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IPMA-HR Montgomery County

Email Newsletter

2015-16, Volume 2

December 2015

President's Message

At this time of year one cannot help but think of all the things in their life that they are grateful for. This year alone has held many surprises and gifts as well as opportunities to learn from many of you. My heart is full from the many friends I have made, not just at work, but through my affiliation with IPMA.

The IPMA Executive Board members are not only good friends, but people to whom one can bounce ideas off of and seek advice from. As a member of the IPMA Eastern Region Board, I am developing new relationships that I surely will carry with me throughout my career.

I bring this up because, at this time of year, we begin examining areas of our life that we would like to enhance or change. If you are receiving this newsletter and you are a member of IPMA, I would like to personally invite you to become more involved in your organization. By getting involved, not only do you work around some awesome individuals, you meet and network with leaders in our Public Sector. A Strong Public Sector Needs Solid Public Sector HR Professionals! These are individuals that become part of your professional network.

Being a member of IPMA-HR provides you with a unique opportunity to be part of a niche community of public sector HR professionals. Within this community, individuals from all levels of government come together to share resources and best practices, and to take advantage of benefits that are tailored to support public sector HR professionals.

There is actually a rate for various phases of your career. Professional membership is $50 a year. At this level, members are given priority registration for our programs and training events. If you are currently a member of IPMA-HR International, your membership is discounted to $30.00. If you are a student, your membership rate is set at $20 for the year. 

During this time of personal examination, do not forget to make an investment in yourself. It is definitely worth the effort and will provide countless returns on your investment.

Happy Holidays and may your New Year bring new experiences!

- Ileana Turner

Past President's Message

Once upon a time…don’t we all wish stories could start with those enchanting words? Well, my adventures with IPMA-HR Montgomery County Chapter have been captivating, enthralling, interesting, and fascinating since the story began long, long ago… in 2005. I journeyed through the dark forest of private sector to the mystical land of public service and heard about a beguiling group called IPMA-HR and a band of merrymakers in the local village in Montgomery County, MD. Little did I know at the time that it would prove to be the hidden gem in this storybook tale.

In 2006 not too long after I arrived in public service, lads and lasses from across the land flocked to the Emerald City [Washington, DC] for the annual festival known as the Eastern Region Conference. All types of learning, development and finery were to be had at the grand event. I was asked to help with the arrangements, working logistics and room setup for presenters and special guests. I heard a little tune in my head…’Just whistle while you work…put on that grin and start right in...When hearts are high the time will fly’…it didn’t feel like work and everyone was having fun! I was charmed as if by a magical spell. For the next several years, I worked with the local chapter, first as Charity Chair, then Program Chair, then Membership Chair…finally, I got the chance to try on the glass slipper to be Chapter President and in 2009-2010…It FIT!

That year was a whirlwind adventure for me…I realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore and sometimes you have to deal with a few flying monkeys. I was fortunate to have the support of a great team – with a Brain, a Heart, and Courage – to see us through all the happenings. I believe the most special thing about IPMA-MCC is the diverse and amazing people you get to meet and walk with along the Yellow Brick Road. There is no place like home, but I’ve also learned that home is where the heart is…and IPMA-MCC has a very big heart!

Honestly, I am not spinning a long yarn about tall beanstalks, blue ox and white rabbits… and we’ve had our share of trolls to deal with. But, somehow, we always manage to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Our work for the greater good connects us, and gives us opportunities to share our experiences. I am thankful for being a part of the IPMA-MCC family at this time of Thanksgiving. My involvement has enriched my professional and personal life in more ways than I can count… a Cornucopia! I hope you will take a leap of faith and tag along on our voyages in 2016…as Peter Pan might say…Adventure Awaits!

- Lynne Kartsakalis

You are "Marvel"ous - The Force Needs You!

We need your help with planning the 2016 IPMA-MCC Conference to be held at The Universities at Shady Grove on May 18, 2016. The theme will be “Marvel” at the Possibilities and will feature Marvel superhero themes throughout the conference. Volunteers are needed to work with the materials, program, awards, and charity chairs.

If you are interested, please email conference chair Lori Thompson @ lori.thompson@fda.hhs.gov.

Events Recap

Greetings IPMA-HR MCC current, past, and future members! We had a great time at Not Your Average Joe’s in October during the Fiscal Year Kick-off social event. Thanks to everyone who came out and mingled, and enjoyed some great food, beverages and conversation! 

We also enjoyed our November lunch and learn on Using Appreciative Inquiry with Catherine Zaranis. It’s always great to see everyone and we appreciate participation and involvement. You make all things possible!

Please consider attending a future IPMA-HR MCC event, or getting involved with Chapter activities. It’s a great way to build your professional network and connections!

New Member Highlights

Sara Prather has been a federal employee in the Human Resources field since 2006. She worked at the National Institutes of Health from October 2006 to August 2015 and has been working at the Department of Energy since August 2015.  Prior to becoming a federal employee in 2006 Sara worked for Kelly Services on-site at the NIH hiring contractors to work in IT and Administrative positions. Sara has federal government experience as both a Staffing/Classification Specialist and a Recruiter.

Kevin Blake is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. He enlisted in the United States Army and attended the Administrative Specialist Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina in 1993. He has served in a variety of Military assignments in the United States and overseas, including Postal Supervisor, Illesheim Germany; Postal Manager, SHAPE, Belgium; Human Resources Specialist, Naples, Italy; Drill Sergeant, Fort Jackson, SC; Recruiter, Los Angeles, CA; Senior Human Resources Specialist (Fort Jackson, Fort Stewart, Fort Campbell). He has also participated in Operation Joint Forge and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Kevin is a graduate of the Army Warrior Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course (Human Resources), Senior Leader Course (Human Resources), Drill Sergeant School, Equal Opportunity Course, Manpower Course, Sexual Harassment Course, Postal Operations, and Recruiting Course. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Management and a Master of Business Administration from Ashford University.

In 2013, Kevin retired from the United States Army an immediately starting working as a Human Resources Specialist with the Department of Health and Human Services.


Topic of Interest

"The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) releases its 2015 Benchmarking Survey Results report called 'How Close is Human Resources to Becoming a Strategic Business Partner?'

The survey was sent to 4,901 IPMA-HR members and received 606 responses giving it a 12.3 percent response rate, which is highly predictive of the Association’s membership population.

A critical finding from the report showed that eight out of 10 HR practitioners consider their human resources departments to be strategic business partners, defined as a partner who shares physical and intellectual resources to help solve problems and make decisions for other departments and organization-wide. IPMA-HR’s 2015 Benchmarking report delves into some evaluation criteria, but is not reflective of a comprehensive list.

According to the report, readiness as a strategic business partner is actually two-fold-- at the individual professional level and organizational level. At the organizational level, there can be some barriers to the HR professional becoming a strategic business partner. The top two barriers are a lack of an organization-wide aligned strategic plan (33%) and lack of management support (27%). However, seventy-five percent of the respondents stated having strong management support as a major factor for being successful as a strategic business partner." 

Continue reading at the IPMA-HR Blog!


In This Issue...

  1. President's Message
  2. Past President's Message
  3. Annual Training Forum
  4. Events Recap
  5. New Members
  6. Topic of Interest
  7. Sponsor Spotlight


To be the premier public management networking organization for all levels of government in the Montgomery County, MD area promoting continued professional and personal development.


To provide relevant professional development programs and opportunities for knowledge sharing through networking events and community involvement.

Meet Your Board

President: Ileana Turner

President Elect: Meryl Gozarin

Past President: Tamikia Hill

Secretary: Kelly Peralta

Treasurer: Vickie Baldwin

Treasurer Elect: Jennifer Wood

Members at Large:

Viktoria Berendt

Kevin Blake

Aurelie Eggert

Kyle Hartwig

Gib Johnson

Sandra Rosenau

Sponsor Spotlight

Golden Key Group (GKG) is a professional services firm that works with federal and commercial clients to help solve their strategic, organizational and operational challenges to meet their mission demands.

Founded in 2002, GKG is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business with offerings that include Strategy, Human Capital, Human Resources, Organizational Performance, Program Management and Information Technology.

GKG’s diverse team and strategic partners bring a depth of experience and industry-leading practices in both government and private sectors. An ISO® 9001:2008 certified organization, GKG is committed to delivering the highest levels of service and creating sustainable results for clients.

GKG is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and has an office in Bethesda, Maryland.

ISO is a registered trademark of the International Organization for Standardization.



IPMA-HR Montgomery County Chapter  | P.O. Box 2145, Rockville, MD 20847