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  • Writer's pictureDarren Coffey, AICP

VLGMA at the Beach

Each Summer the Virginia Local Government Manager’s Association (VLGMA) meets in Virginia Beach to conduct business, network, and have some much earned fun! For two years now, we have plugged into that group as sponsors, but this year we had the privilege of serving as the moderator for a panel discussion. I was asked by the Conference Committee to assemble a diverse panel of retired or current managers/administrators to discuss Community Conflicts in Hindsight.

I wanted to use one of our Executive Managers, but I also wanted to reach out to other talent across the state. The panel was:

Jay Stegmaier, Retired County Administrator, Chesterfield County (BG Executive Manager);

Brenda Garton, Retired County Administrator, Frederick County;

Vivian Giles, County Administrator, Cumberland County and

Eric Campbell, City Manager, City of Harrisonburg

This panel has worked through community conflicts. These panelists managed to be unifying/healing agents or made mistakes and failed to be that and shared their experiences and lessons learned. The session was very well received and also very well attended (especially for a Friday morning at the beach!).

This group of executives has an impressive

array of knowledge to share, but they are also a fun group to be around (shocked? Then you don’t know local government!). As an added bonus, my brother was also there! He’s a sales representative for CyberDefenses, a cyber security firm whom we have an affiliation. Yes, they are excellent, and you should at least have them perform an initial system assessment for you!

So, in summary, sometimes we get to work at the beach, and with friends and family, to help make localities stronger and more effective. Now that’s a great career!

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