ACMA 2023 Summer Conference


Wednesday, July 12

Golf Tournament
8:00 a.m. | El Conquistador Golf Club – Golf Staging Area

El Conquistador Golf Club, 10555 N. La Canada Drive, is situated in picturesque Oro Valley, and is proudly owned by the Town. This is the first time that ACMA is holding its’ golf tournament at a course owned by one of our members, so let’s have a big turnout! This tournament is geared toward relaxation, fellowship and fun for all. With an 8 a.m. shotgun start, the tournament’s scramble format allows inexperienced golfers to join the fun as you will be paired with experienced golfers on a four-person team. Green fees, lunch, practice balls and cart are $63 for 18 holes, and participants will pay at the course on the day of the tournament. Rental clubs are $35 and the driving range will be open before the round. The course is located about a half-hour drive from the conference hotel, and it is recommended that players arrive no later than 7:30 a.m. Prizes for first and second places, along with individual prizes, will be awarded at a taco bar luncheon at the Overlook restaurant on-site following play.

To sign up for the golf tournament please email Tim Pickering at or call 480-577-0949 no later than July 5, 2023.

Registration Opens
9:00 a.m. | Grand Ballroom Foyer

Lunch Buffet featuring Lunch with a Mentor
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Salon A

What Cities and Towns are Doing to Address Housing
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

Overview of housing successes in Arizona. The panelist will discuss their case studies providing examples of successes and an overview of processes and tools relevant to those successes. Panelists include non-profit and for-profit developers, city manager, and the Director of the Arizona Department of Housing.


Tim Suan, Deputy Town Manager, Wickenburg


Joan Serviss, Director, Arizona Department of Housing
Sally Schwenn, Arizona Market President, Gorman & Co.
Ron Corbin, City Manager, Avondale
Steve Hastings, Chief of Real Estate Services, FSL

Joan Serviss Presentation
Sally Schwenn Presentation
Ron Corbin Presentation
Steve Hastings Presentation

Navigating Personal Finances through a Public Service Career, from First Job to Retirement
1:40 – 2:30 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

For those who choose a career in public service, our focus is often on the greater good. What is in the best interest of the community? How do we provide consistent and quality service to our residents? What is the highest and best use of resources? What does the organization need to sustain? Humbly serving, and managing multiple critical initiatives, projects and teams doesn’t leave much room to stop and focus on our own journeys. Ensuring you are leading from a strong foundation ultimately best serves your teams, community and organization. In this two-part session, we’ll engage experts first in the personal finance arena, and second, we’ll explore ways to best navigate a public service career. Managers, leaders and aspiring public service professionals will learn how to best equip themselves and their teams for a fulfilling career that balances the individual and call to serve.


Pat McDermott, ACMA Senior Advisor


Jeremiah Scott, Assistant Director, Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS)
Klark Krauter, Senior Retirement Specialist, Nationwide Retirement Solutions
Jack Burns, Public Affairs Specialist for Arizona, Social Security Administration
JW Rayhons, President, Rayhons Financial Solutions

ASRS and Nationwide Presentation

JW Rayons Presentation

Break & Network with Sponsors
2:30 – 2:45 p.m. | Grand Ballroom Foyer

QUICK HITS: Incorporating Wellness and Exercise into a Busy Schedule
2:45 – 2:55p.m. | Grand Ballroom

This quick hit session includes great tips on how to incorporate physical activity into your busy schedule.


Paige Peterson, Assistant City Manager, Litchfield Park


Lange House, Client Wellbeing Consultant, Gallagher

Navigating Personal Finances through a Public Service Career, Continued: Managing Your Path
2:55 – 3:45 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

In this second session of our two-part series, we’ll explore ways to map a public service career. What might you look for in an assignment or project for growth? How do we best challenge ourselves as leaders of teams? For those contemplating new opportunities or ways to retain their existing talent, learn what items to evaluate in an employment contract, and what benefits may best fit today’s needs. In an ever-changing landscape, from water shortages, infrastructure challenges, legislative changes, concerns about the economy and beyond – this session is your permission to control the controllable and help your teams to do the same. We’ll hear from seasoned managers and professionals on their paths, and what tools they’ve identified along the way.


Mary Goodman, Assistant Town Manager, Gilbert


Patrick Banger, Town Manager, Gilbert
Kevin Phelps, City Manager, Glendale
Melissa Barker, Vice President, Practice Development, Duffy Group


ACMA Board Meeting
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Executive Boardroom

Sponsor Facilitated Q&A with ACMA Board
5:10 – 5:45 p.m. | Salon F

Welcome Reception
5:45 – 7:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom Foyer


Thursday, July 13

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. | Grand Ballroom Foyer

Manager, Deputy/Asst., Associate Member Corner Discussions

  • Manager’s Corner
    8:00 – 9:30 a.m. | Salon D

    Allows city, town and county managers to discuss issues related to their position in an informal setting.


    Patrick Banger, Town Manager, Gilbert

  • Assistant/Deputy Manager’s Corner
    8:00 – 9:30 a.m. | Salon E

    Allows city, town and county assistant and deputy managers to discuss issues related to their position in an informal setting.


    Susan Thorpe, ACMA Senior Advisor

  • Associate Member’s Corner
    8:00 – 9:30 a.m. | Salon F

    Allows all associate members – from those serving in leadership roles as directors to those starting out in city, town and county management – to discuss issues related to their careers in public service or their position in an informal setting.

  • Presider:

    Mike Letcher, ACMA Senior Advisor

Corner Updates
9:30 – 10:00 a.m. | Grand Ballroom

Break & Network with Sponsors
10:00 – 10:20 a.m. | Grand Ballroom Foyer

Keynote – Everest to Empowerment
10:20 – 11:50 a.m. | Grand Ballroom

Shailee grew up in Kathmandu where her school had zero sports opportunities for girls. It became her secret passion to play freely one day and discover just what her physical abilities were. In 2008, she joined a team of women who scaled Mt Everest. She then led her team to become the first female group to climb the 7 Summits. Shailee now leads a program to train young survivors of trafficking and other abuse, helping them become licensed Himalayan guides. The journey started as a personal challenge and has now become a platform to empower the next generation of women. In this talk, Shailee shares insights learned both on and off the mountain—insights that anyone can use to scale any mountain—be it a personal challenge, professional goal or finding a breakthrough in life.

Shailee Basnet’s Links:

Home : Shailee Basnet


Patrick Banger, Town Manager, Gilbert


Shailee Basnet, Leader, Seven Summits Women Team


Gabe Zimmerman Awards Luncheon – Sponsored by VSMG
12:00 – 1:30 p.m. | Kiva Ballroom

Mental Health Crisis: From Personal Journeys to Personal Action
1:40 – 2:40 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

Jewel was a homeless teenager who grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father; she went from living in her van to becoming a multi-platinum pop icon. As an extremely self-aware 18-year-old, she debated taking the right record deal so that it would allow her to put her mental health first. She is now taking the practices that she used to stay grounded to teach children and adults how to cope with their own mental health challenges. Jewel has taken much of what she learned in her career and the music business to help organizations support their employees. Her latest venture, Innerworld with co-founder Noah Robinson, makes resources accessible via a social virtual world managed by trained non-professionals and steeped in cognitive behavioral tools.


Patrick Banger, Town Manager, Gilbert


Jewel Kilcher ‘Jewel’, Singer/Songwriter, Mental Health Advocate
Noah Robinson, PhD Candidate Vanderbilt University, CEO Innerworld

Senior Advisor Meetings
1:45 – 4:30 p.m. | Executive Boardroom

Break & Networking
2:40 – 3:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom Foyer

QUICK HITS: Students Around Town: Giving the Next Generation a Path to Local Government Careers
3:00 – 3:10 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

The City of Chandler and Chandler-Gilbert Community College recently entered into a unique partnership to place community college students into paid internships with City of Chandler departments every semester. In this collaborative partnership, a shared Student Services Internship Coordinator works to place students into internships that provide real-world, hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Students get to test drive future careers in local government, while the City has an opportunity to tap into an incredible talent pool within the community and recruit students into permanent City jobs.


Karl Shaddock, Management Analyst, Town Manager’s Office, Oro Valley


Rae Lynn Nielsen, Human Resources Director, Chandler


Ethical Communication in Challenging Times
3:10 – 3:55 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

Ethical Communication is communicating in a way that’s open, honest, respectful and clear. And while those principles are what we aspire to as leaders in local government, how do we combat outside dark forces that are clearly working against us? When citizens take to social media, chat rooms and online blogs or when certain media outlets paint “government” as the enemy of the people, our efforts to communicate, educate and engage are often thwarted. This presentation by two seasoned government communicators and former past presidents of 3CMA (City County Communications & Marketing Association) will discuss the pitfalls of dealing with fake news, conspiracies, so-called First Amendment Auditors and online trolls, and help you navigate getting your message across in challenging times.


Stephen Erno, Town Manager, Wickenburg


Pier Simeri, Marketing & Public Relations Director, City of Avondale
Marnie Schubert, Director of Community Services, Town of Queen Creek 


City Manager Ted Talk: Elevating and Lifting Your Team While Growing with Your Staff, Council and Community
4:00 – 4:45 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

Apache Junction City Manager Bryant Powell shares 22 years of city management in the same community, growing into the manager.


Stephen Erno, Town Manager, Wickenburg


Bryant Powell, City Manager, City of Apache Junction


Evening Reception
5:30 – 7:00 p.m. | Bill’s Grill


Friday, July 14

7:30 – 8:20 a.m. | Grand Ballroom Foyer

QUICK HITS: Innovations in Water
8:00 – 8:10 a.m. | Grand Ballroom

As the landscape for the desert’s most precious resource continues to change, local jurisdictions are called to explore various avenues for a sustainable water supply. Join us as we learn about the City of Phoenix’s exploration of the viability of advanced purification, or direct potable reuse.


Mary Goodman, Assistant Town Manager, Gilbert


Troy Hayes, P.E., Water Services Director, Phoenix


Artificial Intelligence: Real Opportunities and Risks
8:10 – 8:55 a.m. | Grand Ballroom

The future of AI is here! It’s important to understand the risks associated but also the opportunity for huge advancements as we continue to unleash the possibilities with one of the most powerful technologies of our time. Come join us as we barely scratch the surface on next generation technology that will forever shape the world we live in.


René Guillen, Deputy Director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns


Morgan Reed, Executive Government Advisor, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Mike Lettman, Cyber Security Advisor (CSA) Region 9, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
David Higginson, Chief Innovation Officer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Jeffrey Young, Solutions Architect, Adobe

Economic Update
9:00 – 9:50 a.m. | Grand Ballroom

This presentation will provide an overview of the status of the U.S. and Arizona economies, including some historical context of how we have dealt with inflation and its impact in the past.  Additionally, the impact of interest rate increases on banking sector will be discussed and the resulting credit issues facing the real estate industry.


Paige Peterson, Assistant City Manager, Litchfield Park


Rick Merritt, President, Elliott D. Pollack & Company


Legislative Update
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. | Grand Ballroom

This session will provide an update for members on a variety of timely legislative issues. Representatives from the League of Arizona Cities & Towns as well as the County Supervisors Association will provide an overview of the 2023 legislative session and explain the challenges and opportunities currently facing Arizona cities, towns and counties going forward.


René Guillen, Deputy Director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns
Marshall Pimentel, Legislative Associate, League of Arizona Cities and Towns 

Craig Sullivan, Executive Director, County Supervisor Association

League of Arizona Cities and Towns Presentation
County Supervisors Association Presentation

Conference Concludes
11:00 a.m.




Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
700 North Resort Drive, Tucson Arizona 85750
Phone: 520-299-2020

The conference rate is $119 plus tax. The special ACMA rate is available for booking through June 19, 2023.
To make your hotel reservation Click here

The hotel block fills up fast! We recommend registering and booking your hotel room as soon as possible.

Please note that you may only book one room per full conference attendee.

The hotel group rate will end June 19. Online registration will close June 30.



Member- $390

Non-member Government Employee – $460

Retired Member– $285

Student – $105

Child Evening – $45

Child Full – $90

Spouse/Guest Evening Only – $80

Spouse/Guest Full– $185

Sponsor – $460


Registration Deadlines

Conference registration closes on June 28, 2023.

Cancellations must be received in writing prior to June 28, 2023, to receive a partial refund.

No refunds will be provided after this date.


Conference Cancellation:

Advance registrants unable to attend the Conference are eligible to receive a partial refund of your registration fee by sending a written request by June 28, 2023. If a written cancellation request is received on or before June 28, 2023, a $30 processing fee will be charged regardless of the reason for cancellation (including medical emergencies).

Registrants who are unable to attend the conference may appoint a substitute. There will be no refunds for any cancellation after June 28, 2023. Cancellations must be emailed to Cancellations will not be accepted by telephone.



Special Thanks to our Sponsors!