ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Florida League of Cities


When local voices come together, great things happen. Our cities and issues may not be the same, but we're all united in making local choices. 

The FLC annual conference is an opportunity for municipal officials and senior staff to enhance leadership skills, learn from municipal experts, share ideas with peers, discuss strategies for Florida’s future and hear about the latest in products and services for municipal governments. 

The 2022 annual conference will be held August 11-13, at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla. A tentative agenda is listed below. Click here to view resolutions that will be considered by the Resolutions Committee on Thursday, August 11. View Conference Program │ Register Online

Booths are sold out for the exhibit hall at the 2022 Annual Conference. Sponsorships are available. Contact Heidi Hogarth at hhogarth@flcities.com with any questions. 

2022 FLC Research Symposium - Digital Infrastructure: Broadband and Cybersecurity
The 2022 Florida League of Cities (FLC) Center for Municipal Research Symposium, Digital  Infrastructure: Broadband and Cybersecurity, will be held on Wednesday, August 10, from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Diplomat  Beach Resort in Hollywood. Attendees will hear from industry experts and key stakeholders as they  explore the current landscape of broadband and cybersecurity in Florida, funding opportunities from  various sources and best practices for municipal governments handling digital infrastructure. View Agenda│ Register Online

SPEAKERS*

  • Susannah Spellman, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth, U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
  • Jamie Grant, State Chief Information Officer, State of Florida 
  • Katie Smith, Director, Office of Broadband, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO)
  • Other industry experts on varying types of broadband programs and cybersecurity best practices. 

*Speakers listed are subject to change.

2022 Annual Conference Agenda*


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Research Symposium
Additional registration required through the League’s Center for Municipal Research; contact Wade Burkley at wburkley@flcities.com.

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Florida League of Mayors Forum
Additional registration required through the Florida League of Mayors; contact Rachel Embleton at rembleton@flcities.com.


Thursday, August 11, 2022

7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Registration Desk Open

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Continuing Education in Ethics: Have You Completed Your Hours?
Florida’s municipal elected officers are required to take four hours of specific continuing education in ethics per year. If you haven’t completed your hours yet, this is your opportunity! The four-hour session includes two hours on the Florida Ethics Law (Chapter 112, Florida Statutes), one hour of public meetings (Chapter 286, Florida Statutes) and one hour of public records (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes). If your hours are completed, this class is a good refresher.

NOTE: Registration is limited to the first 175 people and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Florida League of Mayors Nominating Committee Meeting

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Florida League of Mayors Business Meeting
For more information, contact Rachel Embleton at rembleton@flcities.com.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Florida League of Mayors Board of Directors Meeting

12:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Legislative Policy Committee Meetings
- Finance, Taxation and Personnel
- Land Use and Economic Development
- Municipal Administration
- Transportation and Intergovernmental Relations
- Utilities, Natural Resources and Public Works

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
“Cities 101” Workshop
If you are newly elected or newly appointed, this “crash course” is designed for you. Details about Florida municipalities, the services they provide and governing challenges will be discussed. This course is a prequel to the popular Institute for Elected Municipal Officials (IEMO) but is not a substitute for the three-day IEMO class.

3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Broadband Update: Making the Connection
With billions of dollars from federal and state grant programs available for broadband, hear how local governments must strategically develop grant priorities to connect each Floridian to affordable and reliable high-speed internet. Coordination between all levels of governments, community and industry stakeholders is essential to close the Digital Divide. This session will focus on ways Florida municipalities can begin the conversation to connect their communities. 

You Lost Me at “Home Rule”
Why do so many legislators bristle at the words “Home Rule?” Why does it always seem like legislators are local government adversaries instead of our allies? The legislative-local government relationship is complex and often rocky, made all the worse because we continue to talk past each other. Come to this workshop for perspectives about state and local relations, how things got to this point, and how to advocate strategically without being adversarial. 

4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Resolutions Committee Meeting

5:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
First-Time Attendees’ Orientation
If this is your first FLC Conference, welcome! This workshop will acquaint you with the League, the conference program (with tips for the best use of your time), how to get involved in your local or regional league, FLC legislative policy committees and other municipal services.

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
President’s Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall


Friday, August 12, 2022

7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials Breakfast
Additional registration is required through the Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials; contact Nykierama Cooper at ncooper@flcities.com.

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
FREE Sunrise Yoga on the Beach
Join us on the beach for a sunrise yoga class. Flow with grace in a variety of postures designed to open up your mind, body and heart. This relaxing class will be led by a certified personal trainer and is great for individuals at all levels of fitness. You don’t need to bring a yoga mat, but be sure to wear comfortable clothing. There is no charge for the event, but preregistration is required and the class is limited to the first 50 participants.

7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall

7:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open

7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Registration Desk Open

8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Federal Action Strike Team Meeting

9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Florida Keeps Growing: Is Your City Ready?
Florida is one of the fastest growing states in the nation with nearly 1,000 people moving to the Sunshine State each day. Join our practitioners and industry leaders in understanding the profound challenges and benefits to infrastructure investments and inclusive growth, with a focus on topics such as planning and land development, housing and transportation capacity. Using examples from Florida communities, this workshop provides an opportunity to hear from experts on how municipal planning affects public and private interests as your population continues to grow. 

Responding to Mass Shootings: Advice and Assistance for City Leaders
This session will provide advice to city leaders, particularly mayors and city managers, about preparing for and responding to a mass shooting and will introduce the Mass Shooting Playbook and Mass Shooting Protocol.

Don’t Get Sued: How Cities Implement New Laws
This session will highlight recently enacted laws that passed during the 2022 Legislative Session. It will focus on addressing any legal concerns surrounding the implementation of new laws, and will highlight tips, tools and advice that cities may consider when enacting new state laws.

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Opening General Session
Featuring the presentation of the E. Harris Drew Award and a keynote presentation by Ben Nemtin.

Ben Nemtin is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of “What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?” and a star of MTV’s highest-rated show on iTunes and Amazon called “The Buried Life.” As the co-founder of The Buried Life movement, Nemtin’s message of radical possibility has been featured on the “Today” show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” CNN, FOX and NBC News. President Barack Obama called Nemtin and The Buried Life “inspiration for a new generation,” and Winfrey declared their mission “truly inspiring.”

In his first year of college, Nemtin was unexpectedly hit with a depression that forced him to drop out. To feel more alive, he created the world’s greatest bucket list with his three best friends. They borrowed a rickety, old recreational vehicle, crisscrossed North America and achieved the unthinkable. And most importantly, every time they accomplished a dream, they helped a stranger cross something off their bucket list. From playing basketball with Obama to having a beer with Prince Harry, from reuniting a father and son after 17 years to surprising a young girl with a much-needed bionic arm, Nemtin’s bucket list quest has inspired millions to thrive personally and professionally.

12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Sidewalk Café in Municipal Marketplace (Cash Sales)

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Council-Manager Relations: Professional Management Matters
Are you looking to make the most of the relationship between you as an elected official and your manager? Curious about how the council-Manager form of government works in the real world? This workshop is tailored for elected and appointed officials to discuss the importance of the council and manager relationship related to the policy making role of the elected body and the administrative/executive roles of the city manager. Discover how and why these dynamic relationships work and what the best practices are in the field today. Join us as our panel of experts share their stories in this lively and candid workshop.

DEI Training: HB 7 and Ways to Continue the Conversation
The Florida state legislature adopted new statutory language in the past session that sets restrictions on employee training related to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Join us as we learn, through instruction and experience, how we can continue to prepare our workforces to better engage our diverse communities. 

Doing More with Less: Solutions for Small Cities
Small cities often face the greatest challenges. The median population of Florida's 411 municipalities is 6,443. Our small municipalities are doing more with less every day when it comes to budgeting decisions, attracting and retaining staff, and even dealing with big city issues. Participants will hear from small communities and learn how they are achieving success while balancing these challenges and maintaining high-quality services for their residents.

2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Advocacy Committee Meeting

2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Promoting Local and Regional Economic Development with EDA
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in facilitating regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. Guided by the basic principle that sustainable economic development should be locally-driven, EDA works directly with communities and regions to help them build the capacity for economic development based on local business conditions and needs. EDA provides economic development grant opportunities to communities so they can encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in a way that works best for them and these efforts are coordinated through Florida’s 10 federally-designated Economic Development Districts. Participants in this workshop will learn how to effectively develop and apply for funding of economic development projects in coordination with federal, state, regional and local agencies, especially in rural and fiscally constrained communities. Panelists will discuss the importance of project development within the grant application process and will highlight case studies of successful EDA funded projects in the cities of Lake City and Tallahassee.   

The Science of the Story: How Voters Make Decisions, Why Some Messages “Stick,” and the Role of Hope and Fear in Modern Politics
Although America has evolved into a deeply polarized society in recent years, human beings have changed very little over the eons. We are still driven by the same forces; we still respond to the same fears; we still pursue the same hopes. This session will help unlock the timeless clues to good communication found in our biology and psychology: how voters make decisions, how communicators craft effective messages and how storytelling, design and even empathy can help you win.

4:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Resilient Florida Bootcamp
After two successive years of resiliency legislation and an influx of state and federal funding, is your community ready to tackle flooding and sea level rise? Our expert panelists will guide you through the latest regulatory, policy and funding options. 

The Arrogance of Facts and the Persistence of Opinion: Leading in Times of Division
One of the most perplexing characteristics of contemporary political discussions is the extent to which people adamantly maintain disagreements, not only over value judgments (Is this good? Is this bad?), but over basic facts. One can blame social media, political agitators, even the education system, but they’re all only part of the story. Our own limitations as thinkers and observers also play a critical role. Join us for a fun and fascinating look at why opinions persist and how we can (sometimes) find our way to common ground.

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Membership Networking Event

Evening Open


Saturday, August 13, 2022

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Various Local/Regional League Breakfast Meetings. Contact your local league for more information.

7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Registration Desk Open

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Youth Council Program
Additional registration required; contact Eryn Russell at erussell@flcities.com.

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Annual Business Meeting

10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Second General Session
Featuring recognition of the Years of Service awards and a keynote address by Mickey Smith Jr.

Educa-tainer Mickey Smith Jr. is a Grammy Music Educator Award recipient who hails from a forgotten community in Louisiana and now stands on phenomenal stages encouraging people to “See the Sound and Keep On Going.”

Smith is an acclaimed international speaker, saxophonist, author, master development coach and self-management strategist. He is committed to encouraging and equipping people with the tools to “Discover Their Sound” of significance and “Keep On Going” with resilience. Smith specializes in engaging, educating and elevating every audience member to excellence. Smith believes that everyone has a “sound” (a significance) that has the power to resonate with others and create a shift in thoughts and perspectives.

Smith’s motivational mixture of music and message teaches how to reach people with consistency, intention and strategy.

12:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Past Presidents’ Luncheon and Installation of New President

2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Improving Mental Health for Municipal Employees: Behavioral Health Access Program
Constant exposure to traumatic events and life-threatening situations paired with the stress of working long hours under high-stakes conditions can easily build up and take an enormous toll on the mental health of municipal staff. The City of Coral Springs has developed a robust, multi-faceted Behavioral Health Access Plan (BHAP). This session will discuss the BHAP plan, whose main purpose is to minimize the impact of stress. The BHAP plan includes tools which provide a diversified resource pool that may be utilized by employees and/or family members. 

6:15 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
100th Anniversary Gala
Pack your suits, tuxes and fancy dresses because we’re celebrating the League’s 100th anniversary with an evening that’s sure to be memorable. Following a sit-down dinner, you’ll be amazed by the magical talents of Justin Willman. After the show, enjoy dessert and dancing late into the night.

Magician/comedian and recent Critics’ Choice Awards nominee Justin Willman has cemented himself as one of today’s most prolific entertainers.

In 2018, Willman premiered his six-episode magic series on Netflix titled “Magic for Humans.” In the series, Willman brings his skills as a magician to America’s strange and misunderstood subcultures while incorporating his disarming demeanor into street magic and social experiments that will boggle the mind. IndieWire called Willman the “perfect magician/hybrid prototype with incredible comedic timing,” and Rotten Tomatoes has the show listed at an 85% audience approval. The Los Angeles Times exclaimed that Willman is “a new breed of magician who’s making magic cool again for grown-ups.”

Before “Magic for Humans,” Willman was known for his multiple appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and “Conan.” He also performed live at the White House for the Obama family. His debut comedy/magic special “Sleight of Mouth with Justin Willman” premiered on Comedy Central in 2015 to rave reviews.

*Schedule and speakers subject to change.

Future Conference Dates + Locations

  • August 10-12, 2023 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
  • August 15-17, 2024 at the Diplomat Beach Resort - Hollywood

2021 Workshop Presentations


The 2021 conference was held August 12-14 at the World Center Marriott in Orlando. Workshop presentations and a selection of recorded sessions are available below. Click here to view the conference minutes. 

Please Note: Some workshops did not have presentations and some speakers may choose not to share their presentations. 


Research Symposiums


The Center for Municipal Research hosts a research symposium in conjunction with the League's annual conference in August. Supplemental symposiums may be held in conjunction with the legislative conference in November.

These symposiums bring together public administrators, elected officials and the academic community. Each symposium focuses on specific local government issues, and how research, statistics and trends can be used in the local government setting.

The 2021 Research Symposium, Grants for Florida’s Cities: Assistance, Availability and Accountability, held on Wednesday, August 11 at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, explored the grants process with guidance from the League’s grants assistance partner eCivis and representatives from state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Emergency Management.

Presentations are available below. 

  • FLC Grants Assistance Program with eCivis
    Speakers: Chris Holley II, Manager, Research and Innovation, Florida League of Cities and Corey Coll, Sr. Enterprise Account Executive, eCivis
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection – Resilience, Management, and Restoration
    Speakers: Whitney Gray, Administrator, Florida Resilient Coastlines Program, Holly Edmond, Program Administrator, Florida Coastal Management Program, and Nathan Jagoda, Environmental Specialist III, Division of Water Restoration Assistance
  • Florida Division of Emergency Management – Mitigation and Recovery
    Speakers: Laura Dhuwe, Deputy Bureau Chief of Mitigation and Melissa Shirah, Bureau Chief, Bureau of Recovery
  • Navigating Grants in the Age of CARES and ARPA 
    Speaker: Maria Howeth, Interim Director of Customer Success, eCivis
  • Presentation Recordings

Click here to access presentations from previous symposiums.


2020 Conference Information


With the health and safety of our membership and staff our top priority, the August 2020 FLC Annual Business Meeting/Nominating Committee Meetings and FLC Board Meetings were held on a fully virtual basis. Conference minutes are available here. Click here to view the resolutions approved during the business meeting on Friday, August 14. 

Given the recent strain on municipal budgets, as well as the uncertainty surrounding gathering sizes and the potential future health impacts of COVID-19, the League felt a virtual event would both help protect our membership and allow more municipal officials to participate. 

The League remains committed to providing opportunities for all virtual attendees to engage, interact and collaborate on the future of the organization.


2019 Conference Information


The 93rd Annual Conference of the Florida League of Cities was held August 15-17, 2019, at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Click here to view the resolutions approved during the business session on Saturday, August 17. Conference minutes are available here. Presentations from the 2019 Conference are available here

(Please Note: Not all sessions/workshops had presentation materials and some presenters may choose not to share their presentations online.)