Where to Find NRC at the 104th Annual ICMA Conference

-By Keifer Johnson

National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) is headed to the 104th Annual International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Conference in Baltimore, MD and we’ve got a bag full of swag and knowledge ready to share. Stop by our booth in the ICMA Pavilion, check out a session with one of our presenters, and hang out with us at various social events in beautiful Baltimore. Here is a rundown of NRC sessions and events, so you’ll know exactly where to find us at this year’s conference!

Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss



The League of Women in Government Symposium 

1:00 – 4:00 PM / Hilton Baltimore – Key Ballroom 1-2

Do women see the local government workplace differently from their male colleagues?

As the profession seeks to promote healthier organizations that equally provide job satisfaction and opportunities for advancement, this is a question we must ask. Fortunately, the answers are not beyond the reach of public sector leaders. NRC Marketing Director Angelica Wedell will present survey data that highlights the perspectives of local government employees across the U.S.


The Leadership Trailblazer Awards

The League of Women in Government (LWG) and National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) are proud to announce the winner of the Leadership Trailblazer Award and celebrate the achievement of all nominees. This award recognizes an accomplished leader in the local government profession who has championed and inspired other women to achieve as well.


ICMA University Workshops: Gauging Public Opinion the Right Way 

1:00 – 4:30 PM / Hilton Baltimore – Key Ballroom 10

Local government leaders get a mass of resident opinions every day. From traditional public comments at council meetings to social media and digital town halls, vocal residents are always finding ways to express their opinions about their cities and towns. But is reacting only to those “squeaky wheels” enough to truly benefit the entire community? The truth is, opinions provided in these formats don’t often represent all residents. That makes it easy for thousands of constituent voices to go unheard. Fortunately, there are more effective, inclusive, and systematic ways to harness resident opinion.

In this workshop, NRC Vice President Michelle Kobayashi will share tried-and-true public engagement methods, including surveys (mail, phone, and web), focus groups, and panels. You’ll also discover ways to use existing technology, such as your website, Nextdoor, and other social media platforms, to engage residents in cost-effective ways that do not rely solely on the leanings of a vocal few. This workshop will cover not only methods for capturing resident opinion, but also ways to use these crucial findings to move forward on strategic planning, performance measurement, and policy analysis. Join us and other local changemakers in making communities better places to live for all residents and stakeholders.



Welcoming Reception: A Taste of Baltimore

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM / Baltimore Convention Center – Exhibit Hall 

Experience the diversity of Baltimore with us and delight in the area’s distinctive flavors! This reception celebrates the opening of the ICMA Exhibit Hall in the Baltimore Convention Center. You’ll find the NRC booth in the ICMA Pavilion. This event is included with your registration at no extra cost, so join us for an evening of food and fun!



Learning Lab Sessions: Examining Public Opinion on Today’s Safety Priorities 

10:30 – 11:00 AM / Baltimore Convention Center – Room 337

We know that U.S. residents want their local governments to prioritize community safety first. Within the broad spectrum of safety, what do residents think are the most important priorities for police and public officials? In this session, NRC Vice President Michelle Kobayashi will reveal insights from an analysis of public safety data from our latest premiere benchmarking survey – The National Police Services SurveyTM (The NPSSTM) – and The National Citizen SurveyTM (The NCSTM).


Turning Your Fear into Heroism: Harnessing Workforce Opinion to Make your Organization Strong 

4:00 – 5:00 PM / Baltimore Convention Center – Ballroom III

Managers sometimes fear that asking their employees about the work environment may be opening a can of worms. What they forget is that worms thrive in dark moist environments. By bringing to light what most employees know anyway, you can demonstrate your willingness to invite real conversations that bring in the voices of everyone who works for you. NRC’s Michelle Kobayashi and Senior Survey Associate Damema Mann will present the ins-and-outs of employee surveys. Hear managers discuss what their jurisdictions have done with their employee surveys—the lead-up, execution, and follow-up—that helped to set the organization on the right track. This session features panelists Connie Jacobs-Walton, Human Resources Director for Decatur, GA and Pete Petersen, City Manager for Johnson City, TN.



Free Professional Portraiture

10:00 AM – 1:30 PM / Baltimore Convention Center – Exhibit Hall Booth #452

Are you ready to update your LinkedIn photo? Is your staff directory in need of a revamp? You can find NRC’s Director of Marketing Angelica Wedell at the GovHR booth taking free professional portraits for attendees between 10:00am and 1:30 pm. This portrait session is sponsored by GovHR, NRC, League of Women in Government and Polco.


Who to Look For

Michelle Kobayashi is back by popular request and will be facilitating workshops and presenting for multiple sessions at the ICMA Conference. You can find her at the “ Examining Public Opinion on Today’s Safety Priorities” and alongside Damema Mann at the “Turning Your Fear into Heroism” sessions, both on Monday.

Damema Mann will be announcing the winner of the Leadership Trailblazer Awards at the League of Women in Government Symposium. She’s also presenting on Monday at the “Turning Your Fear into Heroism” session. When not presenting, Damema will be easily located at the NRC booth in the Exhibit Hall.

Angelica Wedell will be at the League of Women in Government Symposium presenting data from The National Employee SurveyTM (The NESTM). She’ll also be found around the NRC booth in the Exhibit Hall at the ICMA Pavilion, and taking portrait photos at the GovHR booth on Tuesday.

Tom Miller, President and CEO of NRC is excited to meet up with partners, local government clients and long-time friends. Visit him at the NRC Booth in the Exhibit hall on Sunday and Monday.


Voice of the People Awards 

NRC will present the 10th Annual Voice of the People (VOP) Awards at the ICMA conference. The VOP Awards, presented jointly by National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) are the only awards given in local government based on the opinion of residents themselves. This year’s VOP Awards were very competitive. Only those jurisdictions that received the highest ratings on The NCS in 2017 and illustrated actions taken to benefit their communities were selected as winners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn throughout the month of October for announcements on all the 2018 VOP Awards winners!