June 25-28, 2019 | Spokane

AWC Annual Conference

AWC’s Annual Conference offers something for everyone. With its city-focused agenda, all general sessions, concurrent sessions, mobile tours, networking opportunities, and social events are designed to educate and inspire. Elected officials earn 10 credits towards your Certificate of Municipal Leadership. Return to your community with renewed ideas, insights, and contacts.

Building Community

This year’s Annual Conference theme is “Building Community,” a concept that communicates the importance of emphasizing our collective strengths and focusing on our similarities as a critical part of good governance.

Washington’s city leaders have a tough job. They have been entrusted to represent a diverse group of residents—individuals with a wide range of beliefs and backgrounds. In a time of increasing polarization when common ground is harder to find, elected and appointed officials and city staff are uniquely positioned. As the government closest to the people, they have the best chance to build community, foster unity, and create opportunity in the cities they serve.


Featured speakers


David Dye, Leadership Consultant, Let’s Grow Leaders

Courageous collaboration: leading through change and challenge – Being a municipal leader is challenging. You’ve got to adapt under pressure, respond in tight timeframes, and incorporate diverse priorities – all in an environment that changes rapidly and without warning. In this fun, high-energy interactive keynote experience, David will lead you through a mix of improv comedy techniques, strategic stories, and interactive exercises that will have you laughing and building deeper relationships with peers.


Shannon Huffman Polson, Writer and helicopter pilot

Leading from any seat: Stories from the cockpit & lessons from the grit project – Tenacity, determination, grit and an innate ability to lead has defined Shannon, one of the first women to fly the Apache attack helicopter in the U.S. Army. With real-world stories and insights from in and out of the cockpit, she offers tangible leadership lessons for audience members to seek out their own targets and, where passion and purpose intersect, incorporate them into their own professional lives.


Leon Andrews, Director, NLC’s Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) Initiative

REAL action: Getting started with building racial equity in your city – In the wake of the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, the National League of Cities created REAL (Race, Equity And Leadership) to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions and build more equitable communities. This session will provide participants with practical examples of how city leadership can embed racial equity into their priorities. Learn how local government leaders can reduce racial bias through smart policy decisions and strong civic engagement. Examine how racial tensions have affected cities across the nation. Learn how to shift from a reactive approach to a proactive agenda. Take away concrete steps they can take to advance racial equity and racial healing work in their cities.


See who's coming to Annual Conference!


Who should attend?

  • City councilmembers, mayors, managers and administrators, and department heads.
  • State agency, nonprofit, and business personnel with a close working relationship to city decision makers.

Why come?


Inspiring sessions

Dive into the basics, be inspired, and get tips on how to advance new ideas at city hall.


Non-stop networking

Network with your peers. Visit with old colleagues. Make new friends.


Discover the best

Learn about the latest products and solutions to deliver high-quality municipal services.

Check out photos from the 2018 AWC Annual Conference!

2018 Annual Conference


Mark your calendar now for future AWC Annual Conference dates!

  • June 23-26, 2020 – Tri-Cities (Kennewick)
  • June 22-25, 2021 – Spokane
  • June 21-24, 2022 – Vancouver
  • June 20-23, 2023 – Spokane
  • June 18-21, 2024 – Vancouver
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