The 15th Annual Neighborhoods Conference will be held on Sat. May 12.

On May 12, residents are invited to learn more about how to improve their community at the 15th Annual Neighborhoods Conference hosted by Hillsborough County’s Office of Neighborhood Relations. The conference, which takes place at the Sheraton Tampa East, is expected to draw more than 900 neighborhood, civic and crime watch associations from all over Hillsborough County.

With the theme of Creating Community, the event will be made up of workshops with topics ranging from ‘Connecting Your Neighborhood to Social Media’ to ‘What to Know About Code Enforcement’ and a large vendor area with local and national businesses, various departments from Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa, homeowners association (HOA) attorneys, property managers, HART, the Alliance for Children with Disabilities and more.

“The goal of the conference is to help citizens learn how to build a sense of community and make their neighborhoods safe, attractive and friendly,” said Wanda Sloan, Hillsborough County Neighborhood Liaison.

Residents are encouraged to visit the county website to learn more about the workshops offered and sign up for the conference. Workshops will include ‘If, When and Where to Pull a Permit,’ ‘Let Us Be Your Guide’, which will show residents how to report issues in the community via phone or website, and ‘A Conversation with the County Administrator.’

“This year we are emphasizing ‘Navigating County Government,’” said Sloan. “We try to always offer workshops and opportunities that will encourage our residents to keep their community safe, beautiful and sustainable.”

In addition to the vendor area and workshops, the conference also includes the Neighborhood Recognition Awards Luncheon, where the county highlights neighborhoods and standout community leaders. In addition, the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County sponsors an award of $2,000 for the Neighborhood Youth Volunteer of the Year.

“Anyone that lives in a neighborhood or uses county services will benefit from attending,” said Sloan. “If someone is a new HOA board member, they can also get their certification at the conference.”

Registration for then event is available online at The event opens at 8 a.m. with workshops starting at 8:45 a.m. and ending at 2:30 p.m. The Sheraton Tampa East is located at 10221 Princess Palm Ave. in Tampa. For more information, call 272-5860.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.