What Colorado’s Community Leaders Learned at the 2016 CCCMA Conference

– By Angelica Wedell –

For more than 20 years, the Colorado City County Management Association (CCCMA) has brought the state’s local government leaders to Glenwood Springs for the annual Winter Conference.  Tickets for the 2016 conference sold out quickly and hundreds of attendees filled the session halls at the historic Hotel Colorado.

Colorado flag atop Hotel Colorado


While the CCCMA conference is one of Colorado’s best opportunities for community leaders to connect, it also provides a host of professional development sessions – keeping City and County staff knowledgeable on today’s best practices.

This year’s speakers revealed the impact that new technologies have on government organizations, showed how cities can utilize automated gadgets in public service delivery (like drones used to aid ambulances), described Colorado’s changing demographics, forecasted the state’s economy, shared ways of planning better and explained the significance of servant leadership.


"Creating a Servant Leadership Culture" sign

Colorado City and County Staff Share What They Learned at the 2016 CCCMA Conference

“One of the things that I learned is that we really need to start to look at the changing nature of employment and how a lot of the younger folks are not seeing themselves as bound to one organization.  We need to figure out how we can attract talented folks who may have the bandwidth and the ability to prioritize their work and to be able to do multiple jobs, and in more of a contractual nature.  We have to start looking to the future and be prepared for the new workforce that’s coming up.”

–   Erick Keck, City Manager, City of Englewood


“I learned about the changing demographics throughout the state and especially in Montezuma County.  We need to pay more attention to our aging population and the needs that those older adults will be requiring and start taking a look at how Mancos can help address those needs in the future.”

–  Andrea Phillips, Town Administrator, Town of Mancos


“My biggest takeaway was about the exponential growth of technology and some of the new tools coming to the forefront that can help us do our jobs.  The networking opportunities here, meeting up with peers and exchanging ideas, are fantastic.”

–  Dick Eason, Town Administrator, Town of Elizabeth


Attendees at the 2016 CCCMA Conference

Pictured: Todd Leopold of Adams County, Murphy Robinson of Englewood, Eric Keck of Englewood, Anna Mitchell of Trinidad, Tyler Marr of Fort Collins, Jay-Michael Baker of Pueblo




“One thing that I’ve learned during this conference is how to create a high performing organization, how to build a better team and get the best people in place.”

–  Matt Cohrs, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Greenwood Village



“One thing I’ve learned here is being adamant is not as effective [in leadership] as balancing yourself.  You need to be both [steadfast and flexible.]”

–  Linda Bertrane-Gonzalez, Assistant City Manager, Brighton



“Skill sets and those intangible character traits [such as spirit of collaboration and positivity] are the critically important things to look for when we are looking to hire, recruit and retain people.”

–  Todd Leopold, County Manager, Adams County


Attendees at the 2016 CCCMA Conference

Pictured: Clint Kinney of Snowmass, Samma Fox of Littleton


“I learned that IT is going to have an exponential impact on government and the next generation of what they call ‘Government 2.0.’  We need to integrate the growing expectations of society to use technology with the culture of government still wanting that face-to-face time.  I also learned about the changing demographics, the achievement gap disparity in Colorado and the repercussions of that if communities don’t pay attention.”

–  Kara Silbernagel, Management Analyst, Pitkin County


“I learned how much of a community there is among City and County managers.”

–  Samma Fox, Intern and CCCMA Fellow, City of Littleton


“One of the things that stood out was to reiterate with my employees that I trust them, that I believe in them and to make sure that I empower them to take the lead not only in projects but in helping get the city to where it needs to be.”

– Murphy Robinson, Assistant City Manager, City of Englewood



Attendees at the 2016 CCCMA Conference

Pictured: Linda Bertrane-Gonzalez of Brighton, Kara Silbernagel of Pitkin County, Andrea Phillips of Mancos, Travis Elliott of Snowmass




“I saw how much support there is between managers, even those who aren’t necessarily connected [otherwise.]”

–  Michelle Oeser, Town Administrator, Town of Kiowa



“A great takeaway is being able to spend some time with city managers and learn from their perspectives, their different lessons and different experiences.  Being young in the profession and wanting to jump into a city management role – whether it be an analyst, assistant or manager- it’s great to learn from others here.”

– Jay-Michael Baker, Student, City of Pueblo



Attendees at the 2016 CCCMA Conference

Pictured:  Bill Ray of Arvada, Michelle Oeser of Kiowa, Dick Eason of Elizabeth




“Regarding the discussions on broadband, innovation trends and technology trends in the city; I learned that as we look towards the future, these go hand-in-hand.  We will need to have broadband services that can compete with the ever changing technological landscape.”

–  Tyler Marr, Graduate Management Assistant, City of Fort Collins




“The one thing that has been reaffirmed for me is the extraordinary interest that continues to show up in this conference every year from people who are so dedicated to this extraordinary profession.”

–  Bill Ray, Deputy Manager, City of Arvada



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