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Ryan Chegwin

Current Employer

State of Minnesota

Current Position/Title

Unemployment Insurance Specialist 2

Years as IAWP member:

4

Number of Workforce Development/International Educational Conferences attended:

0

Please list your past IAWP leadership experience including at the International, District, and Chapter level:

I do not have any direct IAWP leadership experience as our chapter was defunct prior to my joining. Unfortunately, the entire IAWP chapter membership for Minnesota retired by 2012 and I joined in 2013.

List your experience with other boards. Include the name of the board and the position served (i.e. Association of Nurses, President):

I served as President of my Local in the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) for 2 years, and as Vice President 2 years prior to that. I am currently a MAPE delegate and on the statewide Elections Committee. I am likewise a Team Lead professionally in Unemployment Insurance and have been since 2014. My Team is comprised of 15 individuals who look to me for direction and guidance. Also, I have been an official Trainer for 10 years in my place of work. Lastly, I have been on the administrative collective of a volunteer-operated non-profit bookstore in Minneapolis for 8 years.

Tell us about your experience leading groups towards a common goal or outcome. Please provide a specific example.

As President of my Local I helped increase membership by 15% and established several committees to involve more of the membership. Our monthly meeting attendance went from roughly 20 to over 60 during my tenure as President due to direct member engagement projects. I helped negotiate a favorable contract for state workers, and later guided the membership through a 6-week state shutdown.

Tell us about a time when you strongly disagreed with a decision a group or team your were part of made.  What did you do to communicate before, during, and after the decision?

In a political organization I previously belonged to I was in the voting minority on a controversial resolution that passed. I was an active spokesman for our viewpoint and represented our group’s position at several membership-wide meetings. Our position’s voters failed to prevent the resolution from passing. As a result, we accepted the defeat and agreed that the good of the organization was more important overall than one resolution passing that we did not agree with. We attempted to overturn the resolution at our national congress but were unsuccessful. Seeing no other parliamentary avenues, we decided to remain members in good standing and move forward with the organization.

What is your preferred way to communicate?  Why?

I do not personally favor one form of communication over the other, but in current times it seems email is the most successful manner in which to reach people and receive a response. For some reason no one answers their phone anymore, texts seem to be easily missed, zoom has intermittent technical issues, not everyone has messenger applications, and due to COVID in-person interactions are severely limited. I enjoy all forms of communicating, but I find email to be the most reliable. As part of that I believe it is essential for any modern organization to keep their website up to date, as that is usually the first encounter a potential member would have with an organization.

Tell us about a time when you led an effort to make a change within a group, team, or organization.  What was your role? How did you lead? How did you deal with conflict or resistance? What was the outcome?

In college I was an executive committee member of our Indoor Racquets Club, which was the club for all intermural racquet sports (racquetball, squash, table tennis, badminton, and handball, though handball is not a racquet sport of course). I served as the ombudsman for the committee between the different racquet sports (basically to keep the peace between each group). At the time a large row arose over the sudden popularity of pickleball and their desire to use our indoor courts during the winter for play. The five sports already represented in the Indoor Racquets Club did not want the pickleball players to join our Club because it would mean some sports would have to sacrifice a portion of their valuable reserved court time for pickleball. After the pickleball players were rejected by the proportionally represented sports already in the Indoor Racquets Club the pickleball players threatened to complain to the college administration for campus affairs. So as a compromise we paid half their initial group rate membership for the YMCA right off campus which has large gyms that allow pickleball.

How have you promoted IAWP within your workplace and/or community?

I attempted to revive our chapter in 2013-2014 and met with several retired IAWP members locally, as well as acquiring IAWP-embossed products to attempt to use to promote the chapter. Ultimately, we were not successful in our efforts. However, three retired IAWP members have offered to help me start a chapter again in Minnesota. Once COVID-19 rules are loosened, and my department returns to the office, I plan to reach out to interested employees and management showing all the great knowledge and fellowship that can come from IAWP membership. I have a good rapport with many of my coworkers and managers, especially from my time as Local President, and believe I could obtain a critical mass to revive our chapter.