Leonardtown, MD – The 2018 Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Summer Conference will explore all the ways county governments work with water. The conference theme is “Water, Water Everywhere” and will be held at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD from August 15 – 18.

Approximately 2,500 representatives from county government, state government and commercial companies across Maryland – as well as representatives from seven different states and the District of Columbia – will convene at the conference. Attendees will discover best practices, learn about county solutions and explore potential partnerships through three general sessions, over 30 educational sessions, a 250-booth tradeshow, a 60-booth technology expo and six networking events.

MACo’s Summer Conference begins Wednesday, August 15, with the Tech Expo.  Open from 11 am until 4 pm, technology innovations will be showcased through an exhibit show and sessions covering small cells, cybersecurity and biotech. The 60 companies exhibiting at the Tech Expo will bring live demonstrations of technology products including: 3-D printers, body cameras, virtual reality demonstrations, speed cameras, and more. Attendees will see demos of software to help with data storage, safe and secure digital record-keeping, and cybersecurity.

The larger two-day, 250-booth tradeshow on Thursday and Friday will allow organizations an opportunity to showcase their potential solutions for county government challenges. When attendees aren’t exploring the exhibit hall, they are attending MACo’s educational sessions. More than 30 sessions will feature discussions on legislative and governance issues around water and the many ways counties serve Maryland’s residents. Public health, the environment, the economy, parks and recreation, tourism, budgeting, infrastructure, and stormwater regulations are just a few of the topics to be discussed.

Commissioner President Randy Guy will be joined at the conference by Commissioners Mike Hewitt (1st District), Tom Jarboe (2nd District), John O’Connor (3rd District) and Todd Morgan (4th District). County staff members attending include County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett; Chief Financial Officer Jeannett Cudmore; Economic Development Director Chris Kaselemis; Public Works and Transportation Director John Deatrick; Emergency Services Director Steve Walker; Human Resources Director Catherine Pratson; Acting County Attorney David Weiskopf and Communications Director Tony Jones.

“This year’s MACo conference is of significance with respect to St. Mary’s County,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “Our county is surrounded on three sides by water so many of the issues being discussed will be of great interest to our citizens. We hope to come away with better insight and solution to some of the challenges we face with regard to water in the county.”

One highly-anticipated conference highlight is the Town Hall Forum with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin on Friday morning of the conference. The forum will focus on Federal issues affecting county governments.

The conference will adjourn on Saturday following the Governor’s closing address.