Here's How to Get Involved with NASCIO with Julie Ellis and Emily Lane

February 22, 2023 NASCIO Episode 89
Here's How to Get Involved with NASCIO with Julie Ellis and Emily Lane
Show Notes Transcript

Alex and Amy sit down with colleagues Julie Ellis (NASCIO's digital communications coordinator) and Emily Lane (NASCIO's programming and brand director) to talk about all the ways NASCIO members (and non-members) can get involved with NASCIO via in-person events, virtual events, forums, committees, resources and more. We even save a little time at the end to learn some new things about each other!

Amy  0:05  
Hi, and welcome to NASCIO Voices where we talk all things state IT. I'm Amy Glasscock, in Lexington, Kentucky. 

Alex  0:11  
And I'm Alex Whitaker in Washington, DC. Today we're talking about all the ways NASCIO members can get involved and stay involved here at NASCIO with two of our colleagues, Emily Lane and Julie Ellis. Our listeners may already know Emily, NASCIO's program and brand director from her many pre-conference episodes. But today, you'll also meet Julie who is our digital communications coordinator. There are a lot of ways for NASCIO members to engage with us. And today we're gonna break it all down for you. Let's get to it. Emily, welcome back. And Julie, welcome to NASCIO voices and thanks for joining us. 

Emily  0:42  
Good morning. Nice to be here. 

Julie  0:43  
Hi, everyone. I'm excited to be here my first time so excited to be on the podcast finally. 

Alex  0:49  
Well, I'm sure it's the first of many, but welcome to both of you. So this episode is a little different than our usual format. But today we're talking about ways to engage from live events, to webinars to publications to our online community. And Julie and Emily are here to talk us all through it. Emily, we get to have you on the podcast twice a year for our big conference previews. So we won't get too into the weeds on that. But remind our listeners what our two big conferences are and who comes to them. 

Yes. So we have the Midyear Conference, which is held in the greater DC area each spring. And then the annual conference rotates throughout the US and it's held each fall. Both of those events follow a very similar format. We start with a welcome reception on a Sunday evening, followed by two full days of programming. So a Monday Tuesday. And then that Wednesday morning, we end with a very casual networking breakfast. So the main difference between those two events is at the annual conference, we host the awards and recognition dinner on Tuesday evening. So related to who attends, you know, our conferences, certainly have a foundation of education and information sharing. They are also designed to foster relationship building. And because of that, we do have some attendee limits to help keep the ratios, let's say kind of healthy and manageable. So there's no limit on the number of attendees that a state can send. all registrants do need to be approved by the state CIO or through that office. And then corporate members can send three attendees, sponsors do receive additional spots, and then all of our other member types can send two attendees. And I probably should have led with NASCIO conferences are open only to members, with very few exceptions, like media or invited guests for our strategic partners. Registration for our Mid Year Conference is right around the corner, it opens on March 1. So if you're interested in the conference, but have any questions related to what I just said, you know, please reach out to the membership team. And we'll get them answered for you. 

Alex  2:58  
Great. And the other thing that I will add is that in addition to these being useful and great for your work life, there also a lot of fun, we have a really good time at these and get to see a lot of folks that we don't get to see in person too much. So I'm highly recommend if you can make one. So those are big main events. And then we also have our Summer Leadership summits for certain groups of state members and our spring fly-in with federal agencies. Talk to me a little bit about virtual events. Julie, what are some of the virtual events that you help organize? 

Yeah, so each month NASCIO hosts a variety of virtual events. These include forums about policy related topics, including privacy and data protection, cybersecurity, and enterprise architecture and governance. These forums are where members can go to learn and discuss specific issues within those areas. And then every quarter NASCIO hosts, women and technology meetings, and other webinars that really focus on providing insight on current issues, leading practices and innovations that are of interest to the state IT community. And then we also do have some member specific events. These include the corporate member exchange, and our state member forum lives. The corporate member exchange is for corporate members. They're held by monthly and they feature insights from state CIOs and their teams. And then our State Member forum lives are exclusive to state members. These are held on kind of more of an ad hoc basis, where there is discussion on kind of a current trending topic at the time, and then open to all members and starting up in March and in April, we are hosting our virtual state CIO panels. During these virtual panels. State CIOs will be grouped by region. They will share their priorities, their challenges and needs and a moderated discussion. And members can view a full list of all the upcoming NASCIO virtual events by logging into the NASCIO community and viewing the event calendar. Great. Okay.

Amy  4:59  
So we have the policy related forums for, as you mentioned, privacy and data protection, Enterprise Architecture and governance and cybersecurity. But Emily, I know you run two other, I believe we call them operational committees. Tell us about those.

Emily  5:16  
Yes, so our working or operational committees are awards and programs, members of the awards committee serve as judges for the state it recognition awards. So if you are someone that likes learning about all the cool stuff happening and state IT, and there's lots of cool stuff, this committee is for you. So I love the awards program. Love that I get to oversee it and review all the nominations that come in, you get to see a variety of stories that often go unrecognized. So the submissions you'll review showcase a really wide range of projects. And I know, I walk away from reading all of them, you're just really inspired by like, what this broad definition of it is, and its role in state government. So if any of that sounds like fun to you, please join the committee. All NASCIO members can participate, I'll issue a call for judges in late March, early April. And that will be announced in our newsletter, our digest that comes out every other week and on the community. So keep your eyes open for that. If you are largely unavailable during June and July, this committee may not be for you, as that is when judging occurs. So if you have a lovely beach vacation during that time, you might not want to sign up for it unless you want to review submissions, you know, from the beach, which is certainly allowable, there aren't meetings, you'll just be reviewing submissions and entering scores and an online platform. So if you want any more details before you volunteer, please reach out to me. And then the programs committee provides guidance on programming for the two annual events that I talked about earlier. So we limit that group to about 20 members. And we balanced the participation based on things like membership type, professional role, attendance at events, if there's been recent participation by the individual or the company, on the committee, things like that. So every November, we'll do a call for volunteers. We evaluate against that criteria, and then the committee gets finalized by December. And then that group serves the entire coming year to help with both the Midyear and Annual conference. So if you're interested, the first time you'll see that call for volunteers would be November of this year. And it's a placement for the 2024 events. 

Amy  7:44  
Great. Okay, so that's super helpful. If people would like want to get more involved, definitely look into those committees. And I should also mention that there are so many great things going on that we highlight with our awards program, as you said, and we've had several award finalists and recipients on the podcast. So go back and look for those too if you're interested to our listeners. So of course NASCIO members are always able to engage with one another 24 hours a day if they wish to on the NASCIO community. Julie, you are the NASCIO online community expert. Tell us about the community and what folks are missing out on if they aren't fully participating there. 

Julie  8:23  
Oh, yeah, so the NASCIO community is NASCIO's members only portal. If your organization is a member of NASCIO, you can request access to the community through the member benefit forum on One of the main features on the community or the segmented discussion forums, we know collaborating and sharing with peers is important to our members. So through the discussion forums, members can pose questions to one another, as well as share lessons learned and best practices. There also is a member directory feature on the community for members to reach out to one another kind of one on one if they prefer. The community also houses the NASCIO event calendar. So on the event calendar members can view all of our upcoming events and they can also RSVP to those. And then the last feature I'll kind of highlight on the community are the resource libraries. Each of our segmented discussion forums have libraries where members can share resources. Then there also is a forum and webcasts library, and this is where members can find the recordings and any resources for any NASCIO member-only virtual event.

Julie  9:35  
And then also I do just want to quickly mention that members can schedule a community overview where I can meet with you either one on one or with your team for a quick tour of the community. You can find the link to schedule a Community Overview meeting on the NASCIO community homepage under the Quick Links section.

Alex  9:53  
Great well so thanks so much, Julie, definitely check out the events calendar regularly because you'll be able to see everything it's available to you by membership type. And speaking of the community and also the website NASCIO has a ton of resources available. Emily, can you tell us about resources that are available to anyone and resources available to NASCIO Members? 

Emily  10:11  
Yes. So on, you'll find a resource center that houses research and issue publication, recordings of webcasts and recordings of certain conference sessions. And all of those are free to access without membership. We also have an awards library at that contains all award entries from the state IT recognition awards for the past five years, also free to access without membership. Both of those, the library and the Resource Center have a lot of filters so you can kind of slice and dice to find exactly what you're looking for. We've tried to make that really easy for people to be able to quickly identify, you know what they're after. In the NASCIO community, again, you'll find the members only resources. So that includes the recordings of the forums and related materials, as well as some compilations for specific member types. Julie covered that really well. So I'll just plug it again, as a reminder, that the community is where you find those things really specific to membership. 

Alex  11:17  
Great, thanks so much. And of course, if you're listening to this, you already should know that the NASCIO podcast is another great resource. By the way, if you've missed any of them, you can find them all by going to But I know there's at least one other thing that we want to plug while we have you guys. So Emily, can you tell us about the engagement survey? 

Emily  11:36  
Yes, we have a survey out right now, to get feedback largely on what members want to see in forums and how they want to consume and interact with publications and resources. When members log into the NASCIO community, they'll see a link to the member engagement survey, under Quick Links, that will be open for a couple more weeks, it'll take you under 10 minutes, probably closer to five. And it helps improve the NASCIO offerings in resources. We love feedback. There's also a lot of just sort of open fields. So if you have something specific in mind that you'd really love to share with us, you know, please go there and share it.

Amy  12:19  
 Okay, well, hopefully everyone is ready to get the most out of their NASCIO membership now. And of course, we'd love to hear your thoughts. If you are a NASCIO member and you haven't yet taken the engagement survey, please take it. We're always striving to serve our members in the best ways that work best for them. So, before we let you go, we're going to have a very quick ... lightning round. I would like everyone to just say one fun fact about yourself that people may not know. So Julie, let's start with you. 

Julie 12:50  
Okay, so one fun fact I have is a hobby that me and my husband do. So we actually build and we refurbish furniture. So we've probably built or redone about 13 pieces, I think in our own home. And then we've built a few pieces for friends and family. 

Amy  13:07  
Cool did not know that. 

Alex  13:08  
I didn't know that either. 

Emily  13:09  
I didn't either. 

Amy  13:10  
Alright, Emily.

Emily  13:12  
So I love to travel. And that's not necessarily a fun fact on its own. But I've been to the smallest two countries. So Vatican City and Monaco. 

Amy   13:22  
Cool. I've been to Lichtenstein. That has to be up there. It was a small country. 

Alex  13:27  
Well, I learned the name of the capital of Liechtenstein when I was like 12, and I've never forgotten it. 

Emily  13:33  
That's a fun fact. 

Alex  13:33  
I won't count it as my fun fact. My fun fact is, I like to run marathons, and I'm running the Marine Corps Marathon in DC in October and it will be my fifth time running it. So I'm very excited for that. 

Emily  13:46  
Wow, lightning. I didn't know that. 

Amy  13:48  
I didn't either.

Amy  13:50  
Yeah. Okay. My fun fact is this is I don't know how interesting this is to people outside of the state of Kentucky. But so when I was in high school, I was an intern at a local TV station. And the producer asked my friend and I had to come up with ideas for a nickname for the city of Atlanta because the University of Kentucky men's basketball team was going to be playing in the SEC tournament in Atlanta. And the year before or maybe a couple years before it had been in Nashville and we called it Mashville because of our star player, Jamal Mashburn at the time, so we thought and thought and then I was like, well, our mascot is the Wildcats so let's call it Catlanta. And we thought it was kind of silly. But to this day for Kentucky fans Catlanta has stuck and a couple years ago my husband even got me a t shirt that said Catlanta on it. That was for sale. So I invented Catlanta. 

Emily  14:46  
Oh, well right. Now you're to blame.

Amy  14:50  
I know. 

Alex  14:52  
All right. Well, that wraps things up. I'm glad we could learn some new facts about about ourselves. But thanks Julie and Emily for taking the time to talk with us.

Julie  15:00  
We really appreciate it. Thanks for having us, Alex and Amy. 

Emily  15:04  
Yeah, exciting to share all the things happening in NASCIO.

Thanks again for listening to NASCIO Voices. NASCIO Voices is a production of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers or NASCIO. 

And if you're a NASCIO member, registration for our Midyear conference in National Harbor, Maryland opens on March 1. 

Amy  15:22  
Hope to see you there.