ASLCS Support Staff Committee Meeting Minutes 

ASLCS Professional Development Seminar
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
September 11, 2010


Call to Order

Support Staff Chair, Alan Whittington (TN), called the meeting to order and began by introducing Vice Chair, Tisha Gieser (AK), and thanking last year's Chair Jay Braxton and all of those who participated in the Legislative Expo. 


The following members of the committee were present: (Check members present) 


Alan Whittington, Chair (TN)


Anna Hanback (VA)


Tisha Gieser, Vice-Chair (AK)


Maryann Horch (VA)


Sarah Burhop (WI)


Emily Howard (VA)


Lucinda Benjamin (NV)


Kathy Jackson (UT)


George Bishop (VA)


Mark Kaeppel (WI)


Joan Branson (MO)


Amy Leach (CA)


Carmen Cauthen (NC)


Michael Linn (MN)


Sarah Culley (MO)


Carol Newton (MO)


Marguerite Duda (WV)


Tara Perkinson (VA)


Burney Durham (TN)


Cooper Roberts (LA)


Ginny Edwards (VA)


David Surdez (MN)


John McEnery Garrett (VA)


Lora Thompson (WV)


Janice Gadd (UT)


Tricia Vaughan (VA)


Stephanie Hall (AK)


Joyce Wright (AL)


Nathan Hatfield (VA)



Other members/guests in attendance included ASLCS President Rob Marchant (WI) and Angela Andrews (NCSL)

New Business

Chair Whittington asked for Committee feedback on the changed format of the Breakout sessions that were held on Friday in Madison. He stated that he had heard from around 10 participants and the reactions were split equally between liking the new format and wanting to return to the individual group sessions. Tisha Gieser (AK) reiterated some concern about the fact that the Legislative Operations Breakout had a lot of discussion focused on issues related to jobs with management responsibilities. She asked if the Committee should discuss separating the larger Breakout session into two groups – Management and non-management. The Committee discussed that the groups might be too big and perhaps should look into doing a mix of the old and new formats. Nathan Hatfield (VA) stated that that the combined format allowed attendees to interact with people across the entire process, which was helpful since many legislative staffers have more than one job to perform. It was agreed that attendance and participation in the Breakout session seemed to have increased from previous years. It was also agreed that the "open" topics of the Breakout sessions were good because they allowed for the session to evolve with attendee's interests. The concern was raised that some attendees ended up in the wrong Breakout session and that it will be important for the Committee to make sure that the focus for each different Breakout session is clear at the 2011 Professional Development Seminar in Branson.

Chair Whittington stated that he had spoken with 2010-2011 Program Chair Sandy Tenney (UT), who expressed interest in the Support Staff hosting a Legislative Expo in Branson. The Committee was asked opinions on this year's Expo and for ideas for next year. There was a general consensus that it was good there were no other meetings or sessions scheduled during the Expo because it allowed more people to attend and for them not to feel they had to rush through to get to another session. There was also agreement that the Expo could have been extended since there were still quite a few people in the room at the scheduled ending time. The Committee discussed ideas for future Expos, including having one specific focus. There was concern expressed that this might limit participation since not everyone does the same thing and some may feel what they do does not fit the "theme." Another idea explored was to divide the Expo into sections according to process areas including: Journal, Calendar, Support Services, etc., allowing for more people to participate, but also have a focus on what to display. John Garrett (VA) emphasized the importance of trying to get everyone to participate, especially states that have been reluctant to do so, by stressing that anything – no matter how big or small – can be brought to share with colleagues. It was also mentioned that the Expo is an event that is appreciated by the vendors because it gives them a well-attended event in which to display their products. Chair Whittington asked that the Committee think of ideas for the Expo and that the Committee would continue discussion at the Spring Meeting.

ASLCS President Rob Marchant (WI) addressed the Committee and thanked the members for their service and for the work that the Committee will do to make the program in Branson successful. He also stated that the Breakout sessions were very well attended and productive.

Carmen Cauthen (NC) mentioned the Associate Exchange Program and Chair Whittington stated that he would be drafting a letter to send to members encouraging anyone interested to apply. He also stated that the Committee should try to think of ways to increase participation, reminding everyone that money for expense reimbursement had been set aside by the Executive Committee for the Program. 


There being no more business, on motion of Stephanie Hall (AK) and seconded by Maryann Horch (VA), the meeting was adjourned.