LSS 2018 Summit Agenda


NCSL 2018 L.A. Legislative Summit logoLSS has partnered with many of the other staff sections to plan and bring you a wide ranging list of sessions at the 2018 Legislative Summit. With topics ranging from Active Threat Training with the California Highway Patrol, Leadership Lessons, Sexual Harrsament and how to be a better listener. See the agenda below for all LSS sponsored and co-sponsored sessions.

sunDay, july 29
Time Sessions

8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Leadership Staff Professional Development Seminar
Sheraton Grand Downtown Los Angeles

5:30-8 p.m.

LSS Dutch Treat Dinner and Nominating Committee

Karl Strauss Brewing Company


monDay, July 30

7:30-11 a.m.


Professional Development Preconference: Supercharge Your Talent

Convention Center


7:30–8 a.m: Breakfast and Introductions 

8-9:15 a.m.: What’s Your Blind Spot? 
What’s your blind spot and how does it impact the decisions you make, the conversations you carry and your behavior toward others? Learn how to spot your hidden preferences and find strategies for overcoming these blind spots when working with colleagues and others in the legislature. 
Speaker: Paul Meshanko, Legacy Business Cultures, Maryland

9:15-10:15 a.m.: The Balanced Life: Your Most Productive Self at the Legislature 
Working in a legislative environment is exciting, challenging, always changing, and often, chaotic. How do you maintain a healthy stress level while juggling all the responsibilities of your role at the capitol? Learn from a top mindfulness executive how to live a balanced and productive professional life while maintaining a happy, healthy mindset. 
Speaker: Dr. Megan Jones Bell, Headspace, California 

10:15-10:30 a.m.: Break

10:30–11:30 a.m. How to Conquer Your Fear of Failure and Minimize Your Risk 
Failure can lead us to the best personal and organizational results. Most of us have failed at something, then been embarrassed. For some, we stop trying new things. Yet others embrace their failures and turn them into successes. Explore the need for failure and risk, creating an environment where it's safe to fail and ways to flip the negative impression of failure. Learn to see failure as a developmental process, and how you can embrace the results and turn them around. 
Speaker: Curt Stedron, NCSL

7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

South Lobby

Summit Registration

Los Angeles Convention Center

1-4 p.m.

Hall JH

Summit Exhibit Hall Open
Los Angeles Convention Center

11:15 a.m.-Noon


LSS Business Meeting and Lunch

Los Angeles Convention Center


Have lunch and meet with the Leadership Staff association Executive Committee. Vote for Incoming officers and directors, watch the presentation of the Legislative Staff Achievement Awards, sign up to be on the next year’s committees and more.


304 ABC

Summit New Attendee Orientation
Los Angeles Convention Center


First time at the Summit? Grab a box lunch and attend this interactive orientation and learn how to navigate your way through the meeting. Learn about the business meeting, deep dive sessions, and tips to help you make the most of your time in LA.

1:15-3 p.m.

Hall K

General Session: State Networking Event and CEO Forum: The Next Generation of Innovation

Los Angeles Convention Center


1:15 pm–1:45 pm: State Networking Event 
Find your state table and connect with fellow Summit attendees from your state. 

1:45 pm–3:00 pm: CEO Forum: The Next Generation of Innovation 
Hear from leading technology CEOs about the next generation of innovation and how tech will play an active role in identifying our country’s most promising opportunities and solving its biggest challenges. The conversation will address key policy issues facing the tech industry and legislative bodies, and ways to spur innovation and job creation across America. NCSL is pleased to offer this general session in conjunction with TechNet, the voice of the innovation economy.
Moderator: Andrea Deveau, TechNet, California
Panelist: Tim Chen, Nerdwallet, California
Panelist: Brynne Kennedy, Topia, California
Panelist: Marco Zappacosta, Thumbtack, California

3:15-4:30 p.m.

403 AB





402 AB

  • Supreme Court Roundup
The U.S. Supreme Court has had a busy year of cases, many of which have meaningful implications for states. Attendees will explore these cases—from gerrymandering and elections to religious and gay rights, sports gambling and online sales taxes—and gain insider information about our nation’s highest court.
Moderator: Representative Timothy R. Johns, South Dakota
Speaker: Lisa Soronen, State & Local Legal Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Writing Short: A Workshop
The digital era is fundamentally changing the way we communicate. As it does, legislative communicators and others are working to adapt their writing to social media and other digital platforms. How do you tell your story and communicate your message in new, much more succinct ways? Learn from an expert who has mastered the art of writing short.
Speaker: Sam Parr, Founder, The Hustle, California

4-5:15 p.m.

502 B

Changing Revenue Landscape


State revenue streams have become increasingly volatile, and revenue estimating has become more challenging for states. Hear Lucy Dadayan with the Rockefeller Institute of Government discuss revenue volatility and recent trends in state finances.
Speaker: Lucy Dadayan, Rockefeller Institute of Government, New York

4:45-5:30 p.m.

501 ABC

Security and Emergency Response Systems for Legislatures


Learn about and discuss best practices for security and emergency notification systems in legislatures.
Moderator: Peter Capriglione, North Carolina General Assembly
Panelist: Martin Brock, North Carolina General Assembly
Panelist: Anthony (Steve) Pike, Virginia Legislature
5:30-7 p.m.

Opening Reception
JW Marriott at L.A. Live


Meet us at JW Marriott LA LIVE! 
Feel the vibrancy of Los Angeles with the opening reception at the JW Marriott LA LIVE! Feel as though you’ve been transported to wine country as you experience a California wine tasting inside the Gold Ballroom. As you make your way outside, you’ll enjoy sights and sounds typical of LA’s iconic Olvera Street. Revel in the LA sunshine while networking with peers at this exciting event that is within walking distance of the convention center. You must have your badge to enter.

tuesDay, july 31

7 a.m.-5 p.m.

South Lobby

Summit Registration

Los Angeles Convention Center

8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Hall JH

Summit Exhibit Hall Open
Los Angeles Convention Center

7:30-8:45 a.m. 

Petree CD






502 AB




  • Legislative Staff Breakfast: Ethics in the Legislature: How to Avoid the Danger Spots
Protecting the legislative institution requires ethical decision-making by those who work in the legislature. Legislative staff need to be objective, credible and immune to political pressure. This session looks at the danger spots and the deception of rationalizations, and provides tools for navigating ethical challenges in the legislative environment.
Sponsored by: NCSL gratefully acknowledges The Carpet & Rug Institute for donating the red carpet for today’s breakfast.
Speaker: Marianne Jennings, Marianne M. Jennings, LLC, Arizona
  • Republican Breakfast
NCSL gratefully acknowledges GOPAC for its support of this breakfast.
Speaker: Honorable Jason Chaffetz, U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • Democratic Breakfast

Donna Brazile, Washington, D.C.

9-10 a.m.

Hall K

General Session - Healthy Workplaces: Culture Trumps Compliance



As organizations across the country grapple with charges of harassment and other challenges, the national conversation has turned to workplace culture. Hear from Johnny Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), about the importance of workplace culture, especially in environments with complicated power dynamics like those inherent in state legislatures. Learn why the underlying culture is even more essential than rules and enforcement, and how to create a safer and more respectful workplace.
Speaker: Johnny Taylor, Society For Human Resource Management, Virginia

10:15 a.m.-Noon

Petree CD

Legislative Staff University: Understanding and Optimizing Workforce Diversity


Today’s workforce is becoming more diverse and many organizations, including legislatures, are deploying strategies to retain, engage and support skilled and talented staff. Learn why workforce diversity matters, and how appreciating and understanding diversity can create optimal work environments—places where everyone gets to apply their skills and feel recognized, appreciated and valued.
Sponsored by: NCSL gratefully acknowledges The Carpet & Rug Institute for donating the red carpet.
Speaker: Daryl Dixon, Diversity Resource Group, Georgia
12:15-1:15 p.m. All Attendee Lunch 

1:30-2:45 p.m.

502 A

Legislator Conduct and Discipline


The vast majority of the country’s 7,383 state legislators are hardworking, ethical and dedicated policymakers who work hard for their constituents and state. But they also are human, and a few legislators make mistakes or, on rare occasions, intentionally behave in disrespectful ways. Explore the issues and challenges legislatures face when disciplining one of their own, and the rules, procedures and penalties they enforce to respond effectively when these cases occur.
Speaker: Brenda Erickson, NCSL

3-5 p.m.

304 ABC






306 AB

  • Mentoring, Motivating and Maintaining Staff
In today’s highly competitive job market, retaining and engaging legislative staff can be a challenge. Learn proven strategies to mentor, motivate and maintain a highly skilled staff in this interactive session.
Moderator: Greg Fugate, Office of the State Auditor, Colorado
Panelist: Andrea Chiapella, Oregon Legislature
Panelist: Mark Kuster, Legislative Council, Texas
Panelist: Sheron Violini, Senate Rules Committee, California
  • Active Threat Training with the California Highway Patrol
Members of the California Highway Patrol SWAT Team will instruct staff on what to do, how to react and where to go during an active shooter/threat scenario. This workshop is designed to cultivate a survival mindset and swift action, and to explore how past events have shaped law enforcement’s response to critical incidents. Participants will come away understanding law enforcement’s focus during active threat situations and learn personal protection procedures.
Speaker: Clint Beloberk, California Highway Patrol
wednesDay, aug. 1

7 a.m.-5 p.m.

South Lobby

Summit Registration

Los Angeles Convention Center

8:45-9:45 a.m.

502 A

Being Nonpartisan: The Art of Navigating a Political Landscape


Legislative staff often are required to work with legislators from all political parties. Discuss ways to navigate political waters and remain impartial during this roundtable.
Moderator: Othni Lathram, Alabama Legislative Services Agency
9-11 a.m.

When Legislators and Citizens Engage


Engaging citizens in a meaningful way is a perennial challenge for legislators and their staffs. Learn about experiences and practices that work best from a Kettering Foundation project that studied how state and local elected officials successfully engage with citizens and communities.
Speaker: Michael Wood, Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Maryland

10-11:30 a.m.

502 A

Leadership Roundtable


Legislatures cannot function effectively without outstanding leadership. Top legislative leaders will share their philosophy on bold leadership and how to get things done in the unique world of lawmaking.

Noon-1:45 p.m.

Petree CD

Salute to Legislative Staff Luncheon: Play-by-Play Leadership Lessons


From her job as the first female CEO in the NFL to serving as chairman of Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league, Amy Trask has an abundance of experience to share. Amy will take you on her journey of successes and failures, where she learned to thrive under pressure, advocate for herself, make decisions under a microscope, deal with strong personalities and “negotiate like a girl,” as her memoir declares. Join Amy as she offers a play-by-play of some of her most memorable leadership lessons—in life and in business.
Speaker: Amy Trask, Speaker Exchange Agency, LLC, Kansas

2-3:15 p.m.

502 A

Navigating Legislative Negotiation


Negotiating in a legislative environment is a uniquely tough challenge. No legislator can do anything on his or her own, there are many choke points, many pieces of legislation are not ‘must pass,’ and one is often negotiating in a fishbowl. You'll engage in a simulation by a Harvard professor to develop skills important to finding legislative agreement and to discuss the broader challenges of negotiation.
Speaker: Brian Mandell, Harvard Kennedy School, Massachusetts
3:30-4:45 p.m.
502 A

Learning to Listening


As the old adage goes, we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak. The key to effective communication begins with listening, but how many of us have mastered this skill? Learn key listening skills and enjoy the chance to practice them in order to become an accomplished listener and leader.
Speaker: Samuel Soloman, Center For Creative Leadership, California

5-6:30 p.m.

ION Pool Deck

NCSL Young and New Professionals Reception


Come to the NCSL Young and New Professionals reception to meet and network with your peers from across the country. Young and new(ly elected) legislators, legislative staff, and private sector representatives are all welcome to mingle, grab a drink and get to know each other.
Sponsored by: NCSL gratefully acknowledges Biogen for its support of this reception.
6:30-9 p.m.

Social Event at Paramount Studios


Lights, Camera, Action! 
Get a glimpse behind the scenes at this exclusive event on the New York Street Backlot at Paramount Pictures Studios. Pose for the paparazzi before rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood’s elite impersonators! As you tour through the streets used for so many memorable scenes in movies and television, stop to enjoy small bites from one of the various food stations. This will be an unforgettable evening fit for the stars! You must have your badge to enter.

thursDay, aug. 2

8-9:30 a.m.

Hall K

Nashville Kickoff Breakfast: It’s All About Country: Politics, Polling and Pop Culture


Explore what America is thinking with nationally renowned pollsters Margie Omero and Kristen Soltis Anderson as Nashville sets the stage for next year’s Summit. Enjoy a scrumptious, southern-style breakfast while Omero and Soltis Anderson share how the numbers reveal the public’s mindset on news, politics and pop culture. You won’t want to miss the bipartisan team that co-hosts the top-200 podcast, “The Pollsters,” while getting a peek at what’s in store at next year’s Summit in Nashville
Speaker: Margie Omero, GBA Strategies, Washington, D.C.
Speaker: Kristen Soltis Anderson, Echelon Insights, Virginia

9:45-11 a.m.

308 AB

The Cure for Death by Small Talk


Who loves talking about the weather? Who knows the hidden trap in the question, "So, what do you do for a living?" Who'd like to engage in real conversations that improve workplaces and relationships and can turn casual connections into meaningful ones? Join Minister Faust for a fun, funny, provocative and lively workshop that he began at TEDx Edmonton in 2011. Learn a better way to converse ... and connect.
Speaker: Malcolm Azania, Canada

9:45 a.m.-Noon

502 A

Sexual Harassment: Getting it Right on Policy, Training and Investigation

Public and private organizations alike are working hard to strengthen their policies and training on workplace and sexual harassment and improve their procedures for investigating complaints. This workshop offers state legislatures a practical guide to the most critical elements of effective policy, training and investigation. Learn how these improvements can complement and support changes in organizational culture and behavior. 

What You’ll Learn: 
• The components of effective and thorough sexual harassment policy 
• Keys to delivering training that works 
• Effective techniques for investigating complaints 
Moderator: David Byerman, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky
Speaker: Patti Perez, Emtrain, California
Panelist: Alf Brandt, California State Assembly
Panelist: Lori Mathis, Maryland General Assembly
Noon Summit Concludes