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We Are DES: Meet Trisha Cronin

Trisha Cronin smiles for the camera.

This is a part of our featured story series “We Are DES.” These stories will introduce you to an individual at DES and the work they do to help fulfill the DES mission — you’ll also learn some fun details about how they spend time outside of work.

Trisha Cronin

Workforce Support & Development (WSD)

Job title:
Washington State Leadership Development Manager

What year did you start at DES?

What year did you begin working for Washington state?

In two sentences or less, describe what you do at DES.
I lead a team of four committed leadership development facilitators to design and deliver trainings designed to increase Washington state leaders’ abilities to facilitate inclusive and collaborative team cultures. We provide Leading Others, Washington state government’s trusted curriculum to address the WAC requirement for new supervisor training. We also provide leadership development workshops, including Mitigating Implicit Bias in the Hiring Process.

How do you believe your role supports the DES mission of strengthening the business of government?
In our quest for inclusive government services, leadership plays a crucial role. When people feel like they belong, they’re able to leverage their creativity, engagement and productivity. We help leaders develop skills to build teams where people experience a culture of belonging. This contributes to our workforce providing the services that people truly need with respect and equity.

In what ways do you experience DES values in your everyday work? (respect; integrity; excellence; diversity, equity & inclusion)
I’m proud of the way we work as a team both in our division and in the Workforce Learning and Performance team. We value each other, and this respect helps us to have honest conversations. Currently, we’re working on revamping our quality assurance program and having some super interesting discussions about what quality is and how we’ll know when we’ve reached it.

As we begin the refresh of the Leading Others curriculum, we’re prioritizing bringing an equity lens to the curriculum development. We also continually develop our skills as brave, accountable, anti-racist facilitators. When we make mistakes, we do our best to bring them out into the open and learn from them. It’s important to us that we bring our full selves and all our intersecting identities to our work.

What did you do before working at DES?
At the beginning of my career, I worked in book retail. I still love giving book recommendations! Then I spent about a decade homeschooling my two sons — my oldest is just about to graduate from high school! Most recently, I worked in our local library system leading the district’s adult services team.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to run! Right now, I’m training for the Capital City Half Marathon. I’m also about to start a kickboxing class with my teenage sons, which should be pretty exciting!

What is a fun fact about you?
I like to bring the fun to everything. It hasn’t been a satisfying day unless I’ve made someone laugh!! A few years ago, I took an improv class, and the instructor crushed all my dreams when he told me it wasn’t about being funny! I also believe that there can never be too many exclamation points!



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We strengthen the business of government.