​By Philip Reed

In June, Administrator and CEO Tracey LeBeau announced the first participants of WAPA’s Leadership Learning Intensive, or L2I, Program. The L2I Program is an enhanced version of the organization’s previous Leadership Emergence and Development Program, including mentoring, coaching and numerous assessments to facilitate growth and continue developing WAPA’s pipeline of leaders.

L2I is designed for high-performing employees at the GS-13 to GS-14 level. The program focuses on four main competencies: relationship management, developing others, conflict management and communication.

These competencies were chosen based on data gathered by the Leadership Development Program over the course of two years. The L2I program consists of a rigorous entry process, including two levels of supervisor recommendations, five Executive Core Qualifications written responses and an interview. The ECQ written responses and the interview process were facilitated by a group of GS-15s and Senior Executive Service employees.

Seven employees were selected to be part of the 2022-2023 cohort. They will receive training during the program, travel to each region to perform details outside of their main jobs. The program began in June and will run through November 2023.

In their own words
The first L2I participants share their hopes for the program.

Chief of Staff Melissa Ardis
I am very excited to be part of the new L2I Program. I am looking forward to getting to know others in this cohort as well as getting to work across WAPA in a different capacity. I truly believe this program will help hone my leadership skills and give me the tools I need to better serve and lead at WAPA.

Reliability Compliance Management Specialist Kimberly Bentley
I’m excited to be a member of WAPA’s first L2I cohort and participate in the events and training available. I’m especially looking forward to detailing into other functional areas and working with employees I would otherwise not have met. I hope to enhance my leadership abilities and develop skills and knowledge, which will make me a more effective WAPA employee and leader.

Public Utilities Specialist Nicole Gonsalves
I’m excited for the opportunities of the L2I Program and to challenge myself to enhance results-driven skills through positive work cultures and inspiring and motivating others. This, in turn, strengthens WAPA as a whole. I have witnessed LEAD graduates transition from great workers to strong leaders and aim to do the same.

Records and Information Management Manager Chris Magee
I’m looking forward to everything about the L2I Program! Learning formal leadership skills, developing new relationships, performing work assignments outside of my comfort zone and better understanding how WAPA operates will not only make me a better leader but a better public servant. I can’t wait to begin putting these new skills to use.

Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist LaTisha Saare
I am excited to learn more about other functions, departments and regions within WAPA through the L2I Program. I am looking forward to stretch assignments that will push me out of my comfort zone and improve my leadership skills so that I may better serve the agency in the future.

Power System Dispatcher Justin Spear
I consider myself a lifelong learner and the L2I Program provides a phenomenal opportunity to broaden skillsets, network with other WAPA professionals and provide value to the entire WAPA team for years to come. I truly believe that, as a WAPA employee, I have a duty to the American taxpayers to become the most dynamic and well-rounded leader I can be. I am honored and humbled to be selected to join the L2I Program.

Safety and Occupational Health Manager Krystall Valencia
I am excited to be a part of the L2I development program. I am looking forward to the learning activities, senior leadership discussions and peer networking. These are all opportunities to support WAPA’s mission, strengthen my current leadership skills and provide me with tools I will use in the future. As an emerging leader, I am proud to be a part of an organization that invests in its employees.

​Note: Reed was a public affairs specialist.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023