Event Info


Eastern Time (North America)


SheLeadsGov Virtual Forum

Event Details

A day of inspiration presented by ICMA and the League of Women in Government, sponsored by Cigna.

Due to the popularity of this event, we are at full capacity for registration. Stay tuned for a recording!

The SheLeadsGov Virtual Forum, Maintaining Momentum: Achieving Success through Resiliency, is a unique professional development opportunity to maintain your personal and professional goals in 2021. Created by ICMA and the League of Women in Government, we, along with event sponsor and ICMA strategic partner Cigna, have designed a day that will inspire all local government professionals to strengthen their resiliency amidst the changing and challenging pandemic, social justice concerns, and times of civic unrest.

We have filled the Virtual Forum with thought-provoking and motivational speakers, but that's not all! You will make amazing connections with other women and men in the local government profession, take breaks to clear your mind and relax, and learn new tools and approaches you need to lead with hope and manage stress. 

This extraordinary day offers something for women and men of all ages, and at all career stages. So, if you're ready to achieve success in 2021 and beyond, join us for the SheLeadsGov Virtual Forum!

Event Details

Date: Monday, March 8, 2021 (International Women’s Day)

Time: 11am-3pm EST

Fee: Registration is COMPLIMENTARY for ICMA members and nonmembers, courtesy of event sponsor Cigna.

Key Takeaways

Participants of the SheLeadsGov Virtual Forum will learn how to:

  • Promote hope through inspiration. 
  • Improve their well-being, self-care, and mindfulness.
  • Support themselves and their peers through the importance of mentoring and coaching. 

Preliminary Schedule of Events

Times are listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST)

11am-11:05am -- Welcome

Cigna Representative: Kim Funderburk, National VP, Government & Education
League of Women in Government Representative: Kelly Houghteling, Deputy Town Administrator, Wellington, Colorado

11:05am-12pm -- Components of Your Success: A Coach, A Mentor, and Having an Advocate in Your Corner

What is the difference between a coach, a mentor, and an advocate? How will having a mentor help me in my career and how do I find someone to work with? At any stage in a career, everyone can benefit from sharing best practices and gaining perspectives from others who can help them see their situation and opportunities from a fresh perspective.

Whether your goal is to focus on a specific short term performance aspect, to gain all-around personal development, or to seek support – or all three – this panel will explore the difference between a coach, a mentor and an advocate. Join the discussion with local government leaders to learn more about these important components of your success plus much more!

Moderator: Kim Funderburk, National VP, Government & Education, Cigna

  • William “Bill” Bell, city manager, city of Montrose, Colorado
  • Kathy Hodgson, city manager, city of Lakewood, Colorado
  • Shawn Stokes, director, human resources, Prince Georges County, Maryland
  • Bonnie Wise, county administrator, Hillsborough County BOCC, Florida
12pm-12:15pm -- Mindfulness Break

A brief break to help you clear your mind and relax, led by Cigna.

12:15pm-1pm -- Leading with Hope: A Key to Navigating Ambiguity and Building Resilience

Speaker: June Mighty 

There was a time when the word hope evoked images of a limp noodle. COVID-19, social justice concerns, and the recent events at the United States capitol brings the need for hope to the forefront and this time it depicts a tangible confidence needed to move through chaos and ambiguity. This talk will inspire you to become leaders of hope by first addressing what hope is and is not and how to use hope to navigate ambiguity and build resilience in yourself and others.

1pm-1:15pm -- Break

Stand-up and Stretch, led by Cigna.

1:15pm-1:55pm -- Resiliency Matters – For Your Health and Productivity

It is a challenging time, and all Americans are feeling the impact. But according to the Cigna Resilience Index survey, Government workers may be feeling it even more. In fact, they are significantly less likely than other full-time U.S. workers to rate their physical health and social life as very good or excellent right now.

By understanding your major stressors, it can help you to strengthen your resilience and to minimize the impact on your own health.

Speaker: Sandra Shaklan, Behavioral Clinical Account Manager, Cigna

2pm-3pm -- Continuing the Conversation

Connect with attendees to discuss the day’s topics and highlights, as well as have an opportunity to network with one another.


  • Kim Funderburk, National VP and General Manager, Government & Education, Cigna
  • Sandra Shaklan, Behavioral Clinical Account Manager, Cigna
  • Kelly Axtell, Deputy Town Manager, Lexington, MA (WLG – NE/SE)
  • Kimberly Richardson, Acting Assistant City Manager, Evanston, IL (WLG – MW/MP)

Meet the Speakers

June Mighty
June Mighty, Organizational & Talent Development Division Chief for the County of Santa Barbara.

June Mighty is a connector, diplomat, and organizational development architect with more than 27-years’ experience positively impacting organizations through the implementation of leadership and organizational development strategies in the public and private sectors. Her career path includes serving as a leadership development Instructor in the U.S. Air Force, developing numerous training programs at the City of Phoenix, and owning JM Consulting Group, where she facilitates customized leadership and professional development workshops and programs for corporate, nonprofit, and government clients.

June is a doctoral candidate focusing on organizational leadership with a concentration in conflict resolution. She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Development, Bachelor’s degrees in Management and Theology, an Associate's degrees in Instructor Technology, Personnel Administration, and General Studies. She is a certified True Colors facilitator and a member of International Association for Conflict Management, the Association for Talent Development and the International City/County Managers Association. Currently, she serves as the Organizational & Talent Development Division Chief for the County of Santa Barbara.

kathy hodgson
Kathy Hodgson, City Manager, Lakewood, Colorado

Kathy Hodgson is the city manager for Lakewood, Colorado, the most populous city in Jefferson County and the third largest city in the Denver metro area with 156,500 residents. She oversees an annual budget of $200 million and an organization with about 900 full-time employees. She became city manager in 2009, and during her tenure Lakewood’s financial reserves have reached historic levels. She has been successful in attracting major new businesses to the city while also adding to the city’s parks and open space including a 59-acre parcel in the heart of the city. Lakewood also has received the All-America City Award in 2011 and 2016 from the National Civic League. Kathy was president of the Colorado Women’s Forum in 2016, and she is currently chair of the Denver Botanic Gardens Board of Directors. She received the Outstanding Women in Business award in 2015 from the Denver Business Journal, and she has been honored as an Outstanding Woman of Jefferson County for her impact on the community and inspiration to others. She served on the executive board for the Colorado Municipal League, she is past president of the Metro City & County Management Association and she continues to serve on the Red Rocks Community College Advisory Council. Kathy is regularly asked to speak at a variety of professional organizations each year, providing her knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics.



Bill Bell
William "Bill" Bell, City Manager, Montrose, Colorado

William “Bill” Bell is the city manager for the City of Montrose, CO. He has worked in Public Administration for approximately 20 years, is a member of ICMA’s Governmental Affairs and Policy Committee, and is a Past President of the Colorado City & County Managers’ Association (CCCMA) and the Colorado Municipal League (CML). Bill received the 2020 Award for Career Development in Memory of L.P. Cookingham for his attentiveness to supporting, mentoring, and advancing women in local government who have since gone on to succeed in leadership positions.



Sandra Shakan
Sandra Shaklan, Behavioral Clinical Account Manager, Cigna

Sandra Shaklan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of clinical experience. She has extensive experience with adults, children, and their families in multiple settings including both outpatient and inpatient treatment. She holds a Master of Social Work degree with a specialization in family and children from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. As a Behavioral Client Account Manager for Cigna, her focus is building relationships with organizations to improve the behavioral health and wellbeing of others. In this role, Sandra acts as a Subject Matter Expert to Cigna Sales teams and possesses an in-depth knowledge of Cigna’s suite of behavioral products, services, and capabilities. In addition, she has specialized training in mindfulness and is a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor.



Kim Funderbunk

Kimberly Funderburk, National Vice President and General Manager for Government & Education, Cigna 

Kimberly Funderburk is responsible for the creation and execution of a national Government & Education strategy consistent with Cigna's overall value proposition.  Kimberly also serves as a strategic and consultative resource to Cigna’s local market account teams, ensuring that Cigna's strategies, solutions and service deliver differentiated value and address the specific and unique needs of each Government and Education client.  She has over 20+ years of experience in the healthcare industry, many of which were previously spent at Cigna in a number of positions that spanned across Operations and Sales. Prior to her return, she led the Sales and Health & Wellness teams at Anthem BCBSGA.  She has extensive Government and Education experience, having worked with numerous public entities, school systems, colleges and universities across the country during her time at Cigna and at Anthem BCBSGA.

Kimberly is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. She lives in Atlanta and is passionately committed to community and health engagement and advocacy.


Kelly Houghteling
Kelly Houghteling, Deputy Town Administrator, Wellington, Colorado

Kelly is a forward-thinking public servant devoted to improving the quality of life for the community she serves. As the Deputy Town Administrator in Wellington, Colorado, she is committed to leading an organization that delivers outstanding municipal services. She is guided by the principles of integrity, equity, engagement, and resiliency, and understands that local governments must have clarity of vision to achieve community goals. Kelly serves as the President of The League of Women in Government, a group dedicated to moving the needle forward on the number of women serving at the most senior and executive levels in all areas of local government. She is also the past Chair of Colorado Women Leading Government. In 2018, Kelly was awarded the Assistant Manager of the Year by the Colorado City/County Management Association, she was also recognized as a Top 100 local government influencers by Engaging Local Government Leaders, and was named a 2017 Northern Colorado BizWest 40 Under 40 recipient. Prior to her work in Wellington, Kelly worked for the Town of Windsor, Colorado, City of Fort Collins, Colorado, and the City of Lawrence, Kansas, in the City Manager’s Office. Kelly holds a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. When she’s not in the office, Kelly can be found in the great outdoors enjoying her time fly-fishing, reading, and competing in triathlons.



Shawn Stokes
Shawn Stokes, Director, HR, Prince Georges County, Maryland

Shawn Y. Stokes transforms public and private organizations with thoughtful and intentional leadership through a commitment to delivering excellence by rethinking and reshaping operations, elevating professional development for every level of the workforce, and building strong and positive workplace cultures.

As the Director of the Office of Human Resources Management for Prince George’s County Government, Shawn leads all aspects and functions of human resources, engaging and developing the workforce, and serving as a senior advisor to the County Executive and senior leadership on personnel matters. She has been recognized for the successful launch of Level Up, the County’s award-winning employee wellness program.

Shawn’s career includes human resources leadership roles as the Director for the Office of Human Resources for Montgomery County Government, as Director of the District of Columbia Government’s Department of Human Resources (DCHR), with Baltimore City Public Schools and with the Philadelphia School District. In the private sector, she served as Director for Recruiting for the CIGNA Insurance Company, managing the recruiting and financial operations. Shawn earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Delaware State University and a master’s degree in engineering from Connecticut State University. She is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executive in State and Local Government Program and the Harvard Business School’s Public Education Leadership Program.

Bonnie Wise
Bonnie Wise, County Administrator for Hillsborough County BOCC, Florida

Hillsborough County Administrator Bonnie M. Wise is a longtime public servant with extensive experience in executive leadership, public finance, and municipal bonds. Appointed County Administrator in 2020, Bonnie leads a diverse county with 1.4 million residents, more than 4,000 employees, and an annual budget of $6.65 billion. Bonnie advocates for an atmosphere of innovation and collaboration among County employees, public- and private-sector stakeholders, and the broader community with her mantra of “one team, one county, and one community.”

Bonnie first joined the County executive team in April 2011, serving as Deputy County Administrator and Chief Financial Administrator. She’s also served in leadership roles within Affordable Housing Services, Management & Budget, Debt Management, Economic Development, Enterprise Solutions & Quality Assurance, Extension Services, Grants Management, Human Resources, Procurement Services, and Risk Management. Before joining Hillsborough County, Bonnie served as the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Tampa for 8 years, overseeing various departments and the City’s $787 million budget.

Outside of her professional duties and affiliations, Bonnie is active in her community and enjoys serving on numerous boards, councils, and executive committees. Bonnie holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, both from the University of Florida. Bonnie has been a resident of Hillsborough County for more than 30 years, where she raised her two children, and currently lives in South Tampa with her husband.

Kimberly Richardson
Kimberly Richardson, Acting Assistant City Manager, Evanston, Illinois

Kimberly Richardson has been in the city management profession for 16 years. Kimberly holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Northern Illinois University and is currently the Deputy City Manager for Evanston, Illinois. Before her recent appointment as Deputy City Manager, Kimberly was the Assistant to the City Manager for two years. Prior to her tenure in Evanston, Kimberly was the Assistant to the Village Manager for Flossmoor, Illinois from 2007-2016. Kimberly is the President-Elect for the Legacy Project, Past-President of the Illinois Association of Municipal Management Assistants (IAMMA), Past board member of the Illinois City/County Management Association (ILCMA) and National Forum for Black Public Administrators Chicago Chapter (NFPA). Kimberly is currently participating in the ICMA Mid-Career Managers Institute.

Kelly Axtell

Kelly Axtell is the Deputy Town Manager for the Town of Lexington, MA where she supervises six departments, including Library, Human Services, Human Resources, Fire, Information Technology and Town Clerk. In her previous role as the Assistant Director of Senior Services, Kelly provided supervision for the services provided to older adults in the Lexington community. In addition, she was involved in the strategic planning process for a new community center for the Town as well as in strengthening the Senior Services team of the Human Services Department. Most recently, she was chosen to lead the Town of Lexington’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.

Kelly serves as the Chair of the Women Leading Government Committee and Forms of Government Committee, which is part of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. She received her MBA from the Heller School of Social Justice at Brandeis University in Massachusetts with a concentration in Elders and People with Disabilities.

Rebecca DeSantis

Rebecca is a Program Manager of Career and Equity Advancement at ICMA. She manages the ICMA Student Chapter program, the Local Government Management Fellowship program, ICMA CoachConnect, and the ICMA Job Center. She holds a Bachelors Degree in International Studies from Washington College and a Masters of Public Administration from American University.

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