Thursday - March 3, 2022
9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Women Leading Government will hold its second Annual Conference on March 3 at the Marriott Courtyard in Marlborough.

Note: The event is currently at maximum capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please complete the registration process and you will receive a confirmation email if a spot becomes available. If we are not able to accommodate you, you will be notified three days prior to the event.

The day-long conference will kick off with a session titled “Three Keys to Getting Started on the Important Things,” led by Sarah Reiff-Hekking of True Focus Coaching, followed by “How To Be Happier at Work.”

Following lunch will be a keynote address by Beth Fukumoto of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who will focus on leadership and resiliency.

The conference will feature two concurrent 30-minute “Teach Me a Skill” sessions: “Financial Planning/Public Sector Loan Forgiveness” and “Building Your Online Presence.”

Chatham Town Manager Jill Goldsmith and Amherst Communications Manager Brianna Sunryd will lead the second session. Sunryd will focus on creating and maintaining a professional LinkedIn page, along with guidance on other online forums. Goldsmith will discuss what hiring managers look for when “Googling” a candidate and the kinds of things one should “clean up” when looking for a new job.

The meeting will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $55.

Online registration will remain open until the conference meets its limit of 80 registrants (due to space constraints). All WLG members will receive an email with details and a registration link in early February. Online registration can also be done at

Women Leading Government events are open to all staff in appointed positions in local government.

Due to COVID, this in-person meeting has a mask requirement (except when eating or drinking) and requires proof of vaccination. (Religious or medical exemptions are allowed with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours.) These safety protocols are subject to change based on the latest public health data and guidance.


8:30-9 a.m.
Light Breakfast, Coffee, Networking

9 a.m.
WLG Co-Chairs Kelly Axtell and Julie Jacobson

9:15-10:30 a.m.
Opening Session: Three Keys to Getting Started on the Important Things
Sarah Reiff-Hekking, Ph.D. Productivity Expert, Speaker, Coach, Psychologist, Founder of True Focus Coaching, Inc.

Sarah’s presentation will be followed by practical tips for prioritizing with MMA Director of Administration, Finance and Operations Katie McCue
Moderated by John Mangiaratti, Acton Town Manager and WLG Committee Member
Does this sound familiar….
You can’t believe you have so much to do and you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing.
You keep telling yourself that if you could just sit down and grind through it, you’d be fine.
You know you can’t do it all, but you don’t how you will ever say no when everything seems so important.

In this action-packed session you will learn:
WHY the things you’ve planned to move your projects forward aren’t working.
HOW to take control of your time and tasks so you can get the important stuff done.
WHAT the actual tools are to STOP you feeling weighed down, overwhelmed, stressed, and confused. You’ll walk away with tools to take into your life and start to use right away!

10:30-10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m.-Noon
How To Be Happier at Work
Kate Fitzpatrick, Needham Town Manager and WLG Committee Member
What does resilience look like for you? How can you build individual resiliency and become happier at work? Participants will have an opportunity to create a plan of action developed after examining where they are in the resiliency journey.

Noon-1 p.m.

1-1:30 p.m.
Skill Sessions
Choose from two concurrent sessions; you’ll be asked to pre-register for one at online registration:

Polishing Your Online Presence
Amherst Communications Director Brianna Sunryd and Chatham Town Manager Jill Goldsmith will offer pointers for a professional social media presence and discuss some of the things hiring managers look at when considering candidates.

Personal finance
A MissionSquare (formerly ICMA RC) representative will cover the basics on personal finance, along with some practical tips. Public service loan forgiveness will also be addressed.

1:45-3 p.m.
Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Beth Fukumoto
Beth Fukumoto is a former state legislator in Hawaii, where she left the Republican Party and went on to serve as the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. Following elected office, she spent an academic year at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. You can read more about her here.

3-3:15 p.m.
Conference Closing Speaker
Suzanne Bump, State Auditor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Courtyard Marriott, Marlborough

MMA Senior Member Services Coordinator Denise Baker,
Massachusetts Municipal Management Association