When & Where

October 13 to October 16, 2018

Westin Charlotte

Charlotte, NC

2018 Annual Training Conference

NADO.org > Upcoming NADO Events > NADO Conferences > 2018 Annual Training Conference


2018 Annual Training Conference

Charlotte, North Carolina | October 13 - 16, 2018

Westin Charlotte

Click here to explore the conference program (PDF)

Click here to request AICP Certification Maintenance credits from APA

10 Reasons Why You Should Attend the ATC

#10.  Location, location, location!  Located in downtown Charlotte, which is really called Uptown, the Westin is in the perfect location for a conference in the Queen City.  Tour the NASCAR Hall of Fame, just a 10 minute walk from the hotel.  Check out locally sourced food and drink, gifts and art at the 7th Street Public Market.  Buy a Levine Center for the Arts Pass and have easy access to three of Charlotte’s stunning museums!  And, treat your culinary fancy at any of the many new and exciting eateries located in Uptown and the surrounding area.

#9.  Make new connections.  Whether you are a newly minted NADO or seasoned member, there are always chances for new connections!  NADO’s ATC is the leading annual event for regional development organizations that serve rural and small metro regions, so there will be plenty of opportunities to re-connect with old friends or make new friends engaged in similar work from across the nation.

#8.  Topics for everyone.  Whether you are an executive director, senior staff, program manager, or local official serving on the board, the ATC offers sessions that will be of interest to you.  And, we offer learning opportunities in different platforms, from roll-up-your-sleeves learning labs, to conversation cafés that foster in-depth peer-to-peer information and idea exchanges, to thought-provoking plenary sessions, to mobile workshops that take attendees out of the hotel to learn—there is really, truly something for everyone.  We promise.

#7.  Aha! Moments.  You will have a few.  The ATC environment fosters information sharing and idea exchange, and attendees learn as much from their peers lessons learned as they do from a professional trainer.  No matter the source, every year attendees tell us they truly learned something unexpected.

#6.  The future of regions…and implications for NADO. Learn about critical emerging trends that will likely shape regional development over the coming decades. Regional development, urbanization, climate change, food and agriculture, manufacturing and sustainability will all have a direct impact on how development organizations may need to adapt and operate in the not so distant future. Find out how these macro trends may affect NADO, what to anticipate, and how you can be ready.

#5.  Get credit.  As always, we work with the Kentucky Department for Local Government to get our sessions approved for credits for local officials attending from the state, and we have applied for AICP credits for 17 sessions, mobile workshops, conversation cafés, learning labs and mobile workshops.

#4.  Inspiration.  Get inspired to try new approaches as you hear about new ideas and initiatives that your peers across the country are trying.

#3.  Connections with EDA leadership.  All six EDA Regional Directors are scheduled to attend the conference, as is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord.

#2.  Peer networking.  Over the course of the four day conference, there will be a lot of networking opportunities—during sessions, at the Innovation Award Roundtable and Opening receptions, during the mobile workshops and coffee breaks, not to mention during the off-hours after the conference programming ends each day.

And, the # 1 reason to attend the ATC:  Professional development. With almost 40 learning opportunities via mobile workshops, learning labs, conversation cafés, plenaries, concurrent sessions and learning labs, you will have ample opportunities to broaden your knowledge base and become even more valuable to your organization and your stakeholders.

Now that We’ve Grabbed Your Attention

Some quick things to know as you register and plan your conference experience:

  • The early bird registration deadline has been extended until Monday, October 1st.  Register today by clicking the Registration button on the left side of this page.
  • We have submitted 17 of the learning labs, plenaries, concurrent sessions, mobile workshops and conversation cafés to the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), the  American Planning Association's professional institute, for Certification Maintenance (CM) credits.  Check out which sessions by clicking here.
  • There are still seats for the Learning Labs (Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th); they offer in-depth training on increasing your public speaking skills; getting a handle on cybersecurity issues RDOs face; enhancing your public relations strategies; running an effective RDO (for new and emerging executive directors); brownfields redevelopment; diversity, equity, and inclusion; the roles of libraries and museums to boost community vitality; staff management in the uncharted territories of today’s workplace and workforce; and how small-scale manufacturing can support community development.
  • Our mobile workshops are filling up fast!  They include a visit to the small city of Shelby to explore the community’s vibrant downtown and meet with staff from the Uptown Shelby Association; a walking tour of Charlotte’s exciting Uptown and SouthEnd neighborhoods to learn about pedestrian/bike/trails infrastructure, transit-oriented development, and retrofitting auto-friendly roads into shared spaces; a ride on the Light Rail to UNCC to learn how the transit system has evolved in partnership with the university; and a visit to the Riverwalk, a master planned community located along the banks of the Catawba River in Rock Hill, SC to learn how a former chemical plant and manufacturing facility were transformed into a world class sports area.
  • The conference will occur at the Westin Charlotte, 601 South College Street, Charlotte, NC; 866.837.4148
  • Questions?  Contact Ian Schramm for help with registering for the conference ([email protected]); Vicki Glass for help with hotel room reservations ([email protected]); or Laurie Thompson if you have questions about the conference content ([email protected]).

Comments from some of the attendees from the 2017 ATC in Anchorage:

“NADO appears to be a top notch organization with great resources for support. As a new director I appreciated the information and networking opportunity.”

“This has always been the single best source of information and best practices available to us. Thank you, NADO!”

“NADO staff does a stellar job with the conferences and their hard-work is appreciated!”

“Shared sense of purpose and camaraderie is inspiring and uplifting. Dedication of role models and learning from their experience is very beneficial.”

“NADO conferences are extremely valuable in providing new information and best practices, as well as providing networking opportunities. They provide an annual "tune-up" in motivation, competency and adaptability. They also encourage us to look within our organizations to determine how we can make what we do more relevant and how we can innovate.”

“Attending NADO Conferences have always been a positive experience for me, not only because of the sessions/workshops, but also because of the peer networking and interaction with NADO staff. It is always one of the highlights of my job!”

“NADO conferences are a great place to network. Through networking and training Executive Directors can build confidence, glean new ideas, and be educated in working more efficiently with congressional members, legislators, and local elected officials. NADO advocacy is essential in keeping RDOs viable, respected, and prosperous.”


Questions?: Contact Laurie Thompson, Deputy Executive Director at 202.624.5948 or [email protected]