(Columbus, July 19, 2017)  — More than 2,000 delegates from 46 states and Washington, D.C. will be center stage this weekend for the National Association of Counties (NACo) 82nd Annual Conference & Exposition at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC).

“The whole team here has been incredibly welcoming,” said Brian Namey, NACo director of public affairs. “This is NACo’s largest event of the year. We’re elevating the awareness of the role of counties in our lives and we’re here to learn about opportunities to overcome obstacles we encounter. Counties manage, fund and direct what affects peoples’ lives every day.”

The annual conference & exposition is the only meeting drawing elected officials and county staff from throughout the nation specifically for education, networking and excursions to maximize opportunities to improve county operating efficiency. Also attending the conference will be county staff, corporate members, state and federal government partners and more than 150 exhibitors.

Exhibition hours will be:

  • Friday, July 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 23 from 9 a.m. to noon

Among the general session keynote speakers are author Piper Kerman of “Orange is the New Black,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, mountain climber Ed Viesturs and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Director Todd May.

Among the vast realm of responsibilities under the purview of the nation’s county officials are four of every 10 bridges, a third of the airports, nine of every 10 jails, 900 nursing homes and 1,900 public health departments throughout the country, according to Namey.

Composed primarily of elected officials, NACo was founded in 1935 to contribute to national policymaking, idea exchange, leadership development and increased public awareness in order to achieve its vision to establish healthy, vibrant and safe counties across America.

“I’ve been to 20 NACo conferences over the years,” mentioned Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority Executive Director Don Brown to the NACo event organizing team. “It’s great to have you here as we’re putting the finishing touches on our $140 million facility expansion and renovation, and we hope your attendees will enjoy it.”

“This is a high-profile event for us featuring our Franklin County leaders being in the forefront as the hosts,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page. “We join them in enthusiastically sharing the new look and amenities of our convention center and celebrating the years of hard work and collaborative spirit that led to this day.”