Top Five Takeaways From NACo's Annual Conference

July 25, 2019 by Brian Aylward

Top Five Takeaways From NACo's Annual Conference

On July 12-15 in Clark County, Nevada, the National Association of Counties (NACo) hosted its 84th Annual Conference & Exposition. Nearly 3,000 elected and appointed county leaders from across the country came together to share best practices, strengthen knowledge networks, and shape the federal policy agenda. Tyler was proud to be on the ground in partnership with NACo at the event. Here are some of our key takeaways: 

1. NACO’s New CTO Aims to Strengthen America’s Counties

Earlier this month, NACo appointed Rita Reynolds as its new chief technology officer (CTO). For the past 20 years, Reynolds served as chief information officer and director of technology services at the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. In her new role at NACo, Reynolds will help strengthen America’s counties by delivering a new technology strategy that encompasses internal IT infrastructure, member-based technology systems, and corporate partner collaboration. At the conference, Reynolds facilitated the GIS Subcommittee Meeting, IT Standing Committee Meeting, and Smarter Counties Technology Forum. All three meetings focused on the role technology plays in helping counties meet the needs of the public.

2. Cybersecurity Culture Should Be “Baked-In” to Your Organization’s Mission

At the IT Standing Committee Meeting, Tyler’s Senior Cybersecurity Advisor, Jockel Carter, discussed how to develop and sustain an organizational culture centered around cybersecurity. With an increase in cyberattacks happening in both public and private sectors, organizations are looking to shift from cybersecurity training being a “bolt on” afterthought to a function integrated into every facet and level of an agency. Carter explained, “Cybersecurity culture can be achieved when an organization’s people, processes, and technology are aligned with secure execution of the business strategy.” More than ever before, public employees are looking for the skills, education, technology, and culture to combat cyber threats to protect the public.

Tyler’s Senior Cybersecurity Advisor Jockel Carter addresses the IT Standing Committee Meeting

3. Apps Don’t Just Help Residents, They Empower Staff

During the Smarter Counties Technology Forum, Tyler’s Vice President of Product Strategy T.J. Sokoll explained the role apps play in county government. Sokoll referenced Imperial County, California, a large county with limited resources, that tapped into Tyler’s civic engagement solutions to improve the conditions of its roads and parks. The app served two functions: first, it crowdsourced park and road conditions from the public; second, it empowered staff by streamlining processes. During the session, Reynolds asked Sokoll, “What is the greatest challenge you see for counties in becoming smarter and more innovative?” Sokoll’s response underscored the need to develope a culture of staff empowerment during times of change.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ Director of Strategic Planning Matthew Donohue (left); IBM Global Business Services Health & Human Services Industry Lead Mary Sara Jones; Maricopa County, Arizona’s Senior IT Project Manager Tiffany Moore; Tyler’s Vice President of Product Strategy T.J. Sokoll; and NACo’s Chief Technology Officer Rita Reynolds address the Smarter Counties Technology Forum

4. eJustice Solutions are Gaining in Popularity

A common theme of the conference was increasing access to justice. Family Mediation Center Manager Linda Sayegh from the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County joined Jamie Gillespie, Tyler’s general manager for online dispute resolution (ODR), for a discussion on leveraging technology to break down barriers in the justice system. Sayegh and Gillespie detailed Nevada’s ODR pilot that resulted in 100% of online disputes reaching a resolution outside of normal business hours, averaging a six-day negotiation, compared to the average eight-week in-person court trial. The three-judge pilot program expanded to all 14 judges and 12 mediators in early 2019 to help clear case backlogs, mediate more cases daily, and offer disputants 24/7 access to justice. During the Q&A, many attendees discussed their journeys to adopt or custom-build online dispute resolution practices.

Tyler's General Manager of Online Dispute Resolution Jamie Gillespie (left) and Clark County, Nevada's Family Mediation Center Manager Linda Sayegh (right) address county justice reps

5. Counties Connected to Address Food Insecurity

During the conference, 254 individuals from 173 counties and state associations helped Tyler raise $2,540 by spinning the “Wheel of Connection” in the exhibition hall. The wheel was created to support NACo’s Immediate Past President and San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox’s vision to “Connect the Unconnected” – linking county residents to services. For every county official that spun the wheel, Tyler donated $10 to the Three Square Food Bank in Clark County, Nevada, and NACo’s Next Generation Network’s 2019 Service Recipient. Three Square helps meet the needs of the one-in-eight southern Nevadans that struggle with food insecurity, with a focus on food-insecure children.

Tyler’s Booth and Wheel of Connection

Together, NACo and Tyler work to deliver transformative technology solutions to county governments to help them become more efficient, accessible, and responsive to the needs of the public.

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