The Florida Association of Counties presented Santa Rosa County Commissioner Rob Williamson with the Advanced County Commissioner designation following completion of a comprehensive study program developed by the association. Williamson received the designation along with 17 other county commissioners during an awards ceremony held at the FAC Annual Conference in Palm Beach County. "At a time when local government and the communities they represent are under constant attack from special interests in Tallahassee and D.C., having the opportunity to learn from the best thought leaders from around the state is more important than ever," Williamson said. "The education programs offered by the Florida Association of Counties prepare me to meet the challenges our current political environment demands and give me the tools to better serve our local community." Launched by FAC in 2006, the Advanced County Commissioner education program is an advanced leadership program designed for graduates of the Certified County Commissioners program. This year, the program saw 18 commissioners graduate in June; 204 have graduated since the inception of the program in 2006. "Graduates of the Advanced County Commissioner program have shown an exemplary commitment to public service" FAC Executive Director Ginger Delegal said. "This invaluable program brings together veteran commissioners from throughout Florida to work collaboratively on Florida's most pressing challenges." The ACC program is organized as a series of three seminars, with 27 hours of course work. The course content focuses on leading within Florida's counties. Participating commissioners must commit to fully participate in all three seminars to graduate. Seminars include: "Tough Policy Choices in Florida During Tumultuous Times"; "Leading Your Communities During Turbulent Times"; and "Understanding and Working with Stakeholders and County Decision Makers During these Turbulent Times." The University of Florida/IFAS Extension has sponsored this program for the last nine years in Alachua County. For more information about the ACC program and courses, visit the FAC website at www.fl-counties.com.