As the summer came to a close, VRSA staff picked up steam visiting with members and attending conferences.
ICMA – Austin
Life Member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and VRSA Local Government Specialist Peter Stephenson recently attended their annual conference held in Austin, Texas. The conference brings together local government managers and administrators from around the world, of which Stephenson was one of the initial class of “Credentialed Managers” in the early 2000’s.
Stephenson attended sessions including: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multi-Generational Workforce, Establishing and Maintaining an Effective Council and Manager Relationship, and Root of Local Government Revenue & How We Got It Wrong, among others.
During the conference, VRSA Members’ Supervisory Board (MSB) Chair and New Kent County Administrator Rodney Hathaway received his 25-year service award, while past chair and Ashland Town Manager Joshua Farrar received his 20-year service award. MSB member and Emporia City Manager William Johnson achieved his status of ICMA-CM.
During the conference, Stephenson met and networked with many in attendance including a real Texas Longhorn.
VLGMA DAOs Fall Meeting
The Town of Rocky Mount hosted the VLGMA Deputies, Assistants, and Others (DAOs) Fall Meeting this October. VRSA was the first multi-year platinum supporter of VLGMA, and Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk attended the meeting. Topics such as mental health in the workplace were discussed and attendees were able to meet and network.
PHSRA Virginia Chapter 2023 Fall Conference
VRSA Director of Human Resources Tina Stevens presented at this event, which brings together human resources professionals from the public sector to discuss relevant and timely issues. Stevens presented on Cybersecurity for HR and Ethical Considerations for the Public Sector. She also met with members such as HR Manager Jodi Outland with the Town of Cape Charles.
Virginia Municipal League (VML) – Annual Conference
Staff were out in full force at the 2023 VML Annual Conference. While working the VRSA booth, Member Services Specialist Harry McMillen met with Town of Dumfries Mayor Derrick Wood, while Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk and Local Government Specialist Peter Stephenson met with Wytheville Town Manager Brian Freeman. VRSA Director of Education and Training Thomas Bullock presented at the conference, discussing the impacts of marijuana legalization on the workplace.
Local Government Attorneys Fall Conference
VRSA sponsored the Local Government Attorneys Fall Conference, where information on case law updates, taxes, elections, appellate law, and diversity was discussed – all important topics for lawyers working in local government. Director of Property & Liability Claims Tracey Dunlap, Claims Representative Pari Ashkani, and Claims Representative Qiana Brandon attended, networking with member attorneys and defense counsel.
Town of Herndon – Reasonable Suspicion Training
VRSA Director of Education and Training Thomas Bullock conducted training in the Town of Herndon designed to teach driver-supervisors how to identify circumstances and indicators creating reasonable suspicion that a driver is using or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This supports the referral of an employee for testing. This training is required biannually by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Town of Gordonsville – Council/Staff Training Retreat
VRSA Local Government Specialist Peter Stephenson and Director of Education and Training Thomas Bullock provided an in-person training retreat for town council members and staff management in the Town of Gordonsville. This special public meeting included topics such as: Team Building and Creating a Team Atmosphere; Council-Manager Form of Government and Establishing a Positive Working Relationship in the Organization; Workplace Incivility; and Effective Communication.
Commonwealth of Virginia State & Local Government Partnering Cybersecurity Workshop
VRSA Managing Director Marcus Hensel, Director of Property & Liability Claims Tracey Dunlap, and Underwriting Specialist Karen Nuckols attended the summer workshop alongside state and local government administrators and IT and cybersecurity administrators from local government, K-12, and police and emergency.
These workshops are part of the George Mason University National Science Foundation Cybersecurity City and County Cross-Jurisdictional Collaboration project. The project’s goal is to further U.S. city and county cybersecurity efforts by developing foundations and policies that enable and foster city/ county partnerships. Hensel has spoken at various workshops throughout the Commonwealth over the past six years.
Fraud Prevention Training: Waynesboro Public Schools
Member Services Specialist Harry McMillen and Senior Safety Consultant Fonda Craig provided fraud prevention training to staff with Waynesboro Public Schools. It is important for members to assess their risk and implement strategies to protect their organizations from becoming a victim of internal fraud. We thank Waynesboro Director of Finance Vonda Hutchinson for bringing this important training to staff.
Virginia Tech Short School for Water Operations
VRSA Safety Specialist Edward Shelton was invited to cover workplace safety and VOSH inspections for local governments at the Virginia Tech Short School for Water Operations. This training is one way VRSA is partnering with organizations throughout the Commonwealth to assist in creating safer communities in which to live and work.
Town of Wytheville – Mayor’s Forum
VRSA Director of Education and Training Thomas Bullock attended the Mayor’s Forum in Wytheville this summer. Bullock introduced VRSA and provided an overview of what we do and the resources available to our members.
Virginia Rural Water Association’s Leadership Symposium
The legalization of marijuana in Virginia has led to headaches for public-sector employers. Director of Education and Training Thomas Bullock and Safety Specialist Gary Dillon attended the Virginia Rural Water Association’s Leadership Symposium in Roanoke to discuss these changes along with the human resources ramifications.
Bullock provided guidance on establishing a robust reasonable suspicion program that includes training employees and supervisors on the policy. The duo also discussed the differences between marijuana and CBD products, and how CBD products can still result in a positive drug test.
Town of Front Royal – Training Trifecta
Safety Consultant Christine Gillison taught a Training Trifecta course in the Town of Front Royal. The course is designed to streamline three major topics into a full day of intense training. Topics covered include permit-required confined space, fall protection, and trenching/excavating.