Professional organizations can greatly benefit individuals. Whether the subject is career development or how to better serve constituents, there’s much to learn during informative conferences hosted by well-regarded associations.

Those same organizations also have a lot to offer communities. Being chosen as the host city or town for a state or regional conference is a tremendous compliment and an opportunity to show the many things your community has to offer.

The Arizona City/County Management Association, an organization dedicated to strengthening local government in the state through professional management, education, training and the exchange of information, is holding its summer conference in Marana this week. That’s great news for our town and the entire region.

This is the first time ACMA has chosen Marana as a host for a conference. While the winter event is traditionally held in Sedona, the summer conference generally goes to a city or town in the Phoenix area. By agreeing to hold the event here, the ACMA is showing that the Town of Marana is a viable location for large-scale meetings and conferences.

The region is benefitting because almost 150 city, town and county representatives from across the state will spend several days in Southern Arizona. With that large group of professionals comes an influx of new money to the area as people stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and shop in local stores. It’s a compliment to Marana and a benefit to all of Southern Arizona.

I am a proud member of both the ACMA and International City/County Management Association. Both groups offer outstanding educational opportunities and further the council-manager form of government that works so successfully on local levels. Under this model, a town or city council sets policies and hires a professional to implement those plans and handle day-to-day management of the organization.

Of the 91 cities and towns in Arizona, 87 use the council-manager system as do all 15 counties. The men and women attending the ACMA conference are professionals who are dedicated to serving their communities and making the state a great place to live and work. The town is sending staff to the conference to make presentations on our new branding and cultural values initiatives.

Our town welcomes the ACMA Summer Conference and the many members who will have the opportunity to enjoy a few days in Marana. The Town believes in the organization’s mission and is proud to be the host community for a group that does so much good for so many people.

(Editor’s Note: Gilbert Davidson is Marana’s town manager.)

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