Conference Archives

Conference Archives

32nd Annual MSFA Conference – March 13-15, 2019

The 2019 MSFA Conference was held March 13-15, 2019, at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Ann Arbor. Conference highlights included:  Keynote Speaker on Meteotsunamis, Agency Updates, Floodplains 101, Stormwater 101, CRS Information Consultations, CFM Exam, Building Code Workshop, Green Infrastructure tour & presentations, and Case studies related to stormwater & floodplain management. 

31st Annual MSFA Conference – February 21-23, 2018

The 2018 Conference was held February 21-23, in Lansing.  Some of the conference highlights include:  Agency Updates, Floodplains 101, Stormwater 101, MiWaters Q&A Sessions, CRS Classification Meetings, Michigan Water Trails, Case studies related to storm water & floodplain management, CFM Exam, and a Building Code Workshop.

30th Annual MSFA Conference – March 1-3, 2017

The 2017 Michigan conference was held March 1 – March 3, 2017, with Pre-conference functions held on February 28, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing.  Some of the conference highlights included:  Agency Updates, Flood Frequency Calculation Update, Grand River History, Case studies related to storm water & floodplain management, CFM Exam, Construction Site Stormwater Training, and a Building Code Workshop.

The 2016 ASFPM National Conference was held in Grand Rapids, June 19-24, 2016. 

Information on the next ASFPM National Conference

2015 Conference Summary

The Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing was the setting for the 28th annual conference of the Michigan Stormwater Floodplain Association held February 24 – 27th.   Over 170 individuals, speakers, sponsors and vendors participated in the conference. The conference provided pre-conference sessions on Floodplain Management 101, Substantial improvement and damage assessment, and construction stormwater operator/soil erosion inspection training & exam opportunities. A preconference activity also included a Certified Floodplain Managers (CFM) refresher course conducted by the DEQ and FEMA in preparation for the CFM exam proctored the following day. Four people attended the refresher and three people sat for the exam.

Over 24 presentations were on the agenda for the main conference. The subject matter of the speaker presentations included State and Federal program updates, dam removal projects, presentations on the Muskegon River and Detroit floods that occurred in 2014, grant funding information, stream restoration, flood insurance 101, stormwater permitting and emergency response during flood events.

The success of the MSFA conference is in part due to the support we get from our sponsors and vendors, which include Smart Vent Products, Blocksom & Company, Hubbell, Roth and Clark, AECOM, Spalding DeDecker, Driesenga & Associates, Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick, Advanced Drainage Systems, Kuert Concrete, Spicer Group, FTCH, FEMA and the DEQ. The sponsors and exhibitors provided industry information on techniques, equipment, and concepts related to floodplain and stormwater management along with providing for two evening receptions which allowed for an excellent networking opportunity for the conference attendees.

The annual MSFA membership meeting was also conducted during the conference. The MSFA college scholarship was presented, the floodplain service award was presented to Pete Elam, and the annual budget, updates and elections were held.

The highlight of the conference was the planning and anticipation of the National Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) conference coming to Grand Rapids Michigan on June 19-25, 2016. The MSFA is the local host chapter (in partnership with Illinois floodplain association). Many of the MSFA members and conference attendees have already volunteered their time to make this ASFPM conference a success. In anticipation of the national conference coming to Michigan, the MSFA decided that the 2016 state conference will be only be held for one-day in 2016. The MSFA conference/meeting will be held on March 9, 2016 at the Lansing Historical Center and Museum.

2010 Conference Summary

Through March 3rd and 5th the DoubleTree Hotel Bay City Riverfront was the setting for the 23rd annual conference of the Michigan Stormwater Floodplain Association.  It was top notch treatment for a second year in a row.  The attendance was up—165 including full and daily registrations, presenters, vendors, and sponsors.  The full conf. provided 21 presentations.  A preconference day on the 2nd provided a Certified Floodplain Managers (CFM®) refresher course conducted by PBS&J in preparation for the CFM® exam proctored the following day.  Nineteen persons attended the refresher and seven people sat for the exam.

The subject matter of the speaker presentations included State and Federal program updates, building code and stormwater operator workshops, dam removal and operations as related to flood management, grant funding information, flood discharge calculation methods, and emergency planning for and after flood events.

As with most conference programs their value and success is greatly affected by the support received from sponsors of and exhibitors at the conference.  This conference was no different.  We had an excellent number of both sponsors and exhibitors providing industry information on techniques, equipment, and concepts related to floodplain and stormwater management along with funding support of the conference itself.

The conference supporters included the following and the MSFA’s sincere appreciation is hereby extended:

Sponsors Exhibitors
Anderson, Echstein & Westrick, Inc.
Applied Science, Inc.
Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr, and Huber
Spicer Group, Inc.
Stantec Consulting Services
Tetra Tech
Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc.Aerocon Photogrammetric Services, Inc.
Applied Science, Inc.
Bay County Drain Commission-Joseph Rivet
Blocksom & Company
FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates, LLC
Michigan Assoc. of County Dr. Commissioners
Stantec Consulting Services
US Army Corps of Engineers
W.A. Wilson Consulting Services, LLC
Wade Trim

2009 Conference Summary

The DoubleTree Hotel on the Riverfront in Bay City is a very well suited venue for the Michigan Stormwater-Floodplain Association.  The Hotel complimented the MSFA’s effort to provide valuable training and outreach education related to stormwater and floodplain management to local officials from around the state.  The 22nd annual MSFA conference was held at the DoubleTree March 10-13, 2009.  It was well attended by over 110 people.   The attendees represented individuals from around the state with roles and responsibilities in the discipline of managing local development to assure that losses, costs, and impacts to citizens from stormwater and flooding are minimized and floodplain benefits are maintained.

A multitude of presentations were made by 29 industry professionals.  Twelve companies and agencies provided sponsorship of the conference and thirteen exhibitors supported the MSFA networking outreach efforts to bring community officials in direct communications with consultants, product suppliers, and service agencies involved in various aspects of stormwater and floodplain management.
This year’s conference was supported by the following agencies and companies:

Anderson, Eckstein, & Westrick, Inc.
Applied Science, Inc.
Civil Engineering Consultants (CEC)
FEMA, Region V
Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc.
International Transmission Company ITC)
Ledy Design Group
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
NOAA, National Weather Service
Spicer Group, Inc.
Stantec Consulting Services
Tetra Tech

Applied Science, Inc.
Apex Engineers PLC
Bay County
Fleis & Vanderbrink Engineering, Inc.
Ledy Design Group
Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners
Price and Company, Inc.
Spicer Group, Inc.
Stantec Consulting Michigan, Inc.
Unilock Michigan
USACOE-Detroit District
Wade Trim

2008–Another Grand MSFA Conference

For the second consecutive year, the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids was the gracious host facility for the 21st annual Michigan Stormwater-Floodplain Association (MSFA) conference held March 18-21, 2008.  Conference attendees were availed a variety of informational presentations related to stormwater and floodplain management issues and concepts from a state and national perspective.  The attendees were made up of community leaders, local building officials, emergency management officials, floodplain management officials, environmental and engineering consultants, and state and federal floodplain management and National Flood Insurance Program staff.

This year’s conference was supported by the following agencies and companies:

FEMA, Region V
Anderson, Eckstein, & Westrick, Inc.
Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huuber, Inc.
Ledy Design Group
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
NOAA, National Weather Service
Prein & Newhof
Spicer Group, Inc.
NOAA, National Weather Service

BaySaver Technologies, Inc
Ledy Design Group
Michigan Concrete Association
Price and Company, Inc.
Stantec Consulting Michigan, Inc.
StormTrap, L.L.C.
Unilock Michigan
USACOE-Detroit District

Next year’s conference will be held in Bay City on the Riverfront at the DoubleTree Hotel.  The dates for the conference are March 10-13, 2009.   March 10 is being planned for a refresher course for the ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager’s exam which will be scheduled on March 11 in the am.  The main conference program will commence on March 11 in the afternoon and run to noon on March 13.  Group room rates are confirmed at $94 plus taxes with government rates for the same rooms at $65 plus taxes.

The 2009 conference planning committee will be working on developing a program using this year’s conference evaluations and comments as a starting point for program content.  If you have any suggestions that you would like the committee to consider in its efforts please feel free to contact any MSFA officer or regional representative for the association or Les Thomas, NFIP Coordinator,, 517-335-3448.

2007 MSFA Conference New Venue – Well Done!

The 20th annual Michigan Stormwater-Floodplain conference was held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan February 20 through the 23rd.  110 persons registered for the conference.  The program features included a floodplain management/National Flood Insurance Program refresher course given by PBS&J Consulting of Beltsville, Maryland on the first day of the conference.  The refresher was geared toward preparations for those individuals intending to take the Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) exam the following morning.  The exam was proctored before the main conference opened.  Sixteen persons sat for the refresher, and nine took the exam.

The main conference program featured 16 presentations covering a variety of subject areas such as floodplain construction requirements, the NFIP community rating system, the flood insurance side of the NFIP, drainage and soil erosion technology, relationship of emergency management to floodplains and mitigation planning, rain garden and stormwater management technologies, roof garden technologies, and real life experiences and observations in Katrina aftermath.

The conference evaluations indicated a high satisfaction with the program content, schedule, food, and facilities.  Many suggestions were received for subject areas to consider for next year’s program.  Several suggestions were made for the planning committee to consider when designing next year’s conference that should produce an improved conference next year.  So, feel free to pass the word on to your fellow members that did not attend this year and to other community leaders you believe would benefit by attending the annual conference. 

2006 MSFA 19th Annual Conference Was a Good One

by Les Thomas

Attendee comments on the 2006 conference at the Grand Traverse
Resort, in Acme:

“Good range of subjects this year.”
“Overall, a very good conference.”
“Great job!”
“Floodplain management (101 workshop) … was a good forum for
discussion and review of the basic concepts.”
“Very good conference—very organized and put together.”
“Great job of keeping presentations on schedule.”

Many other very constructive comments and suggestions were received
for next year’s conference development.  The multi day format seemed to
work well for the second year in a row.  It does provide flexibility in
conference planning for providing a variety of presentations for the wide
range of interest and roles represented by the association’s membership.
There were 118 registered attendees for the conference.  The exhibitor
portion of the conference was supported by 16 exhibitors from private
consulting and product firms to state and federal agencies.  Four entities
provided specific sponsorship support of the conference and they
included the consulting firms of Fishbeck Thompson, Carr and Huber,
Spicer Group, PBS&J, and the Federal Emergency Management

The program provided 24 presentations of varied issues related to
stormwater and floodplain management.  Two presentations were of
workshop formats and were well received and productive.  One was a
“Floodplain Management 101” session attended by many local building
officials looking for a better understanding of what they need to know and
consider when processing a building permit application for construction
within the floodplain.  Another workshop presentation was an opportunity
for community officials to learn more about the FEMA NFIP Community
Rating System (CRS) program.  It provided one-on-one work sessions
with the CRS representative Scott Cofoid to review individual community
programs and to begin preparation of the enrollment application packet.

Next year’s conference will the Association’s 20th and is set for February
21-23, 2007.  The conference location will be moved from the northern
lower peninsula down to the southwest portion of the state in response to
past membership suggestions to move the conference location around
the state.  Final contract terms have been worked out with the Amway
Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Next year’s conference format
will be similar to that of the last two years.  General sessions with
breakout concurrent sessions and exhibitors are planned.  A CFM exam
refresher course and the proctoring of the exam will again be part of the
conference.  There are tentative plans to schedule the refresher on
February 20, 2006 with the exam proctored the following morning the 21st just prior to the start of the conference in the afternoon.  This will allow the CFM exam takers the chance to attend all of the conference sessions.

2005 MSFA Conference New Format a Welcome Success
By Les Thomas

This year the Michigan Stormwater-Floodplain Association (MSFA) held
its 18th annual conference, but with a major change from past years.  In
response to the membership’s feedback that a multi-day conference
should be provided, the 2005 conference was planned for February 14
through February 16.  The conference agenda included the Association’s
annual general membership business meeting, general presentation,
and concurrent sessions, including a floodplain management refresher
course, a proctoring of the national Association of State Floodplain
Managers’ certified floodplain manager (CFM) exam, a vendor display,
and reception area.  During the evenings, many conference participants
took advantage of more casual setting opportunities to meet with fellow
professionals and the vendor representatives at vendor?sponsored
hospitality gatherings.

The board of directors began its consideration and initial planning for this
year’s conference shortly after the conclusion of the 2004 conference.
They met regularly throughout the year right up to the conference date.  It
takes a lot of time commitment from many volunteers to successfully
plan, develop, and orchestrate a successful multi?day conference.  The
Association officers and the board of directors deserve a great deal of
credit and gratitude for their efforts.

The process was a learning experience, and fortunately there was an
opportunity to take advantage of what others already knew about putting a
large conference together.  The MSFA was able to work with the
Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners (MACDC)
and piggyback with its winter conference planning efforts.  Due to
common interests between the two associations, it was determined that
the scheduling of both association conferences back to back at the same
location could facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between the
association members.

Comments received during and after the MSFA and the MACDC
conferences from attendees were positive and supportive of the new
format and the developing relationship between the two associations.
The MSFA conference had 103 attendees and nine firms represented in
the vendor portion of the conference.  The Grand Traverse Resort
conference facilities, lodging, and its atmosphere were very conducive
and complimentary to an enjoyable and successful conference
program.  The MSFA’s officers and board of directors held a post
conference evaluation meeting and have started preliminary plans for
next year’s conference. Strong consideration is being given to
another multi-day format next year in concert with the MACDC
winter conference.  The timing for the conference will likely be in the
month of February again and at the Grand Traverse Resort and
Spa.  So, start looking at your training and travel budget for next
year and consider budgeting for your attendance next year so you
can join us and benefit from this great conference.