Before joining the RCAP National Office staff in May, Ami Keiffer worked as a rural development specialist at RCAC, providing economic and community development technical assistance to rural and tribal communities through stakeholder facilitation and capacity development. As a former TAP, we wanted to get her perspective on the value of RCAP’s national conference as it returns as an in-person event for the first time since 2019.
RCAP: For those unfamiliar with the National Conference, tell me a little about it?
Ami: The conference is like a big reunion with people who share the same interests and passions as you! I haven’t had the chance to attend in person yet, but I’m looking forward to connecting with people in person this year. For anyone who is new to the conference, I would encourage them to attend sessions on topics that are unfamiliar so they can understand the depth of services we offer in the field.
RCAP: As a TAP, what is the conference like?
Ami: I found the conference to be very informative. As a managerial and financial TAP, I liked hearing stories about technical services that were underway in the field and how TAPs are working with communities to bring about change.
RCAP: What are you most looking forward this year as a member of the National Office?
Ami: Selfishly, I’m looking forward with connecting with folks from RCAC. But I’m also excited to meet the people I have been emailing and having virtual meetings with about Treatment Works.
RCAP: The conference will be held in person this year – what are you most looking forward to in that aspect?
Ami: Being new to RCAP, I’m looking forward to meeting people face to face – I think that will be invaluable! And of course, reconnecting with the RCAC folks.
RCAP: What advice would you give to someone attending for the first time?
Ami: First time attendees should branch out and attend a variety of sessions, not just ones that deal with your day-to-day work. Take advantage of being away from the office to take in everything going on in the network and build relationships with peers you may not know.
RCAP: What topics are you looking forward to this year?
Ami: For me, it’s conflict resolution. This facilitation skill will be critical to assisting small utilities across the country as they navigate drought, rate increases, and regionalization issues.