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2018 SDA Conference Scholarships are Now Available!

Every year, new managers and board members learn about issues critical to their district at the SDA Annual Conference. The conference reinforces the special district community by providing an exchange of ideas, and by enabling people to make connections. Our Scholarship Program pays for these new faces to attend by reimbursing their district for the costs associated with attending.

This year we have increased the amount awarded from $750 to $900 per applicant. We want to give first-time board members and district staff the opportunity to develop relationships and take advantage of the valuable training.

Don’t take our word for it. Below are some thoughts and experiences of last year’s recipients:

“Each class offered was well worth the time. I would have attended the conference without receiving a scholarship, however, each year several of our board members attend and the scholarship helps. After attending the conference, we have each board member bring back to the first board meeting their experience and highlights of the conference to share with the board members who did not attend.

Each year brings new subjects and the newest, up-to-date legislation and election, educating the newest members of the board on their roles. It is a great way to meet the people who help support the District, putting faces to names.”

Shirley Brinkmann, Pagosa Fire Protection District

“The topics were definitely on target for what is going to be impacting special districts. I really enjoyed the speakers. Very inspirational.”

John Boyd, Gypsum Fire Protection District

“I think the scholarship program is essential for some special districts that are on the fence whether they can afford to send someone. The conference is very well put together. I hate to think where special districts would be without the Pool and SDA.”

Bob Salmi, Baca Brande Water and Sanitation District

“Without the financial support it would have been difficult to fit it into our budget. I found it an interesting experience, giving me a better concept of districts and the scope of functions they perform in Colorado. I attended many presentations that taught me techniques useful in dealing with and relating to my district’s residents. I also learned about the financial and legal requirements and some tricks and tools useful in dealing with them.”

Gary Ogin, Orchard Hills Metro Park and Recreation District

“I absolutely loved it. I have been to several other conferences at Keystone and this was by far the best. The speakers were phenomenal, the classes very helpful, and the food was awesome! I can’t wait to go this year again!”

Kristen Rybij, East Grand County Fire Protection District #4

“My conference experience is one I will never forget. The classes had more information than I would have thought. I highly recommend it to other members who would like to attend and learn a lot about special districts. It is worth applying for a scholarship!”

Pamela Smith, Clifton sanitation District

“The conference experience was great and educational. I met other board members and learned about their districts’ business. I learned about many topics that I was not aware of, and brought back information to share with other board members. It would not have been possible to attend the conference without the scholarship.

Board members are concerned about what the community might perceive as ‘frivolous’ spending. There is not a budget allocated for attending conferences.

Prior to the conference last year, I suggested to other board members to apply for scholarships; however, because of their work schedules and other obligations, they decided not to apply. I will continue to recommend the conference to new board members.”

Vanessa Dao, Perry Park Metropolitan District

If you’re interested in applying for a scholarship, don’t hesitate. Spaces are extremely limited. Remember that preference is given to first time attendees, and those from districts that have never sent a delegation.

To apply, go to:

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