Colleen Cousineau

A message from

Colleen Cousineau

Director, Southern Legislative Conference
Director, Southern Office of The Council of State Governments

Dear Members, Staff, Friends, and Colleagues:

Written after the convening of our Southern Legislative Conference’s annual meeting – as we look forward to the year ahead – my message is based, in large part, on my reflections of our annual meeting. Sadly, we were unable to convene due to Hurricane Barry, but the absence of our annual meeting provided me with a deeper understanding of the importance of an SLC annual meeting.

While the SLC annual meeting is only one of the many events, programs and services we provide, it requires an intense commitment of time in both the preparation and onsite execution.  Regardless of long days and the endless hours invested, I find myself renewed when the meeting actually convenes.  I am reminded each year that an SLC annual meeting performs many functions.  The essence of an SLC annual meeting is more than being the “premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures.” And while I am immensely proud of the policy programs and discussion presented, I recognize its value to our members is much more. 

It is a renewal of friendships, a gathering of individuals who, along with their families and friends, find comfort in being in the company of others whose lives are dedicated to public service.  It’s making new acquaintances, whether as adults or children, enjoying the hospitality so ingrained in the South, and feeling warmly welcomed by our Host State members, staff and volunteers.

While there remains a great sense of disappointment in not being able to convene, I look forward with great anticipation to welcoming our members, families, colleagues and guests in 2020, to Winston-Salem for the 74th SLC annual meeting.

I am counting on seeing, at a minimum, everyone who planned on being in New Orleans, and then some!