Washington City/County Management Association


WCMA News  
April 2024

President’s Message

Stephanie LucashHappy Spring, WCMA members!  I am halfway through my year as your WCMA President, and it has been a fantastic experience so far.  As I write this message, I have just returned from Seaside, Oregon, where I attended the 2024 Northwest Regional Managers Conference.  Here is a photo of me with OCCMA President Dan Huff as we closed out the conference together.

The Oregon team did a great job with the conference, which included sessions on Artificial Intelligence, mentorship and career development, tourism, camping ordinances, and other management and leadership topics.   Torrential rain didn’t stop us from enjoying a guided beach tour at Haystack Rock (see photo of me and Martha Bennett below), but it did lead to cancellation of the annual Washington vs. Oregon volleyball game – we’ll take back the trophy next year, Oregon! 

The WCMA Board of Directors has been hard at work.  There are a few board changes to report.  Will Ibershof moved to Oregon, so Rich Huebner became Incoming President a year early, Laura Philpot was voted in as Vice President, and John Mauro was voted in as our newest board member. 

I am thrilled to report that the new packaged memberships are a big success.  Our membership is up 25% over last year’s annual total, and it is only April.  Welcome to our new WCMA members - we are so happy to have you with us!  Thank you to every member who is mentoring and growing other leaders in their organization and encouraging them to join the WCMA.  Who are you mentoring?

I am excited to see the results of the first-ever Census of the Profession in Washington State.  I appreciate everyone who participated in the census. We are partnering with Tripepi Smith as they compile the census results into a report which will be presented at the WCMA summer conference in Wenatchee, August 13-16, 2024. Mark your calendars now!

The conference committee is hard at work.  The summer conference theme is Innovation and Disruption and it will be a terrific opportunity to learn together and network. I encourage you to bring your new Associate Member(s) with you to the conference. We are excited to announce that the Association of Washington Cities has agreed to be the WCMA’s first-ever Year-Long Sponsor.  The AWC is an incredible partner and we look forward to helping our members learn more about the amazing resources, training, and support the AWC has to offer.  We are also looking forward to hosting a delegation of Polish local government leaders at the conference and to introducing them to this wonderful community. If you are interested in helping out with the summer conference, please contact Rich Huebner or Laura Philpot.

Rich will also be chairing the WCMA’s upcoming 2024 Board Nominating Committee.  The WCMA Board will have openings at both the Full Member and Associate Member levels this year.  I encourage all WCMA members to consider running for a seat on the board. It is a very busy but fulfilling experience and is legacy work.  Contact Rich Huebner if you are interested in running for a seat on the board.

We are partnering closely with the Evans School at the University of Washington on a couple of exciting projects. The first is a local government certificate program, which we hope to roll out in 2025. The 15-credit program would be a stand-alone certificate or could be parlayed into a Master of Public Administration degree; the target audience are up and coming local government leaders.  The other UW collaboration is with a group of graduate students who are working on a capstone project to tell the value proposition of the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy (NWWLA).  The group is surveying all NWWLA graduates and conducting focus groups and interviews.  They will share their findings and final report with the WCMA board at the summer conference in Wenatchee.

In other news, recruitment for NWWLA Cohort #6 will open on April 26 and close on May 27.  Think about women and nonbinary individuals in your city or county who would be good candidates for the Academy and encourage them to apply.  Your endorsement and support makes all the difference.  Here is the NWWLA's 2024 recruitment page with more information.

Speaking of support, the first quarter of 2024 has brought transitions for several of our members.  As WCMA President, I want every member in transition, or any member facing a challenging time, to know that I, and the rest of the WCMA community, are here to support you.  This profession is not for the faint of heart, and these situations are difficult, but you are not alone.  I would also direct any member facing a transition to the wonderful resources available through the International City/County Management Association’s Members in Transition Program.  Please reach out to me at slucash@kenmorewa.gov or  message me on LinkedIn. I am here for you and you will get through this.

Other board priorities include regional board responsibilities (contact is Eric Holmes), membership value and communications (contact is Leslie Harris) emerging leaders (contact is Rich Huebner), and the WCMA/AWC partnership (contacts are Laura Philpot and Deanna Dawson).  Questions about the AWC Board and work should go to me  and Kristi Rowland).  The WCMA is also supporting the work of the Local Government Hispanic Network (contact is Maritza Davis) and the International Network of Asian Public Administrators (contacts are Senior Advisor Ray Corpuz and Bucoda Warren).