Preparing Counties for the Future was the theme of this year’s VACo Conference and as part of that preparation, we were happy to serve on a panel to discuss utility-scale solar and its impacts on localities. The session was well attended with lots of Q&A. Hopefully our experiences with rural Virginia counties can continue to help them navigate the issues surrounding this relatively new land use and its impacts on communities.
In addition to serving on the solar panel (get it?!), we also ran into many of our colleagues and friends as we do every year, but every year the number increases! In an effort to see as many of those folks as possible, we are already scheming on how to best host another social event at next year’s conference. Hopefully we’ll have a partner in that endeavor! Networking amongst colleagues is a tangible benefit at any conference and the VACo conference at the Homestead is one of the most effective venues we’ve encountered. It’s a spouse friendly, family friendly event with everyone in close proximity.
We were able to have two of our Executive Managers present this year too – Jay Stegmaier and Sandy Wanner. They spent most of their time catching up with colleagues and letting them know what they’ve been up to of late (Jay has been helping with executive searches and Sandy is working with Surry as their interim administrator). The number of positive comments we received about them and the number of positive comments they received about the Berkley Group was humbling and impressive. We must be doing something right!
Some of our takeaways this year are that our exhibitor space rocks (although no one takes the literature anymore, just the fun stuff!), as a VACo partner we love participating in the educational sessions, we need to take even more staff next year, and we need to continue to produce happy clients that we can see annually at this event!