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September 25 – 28, 2022

MACo’s 2022 Annual Conference is scheduled for September 25-28 in Billings at the Billings Hotel & Convention Center, and all elected officials are invited to attend.

MACo is a member services organization, and we represent the wide-ranging interests of our 56 member counties through education and advocacy. Our upcoming conference provides a unique opportunity to build and strengthen relationships, and we look forward to your participation!

Venue/Location Information
billings hotel and convention center
Billings Hotel & Convention Center
1223 Mullowney Lane
Billings, MT
(406) 248-7151

Hotel Rooms

Rooms have been blocked at the venue at the rate of $96 (plus tax) per night. To make your reservations, contact the hotel at (406) 248-7151, and be sure to refer to the MACo room block. The cut-off date for the reduced rate is September 10th.

Cancellation Policy

Registration will be refunded minus administrative costs only if cancellation is requested in writing by e-mailing either or no later than September 9th.

MACo President Farewell
President Jason Strouf, Custer County Commissioner

President Jason Strouf, Custer County Commissioner

Welcome to the 113th MACo Annual Conference

One year ago we were in Kalispell and I was sworn in as your MACo President. It is cliché to say that the time has flown by, however as I look back on the last twelve months, it has been very active and I would like to say productive.

I want to say thank you to all the Commissioners that have committed to participating in the MACo Committees. Those appointments were made last fall and this is an annual process, so remember to fill out your bios and express interest for the committees on which you would like to serve. As you are aware these committees are an integral part of the resolution and policy process leading up to a legislative session.

When we come together during our annual conference it is a great time to network, discuss issues, and learn from each other. I am sure all of us will have stories to share from the past year and these opportunities only make us stronger as an association. I believe the Conference Planning Committee has brought forward some worthwhile speakers and topics that should be informative. Thank you to these committee members for their commitment to planning a top-notch conference, and thank you to MACo Staff for all your hard work making these plans come to fruition. Please give a thank you to the MACo staff when you see them—their daily hard work is what makes our association run smoothly.

It has been an honor and a privilege to be your president this past year. This is a tremendous association, and being selected by your peers to be part of the leadership is very humbling. I look forward to seeing all and thank you to the Yellowstone County Commissioners for hosting our conference.

MACo Elected Offices

Meet The MACo 2nd VP Candidates
Commissioner Juanita Vero, Missoula County

Meet Commissioner Juanita Vero, Missoula County

Commissioner Juanita Vero is a fourth-generation partner of the E Bar L Ranch in rural Greenough, one of Montana’s oldest family-owned and operated dude ranches. In addition to running her family business she has served on numerous community conservation-focused boards and committees, including as chair of Montana Conservation Voters, Missoula County Open Lands Committee, Big Blackfoot Chapter Trout Unlimited, Swan Valley Connections and Sunset School Board.

Vero has a bachelor’s degree in English from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys horses, snowboarding, and backcountry wandering after game with her husband and his llamas. She used to play lacrosse, rugby and ultimate frisbee but is now relegated to spending more time on her yoga mat.

In June 2019, Vero was appointed to fill the remainder of Nicole Rowley’s term, which ran through December 31, 2020. She was elected for the open seat in the November 2020 election, and is now serving her first six-year term. Currently Vero is chair of Missoula County Board of Commissioners and will be up for re-election in 2026.

Commissioner Joette Woods, Liberty County

Meet Commissioner Joette Woods, Liberty County

Fellow Commissioners,

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Joette Woods. I am in my sixth year as a Liberty County Commissioner and looking forward to another term. I have met most of you in person, however, some of you are new.

I would like to announce that I am running for 2nd Vice President of MACo coming up at the Annual Conference. Some qualities I feel I possess are; hardworking, teachable, common sense, conservative, and faith based. I currently serve on two MACo committees:

Co-chair Health & Human Services; and
Serve as a member on Justice & Public Safety.

I am also honored to serve at a national level on the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee for NACo.

Why did I become a commissioner? The answer is simple: I have served voluntarily on a local community level as an EMT for the last 18 years, volunteered at our local blood drives, proudly served as an election judge, and worked at our local food bank (just to name a few). When the opportunity to serve as a commissioner came about, I felt called to step up and serve on a county level. I still continue to volunteer wherever I can.

Some things I stand for: I believe family comes first. I believe in law enforcement and justice. I believe in doing the right thing even when it’s not popular. I believe our health system is undervalued and anyone needing medical treatment should have access to it. There is no place for politics in health care. I believe in this country and State being energy independent.

What I’ve learned as a commissioner: The items that cross your desk, may or may not pertain to the commission. I have learned that the most important road is the road of whoever is currently in the office complaining about theirs at the time. I have learned to answer most conversations with “here’s what’s not going to happen.” I have learned that the wisdom I glean from conferences I attend is not all my own; however, I use it anyway giving credit where credit is due. I have learned that the best possible outcome, in any given situation, is to simply take time to think things through and do my best to make an educated decision.

Ultimately, the responsibility commissioners have to their county when they take office is integral to our local and State patrons. We are their voice. We are their advocates. We are their hands and feet. The decisions we make every day affect the people in our communities and their confidence in us as elected officials.

What will I add as the 2nd Vice President? I will put Montana first. I will commit to being the best representative I can be for all Montana counties. I will be committed to the appointment.

I would appreciate your vote in at the Annual Conference in Billings.


Joette Woods,
Liberty County Commissioner

Yellowstone County's Invite Letter

Welcome to Yellowstone County. We are so delighted to host the 2022 MACo Annual Conference in our city and hope you have a wonderful time while you are here.

As you will find, there are plenty of sights to see in Yellowstone County. Check out historic spots such as Pompeys Pillar, Pictograph Cave, Sacrifice Cliff, and the Moss Mansion just to name a few. In town, there are numerous museums, parks, recreational areas, and ZooMontana for your enjoyment. Also, don’t forget to visit downtown Billings to see all of the changes from your last visit, there are many new stores, restaurants, and breweries.

We are pleased to have you visit our community and thank you for attending this year’s conference.  Thank you to our many exhibitors, sponsors, and MACo staff for making this conference possible. We look forward to seeing everyone!

Donald W. Jones, Chair

John Ostlund, Member

Denis Pitman, Member

Event Materials & Resources

Conference Agenda
Minutes from 2021 Conference
Draft Resolutions & Policy Statements Packet (Committee Work Materials)

MACo’s Committees will convene on September 27th to review their policy statements and assigned resolutions. We encourage all MACo members to attend the committee meeting(s) of their choosing and provide input–your voice will be heard. The membership as a whole will vote on the MACo’s legislative package on September 28th during the business meeting.

MACo’s Legislative Process
Proposed Bylaw Amendments
Delegate Assembly Rules
Travel Reimbursement Rates

MACo Committee Meetings

MACo’s Committees Are Convening!

MACo’s Policy Committees are convening September 27th.  The meetings are split into two blocks of time with four committees meeting from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. and four meeting from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

Members are encouraged to attend committee meetings regardless of holding a position on the committee.

Meeting Block 1  |  8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Meeting Block 2 | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

What Are MACo Committees?

MACo’s Policy Committees are essential to our Association’s operation, as they represent the interests of the members and serve to guide the actions of the Association. 

What Are They Doing at the Conference?

The committees will review resolutions and policy statements and hear from various speakers on timely and pertinent topics.

We encourage everyone to attend the meeting(s) of his/her choice.  Even if you are not an appointed member of a committee, your input and voice are valuable and will be heard.   Please get involved.  We can’t be successful without your participation!

MACo Board of Directors, Boards of Trustees & HCT Trust Members

MACo BOD, Trustees & HCT Trust Members Will Convene

MACo’s Board of Directors, Health Care Trust (HCT) Board of Trustees, Property & Casualty Trust/Workers’ Compensation Trust (PCT/WCT) Board of Trustees, and the Trust Members for the HCT will also all convene during our Annual Conference.

Sunday, September 25
11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • WCT/PCT Trustees Lunch Meeting
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • HCT Trustees Meeting
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday September 27:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • HCT Member Annual Meeting
Wednesday September 28:  1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • MACo/Seitz/MSF Work Comp Safety Group Results

Montana County Coalition Meetings

Montana County Coalitions Are Also Convening!

Montana County Coalitions are separate entities from MACo–not like MACo Committees, which are created within and managed by the Association.  Because many members are all gathered in the same location for MACo Conferences, they often choose to convene outside of conference hours to conduct some business. Very smart! See below to see what coalitions are coming together and when.

September 26:  4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Montana Coalition of Forest Counties:  Agenda
  • Montana Association of Oil, Gas & Coal Counties:  Agenda
September 27:  7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
  • 6-County Fort Peck Lake Group
  • Coalition of Wildlife Counties:  Agenda
September 28: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
  • MT Association of Hard Rock Mining Counties Meeting:  Agenda
  • Urban Counties Meeting:  Agenda
  • MT Association of Reservation Counties Meeting:  Agenda

The American Hero Quilt Project

For well over a decade MACo has been lucky to host the “The American Hero Quilt Project,” and it’s back again this year! American Hero Quilts is a nonprofit organization that coordinates with hundreds of quilters to make and deliver unique blankets to military hospitals. The project was born in 2004 in Washington by Sue Nebeker of Vashon Island, who wanted to do something positive for sick and wounded troops. So, she gathered up others and began creating quilts for hospitalized service members to let them know they are not forgotten.

Our Ask:  We ask that each county please bring at least one yard of red, white, or blue fabric without any sparkle or metallic thread in it  (cream, beige, or gold fabric is also used). If you have any questions, please e-mail Marlys Lee at or call her at 406-346-2969 (home) or 406-351-3039 (cell).

Can’t wait to see you in Billings!

Conference Contact Information

Main Contact

Meagan Gallagher
Phone: 406-441-5481

Secondary Contact

Sara McGowan
Phone: 406-449-4360

Venue/Location Information

Billings Hotel & Convention Center (click here to get directions)
1223 Mullowney Lane, Billings, MT  |  (406) 248-7151