NALIT 2016 Legislative Summit Agenda and Handouts


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The NCSL Legislative Summit covers the latest issues and provides opportunities for legislators and staff have come together to tackle critical problems and find solutions that work.

On this page, you'll find all sessions of the National Association of Legislative Information Technology and session handouts and presentations when available.


SunDay, Aug. 7
Time Sessions
6:30-8 p.m.

NALIT Dutch Treat Dinner

Join legislative IT colleagues from around the country for a great evening at a local restaurant. Spouses and guests are welcome, but space is limited, so advance reservations are required. Contact Pam Greenberg, NCSL Liaison to NALIT, for more details or to RSVP.

7 a.m.-5 p.m.


1-2:15 p.m.

NALIT: Making the Most of Mobile
Mobile devices, mobile websites and mobile apps are making legislative information accessible anytime and anywhere. Hear about various state approaches and policies for supporting and enhancing the experience of site visitors, including key design principles for successful legislative web and mobile sites.
Moderator: Joel Redding, Kentucky


Speaker biographies


2:30-4 p.m.

NALIT: Protecting Legislative Data—Wherever It Is
Legislators and staff increasingly use smartphones and other mobile devices to store or access legislative data, along with professional and personal correspondence and information. Commercial cloud services also are commonly used for email or data storage. It’s no longer just IT’s role to protect that data, however. Explore and discuss the challenges facing legislatures about security, public records and roles and responsibilities within legislatures.

  • Sharon Crouch Steidel, House of Delegates, Virginia


  • Brett Ferguson, Legislative Counsel, Texas Legislative Council
  • Soren Jacobsen, Legislative Services Office, Idaho

Speaker biographies




4:15-5:15 p.m.

General Session: The Economy—Top 5 Things You Need to Know

A highly respected business journalist and money manager, Ron Insana is one of the country's leading commentators on domestic and global economics, financial markets and economic policy. The author of four books on Wall Street, he has interviewed presidents, billionaires, captains of industry, and foreign leaders. Insana is the keynote speaker for the Monday General Session.

5:30-7 p.m.

Social Event: Game OnNetworking Reception

Chicago is a world-class sports town. Catch up with friends old and new, test your skills at a variety of games, and enjoy classic ballpark cuisine at this celebration of all things sports.

 tUESDAY, aUG. 9
7:30-8:45 a.m.

NALIT Business Meeting and Breakfast

NALIT members will elect new officers and recognize the winners of the NALIT Legislative Staff Achievement Awards during breakfast.

Presiding: Terri Clark, Kansas; NALIT Chair

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Building Trust with Citizens: It's a New Online World—Creating Legislative Websites that Inspire Public Trust (Co-sponsored with Legislative Effectiveness Committee)

Americans are going online not just to find information—they want to their share their personal views and feel they’ve been heard. Legislatures in several states are ramping up efforts to create websites that encourage citizen involvement. Hear about new initiatives that not only welcome citizens but also help legislators understand, keep track of and respond to questions and concerns from voters.
  • Ryan Blair, Senate, New York Legislature
  • Senator Bob Worsley, Arizona

Speaker biographies | PDF | 


3:30-5 p.m. 

Legislative Staff University: Feedback—How to Deliver It, Receive It and Grow

In the legislature, we get a LOT of feedback. Whether it comes from colleagues, legislative members or your boss, it can be tough to hear. Feedback is essential for development, growth and healthy relationships. Learn how to deliver feedback that minimizes defensiveness and maximizes learning and growth. And recognize how to receive feedback so that you can consistently improve. 
What you’ll learn: 
• Deliver feedback effectively using five critical steps. 
• Recognize when you’re making assumptions and how to test them. 
• Recognize three major triggers that occur when people receive constructive feedback from others. 
• Utilize strategies to help them receive feedback with grace and an eye for learning.
  • Carol Grannis, Leading Edge Coaching & Development, Minnesota
  • Cindy Maher, Leading Edge Coaching & Development, Minnesota
12-1 p.m.

Salute to Legislative Staff Luncheon

Hear about the strong contributions staff across the country have made to their legislatures and states and celebrate your remarkable achievements. You'll be spellbound by author Hampton Sides and his take on leadership. Best-known for his gripping non-fiction adventure stories, Sides is the author of In the Kingdom of Ice, which recounts the heroic polar voyage of the U.S.S. Jeannette. He will share the historical lessons of leadership and how they can apply to everyday life.
  • Hampton Sides, Author, New Mexico
1:30-2:30 p.m.

General Session: Demographics, Democracy and the Future

Jim Johnson is a professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one of the nation's leading demographers. His research focuses on the changing U.S. population and its effects on competing in emerging consumer markets. Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where she studies and writes widely on public attitudes. She edits AEI's monthly polling newsletter, Political Report, and recently collaborated on a project on America’s changing demography nationally and in the states.

3-4 p.m.

Legislative Staff Session: Seismic Demographic Shift: Generations in the Office

Millennials—the largest generation ever—are overtaking the workforce as Baby Boomers retire. This demographic shift has huge implications for the workplace—how we communicate, hire, retain, motivate and develop the new generation—and how understanding it can ensure inter-generational success at the office.
  • Katie Coates, Arizona
4:15-4:45 p.m.

NALIT Executive Committee Meeting

Discuss association services, meetings and outreach efforts. All NALIT members (legislative information technology professionals) are welcome to attend.
Presiding: Terri Clark, Legislative Computer Services, Kansas Legislature
6:30-10 p.m.

Illinois Signature Event

Savor and sip some of Chicago's best offerings at one of the world's great natural history museums. Come face to face with the largest T-Rex ever found, descend into an ancient Egyptian tomb and stand among larger-than-life soldiers in the exclusive exhibition, "China's First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors." The evening ends with a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Michigan.

 tHURSDAY, aUG. 11 
8-9:15 a.m.

Legislative Staff Session: Talk Like TED

Short, concise, emotionally connected—it's what everyone strives for in their communication. And nobody does it better than TED. It takes practice, practice and more practice to make your speech perfect. But after this interactive session you'll be speaking like a pro, and prime-time ready. 
What you'll learn:
• The top steps to an effective and impactful presentation. 
• How to revise and sharpen your talk. 
• How to make a short, video presentation. 
• How to create a plan for making your presentations compelling.
  • Marianna Swallow, Communication Coach, Illinois
9:30-10:30 a.m.

Issue Session: Cybersecurity Showdown: Challenges and Strategies for States

Cyber threats have enormous implications for government security, economic prosperity and public safety. Learn about key cybersecurity issues and perspectives: government, financial and consumer data, water and energy threats, IT security and law enforcement challenges—all with an eye toward collaborative strategies to combat these elusive and ever evolving threats.

Moderator: Representative Max Tyler, Colorado


  • Andy Bochman, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho
  • Joe Demarest, Ernst & Young, New York
  • Ashwini Jarral, IJIS Institute, Virginia

Speaker Biographies



2-3:30 p.m. 

NALIT: Staffing for Cybersecurity

How can government and legislative IT offices be sure they have the budget, staff and skill sets necessary to protect against ever-increasing cyber threats and balance costs versus risks? Can government compete for qualified security professionals? Which tools or practices, such as security audits, are essential?
Moderator: Linda Wettstone, Senate Clerk's Office, Virginia General Assembly
  • Doug Robinson, NASCIO, Kentucky
  • Mike Rohrbach, Legislative Service Center, Washington

Speaker Biographies


NOTE: Shuttle buses between McCormick Place and the hotels will run until 3:15 p.m.



Speaker Biographies

Making the Most of Mobile


Ryan Blair

Ryan Blair is the Digital Director of the New York State Senate, where he first started as a summer intern in 2005. Ryan was the principal internal advocate, content strategist, and site architect for the 2015 redesign of He continues to serve as the product owner of the platform, leading the prioritization of internal and external feature requests, implementation of technical improvements, and creation of platform strategy. He advises senate members and staff on methods for properly leveraging the platform.


Vinay Dattu

Vinay Dattu is Director of Legislative Information Systems for the Tennessee Legislature. He is responsible for managing and providing strategic direction and leadership in defining, establishing, supporting and operating the overall information systems infrastructure and services provided to the Tennessee Legislature. Prior to joining the legislature, Vinay served as the director of enterprise architecture for the Tennessee executive branch. He also held a number of positions as an ERP/MRP implementation consultant, project and program manager, financial analyst, and business process manager for various companies. Vinay is also the vice chairman for the State of Tennessee Information Systems Council. He holds an MBA in finance, strategy and operations from Penn State University.


Kyle W. Forster

Kyle Forster has been the Information Technology Manager for North Dakota Legislative Council (NDLC) since March 2011. Kyle and his IT staff support the Legislative Assembly Senate and House of Representatives members, legislative council staff, and legislative assembly session staff. Before his employment with NDLC, he worked for the North Dakota Information Technology Department as the state's enterprise software architect and was involved in many of the recent IT projects for the legislative branch.


Joel Redding

Joel Redding has been employed with the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission (LRC) since 1995. Joel served as a programmer/analyst before becoming webmaster in 2005. In 2009 Joel became the Deputy Chief Information Officer and still serves as webmaster. Before coming to the LRC, Joel was employed by Humana, Inc. Joel has a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Kentucky State University.


Protecting Legislative Data--Wherever It Is

Brett Ferguson

Brett Ferguson is an attorney with the Texas Legislative Council. His practice areas include open government, legislative law and procedure, redistricting, tax, and agriculture. He is the attorney liaison to the council's information systems division. In this role he collaborates with software developers to create custom applications for the Texas Legislature.

Soren Jacobsen

Soren Jacobsen is a Senior IT Specialist for the Legislative Services Office in Idaho, supporting the Legislature for the last 13 sessions. In addition to desktop, phone system, and web site/social media responsibilities, he is the primary technical point of contact and assistance for hearing room technology. Prior to joining LSO, Soren owned a company that provided Internet based reporting services.

Sharon Crouch Steidel

Sharon Crouch Steidel currently serves as Chief Technology Officer for the Virginia House of Delegates, a position she has held since 1983, although she began working for the House in 1975. She is responsible for all aspects of IT development for the House of Delegates and advises staff and members on technology issues. Sharon periodically works for the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, on democratic initiative projects related to information technology. Sharon is a very successful NCSL has-been—having served on various committees over the years, on the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee, as Chair of the National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT), as an at-large member of NCSL’s Executive Committee, as Vice Chair of the NCSL Standing Committees and as the overall Staff Chair for NCSL in 2007-2008. In addition to being a geek, Sharon is a gardener, painter and obsessed dog owner.


Cybersecurity Showdown: Challenges and Strategies for States

Andrew Bochman

Andy Bochman is Senior Cyber and Energy Security Strategist for Idaho National Lab’s National and Homeland Security directorate. Prior to joining INL, he founded a strategic energy sector security consulting firm, was an advisor on energy security matters at the Chertoff Group in Washington, DC, and was the security lead for IBM’s global energy and utilities business.

A frequent speaker, standards developer and adviser on topics at the intersection of grid modernization and security, Andy has provided expert testimony and analysis on energy sector security standards and gaps to FERC, NERC, DOE, NIST, NARUC, and state utility commissions. He has testified to FERC on the security readiness of Smart Grid interoperability standards, and on the security and privacy readiness of AMI and Smart Meter systems at the Massachusetts Grid Modernization hearings.

Andy was an SME contributor to DOE’s Electric Sector Risk Management Process (RMP) guide and Electricity Subsector Cybersecurity Capabilities Maturity Model (ES-C2M2), and his position paper on Electric Sector Security Governance was approved by the DOE Energy Advisory Committee (EAC). He was a security SME contributor to MIT’s Future of the Grid report, and wrote “Plotting a More Confident Course: Rethinking Oversight of the Electric Sector and Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” published by the Heritage Foundation, and “Measure, Manage, Win: The Case for Operational Energy Metrics” published in NDU’s Joint Forces Quarterly.

A graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Andy served as a communications officer and a source selection technical team leader at the Air Force Computer Acquisition Center (AFCAC). Named “"Networked Grid 100: Movers and Shakers of the Smart Grid” and one of fifty “Smart Grid Pioneers,” he is a corporate board member of the Industrial Control Systems - Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISC-ISAC) and a member of GTM’s Grid Edge Executive Council.


Joe Demarest

Joe Demarest is an Executive Director in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP. He has over 30 years of hands on government and industry experience. He has extensive transformational leadership and change and risk management experience acquired as the highest ranking executive in some of the most critical roles within the FBI and the Office of Global Security at Goldman Sachs & Co. He served as the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, where he led the largest and most complex national security and criminal programs. He enhanced the FBI’s relationships around the world as the Assistant Director of the International Operations Division.  He personally cultivated and currently maintains productive senior level contacts within the U.S. Government and foreign services worldwide. Based on his proven versatility as a leader, in 2012 the FBI Director selected Joe to take on the critical role of leading the Cyber Division and the Director’s priority Next Generation Cyber initiative, an initiative to transform all aspects of the Bureau’s cyber program. During his tenure as the Assistant Director of the Cyber Division, he led the division through dynamic change to meet the demands in its operations, intelligence functions and outreach to government and industry.

In 2015, Joe was promoted to Associate Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Surveillance Branch (CCRSB) in the Director’s Office, where he served as the Chief Operations Officer for the branch. The CCRSB represented over half of the FBI’s human capital and operational resources.

He is the recipient of the Attorney General’s and FBI Director’s Awards and in 2014 was named as one of the Top Federal 100 technology professionals within the federal government, academia, and industry for his extraordinary contributions to the U.S. Government.

Ashwini Jarral

Ashwini Jarral currently serves as director of operations with the IJIS Institute. In this capacity, he oversees the overall operations of the institute that includes numerous national initiatives for the Institute.

A member of the prestigious Federal 100 in 2014, Jarral was instrumental in conceiving and implementing a new standards-based interoperability program also known as Springboard Certification Program to help advance information sharing in the justice, public safety and homeland security environments. He educates mission and industry partners about the value of adopting interoperability standards and recruited the right partners to develop the program, which directly supports the president's National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding. He is currently leading the Project Interoperability initiative that will lead to the development of the national framework that government agencies at all level, industry, and standard development organizations will embrace to solve the national challenges around information sharing and safeguarding and interoperability.

Jarral has over 15 years’ experience in IT consulting, deployment, and operations, program, and project management. He has worked in the private sector providing professional technology services and solutions in the financial, telecommunications, and justice and public safety sectors. Jarral currently co-chairs the Object Management Group (OMG) Information Sharing Working group, Information Exchange Framework Working group and serves on the Global Standards Council (GSC), and Global Federated Identify Privilege Management (GFIPM) delivery team, National Identify Exchange Federation (NIEF) delivery team and the Standards Coordination Council (SCC) Sub-Committee of the Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee (ISA IPC).

Jarral holds a B.S. in Decision Science and Management Information Systems (DMIS) and a M.S. in Management Information Systems. He is a Six Sigma Green Belt Certified Professional.

Representative Max Tyler

Rep. Max Tyler is in his third term in the Colorado House of Representatives in House District 23 in Lakewood. He is chairman of the Transportation & Energy Committee, as well as a member of the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee. He is also chairman of both the Joint Technology Committee and the Transportation Legislation Review Committee, which meet during the interim.

Rep. Tyler has focused his legislative efforts on promoting economic development, improving government efficiency and promoting clean tech in Colorado. In the 2014 session Rep. Tyler sponsored legislation to create a mobile By Colorado app to allow mobile users to find products produced by Colorado companies. He also sponsored a bill to reduce the number of waste tires in Colorado, reducing pollution and creating new jobs in innovative industries. 

During the 2013 session, he sponsored a key component of the House Democrats’ economic development package boosting funding for Colorado’s highly successful Small Business Development Centers program. With a staff of four and a general fund appropriation of less than $85,000, Colorado’s SBDCs served more than 5,000 small businesses, created 1,700 jobs and assisted in nearly $132 million in small business capital formation in 2011 alone for Colorado startups. HB 13-1002 provided an additional $300,000 for the next two years and draws down additional matching funds to create new Colorado companies and new Colorado jobs.

In previous sessions he successfully sponsored legislation promoting “lean government,” based on Toyota’s Lean management system, which has been a worldwide model for private companies seeking to improve their effectiveness and bottom line. He also sponsored legislation increasing our use of renewable energy resources, bringing together sustainable energy advocates and public utility providers to modernize our energy portfolio and create jobs in local small businesses.

Rep. Tyler is a small business owner and entrepreneur. He started his first business in 1974; Campro Systems provided photostats for graphic designers. In the early nineties he founded Compro, which offered computer network support to small businesses. In 2004 he started his third business, the Star Group, a consulting firm focused on helping businesses use their human resources and technology more efficiently. He has also served on the board of directors of the Denver Chamber of Commerce.

Staffing for Cybersecurity

Doug Robinson

Doug Robinson serves as executive director for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. Representing state CIOs and information technology executives, NASCIO is the premier network and resource for state CIOs and an advocate for information technology at all levels of government. Doug is responsible for the overall executive leadership of the association including strategic planning, policy execution, government affairs, strategic alliances, emerging issues and board and committee oversight. Doug is a frequent speaker, panelist and author representing NASCIO issues, state CIOs, IT policy, trends and state government issues. In addition, he represents NASCIO on several national boards, committees and advisory groups. Among his recognitions, Doug was elected as a Fellow of the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration in 2012. Doug was named to Government Technology magazine’s 2006 Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in public sector information technology. His career spans over 35 years in state government, higher education and public sector IT consulting. Prior to joining NASCIO in 2004, he served as an executive director in the Kentucky Governor's Office for Technology. His previous leadership positions in state government include executive director of the Kentucky Information Resources Commission and executive director of the Kentucky Office of Geographic Information. Doug holds a B.A. from Maryville College in Tennessee and an M.P.A. with a concentration in science, technology and public policy from the University of Tennessee.

Mike Rohrbach

Mike Rohrbach is the Director of the Legislative Service Center, the non-partisan technology solutions provider for the Washington State Legislature. Mike has 25 years of experience in information technology with a background in software development. He began his IT career in 1991 with a ten-year stint in the Air Force and has held a variety of leadership positions during his career in both the public and private sectors, including: technical lead, project and portfolio manager, enterprise architect and deputy director. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Troy State University.

Linda Wettstone 
Linda Wettstone began her career with the Virginia Senate in 1996. She earned an MIS degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Before joining the Senate staff, Linda worked as a programmer, network administrator, program manager and regional manager for a computer consulting firm for 10 years. Linda currently provides computer support and training to the session legislative staff, manages workshops for legislative assistants, develops and maintains websites and leads and serves on various committees to improve information systems for the Virginia Legislature.