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May 17-19, 2006

As we began our 14th annual tri-state conference ready to attack the swollen seas and rain clouds that would not leave us, but the sun shone on our Maine “Lobster” Bake. If that wasn’t a sign that this conference was going to be another success, I don’t know what would have been. We had over 130 conference attendees not including guests and vendors.

Once again we started out with a Pre-conference Technology day on Wednesday, May 17th. The most popular session contin-ues to be Excel. There is always something new we are trying to do to make our jobs easier and more efficient. Tri-state is fortunate to have found Rick Hutchins to show us new tricks every year, and he continues to draw a full house. Others attended sessions on File Maker Pro, or Micro-soft Access. The afternoon concurrent session on Effective Meeting Strategies with the Cifelli’s provided tools to handle those never ending meetings and to make them more effective and efficient. Stump the CPA with Sheryl Platt was as usual an eye opener and we could have lis-tened and learned for hours more. We will welcome her 2006 CONFERENCE FLASHBACKback again. A new program this year was with Connie Hyslop in the afternoon “Working with Digital Cameras”, attendees found this very informative to get them started in the digital world of photography. Then we moved on to the evening boat ride and “lobster bake”. As I said the skies cleared and some were actually able to sit outside and enjoy the hospitality of Peaks Island.

Thursday brought us another full day of learning. Some started the day off with a fun walk. Many then enjoyed a breakfast buffet with entertainment by the Deering High School Jazz Combo. The opening session of the 14th Annual Tri-state Conference started off with welcome remarks by Mary Jo O’Connor, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools. Our general session, once again focused on “What’s New in Legal Issues”, presented by Bill Stockmeyer, Rob Nadeau, Jerry Zelin and Eric Herlan all of Drummond, Woodsum & MacMahon. Discussions revolved around Construction contracts and Lease /Lease Purchase agreements and finished up with updates on Special Education law, including many areas of liability for schools. Late morning sessions were presented by Sgt. Glenn Lange on School Security, Greg Chabot on GASB 43, 45 and 40 changes (yes this is still in effect), Budget presentations by our own Business Managers, Katherine Warren, Maine; Cindi Rossi, Vermont and Jen Mercier from Maine, three very different districts discussed their process. Also before lunch a heavily attended session listened to a presentation by Roger Kelley on Labor Negotiations and how they really work. Mark Conrad a business manager from NH and Charles Petrasanta a senior actuary with TE: GE discussed surviving an audit and new IRS regulations. Did you know that 403b regulations did not change yet; they say changes are coming though!

After lunch sessions focused on round table discussions of 4 twenty minute sessions. Round table presentations included E-rate, by David Cornett, Energy Education, by Charles Fasnacht III, Controlling Health Insurance Costs HRAs and HSAs by Michelle Paules, Environmental Safety and Health in Public Schools by Ed Antz, Funding New Resources/ School / Community/ Business Partnerships by Gary Perlson, Wellness Policies by Becki Schreiber and the Rx Factor, by Jim Demosthenes on why prescription drugs contribute so heavily to the cost of health insurance. The remaining tables were filled with the morning session speakers providing additional time for Questions and Answers. At 2:30 the vendor exhibit opened. We were able to have more than 70 vendors in this location. It is so exciting to see the vendor participation we have for Tri- State. We would like to thank all of our vendors who provide so much support to all of us. Our evening ended with a Banquet and award winning student entertainment by The Stratton Elementary School All Star Steel Band. ASBO International Representative James Rowan also recognized state Presidents. Many business managers then prolonged their evening by visiting downtown Portland and The Old Port for more evening entertainment and socializing.

Friday, once again started with a fun walk, although I am not sure if anyone was up at that hour. The morning breakfast buffet was again enlightened with the previous evening All Star Steel Band from Stratton Elementary School. We started the morning with Concurrent Wellness Workshops; Wellness, Enhancing Your Resiliency presented by Amy Beaulieu, LCSW, and EAP Consultant at Life Resources, Inc. – STRESS, what STRESS, and Marlene Gardner from Lake Sunapee Bank provided insight on Identity Theft and how not to become a victim. Our morning break was followed by our Keynote Speaker, Commander Scott Waddle, USN (retired) “Failure is Not Final” Commander Waddle shared with us a very compelling story about a tragic ordeal and the choices that followed about integrity, faith and resilience.

Unfortunately our Golf Tournament was cancelled due to that rain that we had on and off all week. But the shoppers went about their business and those that stayed were able to enjoy a lovely although cool evening at the Sea Dogs.

Once again, the enthusiastic support of all business managers and vendors in each of our states is what makes this conference so successful. We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy days to share your knowledge, concerns and commitment to what we do. Your continued feedback is invaluable to the planning committee for all future conferences.

We would also like to thank the planning committee for all their time and dedication that it takes to putting together a conference of this magnitude; they are truly a dedicated group of active and retired business managers.



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