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2014 COGEL Annual Conference
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12/7/2014 to 12/10/2014
When: 12/7/2014
Where: Omni William Penn Hotel
530 William Penn Place
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  15219
United States
Contact: Diane Gill

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36th Annual COGEL Conference December 7 - 10

Join colleagues and experts from throughout the U.S., Canada, and the world for the premier conference devoted to the regulation and administration of Campaign Finance, Governmental Ethics, Lobbying, Elections, and Freedom of Information.

First-Rate Sessions

Whether you are a first-time attendee or a veteran, engaging and informative sessions await you, all directly related to your work. You will learn about the latest legal developments, share important tips and best practices with COGEL partners and capture new ideas to take back to your office.

Attendees should plan on arriving early to take full advantage of the Sunday programming, which features a number of firsts. This year, the traditional e-filing system expands to a "technology update” with a new format where the latest developments in the use of technology will be discussed and challenges dissected. Sunday’s programming will also feature a new workshop on navigating change, which is vital for anyone working through transitions, new laws or mandates. Also look for the introduction of speed networking roundtables where newer professionals will have the opportunity to learn insights from COGEL ambassadors.

Don’t forget that the excellent programming continues through Wednesday. We save some of the best sessions for the end of the conference. Look for a spirited discussion on non-profits engaging in political and governmental action, which will be a hot topic in 2014. Expect an eye-opening session on data and how to best manage, access and analyze information. Engage during an interactive value-based workshop, "If You Faced a House of Cards, What Would You Do?”

For attorneys attending the conference, many states offered CLE credit for this conference in recent years.



7:30 - 8:45 amBreakfast - Table Topics

9:00 am - 10:00 amPlenary Session: Paul Liebman

10:15 am -11:45 amCampaign Finance II - Legislation & Regulation

10:15 am -11:45 amElections Update - Legislation & Litigation

10:15 am - 11:45 amElectronic Communication Makes Your Life Easier. Or Does It?

10:15 am - 11:45 amInnovation by Design: Inspiring a Creative Organizational Culture

10:15 am - 11:45 amWhat Can I Say? Disclosure Rules in Investigations & Enforcement Actions

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmLobbying Update - Legislation & Litigation

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmYou Need a Plan: Project Management Techniques to Tackle Agency Challenges

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmElements of a Successful Consent/Settlement Agreement

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmPresenting with Panache

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmFreedom of Information: Legislation & Litigation Update

3:30 pm - 4:30 pmPlenary Session & Book Signing:
Jeff Smith
8:00 am - 9:00 amBreakfast - Plenary Session; Annual COGEL Business Meeting

9:15 am - 10:30 amCan Someone Please Turn on the Lights? Ensuring Transparency When Non-Profits Engage in Lobbying and Political Activities

9:15 am - 10:30 amSitting on a Data Mine: Managing, Accessing & Analyzing Information

9:15 am - 10:30 amFreedom of Information Roundtable

9:15 am - 10:30 amVoter Suppression & Voter Fraud. Real?

10:45 am - 12:00 pmIf You Faced a House of Cards, What Would You Do?

10:45 am - 12:00 pmFree Travel: First Class Opportunity or Extra Baggage?

10:45 am - 12:00 pmTips & Tricks: Maximizing Your Effectiveness with Your Commissioners

9:30 am - 11:00 am

Technology Update & Roundtable
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Local Agency Roundtable
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Navigating Change. Change, Transitions, New Laws & Mandates

1:30 pm - 3:00 pmKay Williams First Timers Session & Conference Preview

3:15 pm - 4:45 pmSpeed Mentoring Roundtables

5:30 pm - 7:00 pmWelcome Reception; COGEL Outstanding Service Award
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast - Table Topics

8:45 am - 10:15 amPlenary Session

10:25 am - 11:55 amEthics Update

10:25 am - 11:55 amDrones, Phones and Automobiles: FOIA Challenges with Modern Data Collection

10:25 am - 11:55 amInnovations in Canadian & U.S.Voters’ List Management Systems

10:25 am - 11:55 amThe Age of Millennials - Tips on How to Hire, Engage, Evaluate, & Retain Millennials

10:25 am - 11:55 amSuper PACs : The Legal, Political and Policy Implications of Deregulating Independent Spending

12:00 pm - 1:30 pmPlenary Session: Dave Davies COGEL Conversation; 2014 COGEL Award Presentation

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmHow to Effectively & Efficiently Respond to FOIA Requests

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmCampaign Finance I - Litigation

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmBranding – It’s Not Just for Cattle

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmLobbying in a Digital Age

1:45 pm - 3:15 pmIndividual Annual Disclosure:Baring It All?

3:30 pm - 4:45 pmAre You Ready? Preparing for Emergencies

3:30 pm - 4:45 pmTired of Leaping Tall Buildings: ReducingStress & Improving Productivity

3:30 pm - 4:45 pmTrust the Vote Project

3:30 pm - 4:45 pmPublic Corruption Investigations – The Cliff’s Notes to Avoid Falling Off the Cliff

Dynamic Plenary Speakers

The Program Committee is very excited to present thought leaders who will share unique perspectives and insights that will be the talk of the conference! Our COGEL Conversation features Dave Davies, the award-winning journalist who appears on NPR's Fresh Air. Jeff Smith, once a political rising star, now known as a "recovering politician" will share his "Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis." Paul Liebman of the University of Texas at Austin will share meaningful ideas for building a culture of ethics.

What Attendees Have Said About Past Conferences

"Great format & approach – Keep It Going!”

"Great conference – energizing, thought-provoking, inspirational, yet practical.”

"Very informative and an excellent networking opportunity.”

"One of the best conferences I have attended.Terrific sessions and speakers.”


"COGEL really "listens" to our conference evaluations.I have never experienced an organization so responsive to suggestions.We learned so much from all the audience participants.”

"What an amazing conference - presentations, presenters, accommodations, food, site location and more - all of it near perfect. Thanks to everyone who put so much work into making it a success for all. I learned SO much - especially about the larger national and international context in which I'm serving. The conference re-energized me to come back to it with renewed energy, proud of what I've accomplished and, at the same time, with a much clearer sense of what still needs to be done. Thank you, thank you - planners, organizers, speakers and other attendees - for the wonderful gift of yourselves, your time and your knowledge!”

"Great Presenters! Great Sessions! This is the way to do it!”

Pictures from the 2013 COGEL Conference

Click here to view all of the pictures from last years 35th Annual Conference held in Quebec, Canada.

Historic Art Deco Hotel

This year’s conference brings us to the historic Omni William Penn Hotel. Walking into this beautiful art deco hotel is like stepping back into the roaring 1920’s. The hotel comes complete with a speak easy. Located next to the famous Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, this hotel is accessible to nearby shopping boutiques, historical attractions, and culture to attract any traveler.

Hotel Accommodations

Reserve your room by calling (412) 281-7100 or online at:
COGEL Room Rate: Government Per Diem Rate (Currently $128) (single/double)
Room Block Release: November 14, 2014

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received prior to November 14, 2014, will be charged a $50.00 administrative fee. No refunds will be made for cancellations after the cancellation date or for "no shows".

Payment Policy

Conference payment must be made by check or credit card. Registration will be competed upon receipt of payment.


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