Professional Development, Conference and Public Outreach 2023 Sub-Committee Wrap Up

By Kassandra Drake, Janet McIntosh and Brooke Nutt

The Professional Development Subcommittee began 2023 with a focus on our own well-being and mental health. Joan Robison taught ways to lead during challenging times, Brita Montes-Sanders, ANRP, shared how to both survive and support menopause, and Wendy Fraser, PhD, discussed tools to build our relationships and support networks.  As we started planning for our 2023 conference, we shifted our focus to utilize these skills and start fostering the 2023 conference theme exploring the intersections of history, diversity, to progress and promoting allyship.  We began this journey with inviting all available Business Resource Groups (BRG) to speak to our group as a panel.  The discussion continued Celebrating Allyship and Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May with Joanne Lee, Rokaih Vansot and Aleksa Manila.  In the Fall, CultureAlly speakers joined us for Hispanic Heritage Month and Chief Lee and Diane Jennings showed us their new Office of Administrative Hearings Spanish Hearings program.  We ended the year with intersection of history by having the Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, talking about women leaders in government and Dr. Raedene Copeland sharing how immigrants in the workplace are unsung heroes.

The Conference Subcommittee knocked it out of the park with the 2-day ICSEW 2023 annual professional development conference in October.  The theme “ENGAGE: Their Past, Your Present, Our Future.” aimed to explore the intersections of history, diversity, and progress and to promote allyship. Speakers from various backgrounds addressed topics such as belonging in the workplace, the ongoing legacy of weight stigma, supporting women in the workplace, restoring wholeness, and more. The conference was held virtually and attracted a record number of participants with approximately 1000 registrants and an average attendance of 500-600 attendees each day. The conference was offered free of charge for the first time due wholly to the support of our incredible sponsors. Huge thank you to our sponsors! Conference presentation materials, a list of sponsors, and information on the amazing musicians that provided music for the conference are available on the ICSEW website. If you (or a state employee you know) are interested in helping build out the conference for 2024 or want to learn more about the conference subcommittee? Email

The Public Outreach Subcommittee got into full swing in 2023 by resuming activities post pandemic. Being able to attend in person events was a wonderful way to begin rebuilding and forming new relationships with the local Business Resource Groups (BRG) and members of our community. We tabled at four events, sharing information about ICSEW and our purpose. In March, we attended the Veterans Business Resource Groups Hiring Event at JBLM and were able to start internal conversations about our capacity to be more involved at other hiring events. In July, we attended the Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) event on the Capital Campus, the state’s first in person PSRW event post pandemic. We were able to introduce new people to ICSEW and meet key players in the local BRG’s. Later in the year, we accepted two additional event invitations.  The Liquor and Cannabis Board held a wellness fair that not only helped us build relationships with new people but also helped us create connections with organizations in our community. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner held their first ever street party for their employees. We were able to provide insight at the end of the event to help shape this event for future years. Over the past year, we have had a great time getting to know people and fostering relationships that we hope will continue to grow.