This past March, I attended two days of Executive Director meetings prior to the 3-day Practice Leadership Conference (PLC) in Washington D.C. Of the 59 state, U.S. states/territories and Canadian provinces that make up the Council of Executives of State and Provincial Psychological Associations (CESPPA), 36 executives were able to attend. As the current recording secretary of the CESPPA Executive Committee it was good to connect with former and new colleagues. State psychological associations have experience a large number of turn around in the past several year due to retirement but mostly to moving on to other opportunities. This trend is troublesome because historical knowledge is often lost without a long transition.
The E.D. meetings discuss best practices and issues facing other state psychological associations. Topics included the use of Technology, Membership Trends, Disaster Response, Telepsychology, legislative and social justice issues.
The theme of this year’s conference was Advocacy and Leadership.
The WSPA delegation to PLC included Dr. Dominika Breedlove – Board President, Dr. Julia Mackaronis – President Elect and ECP Delegate, Dr. David Wiesner – APA Federal Advocacy Coordinator, and Dr. Samantha Slaughter – Director of Professional Affairs.
Two others from Washington state also joined us at various times during PLC. Grad student, Keen Seong Liew, is from Tacoma in the U.S. Navy and currently stationed in Maryland. The second Washingtonian was Jeff McHenry, an I.O. Psychologist from Seattle who was also invited by APA to attend and observe. He is the Chair of the Applied Psychology caucus on the APA Council of Representatives. Dr. McHenry was also a panelist for the workshop Putting Advocacy to Work: Extending Psychology’s’ reach to Business and Industry.
Capitol Hill Visits
The last day of PLC is when attendees go to Capitol Hill and lobby on behalf of APA. The core WSPA delegation split into two teams and we were fortunate to have two WSPA members with FAC experience. The first being our current FAC, Dr. Wiesner who has 15 years as the previous FAC at North Carolina Psych Association, and Dr. Slaughter, our previous FAC who is now our Director of Professional Affairs. Click here to read the Congressional visit update and view photos by Dr. Wiesner.