Meeting Information

Included below are meeting materials provided for public sharing by session speakers. Not all presentations made during seesions are available for public sharing. If you are looking for information not included below, please contat CSG West staff at


Annual Meeting Photo Book



     Tuesday, September 11







  Women in Politics


Attendees participated in a discussion on the real-life benefits of diversity in government and politics. Patricia Jones, CEO of Women's Leadership Institute and 14-year veteran of the Utah legislature, guided the conversation beyond a zero-sum issue to explore the advantages organizations and companies report due to increased diversity, such as improved performance, innovation, and better financial outcomes.



The Political Imperative of Women

  • Patricia Jones, CEO, Women's Leadership Institute


Panel Conversation: Diversity Through the Lens of Personal Experience

  • Representative Cheryl Acton, Utah
  • Representative Polly Lawrence, Colorado
  • Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, Nevada
  • Senator Bill Soules, New Mexico


Voices from the Past

  • Jen Christensen, Better Days 2020



     Wednesday, September 12







  International Program: The Meaning of Brexit


The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union is the pre-eminent issue in European affairs. Dr. Matt Beech, Founding Director of the Centre for British Politics at University of Hull and Senior Fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, spoke with attendees to explain the meaning of Brexit, and analyz the implications for U.S. western states.


The Meaning of Brexit

  • Dr. Matt Beech, Senior Fellow, Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkley




  States Leading the Way: Occupational Licensure Compacts and Reform


This panel examined the evolution and current use of interstate compacts, discussed their history, and examined the scope of interstate problems that states now tackle through compacts. The panel also looked at the rising use of occupational licensure compacts, particularly in the healthcare sector, to achieve professional licensure portability and reciprocity and the potential impacts on America’s workforce.  The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of licensed occupations has risen from 5 percent of the U. S. workforce in the 1950s to about a quarter of the workforce today.  Navigating the various state licensing requirements can pose a significant challenge for workers due to different rules, regulations, and fee structures.  Interstate compacts allow states to work collaboratively across state lines to bring resolution to some of America’s most pressing issues with innovation and a unified voice.


  • Dan Logsdon, Manager, National Center for Interstate Compacts, The Council of State Governments




Soronen Presentation


  U.S. Supreme Court: Assessing the Implications for Western States


Lisa Soronen, Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center, facilitated a conversation about the U.S. Supreme Court’s last term. With rulings on internet sales tax, union dues, the travel ban, partisan gerrymandering, and a number of First Amendment cases, the court’s decisions will have ramifications for states for decades to come. Helping attendees look forward, Lisa discussed cases of interest that will be decided during the court’s next term and possible future grants, well as the impact of Justice Kennedy’s retirement on the states.


  • Lisa Soronen, Executive Director, State & Local Legal Center




Robinson Presentation


Lessard Presentation 



  North America Summit IX


Attendees joined a discussion on the status of the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) re-negotiations and how Atlanticism - the belief in or support for a close relationship between the United States, Canada, and Europe regarding political, economic, and defense issues - is changing in today’s political climate.



  • Dr. Sherman Robinson, Ph.D, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Peterson Insitiute for International Economics


NAFTA Renegotiations vis-a-vis Canada

  • Consul General Stephane Lessard, Consulate General of Canada in Denver, Governemnt of Canada


NAFTA Renegotiations vis-a-vis Mexico

  • Antonio Ortiz-Mena, Senior Vice-President, Albight Stonebridge Group


Alberta's Trade Relations with the U.S. and Mexico

  • MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas, Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Co-Chair, CSG West Canada Relations Committee


U.S.-U.K. Relations in the Era of Trump and Brexit: A New Atlanticism?

  • Dr. Matt Beech, Senior Fellow, Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkley




Madrid-Davis Presentation


Parker Presentation


Weiler Presentation


Wakefield Presentation - Regalatory Process Improvement


Wakefield Presentation - Tax Incentives


  Finance & Economic Development Committee


Facing a wave of retirees without sufficient savings, states are working to identify options to boost citizen saving efforts. To assist in this process, the Finance and Economic Development Committee heard from a panel of experts discussing opportunities and known successes. The Committee also reviewed ways that states determin economic development incentives to attract businesses and how to ensure accountability of recipient businesses. Committee members also shared related successes and challenges their states have faced.


How Can States Encourage Residents to Save for Retirement?

  • Gerri Madrid-Davis, Director, Financial Security & Consumer Affairs State Advocacy & Strategy Integration, Government Affairs, AARP
  • Michael Parker, Executive Director, Oregon Savings Network
  • Senator Mark Mullet, Washington
  • Senator Todd Weiler, Utah


Economic Development Incentives: Holding Businesses Accountable and Protecting Taxpayers

  • Alison Wakefield, Associate Manager, Government Performance, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Additional speaker TBD


State Strategies to Help Businesses Launch and Expand

  • Alison Wakefield, Associate Manager, Government Performance, The Pew Charitable Trusts



     Thursday, September 13





Oliveira Handout





  State & Federal Relations Committee


In its ongoing look at improving the process surrounding state consultation, the State and Federal Relations Committee used recent events in Hawaii as a case study - a citizen notification that the state was under a missile attack, and the eruption of the Kilauea volcanoOfficials from the State of Hawaii Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a representative from the California legislature explored the state consultation process for both natural and non-natural crises. 


State Consultation: No Notice Disaster Events and the Federal Government

  • Brigadier General Bruce Oliveira, Hawaii State Department of Defense, Community Programs Director


State Consultation: Natural Disasters, Response, Recovery, and the Federal Government

  • Stacie Greff, External Affairs Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Kris Hamlet, Director Utah Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management
  • Joe Dougherty, Public Information Officer for the Utah Division of Emergency Management
  • Assemblymember Marc Levine (CA), Co-Chair, Select Committee on Natural Disaster Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding





Lessard Presentation


Easter Presentation


State Trade Fact Sheets







  Canada Relations Committee


With talks of tariffs dominating the newspaper headlines, the United States and Canada face a situation that has not been broached in recent history. The Committee hosted a conversation about the current state of relations between these long-standing allies and the impact of both the implemented and potential tariffs on both nations.


The United Staes and Canada: Friends, Partners, Allies

  • Stephane Lessard, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada in Denver


Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan: Next Phase

  • MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas, Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Co-Chair, CSG West Canada Relations Committee


Some Examples of Canada-U.S. Cooperation: A Perspective from the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Groups Canadian Section

  • Honorouble Wayne Easter, P.C., M.P., House of Commons of Canada, Co-Chair, Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group


Why Tarriffs Are Not the Answer

  • Gary Doer, Former Ambassador and Western Premier


How an Island State Became a Global Competitor

  • Derek Miller, CEO, Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance



     Friday, September 14






Parson Presentation


Trail Presentation


Mennis Presentation


Frost Presentation



  Westrends Board


The Westrends Board explored the emergence of Blockchain technology and its implications for western state policy-makers. This included an overview of Blockchain, why it matters and what states are doing to leverage Blockchain technology to stimulate local economies and improve various aspects of public service. The Board also focused on public pension trends, including innovative, data-driven approaches and strategies to sustain funding of pension systems.



Blockchian and Its Implications for Western Policy-Makers

  • Hannah Parsons, CEO, Exponential Impact
  • Nathan Trail, Senior Manager, Technology Policy, Comsumer Technology Association


Public Pension Trends

  • Greg Mennis, Director, Public Sector Retirement Systems, Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Marcie Frost, CEO, California Public Employees' Retirement System





Arens Presentation


Hasenyager Presentation


Ossowski Presentation


Kuehl Presentation


Robinson Presentation


  Agriculture & Water Committee


State, regional and federal representatives provided an overview of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and efforts to help western states prepare for drought. Additionally, the Committee took an in-depth look at international agricultural trade and prospects for the future. Concluding the meeting, committee members shared relevant policy issues their states are facing.


Drought Planning in the West

  • Seth Arens, Utah Research Integration Specialist, Western Water Assessment
  • Candice Hasenyager, Division of Water Resources, Utah Department of Natural Resources
  • Elizabeth Ossowski, National Integrated Drought Information System, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


International Agricultural Trade

  • Brian Kuehl, Federal Affairs Direcrtor, KCoe Isom, and Executive Director, Farmers for Free Trade
  • Dr. Sherman Robinson, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Peterson Institute for International Economics






  CSG Shared State Legislation


CSG's Shared State Legislation Committee seeks out emerging policy innovations throughout the states. In this session, the Committee debated which bills to include in the 2019 Shared State Legislation Volume, which offers legislators a window into how states are addressing the most pressing policy concerns of the day.





Klein Presentation





  Energy & Environment Committee


The Energy and Environment Committee reviewed two key topics and their impact on the western region. Related to environmental challenges, the Committee took an in-depth look at the state of the state regarding Superfund sites in the West and how states are being impacted by the costs of cleanup efforts. Addressing energy challenges, the Committee facilitated a discussion exploring how well the west is poised to find the skilled labor needed to meet the energy sector’s future high-tech labor force.


State and Federal Challenges with Superfund Sites

  • Amy Brittain, Chair of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials’ Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund) and Brownfields Committee
  • Dana Barton, Assistant Director of the Superfund Division at EPA, Region 9


Developing the Workforce for a Changing Energy Sector

  • Barbara Hins-Turner, Executive Director, Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy
  • Jesse Klein, Technical Services Manager, Operational Excellence – Renewables NextEra Energy Resources






  Transportation & Infrastructure Committee


The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee invited members of the Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) to share their policy recommendations related to seismic safety. Formed in 1979, the WSSPC provides a regional and multi-disciplinary forum to support and enhance seismic hazard mitigation. Following this conversation, committee members addressed the topics of road usage charge and the intersection between federal and state regulations related to autonomous vehicles. Throughout the session, committee members were invited to share relevant experiences from their respective states.


Seismic Safety in Western States

  • Peter McDonough, Chair, Western States Seismic Policy Council Board; Member, Utah Seismic Safety Commission
  • Bob Carey, Earthquake Program Manager, Utah Division of Emergency Management


Promoting Safe School Buildings for our School Children

  • Barry Welliver, PE, Chair, School Earthquake Safety Initiative of the Eathquake Engineering Research Institute


Autonomous Vehicles: Development and State Policies

  • Jeff Marker, Freight Program Manager, Idaho Transportation Department


Road Usage Charge as Potential Replacement for the Fuel Tax

  • Linda Hull, Legislative Affairs Director, Utah Department of Transportation






  Annual Legislative Training Assembly (ALTA)


Attendees were invited to enhance their ability to deal with interpersonal conflict, engage in difficult conversations, and negotiate personal interests.  After taking a brief assessment to identify their preferred style, participants worked together to hone their skills in applying the mode that best fits the situation to achieve their desired outcomes.


  • Dr. Danny Miller, President, New Heights Learning



     Saturday, September 15






Ingoglia Presentation


De La Torre Presentation



  Health & Human Services Committee


The Health and Human Services Committee examined key health issues under two broad categories. During a roundtable discussion with topic experts, the Committee examined best practices surrounding behavioral health issues followed by an exploration of the differences between value-based vs fee-for-service health care payment models and their impact on care, premiums, and access to care.


Overview: Behavioral Health in the West

  • Chuck Ingoglia MSW, Senior Vice-President, Public Policy and Practice Improvemnet, National Council for Behavioral Health


Innovations in Utah Behavioral Health Treatment

  • Adam Cohen, CEO, Odyssey House


Value-based verses Fee-For-Service Health Care Payment Models

  • Hector De La Torre, Executive Director, Transamerica Center for Health Studies





Stone Presentation


Albanese Presentation


Muñoz Presentation



  Education & Workforce Development Committee


Members of the Education and Workforce Development Committee reviewed and discussed several topics impacting the western region. First, members learned about shortages in the direct care workforce and ways that states can address this challenge. Additional discussions informed members about the national State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED) program and its efforts to help states integrate people with disabilities into the workforce. Focusing on education, a facilitated conversation about “community schools” shared information on how this approach brings together partners to offer a range of support and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Concluding the meeting, committee members shared successes and challenges that their states have faced on related topics.


Meeting Long-Term Services and Supports Workforce Demands Now and in the Future

  • Dr. Robyn Stone, Senior Vice President of Research, LeadingAge


Bringing Together Employers and Workers with Disabilities

  • Katia Albanese, Consultant, Concepts Communications
  • Bobby Silverstein, Principal, Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC


Bringing the Community into the School

  • José Muñoz, Executive Director, Coalition for Community Schools