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.

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.

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.  

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Amy Leneker

Amy 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.

Call to Courage: Brave Work Though Conversations and Showing Up With Our Whole Hearts   

While calls to courage can be loud and impossible to ignore, they can also appear as faint whispers. In this workshop, we will explore a courage-building program to develop brave leaders and teams.  

Based on the work and research of Dr. Brené Brown, daring leadership is a collection of skills that are 100% teachable. Its learning and practice requires brave work, tough conversations and showing up with our whole hearts. In this workshop, we will do all three. 

Amy Leneker 

Amy Leneker is a leadership consultant and a certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator. Amy’s career spans more than 20 years and has held leadership positions in state government and education. She is known for her trusted advice, track record of delivering results and an optimistic attitude. 

Amy has trained thousands of executives, leaders and practitioners. Because of her ability to engage and energize others, Amy has been asked to appear before hundreds of audiences. As a first-generation college student, she believes in the power of education and holds a master’s degree in public administration.  

Amy and her husband have two mostly well-behaved children, two rarely-behaved Labradoodles and one gecko that joined the family after Amy was outvoted. They make their home in the Pacific Northwest. 

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Renee Smith

Renee Smith

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.

Does LOVE Belong at Work?

This fast-paced, fun, interactive workshop will explore the practice of decreasing fear and increasing love at work. It will also explore the many types of love that are part of being human and successful at work. We aren’t talking about romantic love, but love expressed in respect, trust, kindness, empathy, appreciation, and inclusion – appropriate for the workplace and that in fact we need to thrive and achieve performance.

Through stories, reflection, and small group dialogue, participants will come to better understand loving experiences that support our best contributions, surprising innovations and effective collaborations. 

Renee Smith

As Director of Workplace Transformation at Results Washington, Office of the Governor, Renée champions a more humane and effective workplace through primary research, writing, and speaking on making work more human by increasing love and decreasing fear in the workplace. Renée leads the development of services and resources for state leaders, teams, and organizations to make Washington state government workplaces more human.

Before joining Results Washington, Renée spent nearly seven years at the Department of Enterprise Services leading the Organization Development Services division that provided Lean Transformation Services and Change Excellence Services to DES and Government-to-Government Lean consulting to other state and local governments.

Renée earned a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University. She lives in a 102-year-old craftsman home in Tacoma and enjoys drawing for pleasure, cooking for friends and family, exploring foreign cities and swimming in the Mediterranean.

Professional Development Conference Speaker: Gwen Voelpel

Gwen Volpel

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.

Mastering Team Leadership Using the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive TEAM

Have you ever worked on a team that engages in gossip and holds grudges? One that can’t have a productive debate to get all the best ideas out on the table? How about a team that starts second-guessing “team” decisions the moment meetings end? If you have, this workshop will help you define more cohesive behaviors—the ones that high-performing, fun teams exhibit most often. This workshop is designed for team members in any position, from front-line representative to top-level executive. 

Gwen Voelpel

Gwen Voelpel joined Integris two years ago after having served as a change agent in Washington government for more than 25 years. She began her service with the Department of Labor & Industries in 1989. Her last public sector position was as City of SeaTac’s Assistant City Manager.

Gwen holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration in Local Government Management and is a certified facilitator of The Leadership Challenge and Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, as well as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Education, specializing in Adult Education and Training.