The 2023 U.S. WIN Conference marked the election and transition of leadership for the U.S. WIN Professional Development Committee. The committee has been led by Tammera Baker of Arizona Public Service for the past couple of years, and during her leadership, the committee pushed out more programming for U.S. WIN members, including the new Professional Development Week in September to celebrate all things professional development. The committee elected Price Collins to become the new committee chair this year. The U.S. WIN Communications Committee caught up with both leaders in the Q&A below.
Price Collins, chair of the Professional Development Committee
Senior Nuclear Engineer, Duke Energy
[Comm Comm] Hey Price! Describe yourself to us in 10 words or less.
[Price] Nuclear Engineer with a passion for cooking and football.
[Comm Comm] What are 5 of your favorite things about being part of the PD Committee?
- Crafting webinars about different topics for U.S. WIN members
- Working with multiple individuals across companies/organizations for the betterment of the nuclear energy industry
- Developing the GROW program and lifting it up from under the umbrella of the PD Committee
- Updates and maintenance of the PD Library, including more focus on ‘PD on demand’
- Development and implementation of content for PD+ week and Women’s History Month.
[Comm Comm] What do you hope to accomplish as the PD Committee chair?
- Continue the excellent work carried out by the committee over the last several years, including professional development week and plethora of webinars
- Drive workforce development in alignment with the upcoming changes to the U.S. WIN strategic objectives
- Ensure Professional Development offerings meet the spirit and intent of work carried out and proposed by the DEI committee.
[Comm Comm] Where and in what roles do you think the PD Committee needs more volunteers?
- Professional Development week planning and implementation
- Planning and implementation for the 2024 U.S. WIN conference
- ‘Ambassador’ roles for all PD Committee members for their home chapters.
[Comm Comm] How can U.S. WIN members join the committee?
[Price] Prospective members can email [email protected] to be added to our committee.
Tammera Baker, past chair of the Professional Development Committee
Consultant, Nuclear Policy and Strategic Business Planning, Arizona Public Service – Palo Verde Generating Station
[Comm Comm] Hey Tammera! Describe yourself to us in 10 words or less.
[Tammera] Servant leader dedicated to empowering, inspiring, mentoring, and developing others.
[Comm Comm] What are 5 things you learned during your term as the PD Committee chair?
- EVERYONE IS A LEADER SO LEAD WITH PURPOSE
Leadership is not confined to titles or positions; it’s a reflection of our actions, influence, and choices. It entails uniting others around a common goal and inspiring their success. Each of us holds a leadership role within our own sphere of influence, and it’s a choice we make, not a job we hold. So, embrace this role and lead with purpose.
- COMMUNICATE WITH INTENTION
Communication is the bridge that connects dreams to reality, ideas to action, and individuals to success. It is the foundation of effective leadership. So, remember that the significance of your message lies not in what you say, but in what others heard or perceived you to say. Be clear in your messaging and make listening, understanding, and feedback a priority.
- LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Our actions and attitudes influence those around us. Along your leadership journey, remember that the lessons, experiences, and relationships built are just as crucial as the goals achieved. By demonstrating empathy, accountability, and empowerment, we set a positive example and inspire others to do the same.
- COLLABORATE TO INSPIRE
Collaboration unlocks the door to inspiration and motivation, which ultimately drives success. As a leader, foster inclusivity to empower everyone to voice their thoughts, build relationships by sharing stories that offer lessons learned from both victories and challenges, and champion diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences to inspire innovation and growth.
- EMPOWER EACH OTHER TO SUCCEED
Leadership, regardless of its form, serves as a driving force for empowerment, prioritizing people over tasks. It inspires individuals to invest in their personal development, roles, and aspirations. Your leadership journey is a perpetual one, marked by encouragement, support, and the cultivation of growth. When we empower each other – and lead with purpose – we all “WIN” and succeed together.
[Comm Comm] Do you have any advice for Price as he steps into the chair role?
Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Communication is the cornerstone of our daily interactions and a leader’s most powerful tool, whether it’s composing emails, facilitating meetings, delivering presentations, or offering feedback. To deliver a message that reaches the hearts of your audience, practice the 7 Cs of Communication.
Speaking with clarity is essential; it ensures that your message is easily understood and builds credibility with your audience. To deliver a clear message, strive for simplicity by minimizing acronyms, avoiding slang terms (e.g., gonna, folks, ya’ll, cool), and asking open-ended questions (e.g., tell me more). Also, maintain professionalism when communicating outside your usual circle, similar to how you would speak with executives.
A complete message provides the audience will all necessary information to stay informed and take action if needed. To prevent leaving out crucial details or gaps in your reasoning, check that all relevant information and/or a “call to action” or “request for information” has been clearly articulated before delivering the message.
Accurate and error-free communication is crucial. It guarantees understanding and demonstrates your commitment to delivering reliable information. Conversely, inaccurate information can damage your credibility. Before sending your message, confirm spelling and accuracy of names, titles, facts, hyperlinks and actions requested.
Courteous communication values your audience’s perspective and needs. When delivering messages that are challenging or inconvenient, tailor your communication so it influences, rather than alienates and when needed, offer your apologies and assistance in finding a solution.
Concise messages are clear and brief, without unnecessary details, filler words (e.g., you see, literally, I mean) or repetitive points. This approach captures your audience’s attention, especially when discussing new topics, and makes your main point stand out.
A concrete message paints a clear picture for your audience by using vivid, specific language that is supported by facts and examples. This makes your communication more memorable and convincing. It also shows that you are a confident and credible communicator.
A coherent communication is the glue that holds everything together. It is logical and well-structured, ensuring every point is relevant and flows smoothly. It also reflects your understanding of the topic and ability to communicate with intention and purpose.
[Comm Comm] Where and in what roles do you think the PD Committee needs more volunteers?
With the new strategic objectives as our guide, U.S. WIN is embarking on a journey to not only identify and address missed opportunities within our organization’s programming but also within other industry organizations. With your support, the Professional Development Committee can play a leading and purposeful role in this endeavor, one that not only transforms your own path but also empowers others to reach new heights in their careers and personal growth.
Engaging with the Professional Development Committee principally involves taking on an advisory or liaison role, which includes providing recommendations, influencing problem-solving and decision-making, sharing information between the Committee and your Chapters and Regions, and assisting with deliverables as needed.
If you’re looking to refine specific skills, involvement with a Subcommittee presents a multitude of opportunities.
If you have a creative flair and experience with social media, Amplify provides a pathway to enhance your graphic design and marketing skills by assisting with the development and communication of promotional materials across various social media channels.
If you are interested in marketing, Leverage provides a platform to develop those skills through the management and strategic promotion of the U.S. WIN Professional Development Library.
If you are seeking to gain hands-on experience in event planning and project management, consider joining the Strengthen Subcommittee. As a member, you will assist in the in planning and execution of professional development events, ranging from seasonal webinars to annual conference programming.
[Comm Comm] What is your next adventure in U.S. WIN?
[Tammera] My next endeavor is to support the professional development leadership team in championing the business plan and initiatives that drive U.S. WIN’s vision and strategic objectives.