Charisse Deschenes, City of Sequim Assistant City Manager, and Allyson Brekke, City of Port Angeles Director of Community and Economic Development, joined with 30 other women from across the state to complete the inaugural year of the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy (NWWLA) on June 7.
The Academy was conducted by the Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) to promote more women into leadership roles in local government; just one out of five top executive roles in local government are held by women.
The academy took place over a 10-month period and included six full days of training with the following focus areas: leadership and ethics; governance structure (legislative bodies and appointed executives); communication strategies and nurturing trust; strategic planning; finance and budgeting; labor relations and negotiations; life-work balance, confidence and self-awareness, and interviewing, resume preparation, and working with recruiters.
“I am grateful to be a part of the first graduation class of the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy and thankful to the leaders in local government who built this program,” Deschenes said.
“NWWLA brought together smart and talented women from different regions of the state with diverse backgrounds. We developed a bond over local government content and acquired friendships through the process.”
“I am forever grateful to the City of Port Angeles and City Manager Nathan West for supporting me in my participation in the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy,” Brekke said.
“It was an incredible experience to study alongside a cohort of professional women who are dedicating their careers to local government. I now have the opportunity to utilize the skills obtained from the Academy in my on-going work with the great community of Port Angeles.”
The Washington City/County Management Association is now in the selection process for the second Academy, set to begin in September.