Attendee Schedule

Sunday, June 25, 2023

8:00 a.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop Registration

10:00 a.m. (Shotgun start)


8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop: So, You Want to be a General Manager?

Scott Carroll, CSDM, Costa Mesa Sanitary District

This is a practical career development workshop for senior executives and emerging leaders in special districts. This action-oriented workshop includes group and panel discussions on the journey, roles, and skill sets of a general manager; identifying general manager opportunities; developing positive relationships with the board, staff, and peer agency executives; and leadership best practices. 

Sponsored by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF)

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop II: Finding Funding: Grants, Financing and Initiative Campaigns

  • Economic Overview - California CLASS
  • Generational Investment: IIJA, IRA and California Budget – Woodard & Curran 
  • Enhancing Local Revenues for Special Districts – SCI Consulting Group
  • Finding Funding For Your Next Project: Where to Look - CSDA Finance Corporation
  • Grants and Noncompetitive Funding Insights - Townsend Public Affairs

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Certified Special District Manager (CSDM) Exam

3:30 - 5:00 p.m. 

Speed Networking

Come and enjoy lively and fun speed rounds of networking and prizes and learn about CSDA business affiliate members that can save your district time and money - or both! Limited to 36 participants, so register now!

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Registration and Opening Reception

Join us for refreshments and an evening of networking with your fellow attendees and exhibitors. Gather friends new and old to form your team and show off your trivia knowledge!

Sponsored by

Brandis Tallman, a Division of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

Kutak Rock, LLP

Municipal Finance Corporation

Monday, June 26, 2023

8:00 a.m.

Conference Registration Opens

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast with the Exhibitors

8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Jannell MacAulayOpening Keynote: Command Your Mindset

Dr. Jannell MacAulay

No matter the situation — combat, carpool, or corporate deadline — stress and overwhelm manifest the same way in our bodies. We launch into survival mode, which leads to degradations in our focus, our relationships, and our career longevity. Jannell takes leaders and teams on a transformational journey of self-reflection, leaving you with actionable skills to master your internal environment, command your mindset, and elevate your performance. She will help you live a more present and connected life — increasing productivity, facilitating creativity, and improving performance with your teams both at work and at home.


10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Break: Networking with the Exhibitors

10:30 - 12:00 p.m. 

Breakout Session #1: Survey Says! How to Get the Most Out of Public Opinion Polls to Lead Your District and Pursue New Revenues

Edric Kwan, SCI Consulting Group 

John Bliss, SCI Consulting Group

Adam Probolsky, Probolsky Research

Jacqueline C. Simon MA. BS. BA., North Monterey County Fire Protection District Board Vice President Protection Districts Board of Directors

Many special districts need voter approval to raise revenues. Having a clear picture of customer/resident/voter sentiment is critical to aligning your agency with those that you serve. Learn how and why a statistically accurate survey can mean the difference between a successful funding measure and a costly loss. As infrastructure costs continue to increase, many special districts are seeking the public’s approval of revenue measures. Conducting community surveys will provide valuable data to predict and impact the success of your funding request. Learn about the different ways that public opinion polls are conducted: mailers, online, phone, text messaging, and others. Explore how each format provides different legal and technical limitations. Understand how survey questions and statistically valid samplings are developed. Most importantly, hear about the results of public opinion polls from different special district case studies and their influence on the way revenue measures and other big policy decisions are informed by opinion research.


10:30 - 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Session #2: Are You A Destination Employer? Attract, Hire and Retain the Best 

Stephanie Smith, Best Best & Krieger, LLP 

Destination Employers are viewed by past, current, and potential employees as a place to establish and grow a career. Learn six organizational shifts that can eliminate staffing shortages for good. As workforce shortages continue, potential employees are more selective about where they work. Employers of choice may be difficult to get hired into, are well-known in the community or industry as a desirable place to work, and are a place where current employees feel almost as comfortable as they do at home. Getting hired by a destination employer is an accomplishment and a source of pride in one’s career, and a major goal for the top talent in the industry. Destination employers also experience little to no staffing shortages. 


10:30 - 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Session #3: Powerful Leadership: Effective Tips for Stellar Supervisors

Oliver Yee, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

This program is designed to help special district supervisors grow and refine their skills to be effective, successful and productive managers.  We will discuss the challenges supervisors are facing, including leadership, goal setting, effective communication, performance evaluations, ethics, discipline, and specific legal principles. The program will emphasize practice over theory.


12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Networking Lunch with the Exhibitors

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Breakout Session #1: Managing the Never-ending Crisis - Being An Adaptive, Resilient Leader in Uncertain Times

Panel Discussion:

Erica Manuel, Institute for Local Government

Tammy Rudock, CSDM, retired General Manager

Ryan Clausnitzer, CSDM, Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District

Lorenzo Rios, Clovis Veterans Memorial District

Special Districts have faced unprecedented challenges in the past three years. Now with the projected economic downturn, we expect the chaos, uncertainty, and massive disruption to continue. During times like this, a leader’s ability to navigate personal and professional minefields is critical. But the leadership qualities needed to accomplish that are changing as rapidly as the times.

This session will explore how special district leaders can use adaptive leadership strategies to manage change and prepare their teams to excel in an uncertain, rapidly evolving business landscape. We’ll highlight techniques to provide clarity, keep teams engaged, help you make strategic decisions, lead with empathy, and avoid burnout. We’ll also explore how to prepare your leaders to be resilient, focused, and strategic.


1:30 - 3:00 p.m. 

Breakout Session #2: Leadership Lessons: Prevailing Wage Obligations for Special Districts

Deborah Wilder, Contractor Compliance and Monitoring, Inc

Each year the California Legislature changes and increases prevailing wage obligations. Join us for this fast-paced discussion of what is required of special districts, from contract clauses to compliance auditing. This session will showcase best practices, as well as options for small, medium, and large districts. Our discussion will include the prevailing wage issues created by the California Supreme Court decision in Kaanaana v Barrett Business Systems.


1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Breakout Session #3: Positioning Your District for Success: Legislative Relations 201 

Kyle Packham, CSDA

David beat Goliath and special districts can win in the State Legislature and Congress, if they exercise wisdom. Gain insights that will help your board and your community understand the benefits of taking action; walk through the key actions special districts of any size can take to position themselves for success; and discern the top priorities and next steps for you and your district.

3:15 - 3:45 p.m.

Break and Networking with the Exhibitors


3:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Breakout Session #1: Renewable Energy Projects & Inflation Reduction Act Subsidies  

Panel Discussion:

Jeff Land, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

Dan Mitchell, Centrica Business Solutions

Albert Reyes, Kutak Rock LLP

Kahl Muscott, Auburn Area Recreation and Park District

Bill Morton, Municipal Finance Corporation

This session features Kahl Muscott of Auburn Area Recreation and Park District discussing how they reduced energy costs and increased their sustainability by implementing a broad mix of energy efficiency measures and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed by Centrica Business Solutions and financed through the CSDA Finance Corporation. Members of the Centrica team along with consultants from the CSDA Finance Corporation will each discuss their roles in making this a successful project. 

3:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Breakout Session #2: Leadership with an Agile Mindset 

Nancy Wright, CPS HR Consulting

As a leader, guiding and supporting organizational change is part of your daily life. So how can you best manage yourself and others through these changes? Adopting an Agile Mindset is one fundamental approach. This presentation explains what an Agile Mindset is, how critical it is for leaders of an organization, and some of the associated leadership behaviors essential for achieving success.  

3:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Breakout Session #3: Keeping Up With CalPERS: Common Compliance Findings and New and Emerging Interpretations

Michael Youril, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

Employers and employees are seeing challenges from CalPERS to long-standing practices regarding what compensation is reportable and employees who may be enrolled in membership. This session will cover several CalPERS reporting and compliance issues that agencies have encountered over the last few years, with a focus on recent developments and emerging interpretations your agency should know. 

5:15 - 6:45 p.m.

Food & Wine Experience Reception

Sponsored by SDRMA

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast with the Exhibitors

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Pete BlankGeneral Session with Keynote: Employee Engagement: Lessons from the Mouse House

Pete Blank

Sponsored by SDLF

It takes more than money to motivate, inspire, and engage employees.  New options such as hybrid work, flexible scheduling, and unlimited PTO, while helpful, still may not be key drivers of employee engagement. 
So how do leaders provide an organizational culture that leads to employee engagement?  Using the latest data, as well as examples from both Disney and local government, Pete will introduce a simple model that can help drive engagement levels for you and your entire organization.

In this session, participants will learn:
  • How to discern between engaged, disengaged, and actively disengaged employees
  • The four "LOVES" that drive employee performance
  • Multiple new ideas and strategies to enhance employee engagement levels

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Break: Networking with the Exhibitors

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Breakout Session #1: Managing a Hybrid Workplace

 Oliver Yee, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
For many public agencies, hybrid workforces have become the usual course of business. Clear and focused policies will ensure that employers and employees succeed in the hybrid workplace. This session addresses some of the areas of policy and potential liability in a hybrid work model including performance standards, wage and hour considerations, accommodations, drug/alcohol policies, and more.

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Breakout Session #2: Designing A Well-Balanced Liquidity Strategy in the Face of Uncertainty

Tom Tight, California CLASS
Local agency officials tasked with managing a public funds investment portfolio must incorporate their fiduciary role with fundamental investment concepts and planning to safeguard the principal and liquidity needs of their agency. In 2022, the Federal Reserve raised the fed funds rate by 4.25% and there is no shortage of opinions as to what the Fed will do in 2023. In these uncertain times, implementing a holistic liquidity strategy is a prudent way to ensure safety and liquidity in your portfolio while seeking to increase income and minimize volatility.

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Breakout Session #3:  Local Government IT Budgeting

 Corey Kaufman, VC3
Information technology is a critical part of a local government’s annual spending. It’s important for all local governments to flesh out a detailed IT budget to help uncover inefficiencies, save money, and better execute operational goals. In this presentation, we will talk about the essential components of an IT budget, tips on presenting IT budgets to boards, and IT budgeting examples.

12:30 - 2:30 p.m. 

Closing Lunch: State of CA Pensions and the Latest and Greatest from Inside our State and Federal Capitols

 Michael Cohen, CalPERS
Cole Arreola-Karr, National Special Districts Coalition
Kyle Packham, CSDA
Join your peers for an informative luncheon featuring an update for public agencies from CalPERS Chief Operating Investment Officer Michael Cohen, and the hottest state and federal information from CSDA's Advocacy and Public Affairs Director Kyle Packham and Cole Arreola-Karr, National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) Federal Advocacy Director.

2:30 p.m.

Conference Adjourns