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

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: