ICMA Member Partners' Program

The Partners' Program was developed to help members and their partners meet the challenges they face in the local government profession.

ICMA’s Partners' Program recognizes the significant role that a partner and family play in the success of a local government management professional’s career. Each year, the Partners' Program develops relevant content in a relaxed environment for the partners at the ICMA Annual Conference. This single-largest gathering of ICMA partners provides them with a chance to share their experiences, receive valuable information, network, meet new friends, and reconnect with old friends. The Partner network has formed strong friendships, mentors, and valuable connections on personal and professional levels.

The Partners' Program provides a scholarship for a partner of an ICMA members who has never attended an ICMA Conference. Look for more details about how and when to apply to attend the ICMA Annual Conference. 

Partners' Program Overview

Through the Partner's Program, ICMA Member Partners collaborate to foster fellowship, understanding, education, support, and enrichment. In addition, as ambassadors for ICMA, Partners contribute to the vitality and sustainability of each community visited (national, regional, and state sites) by engaging in viable and pertinent community service projects.

ICMA Partners have spoken of their need for support in carrying out their roles as Partners of local government administrators. Frequently, they are the manager's main source of support in coping with the stresses that are an inevitable part of the profession. Many aspects of the local government administrative career can have a strong impact on family stability and require special understanding and effort. How these life and career issues are managed can often make crucial differences both in family happiness and career fulfillment. Few other careers affect so many personal and daily aspects of life. 

ICMA provided opportunities at the annual conference for partners to share experiences and seek support from others. The need for support in meeting these challenges received more attention in 1986 when the ICMA Executive Board established the Partners' Program. The term "partner" was chosen to denote shared commitment—a true partnership between two individuals in facing both the problems and rewards of a local government career.

The program is dedicated to:

  • Providing opportunities to enhance interpersonal strengths and positive coping strategies, while improving individual and partnership communication skills.
  • Fostering support networks and other exchange activities for partners that create ways to exchange solutions to common problems.
  • Providing information that offers practical advice on finding and using community resources and other tools for dealing with life problems.

Program includes:

  1. Annual Conference Events

    ICMA’s Partners Program focuses on developing related content for the annual conference, which is the single largest gathering point for ICMA members and partners. ICMA’s Annual Conference provides rich opportunities for networking and personal development and offers the chance to meet new friends and renew ties with old ones. Each year the conference program includes sessions designed to provide meaningful information and opportunities to discuss areas of keen interest to partners and members either together or separately.

  2. Partners’ Conference Scholarship Program

    Many of us remember our first conference: the place, the programs, the people we met, but ultimately knowing that you were among friends, people who experienced what you experienced and could honestly say “I know what you mean." Some partners, however, have never attended a conference. We know that sometimes a job or family make it impossible, but sometimes money is the issue. We cannot help with the job or the family, but we can help with the money.

    The Partners’ Conference Scholarship Program, created in the memory of Frances “Babs” Elwell, continues its mission to provide scholarships for partners of ICMA members who have not attended the Annual Conference. Fundraising activities ensure that the program can provide scholarships for future conferences.

    All partners of ICMA members who have not attended a conference are eligible. To apply for this scholarship, complete and submit the online application by September 15, 2017.  

    Complete the Online Application

  3. Contributions

    You can contribute directly help other member partners share in the fun and learning experience of the Annual Conference. Make contributions payable to ICMA Conference Assistance Program and send to:
    ICMA Partners Program
    777 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 500 
    Washington DC, 20002

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