NALIT 2017 Legislative Summit Agenda


2017 NCSL Legislative Summit Logo

NALIT Agenda
2017 Legislative Summit
Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Aug. 5-9, 2017

NALIT sessions at the 2017 Legislative Summit will cover cybersecurity, captioning of webcasts, bill drafting systems, social media policies and records retention. The annual NALIT business meeting will also convene in Boston.  

View the Legislative Summit online agenda. Go back to the Legislative Summit Homepage.

saturDay, aug. 5
Time Sessions
6:30-8:30 p.m.

NALIT Business Meeting and Dutch Treat Dinner

NALIT members elect new officers and recognize the winners of the NALIT Legislative Staff Achievement Awards at NALIT’s annual Business Meeting and Dutch Treat dinner (dutch treat means attendees pay their own way). Network with your legislative IT colleagues from around the country at a local restaurant for this event. Spouses and guests are welcome, but space is limited, so advance reservations are required. 

  • Linda Wettstone, Senate Clerk's Office, Virginia
sunDay, aug. 6
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


2:15-4 p.m.

Captioning Legislative Webcasts

Increasingly, states are providing captions for the deaf and those with hearing loss as part of their live webcasts of legislative proceedings. Learn about the issues concerning accessibility and captioning, including live stream captioning, necessary software, support on mobile devices and browsers and potential impact on remote testimony.


  • Jeff Ford, Chief Technical Officer, Legislative Services Agency, Indiana


  • Paul Pak, CIO, Massachusetts Legislature
  • Bruce Ellsworth, Senior Multimedia and Audio/Visual Engineer, South Carolina Legislative Services Agency
  • Daniel Kerr, CTO, Swagit 
  • Sanjiv Menezes, CEO, Sliq Media Technologies


Archived session recording



4:15-5:30 p.m.

Expecting the Unexpected  

Legislatures often face the unexpected—a sudden special session, protesters appearing at the capitol, a natural disaster, or cybersecurity or security threats. Legislative staff are on the front line when the unexpected happens. Hear from legislative colleagues in various roles about how they prepared for, dealt with or found solutions for unexpected situations. 


  • Senator Ginny Burdick


  • Raúl Burciaga, Director, Legislative Council Service, New Mexico
  • Peter Capriglione, Director, Information Systems Division, General Assembly, North Carolina
  • Anthony "Steve" Pike, Division of Capitol Police, Virginia Legislature, Virginia

Archived session recording

5:30-6 p.m.

Legislative Staff Red Carpet Meet and Greet

We’re rolling out the red carpet for legislative staff! Take time to see old friends and meet new colleagues before heading to the reception at the Lawn on D. NCSL gratefully acknowledges the Carpet and Rug Institute for their support of this session.


5:30-7 p.m.

Social Event
We’re having a party and it’s for you! Come join us at The Lawn on D so you can have the ultimate New England experience. Network with your peers over lobster tails, New England wines and local craft beers.

monDay, aug. 7
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration
10-11:45 a.m.

Legislative Staff University

Willow Jacobson, associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Government, will tell you about cutting-edge research – and practical ideas – to motivate people, recognize and reward employees, and give you strategies to improve morale. 

3:45-5 p.m.

Policies for Legislative Technologies: How Are They Working?

Social media, personal and state-owned devices, email and text messages—all raise questions about whether and how legislators and legislative staff use them, how the records they create are retained (or not) and what records are subject to public records requests. Hear how legislative policies were developed, what legislatures considered and how they came to their conclusions, and discuss your own challenges with developing and implementing policies.


  • Michael Adams, Director of Strategic Planning, Senate, Virginia


  • Susan Fox, Executive Director, Legislative Services Division, Montana
  • Richard Brown, Assistant Clerk of the Legislature, Legislative Council, Nebraska

Archived session recording

tuesDay, aug. 8
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration   
9-10 a.m.

General Session

Frank Luntz is one of the nation's foremost political commentators and pollsters. Known as the Focus Group Czar, he captures the attitudes of American voters on politics, policies and the direction of the country. He is a news analyst for CBS and author of three New York Times best-sellers. 

12:30-2 p.m.

Salute to Legislative Staff Luncheon

Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist, author and expert on the art of conversation, music, journalism and more. Her TED talk, Ten Ways to Have Better Conversations, has been seen by more than 6.5 million people. She hosts a daily talk show for Georgia Public Broadcasting and was formerly a host at National Public Radio. She holds multiple degrees in music and still performs as a professional opera singer.

3:45-5 p.m. 

Cybersecurity Preparedness and Response

Having an incident response plan in place before a cyber attack occurs requires more than just a set of written instructions. It goes beyond IT staff and requires raising awareness, training and walking through potential scenarios with key personnel. Learn what makes a good incident response plan and discover how legislatures are implementing them.


  • Terri Clark, Director of Infrastructure, Office of Legislative Information Services, Kansas


  • Brandon Brin, Director of IT Security & Operations, Legislature, Massachusetts
  • Sheraun Howard, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI
6:30-9 p.m.

Reception at Fenway Park

Never been to Major League Baseball's oldest ballpark? Well now is your chance! Experience the view from Yawkey Way and the Green Monster while snacking on ballpark cuisine. This is an event you won't want to miss.

wednesDay, aug. 9
7:30 a.m.-Noon  
8-9:15 a.m. Legislative Staff Breakfast

Barbara Dershowitz takes the crazy out of change. A practical change management specialist, Barbara eases the path of change for individuals and organizations, delivering them – fully-functioning, sane, and intact – into a new normal that is stable, feels right, and works to their best advantage. Named Chief Experience Officer of the Year by SmartCEO magazine, Barbara is author of the book, The Secret Life of Change.

9:30-10 a.m.

NALIT Executive Committee Meeting

Discuss association services, meetings and outreach efforts. All NALIT members (legislative information technology professionals) are welcome to attend.


  • Linda Wettstone, Senate, Virginia, Chair, NALIT 

10:30-11:45 a.m. 

Bill Drafting Systems: A Collaborative Effort

(Joint with Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff)

Several states have upgraded their electronic bill drafting systems and many others are considering changes. Discuss the key factors that are critical to designing a system that works for drafters and editors; impediments to avoid; and implementation strategies utilized by IT professionals to develop these new systems.'


  • Kyle Forster, Information Technology Manager, Legislative Council, North Dakota


  • Joe Diana, Applications Manager, Legislative Council, Texas
  • Brett Ferguson, Attorney, Legislative Council, Texas
  • Elaine Filer, Office of Legislative Counsel, California
  • Susan Murray, Legislative Services Division, Montana
  • Kendra Nielsen, Office of Legislative Counsel, California
  • Rachel Weiss, Legislative Services Division, Montana

12:30-2:15 p.m. 

General Session: 2018 Kick-Off Luncheon

You won’t want to miss Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin brings history alive with an uncanny sense for detail and a master storyteller’s grasp of drama and depth as she examines the leadership triumphs, trials and tribulations of the men and women who have shaped this nation, culled from her lifetime examination of the U.S. presidency.