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Planning in the American West

MAP conference

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This week was the Montana Association of Planners (MAP) conference. This year it was at the beautiful Flathead Lake Lodge, on the east shore of Flathead Lake. Awesome place to meet. The views were spectacular, the food was great and the company was excellent.

Seems like the issues never change, though the solutions are in a constant state of flux.

The female planners seem to get younger and prettier every year.

I ran into a planner I used to work with in Ketchikan Gateway Borough (the old KGB). It was great to catch up with him. He probably knows more about the infamous Bridge to Nowhere than anyone.

Of course planners discussed our trials and tribulations. Sometimes you would think "boy, they don't have it nearly as bad as me", while other times you would think, "boy, I am glad I don't work there!"

We all came away, hopefully, a little wiser, and I especially hope more inspired to continue to do our important work with more devotion.

Conferences are good for your professional soul. They remind you that there are good people elsewhere that share the same challenges you face daily and often they have different ways to meet those challenges that could work for you. It is comforting to know you are not alone out there. And that someone understands what you go through.

Conferences are also good for your soul. Every one of us could do for a little more fun. Drink a beer or two more than you normally would. Dance or just groove to the beat. Laugh. Eat. Be merry.

Wonder where next year's conference is?
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