From the Board of Directors

    Another year, another retreat…

    The notion of a retreat often conjures images of exotic locations somewhere in the tropics, where one engages in activities to expand awareness through ancient Vedic traditions with Deepak Chopra. Others may picture the work retreat with team-building activities that are supposed to foster trust among colleagues.

    The NAGW board retreats are an entirely different beast. They take place in the spring at the location where the National Conference is held. This year we’ll meet up in Salt Lake City, April 24-26.

    Rather than team-building exercises, retreat days are filled with organization-building sessions. Board members follow a strict schedule of strategic planning to move the organization forward and conference planning to ensure  – as much as possible – attendees experience a glitch-free, enjoyable event.

    Some years, strategic planning days will have a professional facilitator. Last year we engaged Sherry Jennings, founder of Sound Governance, whose invaluable assistance helped us take a close look at our organization’s culture and needs and consider long-term, value-driven strategies.

    The other part of the NAGW board retreat entails conference planning, going over all the details such as our roles and responsibilities, inspecting the facilities to ensure appropriate room for breakout and keynote sessions, checking audio, determining video camera locations, deciding on signage, discussing Pinnacle Awards banquet and entertainment, investigating N3 locations, selecting giveaways and swag items, deciding on tee shirts and board polos, and nailing down every detail right down to who gets to use the GaffGun gaffers tape dispenser to hide cables and cords (Frankie Rios’ turn this year).

    NAGW board retreats entail a lot of hard work. At the end of the day, members meet up in the president’s suite to enjoy a cold beverage and watch episodes of "The IT Crowd." Mostly because we’re much too knackered to consider any alternative evening activity.

    The New NAGW Logo (Ta-Da!)

    NAGW Navigator: Volume 2 • Issue 1 • Fall 2018

    Logo redesigns take place in every industry but not always with great success. Some may remember the infamous 2011 J.C. Penny redesign fail – the new logo was created by a third-year graphic design student at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Although nicely executed, the redesign did not appeal to the store’s market base and was replaced by another update a year later. Logo redesign number two saw little success as well and the company was compelled to go back to its original pre-2011 logo. Three years, three logo changes.

    The NAGW board of directors discussed the idea of updating the organization’s logo for a number of years – the Nike-esque swoosh went out of fashion more than a decade ago and the USA outline had long neglected the inclusion of states 49 and 50. This year, it was decided that it was time to go through the rebranding exercise but there was no desire among members to make this a long, drawn-out, and ultimately painful experience, the sort which creates tremendous dissent and endless arguments.

    Although the annual conference logos have always been created in-house (to lesser and greater degrees of success), it was decided to leave the job of redesigning the organization’s logo to a pro. After all, NAGW is an organization of professionals, so a professional designer was required to do the job for such an important task. Of course, the design cost was a significant issue but the board was able to find an expert designer who was willing to provide a selection of logos from which to choose at an affordable price.

    The designer asked the board members which of the three most basic types of logos they preferred (icons/symbols, logotype/wordmark, combination of the two), what notions the logo should represent, did the board have color preferences, and was there a specific mark that should be incorporated into the design.

    The board chose to go with the combination icon plus logotype format and to include the organization’s full name. To reflect the “national” aspect of the organization, the colors red and blue would best suit the purpose.

    The process took two rounds of logos and a vote.

    The final design includes all of the board’s suggestions as well as some whimsical elements – the three-dot ellipsis on the letter N and the star forming the counter in the letter A.

    The new logo will soon be incorporated in all of NAGW’s marketing collateral with the launch of the new website in early 2019.

    New NAGW logo


    A New Phase In The NAGW Website

    NAGW Navigator: Volume 1 • Issue 4 • Summer 2018

    We are excited to share that the NAGW website is currently in the process of being updated. We have been using Drupal and CiviCRM for many years and, while this works for our business, the board realizes that maintaining open source software is very labor intensive.

    We are also aware of the fact that we may not have technical expertise on future boards so we want to focus less on the maintenance and more on the content.

    Last year the board wrote technical specifications to define current and future needs. We are evaluating several hosted systems that can be used to run the NAGW website, process membership management, provide members-only content and conduct conference registration. We plan to make a decision by early summer and in the meantime we are inventorying existing content in preparation for migrating to the new system. When we cut over the membership and historical information there will need to be down time. We will keep everyone posted on the status.


    What To See And Do In Pittsburgh

    NAGW Navigator: Volume 1 • Issue 3 • Spring 2018

    Pittsburgh, the second largest city in Pennsylvania, is known not only as Steel City for is history with the steel production industry and its more that 300 steel-related current businesses, it’s also called the City of Bridges – there are 446 of them. We’re not suggesting you visit them all but there are a few that stand out and are worth seeing. (Check out some of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation’s the self-guided walks).

    Pittsburgh has plenty of attractions for every taste, whether you’re a sports fan, arts enthusiast or history buff.

    The north side is home to many popular sites for visitors including the Carnegie Science CenterNational AviaryChildren's Museum of Pittsburgh (fun for all ages!), the Allegheny Observatory (this website could use some help), and the Andy Warhol Museum, dedicated entirely to the city’s native son.

    The south side area boasts East Carson Street, once the heart of Pittsburgh’s steel-working neighborhood, it features 15 blocks of Victorian architecture and was designated a National Historic District. There are plenty of funky and colorful boutiques, a variety of restaurants, art galleries, theater and live music venues – all within walking distance of one another.

    Northeast of the central business district is the Strip District – another hip and trendy area of town. Also located here is the Heinz History Center with its eclectic collection of cultural artifacts and is home to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

    The east end’s many attractions include the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG AquariumSchenley Park which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district, and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

    On the west end, be sure to visit Mt. Washington, with its famous view of the downtown skyline. Take the Monongahela or Duquesne incline, funiculars that climb the hill to lookouts like Grandview Overlook.

    And then there are the sports venues: PPPaints Arena Heinz Field and PNC Park.

    The above is just a small sampling of the Steel City’s attractions. Find plenty more by visiting


    Getting Certified: Introducing The Certified Government Digital Services Professional Program

    NAGW Navigator: Volume 1 • Issue 2 • Fall 2017

    The 2015 NAGW National Conference in Albuquerque saw the genesis of a great idea. Following his keynote speech at the conference, Executive Director and CEO of the Public Technology Institute Dr. Alan Shark proposed a unique partnership between NAGW and PTI during a conversation with board members. Why not create a certification program specifically for government web professionals?

    Fast forward to the 2017 NAGW National Conference in San Diego, California. The inaugural class of the Certified Government Digital Services Professional (CGDSP) program commenced. The first module took place September 19 and the course will continue with 10 modules on subjects ranging from web and app management, to leadership and governance, to crisis management.

    The graduation ceremony for the CGDSP Class of 2018 will take place at the 2018 NAGW National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Class of 2019 will also commence in Pittsburgh.

    For more information about the Certified Government Digital Services Professional program, visit


    You Should Apply!

    NAGW Navigator: Volume 1 • Issue 1 • Summer 2017

    Have you ever wanted to become more involved with NAGW and help lead the organization? Starting on Monday, July 3 the board of directors will be seeking nominations for the 2017 election. Serving on the board of directors is truly a labor of love. We work hard but we also play hard. Our fellow board members past and present feel like an extended family. Board member positions are a two-year term starting on Nov 1 in the year you are elected. Board members are expected to do the following:

    • Maintain your NAGW membership
    • Participate in conference call meetings (one to two hours every two weeks—currently scheduled on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. CST)
    • Attend two formal meetings every year at conference site (one pre-conference planning session and one at the NAGW annual conference)
    • Work on tasks relating to NAGW business, usually as a member of at least two committees
    • Attend the annual NAGW Conference (no conference registration charge for Board members)

    Checkout the NAGW Board of Directors brochure >>

    The majority of our board members will be seeking reelection in 2017 however our current South Region Director, Alicia Brown, will not be seeking reelection. If you are located in the South Region please consider applying.