The 2021 MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show, to be held virtually on Jan. 21 and 22, will feature the high-quality, timely workshops that members have come to expect.

MIIA members whose employees participate in any of the training sessions listed below will be eligible to earn MIIA Rewards credits.

Rewards-eligible workshops
• “Setting and Achieving Cybersecurity Goals for Your Community” will cover best practices and practical tips that offer immediate protection against financial and reputational cyber losses. Panelists will include Sam Curry, chief security officer at Cybereason, representatives from the MassCyberCenter, and Pittsfield Chief Information Officer Mike Steben.

• A workshop on governing remotely will explore the operation of municipal government during the COVID-19 pandemic, including town meetings, remote hearings and meetings, and elections. Panelists include attorneys Lauren Goldberg and Mark Reich from KP Law.

• “Ready, Set, Lead! Thriving in a Virtual Reality” will discuss the adjustment to working virtually during the pandemic. Since many of us will continue to miss out on in-person opportunities to strengthen bonds with colleagues, reports, and residents, it’s important to learn how to be as effective and connected as possible. Panelists are Cally Ritter, principal at Positive Ripple Training and Consulting, and Adam Sutton, founder of Working Happier.

• “Getting Public Health Right” will explore the lessons learned from the COVID pandemic, and how we can be better prepared for future health crises. It will also discuss ways that regional collaboration is used for emergency preparedness and pandemic planning. Panelists are Norwood Health Director Sigalle Reiss, president of the Massachusetts Health Officers Association, and Connor Robichaud, principal planner at the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission.

• In “Municipal Law Update,” attorneys will discuss important developments in municipal law as they relate to Massachusetts cities and towns.

• “Mutual Aid in Public Works,” sponsored by the Massachusetts Highway Association, will explore how communities can provide backup for each other in public works during emergencies.

• “Navigating Difficult Conversations About Workforce Diversity” will focus on how to have conversations about race, equity and inclusion in the workplace. This workshop will explain how to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” and provide the tools needed to start difficult conversations about anti-racist values in your community and to initiate change through action. Panelists are Southborough Assistant Town Administrator Vanessa Hale and Kathy Lopes, LICSW, director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Newton Public Schools. The moderator is Needham Human Resources Director Rachel Glisper.

• “Cultivating Equity in Your Community” will focus on best practices in municipal government to ensure equitable engagement of diverse communities. Opportunities for civic engagement should be open and accessible to all, particularly to those who have been historically underrepresented. Panelists are Easton Select Board Chair Dottie Fulginiti, and Methuen City Councillor Eunice Zeigler, and the moderator is Wakefield Town Councillor Mehreen Butt.

• In “Labor Law Update,” attorneys will discuss recent developments in labor and employment law, including major court cases, agency decisions and legislation.

• “Pandemic Permitting” will focus on best practices for permitting housing and commercial development during the pandemic. Panelists will be Arlington Planning and Community Development Director Jennifer Raitt, a member of the MMA Policy Committee on Municipal and Regional Administration; Stephen Rolle, assistant chief development officer in Worcester; and Andrew Shapiro, Community and Economic Development director in North Andover.

• “Managing Systemic Racism and Bias in Your Police Department” will explore how racism impacts minority groups within a police department, and proven ways to address the issue internally and in the wider community. Panelists are Nina Nazarian and Acton Town Manager John Mangiaratti, co-chairs of the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and public safety consultant Brett Parson, a retired lieutenant with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.

For complete information about the MMA Annual Meeting, visit

Written by Lin Chabra, MIIA Member Training Manager