Tallahassee: June 26 – 28, 2008

12th_2008The City of Tallahassee hosted the 12th Annual Florida Neighborhoods Conference June 26 – 28, 2008, with more than 400 attendees. In planning the conference, Tallahassee capitalized on a couple of its assets, the state capital and local neighborhood organizations. Senator Bob Graham, who served as the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and as Florida’s United States Senator from 1987 to 2005, presented the opening keynote address. Michael Chatman, who was troubled youth who transformed his life and graduated from high school as Outstanding Student of the Year, gave a very motivational address at Friday’s Luncheon. A state government workshop tract was added to the conference in order to take advantage of the resources that were available in Tallahassee. This created a heightened interest in the Tallahassee conference and allowed attendees to interact with state government leaders.

There were 17 neighborhood and community tours and 30 workshops that were divided into four workshop tracts. The tracts were: A) State Government with five workshops; B) Affordable Housing & Community Redevelopment with five workshops; C) Building Healthy Neighborhood Organizations with nine workshops; and D) Creating Safe & Livable Community with ten workshops. The city of Tallahassee credits the conference’s success to organizing early, having an incredible planning team in addition to receiving the support and assistance of many volunteers.

The major sponsors were: City of Tallahassee, Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Leon Bounty Board of County Commissioners, Florida League of Cities, E.W. Bryant Associates, Broward County, WalMart, Tri-Eagle Sales, Tallahassee Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Sharkey’s Coffee Service, SunTrust, Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Moon, Region’s Bank, Big Bend Police Benevolent Association, Embarq, Sessaly-Rose Transit, and Bank of America.