Leadership Messages


I was a cast member in the production of LIVE from ASWB: It’s 2015!!

Its innovative, well-planned script, marked by refreshing creative bursts of spontaneity, reflected the energy and good sense of the director, Mary Jo Monahan, and the producer, Dwight Hymans. I had great fun on the show!

2015  was a fast-paced production. As Board president, I constantly had to keep on my toes, becoming familiar with the forward-thinking script for building on ASWB’s strengths and developing more supports for member boards. Other great cast members, such as ASWB Board members, committee members, and member board members worked hard to make the production a hit!

As the script highlighted, looking to the future led the Board to work cooperatively with the Governance Task Force, a time-limited think tank, developing ideas about future needs and ways to meet those needs. Meanwhile, the Board moved forward with its strategic initiative of developing a plan for practice mobility and license portability. Creating a Mobility Task Force, ASWB began delving into the knotty issues of mobility. The 2015 Spring Education Meeting was a fascinating look at mobility as other professions are pursuing it, and ways that ASWB can pursue mobility for social work.

2015  also dealt with a truly exciting prospect: a new, terrific home for ASWB! The production staff developed a great picture of how this attractive, comfortable building would provide meeting space for member board committees and certainly for staff. And the crowd in the Green Room grew through 2015: Staff was added to help deal with the return of California to the ASWB fold, the burgeoning demands for licensing tests, the growing areas of ASWB helping jurisdictions with their applications and their continuing education monitoring, and a number of special projects that will assist member boards.

I loved working on this terrific production! It provided a rich tapestry of regulatory knowledge and activity. Let me just say this:
“And now, LIVE from ASWB, It’s 2015!!”

Dorinda N. Noble, Ph.D., LCSW
ASWB President

2015! My year as president-elect was one of the busiest years of my life! While waiting in the wings to assume the role of president, I rehearsed and polished leadership skills through service on the Board of Directors, as Board liaison to two standing committees, and as a member of ASWB’s International Technology Task Force.

There also was much onstage work in 2015  representing ASWB to stakeholders in the U.S. and internationally. As local planning chair for the Baccalaureate Program Directors conference in Kansas City, Mo., in March, I coordinated ASWB’s starring role as sponsor of the award luncheon for students. In April, I presented a workshop on social work regulation at the National Association of Black Social Workers annual conference in Chicago to an appreciative audience. In June, ASWB President Dorinda Noble, CEO Mary Jo Monahan, and I traveled to Amsterdam for the 2015 International Congress of the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation. While there, we also took part in the Health and Care Professions Council meeting and met with members of the International Federation of Social Work Regulators.

As part of my continuing training for the presidency, Mary Jo and I attended the FARB Leadership Conference in July and an ASAE conference for CEOs and incoming board leaders in November. We gained an appreciation of each other’s leadership styles and strengthened our working relationship.

Before the curtain fell on 2015, there were additional stops on the national tour, including appearances at CSWE’s Annual Program Meeting in Denver in October and its Roundtable in Washington, D.C., in December. I also participated in a collaborative meeting in December between ASWB and the Kansas Department of Children and Family Services.

In fulfilling my role as president-elect on the ASWB Board, I served as Board liaison at the Finance Committee meeting prior to attending the Spring Education Meeting in Seattle. There I joined the star-studded cast of characters on the Nominating Committee at their meeting. In August, I was a cast member in President Noble’s final Board Advance! At the 2015  Delegate Assembly, I was proud to respond to the curtain call as president-elect and assume the lead role of president. After a busy year as understudy, I felt well-prepared and confident in my role as a results-driven servant leader, ready to lead with integrity and transparency.

M. Jenise Comer, LCSW, ACSW, MSW
ASWB President-Elect

Some of you may know that when I lived in Bogota, Colombia, in the early ’80s, I fell/stumbled into community theater. My original intention was to sell tickets to performances, but at the first meeting, much to my surprise (then fright, then delight), I was cast as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls! Immediately, I was bitten by the community theater bug and went on to other “on the job” training roles as the producer of Don’t Drink the Water, and the director of Harvey.

My brief foray into the theater taught me many valuable lessons about individual preparation, collaboration, and teamwork—developing supportive working relationships, engaging others in a meaningful cause to benefit others, finding/marshalling resources, impromptu decision-making, and the crucial meaning of “The Show Must Go On!” Interestingly, I find that I bring all of these lessons to the stage in 2015  as ASWB launches the critical initiative to achieve practice mobility and licensure portability in our lifetime.

Heartfelt thanks and standing ovations go out to all of the talented actors who worked diligently throughout 2015  on three task forces that are setting the stage for practice mobility and license portability: The Governance Task Force provided research into best governance practices for the ASWB Board of Directors and Delegate Assembly to support a changing and growing robust association. The International Technology Task Force explored all possible professional regulatory implications regarding the use of technology and social media in social work practice to create model regulatory standards. The Mobility Task Force spent the year researching, planning, and creating a framework for social work practice mobility and license portability across North America that fits for social work and includes input from ASWB members and stakeholders. Take a Bow!

Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW
ASWB Chief Executive Officer