Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
REGION 8: Executive Assistant Workshop Held in Carlsbad, Calif.
California-Nevada Offices , October 6, 2008
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Executive assistants from throughout the Service toured the Chula Vista Nature Center during a week-long workshop in Carlsbad, Calif. (photo: USFWS)
Executive assistants from throughout the Service toured the Chula Vista Nature Center during a week-long workshop in Carlsbad, Calif. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Angela Keister, Region 8
Executive assistants from Fish and Wildlife Service offices throughout the nation met in Carlsbad, Calif., the week of October 6, 2008, to discuss and share information on administrative functions that have a significant effect on management of all Service offices.

The workshop, hosted by Regions 2 and 8, kicked off with a presentation on Individual Development Plans (IDP) by National Conservation Training Center instructor Carol Adams.  The presentation was followed by a group discussion on IDPs, performance plans, and how these are powerful tools to assist with career growth.

The workshop continued with an exercise on leadership practices and the characteristics of an admired leader. 

Carol Adams continued with the discussion of dealing with difficult people.  At this time, the workshop was accompanied by Deputy Director Ken Stansell and Southwest Region Director Ben Tuggle.

Tauline Davis, (Region 7) presented a proposal for a National Executive Assistants Team, which will form a cohesive unit of executive assistant leaders.  It was decided the core team would start with 6 leaders and one president.  It was unanimously voted that Tauline Davis would start off as the president and the other 6 members were randomly drawn.  The six team members are:  Roslyn Sellars, Pat Jelinek, Donna Shoemaker, Debbie Schreiner, Angela Keister and Kelly Kennedy.   The tour of duty has been changed to two years.  Primarily, this team will focus on sharing information, and working together as a group promoting standardization and information sharing within the Service.

Tauline Davis also presented an overview of the foreign travel process.   The presentation included an overview of the proposed “Foreign Travel Page” on the new Intranet site.  Discussion centered on the requirements for foreign travel, common problem areas, and resource materials were provided to attendees.

The new Intranet page was previewed to the assistants for assistant regional directors and regional directors, and outlined upcoming plans for a new web page for all employees.  This site will feature a “One Stop Shopping Center” for information and guidance that all Service employees can use to do their jobs.  The Intranet site ( https://intranet.fws.gov ) was launched November 10, 2008. Employees can find the information under “Tools for Employees.”  

Ken Stansell and Ben Tuggle closed the day with their appreciation to the executive assistant staff and encouraged the group to continue to hold workshops into the future. 

The workshop continued with discussions on DTS, briefing papers, correspondence, and congressionals by Nikki Randolph, Controlled Correspondence Unit (CCU), Washington Office.

The attendees participated in the DISC framework, a model that describes an individual’s natural reaction mode to stimuli in the environment such as attitudes, values, expectations, etc.  The main purpose was to increase the understanding of human behavior. 

Chuck Young, Region 7, provided a briefing on records management and records disposition schedules.

The workshop also included a field trip to Sweetwater Marsh NWR, led by Chantel Jiminez, of the San Diego NWRC.  The group toured Chula Vista Nature Center, Sweetwater Marsh, the San Diego Bay Salt Ponds, Tiajuana Slough Estuary and a stop at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The workshop has proven to be a success, providing a road to standardization and the sharing of knowledge.  The next workshop has been scheduled to take place in 2 years set for the week of October 4, 2010.  The workshop will be hosted by Region 5 and the Washington Office.  


Contact Info: Angela Keister, 916-414-6467, angela_keister@fws.gov
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