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Executive Committee

The Leadership Staff Professional Association is governed by a chair, first vice chair, second vice chair, immediate past chair and a nine-member executive committee. The officers and executive committee are elected by the general membership at the annual business meeting of the staff association. They serve one-year terms with a three consecutive term limit. The executive committee makes general decisions that guide the association including planning the activities of LSPA. The executive committee meets at least twice a year at the annual training seminar in the fall and during the winter for a planning session. The executive committee is responsible for setting the agenda for the annual training seminar, publishing the staff association newsletter, maintaining communication with the NCSL executive committee and conducting other business and special projects that arise.


Chair: Branden Pursinger

Oregon State Senate

First Vice Chair: Justin Cajindos

Oklahoma Senate

Second Vice Chair: Alicia Henry

DC Council

Immediate Past Chair: Mechelle Miller Evans

Louisiana House


Danielle Baker

Louisiana House of Represenatives

John Barron

Ohio State Senate

Magali Bearden

Arizona House of Representatives

Sarah Bowling

Kentucky House of Representatives

Vince Torrez

New Mexico State Senate

Standings Committees

LSPA has standing committees to help guide the goals of the staff association, set priorities for each year, facilitate interaction and participation with all LSPA members, and assist the work of the LSPA liaison. Any LSPA member can serve on a standing committee. Please contact Megan McClure, LSPA liaison, for more information to volunteer to serve.

Awards Committee

Mission: To interpret and apply the standards set forth in the Leadership Staff Association achievement award criteria relative to the nomination and selection of the two LSPA Achievement Awards. Announce deadlines for nominations and ensure a timely process to enable the Committee ample time to thoroughly review all nominations and make selections of award recipients.

Chair: John Barron, Ohio


  • Justin Cajindos, Oklahoma
  • Josh Nacey, Kentucky

Bylaws Committee

Mission: To review any suggested changes in the Bylaws of the Leadership Staff Professional Association and make recommendations to the LSPA Executive Committee. (Only conveined if there are to be changes to the bylaws.)

Communications and Outreach Committee

Mission: To ensure regular and effective communication of LSPA activities and benefits of membership with appropriate legislative staff in the states and territories. To encourage participation by leadership, personal and caucus staff in LSPA activities and in other NCSL programs.

Co-Chairs: Justin Cajindos, Oklahoma and Magali Bearden, Arizona


  • Sarah Bowling, Kentucky
  • Alicia Henry, Washington, D.C.
  • Neva Parker, California

Finance and Fundraising Committee

Mission: To oversee the LSPA "Officers' Fund," which may be used by LSPA Executive Committee members and LSPA representatives to NCSL's LSCC to supplement travel expenses when participation is otherwise limited by state travel restrictions. To oversee other fundraising efforts by LSPA.

Co-Chairs: Mechelle Evans, Louisiana and Sarah Bowling, Kentucky


  • John Barron, Ohio

Nominations Committee

Mission: From our general membership, encourage participants to run for the LSPA Executive Committee. Be prepared to explain the structure of the LSPA Committee and ensure that we have candidates for all vacancies on Executive Committee and for officer slots. Publicize the procedures and time lines for submitting letters of intent to seek LSPA office. Review all letters of intent and interview all candidates at the annual training seminar prior to selection of nominees. Seek information about legislative leadership and member/office support of candidates and approval for travel and participation in LSPA activities. Inform nominees of their selection propr to announcement to general membership vote. Announce nominees and ask for nominations from the floor at the general membership meeting. Per the LSPA Bylaws, the size of this committee is limited to 5 members.

Chair: Mechelle Evans, Louisiana


  • Sarah Bowling, Kentucky
  • Alicia Henry, Washington, D.C.
  • Christie Getto-Young, Massachusetts
  • Danielle Baker, Louisiana

Program Development Committee

Mission: To develop balanced training programs that will provide information of value to Leadership Staff participants. These programs should be informative, enjoyable, participatory and should offer issues that are pertinent to leadership staff activities and personal career development. Contact and schedule speakers and/or panelists to ensure topics offered at the annual training seminar meet or exceed past sessions by reviewing seminar evaluations submitted by LSPA attendees.

Chair: Alicia Henry, Washington, D.C.


  • Kevin Drennan, New Jersey
  • Christie Getto-Young, Massachusetts
  • Edra Morledge, Alaska
  • John Barron, Ohio
  • Magali Bearden, Arizona
  • Vince Torres, New Mexico
  • Mechelle Evans, Louisiana
  • Josh Nacey, Kentucky
  • Jul Calabrese, New Jersey

Legislative Staff Achievement Awards

The  Legislative Staff Achievement Award  recognizes up to two legislative staff members each year for the important contributions they make to the legislative institution and process. Nominations can be made by state legislators or legislative staff. The recipients of the awards are announced during the NCSL Legislative Summit. The awards presentation occurs during the Leadership Staff Professional Assocation Fall Professional Development Seminar.

Award Criteria

A Legislative Staff Achievement Award nominee may be an individual, office, group or team whose contributions benefit the roles of leadership, personal and caucus, and should meet a significant number of the following criteria. At least one of the awards is presented to an individual who has been an active participant in Leadership Staff Professional Association activities, as evidenced by attendance at the Association's annual training seminars, and by other significant involvement with the Association. Other examples include:

  1. Identified differences and used them positively to benefit our organization, and ultimately our roles in individual states.
  2. Identified significant areas within which we can learn from one another.
  3. Outstanding credibility and genuine interest in networking ideas.
  4. Common understanding necessary for inclusive contributions and acceptance of Leadership Staff Professonal Association participants.
  5. Effectiveness in giving...self, time, resources, benefit our Association.
  6. Insights that can be developed through teamwork (ability to objectively process knowledge/patterns for contriving options for avoidance of common obstacles).
  7. Determined toward efficiency and betterment of professional selves or members; shares "best game" strategies.
  8. Promotes benefits gained from Leadership Staff Professional Assocation.
  9. Develops solution(s) for various subterfuges; emanating realistic expectations versus frustrations - for example, "New Dimensions for Change" ideas.
  10. Improved communication and/or participation in Leadership Staff Association.
Award Winners
Year Recipients

Dan Greer, West Virginia House of Delegates
Sherry McCoy, California Senate


Mechelle Evans, Louisiana House
Branden Pursinger, Oregon Senate


Christie Getto Young, Massachusetts Senate
Aurora Hauke, Alaska House

2018 Sheron Violini, California Senate
2017 Tom Krause, Georgia Senate
2016 Charity Stowe, Indiana House

Naomi Miller, Texas House
Jen Jankowski, Utah House


Sallie Bolton, Kentucky House
Tom Wright, Alaska House


Janeen Halverson, Utah Senate
Aurora Hauke, Alaska House


Terri Franks-Smith, Idaho House
Arnold Sowell, California Assembly


Mechelle Miller, Louisiana House


Mary Sue Jones, Idaho Senate


Erlinda Campbell, New Mexico Senate
Barbara Oakes, Maryland House


Nancy Butcher, West Virginia House


Rosina Boyd, New Mexico House
Kurt Deweese, Illinois House


James Lovette, Pennsylvania House
Dawn Reese, Pennsylvania House


Laura Bauman, Indiana Senate
Erin Russell, Nevada Assembly


Diane Steward, Maine Senate


Joyce Johnson, Tennessee Senate
John Mullins, West Virginia House


Lori Rigby, Delaware House
Meredith Norris, North Carolina House


Mechelle Miller, Louisiana House
Charlotte Ellis Land, Kentucky House


Marsha Wise, Pennsylvania House
Kathy Holcomb, Michigan House


C. Louise Krautheim, Pennsylvania House
Jenifer Noland, Kentucky House


David W. Wilkins, Delaware Senate
Jan Shirrell, Indiana Senate


Thomas R. Tedcastle, Florida House
Toni Christman, Pennsylvania House

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