2018-2020 Council Members

Meet your elected 2018-2020 GSMO Leadership Council! Their two-year term involves supporting the strategic direction of GSMO, assisting with planning regional member meetups and so much more. View our Operations Plan to find a full description of the Leadership Council’s role.

 

Northwest

The Northwest region represents members who work for agencies in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

Warren Kagarise

Digital Engagement Manager – King County, WA

At King County, I serve as the point person for our digital civic engagement — connecting America’s 13th-largest county and our 2.2 million residents via social media, email, text messages, a digital town hall and other tools. I work closely with colleagues at all levels to coach, create, measure and advance the ways King County interacts with our community. I also serve as the lead for the flagship @KingCountyWA Facebook and Twitter accounts. Another top priority is promoting digital equity, by leveraging technology to create a culture of inclusiveness for our region's diverse audiences.

@wkagarise 

In the Pacific Northwest, we’re fortunate to live in a hub of social gov, where many public agencies have the freedom to innovate and our audiences expect our social presence to be at the forefront of customer service. I want to help showcase the outstanding work coming out of agencies in our region and, more importantly, connect established leaders in the field with peers interested in improving the way their organizations use social to connect with their communities.

In my professional role, I work every day to share with my colleagues my passion for community engagement, creative storytelling and innovation. I have been fortunate to share my experience with peers nationally and internationally — and I would bring the same commitment to the GSMO Council and the organization’s members. I strongly believe in bringing a sense of fun to digital engagement. (In my previous position at the City of Issaquah, I routinely dressed up as Sasquatch or a giant salmon to create social content.)

Leadership Positions
  • Washington Emergency Public Information Network, Board of Directors (January 2016-December 2017)
  • Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Board of Directors (October 2013-May 2017)
Awards, Honors and Accomplishments
  • Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties, Digital Counties Survey, Third Place (2018)
  • Center for Digital Government, Government Experience Awards, Second Place (2018)
  • City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA), Promotional Video, Savvy Award (2015)
  • 3CMA, Overall Website, Award of Excellence (2015)
  • 3CMA, Most Creative Activity with Least Dollars Spent, Savvy Award (2014)
  • 3CMA, Social Media, Award of Excellence (2014)

 

Midwest

The Midwest region represents members who work for agencies in the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Kristen Waggener

Communications Specialist – City of Lenexa, Kansas

My primary job duties revolve around social media and our website. Approximately 60% of my time is spent on social media, and I create content for, manage and provide the strategy for 14 different social media accounts for the city. This includes main city accounts as well as accounts for two revenue-generating facilities. I post daily on two sets of accounts and multiple times per day on the main city accounts. Additionally, I provide guidance and oversight for our city’s police and fire accounts. I track analytics for all of the mentioned accounts.

@kwagg 

Shared knowledge makes everyone better, so I am committed to helping GSMO be the knowledge center for the government social media space. I have been a member of GSMO from its inception, and I fully support its mission to establish and promote social media best practices in government. Before GSMO existed, I started a government social media work group in the KC region, and it has flourished by allowing us to get to know one another and learn from what others are doing. With GSMO’s regional structure, I would like to take lessons learned from the KC group and help the GSMO Midwest Region succeed.

As an active member of the GMSO community, I provide help to others whenever possible. As a GSMO Leadership Council member, I will be a strong advocate for ensuring commonly sought after information is easy to find, and for connecting those in the Midwest Region together and with other regions. When I become involved in an organization, I give everything I can. I have attended every GSMCON and have been a GSMO member since it started, I’m active in both Facebook groups, and I’m committed to being easily reachable and to working to make GSMO a valuable part of the government social media space.

Leadership Positions
  • Vice President, Social Media Club of Kansas City (2018) - 1 Year
  • Communications Chair, Social Media Club of Kansas City (2015-2018) - 3 Years
  • Co-Chair, KC Regional Association of PIOs (RAPIO) (2017-2018) - 2 Years
  • Co-Coordinator, KC RAPIO Social Media Work Group (2016-2017) - 2 Years
  • GSMCON Advisory Board (2016) - 1 Year
  • GSMO Board (2017) - 1 Year
Awards, Honors and Accomplishments
  • Keynote Speaker - Kansas Association of Public Information Officers (2018)
  • Silver Circle Award (Social media) - 3CMA (2018)
  • 3 Gold Awards - SMCKC AMPS awards - (2016, 2017)
  • Volunteer of the Year - Social Media Club of Kansas City (2016)
  • Trending Now! Finalist (Best social media in government) - ELGL (2016)
  • Chris Traeger Award (Top 100 local government influencers) - ELGL (2016)
  • Award of Excellence (Best campaign use of social media) - 3CMA (2016)

 

Northeast

The Northeast region represents members who work for agencies in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

Nick Smith

Digital Content Specialist – City of Gaithersburg, MD

I create, format & publish text, graphics & video, for social media, signage, web, print & more. I'm responsible for the content on each of our government's social media profiles. I administer 20+ others across different City departments and facilities, and I regularly train the admins of those profiles in social media best practices. I also appear on-camera, interviewing people about City programs, as well as solo in news broadcasts and a series in which I detail, in plain English, the matters before our Mayor & Council — but most importantly, I humanize local government every day.

@GburgMD 

Despite the concentration of government entities in the National Capital Region, there aren't a lot of Gismos here. In fact, there are 16 states & DC in this region, representing nearly one-third of the US population, and the reason for that is that we just don't have as many members here as we should. This region means a lot to me — I grew up in Kentucky, I went to school in New York, and now that I live and work in Maryland, I'd like to spearhead an effort to make Government Social Media a major factor in all of those places, as well as the entire Northeast and all the people that make it up.

As a member of ELGL, I've written many articles about the problems we face as young people with big ideas. As the keynote at their national conference this year, I presented to government professionals of all types on how to interpret data on social media. I presented at the most recent GSMCON, and was invited to reprise my presentation for ArchiveSocial as well as multiple PIO groups.

I'm already a strong ambassador for social gov and a top-100 local gov influencer, and I want to give back because GSMO has given me — us — so much.
Awards, Honors and Accomplishments
  • Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) Top 100 Local Government Influencer (2017)

 

Southeast

The Southeast region represents members who work for agencies in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Mary McGuire

Communications & Digitial Media Coordinator – City of Boca Raton

Responsible for the planning, graphic creation, posting and day-to-day management of the social media calendar for the City's very active main accounts - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor, Pinterest & LinkedIn. Lead and collaborate with City departments to present unified messaging/branding for initiatives ranging from hurricane emergencies to seasonal programming. Provide training, support & oversight for 50+ city-wide accounts and 40+ staff. Including monthly reporting & communication updates to staff via email, one-on-one trainings & presentations.

@marytakesphotos

Everyone says, "I have a passion for social media."

But, I'm passionate about learning, listening and sharing. I come from the school of "the more you share, the more you get." When I found GSMO, it was like winning the professional lottery! This incredible organization of men and women working towards the common goal of communicating and supporting their communities has been amazing! I know so many agencies that are still trying to find their footing with social. A few in my state have reached out. It has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career to help get them off and running.

I want to grow our Gismo community in the SE and strengthen the organziation to have an even stronger voice for our agencies, and our profession as a whole. (Breaking the stereotype, "Oh, so you do Facebook for a living, huh?) Whether it's advocating for our members with the platforms, having an "open door policy" for my region's challenges & questions, sharing best practices or recognizing their efforts...big or small....we ALL win. AND...ask anyone...I love me a road trip! City Halls and Roadside America stops in 9 states...happiness.

Leadership Positions
  • Selection Committee Member ELGL/Cartegraph Clarity Award (2018)
  • GovLoop Ambassador (2017-2018)
Awards, Honors and Accomplishments
  • Graphic Design for the Non-Designer webinar for Archive Social (May 2018)
  • What's Next...Nextdoor webinar for FL League of Cities & FL Municipal Communicators Assoc. (August 2018)
  • "Local Alerts" participant in Facebook Beta Test Group
  • Grew City's main Facebook account from 1,500 fans to over 35,000 in just over 2 years.

 

Southwest

The Southwest region represents members who work for agencies in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Jay Socol

Director of Communications – City of College Station, Texas

I oversee media relations, public relations and marketing for the City of College Station, which is home to Texas A&M University and the majority of its 65,000+ students. Our department's primary strategy is to make information useful and timely to citizens, and to fulfill our mission: We Care. We Listen. We Respond. Social media (and social listening) is an integral part of our overall strategy, with emphasis on traditional platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but also with less-common, city-deployed social tools such as blogging (WordPress) and podcasting (YouTube, SoundCloud).

@jaysocol 

I believe strongly in GSMO's mission and the networking/learning experiences offered through its annual conferences and online assets. I've had the privilege of working alongside GSMO leadership and peers to plan a conference, I've presented twice, and I've made lasting professional and personal connections through these experiences. Countless others have more knowledge in social spaces than I have but, as a communications director, I want to be an advocate for strategic social media use within government agencies AND a champion for highly trained people to perform those jobs.

While I do actively work within several social platforms, I've empowered my team to strategically use social media to share information, listen to what others are saying to (or about) us, and increase our city's transparency. If I can, through this leadership role, serve as an advocate for other agencies to use social platforms as two-way communication channels to benefit their customers/audience, then I sincerely believe I'm clearing a path for the next generation of communication professionals.

Leadership Positions
  • President, Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) (2016-2018)
  • President, Texas A&M Dept. of Communication Alumni Advisory Board (2016-2017)
  • Advisory Team, GSMCON (2016)
  • Vice President, TAMIO (2014-2016)
  • Treasurer, TAMIO (2012-2014)

 

West

The West region represents members who work for agencies in the states of California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

Chris Hsiung

Captain – Mountain View Police Department

With over 23 years in law enforcement and over 11 years as a police manager, I am part of the Mountain View Police Dept. executive team and currently command the Special Operations Division consisting of detective units, personnel and training, professional standards, and the digital media and public affairs unit (SOCIAL MEDIA!!!). I'm passionate about helping government and communities connect and engage with each other and frequently write and travel to speak on the topic of social media, crisis communications and management, community engagement, and digital strategy for the public sector.

@chMtnViewPD 

I love helping fellow govvies use their social media platforms and strategies to reach and engage the communities they serve. As my GSMCON Facebook Group activity demonstrates, I'm very active and engaged in the group and make myself a resource to others 24/7 if they ever need anything; be it policy, templates, connecting members to my network of contacts, or any other resources. I currently serve in a very similar capacity for the Int'l Assoc. of Chiefs of Police (IACP), serving as the vice-chair for the western US region.

I'd like to think I've been with GSMO since the beginning. Becoming a member of GSMO in 2015 and serving on the #GSMCON2016 advisory team a year later. I was then honored to be awarded the Government Social Media Top Social Media Advocate in Government 2017.

I love GSMO and find fulfillment and passion in helping others in the government social media space. It's an incredible organization and I would be humbled to serve as a leader for the western region. Leaning on my leadership, management, and social media experience, I feel I'd have a lot to offer and contribute to the membership.

Leadership Positions
  • Vice Chair - West Region (Int'l Assoc. of Chiefs of Police PIO Section) - 3 Years
  • #GSMCON2016 Advisory Committee - 1 Year
  • Commissioner - City of San Mateo Community Relations Commission - 3 Years
  • Committee Member - CalChiefs Technology Committee - 4 Years
  • Board Member - Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center - 1 Year
Awards, Honors and Accomplishments
  • Government Social Media "Top Social Media Advocate in Government" (2017)
  • Government Technology Magazine "Top 25 Doer, Dreamer, and Driver" (2017)
  • ELGL voted #5 on annual "Chris Traeger Top 100 list of government influencers" (2017)
  • Published author, blogger, and conference speaker (2014 - Present)