NARC Annual Conference
& Exhibition

June 23-26, 2024 – Atlanta, GA

58th Annual Conference & Exhibition
Registration Now Open!

The NARC 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 event focused on regions and regional collaboration. 

Representatives of Councils of Government and Metropolitan Planning Organizations — leadership, professional staff, board members, local elected officials, technical and program staff — share best practices and learn about relevant issues. Speakers include experts from the public and private sector, congressional and state lawmakers, and individuals from universities and non-profit organizations. 

Hotel Reservations

Atlanta Marriott Marquis
265 Peachtree Center Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

NARC Awards

NARC awards recognize excellence in regional leadership, programs, and services. Awards are a fantastic way to honor the hard work of your board members and staff and bring attention to your region’s most successful and innovative projects.

Tentative Agenda

Please note all dates and times are tentative and subject to change – Additional Speakers to be announced.

To view a PDF version of the agenda click here


TimeTitle / Description
1:00 PM – 5:00 PMRegistration and Exhibitor Setup
2:00 PM – 5:00 PMMobile Workshop: Atlanta BeltLine
Welcome to the Atlanta BeltLine, one of the nation’s largest redevelopment projects. The BeltLine brings together parks, trails, affordable housing, transit, and economic development. Learn about this transformative project and walk along one segment of the full 22-mile loop project. The tour will end at Ponce City Market, where you can eat, drink, and shop to your heart’s content.An additional fee is required. Bus transportation will be provided.  
2:00 PM – 5:00 PMMobile Workshop: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park
Explore the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Encompassing nearly 35 acres, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park – Atlanta’s top tourist destination – contains landmarks, monuments, and exhibits that trace the history of the civil rights movement in America. See the home where King was born and raised and Ebenezer Baptist Church where he worshiped and preached. An additional fee is required.Transportation will be via the Atlanta Trolley, which requires a 15-minute walk.  
6:00 PM – 7:00 PMOpening Reception:
Enjoy the opening reception at the Marriot Marquis Hotel.


7:45 AM – 4:00 PMRegistration and Exhibitors Table
8:00 AM – 8:15 AM

Breakfast and Welcome
NARC Board President Jennifer Robinson and ARC Executive Director Anna Roach welcome you to the 58th NARC Annual Conference and Exhibition.

Erich Zimmermann, Executive Director, National Association of Regional Councils

Anna Roach, Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission

The Honorable Jennifer Robinson, Council Member, Town of Cary, North Carolina; Central Pines Regional Council; NARC President

8:15 AM – 8:45 AM

Welcome to the Region
Welcome session from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Anna Roach, Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission

8:45 AM – 9:15 AMBreak with Exhibitors
9:15 AM – 10:00 AMWorkforce Challenges
Maintaining a skilled and trained workforce is increasingly difficult, with challenges ranging from innovations in generative AI to the “silver tsunami.” These challenges are present in many employment sectors, with particular impact on the planning and infrastructure industries.

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM


Climate Pollution Reduction – Rapid Fire Round
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program provided funding to the nation’s largest metropolitan statistical areas to design climate action plans. Hear regional council success stories, challenges, and progress around this effort.
10:45 AM – 11:00 AM

State of the Association: A Brief Message from NARC’s Executive Director

Erich Zimmermann, Executive Director, National Association of Regional Councils

11:00 AM – 11:30 AMBreak with Exhibitors
11:30 AM – 12:30 PMLunch Keynote
12:30 PM – 1:00 PMBreak with Exhibitors


1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Transportation Committee Meeting
1:00 PM – 2:00 PMEnergy and Environment Committee Meeting
2:00 PM – 2:15 PMBreak with Exhibitors


2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Economic and Community Development Committee Meeting
2:15 PM – 3:15PMPublic Safety and Emergency Management Committee Meeting
3:15 PM – 3:30 PMBreak with Exhibitors
3:30 PM – 4:00 PMAging Session
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM

ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative General Session: LCI Run-through
The Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) is a grant program that incentivizes local jurisdictions to re-envision their communities as vibrant, walkable places that offer increased mobility options, encourage healthy lifestyles and provide improved access to jobs and services. The Atlanta Regional Commission is celebrating 25 years of this program. Hear background about the LCI program in preparation for our coordinated off-site activity in the evening.

Sam Shenbaga, Managing Director, Community Development Group, Atlanta Regional Commission

4:30 PM – 6:00 PMExecutive Directors Council Business Meeting & Elections
Everyone is welcome to attend; only NARC members are eligible to vote.
4:30 PM – 6:00 PMNARC Communications and Government Affairs Working Group Meeting
4:30 PM – 6:00 PMNARC Diversity Equity & Inclusion Working Group Meeting
4:30 PM – 6:00 PMNARC Housing Working Group
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Coordinated Off-Site Activity – Chamblee Livable Centers Initiative (LCI)
Chamblee, Georgia – a city northeast of Atlanta – is a recipient of a Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission. Come experience the area around Chamblee Station, hear more about the LCI program, and stay for dinner at one of the area restaurants.No additional fee is required, but pre-registration is required.

Bus transportation will be provided.


8:00 AM – 4:30 PMRegistration and Exhibitors Table
7:00 AM – 7:30 AMConference Warm-up: Walking Tour
Start your day with an ARC- led 30-minute walking tour of downtown Atlanta.
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Breakfast & Keynote Discussion 

Mike Alexander, Chief Operating Officer, Atlanta Regional Commission

Anna Roach, Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission

Malika Reed Wilkins, PhD., Chief External Affairs Officer, Atlanta Regional Commission

9:00 AM – 9:45 AMComplex Conversations: Framing and Navigating Difficult Decisions
Regional organizations play a critical role bringing together local governments, members of the public, and regional stakeholders to discuss sometimes challenging social issues. Learn how regional councils can be better empowered to serve his critical role.
9:45 AM – 10:00 AMBreak with Exhibitors


10:00 AM – 10:45 AM

Diversity Equity & Inclusion Session

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM


Freight and Logistics Session
10:45 AM – 11:00 AMBreak with Exhibitors


11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Discretionary Funding: Navigating Grants Applications, Match Requirements, and Local Projects

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM


Regional Council, Member, and Board Relations
11:45 AM – 12:00 PMBreak with Exhibitors
12:00 AM – 1:00 PMLunch Keynote:
1:00 PM – 1:15 PMBreak with Exhibitors


1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Regional Housing Session
1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Emerging Technologies in Transportation

Josh Brown, Executive Director, Puget Sound Regional Council

David Giguere, Emerging Geospatial Technologies Manager, Atlanta Regional Commission

2:00 PM –2:30 PMBreak with Exhibitors
2:30 PM – 3:15 PM

New Age of Technology for the Public Sector Workforce
Hear about the forefront of digital innovation in automation, intelligence, and the capitalization of data and digital dashboards. In today’s fast-paced world, staying ahead means leveraging cutting-edge technologies that streamline operations, enhance decision-making, and drive organizational success. Join us as we explore how these tools are not just for the “cool kids” anymore – they’re essential for any forward-thinking enterprise.

Chuck Wemple, Executive Director, Houston-Galveston Area Council

3:15 PM – 3:30 PMBreak for Mobile Workshops
3:15 PM – 5:30 PMMobile Workshop: Hapeville Mural Tour
Hapeville – a designated Main Street City located near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – has a historic downtown featuring a Historic Depot Museum, the Historic Christ Church & Carriage House, the Hoyt Smith Conference Center, and numerous downtown storefront facades. At Hapeville’s center is a lively downtown park, and a unique public art program, including recently commissioned murals and a flurry of butterflies. Hear from ARC staff about this public art program and experience this truly unique downtown.An additional fee is required. Bus transportation will be provided. 
3:15 PM – 5:30 PMMobile Workshop: Avondale/Edgewood Transit-Oriented Development
Explore the planned mixed-use development with the City of Decatur. The Avondale project encompasses about eight acres with 378 market-rate rental units, 22,000 square-feet of commercial space and 92 units of affordable housing for seniors. It also includes a new transit plaza and a parking structure with 800 spaces.An additional fee is required. Bus transportation will be provided.
6:30 PM – 9:00 PMAwards Gala and Dinner
Join us for a special event to present awards for the very best that regional planning has to offer.


8:00 AM – 9:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 AM – 10:00 AMNARC Board of Directors Elections
Everyone can attend; only NARC members are eligible to vote.
10:00 AMConference Adjourns
10:00 AM –1:00 PMNARC Board of Directors Business Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend. 

 End of Conference!

Conference Countdown

Thanks for a great conference!

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are available for our 58th Annual Conference & Exhibition. Check out our sponsorship packet for more information. 

Future Dates

59th Annual Conference & Exhibition

June 8-11, 2025

Seattle, WA