Making Democracy Work

New England States Leadership Development Conference

Eleventh Annual Leadership Conference - Wells, ME. April 7 - 9, 2017

Register now for the League's eleventh annual New England States Leadership Development Conference! State League leaders from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI and VT have been developing an agenda for this year that is sure to be the best yet.

We will gather once again at the Hampton Inn, 900 Post Road, Wells, ME. This year's theme will be Making Democracy Work.

Tentative Agenda - Schedule Subject to Change

Friday evening, April 7 (optional): dinner out and socializing with other League leaders.

Saturday, April 8

Registration & Welcome, 9:00 - 9:30 am.

Keynote Speaker, 9:30 - 10:15 am. To be announced.

Workshop #1, 10:30 - 12:00 pm. Integrity of Journalism. John Christie and Naomi Schalit, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.

John and Naomi are the co-founders of MCPIR. John continues to serve as senior editor for the Center. He is a media executive whose 40-year career includes work in four states as a writer, editor, general manager and publisher for newspapers owned by Tribune Co., Dow Jones and Co. and the Seattle Times Co. Naomi is a senior reporter for the Center. She has written for magazines and newspapers around the country, worked as a columnist for the Maine Times, and for five years was an award-winning reporter and producer at Maine Public Radio.

Lunch & LWVUS Update, 12:00 - 1:00 pm. Included with Registration Fee.

Workshop #2, 1:15 - 2:45 pm. Civics Education. Tom Kerr-Vanderslice, Rhode Island Executive Director for Generation Citizen.

Tom came to Generation Citizen in 2012 after working in politics for a number of years. He has worked in public and private lobbying in Washington, D.C. and Rhode Island for good government organizations, education nonprofits and healthcare institutions. He also served as the Finance and Campaign Director for a Maryland state campaign for Comptroller.

Workshop #3, 3:00 - 4:30 pm. Distrust of American Institutions. Dan Shea, Professor of Government at Colby College and Director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement.

The author or editor of more than 15 books and dozens of articles/chapters on the American political process, Dan Shea continues to pursue research on campaigns and elections, the dynamics of the party system, the changing nature of the presidency, the politics of scandal, and grassroots political activism. In 2012 he authored Let's Vote: The Essentials of the American Electoral Process, and coedited Can We Talk? The Rise of Rude, Nasty, Stubborn Politics.
We close on Saturday with our annual raffle to benefit this Conference, with prizes contributed by League members. Prizes will be on display and tickets will be available all weekend, $5 each or five for $20

Sunday, April 9

Until 9:00 am. Breakfast included with room reservation.

Workshop #4, 9:00 - 10:30 am. Hillbilly Elegy. Book discussion led by Barbara McDade.

Barbara is a League leader in Bangor, Maine, and member of the LWVME state board. Since 1991, she has been executive director of the Bangor Public Library and serves on the Maine Library Commission, in addition to other civic engagements.

Following the book discussion, we will have an update on national League work and also share the good work we've been doing in state Leagues. Don't leave early -- this could be the best part.

Wrap-up and adjourn,10:30 - 11:00 am.

Register Now

  • Register online using a credit card. Use the PayPal button in the LWVME Education Fund section. Note "Leadership Conference" in the area for special instructions to the seller.

  • To register by check, fill out the registration form and return with a check for $25, payable to the LWVME Education Fund. Note "Leadership Conference" in the memo field. Send to
LWVME Education Fund
PO Box 863,
Augusta, ME 04332

  • Make your own hotel reservation at Hampton Inn & Suites, 900 Post Road, Wells, Maine 04090 (207-646-0555). Be sure to say you are with the League of Women Voters and the room rate will be $94 plus tax. Find a roommate to share, and the cost will be around $50 per person. Our block of rooms will be held until March 31, but the rate will be in effect until the event. Upon request, LWVME attendees will be reimbursed $50/night toward the room rate.

  • Breakfast is included in the room rate. Saturday lunch is included in your registration fee. We will have dinner together in small groups at area restaurants on Saturday.