2020 Annual Conference

Adapt and Advance: NCACC 113th Annual Conference

Counties consistently rise to the occasion to meet the challenge at hand. This fact has never been more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic, as county governments adapt their focus and ways of working to protect the public’s health and safety, and each community’s way of life.

The NCACC has adapted in its own right, and the 113th Annual Conference, while held virtually, will continue to highlight the innovative things that counties do to advance their communities.

The immediate needs of our state’s citizens, businesses and public institutions have changed due to the pandemic. The needs of county leaders remain consistent. The county family still needs to come together through the Association to reinvigorate, and to learn from and support each other. As we all adapt and advance in our own right, let us share our like challenges, our response, and our stories of success this August.

The conference is offered to county officials at no charge and it is our hope that all 100 counties will participate!

Register at ncaccevents.org/events/ac2020/. Registrants will receive links and passwords for sessions, as well as calendar appointments, once links are available.

The schedule is as follows. Content and descriptions will be updated as sessions are finalized.

Wednesday, August 5, 3 – 3:45 p.m.
Opening General Session

The Association celebrates its 113th Annual Conference with a ceremonial opening. The session includes a look back at the year that was and a look forward to the virtual conference. In addition, NCACC and UNC School of Government leadership will recognize commissioners who achieved Practitioner, Master or Mentor level status in the Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA) over the past year.


Thank You to our Premier Conference Partner!


3:45 – 4 p.m.
Break, featuring pet pics!

While we cannot replicate the atmosphere of an in-person Annual Conference in a virtual setting, we will strive to allow commissioners to continue to get to know one another in fun ways.

We welcome submissions from county officials of their favorite photos of their pets (or with their pets), which we will highlight in a slideshow during this 15-minute break. Email your photo along with your pet’s name(s) to ncacc@ncacc.org!

4 – 5 p.m.
General Session: A Pathway for Disconnected Youth

President Kevin Austin’s Pathways Initiative provides counties with a guide on ways to reduce the rate of disconnected youth – young people ages 16-19 who are neither working nor in school. This session will showcase an action plan for counties to promote youth engagement and help disconnected youth find a path toward meaningful work or higher education; highlight the work of MyFutureNC, a statewide organization that is striving to enable 2 million North Carolinians to attain post-secondary degrees or certifications by 2030; and introduce a handful of county programs that have proven successful in connecting with those youth.

Thursday, August 6, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

9:50 – 10:50 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

11 a.m.
Business Session

Elections will be held for NCACC leadership positions, notably Second Vice President.

Friday, August 14, 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
General Session with keynote speaker Clay Jenkinson

244 years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Yet today, we still wrestle with issues of equality. What exactly did Jefferson mean by equality? What are the issues of equality vs. liberty and the pursuit of happiness? How would Jefferson handle governmental leadership during a pandemic, and public reaction to police brutality? What is Jefferson’s vision for America, and, even if it is not realistic today, what actions can we take to realize what is possible in a free, equitable and educated society? Finally, what lessons from Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers are most applicable today for leaders at the local government level?

Clay Jenkinson is a scholar, presidential historian, and author who served as the major humanities commentator on Ken Burns’ 1997 documentary on the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. His two most recent books are “Bring Out Your Dead: The Literature and History of Epidemics,” released in June, and “Repairing Jefferson’s America: A Guide to Civility and Enlightened Citizenship,” due to be released in August.

3:45 – 4 p.m.
Break: Calling all musicians!

While we cannot replicate the atmosphere of an in-person Annual Conference in a virtual setting, we will strive to allow commissioners to continue to get to know one another in fun ways.

During this break, we envision a showcase of our musically inclined county officials. If you are a musician and/or singer, we ask that you record a video of yourself performing, and share that with us. During the break, we will show two to three of those performances, or parts of all submissions, and then link to full videos off the conference webpage. For now, email your willingness to participate to ncacc@ncacc.org. We will share with participants a file sharing service for video uploads.

4 – 5 p.m.
LGFCU Innovation Hour

Learn about the 2020 LGFCU Excellence in Innovation Awards program winners. Chosen as award recipients by their peers in county government, the winning teams have implemented programs that demonstrate innovative solutions to county needs.

Saturday, August 15, 9 – 10:15 a.m.
General Session: keynote speaker TBA

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.
Break: How well do you know your fellow commissioners?

While we cannot replicate the atmosphere of an in-person Annual Conference in a virtual setting, we will strive to allow commissioners to continue to get to know one another in fun ways.

During this break, we will play a “Two Truths and a Lie” guessing game. Online polling will introduce a commissioner along with three “answers.” Participants guess which “answer” is the lie.

We are issuing a call for commissioners to volunteer their “two truths and one lie” for the game. Email your submission to ncacc@ncacc.org!

10:30 a.m.
Ceremonial conclusion

We celebrate the presidential term of Yadkin County Chair Kevin Austin, and look forward to a year of leadership from incoming president Ronnie Smith of Martin County and the 2020-21 Executive Committee in this ceremonial conclusion to the 113th Annual Conference.