Women Who Make a Difference: Kathleen Glennon

When Department of Corrections classification counselor, Kathleen Glennon is not improving the lives of incarcerated individuals, she’s improving the lives of people in the community in the Dockyard Derby Dames Roller Derby team in Tacoma. Part of the money raised from bouts goes to charity.  Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on the Washington State Department of Corrections’ website.


SHELTON – Kathleen Glennon leads a double-life.

By day, she keeps correctional facilities safe by determining custody levels for incarcerated individuals and matching them with rehabilitative programs. By night, she becomes a roller derby star zooming around the rink in a sparkly, striped helmet and skates with neon green wheels.

The Washington Corrections Center classification counselor is also a member of the Dockyard Derby Dames, Tacoma’s roller derby league.

“When I go to work and I hear the gate shut behind me, I know where I’m at and I focus on that,” Glennon said. “When I come here (the roller derby), this is my enjoyment. I love to get out; I’m not a couch potato. It’s the movement and the sweating and overcoming things.”

Skating Past Fear

Glennon, 56, had to overcome a learning curve when she first tried out for roller derby. She learned to speed skate when she was 14 and continued until she was 27.

When her child was born, she took a break from the sport. Raising a child and advancing her correctional career didn’t leave much spare time for skating. In 2008, after her grown son graduated high school, Glennon decided to revisit her passion.

The 18-year gap left her scared, at first.

“I had to re-learn (how to skate),” Glennon said. “In my mind, I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah. I can do that.’ Then when I started rolling around I’m thinking ‘Oh, no, I can’t do that!’ But if you do fall, you get back up, brush yourself off and keep on going.”

Glennon says it took about six weeks of practice as a “new bruiser,” before she became eligible to get drafted on one of the league’s three teams. Glennon is currently a member of the Femme Fianna team.


Keeping Safe

Training for roller derby takes a lot more than just being able to skate forwards and backwards. There are lots of fancy maneuvers that require agility. There’s also several contact-heavy parts of the sport, like blocking and taking hits and shoving through a pack of skaters.

“It’s a contact sport,” Glennon acknowledges. “Yes, people can get broken bones and yes, people can get hurt, but that’s the nature of the game.”

The International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion surveyed 1,395 roller derby skaters in 2017. It found nearly half of respondents (48.7 percent) reported getting injured at least once in the preceding year. The most common injuries were those to the ankles and knees. About three-quarters of player-reported head injuries were concussions.

Data seems to suggest you’re more likely to get hurt skating a roller derby than working in a prison. A 2011 study in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health estimates correctional officers experience about 254 work-related injuries per 10,000 full-time employees due to assaults or violent acts.

Since joining the roller derby league 11 years ago, Glennon’s had her fair share of bumps and bruises. The only major injury she’s gotten on the track was a torn meniscus that kept her from practice for two months. By comparison, Glennon has never been hurt on the job during her 19 years with the Department of Corrections.

She says that’s because the department takes steps to ensure employee safety. For example, all facility staff receive training in defense tactics, prison safety, emergency management, and verbal communication.

Glennon has a caseload of 60 incarcerated individuals. Her job involves getting to know the people on her caseload. She listens to what they say. She also observes their non-verbal cues so she can sense when something is amiss.

“You learn what makes everyone tick, so to speak,” Glennon said. “It’s beneficial because if you know that someone is off their baseline, you can talk with them and see what’s going on and usually that will work. If not, you can refer them to a program that will, hopefully, alleviate unhealthy behaviors.”

Impacting People and Communities


Glennon says she enjoys the positive impact she has on people and communities in both her work and roller derby life.

She says the derby league often backs charitable causes. Part of the ticket sales at some of the bouts go to local non-profit organizations. The league has raised money or donated items to groups that support breast cancer awareness and disabled veterans. The league has donated to the Forgotten Youth Foundation Team of Tacoma, which gives backpacks filled with school supplies to children from low-income families. Last year, Glennon’s team collected hats, gloves and miniature holiday stockings to place in gift boxes that inmates at the Washington Corrections Center made for Squaxin Island tribal children in the foster care system.

Glennon says the roller derby has given her more confidence in herself. A year after joining the league, she challenged herself to complete the annual Seattle to Portland bike relay. It’s a two-day event encompassing 203 miles.

She says it was difficult, but “the only thing that was hard was in my head. I look at this and there are things I am nervous as heck to do…Don’t set limitations when you first start out. If you do, you’ll never know how far you’ll go.”

It’s the same philosophy she tries to instill in the incarcerated individuals on her caseload.

Besides deciding custody placements in prison, classification counselors like Glennon help incarcerated people with their release planning.

She remembers helping an inmate learn how to save enough money to find housing for when he got out of prison. This was before the state’s earned release date housing program (pdf), which provides eligible inmates financial assistance for housing.

She met with the individual and helped him learn to set aside money from his prison job and keep a budget.

Years later she ran into him in the community. He told her he had two jobs and had his own home, something he wasn’t able to do before his incarceration.

“To me that’s rewarding. When they (incarcerated individuals) come to me, I try to help them with solutions. But, I have them come up with the solutions. Because then they’re more invested. It’s not just ‘Ok, you do this;’ it’s ‘If I do this, I’m going to succeed.’”

The Dockyard Derby Dames’ next bout is at 5 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Pierce College Steilacoom Campus. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information visit https://dockyardderbydames.com/

Book Review: The Chief Joy Officer in You

Chief Joy Officer

By Marie Splaine, Department of Commerce 

 Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Department of Commerce’s Daily Digest for employees. The views and opinions expressed in submissions to the ICSEW’s InterAct blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the ICSEW.  

I have a goal to read a book a month even though I struggle to find time to read. So I thought outside my usual parameters and discovered audiobooks. Now I can listen in short spurts before and after I drop my daughter off at daycare.  

Even though I haven’t reached my book-a-month goal yet, I want to tell you about an inspiring book I’ve been listening to called Chief Joy Officer: How Leaders Can Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear, by Richard Sheridan. (I wish my title were chief joy officer!) Sheridan is cofounder and CEO of Menlo Innovations, a custom software and design company.  

In his book, Sheridan talks about how joy is personal. He also goes says when a workplace ends fear-based leadership, culture shifts and employees start caring for one other.  

 So, what traits make for joyful leaders? According to Sheridan: 

  1. Authenticity: Bring your whole self to work. 
  2. Humility: Put others first without expecting rewards. 
  3. Love: Leadership is kind, and kindness is free. 
  4. Optimism: Optimism is a choice, and courage fuels it. 
  5. Visionary thinking: Have a vision at every level of the work team members do to strengthen communities. 
  6. Grounding in reality: Be a cultural custodian when in a leadership position. Ensure everything is taken care of so everyone else can do their best work.  
  7. Servant leadership: Focus on those you serve in your day-to-day work. 

 Sheridan says the best leaders strive to make a culture of ‘joyful leadership.’’ It allows workers to bring their whole selves to the job, which results in them doing their best work. 

 How do we build a culture of joyful leadership?  

  1. Start with purpose. An intentional culture is both established and evolving. 
  2. Value leaders, not bosses. Bosses command and leaders influence. 
  3. Pursue systems, not bureaucracy. (Yes, this can be challenging in government!) Start with the intention to improve systems, rather than seeking different people to put in the systems. 
  4. Care for the team. A culture of leadership invests in people. Care enough to let the team build the team.  
  5. Learn together, and seek role models. 
  6. Become storytellers. Stories are infectious and can draw in people.  
  7. Allow the culture to be bigger than yourself. It’s about other people.  

Reading this book made me think of a quote by former President John Quincy Adams: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, you are a leader.”  

I challenge you to find ways to inspire others, dream more, learn more and develop the leader in yourself.  


New Black Community State Business Resource Group Kickoff is Oct 24 in Lacey


By Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair 

LACEY—State employees are invited to attend a free kickoff event for the Washington State Black Community Business Resource Group.

The event takes place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. for food and fellowship. All state employees are invited. The event will be catered with food representative of black culture, so event organizers are requesting people to register to get an accurate attendance count.

Statewide business resource groups, BRGs, bring together groups of employees and their allies who have a common interest or characteristic, according to the Office of Financial Management, OFM, which runs the state website listings for BRGS. BRG members bring their unique knowledge and perspectives, making them an asset to state business needs such as recruitment and retention, according to OFM.

The event will give attendees an opportunity to network and learn more about the Black Community BRG’s goals. The event will also feature guest speakers T’wina Nobles and Washington State Rep. Kristine Reeves. Nobles is the president and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League, an organization whose mission is to assist African-Americans and other underserved urban residents in the achievement of social equality and economic independence. Nobles is also the director for the University Place School District. Reeves, (D-Federal Way), is a representative for Washington’s 30th legislative district, which includes the cities of Federal Washy, Des Moines, Auburn, Algona, Pacific, Milton and parts of unincorporated King County.

The Black Community BRG is the newest of the state’s six BRGS. The state’s other BRGS include the Veteran’s Employee Resource Group (VERG), Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network (RAIN), which supports LGBTQ+ employees, the Latino Leadership Network, Disability Inclusion Network and the Washington Immigrant Network (WIN).

The Black Community BRG goals include:

  • Promote state government as an employer of choice supporting efforts that increase representation of individuals of the Black Community at all levels of employment.
  • Better the lives of state employees through advocacy, outreach, opportunity, and advisement to the Governor and agencies on policies that affect state-employed black people, and ultimately, communities in which they live and serve.
  • Contribute to a more diverse understanding of the unique, multi-faceted aspects of the Black Community in Washington State.
  • Integrate the history, cultural experiences, values, and knowledge of both black people and their allies into the workforce of Washington State government.
  • Provide advice and assistance to state agencies regarding strategies to hire, retain, and develop black people in Washington State government.
  • Apply diverse perspectives and experiences to the examination of the issues facing Washington State. Diverse perspectives enhance the fullness of our understanding of these issues and open opportunities for the consideration of new ideas and better solutions.

Questions? Contact Megan Matthews, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Curriculum & Policy Consultant, Department of Social & Health Services (360) 725-4780 or matthmr@dshs.wa.gov.

Lauren Jenks ‘Walked the Talk’ by Supporting Youth at Global Strike Walkout

Woman and child with bicycle helmets and sign
Department of Health’s Lauren Jenks accompanies her child, Phillip to the Global Strike Walkout in Olympia Sept. 20, 2019. Photo Courtesy Lauren Jenks

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Department of Health’s employee news service, “The Daily Dose.”  The views and opinions expressed in all submissions to the ICSEW’s InterAct blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the ICSEW. 

By Cindy Marjamaa, Washington State Department of Health 

On Friday, Sept. 20, Lauren Jenks, the Department of Health’s Director of Environmental Public Health Sciences, escorted her 12-year-old son, Philip, from his middle school to the Washington State Capitol building to participate in the national Global Climate Strike walkout. Though Philip missed school and Lauren took leave from work, they think it’s worth it.  

Philip, and many of his friends, are really worried about climate change. He’s scared that the planet won’t be habitable when he is an adult. Lauren says she’s proud of him for wanting to make a difference and make his voice heard. They’ve been thinking about what they can do to make a difference for the health of the planet, and have been perusing the website for Project Drawdown for ideas. Project Drawdown is a research organization that reviews, analyzes and identifies global climate solutions, according to its website. The organization ranks solutions for policy makers, industry, and individuals. Philip and Lauren have focused on solutions they can do and that they feel are good for the planet.  

For example, they think they can eat less beef, a solution ranked as the most effective way for an individual to reduce their carbon footprint, especially when combined with reducing food waste, according to the organization. They also think they can reduce food waste—it turns out both of Lauren’s kids love “leftover night” because there’s always at least something in the fridge they liked (especially if they had takeout that week!). 

The organization also provides information on reducing carbon emissions. According to Project Drawdown’s analysis, if just 16% of the miles we drive were traveled in an electric-powered vehicle instead of a gas-powered one, it could keep 10 gigatons of carbon emissions out of the air. Philip is walking to school with his friend across the street, Lauren and her daughter Charlie are riding their bikes to school and work—something that’s good both for them and the planet.  

Lauren encourages other Department of Health employees to take some to support these kids, the planet, and our health in whatever ways they can. 


Exhibit Celebrating Washington’s Women Trailblazers Opens in Olympia

‘Ahead of the Curve’ Coincides With Women’s Suffrage Centennial


By Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair

OLYMPIA–A new exhibit commemorating trailblazing women in Washington state history is now open in the Secretary of State’s Office.

Legacy Washington, an educational program and division of the office of the Secretary of State spearheaded the exhibit to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement.

The exhibit, Ahead of the Curve, is filled with photos and stories of women who made significant contributions to Washington state’s history. Among the women featured include:

  • Fawn Sharp As president of the Quinault Indian Nation, Sharp’s drive to unite tribes on fighting climate change started close to her ancestral land. She has seen the Quinaults’ beloved blueback salmon runs dwindle year after year, and witnessed the loss of glaciers in the Olympic Mountains. In 2018, Sharp hit the road in an R.V. hoping to rally the state’s tribes to vote, particularly for a carbon-tax initiative.
  • Elsie Parrish, a Wenatchee chambermaid, fought to get paid what she was owed in Washington, which was the fourth state in the U.S. with a minimum wage. Her landmark lawsuit went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, whose 1937 decision cleared a legal path for New Deal policies such as Social Security and a federal minumum wage. All because Parrish, a 37-year-old grandmother, had the gumption to stand up for working women.
  • Former Gov. Chris Gregoire, the state’s first woman deputy attorney general. Washington state not only led the way on “comparable worth” — the concept that different jobs of similar value should have similar pay — it invented the term. Some 50 years after Elsie Parrish’s victory in court, Washington was the laboratory for a novel pay-equity argument that led to raises for thousands of women state workers. Playing a pivotal role that would propel her political career was Chris Gregoire, the state’s first woman deputy attorney general.

From the Secretary of State’s website:

“We mark this milestone by highlighting the numerous ways Washington has been Ahead of the Curve since it first granted women the right to vote in 1883. In 1910 our state became the fifth to include women’s suffrage in its constitution — a decade ahead of the nation. And Washington women keep blazing trails in fields from science to bridge building. Legacy Washington highlights the pioneering spirit of some larger-than-life women and little-known stories with big impacts on Washington, the nation, and beyond.”

You can visit Legacy Washington exhibits inside the Secretary of State’s office at the Washington State Capitol. Legacy Washington has also compiled accompanying information online:

View story and photo gallery online: https://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/ahead-of-the-curve/

View a video about the exhibit on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=28&v=5bTkPdSYc6w

Meeting Recap: GROW, Census Topics at September 2019 Meeting

Story and Photos by Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Commununications Chair

TUMWATER—Representatives from Thrive at Work, LLC taught attendees at the ICSEW’s Sept. 17 meeting some tips on how to realize their goals and offered some insightful tips on how to overcome barriers those goals using the GROW process.

two men standing at a table

GROW is an acronym that describes four stages of the goal setting process.

  1. Goal: Figure out what you want to accomplish
  2. Reality check: Look at you goal and think about its real impacts on your life. What are the existing pros and cons to reaching your goal?
  3. Options: What are potential ways to move forward (this is where you list as many possible action steps you could take to move towards the goal)
  4. Way forward. Pick an option and commit to action

John Utter and Damon Drown, also gave participants a set of tips and questions to ask themselves at each stage of the GROW process.

For example, during the Goal stage, make sure it’s SMART. (Simple, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-Bound) Is your goal too complex? How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?

During the Reality check stage, ask things like: What resources do you have to reach your goal? What are some of the barriers keeping you from reaching your goal?

Options stage: What ways has your situation been handled successfully/unsuccessfully before? Who might be an ally to help you reach your goal?

Way forward stage: What actions can you commit to? When are you going to take these steps?

Click here for the complete set of GROW questions.

Census 2020


Lisa McLean, a coordinator for the Complete Count Committee gave an overview of the 2020 census.

The Federal government does a census every ten years. It’s meant to give government a “point-in-time” look at the demographics that make up America. The data collected can be used to distribute political power by redrawing electoral boundaries; distribute federal and state funds for things like health care, education, highway and rural programs assistance; infrastructure planning and to inform decision-making of businesses, non-profits and philanthropic organizations.

McLean also talked about when the census would be mailed out and the overall questionnaire structure. McLean also talked about what the US Census Bureau does to reach people who can’t be reached via mail to a physical home address. For example, homeless populations, and people with PO Boxes and people who do not respond to the census. The Census Bureau has workers who go door-to-door to help these populations complete the census.

The Office of Financial Management has also compiled a list of links about the 2020 Census:

The PowerPoint presentation and handouts from the GROW process training will be posted with the meeting minutes.


A Human Workplace Olympia Offers Event to Support Colleagues Impacted by Immigration

Our partners with the Latino Leadership Network, Washington Immigrant Network, along with Results Washington are sponsoring a free workshop Sept. 27 on supporting colleagues who have been impacted by immigration issues. 

LLNThe The current climate in the U.S. regarding immigration impacts many people in numerous ways. The people who are impacted are likely to be suffering silently with fear and worry.

Results Washington is partnering with the Washington Immigrant Network (WIN) and the Latino Leadership Network (LLN), for a very important, sensitive, and timely conversation to understand the impacts of immigration on our colleagues and to learn how to support them.

The gathering will be Friday, September 27, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Helen Sommer Building, Room G015 A, B, C. Register today to reserve your seat.

This gathering is co-hosted by LLN and WIN leaders Marlene White and Christine Stalie as well as María Sigüenza, Executive Director of the state Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

Attendees will hear the voices of those who face different impacts from current immigration actions. Through sensitive sharing, we will hear and learn about the true experiences our colleagues are facing right now and what we can do to support them.

A Human Workplace fosters the practice of compassion, inclusion, and love in the workplace. This is an opportunity to put these in to practice by opening our hearts and minds to our colleagues, to convey belonging, care, respect, and support of their humanity and dignity.


The ICSEW is Seeking Website Feedback


The ICSEW is seeking feedback on its website. We’re inviting all current representatives and alternate representatives to take our survey. We want to know how our website can enhance the work of your subcommittee.

We want to know your website wish list! Would you benefit from being able to register for meetings and conference directly from our website? Do you want a form for meeting and event presenters to submit proposals? Something else? Let us know!

The survey closes in two weeks, so fill it out ASAP.



WA’s Ecology Director on Native Knowledge and Fighting for Forgotten Communities

Maia Bellon
Washington State Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon was recently interviewed on being Native American and how growing up in the Pacific Northwest shaped her worldview and ignited a passion for working with communities to solve environmental problems.

Editor’s Note: This Article Originally Appeared on CrossCut.

By Hannah Weinberger, CrossCut

Maia Bellon grew up exploring Washington’s woods and coastlines. As Washington’s Department of Ecology director, she’s putting environmental justice front and center.

I grew up below the poverty line, and [outdoor recreation] was our vacation. My parents had us outside all the time — we were swimming, trout fishing in lakes and fly-fishing in rivers. My dad would do things like grab a bunch of  sea kelp and seaweed, wrap himself with it and run after us on the beach pretending to be a sea monster.

I loved romping around in the woods. My father had me convinced as a little kid that some of the moss growing off of trees was Sasquatch hair, so I was the self-appointed Sasquatch tracker. It was wonderful; I loved it. We did a lot of hiking, climbing and camping, while living in Washington, Montana and Northern California on the Fort Bidwell Paiute Indian Reservation. It was all very rural and isolated.

I am part white, and I am part Native. When I was going to a very small rural high school, and half of the school population was native and half was from a non-Indian ranching community, my brother and I were the only two mixed-race children. The bus was divided, and this was 1983! The non-Indian children sat up front and the Native children sat in the back. By the time we moved to Tumwater a few years later, that bus was integrated. Continue reading

ICSEW is Recruiting a Treasurer


The ICSEW is recruiting a treasurer on its executive board!

What you’ll be doing:

  • Produce the ICSEW budget
  • Track expenditures and revenues
  • Provide information on budget at regular membership meetings and as requested

If you enjoy working with numbers and have a passion for fiscal responsibility, this position may be for you.

Note: This position is a volunteer position with the ICSEW and has no compensation. It’s open to all current representatives and alternate representatives in good standing.

For more information on the treasurer, please see our bylaws, policies and procedures.

To apply please send the following to icsew@ofm.wa.gov

  • A brief statement on why you are interested in the position and what skills you would bring to the board
  • Current resume

Deadline to submit applications is October 1, 2019.