2014 (October) Program Development Committee Meeting Minutes


American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)

Baton Rouge, LA
Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

Call to Order

The meeting of the Program Development Committee was called to order by Dave Byerman (NV), chair.


The following members of the committee were present:


David Byerman (NV), Chair


Lucinda Benjamin (NV)


Cathy Hooe (VA), Vice Chair


Megan Totino Consedine (PA)


Jamie Kruse (NE), Vice Chair


Kim Cox (TN)


Buddy Johnson (AR)


Daniel Hicks (TN)


Leslie Awtrey (AZ)


Tammy Letzler (TN)


Paula Rossetto (CA)


Nanette Mitchell (TN)


Cindi Markwell (CO)


Patience Worrel (TX)


John Hollman (IL)


Tracy Ortiz (TX)


Susan Kannarr (KS)


Philip Cottingham (TX)


Jean Burgin (KY)


G. Paul Nardo (VA)


Ruby Johnson (LA)


Melanie Newby (VA)


Angela Smith (LA)


Lisa Gilmer (VA)


Ron L. Smith, II (LA)


John “Jay” Pearson (VA)


Michael Menszer (LA)


Jeannine Layell (VA)


Judy Barrows (ME)


Jackie Scott (VA)


Al Mathiowetz (MN)


Sarah Armistead (VA)


David G. Surdez (MN)


Tara Perkinson (VA)


Michael Linn (MN)


Jeff Finch (VA)


Gail C. Romanowski (MN)


Tricia Vaughn (VA)


Terry Spieler (MO)


Jay Braxton (VA)


Lisa Davis (MS)


Jan Waldrop (VA)


Lindsey Grovom (MT)


Michelle Wright (VA)


Ann Luck (NC)


Lee Cassis (WV)


Patrick O'Donnell (NE)


Kristin Canterbury (WV)


Lenore Naranjo (NM)


Patty Benskin (WY)


Matthew Baker (NV)




Other members/guests in attendance included: Norma Chastain (AZ), Sharon Soliere (AZ), Amy Leach (CA), Jacqueline Bell (MS), Alyce Horton (MS), Nancy Goodman (NC), Michelle Poole (NC), Denise Weeks (NC), James White (NC), Ann Marie Brown (TN), Greg Glass (TN), Mary Andrus (UT), Jennifer Christopherson (UT), Nancy Ellison (UT), Kathy Jackson (UT), Nathan Hatfield (VA), Maryann Horch (VA), Sarah Huber (VA), Barbara Lecarpentier (VA), Rose Ramsey (VA), and Marguerite Duda (WV).

Chair Byerman (NV) called the meeting to order and thanked the vice chairs and the members for agreeing to serve on the committee. He stated that the task of the Program Development Committee is to develop a program for the 2015 Professional Development Seminar to be held in Raleigh, NC. It’s our job to “sell” the conference. We need to dream big and generate enthusiasm and excitement.

Approval of Minutes

Upon a motion by Jay Braxton (VA), seconded by Norma Chastain (AZ), the minutes of the last two meetings held May 3, 2014 during the Spring Meeting in Nashville, TN and Aug. 19, 2014 during the NCSL Legislative Summit in Minneapolis, MN were approved.

Old Business

Chair Byerman (NV) asked committee members to dissect the Baton Rouge meeting by sharing what worked and what didn't work. Norma Chastain (AZ) said additional time is needed to get from one session to another. She also suggested that the legislative staff breakout sessions should be divided, i.e., split up bill status, calendar, engrossing, indexing, and journal. Tara Perkinson (VA) stated that smaller breakouts had been tried in the past and some of the groups had sparse attendance. She proposed that the Support Staff Committee might help coordinate the breakouts. Nancy Goodman (NC) thought maybe the length of the conference could be shortened. It was noted that the Sunday-Friday schedule, rather than Tuesday-Sunday, was warmly received by everyone.

Jamie Kruse (NE) noted the absence of a service project and asked if Denise Weeks (NC) might find a charitable cause for the 2015 PDS in Raleigh.

New Business

President-Elect Humphrey (TN) addressed the committee. He indicated Program Development is one of the most important ASLCS committees. He said the Baton Rouge PDS has been outstanding.

Chair Byerman (NV) said the committee needs to meet frequently and recommended meeting more than three times per year. He would like for committee members to stay involved throughout the year in order to generate more perspectives and more ideas. He suggested using “Cover It Live,” a chat room where we can share documents, etc.

Chair Byerman (NV) proposed having a “People's Choice” session in 2015, whereby the committee would submit an excess number of topics. The entire membership would then weigh-in and a favorite would emerge, which would be the “People's Choice.” The topic receiving the least number of votes would be discarded. The concept generates excitement and creates ownership.

Regarding the program structure, it was suggested that staff breakouts occur early in the week, rather than later. Tara Perkinson (VA) said the breakout schedule is determined by the availability of the Capitol. Chair Byerman (NV) asked Denise Weeks (NC) to look into having the staff breakouts on Monday for the 2015 PDS. Chair Byerman (NV) asked the committee if they favor having two concurrent time slots with three sessions per slot to choose from, or would they favor having three time slots with two sessions per slot to choose from. The committee favored the latter. Norma Chastain (AZ) reminded the committee that we are here to learn and being able to attend three sessions instead of two would help to accomplish that goal.

Concerning substance, Judy Barrows (ME) questioned the applicability (job-related) of some topics in Baton Rouge. Nancy Ellison (UT) liked the paperless chamber session held in the past. Tara Perkinson (VA) suggested a journal proofreading session. She also suggested a session regarding how to handle subpoenas from the FBI and state police, as well as FOIA requests. Paul Nardo (VA) proposed a session relating to how we present our Capitols. As staff we come to work in these esteemed institutions that provide tours, exhibits, and websites for the public. How can we showcase our Capitols, keeping in mind the civics aspect as well? Norma Chastain (AZ) proposed we offer a session related to staff transitioning due to health issues/retirement. Denise Weeks (NC) inquired about a breakout regarding the requirements of a mock session for groups. Maryann Horch (VA) mentioned a previous meeting where the clerks/secretaries spoke about parliamentary procedure.

Chair Byerman (NV) concluded the meeting by asking the committee members to complete the 2014 PDS evaluation form and encourage colleagues from your state to do so. He will tabulate the results and share them with the committee. The lessons learned from the results will help us in planning for 2015. Liz Clark (AK) and her committee did an excellent job with the 2014 PDS.


Upon a motion by Denise Weeks (NC), seconded by Tara Perkinson (VA), the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Cathy Hooe (VA), Vice Chair