Governor's Distinguished Managers Association

About the association

The Governor's Distinguished Management Leadership Awards program was created to formally recognize state government managers who demonstrate outstanding management excellence. Governor Booth Gardner signed Executive Order 91-08 to institutionalize the program. Learn more about the association's history.

2020–21 meeting schedule

  • All meetings are 12–1 p.m. and for at least the remainder of 2020 will be conducted virtually.
  • Speakers’ presentations are from 12:15–1 p.m.
  • Meeting invitations will be sent via an Outlook invitation monthly to members with a link to join virtually.

2020-21 theme: Integrity in Public Service  

Date Speaker
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Mayor Victoria Woodards, City of Tacoma. Mayor Woodards will discuss her experience leading one of the largest cities in Washington. Please bring your questions as the mayor enjoys questions and answers. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Professor Stephen Page, Ph. D., Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington. Dr. Page will walk us through how leadership meets strategy. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Speaker: Justice Steven C. González, Washington State Supreme Court. Justice González will talk about his experience as a justice on Washington’s highest court. 

January 21, 2021

Jason Johnson, Director of Human Services with the City of Seattle. He joined us to talk about his experience leading a large city during Covid-19, an economic downturn, and homelessness. He shared technical vs. adaptive management, how he uses data to create equitable and inclusive outcomes, and some personal history that gives him unique insight into helping those he serves.

February 11, 2021

Renee Smith. If you are a leader in government, whether a supervisor, manager, or executive, or an informal leader by influence, you are facing multiple, unparalleled, and significant challenges all at the same time. Renee Smith will give us some teach us how to support our teams during this challenging time but also how to seek support for yourself.

March 18, 2021

Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck is a dedicated public servant with experience at many levels of government. He has been a small business owner, author, televisions show host, and elected official, bringing together public and private experience. Throughout his career he has faced extraordinary challenges and brought forward creative solutions. During his time with us, he will share his experience and advice on how we can continue to better serve our communities.  

April 7, 2021 

Dr. Anu Taranath, University of Washington, joined us to speak about race, racism, equity and diversity and how to have these conversations. This is a unique opportunity to have a discussion about topics that are happening all around us with a leader in the field.

June 9, 2021 

Governor Jay Inslee joined us to talk about integrity in public service, his leadership philosophy, and what books he is currently reading. 

June 23, 2021

Luisa Perticucci, Founder and Chief Catalyst, Eithos. In this session, we will have a conversation with Luisa Perticucci, the Founder and Chief Catalyst of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most innovative consulting firms specializing in leadership and change. The focus of our conversation will be on how we can use our post-pandemic workplace reset to create a more equitable workplace. 

2020–21 association board members

  • Joshua Johnston, President, Washington State Lottery, 360.810.2878
  • JR Richards, President-Elect, Department of Licensing, 360-280-0430
  • Yvonne Knutson, Secretary/Treasurer, 360-725-0040