Skip to main content
Return to Press Releases

Accela Announces Keynote Speakers and Full Program for Virtual Accelarate 2021

The govtech leader’s annual event will reveal the IT strategies, technologies, and mindsets that will shape a stronger path forward for state and local governments


San Ramon, Calif. (September 15, 2021) — Accela®, the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for state and local government, today announced its full agenda for its upcoming annual conference and training event, Accelerate. Completely virtual this year, Accelarate will take place from October 4-6, 2021, and registration for the event is free.

This year’s theme, Our Path Forward, focuses on how government agencies can adapt to an increasingly complex and accelerating landscape of challenges, and imagine and navigate new paths with greater agility and adaptability. During the 3-day conference, state and local government leaders and industry changemakers can hear from Accela executives and product experts, industry thought leaders; engage with peers on new opportunities and partnerships; and gain insight into the cloud solutions and connected tech strategies that will help government agencies revitalize communities, improve service delivery and business performance, and create better resident and employee experiences.

“This past year has asked more of state, county and local governments than ever before, and our public sector leaders are facing a critical inflection point on how to best move forward,” said Accela CEO Gary Kovacs. “We’re excited to welcome so many of our customers to Accelarate, as this year represents such an important moment in their digital transformations. It also serves as an opportunity for governments around the globe to explore the technologies and strategies that are empowering agencies to continue being resilient and ready to meet challenges head-on.”

Kovacs will kick off the event at the first general session with a keynote that celebrates the resiliency of government agencies; Amin Toufani, CEO of T Labs, Founder of, and Finance & Economics Chair at Singularity University, will speak on “Adaptive Governance: Future-Ready Agencies in Times of Accelerating Change” underscoring the importance of unlearning, keys to navigating disruption, and trends that are disrupting agencies at an exponential rate; and Dr. Robert Blaine, Senior Executive & Director at National League of Cities and former Chief Administrative Officer, City of Jackson MS, will highlight real-world efforts using data to prioritize pressing challenges, best leverage funds, and deliver equitable outcomes in his keynote titled “Creating Impact, Change and Opportunity in Your Community.”

Nearly 70 breakout sessions will also be offered throughout the event, giving attendees the chance to learn from colleagues, technology partners, and Accela staff how Accela’s market-leading Civic Platform and Civic Applications SaaS solutions can create new efficiencies. These workshops span six tracks: Administration and Implementation, Civic Platform, Civic Applications, Tools to Navigate Our Path Forward, Ask the Experts, and the Value of the Cloud. Throughout the sessions, attendees can gain insights from Accela customers who improved processes, enhanced the citizen experience, and demonstrated efficiencies from cross-agency collaboration.

Beyond keynote and breakout sessions, the Accela Experience Center will welcome attendees to learn and see first-hand from Accela experts. Federal recovery funds (like those from the American Rescue Plan) are offering even more opportunities for governments to invest in SaaS solutions like Accela’s that can improve critical community services.

Accelerate will also offer networking opportunities with more than 1,500 city managers, CIOs, building officials, licensing managers, IT directors, planners, code enforcement managers, and govtech influencers. Additionally, the recipients of Accela’s Trendsetter Awards, which recognize innovative government agencies and individuals harnessing new technologies and digital strategies to deliver excellence in their communities, will be announced on the last day of the event.

To learn more about Accelarate and register for the virtual event, please visit this link.

What: Accelarate 2021: Our Path Forward
When: October 4-6, 2021
Where: Register for the virtual event here

Accelerate, Accela’s annual conference and training event, will feature informative and engaging presentations by Accela leadership, technology and industry experts, customers, and guest speakers.

Conference General Session Day 1 (October 5):

  • Keynote address from Accela CEO Gary Kovacs on “Our Path Forward”
  • Amin Toufani, CEO of T Labs, Founder of, and Finance & Economics Chair at Singularity University, will speak on “Adaptive Governance: Future-Ready Agencies in Times of Accelerating Change”
  • Troy Coggiola, Accela’s Chief Product Officer, will share thoughts on “Empowering a Return to Better Than Norm”
  • Accela Product Management VPs Amber D’Ottavio and Cathy Grossi will present on “Leveraging Accela to Pave Your Community’s Path Forward”


Conference General Session Day 2 (October 6):

  • Renato Mascardo, Accela’s Chief Technology Officer, will discuss the “Building Blocks to a More Connected Government”
  • Tom Nieto, Accela’s COO, will join Title Sponsor, CSG Forte who will present on “Speed to Revenue Via an Improved Payment Ecosystem”
  • Dr. Robert Blaine, Senior Executive & Director at National League of Cities and former Chief Administrative Officer, City of Jackson MS, will highlight efforts using data-based insights and showcase real-world projects in a session titled “Creating Impact, Change and Opportunity in Your Community”
  • A panel featuring Dr. Robert Blaine of NLC, Katya Abazajian, Fellow at the Beeck Center for Social Impact at Georgetown University, and Cathy Grossi, Accela VP of Product Management, to discuss the role of data and technology in ensuring equitable outcomes

Accela is pleased to recognize CSG Forte as its Accelarate 2021 title sponsor; CSG Forte enables organizations to grow their businesses quickly and scale payments smarter with a unified payments platform. Additionally, Accela thanks its Platinum sponsors Microsoft, Symbium, and Velosimo, and welcomes nearly two dozen Gold, Silver, and Bronze level partner sponsors as well. Sponsors will host virtual booths as part of Accelarate’s digital Partner Pavilion, open to all attendees throughout the conference.

Accelerate follows another year of continued business momentum for Accela, especially as its existing customers increasingly migrate to the cloud. Nearly 65 percent of Accela Civic Platform customers are already on SaaS, and more than 200 data center customers have migrated to Accela’s SaaS solutions. In total, Accela delivers leading cloud-based solutions to 80% of the top 100 U.S. cities and strengthens communities for more than 275 million citizens globally.


About Accela

Accela provides market-leading cloud solutions that empower the most innovative state and local governments around the world to build thriving communities, grow businesses, and protect citizens. More than 275 million citizens globally benefit from Accela’s solutions, which are powered by Azure, for permitting, licensing, code enforcement, and service request management. Accela’s fast-to-implement Civic Applications, built on its robust and extensible Civic Platform, help agencies address specific needs today, while ensuring they are prepared for any emerging or complex challenges in the future. The company was recently recognized as a 2021 Microsoft US Partner Award winner for its innovative SaaS solutions to help governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was named as one of the Largest East Bay Tech Employers by San Francisco Business Times. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, California, with additional offices around the world. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Gabe Graham

Return to top