ICSEW Needs Conference Volunteers


By Marie Splaine, Department of Commerce

It’s summer in the Pacific Northwest. What does that mean? More time outside, flowers blossoming and planning for the ICSEW Professional Development Conference.

The Professional Development Subcommittee is searching for 26 session volunteers to help with the conference on August 27 at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia.

Session volunteers serve as room monitors. They introduce the session presenter and ensure the sessions get out on time. Volunteers are still required to register and pay the standard admission fee. However, sessions are first come, first serve and fill up fast. That means volunteers get guaranteed entry into the sessions they volunteer for. Sessions range from an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes.

Our Professional Development Conference empowers and encourages attendees through engaging and powerful presenters. This year’s conference has 19 presenters whose topics include leadership development, recognizing and overcoming gender bias patterns in the workplace and much more.

The ICSEW is also posting session descriptions and biographies of all our conference presenters weekly on its blog and Facebook.

Please contact Marie Splaine, marie.splaine@commerce.wa.gov or (360) 338-5992 if you are interested in volunteering or have questions.

To register for the conference, please visit EventBrite.

See you at the conference in August!

After Work Networking Event June 25


Networking should be more than just handing out business cards or awkwardly trying to figure out who to talk to in a room full of strangers.

The ICSEW invites you to attend an after work evening event which includes an enagaing workshop on the power of networking.  The event takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 at the Candlewood Suites, 4440 3rd Ave. SE in Lacey. Cost is $10 includes light refreshments and beverages. You do not have to be an ICSEW representative or alternate to attend. However, anyone who wants to attend should sign up soon, as space is limited to 40 people.

During a facilitated group breakout session, you will discover a new way to network that is unlike one you have ever experienced before. The focus is less about working the room to converse and collect business cards and more about bringing in the human desire of wanting to genuinely help others.

Linda Tilson Deborah McLain will facilitate.

Tilson serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Coaching Hub, LLC. She brings over twelve years of managerial experience leading professional accountants for the State of Washington Workers’ Compensation Program. Linda specializes in creating operational excellence by challenging people in an organization to become effective problem solvers using Lean tools and methodology.

Deborah McLain is the creator of a unique workshop called “What’s Your Story,” designed to assist participants in identifying and developing their personal stories and how to present them creatively.

Registration and more details:


Using LinkedIn to Advance Your Career

By Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair

The professional social networking site LinkedIn has 133 million users in the U.S. alone and reaches more than 200 counties and territories around the world.

So it makes sense that it can be used for career development. Everything from job searching, networking with other professionals in your field and giving and receiving career advice can all be done on Linked In.

Career Coach Linda Tilson gave a primer on how to set up and use your LinkedIn account at the ICSEW career fair May 21.

Among the tips she offered to make your LinkedIn profile as effective as possible:

Keep an Updated Profile: Members with a profile picture are more likely to get views compared to those that don’t.

Be comprehensive about current skills and objectives: Use your headline to share your main objective if it makes sense and add all of your skills to your page.

Be more than a fly on the wall. Engage with others on LinkedIn, as you would any social network. Post articles you write. Use your connections to seek—and give—career advice. The more you act as a professional, the more you’ll be noticed and build recognition. Get involved in professional groups.

Research your future boss and executive team.  Before going on an interview, or applying to a job with an organization, see if the company or your potential boss has a LinkedIn. You can use it to find out about the company’s and/or your potential boss’ likes, dislikes, important company values, etc. You can leverage this information during the interview and show you’ve done your homework.


Take Charge of Your Career

By Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair

Two women standing in front of a projector
Phyllis Gallegos (left) and Janelle Guthrie (right) co-present at the ICSEW career fair May 21 at the Department of Labor and Industries in Tumwater.

Understanding what your personal values are most important to you can go a long way in helping you shape your professional career.

That was the theme for Taking Charge of Your Career, a joint presentation by Janelle Guthrie and Phyllis Gallegos at the ICSEW career fair May 21. Both women work for the Employment Security Department. Guthrie is the ESD’s communications director and Gallegos is an agency talent acquisition manager.

The women talked about developing a “communications plan” for your career RACE.

Research: Take a personal assessment of where you are now and what you want out of a career.  This includes listing your likes and dislikes about your current job, and listing what personality traits make you unique as well as all the skills you’re good at.

Guthrie and Gallegos said it’s also important to rank your most important intrinsic values (internal motivators) and extrinsic values (what rewards you get out of your work). Workshop participants took part in an exercise to identify their values. Knowing what values give you a sense of satisfaction can help guide you to your ideal job, the presenters said.

Action planning: Set goals using the SMART approach. Goals should be Specific Measurable Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (Example: Conduct three informational interviews with professionals working in public relations in the next six months)

Carry out your plan: Put your plan into action.  Once you’ve set your goals, break each one down into small tasks to work on.

Evaluate: Check periodically to see if you are meeting your goals and objectives. You may have to adjust your plan or set new goals or objectives.

View the PowerPoint Presentation: Career Planning Presentation ESD

View the Meeting Minutes



Cracking the Code to Effective Resumes

By Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair

man standing in front of projector
Lonnie Spikes from the Department of Licencing talks about effective resume building at the ICSEW career fair.

When it comes to building an effective resume there’s no ‘one-size fits all’ template, according to Lonnie Spikes, Talent Acquisition Manager for the Department of Licensing.

Spikes gave a presentation on effective resume-building at the ICSEW’s career fair May 21.

Spikes gave some insights to how applicants are screened for Washington state government jobs. He said unlike Federal government jobs, which are often screened by computer programs, trained job recruiters are the first ones to take a look at a candidate’s application package.

He said to tailor your resume to the job description, based on the skills you have. He says people can sometimes forget putting skills on their resumes because they’re so used to it, it’s second-nature to them. (For example, word processing skills you learned in elementary school).

“Give yourself credit for your skills, even if they seem like putting on a shoe,” Spikes said.

He said combing through all your files– no matter how long they may have been sitting in a pile untouched—can provide useful information to a potential employer about your skills. Past award certificates, evaluations, reports, etc. can be a treasure trove of material to include in a resume.

Other bits of information Spikes shared:

  • Always bring a portfolio of work with you to formal interviews, informational interviews, job fairs, etc. You always want to be able to demonstrate your work.
  • Turn in your application as soon as possible. You are competing for jobs on a global market. You’re not just competing against your next door neighbor. The majority of companies’ job posting and application process is done online, so you’re competing with potential job candidates from all over the world.
  • Spikes said it’s not unheard of for recruiters at the state level to receive several hundred applications for a single position. However, recruiters are limited to advancing just 20 applications to the initial screening process. Make sure to tailor your resume to make sure yours is in that batch of 20.
  • If you see a job listing with a recruiter’s name, don’t be afraid to contact the recruiter. They can often help answer questions about a position.
  • Length: There’s no magic formula for the appropriate length of a resume. Just make sure it’s long enough to properly address your qualifications that are relevant to the position.

Minutes from the May 21 meeting can be viewed here.


Become an Interview STAR

woman standing in front of screen holding a remote control
When it comes to interviewing, Leadership Coach Amy Leneker tells her clients to use the mantra “Practice Makes Better,” as there’s no such thing as being perfect. Photo by Rachel Friederich

by Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair

Behavioral based interviews. The mere phrase can strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced job candidates. Yet, they’re one of the most common types of questions for government jobs.

The key to acing these type of interviews, according to leadership consultant and coach Amy Leneker is to practice responding to these type of questions long before you’re even called into the interview. Leneker, a former state employee and the CEO of Compass Consulting, held multiple workshops on using the STAR method for behavioral based interviews at the ICSEW’s first ever career fair May 21 at the Department of Labor and Industries.  More than 100 people attended. Minutes for the May 2019 ICSEW meeting viewed here.

The STAR Method

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Results.

Leneker says the response to each question should be given using each component of STAR.

Situation:  Describe the situation you encountered

Task: Describe the task you had to do.

Action: Tell the interviewer the action you took to accomplish the task.

Results: Wrap up the question describing the outcome of the situation.

Participants in each session were divided into groups of three and attendees role played the interviewer, job candidate, and observer. Each person practiced the STAR method and received feedback from their peers.

Leneker also suggested when answering questions to say the words Situation, Task, Action and Results in your responses because it often helps you organize your responses and keep them succinct. And if the company/interviewer values the STAR method in its work culture, they’ll be impressed you’re familiar with it, too, Leneker said.


May 2019 Meeting Keynote Topic: Overcoming Gender Bias Patterns in the Workplace

Woman standing in front of projector

by Rachel Friederich,  ICSEW Communications Chair

Just 5% of Fortune 500 companies are headed by women. Amazon Senior Product Marketing Manager, Karen Greigo shared that fact, along with her own experiences dealing with inaccurate perceptions hiring managers and corporate leaders can have about female employees at the ICSEW’s May 21 meeting and career fair.

In her presentation, Gender Bias Patterns and How They Affect Our Careers Greigo talked about  personal challenges she overcame as she climbed the corporate ladder and became one of the top marketing executives for one of the world’s largest companies.

One of the most common gender biases bosses can have in the workplace is the way employees are evaluated. “Men are often evaluated on past performance, while women are often evaluated based on potential,” Greigo said.

Greigo’s presentation included tips to overcome gender bias patterns, like documenting one’s accomplishments in quantifiable results and finding “sponsors,” someone within your company who can help you excel in your career goals.

Greigo also recommended a reading list where she got many of her tips and insights for overcoming gender bias patterns in the workplace:

  1. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Douglas Stone, Bruce Patterson, Sheila Heen)
  2. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (Sheryl Sanberg)
  3. A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating: How to Convince Collaborate, and Create Your Way to Agreement (Lee Miller and Jessica Miller)
  4. Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-free Plan for Embracing and Achiving Your Goals (Rachel Hollis)

Minutes for the May 2019 ICSEW meeting viewed here.

ICSEW Announces New Member Appointments


The Interagency Committee of State Employed Women, ICSEW, is pleased to announce two new committee appointments. The Office of Financial Management has appointed Ayanna Colman as its agency representative for the ICSEW. The agency has also appointed Carly Kujath as an alternate representative.

Colman is a senior performance advisor and Kujath is a capital budget assistant.

“I am confident that Ayanna and Carly will be great assets to ICSEW in its efforts to better the lives of state-employed women,” said OFM Director David Schumacher.

As per the committee’s bylaws, state agencies are allowed to have one representative for every 2,000 employees.


Agents of Change: Washington State History Museum Celebrates Jewish Women

The year 2020 marks the centennial of women’s suffrage in America. Several organizations have holding celebratory and historical events as the anniversary draws near. The Washington State History Museum has a new exhibit celebrating Jewish women who have influenced Washington state’s history and culture. It opens April 28, 2019.

black and white photo of two women
Image from Washington State Jewish Historical Society digital archives

Agents of Change: 20 Remarkable Jewish Women of Washington State opens April 28 at Washington State History Museum

Tacoma, WA – What do Carrie Brownstein, Nancy Pearl, and Marcie Sillman have in common? They are all from Washington. They’re all in the public eye – Brownstein co-created both the Washington-based band Sleater-Kinney and the sketch comedy television show Portlandia. Librarian Nancy Pearl is a best-selling author (the Book Lust series, George & Lizzy, and others), literary critic and the former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book at Seattle Public Library. Marcie Sillman is a broadcast journalist and NPR radio show host working with Seattle’s KUOW. One more thing they have in common is their inclusion in Agents of Change: 20 Remarkable Jewish Women of Washington State, an exhibition opening on April 28 at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. The exhibition is on view through June 2, 2019.

Featuring women who have made their mark in a wide array of fields including arts, activism, athletics, education, business, diplomacy, law, politics, religion, and philanthropy, Agents of Change shows the breadth and depth of the contributions Jewish women are making every day in our state and our world.

The Washington State Jewish Historical Society (WSJHS) developed this landmark exhibition in honor of the society’s 50th anniversary in 2018. They also developed award-winning supporting media for their digital museum, including videos and a podcast series.

“2018 was the Year of the Woman,” said WSJHS Executive Director Lisa Kranseler, “and as we were debating possible subjects for our 50th anniversary exhibit, it became obvious that this was the perfect choice. From our mothers and grandmothers to our teachers and community leaders, we have all been powerfully influenced by strong women who have guided and changed our lives. This exhibit is a way to honor all those women by focusing on twenty exceptional representatives from our state.”

Opening Day: Visitors can learn about the inspiration behind Agents of Change in the gallery at 1:45 on April 28 at the Washington State History Museum. Hear from Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) Director Jennifer Kilmer and WSJHS Director Lisa Kranseler, as well as special guests. WSHS and WSHJS members are invited to mingle on the museum’s mezzanine for an opening-day reception from 1:30-3:00.

“We are honored to feature Agents of Change at the Washington State History Museum. It is a terrific example of our mission in action – that is, partnering with our communities to explore how history connects us all,” said WSHS Director Jennifer Kilmer. “These leaders have made significant contributions in Washington and beyond. We’re proud to tell their stories. We’re excited to kick-off the upcoming 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in our nation with this celebration of Jewish women making history in Washington.”

More information at WashingtonHistory.org/events.

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Washington State Historical Society partners with our communities to explore how history connects us all. The Society’s most visible activity, the Washington State History Museum (WSHM) is located in Tacoma’s downtown core along Pacific Avenue among a thriving cultural scene. The museum features interactive permanent exhibitions about Washington’s past in the Great Hall, unique rotating exhibitions highlighting the Society’s collections, and dynamic feature exhibitions.

Address: 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402
Hours: 10:00AM–5:00PM Tuesday through Sunday. Third Thursday of each month, 10:00AM–8:00PM.
Admission: Free for members; Adults $14; seniors (age 65+), students (age 6-17) and military (with ID) $11; free for children 5 and under; family rate $40 (up to two adults and four children under age 18). Patrons with a Washington Quest card and licensed Washington Foster Parents can attend for $1 per person or $2 per family.

Washington State Jewish Historical Society is dedicated to discovering, preserving, and disseminating the history of the Jews of Washington state and promotes interest in and knowledge of the life, history, and culture of the Jewish people and communities through publications, exhibits, displays, speakers, tours, and performance. For more information, please visit www.wsjhs.org.