Sheboygan, WI 2019

Join us in the City of Sheboygan, the Spirit on the Lake, for the 2019 Annual Conference.

This year’s theme is Living Blue: Transforming Waterfronts. 

Please contact or (312) 201-4518 with any questions regarding this year's Annual Conference.


Early Bird Registration now open until April 1, 2019!



**Contact with any questions.

Delegate Program Agenda

Download the Draft Agenda

Draft Agenda
Last drafted January 29, 2019

Wednesday, June 5 at the Blue Harbor Convention Center


7:00 am – 8:00 am



7:00 am – 3:00 pm


Opening Ceremonies

8:00 am – 9:00 am


Panel 1: Creating Healthier Communities through Waterfront Access

9:15 am – 10:00 am

Waterfronts provide much needed space to refresh and renew. This panel will highlight new ways to bring people to the waterfront by providing trails, swimming piers, clean beaches, entertainment and engaging spaces that help contribute to healthier lifestyles. Having waterfronts that are clean, green and connected, attract people and employers to your community. What are the best ways to bring people to the water? How can we learn new methods to manage growth and conflict among waterfront users? Come hear from Mayors and municipal leaders the latest ideas on healthy waterfronts to put to use in your community.


Panel 2: Untapped Potential: Waterfront Economic Development

10:15 am – 11:00 am

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Communities understand best the potential of waterfronts. After all, the region grew on the backbone of working waterfronts and industries that relied on an abundance of freshwater and access to shipping. How can communities today harness their waterfronts to continue economic growth and development while balancing the need for sustainability, accessibility, and resiliency. Join us for this panel to learn from communities, agencies and experts working on waterfront economic development in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region.


Sheboygan River Clean Up Project introduction

11:00 – 11:15 am

Chad Pelishek, Director of Planning & Development Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Sheboygan, will introduce the Sheboygan River Clean-Up Project in preparation for the 12:30 Tour.


Bratwurst BBQ

11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Sheboygan is the bratwurst capital of the United States. Therefore, what better way to celebrate Sheboygan than to have a traditional bratwurst BBQ! For the non-meat eaters, fret not, vegetarian food options will be available.


Sheboygan River Clean Up Tour

12:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Led by Chad Pelishek,  Director of Planning & Development Sustainability Coordinator


Member Meeting**

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Members will receive a detailed agenda for the member meeting closer to the date.


Legislative Reception

5:45 pm – 6:30 pm


Member Reception and Awards Dinner**

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Reception with hors d’oeuvres

6:30 pm – 6:55 pm

Awards Ceremony

7:00 pm – 7:45 pm

Dinner and closing ceremonies

7:45 pm – 8:30 pm


Thursday, June 6 at the Blue Harbor Convention Center


7:00 am – 8:15 am



7:00 am – 12:00 pm


Keynote Speaker presentation

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Keynote speaker is TBA.


Press Conference

9:45 am – 10:45 am


Exhibitor Break

9:45 am – 10:45 am


Panel 3: Planning for the Future: Keeping Waterfronts Resilient and Sustainable

11:00 am – 11:45 am



12:00 am – 1:00 pm


Speaker Presentation

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Speakers TBA


Networking Coffee Break

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm


Round Table Sessions

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Attend our Round Table sessions and engage in discussions and debates with fellow delegates regarding 3 topics, which will be announced soon. The moderator of each Round Table session will facilitate conversation between experts and the delegates. Come ready with questions and stories relating to the 3 topics. Not only is this a chance learn from experts in their field, but it is also an opportunity to share best practices. The discussion sections will be open and delegates will be able to choose which section(s) they wish to attend.


Closing Ceremonies

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm


——————— (leave convention center)


Gala Dinner (location TBA)

5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Cocktail Hour

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Dinner and Entertainment

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm


Friday, June 7 “Showing off Sheboygan”

River Clean-Up Volunteer Opportunity

Time TBA


Exciting Family Fun Activities

Time TBA

Stay in Sheboygan for the day or for the weekend! Mayor Vandersteen and the City of Sheboygan have cooked up some activities – relaxing and adventurous – for the delegates and accompanying families!

Companion Program Agenda

Download the Agenda


Wednesday, June 5

~ Discover the Whimsical and Wonderful Hidden Gems of Sheboygan! ~



7:00 am – 8:00 am



7:00 am – 3:00 pm


Depart Blue Harbor Conference Center

9:45 am 


Bookworm Gardens 

10:00 am – 11:45 am 

Begin your morning with a guided tour through Bookworm Gardens. This whimsical storybook garden takes your favorite children’s book, adds in the vibrant colors and texture of nature and creates a one-of-kind, come-to-life setting. Climb aboard the horse-drawn wagon and walk through the cabin at the Little House on the Prairie story. Sit in the over-sized chairs and see the playful bears with Goldilocks. Climb into the tree with Winnie the Pooh. You will experience stories like never before. The amount of loving detail brought to life is magical for all ages!


Fresh Meals on Wheels Lunch/Tour

12:00 am – 2:00 pm

Then, off to lunch at Fresh Meals on Wheels for a mouth-watering, home-cooked meal showcasing local foods. Afterwards, tour this gem of the community. This local site is not your average “make food, deliver it to shut-ins” facility. This state-of-the-art center is the model that many in the US are trying to duplicate. With the latest technology in safety features, a top-of- the-line kitchen set up, health guidelines that are hospital grade and a staff of volunteers that is top
notch – the community is in good hands with this service.


Return Blue Harbor Conference Center

2:15 pm


Thursday, June 6

~ Explore the Kohler Art & Design Center ~


7:00 am – 8:00 am



7:00 am – 8:15 pm


Depart Blue Harbor Conference Center

9:45 am 


Tour & Lunch at Arts Center

10:00 am – 12:45 pm

When you hear the name “Kohler”, you may think of bathroom and kitchen fixtures, but there is so much more to the name. Begin your morning at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, a contemporary art museum in the heart of downtown Sheboygan. A docent-led tour showcases this gem of a museum with the latest art display and unique exhibits throughout. Don’t forget to check out the Art Center’s famous restrooms, where every surface is a canvas. A light lunch buffet is served in the gallery after the tour.


Kohler Design Center/Free Time

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Take a short drive to the quaint village of Kohler where the community pride is evident in the meticulous landscape, the colorful blooms and the old-world architecture. You are on your own to explore the Kohler Design Center, a three-level showcase of innovative product design and technology. A fusion of old and new, the space offers a comprehensive representation of the Kohler Company and their state-of-the-art products and stunning examples of interior design. If you feel up to stretching your legs a bit, visit the American Club®, the Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond resort hotel, or take in some retail therapy at The Shops at Woodlake.


Return Blue Harbor Conference Center

2:15 pm