September 2023

Volume 4, Issue 1

From the Desk of the President...

Hello MAWD Members!

I hope you all had a great summer and found time to create good memories with your family and friends. As each season wraps up, the next one brings new things to plan and look forward to. For many of us, back-to-school time means an influx of customers and service opportunities. During this time of year, we are given daily opportunities to make a real difference. We are all working together to serve our communities and provide our customers with the support they need to make a better life for themselves and those around them. That is what I love most about the work we all do and the people this organization brings together. Regardless of your agency, your job title, or who your funding flows through… we all have one goal: to help our clients succeed.

I'm proud of our organization’s advancements over the last few years, particularly in developing ways to connect with our membership, striving to bring in professional development opportunities, and working to establish or update policies and by-laws. In the year ahead, we will continue these initiatives and work towards adding additional benefits that can provide our membership with opportunities to learn, collaborate, and grow with colleagues across the state. 

If you are interested, there are multiple opportunities for you to get involved, committees would love to have your participation. If you would like to be a part of serving MAWD Members across the state, please fill out the “Contact Us” form on the website.

I hope you each know how much we truly value your membership. We are looking forward to serving and connecting with you over the year.

Thank you, 

Samantha Terry


2023 Youth Symposium

November 6-8, 2023 | Las Vegas, NV

Congratulations to Our New Board Members!

They recently took on a new role, and now they hope to serve YOU...

Samantha Terry


The President leads the Executive Committee on the MAWD Board. At the end of the term, they automatically transition to Past-President and help with a smooth transition for the newly elected.

Samantha has served the board in multiple roles.  

Dana Keller

Past President

Executive Director at Gamm, Incorporated for the past eight years. I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) as a state representative and the Governance Chair. As the Past-President of MAWD, it is my goal to serve as an advisor to the President and mentor the President-Elect to help them lead our association.  

Donna Brake

President Elect

Donna joined Workforce Development in 2014 and currently serves as a Manager over Special Projects. Throughout Donna's career with Workforce Development, she has served as a Workforce Development Specialist, Program Coordinator, Grant Coordinator, and Regulatory Compliance Monitor. In her current position, Donna is dedicated to improving the oversight and management of Special Projects and contracts to statewide partners and manages the Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning. Donna has served on the board since 2019, she started as the Public Information Chair (1 year), moved to the Professional Development Chair (2 years), and is now serving as President-Elect. 

Tracy Keithley


The Secretary serves the Executive Committee on the MAWD Board. They assist the board by providing an accurate record of business that takes place at quarterly meetings. 

Tracy has served the MAWD board for several years in many positions, including President.

Erica Davis, CWDP 

Public Information Chair

I have worked for Gamm, Incorporated in WIOA programming since 2017, serving a customer-facing role in our local job center. My goal as Public Information Chair for MAWD is to grow our platform and reach more workforce professionals in Missouri and surrounding states. I want to help everyone feel supported and valued through their membership in MAWD. 

Stephanie Tam

Professional Development Chair

My name is Stephanie Tam, I am the YouthBuild case manager for the Youth Employment Program in Youth Alliance, which is located in St. Joseph , MO. I have been with Youth Alliance since June 2020. My primary focus and passion here at Youth Alliance is to help our diverse and growing community build a strong foundation for their future. Provide the best resources and training opportunities for our future generation to be successful. I am bilingual and hope to reach out to the growing Latino community as well. I have been fortunate to attend MAWD the last 2 years and seen the passion, we as community leaders are striving for both locally and statewide to help others.

My goal as the Professional Development Chair for MAWD is to help develop and grow training opportunities to all members. I hope to hear ideas and receive feedback on trainings, workshops, that are of your interest and implement them. I want to help all of our workforce professionals throughout the state and surrounding states feel supported with quality trainings that will help them in their professional journey.

Krystal White


My name is Kristal White, and I am a People Engagement Specialist with the Office of Equal Opportunity. I have been with the State of Missouri since 2019 and I am constantly looking for ways to advance and grow in my role. I love working with people and learning new and innovative ways to do my job better.  The feeling of making a difference is a reward within itself. I attended the MAWD conference for the first time this past year, and I was extremely impressed with how people from all over came together in an effort to make our communities better. I just knew I had to be a part of it!

Mark Embry


Hello; I’m Mark Embry!  I am a member of the Organizational Learning Team, providing training to State and Partner Staff on various procedures and programs. 

I am also the Coordinator for the Federal Bonding Program (FBP).  I hope that I can be a person that when a question arises, an individual can approach and express their concern.  I want to help members be heard and supported.

Les Johnson


A Member At-Large is an officer whose duties and responsibilities are not fixed but instead vary according to the needs of the Association and as directed by the other officers of the Board.

Les is new to the MAWD board. Be sure to welcome him!

Mia' Williams


My name is Mia' Williams and I am the Placement Specialist at Youth Alliance in St. Joseph, MO.  I am currently pursuing my MBA in Human Resource Management.  I have a passion for workforce training, coaching, and development.  I enjoy learning new information to assist me in serving clients and the community.  By participating as a board member, I am excited about contributing to the effort of uniting professionals to collaborate on shaping policies and initiatives that support both job seekers and employers.

September is Workforce Development Month!

Get valuable resources from the NAWDP toolkit here!

Mental health and wellness is for everyone. The Department of Mental Health wants to educate people on ways they can practice wellness in their personal and professional life. When we feel better, we work better. Find toolkits, self-care plans, micro-lessons and printables at the link below!


AEL as Employer Services

The AEL program at East Central College, under the direction of Alice Whalen, has developed a partnership with the employer, WEG Transformers. This partnership will be recognized as WEG receives a Distinguished Business and Industry Award from the Missouri Community College Association during their annual convention.


AEL/Employer Partnership Accomplishments

  • Allowed employer to train and retain qualified workers.
  • Targeted hard-to-serve individuals.
  • Improved access to services for LEP workers.
  • Incorporated industry-specific language.
  • Provided AEL to 30 employees. 12 have graduated, to date.