The Association’s Annual Professional Development Program Draws Near-Record Attendance September 11, 2019 W.A.C.E. Insider Mary Beth Sewald, president/CEO of the Las Vegas (NV) Metro Chamber, helped members of the third-year class learn about Dealing with the Media through a mock interview class exercise. Darcy Weir, Grand Junction Area (CO) Chamber, listens intently on her first day of class. Members of the first-year class participate in an exercise during the Budget Preparation and Monitoring class taught by Oxnard (CA) Chamber President/CEO Nancy Lindholm, ACE. Keith Woods, CEO of the North Coast Builders Exchange, wraps up the Academy experience for the third-year class by talking about Personal Leadership Development. Marina Navarte of the Lodi District (CA) Chamber shares a laugh with fellow members of her third-year class. Academy Steering Committee members Jill Lagan, ACE (right), Boulder City (NV) Chamber; Brad Hicks, CCE, IOM, The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County (OR); and Diane Schwenke, Grand Junction (CO) Chamber, pretend to be city council members during the Intro to Economic Development class. Tom Pierson, ACE, chair of the Academy Steering Committee, addresses the attendees at the welcome reception on Sunday evening. The 2019 Academy had 136 total registrants – 31 in the third-year class, 40 in the second-year class and 66 in the first-year class.