More Locations

La Jolla

La Jolla

February 26 - March 1, 2017

Embassy Suites La Jolla
4550 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92122

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo

April 23 - 26, 2017

Embassy Suites San Luis Obispo
333 Madonna Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405



July 9 - 12, 2017

Embassy Suites Napa Valley
1075 California Blvd.
Napa, CA 94559
Book Room

"Clear, concise, relevant materials and dialogue with examples. Extremely useful."

M. Leffel, Director, Monterey Peninsula Airport District



5:30 − 7:00 p.m. Registration and Networking Reception
Take a moment to network with your peers from throughout the state at this informal networking reception. Reception includes light appetizers.


8:30 a.m. − 12:30 p.m. Building a Foundation for Good Governance
In this informational session, the instructor will lay the groundwork for good governance in your district. Attendees will discover:
  • Why good governance is so important to the overall well-being of the district.
  • The traits of effective directors.
  • What good governance means and how to effectively put it into practice
  • How to move your board from "I" to "we," including how to become an effective team, establish team standards, and essential conditions for team building.
This session covers Module 1 of the Special District Leadership Academy: Governance Foundations.
12:30 − 1:30 p.m. Lunch provided (All Attendees)
1:45 − 4:30 p.m. Fulfilling Your Districts' Mission - Charting the Course
This session will highlight the importance of setting the direction for your district. Learn the critical components of direction setting
for your district along with how to avoid planning pitfalls. Attendees will walk through the steps of establishing and fulfilling your
district’s mission, vision, values, and strategic goals and how to communicate those objectives to your constituents.
  • Establishing your district's mission, vision and values.
  • Identifying strategic goals and objectives.
  • How to communicate those objectives to your constituents.

This session covers Module 2 of the Special District Leadership Academy: Setting Direction/Community Leadership.
5:30 − 7:00 p.m Sip and Savor Evening Reception

Join us at this reception for networking and entertainment.
Sponsored by SDRMA


8:30 − 10:00 a.m. Get the Word Out! Best Practices for Communication and Outreach
This session looks at common communication breakdowns and areas for improvement in public agency communications.
It will discuss proper and effective communication methods to be aware of as a governing official including:
  • Identifying audiences
  • Responding to public input
  • Media relations
  • Legislative outreach and advocacy

This session covers Module 2 of the Special District Leadership Academy: Setting Direction/Community Leadership.
10:00 a.m. − 10:30 a.m. Break (All Attendees)
10:30 a.m. − 12:00 p.m. Defining Board and Staff Roles and Relationships (Part 1)
This conference session will teach participants how to determine the Human Resource health of their district and what areas
to focus on as a board and individual governing official including:
  • Identifying the board's role in human resources
  • Recognizing HR red flags and positive indicators
  • Developing and maintaining essential HR policies
  • Covering confidentiality and legal liabilities
  • Evaluating the general manager
This session covers Module 4 of the Special District Leadership Academy: Board's Role in Human Resources.
12:00 − 1:00 p.m. Lunch Provided (All Attendees)
1:15 − 4:00 p.m. Defining Board/Staff Roles and Relationships (Part 2)
Open Evening


8:30 a.m. − 12:00 p.m. Show Me the Money! What Do Board Members Need to Know about District Finances?
This session will provide a review and insight of important financial concepts, reports, and policies specific to public
agencies including special districts. Attendees will learn:
  • How to ask the right questions
  • How to link the finance process to the district mission and goals
  • Budget process, budget assessment, and communicating budget information to the public
  • How to develop and analyze capital improvement plans and reserve guidelines
This session covers Module 3 of the Special District Leadership Academy: Board's Role in Finance and Fiscal Accountability.
12:00 − 12:30 p.m. Graduation Certificate Distribution
At the completion of the conference attendees will be awarded a certificate of completion for the Special District Leadership Academy

"As a new board member, I truly enjoyed attending the Governance Foundations workshop. The material was informative and the instructor did an outstanding job answering relevant questions that were posed. I recommend this workshop to anyone serving as an elected official."

Shiva Frentzen, Director, Cameron Park Community Services District

Attendees Will Learn

Working as a team: The roles of the board and staff.
Attributes and characteristics of highly effective boards.
How culture, norms, values, and operating styles influence the district.
Specific jobs that the board must perform.
How individual values, skills, and knowledge help to shape how effective boards operate.
The importance of moving from "I" to "we" as the governance team.
The board's role in setting direction for the district.
The board's role in finance and fiscal accountability.
Much more!