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Workshop Agenda (tentative)

Friday, April 17

Welcome Reception

Saginaw Valley State University, Curtiss Hall, Rooms F&G, Saginaw, MI

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.: Cost: $25, free with Saturday workshop registration, pre-register or pay on-site.
Networking reception for participants, hosts, sponsors, and political leaders.
Brief remarks by Ready to Run Michigan hosts at 7:15 p.m.

Saturday, April 18

Saginaw Valley State University, Gilbertson Hall (Regional Education Center), Saginaw, MI      

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.: Check-In, Outside Room ES 202                                                

8 a.m.: Breakfast, Room ES 202                                                                        


8:30 – 9 a.m.: Are You Ready to Run? Welcome to Ready to Run Michigan 2015!, Room ES 202

Jesse Donahue, Chair, Department of Political Science, Saginaw Valley State University; Jo Ann Wassenaar, Associate Director, Women’s Center, Grand Valley State University; Sierra Bulson and Chelsea Coffey, Ready to Run Michigan Interns


9–10:45 a.m.: Building a Campaign Plan This session provides an overview of the key elements of a political campaign, including positioning yourself to run for office, developing your campaign plan, and launching your campaign; Room ES 202

Shannon M. Garrett, Co-founder and Board President, VoteRunLead; Owner, SMG Strategies


10:45- 11 a.m.: Break


11 a.m.-noon: Get Ready for Your Close-Up This session is an interactive media training workshop, and topics include tips for successful interviews on tough topics, how to look poised and professional on camera, staying on message, and public speaking techniques; Room ES 202

Michele Coffill, Associate Director of Publications, University Communications, Grand Valley State University


Noon: Lunch, Room ES 202                                                                             


12:30 – 2 p.m.: Politics 101: Political Leadership for Women This session features female political leaders talking about how to get involved in political life, demystifying the political process, and discussing challenges and opportunities for women in elected and appointed office; Room ES 202 

Moderator:   Kelly Rossman-McKinney, CEO and Principal, Truscott Rossman

Panelists:     Dorene Allen, Midland Probate Court, Julie Calley, Ionia County Commission, Judi Brown Clarke, Lansing City Council, Vanessa Guerra, Michigan House of Representatives, Deb Shaughnessy, Michigan Children’s Trust Fund


2– 2:15 p.m.: Break


2:15 – 3:30 p.m: Track A and Track B Breakout #1                     

TRACK A: Messaging with Authenticity Every candidate needs a campaign message that is authentic to your values and your community. This session will cover how to develop your message and deliver it with confidence; Room ES 128

Dawn Crandall, Political Affairs Director, Home Builders Association of Michigan

TRACK B: Tell Your Own Story In this session, we will “mine for stories” from your career and life experience that highlight your leadership and qualifications. Participants will practice developing and delivering a political campaign message using your own story; Room 225 (CPPS)

Nikhol Atkins, Member and Community Mobilizer, American Federation of Teachers Michigan


3:30 – 3:45 p.m: Break                                                                                                


3:45 – 4:45 p.m.: Track A and Track B Breakout #2                     

TRACK A: Fund Your Plan to Win Fundraising is one of the most crucial aspects of a campaign. This workshop covers key components of campaign fundraising, including developing a strategy for your campaign, building a donor list, recruiting and motivating a Finance Committee, and special events; Room ES 128

DiAnna Solomon, Political Fundraising Consultant, RoseTrinity Consulting LLC

TRACK B: Get Comfortable Asking for Dollars, Time & Votes  Too many candidates are uncomfortable directly asking for support – especially money and time – but you will need both dollars and volunteers to implement your campaign plan and earn the votes you need to win. This interactive panel of female elected officials and campaign operatives will share their own stories and help participants understand why people give to candidates and how to get comfortable making the “ask” for political support; Room 225 (CPPS)

Moderator:   Sarah Prues Hecker, President and Founder, Prues Hecker LLC

Panelists:     Judy Rapanos, Midland County Republican Party, Raquel Castenada Lopez, Detroit City Council, Judi Brown Clarke, Lansing City Council


4:50 – 5 p.m.: Are You Ready Now?, Room ES 202                                                                   

(Track A and Track B together.) Closing Remarks



5-6 p.m.: Seriously, You Can Be Ready! Participants are welcome to remain after the closing remarks for an “ask anything” panel, featuring trainers and experts answering your lingering questions about running for office or seeking political appointments.

Room ES 202