Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo
March 26-29, 2018, Kansas City, MO, In Partnership with usignite


Financing Smart City Projects – What you need to know about Public-Private Partnerships and Alternative Funding Options

Smart Cities Connect Conference
Special Workshop:  June 25, 2017
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Opening Remarks: Mary Scott Nabers, Strategic Partnerships, Inc. 

Panel 1:  Discussion of projects of all types using various models that are being utilized successfully. 
Panel will present examples of collaborative efforts and the various types of models that can be utilized.

Moderator: Deborah Brown, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff

  • Panelist 1:  Mark Kempton, Skanska Infrastructure Development
  • Panelist 2:  John Barton, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
  • Panelist 3:  Tony Elkins, Cintra US

Panel 2: How and when to get started
– The panel will provide a step by step process of what needs to happen – from planning to implementation and oversight. There will be a discussion of various types of available alternative funding sources; comparing financial options; preparing the political champion, involving internal stakeholders and considering outside advisors.

Moderator: Deborah Brown, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff

  • Panelist 1:  Russell Zapalac, Halff & Associates
  • Panelist 2:  Henry Navnitlal, Kiewit
  • Panelist 3:  Taylor Ferguson, Grant Thornton

Panel 3:  Ensuring successful projects and maintaining community support
.  The panel will have a discussion of various types of civic outreach plans that work, message development and delivery, media communication, stakeholder involvement, transparency, and best practices.

Moderator: Lisa Buglione, AIAI

  • Panelist 1: Mary Scott Nabers, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
  • Panelist 2: Tony Elkins, Cintra, US
  • Panelist 3: John Parkinson, AIAI

Panel 4 - Best Practices combined with discussions about why projects fail.
The panel will give examples, advice, guidelines and guidance to participants.

Moderator: Lisa Buglione, AIAI

  • Panelist 1:  Mark Kempton, Skanska ID
  • Panelist 2:  Edgar Antu, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
  • Panelist 3: Jim Murphy, Halff & Associates


Round Table Discussions – Eight experienced experts will discuss and answer questions from participants at their table.  Participants may choose the table topics that interest them most.  Each expert session will last 15 minutes and there will be five sessions.

Table 1 – How to attract competition and alternative financing for your project. The expert will address what private sector contractors and investors hope to see in projects, timelines, how to consolidate projects for more interest, getting the message out and communicating well.

  • Expert: Taylor Ferguson, Grant Thornton

Table 2 – Developing solicitation documents
. The expert will explain  why you may need an advisor, what an advisor does, where to get help if you don’t hire an advisor to oversee the project, landmines to avoid, risk transfer, how to handle the procurement process overall.  This table is a basic how to get started session with an emphasis on planning and thinking through everything from project announcement to development of the final contract.

  • Expert : Deborah Brown, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff

Table 3 – Selecting funding sources and options.
The expert will hold a discussion of the various types of funding sources and what each will be seeking, how to evaluate their offerings, how to combine various types of sources including public funds, grants, real estate and how to get more financing competition, etc.

  • Expert: Anthony Hernandez, Grant Thornton  

Table 4 – Developing civic outreach plans
.  The expert will discuss how and why to develop a plan, what to include in it, whether to outsource it or manage it in-house, how to structure it if there are various public entities involved and best practices overall.

  • Expert: John Parkinson, AIAI  

Table 5 – The economic impact of public-private partnerships (P3s) and how to message that to taxpayers, stakeholders, the public at large and especially the media.
  The expert will address how to include this as talking points for the political champions of large public projects.

  • Expert: Henry Navnitlal, Kiewit

Table 6 – Legal, financial and procurement advisors may (or may not) be needed.
The expert will discuss what to know about legal assistance with public private partnerships with a Q&A about legal issues that are important to address early in the process and also drafting of the final contract.

  • Expert: John Barton, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Table 7 – Tips and guidance from a public official who has led a public-private partnership effort
. The expert will tell the group what to expect, how to manage stakeholders, what to know about dealing with the press and how to best ensure success overall.

  • Expert: Russell Zapalac, Halff Associates 

Table 8 – Tips and guidance from a public official
. The expert has launched a successful P3 project and will discuss risk transfer, stakeholder engagement, contracts, transparency, etc.

  • Expert: Jim Murphy, Halff Associates

Final Wrap Up of the Workshop
Mary Scott Nabers, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Who Should Attend?
City leaders - all elected officials (mayors, council members, etc.) as well as city managers, IoT directors, economic development representatives, smarty city researchers, project managers, CFOs, CIOs, procurement chiefs, division directors, communication director and others who will be involved in upcoming projects.


About the Instructors

Mary Scott Nabers
President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI)


Mary Scott Nabers is the President/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a unique public affairs company that specializes in procurement consulting, market research, government affairs, knowledge transfer, and public-private partnerships (P3s). Mary is also a co-founder of the Gemini Global Group (G3) and works with national and international clients on business development, P3s and other types of government objectives.


AIAI is an action-driven, member-led organization made up of the leading minds in the industry, solely dedicated to moving P3s forward and strengthening American infrastructure. AIAI serves as a resource for industry leaders, legislators and other key decision makers as they consider P3 as an alternative solution to address our Nation’s infrastructure crisis.


2017 Platinum Sponsors

Austin Energy


2017 Gold Sponsor

Union Point

2017 Silver Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

2017 Bronze Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

2017 Premier Partners

Premier Partners

2017 Supporting Organizations


Produced by  TechConnect

In partnership with  US Ignite