2018 Conference

24th Annual Conference

 

Innovation in Certification 2018: Conference Program

Innovation in Certification is a two-part event. Be sure to check out programming for the pre-conference Trainers Workshop in addition to the Conference program below.

Programming incorporates interactive discussions, networking breaks, general sessions, and evening networking events, each offering opportunities to exchange ideas with attendees and presenters.

 

Trainers Workshop – Tuesday, January 16, 2018

View the Trainers Workshop Program.

Conference Welcome – Tuesday, January 16, 2018

5:00 PM
8:00 PM

Innovation Celebration
Greet your colleagues with a relaxed evening at the conference hotel’s bodegas overlooking the spectacular San Antonio Riverwalk. Appetizers begin at 5pm, and a buffet dinner will be available beginning at 6pm.

First-Time Attendee Welcome – Wednesday, January 17, 2018

7:30 AM
8:30 AM

First-Time Attendee Breakfast
First-time attendees: start your conference off right with a scrumptious breakfast, meet ABC leadership, and discover tips and tricks for a successful conference from seasoned pros. By invitation only.

Draft Agenda:  Conference Day 1 – Wednesday, January 17, 2018

8:30 AM
8:50 AM

Opening General Session
Paul Bishop, CAE  – ABC President & CEO

8:50 AM
9:50 AM

Legal Aspects of Certification
Katharine F. Meyer, ESQ – GKG Law
Back by popular demand! Katie Meyer returns to update you on emerging legal issues in certification and provide practical advice to protect your program.

9:50 AM
10:20 AM

Exhibit & Networking Lounge
Network with your peers and investigate our Exhibitors’ solutions.

10:20 AM
11:05 AM

Accommodations Answered
Katharine F. Meyer, ESQ – GKG Law
Ian MacFarlane, PhD – Elizabethtown College
Larry Flint – PSI Services LLC

Should reading accommodations be approved for operator certification exams? Is English as a second language covered by ADA requirements? This panel of experts is ready to field your test accommodation questions.

11:05 AM
12:00 PM

Understanding and Overcoming Test Anxiety
Ian MacFarlane, PhD – Elizabethtown College
Gain insight into the reasons behind test anxiety, how it manifests in adults, and what you can do to help candidates who suffer from anxiety when faced with a high-stakes exam.

12:00 PM
2:00 PM

Luncheon at The Alamo
Paul Bishop, CAE; Michael Bolt; Bill Sullivan – ABC
Join ABC for lunch and updates on the business of the Association at one of Texas’ most iconic sites – The Alamo, only a short 0.3-mile walk from the conference hotel.

2:00 PM
2:30 PM

USEPA Update
Matthew Reed – US Environmental Protection Agency
An overview of projects and plans from the national workforce development workgroup, and ongoing operator certification initiatives.

2:30 PM
3:30 PM

Solutions Showcase
Andrew Barienbrock, MS – Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Bill Edgar – CEU Plan
Joe McClary, CAE – International Association for Continuing Education and Training
Laurie Sharp – Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Paul Spina – New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission

Panelists will highlight specific tools and methods to solve certification pain points from continuing education course review to pushing out regulatory updates to operators.

3:30 PM
3:45 PM

Exhibit & Networking Lounge
Network with your peers and investigate our Exhibitors’ solutions.

3:45 PM
5:00 PM

Tech Tools for the Certification Process
Rajesh Balasubramanian, MCA LaunchIT
Patrick Gallagher, MBA & Brice Rockers – PSI Services LLC
Scott Cheney, MPP – Credential Engine

Explore technologies to drive efficiency and transparency for your certification program.

Evening Networking – Wednesday, January 17, 2018

5:30 PM
   

Nightfall on the Riverwalk
Groups will depart from the conference hotel at 5:30 pm
Exchange Conference “Ah-Has” and grow your professional network while exploring and dining along the San Antonio Riverwalk. Stop by the Exhibit & Networking Lounge to make your plans.

Draft Agenda:  Conference Day 2 – Thursday, January 18, 2018

7:30 AM

8:30 AM

Breakfast with Exhibitors
Jumpstart your day with a hearty breakfast, “Ah-Has” shared with colleagues, and innovations from Exhibitors.

8:30 AM
10:45 AM

Looking Forward 2018
Dean A. West, FASAE – Association Laboratory Inc.
After reviewing the findings of Looking Forward 2018 – an environmental scan examining the economic, technology, workforce, government, and global factors shaping our world – engage in a moderated discussion on how these trends will impact our organizations and workforce.

10:45 AM
11:00 AM

Exhibit & Networking Lounge
Network with your peers and investigate our Exhibitors’ solutions.

11:00 AM
12:00 PM

Setting the Certification Standard
George Haynes II – Florida Gateway Community College
While workforce shortages may pressure boards to lessen certification eligibility requirements, the skills required to manage water systems and resources are increasingly complex. During this session, you will evaluate application materials, certification standards, and candidate pools to identify appropriate educational standards and effective appraoches to talent evaluation.

12:00 PM
2:00 PM

Lunch Break
The San Antonio Riverwalk offers a variety of cuisines within easy walking distance of the conference hotel. Show Your Badge for discounts and special offers at many restaurants.

2:00 PM
3:10 PM

Emerging Specialties
John Rowe, PhD – CSUS Office of Water Programs
Briefings from a panel of experts on emerging specialties like reuse and stormwater will kick-off an interactive discussion on training and certification needs in these areas.

3:10 PM
3:40 PM

Dessert in the Exhibit & Networking Lounge
Enjoy a sweet treat while exploring our Exhibitors’ solutions!

3:40 PM
4:10 PM

From the Headlines: Hurricane Harvey & Disaster Response
Peter Brooks, MPP, MBA – waterTALENT
Explore critical resources and models for disaster response and recovery with insights from waterTALENT’s recent response to the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the US.

4:10 PM
4:40 PM

There’s No Cheating on Exam Security
Larry Flint – PSI Services LLC
From miniaturized cameras to notes scrawled on ankles, risks to exam security abound. Learn how to plan for, recognize, and mitigate threats to your exam integrity through effective proctoring policies and procedures.

4:40 PM
5:00 PM

ABC’s Annual Awards Ceremony
Michael Bolt – 2018 ABC Immediate Past-Chair

Evening Networking – Thursday, January 18, 2018

5:30 PM
7:00 PM

Closing Celebration
Join ABC for a 1920s speakeasy experience before heading out for a final night in San Antonio.

Draft Agenda:  Conference Day 3 – Friday, January 19, 2018

8:30 AM
9:30 AM

DC Beat
Adam Carpenter, MS – American Water Works Association
Review US administration goals and policy issues relevant to the drinking water sector, along with AWWA policy priorities.

9:30 AM
10:00 AM

Regional Response to Workforce Challenges
BAYWORK
Find resources and strategies to maximize the cost-effectiveness of workforce reliability investments through collaboration. BAYWORK, a consortium of water and wastewater utilities in the San Francisco Bay Area, is ready to share their tips and tricks.

10:00 AM
10:15 AM

Networking Break

10:15 AM
11:45 AM

Workforce Strategy Roundtables
Deni Gray – Washington Operator Certification Program
George Haynes II – Florida Gateway Community College
Kalpna Solanki, MBA – Environmental Operators Certification Program
Pam Murawski, MA – CSUS Office of Water Programs
Rick Pfleiderer, MBA – Greenville Water

Gather ideas, share your experiences, and pose your questions through a series of facilitated small group discussions on workforce topics ranging from talent retention to OpCert-utility partnerships.

11:45 AM
12:00 PM

Closing
Chris McCord – 2018 ABC Chair-Elect