As I sit down to write my column for the CSQ in mid-March, winter is quickly receding into spring. Only a week ago we had a snowstorm that closed schools for two days and yet on my drive to the office this morning I could see the beginning of buds on our famous cherry trees in the Tidal Basin. Spring is such a great time of renewal and promise. The days are longer, the sun a bit stronger, and before we know it, the trees will be leafed out and the flowers all in full bloom.
I love the rejuvenation to spirits and landscape that comes in the spring time. The other three seasons’ changes seem to creep into my consciousness, but spring, at least here in the mid-Atlantic region of the country, breaks quickly and definitively.
Much like the rejuvenation of spirits that come in spring, our leadership has worked over the past several years to keep NCSEA relevant and fresh. We are always looking for ways to improve the experience of our attendees and members at all of our events. This year we are taking a bold step to heighten that by changing up our annual summer event. We are excited to announce that instead of the traditional Annual Conference and Expo, NCSEA is planning a Leadership Symposium. This is an exciting opportunity for current and future leaders in the child support community from around the world to share exciting best practices and initiatives. In addition, there will be great information and fascinating ideas on leadership, management, organizational skills, communications, and more.
In our continual search for better ways to serve those who attend the annual conference and meet the needs of the child support community, we carefully analyzed the demographics of our attendees and compared our conference to other child support and human services conference offerings. By defining our audience and targeting those who are and/or wish to take a leadership role in their organizations, NCSEA will offer key learning experiences for those attending the Leadership Symposium. More than 60 percent of recent Annual Conference attendees have been in child support 10 or more years. We believe that the Leadership Symposium will better reflect the needs and interests of our experienced and knowledgeable attendees.
This re-imagining of one of NCSEA’s premier events is a logical step, especially considering the tremendous popularity and demand for the NCSEA U program, which we started offering last year. NCSEA U classes are for child support managers and staff who make real-time, often crucial decisions about organization-wide operations and administrative functions. These individuals are the current and emerging leaders in the child support community. NCSEA U participants have a unique opportunity to make important connections with colleagues and build an ongoing peer network. We are offering NCSEA U again this year in conjunction with the Leadership Symposium.
Please check out the NCSEA website to find out more about the Leadership Symposium (and NCSEA U), which will held be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the beginning of August. The revamped format will include more sessions, more networking opportunities, and many dynamic opportunities to increase your own professional and personal development as a leader in the IV D community.
I hope to see you in lovely Milwaukee in August.