NARC Annual Conference
& Exhibition

June 12-15, 2022 – Columbus, OH

Conference Registration Now Open!

56th Annual Conference & Exhibition 
June 12-15, 2022
Columbus Hilton Downtown,
401 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215

Hotel cutoff EXTENDED to May 26

The Annual Conference and Exhibition is the largest national event focused on promoting effective regional cooperation and solutions through interaction and education. Held annually in June, NARC’s Annual Conference is the premier place to learn how to engage in effective regional collaboration.

Representatives of Councils of Government and Metropolitan Planning Organizations — leadership, professional staff, board members, local elected officials, technical and program staff — come together to share best practices, attend informative sessions on program, legislative and regulatory issues, as well as avail of training and technical services. Speakers include experts from the public and private sector, congressional and state lawmakers, and individuals from universities and non-profit organizations.


The most recent pdf version of the draft agenda can be found here

 Sunday, June 12
11:00am – 5:00pmRegistration
1:30pm – 4:30pm

Mobile Tour: Quarry Trails Metro Park

Participants will tour parklands created by a unique public-private partnership, which provides amenities such as kayaking and canoeing, mountain biking, a regional trail connection, a whitewater course, and rock climbing. Participants will also view private development on the site which is currently under construction.

Registration Required: $25

1:30pm – 4:30pm

Mobile Tour: Kayaking along the Scioto River (SOLD OUT)

The Scioto River is a popular destination for kayakers in Central Ohio. There are several places to put your kayak in or get out of the water. If you haven’t ever kayaked before, it’s definitely something you should consider. Not only is it a delightful way to get some exercise, it also connects you to your environment in a unique way. Central Ohio has made several improvements to our waterways in recent years. One of the most notable being the Scioto Mile. So if you’re looking for an incredible way to see our city and the countryside around it, consider paddling.

This event is currently sold out. However, if you would like your name added to the waiting list in the event another individual cancels, please email Marcy Fritter at

Registration Required: $50

5:30pm – 7:00pmOpening Reception
Monday, June 13
7:45am – 4:00pmRegistration and Exhibitors Table
8:15am – 9:00am

Breakfast & Welcome to the Region

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission welcomes participants to the greater Columbus region, home to more than 75 members comprised of counties, cities, villages, townships, and regional organizations. The Columbus region takes pride in bringing communities of all sizes and interests together to collaborate on best practices and plan for the future of their growing region.

Introduction and Welcome:

Leslie Wollack, Executive Director, National Association of Regional Councils

The Honorable Bob Cannon, Supervisor, Clinton Township, Michigan; Southeast Michigan Council of Governments; NARC President-Elect @SEMCOG @RobertJCannon

William Murdock, Executive Director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Keynote Speaker

Will be announced soon.

9:00am – 10:00am

Introduction to Central Ohio: A Forward-Thinking Growing Region

Columbus is the fastest-growing large metropolitan area in the Midwest and one of the fastest-growing in the nation, according to the most-recent population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Among the 51 metro areas with more than 1 million people in 2020, Columbus ranked 17th in population growth. Hear from local leaders in the Columbus region how they are capitalizing on this population growth to increase vibrancy, diversity, economic health, and amenities in the region.


William Murdock, Executive Director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission


The Honorable Shannon Hardin, President, Columbus City Council

The Honorable Richard “Ike” Stage, Mayor, Grove City, Ohio; Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission; NARC Board Member

Eric Phillips, Economic Development Director and Chamber CEO, Union County Chamber of Commerce

10:00am – 10:15amBreak with Exhibitors


10:15am – 11:30am

Transportation Committee Meeting

Join NARC’s Transportation Committee to discuss what to expect in 2022 and beyond regarding federal transportation and infrastructure policy.

Co-chair: The Honorable Fred Strong, Councilmember, Paso Robles, California; San Luis Obispo Council of Governments; NARC Board of Directors @PRCity @SLOCOGdotORG

Co-chair: Greg Stuart, Executive Director, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization @MPOGreg @SpeakUp_Broward

10:15am – 11:30am

Energy and Environment Committee Meeting: Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

NARC’s Environment & Energy Policy Committee will discuss pressing environmental issues affecting regions across the country.

Co-Chair: The Honorable Lee Constantine, Commissioner, Seminole County, Florida; East Central Florida Regional Planning Commission; NARC Board Member @seminolecounty @ECFRPC

Co-Chair: Kristina Egan, Executive Director, Greater Portland Council of Governments

11:30am – 12:45pm

Lunch & Keynote Discussion: Introduction to Livable Communities

Healthy and vibrant communities provide opportunities and quality of life for all citizens. Many aspects contribute to livable communities, including transportation, services for community members of all ages and abilities, and affordable and available housing. This afternoon’s program will focus on each of these areas, ending with a unique opportunity to experience downtown Columbus with the aid of a guide dog to help us all better understand the needs of and challenges faced by the visually impaired.

The discussion will begin with our keynote luncheon speaker, Gil Penalosa. Mr. Penalosa is the executive director of 8-80 Cities, an international non-profit organization that seeks to transform cities into places where people can walk, bike, access public transit, and visit parks and public places. Mr. Penalosa, will set the stage for our afternoon discussion which will address many aspects of livable communities, including transportation, services for community members of all ages and abilities, and affordable and available housing.

Keynote Speaker

Gil Penalosa, Founder and Chair, 8 80 Cities; Ambassador, World Urban Parks; President, Gil Penalosa &Associates; and Founder and Advocate, Our Third Act

12:45pm – 1:15pmBreak with Exhibitors
1:15pm – 1:45pm

Livable Communities: Transportation

Connected communities improve the quality of life to enhance accessible mobility for all citizens. Learn about innovative approaches, partnerships and available funding to improve mobility in your region.

1:45pm – 2:15pm

Livable Communities: Serving an Aging Population

For the first time in US history, older adults are expected to outnumber children by 2034.  Consider how to help communities prepare with adequate housing, health services and mobility for all ages.

2:15pm – 2:45pm

Livable Communities: The Link between Housing and Health

The housing supply has been slow to meet the demands of a changing society.  Communities are already challenged with changes in demographics and underinvestment. What’s ahead and what can we do?

2:45pm – 4:00pm

Livable Communities: Roundtable Discussions

Join your colleagues and participate in small group discussions about your experience with or questions about livable communities.  While these discussions take place, small groups will be taken outside for the blind walk experience.

Pilot Dogs Blind Walk Experience

Blind or visually impaired individuals face unique challenges in navigating through the urban landscape. Pilot Dogs, a Columbus-based non-profit that helps the blind and visually impaired achieve greater independence and mobility, will give each of us a small understanding of these challenges. By taking us through a portion of downtown Columbus with the aid of a guide dog, we will come to better understand what it is like to navigate with limited or no sight

4:00pm – 4:30pmBreak and Snacks with Exhibitors
4:30pm – 6:30pmMajor Metros Roundtable
4:30pm – 6:00pmCommunications and Government Affairs Working Group
5:00pm –7:30pmBridge Street: Drop Off 1
6:30pm –9:00pmBridge Street: Drop off 2
Tuesday, June 14
8:00am – 4:30pmRegistration and Exhibitors Table
8:30am – 9:30am

Breakfast & Keynote Session

The Ohio Association of Regional Councils includes 24 agencies serving more than 1,500 municipalities, villages, townships and counties throughout the state representing over 10 million Ohio residents. OARC works to streamline statewide services at the regional level, leverage federal resources, and serve as stewards of Ohio’s resources.

Learn how Ohio’s representatives in Washington, DC and within the state are working to collaborate and coordinate to solve problems.


Erik Janas, Deputy County Administrator, Franklin County, Ohio; Board Chair, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Keynote Speaker:

Will be announced soon.

OARC Panel Discussion Speakers:

William Murdock, Executive Director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Mark Policinski, Executive Director, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments

Grace Gallucci, Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency

Brian Martin, Executive Director, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission

Chris Chiles, Executive Director, Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Interstate Planning Commission

9:30am – 10:45am

Technical Assistance and Planning for Local Governments

Explore how to effectively share planning initiatives with neighboring municipalities and counties. Planners use technology to empower communities, regardless of size or income level. These tools enable a data-driven approach to policy making and design that helps an entire region achieve more sustainable and equitable growth. This promotes more sustainable development on a regional level, not just locally.


Marlene Nagel, Director of Community Development Department, Mid-America Regional Council

10:45am – 11:00amBreak with Exhibitors


11:00am – 12:00pm

Regional and Private Sector Partnerships around Housing and Economic Development

During this meeting of the Economic and Community Development Policy Committee, participants will hear from regional councils about their partnerships with large corporations to attract new economic development, address regional housing needs, and maximize the benefits of development for local communities. Presentations will focus on Amazon’s second headquarters in the Washington, DC region, Intel’s development of new chip manufacturing facilities in Columbus, Ohio, and multi-sector partnerships aimed at rebuilding the manufacturing economy in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

Co-Chair: The Honorable Jennifer Robinson, Council Member, Town of Cary, North Carolina; Triangle J Council of Governments; NARC Senior Vice President @TJCOGnc @JenBRobinson

Co-Chair: Betty Voights, Executive Director, Capital Area Council of Governments @CAPCOGTX


Chuck Bean, Executive Director, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments @Chuck4TheRegion

William Murdock, Executive Director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Becky Bradley, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

11:00am – 12:00pm

Public Safety Committee Meeting: Local and Regional Planning to Enhance Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience.

Public and private entities, including city and county governments and their agencies, face the constant threat of hacking and other cyber-related crimes. The federal government, through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, is preparing to offer various forms of assistance to states and local governments to help them protect critical infrastructure. This meeting of the Public Safety Committee will focus on what regions can do to protect the infrastructure on which community residents depend, including electric, water, cyber, and data, to name a few.

Chair:  The Honorable Byron Ryder, County Judge, Leon County, Texas; NARC Past-President

Co-Chair: Diane Rath, Executive Director, Alamo Area Council of Governments @AACOGCEO @AlamoAreaCOG


Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

12:00pm – 1:15pm

Lunch Panel Discussion on Park and Green Spaces

Participants will hear from three leaders of urban redevelopment programs in their regions. The common theme among these redevelopment projects is their focus on multi-use trails, public parks, transit, and affordable housing. These projects enhance mobility, connect neighborhoods, and improve economic opportunity and sustainability in each of their regions.


Amy Acton, President and CEO, RAPID 5

Barry Seymour, Executive Director, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

1:15pm – 1:45pmBreak with Exhibitors


1:45pm – 3:00pm

Inter-Regional Rail

Inter-regional rail projects increase the economic vibrancy of communities, provide additional mobility for citizens, and increase accessibility to a variety of opportunities. This roundtable discussion will highlight what regions can do to attract these rail investments.


Aileen Bouclé, AICP, Executive Director, Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization

1:45pm – 3:00pm

Workforce Infrastructure Session

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provided unprecedented amounts of federal spending across a broad array of infrastructure projects including water, broadband, and transportation. A lack of qualified workers may hamper the ability of states, regions and localities to utilize IIJA funding in a timely manner. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, the lack of qualified workers may lead to a national economic crisis as infrastructure projects take longer build. This session will focus on the types of jobs that lack skilled workers, the training necessary to close this gap, and how regions can help find and train a new workforce.


Mary May, Commission President, Ada County Highway District Commission; Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho; NARC Board Member


Sherry R. Kish, Manager Business Development, HNTB

3:00pm –3:15pmBreak with Exhibitors


3:15pm – 4:30pm

Mobile Workshop: Long Street Bridge and the East side neighborhoods

The new Long Street Bridge creates a unique gateway to downtown Columbus and reconnects several neighborhoods that were split apart by the original construction of Interstate 71. The Long Street Bridge & Cultural Wall contains park and green space, bike lanes, on-street parking, and public art that reflects the neighborhood’s culture and history.

Registration Required: $15

3:15pm – 4:30pm

Mobile Workshop: The Ohio State University

 OH-IO!!! Explore the land of the Buckeyes. This mobile workshop will take attendees and their families on a tour of The Ohio State University campus. The main campus in Columbus has grown into the third-largest university campus in the United States, with nearly 50,000 undergraduate students and nearly 15,000 graduate students. Ohio State competes as a member of the Big Ten Conference for the majority of its sports. Ohio State’s 1,764-acre main campus is about 2.5 miles north of the city’s downtown.

Registration Required: $15

4:30pm – 6:00pmExecutive Directors Council Business Meeting & Elections
6:30pm – 9:00pmAwards Event and Baseball Game  
 Wednesday, June 15
8:00am – 9:00amBreakfast
9:00am – 10:00amNARC Board of Directors Elections
10:00amConference Adjourns
10:00am –1:00pmNARC Board of Directors Business Meeting

The Ohio Conference on Freight
June 15 – June 16

Optional event after the official closure of the conference.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and the Ohio Association of Regional Council are hosting the Ohio Conference on Freight which attracts professionals from the private and public sectors who are deeply involved in freight and the economy. The conference removes barriers between each mode of goods and between the public and private sectors. It is a vital forum to support economic growth in Ohio and the surrounding Great Lakes region through an integrated, multimodal industry.

End of Conference!

Future Dates

Annual Conference dates for 2023 and 2024 coming soon.