Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference 2017


Please note: This schedule is tentative. Schedule and speakers are subject to change.

Conference At-A-Glance

Full conference with session descriptions below.

Friday, July 14, 2017

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 8:50 a.m. Welcome & Overview

8:50 - 9:00 a.m. Morning Power-Up by Amy Harth, Union Institute & University

9:00 - 9:45 a.m. Keynote Presentation by Monika Black, TandemSpring

9:45 - 10:05 a.m. Break/Networking

10:05-10:45 a.m. Keynote Follow-Up Round Table Discussion/Activity

10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Panel Discussion: "Perspectives Through Ages and Stages" 

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 - 1:45 p.m. Academic Presentation by Angie Pastorek, University of Kansas

1:45 - 2:05 p.m. Yoga with Kristina Clark

2:05 - 2:20 p.m. Break/Networking

2:20 - 3:25 p.m. Panel Discussion: "Leading at ALL Levels"

3:25 - 3:40 p.m. Break/Networking

3:40 - 4:25 p.m. Keynote Presentation by Neeli Bendapudi, Provost, University of Kansas

4:25 - 4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks

4:30 p.m. to whenever: Reception & Networking Time

Full Conference Schedule

8:00-8:30 a.m. – Registration & Continental Breakfast
Breakfast sponsor: The Novak Consulting Group

8:30-8:50 a.m. – Welcome, Overview & Icebreaker
Laura Howard, Director, KU Public Management Center
Sara Singer, Vice President, IWPA 2017 Conference Chair

8:50-9:00 a.m. – Morning Power-Up
Amy Harth, PhD Candidate, Union Institute & University
In this morning session, we’ll start the conference by focusing on our purpose with energy and intentionally. We’ll reflect on why we are here and what we hope to gain. This session will leave you feeling both calm and inspired by your strength and our diversity. Together, all things are possible.

9:00-9:45 a.m. Keynote Presentation: "Super Powers Activate: Authentically Leading Through Strengths"
Speaker: Monika Black, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist, TandemSpring
Many models of leadership require people to be someone that, at their core, they are not—so the best they can hope for is to be a second-rate version of someone else. Imposter syndrome thus works its way up the corporate ladder as leaders are promoted, and the cycle perpetuates itself as others try to models themselves after these leaders. It comes as no surprise, then, that so many organizations struggle with engagement and with having real conversations about diversity and innovation. But there is a more dynamic and more holistic way forward.

Authentic leadership allows each person to elevate their own leadership brand through their strengths to inspire others forward. When we understand ourselves—through our unique combination of character strengths and cultural strengths—this is when we become truly liberated to lead authentically and tackle the prevailing issues of the modern workplace and in our global society. During out time with Monika Black, executive coach and strengths expert from TandemSpring, we’ll cultivate a deeper understanding of our unique leadership brands. She’ll lead us in exploring our individual and cultural strengths which, when combined, allow us to bring our whole selves to work each and every day.

9:45-10:05 a.m. – Break/Networking
Refreshment sponsor: ICMA

10:05-10:45 a.m. – Keynote Follow-Up Round Table Discussion/Activity
Speaker: Monika Black, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist, TandemSpring

10:45-11:45 a.m. – Panel Discussion: "Perspectives Through Ages and Stages"
Panel Moderator: Noel Rasor


  • Tamara Durham, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, University of Kansas
  • Cheryl Rose, Deputy Chief Investigations Bureau Commander, Kansas City, MO Police Department
  • Kendra Davis, Management Analyst, City of Manhattan Beach, CA

Work-life balance can mean different things for different people, and we encounter new life challenges at every age which can impact our career and overall well-being. This panel delves into the complexities of our multi-faceted lives. Panelists will explore the expectations placed on us by ourselves and others based on age, experiences, and life stages and will reflect on how we navigate changes in both our professional and personal lives. We will pay particular attention to how we can foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for our differences and contribute to creating cultures that help people feel supported at every age and stage of their career.  

11:45-12:55 p.m. – Lunch & Networking Time
Lunch Sponsor: League of Women in Government

Lunch Menu:

  • Tomato Bisque (VEG, G)
  • Tossed Field Green Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Buttermilk Dressing (VEG, G)
  • Caprese Pasta Salad with Mozzarella and Fresh Basil (VEG, G)
  • Salt Rubbed Baked Potatoes (V, VEG, G, DF) with choice of toppings:
    • BBQ Pulled Pork Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, Bacon, Green Onions, and Fried Onions
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (VEG)

V – Vegan   VEG – Vegetarian    G – Gluten-Friendly Ingredients    DF – Dairy free

12:55-1:00 p.m. – Lunch Presentation
Lunch Speaker: Pamela Antil, President, League of Women in Government

1:00-1:45 p.m. – Academic Presentation: "Recognizing and Overcoming Unconscious Bias in Hiring, Performance Evaluation, and Promotion Practices"
Angie Pastorek, Program Manager & Faculty, University of Kansas
Despite many initiatives to recruit, retain and promote women into management and leadership positions, women continue to hold only 13% of city manager roles—a number which has barely budged in decades—and are underrepresented at the top in state and federal government as well. So, what might be the issue here?

Dr. Pastorek will lead us in exploring some of the more prevalent—and powerful—everyday communication climate and organizational culture issues that can serve to limit women’s voices, visibility and advancement in today’s workplaces. She’ll leave us with a better understanding of how to recognize and tackle these biases.

1:45-2:05 p.m. – Yoga
Kristina Clark, Communications Coordinator, KU Public Management Center
You will not need your workout clothes. However, this is one of the reasons why we've announced the conference attire as casual - we want you to be comfortable moving and stretching! (Plus, sometimes heels and suits get in the way of productive head space.)

2:05-2:20 p.m. – Break/Networking
Refreshment Sponsor: GovHR USA

2:20-3:25 p.m. – Panel Discussion: "Leading at ALL Levels"
Panel Moderator: Emily Randel


  • Dianna Wright, Director of Resource Management, City of Olathe, KS
  • Sylvya Stevenson, Budget Analyst, City of Kansas City, MO
  • Andrea Dorch, Division Manager, Human Relations Department, City of Kansas City, MO
  • Caitlin Gard, Assistant Public Works Director, City of Shawnee, KS

In the 21st century, titles do not define leadership. Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends pointed to the need for developing leaders at all levels as a critical issue in today’s rapidly changing workplace. Yet this is an area where many public agencies struggle to adapt their thinking and practices.

This panel will include women from a variety of levels in public organizations. They’ll share their stories about leading from where they are and fostering cultures where people can unleash their passion, ideas and skills. They will highlight challenges they have faced as traditional “leader-follower” cultures are replaced by “leader-leader” cultures and speak to the skills which can help all of us become better leaders—no matter where we are in our organizations—and the skills needed to empower the leaders around us.

3:25-3:40 p.m. – Break/Networking
Refreshment Sponsor: Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, University of Kansas

3:40-4:25 p.m. – Keynote Presentation: "Leadership Redux"
Neeli Bendapudi, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, University of Kansas
In this interactive session, participants will examine select philosophies on leadership from the West and the East and their relevance to today's challenges. We will also explore the additional complexity of being a non-normative leader--the atypical member of a leadership team--a situation facing many women in leadership roles.

4:25-4:30 p.m. – Closing Remarks
Sara Singer, Vice President, IWPA 2017 Conference Chair

4:30 p.m. – Reception & Networking Time
Reception sponsors: City of KCMO, Office of the City Manager
Enjoy hors d'oeuvres and conversations with the new and old friends who’ve been part of this inspiring day. A cash bar will be available.

We very much hope you’ll make plans to stay a while after the conference wraps up! No matter how much we try to build time into the day for connecting with one another, we know from experience that it’s never as much as you’ll want and that there will be conversations you’ll want to continue. We hope you’ll consider arranging your late afternoon responsibilities—if you can—in such a way that you can stay for the reception.

Schedule and speakers are subject to change.

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