State Policy Network

2017 Annual Meeting: State Think Tank Board Member Information

“When I attended my first State Policy Network Annual Meeting, I planned to spend one day and get back to work. After a few sessions I was hooked; I stayed for the entire event. This is now the one event that I make room on my calendar for every year!”
John Cerasuolo, Chairman of the Beacon Center of Tennessee

“I found my overnight at the SPN conference in Grand Rapids [2015] profoundly insightful and chock full of amazing stories of abuse and triumph. It was one of the most valuable 24 hours I spent this year.”
Ed Bachrach, Illinois Policy Institute board member

2017 Annual Meeting Programming for Board Members

This year’s Annual Meeting will include programming designed just for think tank board members, including:

Taking Your Organization to the Next Level: A Roundtable Discussion for State Think Tank Board Members
Moderator: Lawson Bader, Donors Trust
Time: Wednesday, August 30, 4:00 pm–6:00 pm 

This roundtable for state think tank board members only is an opportunity to talk candidly with fellow board members about the key challenges think tank boards face in helping lead organizations to the next level, with a focus on sharing practical advice and best practices.  A coffee service will be offered.

State Think Tank Board Chairmen Dinner
Time: Wednesday, August 30, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

A private, invitation-only dinner for state think tank board chairmen.

State Think Tank Board Member and CEO Breakfast
Time: Thursday, August 31, 8:00 am–9:30 am

Invitation-only breakfast for state think tank board members and CEOs.

Successfully Navigating the Start-up Phase: A Breakfast Discussion (Invitation Only)
Moderator: Lynn Harsh, State Policy Network
Time: Friday, September 1, 8:00 am–9:30 am

Board members and CEOs of start-up organizations—or organizations going through a leadership transition—will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges of getting an organization up and running with leaders who have successfully navigated the process.

Other leadership sessions of interest to state think tank board members include:

Five Core Competencies and Behaviors of Successful Leaders
Speaker: De Hicks, SCGI
Time: Wednesday, August 30, 9:45 am–11:00 am

The five core competencies and behaviors of successful leaders will be described and defined, from the basic essential of self-management to the highest level of sustaining vision. We’ll look at how these competencies and behaviors are used to recruit, retain, and evaluate senior-level talent. Case studies from the Network will be featured, and time for Q&A will be provided.

Can a Leader-Oriented Workplace Get the Best Results?
Presenters: De Hicks, SCGI
Time: Wednesday, August 30, 11:15 am–12:30 pm

Most organizations are structured under a leader-oriented work environment (LOWE), but lasting success seems to be the product of a results-oriented work environment (ROWE) instead. De Hicks will discuss both environments and describe why he believes the best way to get and keep traction is through ROWE—a management model that makes each person 100 percent accountable for agreed-upon results inside a collaborative environment. ROWE only works in organizations committed to disciplined alignment and clarity, but the trade-offs are often powerful. Is it for you? Come to this session, ask questions, and explore the possibilities.

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
Speaker: Cord Sachs, FireSeeds
Time: Wednesday, August 30, 2:30 pm–3:45 pm

Are you investing in short-term profits or long-term sustainable gains (as it pertains to your investment in culture and the development of your staff)? Cord Sachs, CEO of FireSeeds, a national talent recruitment and leadership development firm, will help you learn how to define and assess the health of your organization’s culture.  Walk away with insights on practically implementing ongoing tools as a board or leadership team to enhance your organization’s culture and help grow your senior leadership team.

Attract Top Talent through the Power of Story
Speaker: Cord Sachs, FireSeeds
Time: Thursday, August 31, 11:15 am–12:30 pm

Are you posting jobs and praying for candidates to take them? Is there a better way to attract top talent to join your mission? Being called to a larger story attracts all generations, but it is a necessity for drawing in Millennials and Centennials. Cord Sachs, CEO of FireSeeds, a national talent recruitment firm, will share practical advice for attracting top talent from all generations—through the power of your story.

Deep Dive for Leaders on the Four Disciplines of Execution
Speaker: Chris McChesney, Franklin Covey
Time: Thursday, August 31, 2:30 pm–3:45 pm

This deep-dive session is aimed at helping leaders accomplish more by doing less. Success fulcrums essential to an organization accomplishing its mission will be discussed, and we’ll address why leaders can either suffocate or springboard achievement. We’ll discuss how leaders create and protect organizational focus, leverage, and accountability, and how they can shape and inspire results in their organization.

For more details and to register, visit

Join Us

All board members receive complimentary registration. Register here.

For more information, contact SPN’s Vice President of Leadership Development, Teresa Brown, at 202-591-5687 or