Hansell Award: #AWC2016

This post is by Kirsten Wyatt, the executive director of ELGL. She’ll be chronicling the expense of the professional development stipend funds she received from the ICMA Early Career Leadership Award in 2015.

At the 2015 ICMA conferenceI was fortunate and humbled to receive the Early Career Leadership Award in Memory of William H. Hansell, Jr.

Mr. Hansell was a former ICMA exective director, and: “…while leading ICMA, Hansell launched the ICMA University, which is dedicated to advancing the profession through learning and skills enhancement…” 

Bill-Hansell-Arms-StretchedIt is clear after learning more about Mr. Hansell that he was committed to providing new skills and opportunities to develop well-rounded local government professionals.

The award came with it a $5,000 stipend for professional development from ICMA-RC.  ICMA and ICMA-RC have generously allowed me to divvy up this stipend for an assortment of activities, both personal and for ELGL, so I’d like to blog about how I’ve decided to spend the money.

I used a portion of the money to attend #Frank2016 (and I took Bridget Doyle along with me). My second expense is to host a series of “first time attendee” events at the 2016 Association of Washington Cities conference in Everett, Washington.

One thing I’ve learned from ELGL is that the opportunity to speak at professional association events is an invaluable experience to add to a resume. But unfortunately, in most professional groups, this is an opportunity that is reserved for people who have already figured out where their careers are headed.

ELGL takes pride in offering our members the chance to be intricately involved with conference planning, session development, and public speaking. It’s a tremendous way to build out a resume, gain new skills and exposure, and I’d like to think that Mr. Hansell would agree.

And so this year, at the Association of Washington Cities conference, I’m taking Rebecca Olson and Michelle Tagmyer with me so they can have the opportunity to mix and mingle with the awesome local government folks in Washington state, and also assist ELGL as we run four different education sessions *and* manage a pilot program that ELGL can start offering to our partners where we coordinate and host first time conference attendees. It’s going to be a busy four days!

As always, the three of us will blog about the AWC experience while we’re in Everett. And we’ll be sure to share what we learn from our new first time attendees program, which will hopefully engage and connect some new local government people who are attending AWC for the first time.

I’d like to close this post by thanking Bob O’NeillPat Martel and Bob Schultze for the Hansell award and the generous stipend that comes along with it.

I have one more thing planned for the remainder of my Hansell Award professional development funds. Stay tuned and I’ll fill you in with more information soon. (Hint: it involves a trip to Denver in August for a conference that is organized by two brothers…).

  • Kitty Wooley

    What a value-added, generous way to leverage the award amount, Kirsten. This reminds me how much I appreciate the way ELGL stands cost/benefit on its head. As the members demonstrate what can be done, it raises the bar for organizations at every level of government. Way to go, All.