The San Diego experience

Great speakers, weather make for a terrific Congress

R. Kevin Clark
Editor, APWA Reporter

Perhaps our new president summed it up the best at the beginning of Tuesday's General Session. "So are you enjoying San Diego?" President Dwayne Kalynchuk asked the audience. "If you're not enjoying San Diego, the medical conference is in the next ballroom. I'm sure that's where you're supposed to be."

While there was much laughter following Kalynchuk's comment, most of the people in the audience had to be thinking that he was right on target. San Diego is truly a remarkable city and is certainly one of the best convention and vacation spots in the country-and it didn't hurt that the weather was beautiful all week as well, with temperatures in the seventies and low eighties each day. Indeed, I had to constantly remind myself to quit whining because I was heading back to the almost unbearable 100-plus degree heat that we faced in the Midwest for much of the summer.

Of course, the city and the weather were only supporting players in what amounted to a great experience during Congress week. The event itself, held August 24-27, brought together more than 6,400 attendees, speakers, exhibitor representatives and volunteers to the San Diego Convention Center. This year's Congress featured inspiring General Session speakers, over 150 educational sessions and 500 exhibitors to help our members face their daily public works challenges, and plenty of social events and opportunities for networking. Much credit for the success of the conference goes to the San Diego-Imperial Counties Host Chapter and for the many volunteers for, as Kalynchuk put it, "a job well done."

Pre-Congress activities
On Saturday, August 23, a number of Pre-Congress Workshops were held, along with meetings of APWA's Technical Committees, a golf outing arranged by the host chapter, and several optional tours for folks who came to Congress a little early.

In addition, the APWA House of Delegates conducted its annual meeting with 58 delegates and 14 alternates/guests in attendance representing 58 chapters. According to Kaye Sullivan, APWA Deputy Executive Director, all nine regional directors and one at-large director were in attendance. "The House appreciated President Dwayne Kalynchuk bringing comments on his work with chapters the past year; President-Elect Tom Trice discussing his vision for the next year; and Executive Director Peter King providing information on the ongoing activities of the association," Sullivan said. "The House especially thanks the regional directors for their full participation in the entire day's session."

Sullivan went on to add that the House heard a report from the Membership Committee on attracting young members (including students) to APWA and efforts to retain retired members through utilization of their leadership skills; received a staff report on general guidelines for chapter contracts; heard a report on the work of the Small Cities/Rural Communities Forum; received information on the APWA committee structure and the national appointments process; received an update on the work of the TEA-21 Task Force; heard a report of the Emergency Management Committee activities, including Homeland Security issues; and had a presentation on the PWHS Endowment Fund.

"How many of you know how to hum?"
As usual, Congress officially got underway on Sunday with the seventh annual First Timers Meeting. Judging by the attendance-133 First Timers attended this year's meeting-it's pretty clear that there will also be an eighth annual, ninth annual, and tenth annual meeting as well. During the meeting the partition dividing our room from the next had to be removed to provide additional seating for all the new arrivals. It's evident that the First Timers Meeting has become one of the most popular events held during Congress.

Herb Fain, Diversity Committee Chair and the meeting's facilitator, began the meeting by introducing the VIPs and speakers at the meeting: President Kalynchuk; Peter King, APWA Executive Director; Ann Burnett, Director of Region VIII and Immediate Past Chair of the Diversity Committee; Diversity Committee members John Benda, Vanessa Conrad, Jason Cosby, and Teresa Scott; Larry Lux, Director-at-Large, Public Works Management and Leadership and Board Liaison to the Diversity Committee; Bob Freudenthal, Director of Region III and Finance Committee Chair; Patricia Kutt, APWA Director of Education; and Kaye Sullivan, APWA Deputy Executive Director and Staff Liaison to the Diversity Committee.

  The usual big turnout at the First Timers Meeting

President Kalynchuk began by discussing the relevance Congress has had for him over the years. "I've been attending Congress for most of the twenty years I've been a member of APWA," he told the First Timers. "The opportunity to network and see what's available in our industry is certainly worthwhile."

Kalynchuk also discussed the priorities of the board and the association for the upcoming year, which include international awareness, diversity, updating the Strategic Plan, branding, advocacy, public works as a First Responder, and teamwork. He concluded by stressing that all the First Timers in attendance were all leaders. "I think anybody who takes the opportunity to come forward here knows that there is a benefit to being at this conference," he said.

After thanking the host chapter and all of the volunteers, Peter King reminded the attendees to review the Congress Program and to map out a strategy for the week ahead. "Networking, discussing problems and solutions with your fellow attendees, and exchanging business cards and e-mail addresses are always important during Congress," King said.

Following King's remarks, Dr. Lew Bender, Professor at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, got the audience involved in a unique and interesting networking activity. Bender said that prior to the meeting he was asked to get the people in the room to meet each other, but not at the tables where they were currently sitting. "How am I going to do that with more than a hundred people here?" he asked the audience. "Well, how many of you know how to sing? How many of you know how to hum?" At this point there was a little nervous laughter, as no one knew exactly where he was going with this and I'm not sure anyone necessarily wanted to be put on the spot with his or her vocal talents (or lack of).

"Here's what we're going to do," he continued. "In a moment I'm going to ask my confederates here, Herb's committee, to walk around the room and they are going to give you a thin strip of paper. On that strip of paper you will find the name of a song, such as 'You Are My Sunshine.'" After the strips of paper were distributed, Bender continued, "What I want you to do is, at the count of three I'm going to ask you to start humming your song. You've got to find twelve other people who have your song. You may not say the name of your song, and you may not show those people the paper. You've got to find those twelve people, and sit down together at the same table. Are you ready? At the count of three...one, two, three, start humming!"

Everyone then got up from their tables and began their search for the people humming their particular tunes. Of course, once we were all laughing as much as we were humming, it was quite a challenge to locate the right people. On occasion I'd hear someone pass by humming "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain," or with any luck the song I was assigned to, which was "America the Beautiful."

"Hey, how can I hear Born To Be Wild when you guys are humming Stairway To Heaven?"

Eventually (and with a little help from Lew Bender) we all found the others who were humming our songs, and then sat down with them to introduce  ourselves and provide some information on our respective backgrounds. "How do you network at a conference?" Bender asked everyone. "The answer is you just do it. If you can go up and hum next to someone, you can certainly go up to them and introduce yourself."

Anyway, Bender's method was a great icebreaker and a terrific way to get to know others and begin the networking process. It was another in a series of memorable moments that have come out of the First Timers Meeting.

Following Bender's networking exercise, and after we were all sitting at new tables, the rest of the speakers provided helpful hints to the First Timers regarding how to get the most out of their Congress experience. Jason Cosby, Teresa Scott, and John Benda spoke, respectively, on Sunday's events, Monday's and Tuesday's events, and Wednesday's events during Congress. Vanessa Conrad discussed the information provided in the packets given to attendees during registration; Patricia Kutt explained the General Sessions, Super Sessions, and educational sessions; Bob Freudenthal provided help on how to get around the exhibit floor; and Ann Burnett showed attendees how to use the Congress Program.

Finally, Linda Scott, President of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter, gave a welcome to the First Timers. "We really hope you enjoy Congress," she said, "which is always the best show in public works."

Emerging Leaders: Class of 2003
The 2003 Class of Emerging Public Works Leaders holds the record for highest number of participants since the program began. "Twenty-two Leaders and twenty Mentors shared an exciting experience during Congress," said Ann Daniels, APWA Director of Technical Services. "From educational sessions on career development and how to network, through searching for APWA dignitaries, exhibitors, and committee members during their APWA Scavenger Hunt, on to the closing festivities of the Annual Banquet, this group of exciting First Timers experienced Congress at its finest."

Participants came from Australia, Florida, California, Utah, Oregon, Connecticut, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, New York, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Illinois, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Iowa.

This year's event began with a Get Acquainted social hour on Saturday evening where Mentors and Leaders could meet and prepare for the week's activities. According to Daniels, plans are already underway to make next year's event bigger and better. "Recruitment is planned by Leaders and Mentors alike," she said. "Mark the Emerging Public Works Leaders Forum on your calendar right now and start planning for your new staff members to join the excitement while you share your experience with others new to the profession as a Mentor."

A time between eras
Sunday's Opening General Session began with a "Top Gun" theme, with clips from the movie shown on the big screen. Of course, this version was modified somewhat (it was, after all, a P.W. Paws Production), with jet planes called "Budget Cutter" and "Unfunded Mandates" and with Immediate Past President Marty Manning wearing a flight jacket, superimposed with characters from the movie. It was a clever idea and a great way to start the session.

The "Jet Pilot" Marty Manning from the film clip then segued into the "Public Works Director" Marty Manning as he appeared on stage behind the podium. "It's so hard for me to believe that a year has passed and it's Congress time again," Manning said. "It's a time I always look forward to-great educational sessions, hundreds of exhibitors, and of course, fun social events. It's also a time to reconnect with old friends and make new ones."

The presentation of colors by the Marine Color Guard

Manning went on to explain that because of the close partnership California has with neighboring country Mexico, APWA invited members of the Mexican public works community to the San Diego Congress. "To accommodate their language, we're providing simultaneous interpretation for all of our General Sessions and many of our educational sessions," he said.

Manning then asked the attendees to stand for the presentation of colors by the Marine Color Guard and the playing of the National Anthem of the United States, after which Canada and Mexico were honored with the playing of their National Anthems. Sitting there I must say it was very inspiring to hear the anthems from North America being played at the same location.

After remarks from Frank Belock and Augie Chang, Co-Chairs of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Host Chapter, Deputy Mayor Ralph Inzunza of the City of San Diego thanked the attendees for coming to San Diego. "I really do want to thank all of you for coming out here and for being a part of this multifaceted approach that you have for public works," Inzunza said. "It gives me great pleasure to see that we have different countries, states and cities that are here today."

After translating his opening comments into Spanish, Inzunza continued, "I do know, and the city councils know, that it is the work that all of you do that really does take us to another level, that really does maintain the great standard of living for all of our cities throughout our countries."

President Dwayne Kalynchuk, Immediate Past President Marty Manning, and the passing of the gavel

Following Inzunza's comments, Manning introduced the 2003-2004 Board of Directors to the attendees, and then turned the presidential gavel over to incoming President Dwayne Kalynchuk. "It has been a wonderful opportunity of mine this past year to have met and visited with public works people all over this continent," Manning said. "I am convinced that the people in public works are the greatest folks in the world."

"It is an honor for me to take over the reins of the American Public Works Association," Kalynchuk began, "and to represent and help guide the association that collectively and individually encompasses the profession that we proudly call public works." He then focused on the priorities of the Board of Directors and the association that he addressed in the First Timers Meeting. "Team APWA, which includes the Board of Directors, the appointed committee members, the Executive Director, the association staff and myself, will work to advance these priorities for our membership throughout North America," he said.

Kalynchuk then introduced the keynote speaker for the Opening General Session, John Naisbitt, futurist and best-selling author of Megatrends, Global Paradox, and High Tech High Touch. Naisbitt, who has over 35 years of experience in the international arena, particularly Asia, shared his views about leadership and growth in a vastly changing world. "We can't know just where the world is headed," he said. "But we can know some things. And in thinking about public works today, we have to do what we have to do by thinking in a larger context, and that context is changing dramatically."

In his illuminating and insightful presentation, Naisbitt stressed that we are living in a time of great uncertainty, but also a time filled with opportunity. "One of the difficulties in understanding the direction in which we are headed is that we are living in a time between eras, between the old world and the new world of unprecedented technological, economic and social change," he said.

There was plenty of traffic in the Exhibit Hall this year.

After Naisbitt's presentation, the attendees were greeted by P.W. Paws and were led by the Fiesta Tapatia Mariachi band to the opening of the exhibit floor. "Over one thousand people have been working hard just to get the exhibit floor ready for you," Kalynchuk had said earlier-and it showed. As usual, the exhibit hall looked vast and imposing, and more than 100,000 square feet of space was filled up by more than 500 exhibitors. Everything-from the massive equipment, to the computers at the APWA Central booth, to the plush carpeting-was impressive.

"Attend and interact with the exhibitors," Kalynchuk had written in the Congress Program. "Take your infrastructure problems and find your infrastructure solutions!" It was obvious throughout the week that Congress attendees did exactly that.

Education, education, and more education
Regarding the 150-plus educational sessions, Super Sessions and Workshops, the large turnout made it abundantly clear that members go to Congress to learn. Indeed, more than 270 field experts, faculty members and consultants were on hand to share their knowledge and vision in a multitude of educational, technical and personal development sessions. 

It was Standing Room Only in a number of the educational sessions.

It was obvious by the most popular choices that public works professionals are aware of the need to practice state-of-the-art management techniques; to be outspoken advocates for investment in infrastructure; and to know and use the latest computer technology. A number of sessions are highlighted beginning on page 24 in this issue of the APWA Reporter.

For those of you who missed certain sessions or were unable to attend Congress, the speakers' handouts are on our website at www.apwa.net/Meetings/Congress/2003/Handouts/.

John Carlos brought his "Gung Ho" method of motivating workers to Monday's General Session.

Gung Ho!
At Monday's General Session, John P. Carlos, Senior Consulting Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies and co-author of Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute and The 3 Keys to Empowerment, gave a presentation that was filled with humor and insight. Carlos spoke about a management tool he calls "Gung Ho," which is a revolutionary technique to boost enthusiasm, performance and morale in the workplace.

Involving employees in a Gung Ho culture allows them to use their knowledge, experience, and internal motivation to accomplish tasks for the organization. "An organization has to walk their talk," said Carlos. "It's called 'Managing By Your Values.' That's what holds organizations together."

His presentation was loaded with humor, as he provided numerous anecdotes from his experiences in the workplace. "By the way," he said, "when your organization says one thing and does another, there's a medical term for that-it's called a lie."

Ken Wright entertained the PWHS crowd with his presentation on Machu Picchu.

PWHS Luncheon features Lost City of the Incas
"In mist of the Peruvian Andes where the Incas once watered a sacred city though public fountains and stone-lined canals," said Todd Shallat, Professor of History, Boise State University, "Kenneth and Ruth Wright of Boulder, Colorado, have rediscovered remarkable public works." "We've studied how hydraulic engineering endured 500 years without turning into a pile of rubble," said Ken Wright in his slide presentation to the annual luncheon of the Public Works Historical Society (PWHS) on Monday afternoon at Congress. At Machu Picchu, the 15th Century estate of Inca emperor Pachacuti, the engineering included 16 fountains in a spring-fed drainage system. "Machu Picchu was more carefully planned than modern cities," Wright maintained.

Shallat, a member of the PWHS Board of Trustees, added that the luncheon closed with a book signing for Wright's study of mysterious 10th Century reservoirs built by the Anasazi of Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado. Water for the Anasazi: How the Ancient of Mesa Verde Engineered Public Works is number 22 in the Society's acclaimed Essays in Public Works History, available free to society members and $15 to nonmembers through the APWA bookstore.

Dorian Wandzura, CPWA President, and Andre Juneau, Deputy Minister of the Office of Infrastructure Canada, at the CPWA luncheon

Deputy Minister attends CPWA Luncheon
Congress once again played host to the Canadian Public Works Association's annual luncheon on Monday, August 25. According to Dorian Wandzura, CPWA President, more than 100 Congress delegates took in the event. International guests from Australia and the Czech Republic were also in attendance. The keynote speaker was Andre Juneau, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Canada, who delivered an address on the current issues and initiatives underway in this new department. "Having a senior official from Infrastructure Canada attend the luncheon and participate in the Congress is another indication of the Government of Canada's support for local infrastructure issues and recognition that the Canadian Public Works Association is a valuable partner in reaching their infrastructure goals," Wandzura said.

General Flowers speaks at Tuesday's Urban Forum

Flowers speaks at Urban Forum meeting
General Robert Flowers, Commander, Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), met with public works directors and representatives of large cities, counties and other public agencies during the APWA Urban Forum meeting, informed APWA Executive Director Peter King to the Reporter. "Facilitated by Urban Forum vice-chair Paul Vanderploog of Hillsborough County, Florida, General Flowers discussed the many roles of the Army Corp, including homeland security and infrastructure development, as well as one of its newest missions, supporting the reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan," King said. "In a separate meeting with APWA leaders, including President-Elect Tom Trice, General Flowers pledged support for working closely with APWA and members on common issues and local projects." President Kalynchuk has appointed a task force to work with the Corp to identify partnership opportunities.

Target Tuesday hits the mark
For the first time, a day was set aside at Congress to enable chapter leaders to get together and share thoughts, ideas and problems across the 67 APWA chapters. According to Patricia Kutt, APWA Director of Education, more than 75 leaders attended the opening breakfast meeting to hear from President Kalynchuk and Dr. John Luthy, President of The Futures Corporation, Boise, Idaho, on setting the future for APWA.

Chapter leaders from across North America sharing ideas during the "Think Tank" session designed specifically for them

"Following the keynote session with futurist David Zach, the group reconvened around an agenda of preselected topics," Kutt said. "Discussions ranged from how the chapter assisted in achieving a legislative success in Richmond, Virginia to how the changes in the UBIT (Unrelated Business Income Tax) laws impact the chapters and their sponsorship programs. Mira Troyan, the administrator for the Northern California chapter, shared details with the group on what should be expected from a paid administrator as well as a copy of her contract."

The most rewarding part of the session, according to Kutt, was that chapter presidents and presidents-elect, soon to take office, were able to meet others in similar positions. "The consensus was that we should repeat the activity next year in Atlanta but with more time allotted and in a topic-specific roundtable environment," she said. "Special thanks to Benny Wolfe, Jack Pittis and Howard LaFevre, the three regional directors who facilitated the session in San Diego."

The stuff you can stand on
"Today's session will be your chance to vision and brainstorm the kind of future you'd like for the public works profession," President Kalynchuk began at the start of Tuesday's General Session. "The aim of today's presentation is to help you begin thinking like a futurist."

Following Kalynchuk's introduction, David Zach, futurist and President of Innovative Futures, put the audience in that future state of mind to which Kalynchuk referred. After opening with a joke-"I've been given about 45 minutes to explain the future, which means I'm going to leave out some details"-Zach delivered a presentation that was provocative, inspiring, and entertaining.

Although Zach admitted that it is impossible to predict the future, he passed on a methodology that can be used as a guide in making certain assumptions, in the form of his personal mantra: Play with fads, work with trends, live by principles. "A fad is something that you can safely ignore," he said. "Fads tend to be pushed-they tend to be top-down, a spice, a flavor. But think about your work. Can you follow fads? You have to resist them.

"Trends can be from the ground up," he continued. "They tend to be based upon needs, not wants. And a trend is not something which you can safely ignore. You may not agree with it, you may want to fight against it; you may support it, you may want to work for it; but you have to think about it, you have to respond to it."

Continuing with the final element of his mantra, Zach stressed that a principle is "something that doesn't change-'We hold these truths to be self-evident' kind of a thing. The stuff you can stand on. Because in an age of constant change where everything is uncertain, decisions become easy when you know your values. You have to know what you believe, you have to know what doesn't change. You have to have a place to stand, because that's what the future is all about."

David Zack (left) and Dr. John Luthy during the interactive portion of Tuesday's General Session

Zach went on to say that it is very clear that the problems we are facing today are not going to be solved by what we know today. "We have to step outside our comfort zones and imagine the new possibilities, new conclusions, and new opportunities," he said.

Following Zach's formal presentation, Dr. John Luthy joined him on stage to facilitate a dialogue with the audience to explore practical ways public works professionals can take ownership of their future. The interactive session between Zach, Luthy and the audience delved into a number of topics that challenge public works departments on a daily basis. There was a great deal of audience participation and made for one of the highlights of this year's Congress.

APWeh?
Wednesday's Closing General Session began with President Kalynchuk providing a little Canadian humor for the attendees. "Before we go on, I'd like to share with you briefly what it means to be a Canadian," he said. "You know that the four seasons are 'almost winter, winter, still winter, and roadwork'" and "You have more miles on your snowblower than you do on your car" were just two of the jokes he threw out to the audience.

Kalynchuk then introduced Linda Scott, President of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter. "Congress always reinforces my pride in being a part of this profession," Scott said. "I hope you're leaving Congress with some new friends, some new ideas, and renewed energy. Thank you for coming to San Diego and thank you for your dedication to the public works profession."

2003 Congress Host Committee members Frank Belock, Ann Burnett and Augie Chang pass the banner to 2004 Congress Host Committee Co-Chair John Griffin during the Closing General Session.

Following Scott's remarks, it was time to pass the Congress banner to the 2004 Congress Host Committee. "On behalf of the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Chapter, we extend a warm invitation to the entire APWA membership to come to Atlanta in September 2004 and experience the best show in public works," said John Griffin, 2004 Congress Host Committee Co-Chair, as he accepted the banner from the 2003 Congress Host Committee.

Sondra Thiederman makes a point during her presentation on diversity in the workplace at the Closing General Session.

Following the passing of the banner, Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D., President of Cross-Cultural Communications and one of the nation's leading experts on workplace diversity and cross-cultural business, spoke to the audience. Like General Session speakers John Carlos and David Zach, Thiederman added much humor to a highly entertaining presentation entitled "Getting Culture Smart-Strategies for Making Diversity Work."

"It is important to recognize that since each of us is a unique human being, diversity has to do with us all," she said. "The goal of diversity programs is to see to it that everyone in an organization has the opportunity to thrive."

Thiederman went on to explain in detail the five basic rules, or misunderstandings if you will, of diversity, which are:

  • Diversity is not confined to women and "emerging groups."
  • Diversity is not about agreement, it is about respect.
  • Diversity is not about blame, it is about responsibility.
  • Diversity is not about lowering standards, it is about hiring the best person for the job.
  • Diversity is not only about learning but about getting the job done.

Thiederman's presentation was ultimately inspiring and uplifting, and challenged all of us to look at diversity in the workplace in ways we perhaps might not have in the past. It was certainly a fitting conclusion to an excellent and well-organized Closing General Session.

  "Come on, dude, let's ride some waves!"

Surfin' USA
As always, the social aspect and opportunities to network at Congress were not ignored. The Get Acquainted Party was held on Sunday evening outside on the Pavilion and West Terraces, and the food, entertainment, and weather, of course, were wonderful.

The highlight of the Get Acquainted Party was the surfing machine (compliments of Harris & Associates) which tested our skills (or non-skills as the case may be) on a mechanical surfboard, which is similar in concept to the mechanical bulls so many people have either had fun on or been thrown from. I'm a trifle embarrassed to admit that I lasted a grand total of 10 seconds on the thing-I was thrown before the operator even took it out of second gear. In fact, I only saw one person complete the ride without falling, and by coincidence she happens to be an APWA staffer, Ashley Scherzer from our Education Department. So, at least one member of our team here has a semblance of coordination.

A moment of levity during the Banquet-President Kalynchuk reveals his true colors

Chapter dinners were the order of the evening on Tuesday, and chapters were going everywhere from the San Diego Zoo to some of the restaurants in San Diego's famous Gaslight District. Frankly, I lost count of the times someone mentioned how wonderful the restaurants were in San Diego.

Finally, Wednesday evening was the grand finale when hundreds of attendees gathered at the plush Marriott Hall in San Diego's Marriott Hotel for the Grand Banquet. As part of his comments, President Kalynchuk recognized the Board of Directors, the San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter Host Committee, the 2003 Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year, a number of former national presidents, the chairs of our national committees, the Emerging Public Works Leaders and their Mentors, and international guests at Congress.

"Learning is what Congress is all about," Kalynchuk told the packed house. "We learn about experiences and activities of others in our field as well as about the equipment and services available to help us in our jobs. I learned a lot at this year's Congress, and I hope you did too."

Having a good time at the Banquet were M.S. Khara, Raj Sharma, Tim madhanagopal (2003 Top Ten), Vijay Sinha and Subhash Raval.

Like the Get Acquainted Party earlier in the week, as well as previous Banquets, the food and entertainment were terrific. I'd like to take another shot at that Macadamia Nut Encrusted Halibut. Coconut Joe & Joe Rathburn's Island did a nice job keeping the folks entertained with their tropical rock sounds. I didn't even mind being put on the spot to do the "Voice of God" again this year (introducing the President, President-Elect and Past President to the crowd), and it was certainly less nerve-racking than when I first performed that function at the Louisville Congress. But that's the way of Congress-the more often you attend, the more enjoyable and entertaining it becomes.

All in all, the 2003 International Public Works Congress and Exposition was an exhilarating event. Why not carry those feelings of enthusiasm for our annual conference into next year? Start making plans now to attend the 2004 Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, September 12-15. Congress just seems to get better and better. Be sure to come to Atlanta to find out for yourself.

Kevin Clark can be reached at (800) 848-APWA or at kclark@apwa.net. Congress photos by Sandy Small.