LaMarche hosts national conference

Town of Farragut was featured as part of a National League

of Cities Women in Municipal Government Annual Summer Conference.

Farragut Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche, this year’s league president, hosted the conference, which took place in downtown Knoxville from May 18 to May 21, when about 60 women attended from across the country. As part of the event’s activities, she brought participants to Farragut for a luncheon at Fox Den Country Club Friday, May 20.

“I was happy, proud, honored and privileged to bring [the

conference] to Knoxville and Farragut,” LaMarche said.

“The women of Village Green Garden Club did all the flowers in the colors of the Town’s new logo.

“Everyone loved the flowers. They were beautiful.”

The luncheon was followed by a tour of Farragut Museum, where attendees heard from speakers such as historian Lou LaMarche, who dressed like Adm. David Farragut and recounted the Battle of Mobile Bay.

“Our people need to know how important our Town is compared to other cities in the United States,” Dot LaMarche said. “We are doing very well.”

To host the event, she raised $38,000 for speakers, meals and infrastructure.

“Whoever is president hosts [the conference] in her city,” LaMarche said. However, NLC wants the conference to take place in a larger city attendees can fly into, so the conference was held in downtown Knoxville, she added.

The event’s 2016 theme was “Let us All Rise to the Top of ‘Old Smoky’ with Tennessean Women Who Have.”

“It was wonderful, Dot LaMarche said. “I was happy I was able to do it.”

The conference’s purpose was to bring women together so they could be motivated and inspired to be better leaders and not “re-invent the wheel.”

“The women learned about Tennessee women who rose to the top,” she said. The event included seminars, workshops, discussions, a tour of Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, a dinner cruise on Volunteer Princess and speakers such as Joan Cronan, former director of The University of Tennessee Women’s Athletics; Margaret Mahery, Tennessee Municipal League executive director; Rebecca Price, president and CEO of Chick

History; Wanda Sobieski, coordinator of Women Suffrage Coalition and former commissioner of Tennessee Comme-morative Women’s Suffrage Commission; Sean McDermott, Knox County assistant district attorney; Lee Tramel, Knox County Sheriff’s Office chief

of administration and Dr. Lois Jordan, former Nashville Council member.

As an elected official, LaMarche has been involved with NLC Women in Municipal Government for 13 years and has served on its state and national boards.

“Being president was an honor and a privilege to be selected,” she said. “I have gotten so many remarks, letters and e-mails

from people who said they were educated, inspired, motivated by the conference.”

Women in Municipal Gover-nment was created in 1974 a constituency group of the National League of Cities to represent interests of female elected officials, she said.

She has chosen not to run for re-election to Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Her last month in office will be August.

“It’s bittersweet,” LaMarche said about her decision to leave the Board. “At age 80, I think it’s time to give younger people a chance to do it.”