GRA Conference Agenda

Governmental Research Association
2013 Annual Policy Conference

July 28-31, 2013

The panelist and moderator presentations can be downloaded by clicking on the panelists names hightlighted in red. WisconsinEye filmed the first two days of the conference and links to those broadcasts can be found below.
Audio links are available below for the Wednesday sessions.

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - Hotel Metro

6:00-8:00pm Reception
Location: Rooftop Bar, Hotel Metro


Monday, July 29, 2013 - UWM Plankinton Building

WisconsinEye Broadcast of Day 1
7:30-8:00am GRA Trustee Meeting & Registration
8:00-8:30am Full Breakfast & Welcome
8:30-10:00am GRA Member Roundup: The Year in Review
10:00-10:15am Break

Session #1: Public Sector Pension and Retiree Health Care Reform

  • Dominic Calabro, President/CEO, Florida TaxWatch
  • Brian Hayes, Budget Director, State of Wisconsin
  • Representative Elaine Nekritz, Chair of the Illinois House of Representatives Personnel and Pensions Committee
  • Lauren Schreier, Researcher, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Moderator: Todd Berry, President, Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

Luncheon and Keynote Presentation

Speaker: Governor Scott Walker
(See photos)


Session #2: Education Reform: The Milwaukee Experience

  • Anneliese Dickman, Former Research Director, Public Policy Forum
  • Jay Bullock, Teacher, Milwaukee Public Schools; education blogger and columnist
  • Mary McIntosh, President, Notre Dame Middle School
  • Marcia Spector, Executive Director, Seeds of Health
  • Dr. Gregory Thornton, Superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Moderator: Mark Sabljak, Publisher, The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee
3:15-3:30pm Break

Session #3: Education Reform: Standards & Accountability

  • Phillip Ertl, Superintendent, Wauwatosa School District (WI)
  • Kirstin Pryor, Associate Director, Center for Governmental Research
  • Trip Stallings, Friday Institute, North Carolina State University
  • Michael Thompson, Deputy State Superintendent, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Moderator: Alan Borsuk, Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy, Marquette University Law School


Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - UWM Plankinton Building

WisconsinEye Broadcast of Day 2
8:00-8:30am President's Meeting
8:30-9:00am Full Breakfast

Session #4: The Latest in Water Resource Management Strategies & Activities

  • Brian Jensen, Senior Vice President, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
  • Bob Newport, U.S. EPA, Region 5
  • Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District
  • David Ullrich, Executive Director, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
  • Moderator: Don Behm, Reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
10:30-10:45am Break

Session #5: Local Government Service Sharing & Consolidation

  • Eric Lupher, Director of Local Affairs, Citizens Research Council of Michigan
  • Steve Owens, U.S. Census Bureau Governments Division
  • Joe Stefko, President, Center for Governmental Research
  • Chris Swartz, Village Manager, Village of Shorewood (WI)
  • Moderator: Dale Knapp, Research Director, Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

Adjourn for Afternoon Activity

Milwaukee Boat Line's Sightseeing Tour
90 minute sightseeing cruise on Lake Michigan, Milwaukee River,
& Harbor narrated by a Historic Milwaukee certified tour guide.

Awards Dinner
(See photos)

Location: Grohmann Museum,
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Speaker: Mordecai Lee, Professor of Governmental Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and author of Bureaus of Efficiency: Reforming Local Government in the Progressive Era

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - Hotel Metro

7:30-8:30am GRA Trustee Meeting
8:30-9:00am Continental Breakfast

Session #6: Tools in the Toolbox: Using Research to Change Policy
Session Handout 
Session Audio (part 1)
Session Audio (part 2)

  • Ran Coble, Executive Director, NC Center for Public Policy Research
  • Brian Jensen, Senior Vice President, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
  • Stephen Kroes, President, Utah Foundation 
10:20-10:30am Break
10:30-11:45am Session #7: Presentations from Award Winners
Session Audio (part 1) 
Session Audio (part 2)
11:45-12:00pm Thank you & Adjournment
12:00pm Hotel check-out time