Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Main Sessions

All times EST and subject to change


Opening Remarks


The New Government Worker

Erik Caldwell, Director of Data Strategy, The Atlas

Robert Lavigna, Director, CPS HR Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement

Alex Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, City of Memphis

Leslie Scott, Executive Director, National Association of State Personnel Executives


What does the state and local government worker look like now? After a year and a half of monumental change, we’ll discuss how operations, logistics, identity, location, and more have impacted state and local government workers and what the new government worker looks like today… and might look like tomorrow.

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Advancing Workplace Well-being with Remote & On-Premise Employees, An Elite Underwriter Session Presented by UKG

Julie Develin, Senior Partner, HCM Advisory at UKG


Governments work hard to create and cultivate a positive employee experience in their workplace, and in many cases, they have had to come up with innovative ways to maintain that culture with a freshly minted remote workforce. While challenging, remote work provides ways to improve company culture through a different way of connecting. It’s also vital to maintain culture continuity for those who must remain in physical work environments. This presentation will explore ways companies can utilize creative and fun opportunities while working remotely, in-person, and within hybrid experiences to cultivate, improve, and sustain a positive employee experience to maximize satisfaction and promote positive business outcomes.

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Spotlight on Mental Health

Janeen Haller-Abernethy, Director, Colorado State Employee Assistance Program

Katherine Barrett, Senior Advisor, Route Fifty


State and local government employees have been on the front lines of work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. During this session, we’ll explore the mental health impacts of the pandemic on state and local government employees, and investigate what solutions and methods of care state and local governments are deploying.

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Spotlight on Leave

Katherine Barrett, Senior Advisor, Route Fifty

Kristen Hirshberg, Time and Labor Administrator, City of Mesa, AZ

Susan Judah, Senior IT Systems Analyst, Payroll Division, Office of the Controller, City and County of Denver

Pam Goins, Executive Director, National Association of State Chief Administrators


Research into human resources (HR) in the public sector has consistently found that employee leave programs are some of the most highly valued employee benefits. But when leave is not managed consistently, it can negatively impact an entity’s finances, spur time-consuming lawsuits, complicate staff management, and lead to the deterioration of employee morale and engagement. This session will focus on the challenges to fair and clear leave policies and solutions to them.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Hiring

Jennifer Fairweather, Director of Human Resources, Jefferson County, Colorado

Quinton Herbert, Director & Chief Human Capital Officer for the Department of Human Resources, City of Baltimore

Dr. Farris Muhammad, Director of Equity and Inclusion, City Manager's Office, Lawrence, KS

Richard Greene, Senior Advisor, Route Fifty


For some time, many states and localities have made efforts to create a workforce that closely resembles the population of the entity they serve. This goal has entered the headlines, as more and more states and localities are hiring equity officers and increasing their commitment to training the men and women who do the hiring to avoid both implicit and explicit biases in their decision-making. This session will delve into the issues of equity in hiring and offer concrete ways for cities and states to accomplish their goals in this area.

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The Future of Telework

Christi Branscom, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of General Services

Elizabeth Fu, Senior Manager, Government Finance Officers Association

Jason Ward, Associate Economist; Associate Director, RAND Center for Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles, CA, Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Richard Greene, Senior Advisor, Route Fifty


The idea of remote work isn’t new; Tennessee has permitted it broadly for years. But many state and local employees spent much of the last two years working from their homes, a new experience for employees who were forced to come up with ways to retain productivity without direct contact with managers and often out of make-shift offices in their basements or garages. It appears clear that remote work or hybrid is here to stay in many places. This session will explore the future of telework and ways it can be used most effectively and efficiently.

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Closing Remarks