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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News from Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program

  • Adaptive Strategies and Contingency Planning
    Adaptive Strategies & Contingency Planning for Conservation Districts workshop videos and materials from the October 20 and 27 sessions have been posted at Building for Tomorrow. Click here to view.  For those not able to attend, please review the separate workshop videos for managers and directors and plan on joining us for a combined Session 3 on Tuesday, November 17. Click here to register. 
  • Strategic Planning Grants application deadline is November 20
    Reminder to Managers and Directors: Conservation districts interested in participating in the Strategic Planning Grants Program for 2020-21 must submit a Letter of Intent by November 20. Click here for more information and program requirements or contact Leadership Development Coordinator Matt Miller with questions.
  • Save the Dates: 2021 Board Leadership Webinar Series
    Conservation District Directors – mark your calendars for Building for Tomorrow’s 2021 Board Leadership Webinar Series, scheduled for February 15, 16, 17, 23, and 24. Sessions will be held during the day and evening. Topics will include Ethics & Conflict of Interest, District Success Stories, Board Committees & Effective Governance, and Strategic Planning. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.

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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Directors: Last Chance to Register for October 27 Adaptive Strategies & Contingency Planning Workshop

The first session in a three-part workshop series on Adaptive Strategies & Contingency Planning is scheduled this week for district managers. However, there’s still time for board members to register for Session 2: Adaptive Strategies & Contingency Planning for Directors, scheduled for Tuesday, October 27 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. This workshop series is designed for both managers and boards to work separately on identifying issues and concerns and then to come together to determine priorities and strategies for implementing them. At least one board member from every district should plan on participating in the October 27 directors-only session, as well as a combined follow-up session on Tuesday, November 17, that will integrate information and insights from the previous two sessions. This series is facilitated by Deb Thompson of Strategy Solutions, who also presented a section of our New Director Orientation regional training workshops earlier this year.

Click here to register directly for the 10/27 Directors workshop.

Click here for more information on the Fall Leadership webinar series.

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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2020 Strategic Planning Grants Awarded, 2021 Program Open

Congratulations to Cambria, Cumberland, Lancaster, and Pike County Conservation Districts on the completion and approval of their new strategic plans in 2020. Strategic Planning Grants totaling over $4800 were awarded to reimburse 2019-2020 planning costs for these districts. For 2020-2021, the State Conservation Commission has allocated funding for grants to reimburse up to a maximum of $1,500 in expenses (per district) related to developing a strategic plan. In order to be eligible for these funds, conservation districts must meet program requirements, and priority will be given to conservation districts that did not receive a strategic planning grant in the past five years.

The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent for this year’s program is Friday, November 20. For information and resources, please visit the Strategic Planning Grants page at the Building for Tomorrow website or contact Matt Miller, Leadership Development Coordinator.

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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Save the Date: 2021 Virtual Staff Conference

Mark your calendars for Building for Tomorrow’s first Virtual Conservation District Staff Conference, scheduled for February 8–12, 2021. The week-long program will include interactive webinar workshops and round-table forum discussions on a variety of topics and tools relevant to current challenges faced by conservation district staff. Stay tuned for more information and a draft agenda coming soon.

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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Directors and Managers: Register now for Adaptive Strategies and Contingency Planning Webinar Workshops in October & November

2020 has been a year of significant uncertainty, and being prepared to adapt quickly is imperative for all organizations in the “new normal.”  Contingency planning identifies potential crisis scenarios and proactively seeks to mitigate disruption by establishing timely, appropriate, and effective responses to emerging situations.  It is a process in which stakeholders work together to develop a shared agreement and understanding of the risks. This planning style helps establish a common set of principles and mechanisms that would guide organizational decisions during a potential crisis.

Starting in October, Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development offers a webinar workshop series on Adaptive Strategies and Contingency Planning for Conservation Districts.  Hosted by Deb Thompson of Strategy Solutions, this series will examine the lessons learned during the recent crisis and potential opportunities for the future as we identify issues, challenge assumptions, and develop action plans for possible future scenarios.

On Tuesday, October 20, Session 1: Adaptive Strategies & Scenario Planning for Managers will define the parameters of contingency planning as they relate to technology, staff support, program operations, stakeholder advocacy, and fundraising. Managers will discuss the challenges and hazards they have faced during the pandemic and beyond and lessons learned. They will also discuss challenges yet to come and collectively develop an action list to increase awareness with their boards.

On Tuesday, October 27, Session 2: Adaptive Strategies & Scenario Planning for Board Members will introduce the concept of scenario planning and examine the board’s role in helping staff work through a contingency planning exercise based on the discussion from Session 1. Session 3: Finalizing Scenario Plans: Identifying “Must Do” Strategies for Conservation Districts is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17, and will allow Managers and Directors to work together in groups to identify top-priority strategies and share ideas and best practices for implementation.

Managers, please click here to register for the October 20 workshop

Directors, please click here to register for the October 27 workshop

All participants will receive an invitation to the November 17 combined workshop.  For more information, visit the Building for Tomorrow website or contact Matt Miller, mmiller@pacd.org Leadership Development Coordinator.

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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