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Meet your GSM Membership Council president & vice president

Aug 12, 2021

The newly elected president & vice president recently took their official roles on the Government Social Media professional association Membership Council. Congratulations to Council President Warren Kagarise and Council Vice President Jessie Brown!

The Membership Council is a body of elected volunteers who support the strategic direction of the Government Social Media professional association, representing each of the six regions of the United States, plus one at-large Federal position serving all regions. Each council member takes on various roles to best support association members like you, including the crucial leadership positions of president and vice president. 

Warren Kagarise, Membership Council president and digital engagement manager for King County, WA, says in this new role he’s hoping to grow professional association membership and find more ways for members to get involved and get inspired.

“In our field, normal does not exist and how we do our jobs can change overnight,” Warren said. “It is a genuine honor to have the opportunity to work alongside the council and Government Social Media staff to help our profession adapt and improve. I am not exaggerating when I say Government Social Media connected me to a broader world and changed the trajectory of my career. As president I want to ensure we as the socialgov community always have ways to connect, learn and, on occasion, commiserate.”

Oftentimes, working in government social media can feel like you’re on an island, facing challenges — and celebrating wins — alone. Within the Government Social Media professional association, members find a community that best understands this difficult position. Jessie Brown, Membership Council vice president and social media specialist for Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says that while this is a taxing-yet-rewarding field, she’s focused on connections, self-care and celebrating socialgov.

“I want to continue to grow our membership so we can create more connections and relationships that support one another in being experts and professionals who help others, but that also value downtime, boundaries, and taking care of ourselves,” she said. “In addition to focusing on members’ well-being, the council takes great joy in celebrating the successes of our members through awards and events.”

Professional association members — and new members joining — receive special recognition at Government Social Media events, but don’t have to wait for conferences like GSMCON2022 to get connected today. Meet with each other in the newsfeed, exclusive member-only events and participate in special socialgov-specific committees, coming soon. No matter if you’re a one-person team, new to your role or a socialgov pro, being a part of the professional association is a meaningful experience.

“Providing the opportunity to connect with others and learn about what worked — and what didn’t — is so important,” Warren said. “As I mentioned earlier, learning about Government Social Media and attending GSMCON influenced my career in a big way. I want others to have similar opportunities to grow professionally and build the same sort of lifelong friendships.”

All of us at Team GSM are looking forward to all that Warren and Jessie will accomplish in their leadership roles, and want to thank the entirety of the GSM Membership Council for their work in getting socialgovs involved, supported and heard:

  • At-Large Federal position: Justin H.S. Breaux
  • Northwest region: Warren Kagarise
  • Midwest region: Jessie Brown
  • Northeast region: Emily Allen Lucht
  • Southeast region: Chelsea Sawyer
  • Southwest region: Kristen Waggener
  • West region: Zach Whitney

If you’re not already part of the Government Social Media professional association, we’d love to see you there! We reduced yearly membership prices last year to make the association more affordable —  you’ll get access to member-only articles, useful topics & in-depth conversations and training to help you become the most successful government social media professional. Here’s how to join.

Best communicate with the public you serve by becoming a part of the free Government Social Media network — only available to full/part-time employees of government or educational institutions. 

We support the largest network of government social media professionals in the U.S. by guiding government agencies through complex social media issues. Government Social Media helps you successfully communicate with the public you serve, protect your agency and keep public trust while finding your support community. 


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