Register Now for Fall Leadership Development Sessions

Registration is open for the 2021 Building for Tomorrow Fall Leadership Webinar series, scheduled for Wednesdays, October 27, November 3, and November 10. The webinars are open to all district personnel and partners. District directors and managers are especially encouraged to attend. This year’s program features a two-part workshop on Succession Planning & Management and a presentation on Environmental Justice. Registration is separate for each of these programs. Please visit Building for Tomorrow for more information. 

District managers, assistant managers, and team leaders can still register for the 2021 Management Summit September 15-16 at the Wyndham Garden State College Conference Center. This year’s Summit focuses on staff development and retention with sessions on coaching and mentoring, employee lifecycle management, and employee policy in the post-COVID era. Visit Building for Tomorrow for 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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Fall Leadership Webinar Series to Feature Succession Planning, Environmental Justice

Mark your calendars for the 2021 Building for Tomorrow Fall Leadership Webinar series, scheduled for three Wednesdays, October 27, November 3, and November 10. The Fall Leadership webinar series is intended for directors and managers, but is open to all conservation district personnel and partners. Similar to last year’s series, webinars will begin at noon, and registration is separate for each – please stay tuned for further announcements.

This year’s program features a two-part workshop on Succession Planning & Management, presented by Dennis Gilbert, Appreciative Strategies LLC. Employee turnover, retirements, and labor force issues can cause stress and uncertainty for small organizations. Participants will learn about the importance of succession planning and the true costs of lack of preparedness.

Also presenting will be Justin Dula, Regional Coordinator, DEP Office of Environmental Justice. Building on last year’s PA Environmental Rights Amendment webinar, Justin’s presentation will examine the concept of environmental justice and the ways that disproportionate environmental impacts can affect conservation districts’ work in the communities they serve.

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 the 2021 Management Summit

Leadership Development training returns to an in-person format in September with the 2021 Management Summit. The disruptions of the past 18 months have demonstrated the crucial importance of staff development and retention to district operations, and this year’s Summit focuses on these areas with keynote workshops and interactive group-led activities.

The 2021 Summit is scheduled for September 15 & 16 at the Wyndham Garden State College. The Summit also includes a dedicated New Manager preconference Session day on September 14 for 2021 New Manager Training participants to complete their training course with in-person management leadership workshops. Summit sessions on Wednesday, September 15, and Thursday, September 16, are open to all district managers, assistant managers, team leaders, and agency partners.

For more information and to register visit 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 Dates: Fall Leadership Development Webinar Series

District directors and managers, mark your calendars for the Fall 2021 Leadership Webinar series on Wednesdays: October 27, November 3, and November 10, at noon. Stay tuned for a registration announcement later this month.

The 2021 Board Leadership series recordings and session materials are still available at Building for Tomorrow, and expense reimbursement is available to districts that host watch parties for their board members to review the sessions on ethics, conflict of interest, and planning effectiveness. Contact Leadership Development Coordinator Matt Miller at mmiller@pacd.org 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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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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