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A New WICSEC Unveiled in Omaha

One of the best things about attending annual gatherings of the most important associations in child support is to see how some things remain the same from year to year, such as the ongoing commitment of familiar faces to our chosen industry. But just as exciting is the opposite—seeing how things have changed.

This year’s recent WICSEC annual gathering in Omaha delivered some of each, but especially the latter. While the acronym remains the same, WICSEC unveiled a name change. Formerly the Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council, WICSEC has embraced a new identity: the Western Intergovernmental Child Support Engagement Council.

According to WICSEC President Maureen Leif of Grays Peak Strategies, “This change was made to stay in-step with the times and more appropriately reflect the work, mission and constituencies the organization serves. ‘Intergovernmental’ is a more inclusive word than ‘Interstate’ and recognizes the participation of many tribal child support agencies as well as the collaborative efforts of child support agencies across county, state and federal levels.”

In addition to that big news, our team enjoyed the following highlights:

  • The Plenary Keynote was delivered by Trevor Ragan, founder of Train Ugly ( This fascinating talk focused on the science and truths of learning with specific focus on the “Fixed Mindset” vs. the “Growth Mindset” which was illustrated as our inner “Zoo Tiger” vs. our “Jungle Tiger.” The concept was that to truly grow and develop, we have to push outside our normal comfort zone. Our brains never stop changing, allowing us to learn new things.  Much like the last reps in a workout are the most important to building muscle strength, we must not allow others to “rob our reps” when we’ve reached the most challenging moments in the learning process. Trevor described an exercise called the “non-talent show” where participants signed up to learn a new skill (such as juggling) and then performed it two weeks later. While none had completely mastered their new skills, most could perform on some level—demonstrating the powerful potential of employing our “Jungle Tiger” for learning development and growth.
  • The Leadership Chat and Tweet session was back by popular demand, and I participated as a session leader. This innovative and highly participatory session was an unscripted and informal discussion among leaders and audience members. Participants shared their perspective on leadership and explored questions such as “what makes a good leader”, “how can you change your leadership style”, “how do you become a leader”, and “what are the aspects of managing vs. leading,” etc. Taking place simultaneously in the room and on Twitter, this was a fascinating discussion on how #2018WICSECLeads.
  • My colleague Kim Newsom Bridges shared her child support expertise in a workshop titled “It Only Takes a Nudge: Using Behavioral Interventions to Get the Child Support Outcomes You Want.” This session explored the premise of behavioral science and shared promising practices for behavioral interventions that influence parents to act in their best interests to achieve win-win outcomes for everyone.

As always, our team enjoyed engaging with fellow industry experts, colleagues and clients on the trade show floor and beyond. If you missed the WICSEC conference and want to hear more about the solutions we discussed, check out