The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has always had a strong presence at State Policy Network’s Annual Meeting, and this year was no exception. Most of the staff attended the conference, held in Orlando, Florida, at the end of August, with the majority being general attendees or event volunteers. Four members of our staff, however, had the honor of speaking on a panel to share their experience.
Lindsay Killen, our vice president for strategy and communications, was a part of a panel titled “Empowering the American Worker: States to Learn From.” Joined by Chantal Lovell of CML Strategies and Dave Trabert of the Kansas Policy Institute, the three experts discussed the most important reforms to consider when enacting statewide labor policy. Drawing on examples from Mackinac’s own initiatives, My Pay My Say and Workers for Opportunity, Killen gave guidance to other organizations interested in entering the labor policy arena.
In another labor panel — focused on collective bargaining, public sector accountability and policing — Steve Delie, director of Workers for Opportunity, joined Austen Bannan, Greg Glod, and Currie Myers of Americans for Prosperity. They held a conversation on government unions and how collective bargaining can undermine accountability within government institutions. Similar to the first labor panel, this discussion touched on model policy and other best practices for changing labor policy across the nation.
Moving out of the policy realm, Executive Vice President Mike Reitz participated in a panel to discuss office culture and Mackinac’s intentional culture statement. Joined by Justin Owen of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, Aly Rau of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and Brad Gruber of State Policy Network, the four executives had a conversation about how to be intentional about introducing cultural values into the office and to making sure that the staff feels seen and appreciated.
Jon VanDerhoof, creative projects manager, led the inaugural meet-up for creative professionals. At every annual meeting, there are several networking meet-ups for professionals in various policy areas. After noticing a lack of opportunities for members of creative teams in the network (videographers, artists, graphic designers, etc.), VanDerhoof proposed, and was chosen to lead the first meet-up of its kind.
These appearances by the Mackinac Center staff are an important part of making sure our recent achievements, work, and progress are well-known within the network. By sharing our experiences, we can help new organizations, or those that are new to certain policy areas, with a fresh set of eyes from experienced professionals.