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Oct Oct 5 7
  • In-Person Event

2023 National Seminar on Human Resource Management in State Legislatures

  • Thursday, October 5, 2023
    • In-Person Event
View Event Details:

NCSL’s National Seminar on Human Resource Management in State Legislatures is designed for legislative HR professionals and for senior legislative staff who have responsibilities for creating, implementing and enforcing HR policies and practices. 

No other national training program offers this special focus on the legislature as an employer or brings together legislative staff who need to know more about this critical body of knowledge. 

The most powerful aspect of the HR Seminar—in addition to the formal training agenda—is the opportunity for you to network with your colleagues from other state legislatures and share stories, concerns, ideas and solutions about critical HR challenges.  

Wednesday, Oct. 4

4 – 7 p.m.

Hannover I foyer – third floor


5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Jimmy V’s, Sheraton

Opening Reception – Joint with the NCSL Jobs Summit

Thursday, Oct. 5

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Hannover I foyer – third floor


8 – 9 a.m.

Hannover I


9 – 9:30 a.m.

Hannover I

Welcome and Introductions

This interactive session will have you moving, meeting and competing for the most facts about your fellow state legislative staffers.

Speakers: Natalie Wood, director, NCSL Selena Saucedo, senior policy specialist, NCSL

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Hannover I

Trends in Employment Law

Learn about what’s new, trending and perennially important in employment law.

Speaker: X. Lightfoot, attorney, Ward and Smith, P.A.

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.


10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Hannover I

The Power of Story

Stories are the ultimate communication tool. They have the power to inspire, influence and change hearts and minds. Learn how to use stories to powerfully communicate from Donna Washington, an internationally known, multiple award-winning storyteller, spoken word recording artist and author. Donna has spoken with legislative audiences in Nashville, Tampa and Denver, and will help you craft stories that will resonate in your statehouse.

Speaker: Donna Washington, DLW storyteller

11:45 a.m. – noon


Thursday, Oct. 5

Noon – 1 p.m.

Hannover I

Table Talks and Lunch

NCSL is bringing its top-most personnel questions to you! Pick a seat and chat with a new colleague about one of several issues that are among the most frequently asked questions sent by you to NCSL.

1 – 1:30 p.m.

Hannover I

Lunch Debrief

Moderator: Michael Adams, director of human resources, Virginia Senate

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Hannover I

Integrating AI with HR

Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform many human resources functions and tasks. But there are also legal pitfalls to consider. This session will provide you with ideas and insights about how to balance the challenges and opportunities AI presents for legislative workplaces.

Speaker: Kimberly Korando, attorney, Smith Anderson

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.


2:45 – 4:15 p.m.

Hannover I

Courageous Conversations Workshop

Courageous conversations give you the opportunity to share your experiences, have them validated and be vulnerable. They might also make us feel worried or nervous—but taking them on can lead to a more harmonious workplace. During this workshop, we’ll discuss these types of conversations and how they should be had with intentionality and care.

Speaker: Kazia Washington, human resources director, NCSL

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Young Hearts Distilling Restaurant and Bar, 225 S Wilmington St.

Happy Hour Reception

Friday, Oct. 6

7:45—8:30 a.m.

Hannover I foyer – third floor

Breakfast - Joint with the NCSL Jobs Summit

8:30—9:15 a.m.

Hannover I

Addressing the Childcare Workforce Conundrum - Joint with the NCSL Jobs Summit

Speaker: Susan Gale Perry, chief executive officer, Child Care Aware of America

9:15 – 10 a.m.

Hannover I

Recruiting and Retaining Legislative Staff - Joint with the NCSL Jobs Summit

Nearly 1,500 staff recently lent their perspective to NCSL about what makes for an effective legislative workplace. Hear the findings from this once-in-a-decade survey and discuss with your colleagues the retention strategies the legislative institution can embrace to be strong in the future.

Speakers: Natalie Wood, director, NCSL Zaak Barnes, senior policy specialist, NCSL

10–10:15 a.m.


10:15— 11:15 a.m.

Hannover II

Mental Health and Wellness at Work

Workplace mental health initiatives can boost employee productivity and positively change workplace culture. HR leaders play a key role in promoting these initiatives – and they also need to know how to take care of their own mental wellness. April Simpkins will share the ways leaders and decision-makers can support the mental health of their employees and give tips on how you can take care of your own mental health.

Speaker: April Simpkins, president, April Simpkins Enterprise, LLC and SHRM-CP

11:15 a.m.—noon

Hannover I

Partnering to Create a Strong Workforce

Speakers: Colin Newman, director of workforce and economic development, Amazon

Dr. Scott Ralls, president, Wake Tech

Noon—1 p.m.

Hannover I

Lunch and Professional Development - Brand Development - Joint with the NCSL Jobs Summit

Speaker: Curt Stedron, director, Legislative Training Institute, NCSL

Friday, Oct. 6

1—1:30 p.m.

Walk to Legislative Complex

1:30—2:45 p.m.

16 W. Jones St. entrance

Welcome from North Carolina and Legislative Complex Tour Attendees will get a rousing Raleigh welcome from their colleagues in the North Carolina Legislature and tour the Legislative Complex.

2:45—3 p.m.


3—4 p.m.

LOB 643

Hot Topics in Legislative HR Lightning Round

Three states will talk about three emerging issues facing their legislative HR teams, and how they’ve risen to related challenges, in this fast-paced hour. Moderator: Selena Saucedo, senior policy specialist, NCSL

Speakers: Sueann Mitchell, non-partisan legal counsel, Michigan Senate

Niki Pavlicek, human resources director, Washington State House of Representatives

4 p.m.

Social Event – Explore Raleigh

Just steps from the Legislative Complex, downtown Raleigh has tons to offer. Attendees can spend an hour or two at the North Carolina Museum of History or the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences—both free cultural attractions—or hit the First Friday

celebration, showcasing the city’s creative community.

Saturday, October 7

8—9 a.m.

Hannover I


9—10:30 a.m.

Hannover I

Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations

Conducting workplace investigations can be one of the most challenging responsibilities of human resource professionals. What are today’s “hot” investigation issues and best practices to navigate any land mines. Come to this session for practical information and answers to your complex questions on handling and investigating workplace complaints and other workplace investigations.

Speaker: Camille Olson, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, California

10:30—11:30 a.m.

Hannover I

You’re a New HR Office – Now What?

Working in human resources is a rewarding, fast-paced, never-a-dull- moment experience. Working in a legislature can make it doubly so. Experienced HR professionals will share their top tips and insights with those who are newer to the legislative HR scene.

Moderator: Michael Adams, Director of Human Resources, Virginia Senate

Speakers: Debbie Cragun, Human Resource Administrator, Utah Legislature

Carolyn Hunt, Human Resources Director, North Carolina General Assembly

11:30 a.m.—noon

Hannover I

Wrap-up: What Did We Learn?

As a group, we’ll crowdsource the best ideas and takeaways from the

seminar and talk about how they can be implemented back home.



The Sheraton Raleigh Hotel 

The 2023 Seminar will take place at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel

Group Rate: A block of rooms has been reserved for seminar attendees at the discounted rate of $219/night plus tax. The deadline to book your room at the group rate has passed.

Deadline and Link: The deadline to book your room at the group rate is September 12. Once the block fills you will have to book outside of the block via the main hotel website.

Additional Nights: The NCSL block is Wednesday, Oct 4 – Saturday, October 7. If you would like to add on additional nights, please first book your room for the meeting dates at the link above. Once you receive your confirmation email, you will then need to call the hotel at 919.834.9900 to add on additional nights. The group rate will be available for pre and post nights based upon the hotel’s availability. 


Registration fees are: 

  • Legislative staff: $450 
  • Legislators: $450
  • Guests: $225 

Cancellations must be in writing and emailed to by September 21. Cancellations will be refunded minus a $50 processing fee.

  • Contact NCSL

  • For more information on this topic, use this form to reach NCSL staff.