PAL Education Day #5 – Lessons Learned Summary -Devon Benson



  1. Presentation Date & Venue
  • Friday February 19th, 2016 @ Yavapai College (Prescott Campus, Building 19 Room 207)


  1. Class Presentation Team Names


  • Devon Benson & Hillary Palmer


  1. Issue Covered, Presenter/Panel Names & Titles


  • Government/Politics
  • Speakers
  • Joy D’Angelo – Using Humor in the Workplace
  • Toni Dennis – President of Democratic Women of Prescott Area
  • Karen McCracken – Yavapai County Chief Deputy Recorder
  • Leslie Hoffman – Yavapai County Recorder
  • Barry Denton – President of Yavapai Republican Men’s Forum
  • Alison Zelms – Deputy City Manager
  1. Research & Preparation
  • Before getting prepared for our PAL Education Day, we turned to our mentor, Patrick Fraher (PAL Graduate Class XXV). We asked Pat on who to contact to talk to us about leadership within Government & Politics, and asking them what drove them into leadership as well as current local issues. Hillary got in touch with Barry Denton, the President of Yavapai Republican Men’s Forum, and Toni Dennis, the President of the Democratic Women of Prescott. I, myself, first contacted Patti Crouse to see if she’s interested as guest speaker, but she made a recommendation to Alison Zelms, the Deputy City Manager, to talk to us. I also contacted Karen McCracken and Leslie Hoffman of the Yavapai County Recorder’s Office.


  1. Highlights (based on feedback and comments)
  • Our morning activity talks about using humor in the workplace. Joy D’Angelo gave us good examples on brainstorming, random word/object and mind map.
  • We also checked out Brain Stauffer’s incredible art gallery inside the Yavapai College Performance Hall; many of his artwork is very creative and imaginative.
  • Our afternoon portion features our guest speakers talking to us on the subject Government & Politics:
  • Toni Dennis – She was well-informed and equally principled for her cause.
  • Karen McCracken – Very informative; she and Leslie Hoffman talked to us on what the county recorder’s office does during the voting process.
  • Barry Denton – Very personable.
  • Alison Zelms – She talked to us on what her job as a Deputy City Manager is, and gave us an organization chart as an example on how she covers from recreation services to fields and facilities.
  • Our overall rating, at the end of the session, was 4.33 out 5.00
  1. Opportunities for Improvement
  • I kind of thought it was tough to talk about Government & Politics happening around the Prescott Area. Even though, I’m more of an Arts/Media-type person, I’ve learned some interesting facts on the voting process, how election works, and what we’ve learned from our guest speakers what leadership means to them.
  • There was one thing, according to one of the comments, and that is when one of the guest speakers could’ve used more stimulating visual aids or multimedia, but the guest speaker still did a good job at providing examples and explaining to us on her work.


  1. Personal Impact of the Process
  • Throughout this class, I had the opportunity to team up with another PAL class member and do a lot of research on Government & Politics in the Prescott area, and also help setting up the classroom for everyone. I have also got the chance to talk to my contacts, before the education day, and learn some interesting facts from them in their work. Overall, it was a whole new experience for me and having the ability to expand my leadership skills.