Potomac Forum The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

Empowering an Engaged Federal Workforce and Improving Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Scores

How best to encourage employee engagement, enhance a culture of civility and respect, improve the performance of Federal workplace processes and improve overall workforce engagement to achieve future mission success and achieve workforce restructuring requirements in the modern, mobile workplace.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019



Mika J. Cross 

Federal Workplace Expert 




Michelle Amante
Partnership for Public Service


Loren Kargbo

Talent Acquisition Lead

U.S. Department of Commerce


Alex Harrington
Senior Adviser and Special Assistant
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Kimberly Steide

Human Capital Planning and Program Performance Program Manager
U.S. Department of the Treasury


Treva Smith

Senior Executive
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Jamesa Moone Hunter

Human Capital Director
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Jason Briefel

Executive Director 

Senior Executives Association


John O'Connor

Organizational Strategy and Transformation Expert
Grant Thornton Public Sector


Chris Armstrong

Veritas Culture
Former Culture Executive 

Intelligence Community Agencies 


Vince Brantley
Owner, Veritas Culture 
Former Culture Executive

Defense Intelligence Agency

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Meeting Location: 
Willard InterContinental Hotel

Willard Intercontinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington 20004
United States

Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue Lines). Use the exit marked “12th & F Sts” to exit onto F St., then continue straight two blocks and cross 14th St.


The president’s management agenda provides a long-term vision for rebuilding public trust in government by tackling systemic barriers to reform, including an ineffective personnel management system and outdated technology infrastructure. The goals are threefold: deliver on agency missions, provide superior service to the public, and eliminate waste.


Experienced Human Capital Executives and Leadership Experts will share their insight and experience in developing and implementing long and short-term workforce management practices that will achieve implementing the PMA vision and develop the next generation of Federal government leaders.


This workshop will provide you with practical, easy to implement tools and resources to help your agency develop an innovative workforce engagement strategy that brings on the right talent with the right skills, empowers employees, align skills and competencies with mission requirements and modernize your workplace for the digital age while understanding how best to improve performance, increase accountability and enhance mission efficacy.

The workshop will also address methods and lessons learned to help agencies  improve agency Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Scores.


What You Will Learn: 

  • Adopt promising practices that drive positive outcomes by leveraging the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results into actionable steps to cultivate an inclusive, high-performing culture designed to retain top talent and maximize employee potential and performance 
  • Identify the competencies needed as a successful supervisor to maximize employee performance and engagement in the modern workplace
  • Optimize your strategy for recruiting, hiring, training and rewarding the Future Federal Workforce by bringing in the next generation of workers and retaining top talent; training (and retraining) personnel to forecast for future mission requirements, develop leaders across all levels of the organization and to enhance performance across the organization.
  • Design workforce engagement strategies to prepare for continuity of operations, and supporting the workforce during, before and after unplanned or unexpected events and tumultuous times;
  • Build your toolkit for cultivating a culture of engagement and accountability designed to achieve enhanced organizational and individual performance
  • Identify best practices from other agencies who have improved their FEVS Scores and better understand new techniques to use in your organization.
Why You Should Attend: 

Experienced Human Capital Executives and Leadership Experts will share their insight and experience in developing and implementing long and short-term workforce management practices that will achieve implementing the PMA vision and develop the next generation of Federal government leaders.


This workshop will provide you with practical, easy to implement tools and resources to help your agency develop an innovative workforce engagement strategy that brings on the right talent with the right skills, empowers employees, align skills and competencies with mission requirements and modernize your workplace for the digital age while understanding how best to improve performance, increase accountability and enhance mission efficacy.

The workshop will also address methods and lessons learned to help agencies  improve agency Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Scores.

Who Should Attend: 

  • Federal supervisors and managers
  • Federal HR Executives, managers and staff
  • Anyone responsible for implementing Agency restructuring plans
  • Federal employees or members of employee affinity groups
  • Communications practitioners responsible for leading change management and internal communications campaigns
  • IGs and Staff
  • Industry Partners who support the government

Instructor Presentations, Classroom Discussions, and Guest Speakers


Agenda Subject to Change

7:30 AM

Registration and Willard Continental Breakfast


Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum


Morning Keynote –

Lessons Learned from the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government


Michelle Amante, Partnership for Public Service


Effective Employee Engagement and Successful Workforce Support Measures During Times of Change

  • Hear the lessons learned and best practices implemented from Agencies who have significantly increased their scores on the FEVS and what areas they are now focused on to meet the vision of the President’s Management Agenda and to encourage a performance-based culture 
  • Understand how ongoing data and reporting, effective communication strategies and leadership accountability helps move the needle to create a performance-based culture focused on results 


  • Learn about ongoing workforce reskilling and upskilling efforts and how to plan for an optimal, engaged workforce of the future


Moderated By:  Mika J. Cross, Federal Workplace Expert

Expert Panelists:

Kimberly Steide, Human Capital Planning and Program Performance Program Manager, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Jamesa Moone Hunter, Human Capital Director, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Treva Smith, Senior Executive, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency


Refreshment Break


Agency Best Practice Case Study in Performance Management and Employee Engagement

  • Learn the importance of establishing and integrating the organization’s vision, values, mission and strategic goals into a three-tier human operating system: 1) Strategic (Organizational Outcomes); 2) Team (Operational Activities); and 3) Individual (Functional Tasks & Outputs).


  • Gain insight of how to use the FEVS Scores to conduct further climate surveys in order to identify potential performance and engagement gaps;


  • Understand the benefits of integrating the Balanced Scorecard approach to strategic, operational and team planning; and


  • Learn why it’s more important to assess and change an internal performance system before focusing on low performers.



Alex Harrington, Senior Adviser and Special Assistant, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Class Discussion and “Take Aways”

Morning Session Recap

Additional Time for Student Q&As

Student Evaluation Request


Hosted  Working Lunch
Students will be presented with a luncheon discussion topic.  A leader will be selected at each table to facilitate a discussion  during the Workshop


Interactive Report Out from the Working Lunch Discussion


Change Management Playbook for Transformational Change 

  • Obtain practical tools for successfully managing change in an organization
  • Learn to identify the elements necessary to make change successful and discuss how to identify missing elements
  • Understand how to use effective change communication tactics to drive positive action and changes in behavior


John O'Connor, Organizational Strategy and Transformation Expert, Grant Thornton Public Sector


Refreshment Break


Moving to Healthy Discourse from Screaming Pitchforks: Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Workforce Culture

  • Attendees will walk away having their own thoughts and perceptions challenged. It is important that people understand where they are coming from before they can get an entrée into the thoughts and feelings of others.
  • Understand the root causes that are prevalent around sexual harassment from the perspective of victims and bystanders. These themes resonate throughout every type of discussion or non-discussion and truly enable people to get a deeper understanding as to why the conversations are challenging in the first place.


Chris Armstrong and Vince Brantley of Veritas Culture and former Culture Executives, Intelligence Community and DoD Agencies 


Refreshment Break & Informal Q&A


Human Capital Innovations for the Future Federal Workplace with Open Q&A to Follow


A panel of highly regarded human capital experts will discuss their collective experience, lessons learned and highlights to help agencies:


  • Understand promising people practices needed to affect long-term change, Modernize IT systems and leverage Data insights and transparency; 
  • Learn about the leading practices from organizations focused on implementing ongoing results-oriented performance initiatives to meet workforce restructuring goals; 
  • Consider the critical elements for creating effective short and long-term plans that overcome challenges to a culture of performance and accountability for attracting and retaining top talent and an engaged workforce.


Moderated By:  Mika J. Cross, Federal Workplace Expert



Jason Briefel, Executive Director, Senior Executives Association

Loren Kargbo, Talent Acquisition Lead, U.S. Department of Commerce


Additional Q&A and Final Remarks


Workshop Adjourns 


Registration Information: 

  Early Bird Registration Fee Registering after August 15
Government Employees:
(Federal, State or Local Government Issued ID)
Special Reduced Rates in Support of Government Budget Reductions
Team Rate for Government: Send a government team to learn together. Register two government employees from the same office at the same time and the third person registers at $200 discount of the current government rate.

Registration Includes: Presentations, Workshop Notebook, Continental Breakfast, All Day Refreshments and Hosted Luncheon

Guest Speakers: 

Mika J. Cross

Federal Workplace Expert

Mika Cross is a widely acclaimed human capital expert, speaker, strategist and innovator specializing in interdisciplinary expertise in the areas of innovative global workplace initiatives, culture change, strategic communications, knowledge management, next generation/future workplace predictions, performance and talent management, employee engagement, employee and labor relations, diversity and inclusion. Her two decade career in public service includes assignments throughout the United States Intelligence Community and all across the Federal government. She is a veteran of the Unites States Army, having served as both an enlisted soldier and commissioned officer.


Mika is highly regarded as a thought leader for transformational workplace practices and is regularly featured as a professional speaker and teacher at numerous industry and government-wide venues.  She is a regular guest on the ABC News Channel 8, nationally broadcast TV show, Government Matters in her capacity as a Federal Workplace Expert. On behalf of the White House and the National Security Council (NSC), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) invited Mika to contribute to the “Workforce of 2020” work group as a component of the joint-led task force to develop a new business model for vetting current and future Federal employees into positions of national security.


Mika has worked in partnership with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on behalf of the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Federal Women’s Program, to design innovative learning programs to help strengthen competencies for Work/Life, Diversity, Inclusion and Human Resources professionals from across the government. She has led several workforce transformation initiatives resulting in winning the organizations she has worked for numerous industry awards- the most recent being USDA named on the Forbes 500 Best American Workplace rankings in March 2015.


The Senior Executives Association (SEA) asked Mika to serve as the Vice-Chair for its new Governance and Innovation, Community of Change initiative.  As a volunteer, she served as the Government Chair for the Evolving the Workforce Community of Interest (COI) as part of the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Panel (ACT-IAC) and in 2016 was appointed to the Executive Board for the Association of Federal Information Resource Management (AFFIRM) as the liaison to the Federal Human Resources community.


You can follow her on Twitter @Mika_Cross or find her on Linkedin for more information.

Loren Kargbo

Talent Acquisition Lead

Enterprise Services

Department of Commerce (DOC)


As the Talent Acquisition Lead for the Department of Commerce Enterprise Services, Loren Kargbo is responsible for overseeing the development and delivery of talent acquisition (classification, recruitment, and staffing) services for ten (10) Commerce Bureaus. Loren began her human resources career in the hospitality industry in 2005, serving in the roles of HR Administrator and HR Manager with MHI Hotels and Pyramid Hotel Group properties in Laurel and Rockville, Maryland. In 2007, she began her Federal HR career with the Department of Agriculture and has served in various leadership roles to include, serving as the Chief of HR Services with the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, Team Lead – Southeast Area with the Agriculture Research Service, and HR Specialist Accountability with FEMA. Loren is a 2017 Partnership in Public Service Excellence in Government Fellow, a 2013 Emerging HR Leader, and received the FEMA Administrator’s Award in 2013.

Alex J. Harrington

Talent Management Directorate

Office of Human Resources Management

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Alex Harrington serves as a senior special assistant for the Talent Management Directorate, Office of Human Resources Management, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Prior to rejoining CBP, Alex served in various posts during his 15+ years in the federal government that included two previous tours with CBP; U.S. Department of Justice's INTERPOL Washington office; Army's Chief of Public Affairs Office, Pentagon; including overseas assignments in Japan, Republic of Korea, and Germany.


Throughout his federal service, Alex has gained extensive expertise in human resource, workforce development, talent acquisition, strategic communications, project and program management optimization, web-based platform engineering, and team building.


Alex is also a credentialed Global Career Development Facilitator through the Center for Credentialing and Education, and a member with the National Career Development Association. And his passion for community service has led him to build a youth program in Mansfield, Ohio; an internship program for Korean Universities; and pioneered and built a community job-service program in Tysons, Va., which was recognized by the former Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis.


He served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Alex is also a published author and avid blogger for cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Teresa, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Kimberly Steide

Acting Director for the Office of Strategy, Evaluation, and Analysis

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Kimberly has over 25 years of Human Capital experience that spans military service, private industry, and Federal level public sector. She has been with the Federal Government since 2004. Her areas of expertise include human capital planning, workforce planning, program evaluation, workforce analytics, and metrics.  She has been with the Department of Treasury since 2012 in a variety of roles.  In her current role, she serves as the Acting Director for the office of Strategy, Evaluation, and Analysis within the Office of the Chief Human Captial Officer.  Kimberly holds Doctorate in Public Administration from Capella University.


Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.  Autograph your work with excellence!


Treva Smith

Senior Executive 

National Geospatial Agency (NGA)


Ms. Smith currently serves as a Senior Executive with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Her expertise includes advisory and operational services for the workforce in the areas of, employee relations, benefits, awards and recognition, performance management, workforce flexibilities, wellness program and HR team that specifically support Agency directorates. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Employment Opportunity. In this capacity, she served as a senior advisor to Agency leaders on advancing equal employment opportunity, workforce diversity and workplace inclusion initiatives.

Prior to joining NGA, Ms. Smith served as the Director, Equal Employment Opportunity Office, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Scott Air Force Base, with the overall responsibility to develop and successfully execute a full suite of EEO, Diversity and Inclusion imperatives across its global enterprise. Ms. Smith also has the opportunity to serve as the Deputy Chief, Policy and Operations Division, Equal Opportunity Office, Defense Intelligence Agency. During her tenure she designed and scoped requirement to provide a slate of customized diversity management consultant services and matured capability of DIA’s accessibility and reasonable accommodation program.

With over 28 years as a civil servant, Ms. Smith has contributed to cutting-edge EEO and diversity initiatives within Department of Justice, Department of Veterans Affairs and various agencies within Department of Defense. As a trained facilitator, Ms. Smith has trained extensively and continues to facilitate discussions on the strategic business imperative of diversity and inclusion from a 21st Century approach. Ms. Smith earned both her Bachelor of Arts Degree in human relations and Master of Science degree in organizational development from Trinity University, Washington DC. As on avid volunteer, Ms. Smith serves the community through various outreach efforts as a member of Junior League of Washington and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Jamesa C. Moone

Director, Human Resources

Office of the United States Trade Representative
Executive Office of the President


Jamesa C. Moone currently serves as the Director of Human Resources for the Executive Office of the President in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.


Prior to joining the Executive Offfice of the President, Ms. Moone served as the Director of Human Resources and Human Capital Management for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). In this role she serves as the principal human resources advisor to the Executive Director of FirstNet, Department of Commerce (DOC) Chief Human Capital Officer and policy officials. She develops and implements policy and program guidance in the areas of human resources, human capital management and workforce planning.


Jamesa served as the Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer and Human Capital Director for the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President. Assigned to the Management and Operations Division, she provided leadership in agency human capital planning and policy and supported and advised the Chief Human Capital Officer in the management of program and policy development for OMB’s workforce.


Jamesa served as a Senior Analyst for the U.S. Department of Education where she was responsible for the financial and policy administration of federal grants for the Office of Elementary and Secondary and Education and Office Postsecondary Education. She was also a Program Analyst for the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences.


In addition to her federal experience, Jamesa has extensive leadership and human resources experience in the private sector and higher education. She served as a Senior Consultant for Ellucian (formerly Datatel, Inc.) where she managed product demonstration in human resources and training; as the Director for Staff Development at American University overseeing human resources, recruitment and training; as an Assistant Director of Human Resources for the University of Maryland (College Park) Office of Residence Life; Director of Student Affairs and Residential Life at the Mount Vernon College of George Washington University; and as an Affirmative Action Officer for Montgomery College (Rockville, Maryland).


Jamesa has also served as a faculty member at the University of Maryland and Mount Vernon College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hampton University and a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Leadership from Miami University (Ohio). She is the recipient of numerous awards for superior leadership and exceptional commitment in the advancement of federal human resources programs and initiatives

Jason Briefel

Executive Director

Senior Executives Association


Jason Briefel serves as Executive Director of the Senior Executives Association.  He previously served as Legislative Director, providing lobbying and consulting services for SEA and several other associations, businesses and coalitions.


Mr. Briefel joined Shaw Bransford & Roth in 2012 to work in the firm's government affairs department, providing legislative and organizational representation to clients of the firm's government affairs practice, as well as conducting non-legal research for law firm clients as necessary. In addition, Mr. Briefel is a regular host of FEDtalk on Federal News Radio.


In 2013, Mr. Briefel's portfolio expanded to include serving as Editor of the FEDmanager and FEDagent e-report newsletters. He is the principal author for both newsletters, and collaborates closely with the Online Editor to expand the reach, content offerings, and external partnerships of the newsletters.


Prior to joining SB&R, Mr. Briefel worked in Congress for a member of the North Carolina delegation and interned with the DC-based think tank Third Way. He also served as a research assistant and project manager for the FireChasers, a collaborative research endeavor between the U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina State University.

Mr. Briefel holds a B.A. from the University of Richmond and an M.S. from North Carolina State University.

John O'Connor

Organization Transformation Practitioner

Grant Thornton LLP


John O’Connor is a Organization Transformation practitioner with Grant Thornton LLP. He has over 20 years of experience solving complex organizational and operational problems for clients across the telecommunications, high technology, law enforcement, national security, and other Federal government communities.

Chris Armstrong

Veritas Culture

Former Culture Executive

Intelligence Community Agencies


Chris Armstrong is the former Culture Executive at NGA. In this capacity, he is responsible for investigating, surfacing, and resolving culture issues. In his previous capacity, he served as the Diversity Executive for DIA. His expertise is in assessing climates, understanding root issues, and developing practical means for addressing them. His other areas of expertise are employee development, diversity and inclusion, and strategic planning. Chris has been an executive for 11 years, mostly in training, development, and human resource roles. He is a Certified Relationship Coach, Certified Facilitator, Certified Diversity Executive, and multiple award winner (16 total) for his work in advancing the cause for women and minorities. As well, Chris is a frequently requested mentor, panel member, and keynote for various History Month, diversity and inclusion, and mentoring events.


Vince Brantley

Owner, Veritas Culture

Former Culture Executive, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)


Vince Brantley is the Owner of Veritas Culture, a company he has recently founded to provide diversity and inclusion and culture consultation and training services. Prior to this stand-up, Mr. Brantley was a soldier in the United States Army where he served for more than 27 years in a number of senior leadership positions, to include the Culture Executive for the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Chief of Staff.


While leading culture efforts at DIA and NSA, Mr. Brantley facilitated more than 300 workforce engagement sessions. He drew consistent praise from senior leadership and the workforce alike for his ability to focus on root issues while bridging long-standing communication and trust gaps.


Mr. Brantley is a Certified Coach, trained facilitator, and known expert in organizational culture. He has been a frequent keynote and panelist for dozens of events focused on diversity and inclusion and workplace culture.

Cancellation Policy: 

Confirmed registrations who cancel within 3 business days of the program will be subject to a $250 cancellation fee. Registrations cancelled after the program starts are subject to the full registration fee. Substitutions can be made at any time. In the event a particular training workshop is cancelled, the liability of Potomac Forum, Ltd is limited to refund of any prepaid registration fee.

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