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Welcome to the 122nd annual conference of the Nebraska Association of County Officials. I am pleased that once again we are at the Younes Conference Center. It is such a pleasure to be working with the Younes staff in Kearney. I believe that the next few days will provide each of you with an opportunity to meet county officials from across the state who are working on challenges that affect all of Nebraska. This conference provides an opportunity to learn from professionals in many areas of county government in addition to getting acquainted with your peers.

This year NACO is unveiling a new logo and emblem that will become our recognizable brand for many years to come. The MIPS logo has been updated also and consistently ties into the NACO brand.

This is the first conference we will be exploring the option of attendees obtaining a copy of your meeting agendas in a true electronic fashion. The goal is that in future years more attendees will be using an electronic agenda than the paper version. We will continue to bring technology solutions to your conference in “keeping with the times”.

Please note that we are experimenting with joint sessions for county board members and county clerks and highway superintendents. Depending on the feedback this may become a staple of future conferences. NACO might also explore additional general sessions for all attendees in the future.

A special opportunity to “give back” for this year is a charitable drive to provide personal care items designated to go to our Nebraska veteran homes. The donations will be divided among the 5 NACO districts for distribution. I believe it is important that we as county officials consistently remember it is good to give back when we can. Through your generosity, I am sure that many of our veterans will feel the generosity of Nebraska’s county officials.

I encourage and challenge each of you to make every effort to meet and introduce yourself to fellow county officials who you do not know. After the recent election we will have many officials who are attending for their very first time. Please welcome them. Speaking from experience, you will find that some of the officials you meet this week will become your friends for life.

Please take time to visit all of the vendor booths and thank them for having a booth and showing us the products they have to offer. They play a very important role in our conference.

On Friday, morning I encourage each of you to make every effort to attend the NACO Business Meeting as there are important votes to be taken. You will be voting on electing officers to lead this organization. As of the writing of this article, this year we have 2 qualified candidates vying to become the NACO Secretary—Treasurer. As per our bylaws, the Secretary-Treasurer must come from the Central District.

I sincerely hope that you find this conference educational and of great value in obtaining information on how to serve the citizens of Nebraska in the most cost effective and efficient manner.