Learn strategies for a problem free work environment at ICSEW Jan. 2020 Meeting

Working with Difficult People

Most of us have a few people in our work lives that are difficult to work with.  And, if you don’t right now, you eventually will!  We’ll discuss strategies that proactively set the stage for a problem-free work environment and minimize the negative impact of difficult behaviors.  Some of the strategies include how to set expectations, encourage constructive feedback, and help resolve conflict when it arises.�

Session Presenter: Betty Lochner, SPHR, M.Ed

CEO, Cornerstone Coaching and Training, LLCa�Bb7�*

Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach and expert in workplace communications. She is the owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training, dedicated to helping individuals, workgroups and organizations become better communicators and leaders.

Betty is nationally certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and a Master’s in Education from Western Washington University. She is a certified trainer in Performance Coaching and has a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma process improvement. She retired after 30 years as a public servant for the state of Washington where she led programs at The Evergreen State College, Department of Commerce and the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Betty is the author of two books on communication and her recently released journal titled “Intentional Gratitude”.  She hosts a live event Confident Communication: A Women’s Summit – that will be held on March 20, 2020.  

For more information visit: http://www.cornerstone-ct.com

Session Presenter: Manny Martinez, President of Relentless Leadership LLC

Manny Martinez is the President of Relentless Leadership LLC., a Crestcom International authorized agent. Crestcom delivers interactive learning experiences in leadership and management which help people produce real business results across 60 countries and 25,000 clients.

In October 2018, Manny completed a 30-year career in the United States Air Force, reaching the summit of leardership as Chief Master Sergeant and Senior Enlisted Leader. He served military tours in the U.S., Germany, Italy and Turkey, and deployed to military operations in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.

Additionally, he’s passionate about community: he’s the Chief Enchanting Educator of Olympia’s Dawn Talkers Toastmasters, volunteers at the Thurston County Food Bank and Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia (CIELO) and sings in his church choir. Manny is married to his bride Barbara and has two children: Laura, a junior attending Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and Alessandro, who a high school freshman.

Today’s Talk: Focus on the Afters

“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers,” warned the great Peter Drucker. “The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong questions.” If Drucker is right, then these are dangerous times indeed.

With so much data and uncertainty weighing on our decisions, asking the wrong questions – to arrive at the wrong destination – are mistakes we can’t afford to make. To help put us on the right course, Manny will facilitate practical exercises focused on asking future based questions. Additionally, we will hear from Crestcom faculty expert Andy Bounds; his “Afters” technique arms leaders to drive for the right results the first time.

A communications expert, Andy Bounds has been honored as Britain’s “Sales Trainer of the Year.” His book The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick is a best-selling business classic.

For a sneak peek of what Andy has to offer, watch Andy at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjmzQwDnWls

To Register please click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/icsew-meeting-january-21-2020-registration-87695221769?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Location: This meeting takes place from Tuesday, Jan. 21st, 2020 from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM PST at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries building, 7273 Linderson Way SW, Rooms 117-119 in Tumwater, WA 98501-6504. All regular ICSEW meetings are free and open to anyone, regardless of gender or employment status. An two hour ICSEW executive board meeting immediately follows the regular meeting, which is also open for attendees to observe.

Parking: Parking is limited. We encourage carpooling or utilizing the Mountain View Church parking lot which is located at the corner of Linderson Way and Israel Road. Please make sure to have photo ID with you at check-in. InterCity Transit also provides free bus fare for state employees with a STAR pass. To receive your star pass, please contact your agency’s commute trip reduction coordinator.

Scent/Fragrance Free Environment As we strive to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment, we have learned more about the need to become fragrance-free. A growing number of people are adversely affected by chemicals used in fragrances and the health impacts that result from contact range from mild irritation to life-threatening airway compromise. Often people who experience these effects are unable to access public spaces. The Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes chemical sensitivity and supports the need for accommodations to allow everyone access to public spaces. To ensure the health of all attendees — and to support an inclusive and healthy environment for all — please refrain from using fragrance when attending the ICSEW Meetings and events. Thank you for your cooperation.

November 2019 Meeting Recap

The state Legislature, LGBTQ+issues and the Paid Family Medical Leave law were all topics discussed at the November ICSEW regular membership meeting. In case you missed it, here is a short summary of each session. Meeting minutes are available here.


Former Senator Karen Fraser

Karen Fraser – Legislature 101

Former Senator Karen Fraser presented on the Legislative process, walking everyone through the bill process from a local level perspective as it becomes a state law.

She also gave an overview of how all levels of government interact and impact each other and where powers as well as checks and balances lie. She did so with wit, humor, and a vast wealth of knowledge and answered questions about the Electoral College and personal experiences with obstacles specifically impacting women in government.

Resource: How a Bill Becomes a Law: http://leg.wa.gov/legislature/Pages/Bill2Law.aspx 

Resource: Legislative Process Overviewhttp://leg.wa.gov/legislature/Pages/Overview.aspx 

Nick Streuli, the Employment Security Department’s director of legislative and executive operations gave an overview of what may likely be the most controversial and highly-watched issues in the upcoming 2020 legislative session. 

Streuli said the Department of Transportation will face challenges in balancing its budget. He said with the approval of the I-976 initiative on $30 car tabs, many transportation projects may have to be suspended until alternate forms of funding are found.   

Streuli also talked about other challenges the DOT’s strained budget will have to address, including funding fixing and replacing several of the state’s culverts (large pipes that allow streams to flow under waterways). The culverts can prevent salmon from reaching their spawning grounds.  In 2001 state tribes sued Washington state over harmed salmon habitat and drop in salmon numbers because of the culverts and impacting their right to fish. The supreme court ruled in favor of the tribes, and requires the state to fix the culverts. 

Resource: Nick Streuli’s Presentation: https://icsew.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/legislative-session-2020.pdf 

Paid Family and Medical Leave 

April Amundson

April Amundson from the Employment Security Department gave a presentation on the state’s Paid Family Medical Leave Act. Washington workers will be able to use benefits starting in 2020. The benefits generally allow up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year care for oneself or their family members. 

The presentation had information on eligibility, application process, participation requirements for employees and employers, calculation of benefits and definitions of exemptions.  

Resources:  Presentation – https://icsew.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/paid-family-medical-leave-presentation.pdf 

ESD official site: https://www.paidleave.wa.gov/workers 

LGBTQ+ Panel 

R.A.I.N. Panel

The Rainbow Alliance Inclusion Network (RAIN) held an interactive question-and-answer panel with audience members. Panelists Allison Spector, Ayanna Colman, Mo Tabor and Joy Crouse presented an overview of the sex and gender spectrum and answered questions. 

Several panelists talked candidly about some of the barriers they’ve experienced as LGBTQ+ people. They shared examples on how to address negative or ignorant comments (What you said hurts me; If you want to be respectful of these people, please stop) and what to do if you misuse a gender pronoun. If you do make a mistake, acknowledge it and keep trying. (“I know I keep messing up this pronoun thing, I promise I’m doing my best. Thanks for your patience. OR I’m not familiar with those pronouns. Can you go over them with me so I know if I am using them right?”) It’s also OK to ask someone their pronouns. It shows respect and courtesy.  

The panel also provided examples of how employers can creative a more inclusive workplace for LGBTQ employees, such as: 

  • Creating gender neural bathrooms 
  • Including gender pronouns in email signature blocks 
  • Making it a regular practice to state your gender pronouns when you introduce yourself at meetings, job interviews and routine interactions 

Resources:  http://www.transstudent.org/ Transstudent.org is youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment. It has a definitions guideillustrated graphics on pronoun etiquette, tips for being an ally and resources for LGBTQ+ people and for organizations to show support for LGBTQ+ people. 

Washington State Business Resource Groups: https://ofm.wa.gov/state-human-resources/workforce-diversity-equity-and-inclusion/statewide-business-resource-groups 

Commentary: Tribal Land Acknowledgements

Taja Blackhorn, Department of Labor and Industries & member of the Kahosadi people from southern Oregon

Commentary: Tribal Land Acknowledgements

by Taja Blackhorn, Department of Labor and Industries

Too often people view tribal identities as a thing of the past. Often when tribes and traditional homelands are actually mentioned that narrative is supported by using past tense verbs or offering a moment of silence for the victims of colonization.But, the tribal people whose identities, communities, and beliefs are shaped and defined by their relationships with the lands which we stand on today -are still here.We are still here.You, ‘hopefully’, will be exposed to many different Native Land Acknowledgements in the times to come. Each presenter sharing the gift of their own language, style, content, reasoning, and messages. So,I thought I would share how and why I present land acknowledgements the way I do.

First, I recognize the land by the peoples of the treaty and how I am related to them.

The reason I do this is because it:

1 –It recognizes the tribal entities as Nations who have a Nation-to-Nation agreement with the United States.

2 –This envelopes and includes the individual identities that exist or existed even if their current outside view/public recognition is via a confederated name ( like Squaxin –which are several different tribal nations under one “known” name)

3 –Provides a touch point with an “Americanized” name, so that those who are interested in learning more can research the deeper information. Versus people feeling overwhelmed by individual names and turning away from a potential learning opportunity.

Then, in the Land Acknowledgement itself, I include five elements:

1 -Recognize the “traditional homeland” aspect for the tribal nations.

This is a part of our identity that is inseparable from who we are. This relationship is our past, our present, and our future. It is our relatives, our breath; it flows in and through us, inseparable from ourselves. Even if we are not currently residing in our traditional homelands, like myself or some other Urban Indians,we still feel that connection.

2 –Be sure to say “thank you”. So simple. So important.

3 –Recognize and call out that the tribe, the native peoples of that land,“are still here”.

Too often people use past tense to describe us.

4 –Acknowledge the importance of hospitality and generosity between peoples.

This is integral part of our culture and something that would benefit all peoples.

5 –Share an educational point that links the past, present, and future.

For none stand on their own.And we don’t know what we don’t know.

Sharing knowledge builds bridges between peoples, inspires curiosity and future growth, supports positive self-identity, creates cultural awareness and protection, and in some cases,even cultural revitalization and reclamation by linking the past with the present and the present with the future.

Land acknowledgements are more than a list of boxes to be ticked –that is just a starting point. It is creating an opening space where we can learn and grow.

This moment of lived present is ultimately about recognition. Being seen as a full and true human being, entitled to being included in the general consciousness and the societal narrative. This is important beyond words, for any who have been treated as less than.

The narrative is about coming together to support one another and create the space where specialized knowledge and lived history can become part of the general consciousness. Advocating for support and direct actions to build a better community, a better society, a better common future.

That common future is a link that connects all of us.

All of us standing together on this day on this sacred and much loved land.

Standing together,as a new step is woven into the dance of dismantling barriers, lifting voices and hearts, and making life a better place to be

Ariss Uwiwawahokapar!

Thank you be well, be happy, and be welcomed.

Note: Taja Blackhorn, a member of the Kahosadi people from southern Oregon, has engaged in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outreach and education for more than 30 years, and has recently added Native Land Acknowledgements and Lunch and Learns for state agencies to her efforts.

For more information on ICSEW and the amazing people involved please visit us at https://icsew.wa.gov/

Learn about the Legislature at ICSEW Nov. 2019 Meeting

ICSEW Representatives 2019

The Legislative process can be complex and confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. The ICSEW’s November meeting will have sessions on understanding the legislative process, how to track bills that are important to you and easy ways to engage with your legislators and make them work for you.

The meeting takes place from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Washington State Department of Corrections’ Headquarters building (the Edna Lucille Goodrich building), 7345 Linderson Way SW in Tumwater. All regular ICSEW meetings are free and open to anyone, regardless of gender or employment status. An hour-long ICSEW executive board meeting immediately follows the regular meeting, which is also open for attendees to observe.


Parking is limited. The DOC has a few visitor spaces and there are a few spaces on 78th Ave. However, we encourage carpooling or utilizing the Mountain View Church parking lot which is located at the corner of Linderson Way and Israel Road. Please make sure to have photo ID with you at check-in. InterCity Transit also provides free bus fare for state employees with a STAR pass. To receive your star pass, please contact your agency’s commute trip reduction coordinator.

Session Presenters

Nick Streuli, Legislative & Executive Operations Director, Employment Security Department Getting Involved in the 2019-20 Legislative Session

Nick was appointed as the Legislative & Executive Operations Director for the Washington State Employment Security Department in October 2016. Nick has served in a variety of roles most recently as Special Policy Assistant to the Commissioner and Federal Government Liaison.

As part of his role with ESD, Nick works with the legislature on unemployment insurance, workforce development, and Paid Family and Medical Leave issues. This includes providing technical assistance to legislators and stakeholders, advising the agency on legislative strateg, and advocating for legislation to develop the nation’s best and most future ready workforce with opportunities for all.

Former Washington State Sen. Karen Fraser, Legislature 101

Karen Fraser (born September 12, 1944) was a Washington State Senator (Democrat) and served 24 years in the Washington State Senate, representing the 22nd Legislative District, which includes OlympiaLaceyTumwater, and north Thurston County.

She held many senior leadership positions in the Senate including: Democratic Caucus Chair; Vice Chair of the Ways and Means Committee; Chair of the Capital Budget; Chair of the Senate’s administrative committee; and Chair of policy committees pertaining to environment, energy, water, parks and recreation, shorelines, Puget Sound and state employee pensions. She served on the Rules Committee and on many other policy committees.

Prior to serving in the Senate, she served four years as a state representative. She served as a local elected official for 15 years, including becoming the first woman mayor of Lacey, second woman Thurston County Commissioner, and the first woman president of the Washington State Association of Counties.

Paid Family Leave and BRG Roundtable

The meeting will also include a session on Paid Family Medical Leave, presented by April Amundson, a policy and rules manager for the Employment Security Department, as well as a lunchtime panel with a RAIN Business Resource Group representative. RAIN stands for Rainbow Alliance Inclusion Network. RAIN helps Washington state create safe and inclusive workplaces where every LGBTQ+ employee can bring their authentic self to work, enabling them to do their best work for Washingtonians. Ayanna Coleman will be leading the panel discussion.

Statewide business resource groups, BRGs, bring together groups of employees and their allies who have a common interest or characteristic. A list of Business Resource Groups is on the Office of Financial Management’s website.


Sign up through Eventbrite for this incredible opportunity!


For more information about the difference ICSEW makes in the lives of Washingtonians visit our website at www.icsew.wa.gov

View the agenda here.

Learn to GROW at ICSEW Sept. 2019 Meeting


By Jasmine Pippin-Timco, Department of Licensing

TUMWATER–Accomplishing goals will be the topic at the ICSEW’s Sept. 17 meeting. 

Everyone has goals they want to accomplish, personal and professional ones.

Thrive at Work Olympia Career Consultants John Utter and Damon Drown will lead a discussion on how to effectively set and accomplish goals during the meeting.

The meeting takes place from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Washington State Department of Corrections’ Headquarters building (the Edna Lucille Goodrich building), 7345 Linderson Way SW in Tumwater. All regular ICSEW meetings are free and open to anyone, regardless of gender or employment status. An hour-long ICSEW executive board meeting immediately follows the regular meeting, which is also open for attendees to observe.

Participants will  learn how to bring the best out in themselves and others using the G.R.O.W. process! This is a simple and memorable way to help yourself and others accomplish important goals in almost any situation. Everyonewill receive a full-color “Help People G.R.O.W.” poster they can hang in their work area as a handy reminder.

This introductory course is highly interactive and will allow participants to clarify their own goals and how to attain them while in class

This is a catered meeting and and RSVP is required. Please click the link to register for the meeting on EventBrite.

At all our meetings we encourage ICSEW members to bring guests. It is a great opportunity for giving future representatives, alternates and interested individuals a first-hand look at how ICSEW helps better the lives of state employees.

Parking is limited. We encourage carpooling or utilizing the Mountain View Church parking lot which is located at the corner of Linderson Way and Israel Road. Please make sure to have photo ID with you at check-in.

About the Presenters:

John Utter

John has been a provider of career and wellness solutions for more than 20 years as a consultant for government agencies, private businesses and individuals. His work has been recognized by Al Gore’s National Performance Review and by Washington State Government for excellence.

He was most recently part of the award-winning Wellness 360 team that serves employees of the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Before his coaching career, John was a recording artist with Bounce the Ocean on the Private Music/BMG label.

Damon Drown

Damon Drown

Damon holds a doctorate degree in Organizational/Industrial Psychology. He brings a vast amount of knowledge about leadership he gained through academia and from the top companies in the world. He was in charge of leadership evaluation at Microsoft before leaving to join Thrive At Work.

Before Microsoft he served at Amazon on their research team. Damon is leading the Thrive at Work effort with his colleagues to create a leadership model that is non-biased across culture, gender, and age. Damon has also studied creativity and humor in the workplace.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Joanne Lee

Joanne Lee

The ICSEW will be publishing biographies and session descriptions of our Professional Development Conference presenters in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 27 conference. To register, please visit EventBrite.

Presentation: Leadership Development Core Values

Values “are the principles that give our lives meaning and allow us to persevere through adversity,” according to psychologist Barb Markway and Celia Ampel in The Self Confidence Workbook. If you are not sure about your core values, or if you would like to clarify which of your values are top priority, join us for this session.

Joanne Lee

Joanne Lee is a leadership development learning design and delivery professional for the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services. She has over 20 years of experience working in various workforce development roles. She also has experience in developing, supporting, maintaining, and expanding professional technical education partnerships to meet industry needs with customized training programs.

Joanne has worked with diverse adult learners, providing training and support from one-on-one consultation to large-scale workshops, seminars, and training for various workforce populations.

Joanne recently served as a director of workforce readiness diversity and inclusion at Seattle Society for Human Resource Management for two years and as a speaker Manager at Association for Talent Development Puget Sound for one year. She currently serves as a board member for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in Washington state. She also serves as a member of the education faculty of the Seattle Colleges and Bates Technical College.

Joanne received her Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management at the University of Phoenix. She received her Master of Arts degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from California State University, San Bernardino. In addition to her passion for building and maintaining relationships with community-based organizations, business, and industry, she also works to promote workforce and continuing education partnerships.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Barry Long

Barry Long

The ICSEW will be publishing biographies and session descriptions of our Professional Development Conference presenters in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 27 conference. To register, please visit EventBrite.

The Power of the Team

Asking for help and receiving help is unbelievably difficult for most. However, this is a leader’s key to creating a successful team.

In this session, we will discuss examples of how different types of leaders use help in different ways, and how knowing your leadership style can help you become a more efficient leader. Barry utilizes amazing stories and a very keen sense of humor to illuminate this powerful message.

About Barry Long

For more than 20 years, Barry Long has traveled all over the world making hundreds of presentations to organizations, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. He inspires audiences to strive for greater levels of accomplishment by setting goals that lead to success.

Barry provides marketing consulting services to several midsize and start-up companies, and has been a trainer for Microsoft. From Barry’s earliest years, he’s been an extreme sports freak and intrepid explorer of any new adventure.

At 22, a near-fatal motorcycle crash completely and permanently altered almost everything he knew about life. The accident resulted in destroying his spinal cord and breaking his back in ten places. With the understanding that he would never walk again, he started life over through unconditional determination, positive personal energy, and a great sense of humor. Barry discovered early in recovery that choosing to live with a genuinely positive attitude, setting realistic and achievable goals and learning to ask for help makes anything possible.

Barry currently lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife, Emily, and two children. He loves staying active in any way he can. He’s involved in competitive wheelchair sports, which takes his unbridled enthusiasm for life to new heights– which he often shares with audiences. He’s an avid participant in extreme sports like snow skiing, water skiing, road racing, wheelchair biking, and skydiving. Barry even set a world bungee jumping record while in New Zealand! He’s been featured on the Discovery Channel, the Canadian CBC Sports Channel, and can be seen in advertising campaigns for AT&T, Boeing, Magic Wheels and Medicare.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Audrey Pitchford

Audrey Pitchford

The ICSEW will be publishing biographies and session descriptions of our Professional Development Conference presenters in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 27 conference. To register, please visit EventBrite.

Crucial Conversations

Why are some conversations so tough?  What could make them better?  Come learn about a communication technique that is bigger than the workplace and has the power to improve relationships at work and at home.  It is possible to be candid and respectful at the same time!

Audrey Pitchford

Audrey Pitchford facilitates classes in leadership development and communication skills at the Department of Enterprise Services. She is a lifelong learner who loves helping others learn, and believes all adults can learn and grow.

Audrey has worked for elected officials and cabinet agencies, in roles ranging from clerical work to leadership. She received undergraduate degrees from Western Washington University and Pacific Lutheran University. Audrey believes strongly in the value and importance of public service, and is excited to help develop and strengthen skills in the public sector.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Melissa Harris

Melissa Harris

The ICSEW will be publishing biographies and session descriptions of our Professional Development Conference presenters in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 27 conference. To register, please visit EventBrite.

Change Management: A Personal Journey

Do you struggle implementing changes in your work environment?  Does the thought of enterprise-wide change scare you?  Change is a constant in the work environment.  In this session, you will learn ways to manage change together.

Melissa Harris

Melissa Harris is a learning, design and delivery professional for the Department of Enterprise Services, with over 19 years of professional work experience.  She previously spent the last 10 years of her career working for a Department of Defense contractor in leadership and team development, human resources, operations management, change management and Lean Six Sigma. 

Melissa studied Business Management & Human Resources Management at Washington State University.  She also holds certification as a Change Management Practitioner and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Ayanna Coleman

Ayanna Coleman

The ICSEW will be publishing biographies and session descriptions of our Professional Development Conference presenters in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 27 conference. To register, please visit EventBrite.

True Wonder Women: Fighting Supremacy and Oppression at Work

Women make up the majority of Washington state’s government employees. Women also make up a majority of the governor’s current executive cabinet. It’s clear that women are superheroes that can achieve anything they set their minds to.

Even with these great numbers, we still see a lot of disparities among women. Women of color are underrepresented in positions of leadership in state government. Women who are members of marginalized communities have reported not feeling safe nor comfortable enough to truly be themselves at work. 

This session explores how we can each be better allies to each other, advocate for one another and combat toxic work behavior such as macro-aggressions. Come to our island for warrior training! 

Ayanna Coleman

Ayanna received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her Juris Doctorate degree from Gonzaga University School of Law. She has worked for state government for the last seven years, beginning her state service with the Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Child Support. Ayanna has experience working as front-line staff with a heavy caseload in a field office, as well as being a member of a policy development team at a headquarters office. These experiences have given her immense perspective of the various levels of state government and the importance of every role.

In 2017, she joined Results Washington as a Lean Fellow and transitioned into the role of Senior Performance Advisor in 2018. Over the past year, Ayanna has worked closely with practitioners and partners in efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion work.

In June 2019, she transitioned over to the Office of Financial Management, OFM, into  Human Resources, to become the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Innovations manager. She is also a representative for ICSEW, representing OFM.

In her free time, Ayanna enjoys engaging in community service throughout the Puget Sound. An avid fan of pop culture, Ayanna enjoys listening to a slew of podcasts and checking out hit shows and documentaries on Netflix. She lives in Tacoma with her husband and five-year-old Great Pyrenees dog.