Past GDMA speakers

2020-21 theme: Integrity in Public Service

2019-20 theme: Voice of the Customer

  • Meg Meghann, Department of Licensing Deputy Director
  • Wendy Fraser, Fraser Consulting
  • Amy Leneker, Leadership Consultant
  • Lori Pfingst, Senior Director, Poverty Council, DSHS
  • Joe Vansycle, Leadership Development and Coaching


  • Dr. Gene Sharratt, Executive Director of the OSPI/AESD Association Initiatives Network
  • Betty Lochner, Cornerstone Coaching and Training
  • State Treasurer Duane Davidson
  • Amy Leneker, Leadership Development Consultant with Compass Consulting
  • Jody Becker, MSW, PhD, Deputy Secretary of Programs for Children and Families
  • Greg Youtz, Professor of Music at PLU
  • Ingrid Walker, PhD, Associate Professor of American Studies in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington
  • Hollie Jensen, Results Washington


  • Peter Jekel, DOR, Chief Information Security Officer
  • Don Bennett, WSAC Deputy Director
  • Renée Smith, MSOD, Lean Transformation Services Director, Department of Enterprise Services
  • Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib
  • WSP Chief John R. Batiste
  • Dr. Timothy Stokes, President of SPSCC
  • ​Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst

2016-2017 - Theme: “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders”

  • Joe Piscatella, author, PBS television host, and national expert on heart health presents: “Managing Chronic Stress in a Multi-Tasking World”
  • Michael Jackson, Seattle Seahawks Most Valuable Player and University of Washington All-Centennial Football Team and Hall of Fame presents: “Encore Careers”
  • Dr. Terryl Ross, Director of Diversity for University of Washington-Bothell presents: “Confessions of a Chief Diversity Officer: A Life Committed to Leadership & Diversity”
  • Dr. Wendy Fraser, owner of Fraser Consulting and the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Instructor for the University of Washington-Tacoma presents: “Exploring Authentic Leadership in Public Service”
  • Craig Mills, Regional Operations Manager for Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers presents: “Leadership Throughout the Lineup”
  • David Postman, Governor Inslee’s Chief of Staff shares reflections and personal stories of leadership and public service
  • Helen Thayer: the first woman to solo the magnetic North Pole presents: “Polar Dream Adventure”
  • Jessica Spring and Chandler O’Leary, nationally acclaimed artists present: “Dead Feminists”

2015-2016 - Theme: “Leading through Change”

  • Vikki Smith, Director, Department of Revenue
  • Linea Laird, Assistant Secretary, Department of Transportation
  • Michael Cockrill, Director, WaTech
  • Rick Garza, Director, Liquor Control Board
  • Marty Brown, Executive Director, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
  • Panel presentation by David Sorrell, Revenue Chief Information Officer (CIO); Vel Rajagopal, Licensing Deputy CIO; and Lisa Kissler, Employment Security Deputy CIO

2014-2015 - Theme: “Practical Lessons in Leadership, with a focus on Lean”

  • Chris Liu, Director, Department of Enterprise Services
  • Larry D. Hebert, Director, Forensic Laboratory Services Bureau Washington State Patrol
  • Pat Kohler, Director, Department of Licensing
  • Joel Sacks, Director, Department of Labor and Industries
  • Auditor Troy Kelley, Washington State Auditor
  • Brett Cooper, Integris Performance Advisors
  • Bill Hanson, Director, Lottery Commission
  • Kevin Quigley, Secretary, Department of Social and Health Services

2012-2013 - Theme “Leading in the 21st Century”

  • Governor Chris Gregorie
  • Mary Alice Heuschel, Governor’s Chief of Staff
  • Sam Reed, Secretary of State
  • Ted Sturdevant, Director, Department of Ecology
  • Chief Ron Roberts, Olympia Police Department
  • Anita Paige, Sr. Vice President, The Edge Advisory Group

2011-2012 - Theme “Managing through Difficult Times”

  • Randy Dorn, Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Alan Haight, Director Department of Licensing
  • John Lee, Director Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Lowell Porter, Director Washington State Traffic Commission
  • Joyce Turner, Director Department of Enterprise Services
  • Brian Moran, Chief Deputy, Attorney General’s Office
  • Carole Washburn, Deputy Director of Operations, Labor and Industries
  • Allene Mares, Assistant Security, Prevention and Community Health, Department of Health


  • Susan Dreyfus, Secretary, DSHS
  • Paula Hammond, Secretary, Department of Transportation
  • Paul Trause, Commissioner, Employment Security Department
  • Brian Sonntag, State Auditor, State Auditor’s Office
  • Eva Santos, Director Department of Personnel
  • Chief John Batiste, State Patrol
  • Dr. Arun Raha, Chief Economist, Economic and Revenue Forecast Council
  • Scott Seaman, Principal, Tumwater High School


  • Jay Manning, Governor’s Chief of State
  • Chief Justice Gerry Alexander – Reflections of a Soon to be Retired Justice
  • Linda Bremer, Director, General Administration and Tony Tortorice, Director, DIS – Shared Services
  • Wolfgang Optiz, Assistant Treasurer, Office of the State Treasurer
  • Dr. Arun Raha, Chief Economist, Economic and Revenue Forecast Council
  • John Erickson , Department of Health and Sandy Stewart, Personnel
  • Glen Hiemstra, Futurist


  • Robin Arnold-Williams, Governor’s Policy Office
  • Eldon Vail, Secretary, Department of Corrections
  • Paula Hammond, Secretary, Department of Transportation
  • Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands
  • Karen Lee, Commissioner, Employment Security
  • Josh Baldi, Department of Ecology, Puget Sound
  • Karen Hardy, WorkSource, Supported Employment