Board Series Videos on Ethics and Planning Effectiveness Available Online

Screenshot of the “Boosting Planning Effectiveness: Board Engagement as a Catalyst for Change” session.

Video for 2021 Board Leadership Series presentations including “Ethics & Conflicts of Interest for Conservation District Boards,” “Conservation Districts and the Pa Ethics Act,” and “Boosting Planning Effectiveness for Boards” is available for viewing at the Building for Tomorrow website. Handouts for each presentation are also available for download. Directors, associate directors, and managers who missed these informative sessions in February are encouraged to view and discuss them with their boards.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Leadership Development Programs Reach 200+ District Personnel in February

February 2021 was a month of firsts for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program. The first Virtual Staff Conference was held February 8-12, wrapping up with the first annual Conservation District Video Awards, and the first Board Leadership webinar series was held February 15-24. These events reached a combined total of over 200 conservation district staff members, managers, and directors.

Videos and materials for Staff Conference and Board Leadership sessions, as well as links to all Video Awards finalists, can be found at the Building for Tomorrow website https://www.paleadership.org.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Congratulations to Conservation District Video Award Winners

Building for Tomorrow wrapped up the 2021 Virtual Staff Conference with the first annual Conservation District Video Awards on Friday, February 12. Finalists from three categories were recognized, and awards were presented to the highest-scoring video submissions in each category:

  • PSA/Homeowner Category Winner – “How Big is an Acre?” (Crawford County Conservation District)
  • K-12 Educational Category Winner – “Virtual Tour of Tannersville Bog” (Monroe County Conservation District)
  • General Audience Category Winner – “2020 Conservation Farmer of the Year: The Frye Family” (Westmoreland Conservation District)

A special award for the highest-scoring video produced with a $0 budget was also presented to “What in the World is a Wetland?” (Crawford County Conservation District)

Links for all Video Awards finalist submissions and a recording of the awards presentation can be found at https://www.paleadership.org/conservation-district-video-award-winners/.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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News from the Leadership Development Program

Share Your Success Stories and Planning Advice at the Board Leadership Series Forums

Conservation District Directors and Associate Directors – do you have some good news to share about a successful project in 2020? Then plan to join us for the Sharing Success Stories Director Forums on Monday, February 15, 2021, where you’ll get the chance to learn (and brag) about successful conservation district projects from around the state.

For directors at districts that have recently completed, or are considering, strategic planning plan to join us for the Strategic Planning Director Forums on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, where you’ll get the chance to network with other districts to share advice and insights on the planning process. Both Forums are scheduled as pairs, so you can choose to attend a Noon or 7 p.m. meeting according to your convenience. The 2021 Board Leadership series also features two presentations on ethical principles and conflict of interest, as well as an interactive planning workshop – click here for more information and to register. 

One Week Left to Register for 2021 Staff Conference

Conservation District Staff – there’s still time to register for the 2021 Virtual Staff Conference, scheduled for February 8–12, 2021. This year’s conference features a keynote on stress management; a two-part workshop on effective conflict management for conservation workers; a session on working with local media; technology forums focusing on productivity apps, video, and drones; and the first annual Conservation District Video Awards. Don’t wait. Register now

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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2021 Board Leadership Series Focuses on Ethics

Last year’s New Director Orientation workshops included a unit on laws applicable to conservation districts, including the PA Public Official & Employee Ethics Act. Understanding ethical practices and conflicts of interest is of crucial importance for district boards’ public accountability. So this year, we are taking a deeper dive to focus on these topics during Building for Tomorrow’s 2021 Board Leadership Series.

On Tuesday, February 16, Thomas Tupitza of Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. will present an overview of fundamental ethical principles and best practices for district boards, including conflict of interest, public trust, transparency, and fairness. We will follow this up with a second workshop on Wednesday, February 17. Presented by Brian Jacisin, Deputy Executive Director at the PA Ethics Commission, this workshop will focus on the PA Public Official and Employee Ethics Act and the specific ways that conservation district boards are subject to its provisions, including the investigatory purview of the State Ethics Commission.

The Board Leadership series also includes Director Forums, as well as a planning workshop on Wednesday, February 24. The series is open to all conservation district board members, associate directors, managers, and partners. Click here to register and for more information.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Staff Conference Forums Focus on Technology

This year’s Virtual Staff Conference will include several Tech Forums for district staff to network and share information on using various tools and apps. Forums will focus on productivity and time management apps (Tuesday 2/9), meeting facilitation and content production (Wednesday 2/10), and drone tech (Thursday 2/11). The conference closes on Friday, February 12, with the First Annual Conservation District Video Awards. This presentation will recognize the best video content produced by districts in 2020 and highlight what makes this content effective in district outreach. The program will also celebrate a commitment to professional development and tech education by recognizing the top districts for overall achievement in the Clean Water Academy.

All district staff are encouraged to attend and participate. Suggestions for specific apps and tools for discussion can be forwarded to Matt Miller at mmiller@pacd.org.

Click here to register for the 2021 Virtual Staff Conference. 

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Staff Conference Keynotes Focus on Managing Stress & Dealing with Conflict

Stress and conflict are two things everyone wants less of and learning to manage them better benefits our personal and professional lives.  The 2021 Virtual Staff Conference launches on Monday, February 8 with From Stressed to Zest: RE-Energizing Yourself & Your Team, a workshop on recognizing, managing, and reducing stress at work and at home, presented by Cindy Aronson.  Cindy has been a professional development trainer for over 25 years and is founder and executive board member of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY.  On Wednesday and Thursday, Rita Coleman Graham will present a two-part workshop on Effective Conflict Management for Conservation Workers which will cover self-awareness, active listening, assertive messaging, and techniques for de-escalation.  Rita’s prior 35 years of experience with the PA Department of Environmental Protection combines a unique blend of expertise in environmental and agricultural issues with facilitation, negotiation, and training.

Register now for the 2021 Virtual Staff Conference.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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2021 Board Leadership Webinar Series to Focus on Ethics and Planning

Registration is open for Building for Tomorrow’s 2021 Board Leadership Webinar Series. The event features two weeks of online programming for district boards that builds and expands on last year’s New Director Orientation workshops.

Week 1 (Monday, February 15 – Wednesday, February 17) focuses on ethics, conflict of interest, and the PA Ethics Act for Conservation District Boards with a two-part webinar series presented by Thomas Tupitza of Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. and Brian Jacisin, Deputy Executive Director for the PA Ethics Commission.

Week 2 (Tuesday, February 23 – Wednesday, February 24) takes a closer look at the importance of board committees in district planning with a workshop presented by Debra Thompson of Strategy Solutions.

Both weeks also include Director Forums that allow boards from around the state to connect and share information and success stories from their districts.

Click here for the agenda and registration.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

 

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Video Awards to Showcase District-Produced Content in 2020

2020 was a very productive year for conservation district video production, and this year’s events demonstrated the growing importance of video communications for district outreach. Producing quality video content involves all three ingredients that form the theme for our upcoming Virtual Staff Conference: Team, Tools, and Talent.

The conference closing session on Friday, February 12, 2021, will highlight this year’s best video content with the first annual Conservation District Video Awards. Districts are encouraged to submit their best work to compete for the coveted CONDIVA trophy.

Click here for rules and submission form – email to mmiller@pacd.org. The deadline to submit your videos is December 31, 2020.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Register Now for 2021 Virtual Staff Conference

The foundation for a successful district is built on three components: Team, Tools, and Talent.

Building for Tomorrow’s 2021 Staff Conference February 8 -12 features a look at each of these ingredients with a whole week of online programming dedicated to helping conservation district staff reconnect, learn, and share.

The theme for opening day on Monday, February 8, is Team, featuring workshops on stress management during challenging times and the connections between personal beliefs and team cohesion.

Starting Tuesday, February 9, the focus shifts to Tools, with three days of interactive forum sessions for district staff to share information on topics including local media outreach, productivity and time management apps, drones, and video and meeting technology.

Our two-part Keynote presentation on Wednesday and Thursday is on Conflict Management for Conservation Workers, presented by Rita Coleman Graham, who draws on decades of environmental experience in her work as a consultant on conflict resolution.

The conference wraps up on Friday, February 12, by highlighting the Talent that went into sharing district work and projects in 2020 with the premiere of the CDVAs, our first annual Conservation District Video Awards show.

Click here for agenda and registration for the 2021 Virtual Staff Conference February 8-12, 2021.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

 

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