Agriculture & Rural Development

Agricultural Trade with Cuba

Collin Laverty, President, Cuba Educational Travel, Florida

Mike Strain, D.V.M., Commissioner, Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana

Floods and Farm Relief Packages

Clint Leach, Assistant Commissioner, South Carolina Department of Agriculture

Senator Greg Hembree, South Carolina

State Implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act

Joe Reardon, Assistant Commissioner, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Adam Choate, Director, Consumer Protection Division, Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce

Economic Development, Transportation, Cultural Affairs

Autonomous and Connected Vehicles: The Road Ahead

Scott Shogan, Vice President, Connected/Automated Vehicle Market Leader, WSP USA, Michigan

Senator Jim Tracy, Speaker Pro Tempore, Tennessee

The Workforce of 2025: One State’s Path Forward  

Mike Krause, Executive Director, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

The Golden Triangle: Advanced Manufacturing in Mississippi

Joe Max Higgins, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, The Golden Triangle, Mississippi

Historic Preservation and Tax Credits

Lolly Rash, Executive Director, Mississippi Heritage Trust


An Overview of “Mississippi Education Works” 

Laurie Smith, Ph.D., Education and Workforce Development Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Phil Bryant, Mississippi

Loan Forgiveness and Scholarships for Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Tim Sass, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, Department of Economics, Fiscal Research Center, Georgia State University

Leveraging Technology in the Classroom

Sharon Leu, Senior Policy Advisor, Higher Education Innovation, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

Handout 1: Overview, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education

Handout 2: Future Ready Schools: Quick Reference Guide of Key Questions for Planning Technology Infrastructure

Bobby Cox, Ed.S., Director of Schools, Warren County, Tennessee

The State of Broadband in Rural Schools

Eric Saunders, Ed.D., Assistant Commissioner of Research and Technology, Arkansas Department of Education 

Michael Turzanski, Director, State Engagements, EducationSuperHighway, California

Handout: E-Rate Essentials 

Energy & Environment

Lessons in Resilience: Coastal Restoration in Mississippi

George Ramseur, Director, Office of Coastal Restoration and Resilience, Department of Marine Resources, Mississippi

Gary Rikard, Executive Director, Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi

The Road to the Future: Georgia’s Laboratory for Sustainable Infrastructure Innovation

Allie Kelly, Executive Director, The Ray, Georgia

Costas Simoglou, Director, Center of Innovation for Energy Technology, Georgia Department of Economic Development

Energy Resilience and the U.S. Military: Lessons for the States

Ariel Castillo, Ph.D., Senior Energy Resilience Program Manager, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Energy, Installations, and Environment, U.S. Department of Defense, Virginia

Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations

Public Pensions: A Fiscal Imperative

Herb Frierson, Commissioner, Department of Revenue, Mississippi

Donald J. Boyd, Ph.D., Director of Fiscal Studies, Rockefeller Institute of Government, New York

Recent Trends in State Budgets

John Hicks, Executive Director, National Association of State Budget Officers, Washington, D.C.

The Hidden Risks of P3s: Fiscal Challenges and Opportunities

Bradley J. Nowak, Partner, Williams Mullen, Washington, D.C.

Human Services & Public Safety

Managing Foster Care Systems

Michelle Dhunjishah, Director, Children’s Law Center, University of South Carolina 

Long-Term Care in the South

Kathleen Ujvari, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

Anne Tumlinson, Chief Executive Officer, Anne Tumlinson Innovations LLC, Washington, D.C.

Men’s Health

Mike Leventhal, Executive Director, Tennessee Men’s Health Network

Harry Tindell, Former Representative, Tennessee

Healthcare Reform

Jennifer Tolbert, Director, State Health Reform, Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Comparative Data Reports

Adult Corrections: Monique Appeaning, Legislative Fiscal Office, Louisiana

Education: Hank Hager, Senate, West Virginia

Medicaid: Zachary M. Rau, Legislative Fiscal Office, Louisiana

Staff Workshop

Supreme Court Update: A Briefing from the State and Local Legal Center

Lisa Soronen, Executive Director, State and Local Legal Center, Washington, D.C.

Handout: Supreme Court Review for States 2017 

How a Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Would Affect State Governments

Mattie Quinn, Health Writer, Governing, Washington, D.C.

Parliamentary Procedure: History and Practice

Kay Allison Crews, President, American Institute of Parliamentarians, Texas

Program Design and Performance Evaluation

Linda Triplett, Director, Performance Accountability Office, Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, Mississippi

Kirby Arinder, Ph.D., Research Methodologist, Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, Mississippi

State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) Award Judges Panel

Arkansas – Amputation Prevention Stand-Down Program

West Virginia – Electronic Application Processing System (Winner)

Tennessee – Prioritizing Student Veterans (Winner)

West Virginia – Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Information System

Louisiana – Integrative Behavioral and Primary Care Model