The Tennessee Chapter of the American Public Works Association (TCAPWA) and the Solid Waste Association of America (SWANA) held their annual conference from October 21 – 23, 2018. Hosted by the TCAPWA Middle Branch, the event was held at the Doubletree Downtown Hotel in Nashville.
The first full day of the conference encompassed registration and activities, including the always popular Equipment Rodeo, a tour of the Omohundro Water Treatment Plant, a golf outing, and a host branch reception which featured a welcome by Nashville Mayor David Briley and Special Guest Speaker Peter Laviolette, Head Coach of the Nashville Predators.
The second full day of the conference focused on learning sessions. The event planners assembled 12 sessions on a variety of technical and professional development topics related to public works. Two of our LDA team members presented – Jim Albert on “Using Drones for Solid Waste Management” and Stephanie Livingston on “Translating Street Design Concepts for Municipalities in Tennessee”. The exhibit was open all day and I had the opportunity to work at our LDA Engineering booth, where I got to meet conference attendees and learn a bit about their jobs and the areas where they lived and worked.
This conference brings together most of the public works officials in the state of Tennessee. I have been attending the conference for the past 30 years and have really seen attendance increase. In the early 1990s, the conference was held at a small venue and had 15 vendors at most. The conference has grown along with the association, from both a state perspective but also a local perspective. We now see a lot more participation and interest at the local level, which in turn contributes to efforts at the state level. I look forward to continued participation at these conference and seeing what will be offered in the future.