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.

Six ICSEW Representatives Receive Awards

OLYMPIA—The Interagency Committee of State Employed Women, ICSEW, is pleased to announce this year’s annual award recipients. Six ICSEW members were recognized during the annual Transition Ceremony and Celebration at the Washington State Legislative Building in Olympia July 16, 2019.   The awards and recipients are as follows:

Everlasting Award – Rachel Friederich, Department of Corrections, ICSEW Communications Chair

The recipient of the Everlasting Award has served at least two terms as representative for their state agency. The recipient remains calm under pressure and handles changes in leadership with resilience. This representative also retains and shares a wealth of historical information and assists others at all times.

Visionary Award – Shanelle Pierce, Office of the Governor

This award recognizes a committee member who helps see out future and helps us get there. The recipient demonstrates innovation and constantly implements new ideas.

Lorrie Jo Brown Excellence in Service Award – Dana Bowen, State Investment Board, ICSEW Health & Wellness Chair

This award honors someone who demonstrates innovative problem solving and excellence in public service. It is named after the late Lorrie Jo Brown. During her service with ICSEW she played an instrumental role in the committee’s breastfeeding survey project and in mentoring others.

Extra Mile Award – Marie Splaine, Department of Commerce

 & Rebecca Llewellyn, Department of Labor and Industries         

The recipient of this award has gone above and beyond to serve the ICSEW’s mission. The recipient demonstrates an outstanding effort on committee work and activities and commits time and energy to enrich lives though advocacy, outreach and opportunity.

Leadership Award – Andrea Duane, Department of Transportation, ICSEW Treasurer

This award is given to an outstanding leader. The recipient demonstrates courage in making leadership decisions, excellence in professionalism and actively assists others in realizing their full potential.


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.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Khurshida Begum

Khurshida Begum

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.

Dealing with Trauma in the Workplace

Life Happens. Tragedy strikes. Trauma hits. Now what? After surviving a disaster, we must continue to work and provide a home and food for our loved ones. But how do we still show up at work as “normal” human beings? How do we communicate the struggles we’re going through?  What do we need from our co-workers and managers to support and deal with our trauma?

Khurshida will share her stories of the traumas she experienced as a corporate professional and the tools and secrets she learned and utilized as she continued to climb the ladder of success professionally and personally. 

Khurshida Begum

Khurshida Begum is an authentic and powerful speaker who adapts her life experiences into insightful and engaging presentations. Khurshida is the president for ASHHO, SPC, a social purpose corporation that provides professional speaking, training and catering services. ASHHO, means to “come” in her native language, signifying that all people should come join because all people matter.

As a human rights advocate and social justice activist, Khurshida has been honored for tirelessly educating and inspiring people to confront and combat human trafficking and other forms of human exploitation. Khurshida wants to remind and encourage the humanity in us all, each day in every encounter we have with each other.

Khurshida is a graduate from The Evergreen State College. She studied ways to build resilient communities and meaningful ways to make change happen. She has been speaking publicly since the sixth grade, and professionally since 2009. Recognized for being vulnerable and brave, Khurshida has been a keynote speaker and presenter at numerous conferences, colleges, K-12 schools, faith-based groups, corporations and organizations throughout the U.S, Bangladesh, Egypt and Morocco.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Eileen Yoshina

Eileen Yoshina

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

Bridging the Gap Between Us to Create an Inclusive Women’s Movement

Historically, advocacy for women’s rights has been exclusive of women of color, LGBTQ+ women and women with other marginalized identities. Join us for an interactive discussion about what we share and what we need to understand about one another in order to create powerful coalitions of diverse women from all backgrounds.

Eileen Yoshina

Eileen Yoshina is fourth-generation Japanese American and also the descendant of Irish ancestors. She is currently a Manager of Equity in Education Services at the Puget Sound Educational Service District, whose mission is “Eliminating the Opportunity Gap and Success for Each Child by Leading with Racial Equity.” This works has given her the chance to work on dismantling systemic racism in our school systems in regions throughout the state of Washington.

Eileen facilitates the Educators of Color Leadership Community, a project created by teachers of color for teachers of color. It works to support and nourish our educators of color for the sake of all students.

Eileen is a career educator who has taught, advised, facilitated and organized  for equity in education in the K-12 and higher education systems for nearly 25 years. Eileen is the daughter and wife of public school teachers and the proud mom of two public school students, one of whom is now in college.

ICSEW Welcomes New Agency Representatives at Transition Celebration

Women standing on steps
Newly-appointed ICSEW representatives and those who are completing their terms of service stand outside the Legislative Building during the 2019 Transition Celebration. Photo by Tanyah Williams

OLYMPIA—The Interagency Committee of State Employed Women, ICSEW, welcomed 31 new  agency representatives and alternate representatives at its Transition Celebration and Meeting July 16, 2019.  The committee’s annual Transition Celebration and Meeting takes place at the Legislative Building on the state’s Capitol Campus in Olympia. More than 60 people attended this year’s event.

The ICSEW is made up of governor-appointed representatives from various state agencies and higher education institutions. Representatives perform work related to the committee’s mission of bettering the lives of state employees by advising the governor and agencies on policies that affect state employed women.

Representatives who are appointed serve a two-year term. As per the committee’s bylaws, state agencies are allowed to have one representative for every 2,000 employees.

The Transition Celebration and Meeting, which is open to the public, serves as a way for new and perspective committee members and guests to learn about the work the committee does and to celebrate the committee’s major accomplishments over the previous fiscal year.

The newly-appointed representatives are as follows:

  • Beth Archer, Washington State Investment Board
  • Lashonda Cole, Office of the Governor
  • Cyndi Comfort, Department of Natural Resources
  • Carol Cox, Department of Licensing
  • Laurel Haas, Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Anne Hansen, Department of Enterprise Services
  • Robyn Hofstad, Department of Social and Health Services
  • Julie Hyde, Department of Health
  • Carly Kujath, Office of Financial Management
  • Benita Matheson, Department of Agriculture
  • Jennifer Miller, Washington Military Department
  • Danica Mitchell, Washington Student Achievement Council
  • Jaclyn Molloy, Washington Student Achievement Council
  • Kelly Olson, Washington Student Achievement Council
  • Mykaila Ostrom, Office of the Attorney General
  • Lenee Otto, Washington Lottery
  • Joyce Reynolds, Office of Insurance Commissioner
  • Crystal Schlanbusch, Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals
  • Jennifer Sievert, Department of Health
  • Allison Spector, Department of Transportation
  • Marie Splaine, Department of Commerce
  • Cristina Steward, Utilities and Transportation Commission
  • Cheryl Strange, Department of Social and Health Services
  • Amanda Strebeck, Department of Transportation
  • Tysha Tolefree, WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
  • Megan Villa, Department of Transportation
  • Millie White, Department of Natural Resources
  • Jenny Wood, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Dawn Woolery, Department of Financial Institutions
  • Gail Wootan, Washington Student Achievement Council
  • Jenny Word, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Kelly Ziesemer, Employment Security Department

How to become a Representative:

Any state employee or employee of a higher education institution may serve as a representative, regardless of gender. Anyone interested in serving as an ICSEW representative for their agency must submit a letter of interest, current resume and a letter from their agency’s director or sponsor to

For more information on how to become a representative for your agency, visit









Professional Development Conference Speaker: Corey Leneker

Corey Leneker

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.

Five Choices to Extraordinary Productivity: Increasing Personal Effectiveness and Productivity

Each day brings new waves of urgency that compete for our attention. Texts. Emails. Calls. Meetings. Family Obligations. They all converge on our already packed schedules. The result? A sense of being busy without actually being productive. This can leave you feeling burned out and inadequate.

The sheer volume of daily distractions threatens our ability to think clearly and to make wise decisions about what is truly important. The Five Choices to Extraordinary Productivity empowers people with clear guidance on how to avoid distractions and accomplish the goals that matter most in their professional and personal lives.

Supported by science and years of experience, The Five Choices helps individuals produce a measurable increase in productivity while providing a renewed sense of engagement and accomplishment

Corey Leneker:

Corey Leneker is a leadership consultant with Compass Consulting, LLC. Corey has more than 20 years of work experience in higher education, the private sector, and state government.

Corey is known for his sought-after council, track record of delivering results, and hopeful aspiration energy. Corey has a background in coaching college athletics and is a certified coach with USA Soccer. Corey has delivered training to executives, leaders and practitioners.

As a first generation college student, Corey believes in the transformative power of higher education and holds a Master’s degree in public administration. Corey and his family live in the Pacific Northwest.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Nicole Sorger

Nicole Sorger

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.

Be the CIO of You 

Representing yourself. Asking for what you want. These things are hard, but they don’t have to be. YOU are the corporate executive in charge of YOUR CAREER strategy and implementation. Be your own brand. Learn about tailoring your resume, tips for applying for jobs and setting goals. Understand why to say yes, but not be a “yes man.”

About Nicole Sorger

Nicole “Nicki” Sorger is the ATLAS Control Officer for Washington State Department of Revenue, DOR. During her 16-year career at Revenue, Nicki has gone from business to information technology. Because of her career path and where it has taken her, Nicki is dedicated to leading from where she is and helping others grow themselves.  

Nicki has a passion for mentoring and  believes in paying it forward. As an introvert that has learned to be extroverted, Toastmasters has given Nicki an outlet to share these experiences with others. Nicki is a lifelong Washingtonian, with a concentration in the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater area, and she has an itch to get out of the state. 

When it Nicki is not working, she enjoys food and travel.