February 13, 2024 •
We are now into the month of February, a month that arguably is considered by many to be thought of as the month of Love! While I may agree with this notion as it relates to familial or romantic love, […]
We are now into the month of February, a month that arguably is considered by many to be thought of as the month of Love! While I may agree with this notion as it relates to familial or romantic love, I also believe that February can also be the month where we begin to focus on L.O.V.E. as it relates to: Laughter; Opportunity; Voice; and Exchange.
LAUGHTER — I personally seek out every chance to break out into a hearty laugh! Laughter (when used appropriately) can relieve stress, break the ice in a seemingly tense situation, and just all around makes us feel good! Remind yourself to share a good laugh with someone, or even just laugh with (or at) yourself!
OPPORTUNITY — Take advantage of every one that comes your way! Whether this be attending a professional development conference, taking on a greater job role, or joining a committee or board, you never know what greatness will come from the chance for you to strengthen your skills and build stronger relationships.
VOICE – Be sure to allow your voice to be heard! Speak up and contribute during meetings and make sure that you are showing up for others. Allyship is still in style, so be sure to let someone know how much you value and support them!
EXCHANGE – In today’s polarizing world, an exchange of ideas amongst people can quickly escalate into a volatile situation. This noted, I still welcome opportunities to engage in dialogue with people who do not always look or think like me! I can always learn something new from someone, and to me, it is still one of the best ways to foster a connection, so why not seize these moments and discover how much you really may have in common with someone you at one time considered as “the other”?
I wish you all of the best this L.O.V.E. month – go forth and progress!
January 18, 2024 •
The new year has now arrived, and I am already too excited about the learning, development, and engagement opportunities that may come my way in 2024! In relation to engagement, I have been thinking about ways that I can continue […]
The new year has now arrived, and I am already too excited about the learning, development, and engagement opportunities that may come my way in 2024! In relation to engagement, I have been thinking about ways that I can continue to build even stronger and more meaningful connections with people this year, because let’s face it, in such a time as is the current state of our nation, cherishing connections with your family, friends, colleagues, and your community (as well as fostering new connections) is as important now as ever before!
I have been thinking about some different ways I can strengthen my connections portfolio, and I stumbled upon an online article by Dex which focuses on the “10 Sure-fire Ways to Build Life Lasting Personal Connections”. The article featured the following great tips (you’ll have to read the article to get the inside specifics!) for building and strengthening meaningful connections:
- Have a Wide Scope
- Engage Repeatedly
- Give Back
- Develop your Listening
- Remember Names
- Stay Put
- Don’t Forget to Look Up
- Show Up
- Keep Your Promises
- Be Authentic
As you can tell, making, strengthening, and keeping meaningful connections takes some effort and intentionality, but the rewards will be totally worth it! I am looking forward to diving in and seeing how many of these tips I can put into action right away! Please do let me know how your journey to greater connecting is coming along – and a Happy New Year to you!
State and Federal Communications works to create, implement, and sustain a culture of DEI by incorporating practices into the company’s leadership activity, dialogue, hiring, policies, and communications. Learn more about our commitment at https://stateandfed.com/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/.
October 26, 2023 •
I have been reading a great deal lately about DEI practitioners being able to make the business case for why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) should be part of the overall framework of any organization. Businesses oftentimes tie success to […]
I have been reading a great deal lately about DEI practitioners being able to make the business case for why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) should be part of the overall framework of any organization.
Businesses oftentimes tie success to a variety of factors — from rising profits to increased customer or client engagement — so is it any wonder why CEO’s would question how DEI initiatives stand to help their company’s bottom line? Rest assured – there are more than a few answers to this question…
An online article by Forbes that I discovered recently featured a number of its Business Development Council Members discussing why DEI is essential to business development success. From leveraging the best talents to fostering innovation and increasing better customer and client engagement, the benefits of DEI become increasingly clear.
August 24, 2023 •
This month will mark the observance of National Women’s Equality Day. Recognized each year on August 26th (in the United States since 1971), National Women’s Equality Day, “…commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment…and calls attention to women’s continuing efforts […]
This month will mark the observance of National Women’s Equality Day. Recognized each year on August 26th (in the United States since 1971), National Women’s Equality Day, “…commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment…and calls attention to women’s continuing efforts towards full equality.” [National Women’s History Alliance]
As this day approaches, I think about all of the great women that exist in the world, striving and thriving every day to make even just a small difference – in their homes, their workplaces and in their communities! I take a second pause to especially think about and honor the amazing group of women clients whom I have the privilege of assisting with their federal compliance needs. Whether lobbying on Capitol Hill or at one of Federal agencies, these women are “getting it done”, and it is a privilege to be able to have a little bit of “insight” into the amazing work that each is able to do on behalf of their clients and their own organizations!
This August (and year-round!), do recognize all of the amazing women at your organizations and within your networks — mentor them, advocate on their behalf, and help to sponsor their continuing professional growth and development. We all know that when women strive and thrive, so do their surroundings, and so I encourage you to lift up the women in your circles and “high five” them at every opportunity – Do reach out and let me know who is striving and thriving where you are!
June 22, 2023 •
By the end of June, I will have experienced the pleasure of immersing myself in all things DEI twice during this month – first, while attending the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2023 Annual Conference and then later on […]
By the end of June, I will have experienced the pleasure of immersing myself in all things DEI twice during this month – first, while attending the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2023 Annual Conference and then later on in the month when I’ll be attending Women in Government Relations (WGR) 4th Annual DEI Summit!
I began attending SHRM’s Annual Conference last year, in an effort to “check-out” their DEI content track of which I had heard great things about – I was sold! Lots of great sessions with engaging speakers on a number of DEI topics, in addition to the Conference Bookstore which housed a plethora of resources and swag! As for WGR, well, let’s just say that I am all in for DEI, currently in my final month as the Chair of the DEI Committee – it’s been an awesome experience! The DEI Summit is one of a kind, and I can say from being on this year’s planning committee that this is an event you won’t want to miss!
I mention both the SHRM Conference and the WGR DEI Summit as examples of ways that I am continuing my learning, growth, and engagement as I move along in my DEI journey. Many have heard me proclaim that there are no “one and done efforts” when it comes to embracing DEI – this is lifelong! Finding professional development opportunities that focus on DEI content is just one way that you can get out of your comfort zone and begin to think about things, view (and embrace people) through a DEI lens…
What professional development opportunities are on your radar for this month? Look for me both virtually & in-person at the WGR DEI Summit here in Washington, DC! #StateandFedDEI
May 24, 2023 •
Do you remember that old saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers?” Well, some of the most beautiful flowers that I’ve ever seen can be found blossoming in the month of May! Flowers are so extraordinary, each one with its own […]
Do you remember that old saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers?” Well, some of the most beautiful flowers that I’ve ever seen can be found blossoming in the month of May! Flowers are so extraordinary, each one with its own beauty and uniqueness — this is also how the staff here at State and Federal Communications feel about the clients that we work with each and every day!
We love and respect the fact that we have a variety of different clients that we serve – all different sizes, industries, focuses — made up of diverse groups of lobbyists and other government affairs professionals whom trust us every day with their compliance needs.
No two clients are alike, and we pride ourselves on making sure that here are State and Federal Communications, we are adaptable to each of our client’s needs.
We ensure that we are responsive, knowledgeable and thorough, all while not being afraid to offer some “tough love” in the name of keeping our clients fully abreast of continuous changes in the lobbying laws, and compliant with all of their registrations and filings!
We embrace uniqueness at State and Federal Communications, so to all of our wonderful clients, we say never stop being you – we love you for it!
March 17, 2023 •
A few weeks ago, I was scrolling on LinkedIn (as I often do) and came upon a post by Rhodes Perry of Rhodes Perry Consulting. It featured a graphic depicting “What people think DEI issues are vs. What DEI issues […]
A few weeks ago, I was scrolling on LinkedIn (as I often do) and came upon a post by Rhodes Perry of Rhodes Perry Consulting. It featured a graphic depicting “What people think DEI issues are vs. What DEI issues actually are”. I thought it was a great illustration, and it got me thinking about how I always say that DEI is more than just talking about race and gender, or just doing a bunch of “check the box” activities that are neither authentic nor sustainable.
I will include the link to the post and the graphic towards the end of this blog, but before I do, I just want to highlight a few of the things that were mentioned in the “What DEI issues actually are” section of the graphic that I thought were pretty interesting – these include: “Managing fatigue, overwhelm, cynicism, & shame”; “Preparing companies for changing demographics & disruptive trends; and “Equipping C-suite with inclusive leadership skills”. I think these are great examples of another thing that I always say about DEI – it’s a lifelong journey of learning, engagement and reflection!
The link to the post and graphic are here: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/rhodesperry_belongingmovement-activity-6947674350355402752-nx6c?utm_source=linkedin_share&utm_medium=ios_app. I invite you to consider what DEI means to you, and send me a list of some additional things that you would include in the “What DEI issues actually are” category? I will compile the list and include it in a future blog – see you next time!
March 16, 2023 •
A few weeks ago, one of my WGR DEI Committee Members reached out to myself and the other members of my DEI Leadership Team to get some advice on how to handle an uncomfortable but crucial conversation that she needed […]
A few weeks ago, one of my WGR DEI Committee Members reached out to myself and the other members of my DEI Leadership Team to get some advice on how to handle an uncomfortable but crucial conversation that she needed to have with another person in her professional circle. As it turns out, the conversation that the DEI Committee Member had with the other person went well, and they both are now on the same page about how to move forward!
This experience prompted be to begin thinking about the value that occurs when uncomfortable but crucial conversations actually take place! I believe that oftentimes apprehension about having a crucial conversation stems from how you believe the other person may “show up” to the conversation (e.g. with a closed-mind or angry/dismissive). It is important, however, to approach each uncomfortable but crucial conversation with both an open mind and heart. A good number of conversations turn out to be a positive experience, with both parties at the very least getting on equal footing, and coming to a place of shared understanding.
The next time those anxious or negative thoughts jump into your mind related to your next uncomfortable but crucial conversation, consider the “glass half full” scenario and come to your conversation with no pre-conceived notions and a willingness to yourself be fair and open-minded!
February 16, 2023 •
Valentine’s Day was this week, and it’s a day officially designated for all things love – love for our partners, our families, our friends, our colleagues, our communities… What does it mean, however, to love “DEI-Style?” For me, loving DEI-Style […]
Valentine’s Day was this week, and it’s a day officially designated for all things love – love for our partners, our families, our friends, our colleagues, our communities… What does it mean, however, to love “DEI-Style?”
For me, loving DEI-Style requires one to:
L – Learn: Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and really take the time to learn the essence of someone in your circle; carve out the time and space needed to make a true, meaningful connection with this person!
O – Own: Be willing to own your fears and unconscious biases and accept the fact that you are a work in progress!
V – Voice: Be willing to use your voice as a tool for allyship, empowerment, and change!
E – Experience: Be willing to experience the joys of connection, recognizing that through the highs and the lows, love should always be the constant!
Humans love in many ways and in many forms, and in light of our most recent Valentine’s Day, I invite you to think about how you love and what love really means to you – how are you loving DEI-Style?
January 26, 2023 •
Happy New Year! Here we are now in 2023, and one of the many things that I want to continue to focus on is building connections! One of the things that I love about working at State and Federal Communications […]
Happy New Year!
Here we are now in 2023, and one of the many things that I want to continue to focus on is building connections!
One of the things that I love about working at State and Federal Communications is the multitude of opportunities that I get to meet and interact with our clients! Not only do I get to assist them with their lobbying compliance needs, but I also get a chance to see them oftentimes at various conferences and events – great ways to continue to get to know them and develop relationships! It’s awesome when I finally get to meet our clients in person (“putting faces to names”) — the familiarity of the interactions begins to stick, and (hopefully) a camaraderie will begin to grow over the course of time…
I believe the same can also be said for just meeting people in general! I attend a good number of conferences and events throughout the year, and my goal for 2023 will be to make at least one (hopefully more!) connection [particularly with someone who does not look like me] everywhere I show up! This isn’t always the “comfortable” thing to do putting yourself out there, but the personal rewards obtained from developing meaningful connections far outweigh the fight for me to try and stay in my comfort zone!
What’s your goals for 2023? Hopefully, they too will include making greater connections and forging stronger bonds! I will be sure to check in and let you know how it’s going!
December 15, 2022 •
December is now upon us, and as everyone is in the midst of work, family and holiday season obligations, it is important to take some time this month to get into “PRO” mode in preparation for 2023. What is PRO […]
December is now upon us, and as everyone is in the midst of work, family and holiday season obligations, it is important to take some time this month to get into “PRO” mode in preparation for 2023. What is PRO mode, you ask? Well:
P is for Planning – December is a great time to take a look back at your planning strategies for this year and make some tweaks to get yourself ready for 2023! Do you typically put off work projects, travel plans or other things on your “to do” list until the very last minute, no doubt causing you stress and anxiety? Assess why this is the case and think about some ways that you might be able to improve your “tackling that list” timing!
R is for Reflecting – December is also a great time to begin reflecting upon the current year: What were your wins or significant accomplishments? What were your challenges? Who were the people this year whom were your greatest allies, and whom made the biggest impact on you? What are your goals for 2023?
O is for Organizing – Remember those goals for 2023 that’s now on your radar? December is a great time to start organizing to set yourself up for achieving those goals! Maybe you get yourself a new planner and some colorful pens for writing down your next steps? Or, maybe you begin decluttering your home or office space in preparation for the new year and a new outlook?!
As you prepare for 2023, don’t forget to also take the time to reach out to those in your circle and ask them how they plan to get into “PRO” mode for 2023? I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season, and all the best for the coming year!
November 11, 2022 •
During this upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, many family members and friends will gather around a dinner table, and right before they dig in for a scrumptious meal, they will profess at least one person, place, thing, and/or idea for which they […]
During this upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, many family members and friends will gather around a dinner table, and right before they dig in for a scrumptious meal, they will profess at least one person, place, thing, and/or idea for which they are grateful. I ask, however, why we should wait for a particular time of the year to show (and acknowledge) gratitude?
I would argue that in an ideal world, gratitude would be just a routine part of everyone’s daily existence; no hidden agendas, just opportunities to recognize the life influences that support and challenge us, and that remind us that there is a greater good that exists when we take the time to stop and reflect! I would like to take the time now to proclaim that I am grateful for the following: my family and friends whom are treasured near and far; my employer and industry colleagues whom continue to inspire me every day; the clients, whom continue to trust us with their Federal, State, and International compliance needs; and for the many opportunities and life lessons that have come my way over the past 52 years – some were welcomed; others I raised an eyebrow to, but overall, each of these have made me the person I am today, and so for all of these, I am grateful!
I invite you to take a moment each day to acknowledge the persons, places, things, and ideas for which you are grateful — and, while you’re at it, take the time to also show some gratitude to others! It’ll bring a smile to your face (and hey, who doesn’t love a good smile?).
October 13, 2022 •
October, as with many of the months, recognizes several observances – one of which I just recently found out is National Mentoring Day (October 27th). This began me thinking about my own journey towards mentorship, which first began with me […]
October, as with many of the months, recognizes several observances – one of which I just recently found out is National Mentoring Day (October 27th). This began me thinking about my own journey towards mentorship, which first began with me loudly professing in my head that “I’m not sure I have the qualifications to be anyone’s mentor?”. Fast forward to today, and I have realized that not only do I have the qualifications, but there is a “plus” in that mentees themselves also bring something to the table!
Mentees (like their mentors) have unique work/life experiences and perspectives that make for the ultimate “teachable moments”, and just as your mentee may gain some valuable advice, a different outlook, or a great job lead, so too can you gain all of these things – and more! I have had the opportunity to participate in a few mentoring programs over the years, and they were wonderful experiences that culminated with great friendships being made which continue to blossom! Not to say that every mentor-mentee experience turns out to be a positive one, but more often than not, the reward that comes from mentorship is priceless!
So, I say to you – the next time you have an opportunity to be a mentor to someone, get out of your own head and seize the opportunity – you are definitely the mentor you were born to be!
September 29, 2022 •
A time for many that is marked by a return to work from that much needed summer vacation, as well as preparation for the multitude of conferences and other events that are taking place throughout the country. Here at State […]
A time for many that is marked by a return to work from that much needed summer vacation, as well as preparation for the multitude of conferences and other events that are taking place throughout the country.
Here at State and Federal Communications, staff professional development is a priority for our President & CEO Elizabeth Bartz, who makes it a point of offering to ALL staff members a variety of opportunities for learning, networking and connection. It is especially rewarding when we get the chance to engage with our clients at these events – what a wonderful way to continue to strengthen relationships!
This month, you’ll see various State and Federal Communications’ staff members attending: Practicing Law Institute’s Corporate Political Activities 2022; Public Affairs Council’s State and Local Government Relations Conference; and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 2022 Annual Legislative Conference.
In addition to in-person gatherings, State and Federal Communications’ staff also participates in a number of online events throughout the year – we are always seizing opportunities to know more, particularly about the subjects we love the most – ethics and lobbying compliance!
I do hope that professional development is a priority for your organization, and that you are not only encouraged to take full advantage of these unique opportunities yourself, but that you are also an advocate for your colleagues’ professional development as well! A well-rounded employee (no matter their level within an organization) is a huge asset to any company – we look forward to seeing you out and about this month!
What are you doing today to help create change within your organization?
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.