morning with a featured speaker at the opening session. Sue Poulin, Staff Development Specialist at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center, will take a look at "Ways to Bring Humor into Your Personal and Professional Interactions." Sue will discuss how we can all utilize humor in a timely and effective manner. 

MMA's Affiliate Groups will be holding their business meetings and training sessions during the day Wednesday and also on Thursday. We are very pleased that 12 of the MMA Affiliate Groups are taking an active role in the 2001 program.

The MMA annual business meeting will be held at 11 A.M., Wednesday and the luncheon following will include municipal awards and recognition, as well as my "State of the Association" report to the membership.

Additionally, MMA will offer two professional development workshops during the afternoon of October 10th. These sessions will cover "The Challenge of Dealing With the Public," featuring the consulting team of Dinan & Gwynne and "How to Develop a Strategic Planning Process," featuring Dr. Frank Gavin, a management consultant who also is the program director of the Municipal Leadership Program.

Members will have the chance to tour the MMA office facility (located in close proximity to the Augusta Civic Center) as well as meet members of the MMA staff during the convention. A schedule and sign-up sheet for the MMA office tours will be available at the convention.

The Wednesday program will end with a "Welcome Reception" in the exhibit area at the conclusion of the day's program. There is no formal program during the evening to give members the chance to meet socially in the Augusta area. We are working with the City of Augusta and the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce to give members a number of choices for activities for the evening. 

The program for Thursday will start with a "Health Walk" sponsored by the Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust on the University of Maine (Augusta) health trails. There will be a continental breakfast and the program is scheduled to start promptly at 9 A.M. MMA's Affiliate Groups will continue with their meetings and training sessions and MMA will offer general sessions during the morning and afternoon. The general sessions will cover a wide range of municipal issues with the hope that we "have something for everyone." 

The annual MMA banquet will feature Mark Mayfield, "The Corporate Comedian," who's theme is the same as our convention theme: "Working Together, Winning Together." Mark is one of those rare individuals who is equally adept at performing stand up comedy or presenting high content speeches. 

The program on Friday, October 12 will start with a continental breakfast and then Dr. Ann White, a humorist and motivational speaker, will discuss "The Twelve Commandments for People Who Work With People." 

There will be two concurrent sessions held during the day Friday. MMA will offer a full-length training workshop on Labor Law. The other program is focused on elected and appointed officials issues and is co-sponsored by MMA and the Maine Town and City Management Association.

We are excited about this year's program and hope you will be able to attend. This edition of the TOWNSMAN contains detailed information about the programs offered at the convention. As in the past members will be able to register on-line through MMA's website at www.memun.org.

See you in October!