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Every year, the CSD Pool and SDA team up to bring a handful of new managers, board members, and other special district professionals to the SDA Annual Conference. This year’s conference takes place in Keystone from September 21 through 23 and will feature inspirational speakers and a wealth of opportunities to meet and network with other professionals in your field.

These scholarships reimburse districts up to $750 for the costs of sending first-time-attendee supervisors and board members. These funds are intended to cover out-of-pocket expenses of registration, travel, meals, and lodging.

Anyone interested in receiving a scholarship to attend the SDA Conference must submit their completed application by Friday July 22, 2016 at csdpool.com/scholarships. Space is limited, so act fast. We process and approve qualified applications on a first come, first served basis.

Last year, we received far more applications than we had available scholarships, so don’t hesitate to apply today! We think the event is more than worth the time and effort it takes to attend. But don’t take our word for it; see what some of last year’s scholarship recipients had to say.

“The conference scholarship allowed me to take full advantage of the training offered throughout the 2015 SDA Conference. The keynote speakers were inspirational, the breakout sessions were educational, and the exchange of information with members of other special districts between sessions and at meals brought new options to everyday activities. Add to all of this, the beautiful early fall setting. I would recommend applying for this opportunity to everyone, regardless of district title or position.”

Jennifer Enochs, Special Projects Coordinator
Arvada Fire Protection District

“Receiving the scholarship made it possible for both our Office Manager and me to attend the conference last year. It was particularly helpful since we are a small, new fire district with limited funds, but we joined the CSD Pool last year. The scholarship offset the cost of our meeting with all the various folks we were working with in the Pool- we probably would not have attended without it.”

Ron Pristera, Fire Chief
Evans Fire Protection District

“Having been a new director on the Horse Creek Metro District this past year, I found the conference extremely helpful in gaining a better understanding on what exactly a metro district is, what they’re capable of doing and how a board of directors can achieve the goals of our community. Not only were the sessions beneficial, but talking with other directors, comparing situations, concerns, celebrations and ideas, I was able to gain insight on all the possibilities. I was able to take what I learned from the conference to our November board meeting, and discuss some new ideas and options. Of course, receiving the scholarship put less pressure on our expenses as a metro district, as at least two of us attended from our board.”

Allison Provence, Assistant Secretary
Horse Creek Metropolitan District

“The 2015 Conference provided a wealth of information! I found the fire forum very informative because I was able to hear directly from others how today’s troubles are affecting other districts, and how they are tackling these issues. The break-away sessions were informative as well! They were presented by professional, knowledgeable individuals that gave me clear information to bring back to my board and to help with my everyday tasks. I especially enjoyed the presentation by Karl Mecklenburg, and the nighttime entertainment was very enjoyable as well! I’m really glad I got to go! I would not have been able to attend without the scholarship, so I am especially appreciative to your organization for the opportunity!”

Christine Gray, Secretary-Treasurer
Olathe Fire Protection District

“I am very grateful for the scholarship and ability to attend the SDA Conference. Our district suffered a large financial loss in 2013 and the scholarship helped at a time when we needed it most. We’ve experienced several changes in leadership over the past few years with four new directors, and it was important for them to attend and learn more about their roles. As administrator, it was important for me to attend and learn about leadership roles in order to support our directors. The Conference provided invaluable information on issues shared by other special districts including retention and recruitment. What a wonderful opportunity to share thoughts, concerns and explore potential solutions together. Thank you!”

Kelly Cross, District Administrator
Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District

“I’d just assumed the role of Interim Executive Director at our district during a critical pre-election period for a November bond election when I considered attending last year’s conference. I wasn’t sure I should invest the time away during such an important period. When I was approved for a scholarship, the board and I decided that I would attend. I am so glad I did! Being new to a special district, it provided extremely valuable information about requirements and challenges unique to special districts. There were helpful sessions on bond financing which were very relevant for our next steps after a successful election. I also learned about policies, HR, and marketing. The speakers were inspiring, the food and accommodations were awesome, and I gathered lots of good info from the sponsors. Probably the best part of the experience was that I had the opportunity to network with a great group of professionals who are passionate about serving their communities throughout Colorado.Today I’m the Finance Director for our district and I hope to attend again, and would encourage anyone working with a special district to participate in this conference. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!”

Mary Davis, Finance Director
Estes Valley Recreation and Park District

“I had a wonderful time at the conference last year. We sent three people to the conference, so the scholarship program really helped reduce those costs. The speakers were amazing, very motivational, and encouraging. Also, the food was fantastic. I am hoping to attend again this year. This is a really wonderful conference that SDA puts on and all their hard work is greatly appreciated!”

Karen Jordan, Accountant
GVR Metropolitan District

“I attended the conference last year through the scholarship program and found it to be excellent. It was very informative and the classes and breakout sessions were quite helpful in learning how special districts function. The networking was equally valuable, as I was able to learn firsthand how other districts were operating. I strongly encouraged other directors on our Board to attend this year’s conference.”

Bruce Finger, Board President
Red Feather Lakes Fire Protection District

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