Department of Licensing
I am Sequenna Fashana, I have been with state government for over five years as a licensing service representative at Department of Licensing. For the last two years, I’ve worked in the reentry unit, where my work partner and I issue ID cards to individuals who are being released from a Washington state correctional facility.
I have a passion for working with people. I love to laugh, have fun and be with my family.
I attended my first ICSEW meeting in late 2019 when I was invited by a coworker. Since then, I’ve grown to love this group of women and I am so thankful during this time I’ve been able to connect, grow and learn from amazing mentors and leaders we have within this group.
I’m excited for the opportunity to serve along Rachael as the co-executive secretary and be a part of moving ICSEW forward.
State Auditor's Office
My name is Rachael Hopkins. My husband and I have two sons, ages 10 and 7. We’re looking forward to welcoming our third son in August 2021. For the past three years, I’ve worked for the State Auditor’s Office, where I am currently the billing officer. Prior to working at the SAO, I worked at the state Department of Transportation for a year and a half.
I attended my first ICSEW meeting when I was with DOT, the agency representative invited me to join her for one of the meetings and I have been inspired to be a part of the committee ever since. In 2021, I had the opportunity to fill the alternate position at the Auditor’s Office and then became a regular representative soon after. During my time on ICSEW, I served on the public outreach subcommittee. The work our group has done with the charity drive, especially through COVID, has been such a success and it is so rewarding to know we made a difference for women across the state in these difficult times. I am so proud and appreciative to be a part of this amazing group of women.
ICSEW has empowered and motivated me so much in my short time on the committee. I am very excited to learn more and grow as an executive board member. I am also excited for this opportunity and hope that I can help continue to foster the ICSEW’s mission for the women of Washington state.
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
My name is Deirdre Bissonnette. I live here in Olympia and am working from home, and homeschooling 2 kids who are in 4th and 6th grade.
I have worked at the Department of Fish and Wildlife for 11 years, recently moving from field work to an administrative position. I currently work as a management analyst for the Public Records Unit at WDFW. I enjoy bringing transparency and accountability from our agency to the public.
I had the opportunity to fill a developmental job assignment with the department’s Legislative Affairs team during the 2019 Session. That experience sparked an interest in the Legislative process that led me to volunteer to co-chair the Legislative and Policy subcommittee.
Especially with telework, ICSEW and the Leg & Policy Subcommittee have been a great way to continue to build my network and interact with fellow state employees. I appreciate the quality of speakers we get to hear from at ICSEW; they have been compelling and inspirational.
I am excited to bring my past experience as an ICSEW co-chair to continue helping ICSEW members succeed as its new vice chair.
Washington State Department of Transportation
I am Siri Olson (yes, pronounced just like the iPhone) and I am pleased to be the ICSEW Treasurer. I joined ICSEW as a means to network with women across multiple state agencies.
The values of leadership, integrity, empowerment resonated with me and caught my attention, for no other reason that those are some of my core values as well. I come to ICSEW with 20 years of fund accounting experience, gained through finance management in local government, economic development districts, school districts, and state government auditing/monitoring.
I began my education journey by earning my associate’s degree in accounting, which then turned into earning my bachelor's degree in management, and finally my mater's in business administration in 2020.
In addition, to my full time Washington state position, I teach computer applications part-time at my local community college. I love being able to support others in their education journey and watching them grow. My goal is to utilize my education and experience to support ICSEW membership, vision, and goals.
Office of Financial Management
1. What is your previous work experience that led you to this position?
I spent my early career working as a reporter/photographer for newspapers and radio stations in Washington state. After a layoff in 2012, I took a temporary job in community outreach for the YWCA of Olympia. I learned about the ICSEW through the YWCA, as ICSEW did an annual toiletries drive the YWCA hosts, with items collected going to low-income families in Thurston County. The work I did with the YWCA and other non-profits helped prepare me for work in Washington state government. I was hired as a communications specialist for the state of Washington in 2015, and I always knew that when I got hired with the state, I wanted to be a part of ICSEW.
2. What inspired you to become a part of the Executive Board for ICSEW?
A past supervisor was actually the chair of ICSEW and encouraged me to become a member. When an executive board position opened up, I jumped at the opportunity. Being on the board of ICSEW has pushed me to be comfortable outside my comfort zone. As a daughter of immigrants and the first person in my family to graduate college and go on to a professional career, I’ve always looked for opportunities to help me grow. ICSEW has allowed me to grow as a leader, develop management skills and perform tasks that I would not have gotten the chance to do anywhere else. I’ve gained a lot of confidence--both from the support from my fellow ICSEW members and from the professional development training ICSEW offers.
3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of ICSEW I’ve also had the opportunity to share knowledge and teach media skills to subcommittee members. Seeing them grow and knowing I played a part in their growth makes me happy and proud. I also get the chance to become familiar with the work that other government agencies do to support women and families living in Washington state.
Keri O' Connell, Department of Revenue
Keri O’Connell has been a public service for the state of Washington for almost 25 years, many of which being with the Department of Revenue. She is the Tribal Tax Information and Policy Specialist with Tribal Partnerships Program in the Executive Division. Through her work, she engages with tribes, tribal citizens, and entities conducting business with tribes. She enjoys discussing tax topics with others. Her passion is serving the public in the best capacity she can.
Through her employment with the state, Keri has been an active member of the Combined Fund Drive, serving in several roles of the Thurston County CFD Steering Committee.
Keri joined ICSEW in July 2020 as an alternate for her agency, joining the Legislation and Policy and the Communications subcommittees. She enjoys volunteering alongside her peers, pulling weeds for the Thurston County Food Bank’s garden and for SafePlace’s safe-housing property.
Keri is a from Olympia and enjoys spending time with her three children exploring the outdoors and culture our beautiful state has to offer.
Department of Revenue
I joined ICSEW to connect with women from other Washington State agencies. Since I joined in 2017, I’ve met and worked with many amazing women. I enjoy collaborating with the Membership subcommittee members to find new ways to engage our membership as well as fulfilling our sub-committees responsibilities. I look forward to continuing working with the ICSEW board and our members.
Department of Enterprise Services
Melissa Harris is a Learning Design and Delivery Professional for the Department of Enterprise Services, with over 20 years of professional experience in both the private and public sector. Melissa has focused her career on employee engagement and organizational performance by developing and coaching people throughout all levels in an organization, and helping organizations build on the value they delivery to their customers. She specializes in Leadership & Team Development, Human Resources, Operations Management, Change Management and Lean Six Sigma.
Melissa is co-chair of the Partnerships Sub-Committee for the Interagency Committee of State Employed Women (ICSEW), the representative for the Department of Enterprise Services. In her current position with DES, she feels fortunate to have a direct impact on the leaders of Washington State, and aspires to lead by example through her behaviors and actions that align with the ICSEW values. She is truly honored to represent her agency alongside some of the most inspirational, hardworking and determined women in Washington State government.
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. Melissa enjoys spending time with her two teenage boys, and traveling the world exploring other cultures and places.
Department of Revenue
Morgan Montes has been in public service since 2009 and joined the Department of Revenue's Lean Transformation Office in 2018.
She is passionate about and committed to supporting continuous improvement efforts in state government and increasing employee engagement to create value for customers and building trust in state government.
Montes has a master's degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College with a focus on public policy. She is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and became a PROSCI certified change practitioner in 2021.
Liquor & Cannabis Board
I joined ICSEW back in 2017 as an alternate representative for D.O.L. Since then I have moved up to a representative position with the WSLCB and taken on a board position co-chairing the public outreach subcommittee. When I first joined I was drawn to the idea of being a driving force for gender equity here in Washington State.
I could never have known back then the affect that being around so many strong and amazing women would have on me. ICSEW has made me a better leader, has improved my speaking skills, and given me valuable trainings and insights that are applicable with not just in my work with ICSEW, but also my job and at home. I love the idea of so many women from all different backgrounds and walks of life working to improve the lives of women all over Washington.
As far as my role in this, I hope to help establish a charity drive which can continue to grow and evolve long past my time here and positively impact women for years to come. Ideally, a drive with versatility, that provides multiple ways to participate, and creates positive outcomes on multiple levels.
Kassandra Drake, Washington State Investment Board
Kassandra Drake is a human resources consultant, with the Washington State Investment Board
Kassandra began her career in Human Resources 10 years ago working at a small Tacoma-based company called Excel Installations, where she helped build the HR function within the business.
Kassandra made a move to public service over a year ago when she joined Washington State Investment Board as an HR Consultant, helping rebuild the HR team and establish HR acumen within the agency.
Kassandra has extensive experience in recruitment and retention, HR policy, employee development, and much more. Kassandra holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in Women’s Studies from Washington State University.
Department of Revenue
Summer Ramos has been a tax administration manager for the Department of Revenue for the last five years. Ramos is tasked with training new staff in their 6–9-month training program. She gets to work from home with two virtual middle school and high school sons, her spouse (who is another virtual worker for the state of Washington), and a very needy Great Dane.
Teaching and encouraging others are an integral part of Ramos' career and home life. She experienced a lot of trials as a female leader throughout different jobs and roles.
Ramos passionately encourages others to lead from wherever they are. Ramos believes everyone can be a leader of inclusion, engagement, commitment and passion even when their job title doesn’t say “manager.” She is dedicated to empowering others to find a way to add their flair, personality, and interests to whatever they do.
Department of Commerce
Hi. I’m Leslie Wolff. I joined ICSEW because I believe that while there have been improvements for state employed women since ICSEW’s beginnings, there is still equity work to be done on a lot of levels and this group can make a difference in that work. I get a lot out of this group. I really value having ways to connect with folks who work in other agencies, who I would never have had the opportunity to otherwise meet. I also really like the learning opportunities that this committee provides. I hope that I am able to help further improve the lives of state employees and all Washingtonians.
In 2019-2020, ICSEW held a mentorship pilot program for state employees. The program was a success, with more than 40 participants. Our test program allowed us to gain valuable knowledge about what it takes to run a successful mentorship program.
ICSEW is currently exploring partnerships with other state agencies and organizations to create a sustainable interagency mentorship program. We will update this page as we move forward.
Office of Financial Management
Allison is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Data analyst at the Washington Office of Financial Management’s (OFM’s) Workforce Strategies Section. Allison started her career in state government at the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises and prior to OFM worked at the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Office of Equal Opportunity. Allison has a joint JD / MBA and a bachelor’s in psychology. Allison served on Governor Inslee’s Equity Office Taskforce which developed the recommendations that led to creation of the nation’s first statewide Office of Equity. Allison has been in state government for about five years. Allison is passionate about helping current and prospective state employees find their way in state government.
I joined ICSEW to support other women in state government and to promote visibility of transgender individuals.
ICSEW is a great supportive environment where you can meet other amazing women professionals.
My hope is that partnerships can continue to develop relationships to other groups that impact women employed in state government. I also want to foster connections with the state business resource groups and the new Office of Equity.
Office of the Attorney General
My previous experience of working abroad (in Guam, Palau, Cambodia, and Bosnia) showed me the importance of support and community when you don’t know many people. Here in Washington State, ICSEW provides that community to me.
I was inspired to be part of the Executive Board for ICSEW because I really enjoy and thrive on being a part of organizations which support and uplift women. I was so excited to find out about this committee when I started working for the State because it fits into these roles and encourages its members to support one another.
The most rewarding part of my job is helping stage agencies and employees who are sued navigate the legal system, support them, and advocate on their behalf.
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