Florida TaxWatch hosted the Governmental Research Association’s 106th Conference and Annual Meeting in St. Petersburg, FL, from July 21 – 24, 2019. Sessions took place in downtown St. Petersburg, FL at the beautiful Museum of Fine Arts.
New to the conference this year were two separate tracks: policy sessions and skills sessions. Organizations brought their entire team from policy researchers to communications officers to executive directors. As we closed the conference, attendees requested online continued training in the following sessions: social media boosting and surveying , framing grants for policy research, and hacking maps for people on a budget or a deadline.
Thomas Ross, president of The Volcker Alliance, was the keynote speaker hitting on the hot topic of state government budgets. GRA President Mebane Rash moderated a Q&A with Ross that touched on the necessity of preserving our democracy.
Attendees heard from special guests Jeff Chapman of Pew Charitable Trusts, Jen Zuckerman of the World Food Policy Center. Bill Nichols of Freedman Consulting, Bert Brandenburg of Ward Circle Solutions, Dr. Ellen Prager of Earth2Ocean, Lisa R. Margulies of the Crime and Justice Institute, Catherine Stempien of Duke Energy Florida, John J. Reed of the Board for Concentric Energy Advisors, David Casey of MAXIMUS, and Marsha Simon of MJ Simon & Company.
There was more than just policy and skills trainings, there was also a whole lot of wonky fun at Tropicana Field and the Dali Museum. For more, read the below wrap up article on the entire conference as well as an analysis on this year’s keynote. If we missed you, we can’t wait to see you next year. Get ready for 2020!
Presentations from the 2019 GRA conference:
This year’s award presentations: