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KACM 2021

Join us the week of February 8, 2021

Be part of the KACM Virtual Winter Seminar for an opportunity to engage around topics that impact city/county management.

More information about KACM can be found here

Register Now

Cost | $45, Students get in free!


Ron Holifield, Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Government Resources

February 8th | 9:00a-10:00

Ron Headshot

Ron Holifield, Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Government Resources

Ron Holifield is a “Servant Leader Provocateur” with one goal: To drive the leadership conversation in corporations and local government nationwide toward a servant leadership value system. You cannot change the world without challenging the status quo, so Ron is aggressive in how he pushes people to embrace authentic servant leadership principles. His specialty is helping local government and corporate leaders get into that uncomfortable space to create cultures that produce both high performance and emotional satisfaction for their teams. For more than 30 years, he’s successfully recruited, assessed, and developed innovative, collaborative, and authentic leaders in the country’s most change-resistant sectors. As a former city manager, Ron has grown and transformed destinations to cities named as best-run and top for business, elevating their positions as statewide leaders. He’s partnered with more than 700 local jurisdictions in 47 states and consulted with some of the nation’s leading corporations, including American Express, Xerox, IBM, PeopleSoft, Verizon, Aramark, Space Imaging, and NASA. A straight-talking change agent who produces results, Ron is a nationally sought-after speaker who presents annually at over 50 national, state, and regional conferences and has been featured on NPR, Entrepreneur, and numerous online, print, and broadcast news outlets. He’s also the author of 4th Dimension Leadership: A Radical Strategy for Creating an Authentic Servant Leadership Culture.

Making a Difference—Even When No One Notices

In public service today, expressions of public abuse are more common than expressions of appreciation. Indeed, our challenge as public servants is to deliver excellence in an environment where our goal is to be taken for granted. For public servants to remain motivated and inspired means relying on a deep inner sense of calling rather than public affirmation and appreciation. This dynamic and upbeat session will remind you of the noble calling of city management and provide a framework for helping your employees tap into that sense of calling so that they will be engaged and inspired to make a difference even when no one notices.

What Have You Been Reading? 

Access the link here to tell us what you have been reading. 

For the past two years, the Winter Seminar has offered a breakout session on "What are You Reading & What Have You Learned". This is a facilitated discussion that allows attendees to talk about and recommend books they have or are reading, provide a brief summary of the book, and talk about what they have learned. This session will be offered at the 2021 Virtual Seminar and will be led by Phillip Smith-Hanes, County Administrator, Saline County. Please take a moment to provide your book information. This information will be included in a summary document that will be available to all attendees.


February 9th  

2:00-3:00pm | Resiliency- Mental Health for Managers and Staff

February 10th  

2:00-3:00pm | What Are You Reading? 

Phillip Smith-Hanes, County Administrator, Saline County

February 11th         

9:00-10:00am | How to Engage in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Make Progress

This session will discuss ways organizations can internally and externally begin thinking about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Ideas on how to: create affinity groups within the organization; evaluate policies, programs and practices through an equity evaluation; engage in authentic community dialogues; and create DEI advisory boards/committees;. This session is an opportunity to think about how to take steps and make progress around DEI.

LaShonda Garnes, Community Development Manager, Public Policy & Management Center


10:15-10:45 | Business Meeting- Kaitlyn Willis

Speaker Information

Phillip Smith-Hanes- County Administrator, Saline County

Phillip Smith Head Shot

A native Kansan and a graduate of three Kansas universities, Phil Smith-Hanes started his local government career with the League of Kansas Municipalities and Sedgwick County before spending a decade and a half on the West Coast, where he served as County Administrative Officer for Humboldt County, California, for six years. From March of 2016 through November of 2019, he served as County Administrator of Ellis County, Kansas. Since December 2019, he has been serving Saline County, Kansas, in the same capacity. A lover of acronyms, Phil is an ICMA-CM as well as a member of NACA, KACM, and ELGL in addition to being a KUCIMAT, a graduate of SEI at UVA, and a former presenter at the TLG conference. Phil has written on LGBT issues (including in PM) and is a proponent of the HPO model of OD. Although he doesn’t claim to be a social media expert, he would love for you to follow him on Twitter @SA_PSH


LaShonda Garnes, Community Development Manager, Public Policy and Management Center 


LaShonda Garnes joined the Public Policy and Management Center in April 2018 with more than 15 years of experience in both the public and private sector. For more than 10 years, LaShonda has served in various public service leadership roles including the Business Operations Manager, Community Liaison and Neighborhood Services Manager. In her role as the Community Development Manager, she works to engage in diverse initiatives that drive and influence change. She is responsible for developing, implementing and directing project/program initiatives primarily for nonprofits, local, state and federal constituents related to community engagement, strategic planning, organizational assessments, planning and facilitation. LaShonda received her Master of Public Administration from Wichita State University and her bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Chicago State University.


Teresa Cornejo

Teresa Cornejo

Teresa is passionate about human experience and deeply values the beautiful tapestry of lived experience all bring to their work and personal relationships. Professionally, she earned an MSW (KU, 1996) and an MSOD (Friends University, 2012) to further drive her work of helping systems become more resilient, empowering and supportive. Teresa is also dedicated to supporting adult learners by coordinating applied learning opportunities and serving as field instructor for social work practicum students for more than 10 years. Teresa leads the IMPACT team represented by dedicated and compassionate persons focused on supporting communities, organizations and individuals. Teresa is an AVID fan of basketball and football and an even BIGGER fan of her children and love of her life, Ed


Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Request for Accommodations

If you need to request special accommodations, please request at registration.

Paula Downs Headshot Conference Contact

Paula Downs | Staff Support, KACM
Wichita State University Public Policy and Management Center
(316) 978-6678