La Shawn Boston

Finance & Administrative Assistant

La Shawn joined ASPA in August 2012. Prior to joining ASPA, she served as an Finance Assistant for the non-profit organization Government Accountability Project for almost four years. She has worked in the non-profit field for at least 9 years with a background in finance and administration. La Shawn has completed classes at Strayer University focusing on Business Management.

As the Finance Administrative Assistant she is responsible for the office inventory and assisting the Director of Administrative Services with day-to-day operations related to the financial and administrative aspect of the organization.

Karen E. T. Garrett

Chief of Communications and Marketing
PA TIMES Managing Editor

Karen E. T. Garrett began working for the American Society for Public Administration, the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration, in October 2015, where she serves as the Chief of Communications and Marketing. She brings to the position more than 10 years of association management expertise, most recently serving as Senior Director of Marketing for the Direct Selling Association, a 105-year-old trade association representing companies that distribute products away from a fixed retail location. Ms. Garrett is responsible for all of ASPA’s communications and marketing activities and website administration, as well as serving as the managing editor of PA Times magazine and PA Times Online.

Her career began at the Direct Selling Association in 2001, where she served in administrative capacities before being promoted to a variety of management roles within the communications department. Her primary duties included database and website management and administration, message strategy and delivery, product sales and graphic design. During her time there she promoted and supported more than 10 annual conferences, each attracting more than 1,200 attendees, and transformed the association’s annual Capitol Hill fly-in event from less than 100 participants to more than 450.

Ms. Garrett graduated from American University with her BA in literature in 2001.

Melissa Jun

Chapter and Section Coordinator

Melissa Jun is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University's Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, earned her MPA with a concentration in policy analysis and evaluation this spring. She also holds a certificate in public management.

She started her career in association management for medical school and health care nonprofit organizations. Her background includes membership management, event planning, marketing and program management. Prior to joining ASPA, Melissa was appointed as a Wilder Graduate Scholars Fellow and worked at VCU Development and Alumni Relations as technical writer. She also served as the president of the Public Administration Student Association at VCU and has been active in ASPA's Central Virginia Chapter.

Amy Omang

Conference Manager and Member Services Specialist

As Conference Manager, Amy is primarily responsible for the management, coordination, and logistical aspects of the annual conference education sessions, and works as the liaison with the program committee in the selection of conference sessions. She also works with the ASPA Director of Professional Development in providing general conference support, and works with the development and execution of ASPA’s webinar sessions.  She previously worked as a consultant to ASPA for nine years.

Before coming to ASPA, she worked as the Director of Meetings and Education with the American Staffing Association. She has worked for and with various trade and non-profit associations, as well as state government projects. She brings seventeen years of conference, education and nonprofit experience to ASPA.

As the Member Services Specialist, Amy provides chapter and section administrative support, event registration, database quality control and reporting, and assists with committee and leadership assignments.

Amy has a B.B.A. degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Portland. She is a board member of Komen Montana, and is active with various community organizations including Family Promise, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

William P. Shields, Jr.

Executive Director

Bill Shields became ASPA’s Executive Director in January 2014. He brings to the position more than 15 years of management experience in the non-profit sector, most recently as Vice President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the nation's leading public policy organization dedicated to ensuring that people with the lowest incomes have affordable and decent homes. In this role, he was responsible for the organization’s operational, financial, membership, outreach and fund development functions.

For more than a decade, Shields held senior management and research positions at the National Academy of Public Administration, a congressionally chartered organization established to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable and transparent organizations. As Vice President and Director of Communications, he worked extensively with the Academy’s 500 elected Fellows, the nation’s top leaders in the study and practice of public administration. He served on research teams studying organization and management issues at the Departments of Defense, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation. He edited more than 50 Academy panel reports on issues ranging from federal compensation issues to FBI reorganization.

Shields also served as Director at the Chief Executives Organization, a non-profit organization of 2,000 chief executives around the world, and in the Executive Office of the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. He received his M.A. in Government and B.A. in Journalism from American University, where he has been an Adjunct Professor since 2000. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and daughter.

Lisa Sidletsky

Chief of Program Operations

Lisa is an ASAE certified association executive with 25 years of experience in association and nonprofit management. She has worked for associations such as the Society of American Florists, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, NAIOP – the Commercial Real Estate Development Association and most recently, BoardSource, accumulating experience in all areas of membership management, including marketing, member services and membership operations. She has additional experience with chapter and section relations, conference and event management and marketing, project management, accounting, finance and budgeting and communications. She has recently acquired expertise in nonprofit tax exemption.

Lisa has a BS in Business Management from George Mason University’s School of Management and is currently working on her MA in History from George Mason. She has presented at four ASAE Annual Meetings, several ASAE Idea Swaps and SuperSwaps. She is a long standing member of ASAE, and has had past memberships in GWSAE, DMAW, and PCMA.

Michael Silliman

Membership Manager

Michael joined ASPA as membership coordinator in August 2015. He earned a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government and International Affairs. Michael also holds a BA in Cross-Cultural Studies and Business from Simpson University.

With a focus in the public sector, Michael has worked for local and international nonprofit organizations. He started his career at the Boys and Girls Club of America and then in 2012 worked on a community development project in Uganda, Africa. Academically, Michael has special interest in community development and civil society creation as well as Eastern Europe where he completed a quarter of his graduate level classwork.

Prior to ASPA, Michael spent several years working with student populations where he gained event and project management experience and an organizational and customer service skillset. He was the graduate professional assistant for Student Centers; a founding member, vice president and treasurer of the Masters of Public Administration Student Organization. He also served as the vice president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association at George Mason University.

Asmait Tewelde

Professional Development & Events Director

Asmait Tewelde joined ASPA in September 2015 as the Professional Development and Events Manager. She brings with her seven years of experience in meeting coordination, online training and professional development. Prior to joining ASPA, Asmait was at the International Economic Development Council, coordinating numerous professional development training forums, as well as four conferences, annually. Prior to IEDC, she was a contractor at the Department of Labor and in the education nonprofit sector. Ms. Tewelde also served as an AmeriCorps Member from 2008-2009, teaching English as a second language to adult learners. Asmait holds a BA in English Literature from Michigan State University.