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City of Sequim Assistant City Manager Charisse Deschenes and City of Port Angeles Director of Community and Economic Development Allyson Brekke, along with 30 other women from across the state, completed the inaugural year of the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy (NWWLA) on June 7, 2019. The Academy was conducted by the Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) to promote more women into leadership roles in local government. Currently one out of five top executive roles in local government are held by women.
The Academy took place over a ten-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
• Interviewing, resume preparation, and working with recruiters
WCMA is currently in the selection process for the second Academy, scheduled to begin in September.
“I am grateful to be a part of the first graduation class of the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy (NWWLA) and thankful to the leaders in local government who built this program. 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,” said Sequim Assistant City Manager Charisse Deschenes.
“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. 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,” said Port Angeles Director of Community and Economic Development Allyson Brekke.