Marge Smith was executive director of the Princeton YWCA in 1995 when she came up with the idea of a conference to enable non-profit boards, staff and volunteers to work together more effectively by networking, developing skills, and raising community awareness.

Since then Smith has retired from the Y but — two decades later — she and the Community Works conference are still going strong. This year’s annual conference, chaired by Smith, will be Monday, January 26, from 5 to 9:15 p.m., at Frist Campus Center on the Princeton University campus. Cost: $35. Early registration is suggested. Visit www.princetoncommunityworks.org.

Smith will lead one of many workshops, “Leadership: Empowering Your Group to Accomplish the Mission.” The conference program says that Smith’s workshop “will focus on developing skills and providing specific techniques you can use immediately to engage and motivate your group. Techniques will address the following areas:

Communication: clarifying the mission, hearing what individuals are saying, and enabling each individual to have a voice.

Delegation: defining what jobs are needed, finding each individual’s talents so the group can utilize individual strengths and match jobs to individuals.

Motivation: examining factors that motivate or de-motivate a group, plus three recognition ideas that can be used to celebrate individuals or the group.

In addition to her service as the YW’s executive director, Smith has served as a board president, non-profit consultant, and volunteer.

She currently teaches Non-profit Management and Emotional Intelligence at Mercer County Community College, runs board retreats and workshops for volunteers and staff, and is a board member of CASA of Burlington/Mercer County, the Princeton Rotary Club, and the Princeton YWCA Friends.

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