Congratulations to DEQ’s 2022 graduates of ASCENT Transformational Leadership Program

Ximena Cruz Cuevas (left), Brian Stafki (middle) and Laura Gleim (right) at ASCENT graduation ceremony Sept. 22, 2022

One thing that hasn’t changed at DEQ is the belief that our strength is our people. That strength is reflected in these three inspiring graduates of the 2022 ASCENT Transformational Leadership Program. Congratulations Ximena Cruz Cuevas, Northwest Region cleanup program coordinator (left), Brian Stafki, Materials Management natural resource specialist (middle) and Laura Gleim, Eastern Region public affairs specialist (right).

“We now recognize that leadership is a process of transformation whereby a leader is encouraged to make a profound shift—to gain a deeper under-standing of themselves, the world, and their relationship to others,” ASCENT.

And here’s what Brian had to say about his experience in the nine-month program:

What makes a great leader? What do I need to be a great leader? How do I influence change?

These were some of the questions I was exploring coming into the ASCENT Transformation Leadership Program last January. All of these questions and more were answered over the course of nine months of online and in-person meetings with a large cohort and more intimate discussions with a smaller group or POD. The organizers did a great job of providing articles and books, guest speakers, assignments and more to help supercharge our growth and apply our learning. Each month we discussed our explorations and dived deeply into topics with each other.

It was rewarding to get to know other staff with similar aims from all parts of the state as well as the ASCENT staff. We supported each other in our learning and gained from each other’s insights. I have led people for over 15 years and I still had more to learn and still do. I am excited to take advantage of all the continued learning and networking opportunities that alumni are afforded. I am also super grateful to the ASCENT program, DEQ and the Materials Management Program for their support. I am excited for the next chapter in my career, when I find the right opportunity, of working for the State and its people as a servant leader by helping others be the best versions of themselves while enhancing our community and the environment.

By Brian Stafki

Published by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.

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