December 2020 Panel

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Our December 8th moderated conversation focused on Women in Public Service Leadership roles.  Our panelists discussed Dr. Jaclyn Piatak's W+GRA-supported project, "The Role of Gender in Government and Nonprofit Workplaces: An Experimental Analysis of Rule Compliance and Supervisor Trust", and how it relates to their experiences as women in leadership positions within the public sector.

December 8, 2020

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm on Zoom


Our Moderator is Dr. Jaclyn Piatak

Our Panelists are Lauren Tayara, Karen Whichard, and Phin Xaypangna

Our Moderator

Photo of Dr. Jaclyn Piatak

Dr. Jaclyn Piatak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and teaches courses in the Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration Program.

Her research interests include public and nonprofit management, volunteering, human resource management, and social policy. More specifically, her work examines how organizations interact to deliver public services, how job sector relates to individual outcomes and behaviors, and issues in human resource management, particularly related to employment dynamics and equity and inclusion. Her research appears in top journals, such as the Journal of Public Administration Review and Theory and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and her co-authored book, Occupational Labor Shortages: Concepts, Causes, Consequences, and Cures.

Dr. Piatak’s professional experience includes working in the federal government at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. She received a Doctoral Fellowship from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations & Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and two Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Awards and a Recovery and Reinvestment Act Award from her work at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Our Panelists

Photo of Lauren Tayara

Lauren Tayara is a Government Affairs and Member Engagement (GAME) Coordinator for Centralina Regional Council.  She previously served as a budget analyst in N.C. county government as a budget analyst. As a member of the N.C. Local Government Budget Association, Lauren established and moderated a 'Women in Local Government Leadership' panel series showcasing some of the region's top female leaders. She is also actively involved in organizational Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees to bring about change in workforce representation and workplace culture.

An eight-year resident of the Queen City, Lauren is a graduate of the UNC at Charlotte Master of Public Administration program with concentrations in Urban Policy and Nonprofit Management. In her personal life, she enjoys being a role model for her three nieces.

Photo of Karen Whichard

As the Assistant Town Manager for the Town of Davidson, Karen Whichard manages a department portfolio that includes public works, parks and recreation, economic development, human resources and finance.  Prior to joining the Town of Davidson in 2019, Karen spent eight years with the City of Charlotte working in three different departments – Charlotte Water, Strategy & Budget and the City Manager’s Office. Her work included budget development and management, racial equity, crisis communications, media relations, process improvement, and intergovernmental affairs. Before joining the City of Charlotte in 2011, she served as the Communications Director for the City of Kannapolis, where she was a key member of the city and community team that managed the redevelopment of the core city from textiles to the NC Research Campus.

Karen holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Public Administration from UNC Charlotte. She is currently pursuing a certificate in executive leadership from the Brookings Institution.  A proud graduate of South Mecklenburg High School, she lives in Charlotte with her husband and three children.

Photo of Phin Xaypangna

Phin Xaypangna is currently serving as Mecklenburg County’s Equity and Inclusion Manager in the Office of Equity and Inclusion.  She has over 20 years of experience in diversity, equity and inclusion, organizational development, workforce/succession planning, leadership development, facilitation, and strategic planning.  Phin has served as a speaker and presenter at local, state and national conferences on the topics of equity and inclusion and leadership development.  She is an active community leader in civic engagement and social justice.

She serves as the chair/cofounder of the Charlotte International Women’s Day and Charlotte Asian Film Festival.   She was a former board member of Mecklenburg Ministries, Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte World Parade and Festival, American Society for Public Administration, past president of the Southeast Conference for Public Administration and the Charlotte Asian Heritage Association.

Phin is a native of Laos. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Western Carolina University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC Charlotte.