Jason Shriner, Class of 2017Jason Shriner, LPW Class of 2017 (Lead by eXample)
Marketing Manager, City of Manassas Park Department of Parks & Recreation (that’s him with the arrow over his head in the photo)

Tell us a little about your job:

I am the Marketing Manager for the Department. To put it very simply, anything the public sees regarding the Department probably came through my Division. My Division handles our social media, website, print collateral (including flyers and our program catalog), surveys, email newsletter and notices, photography, Department signage, community outreach, and more.

What’s new since you graduated from LPW?

Well, thanks to a serious case of hands-up-itis I have joined a plethora of committees. I joined the marketing committee for LPW in March of 2018 and helped out with Summer Youth Academy in 2017 and 2018. I’ve joined a bunch of committees/councils with the Prince William Chamber of Commerce – I’m currently the co-chair of the Young Professionals council, the vice chair of the Not-for-Profit council (along with my classmate Steve Liga), and a member of the Strategic Plan committee. I joined the Haymarket Gainesville Business Association’s Board and became of member of their marketing committee.

I also celebrated my 5th anniversary as a youth facilitator with Metro DC PFLAG’s (Parents, Families, and Friends of the LGBTQ community) PWC community group in November 2018. As part of my work with PFLAG, I sit on the LGBTQ committee for SPAN (Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia) and the PWC Police Department’s Citizen’s Advisory Board. I’ve also spoken on three panels since LPW commencement discussing various LGBTQ topics with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Brides & Weddings magazine, and the USDA’s Supplemental Food Programs Division. Due to high demand, I have been working on a LGBTQ cultural competency and allyship presentation and I am FINALLY almost done (it took WAY longer than I thought it would – my structural green failed me …but I guess my conceptual yellow didn’t!)

As for personal, my husband and I will be celebrating two years of marriage in February 2019 (though as with most gay couples we have been together far longer). I’ve also gotten heavily involved in pickleball and participated in two local tournaments (I’ll win one eventually)! My dog, Punkin, passed away in June and we got a new dog named Eggroll. Losing Punkin helped me realize how much we take our pets for granted so I spent lots of time this summer with Eggroll on hikes and outings; however, it’s been an adventure since Eggroll still has a strong urge to mark EVERYTHING slowing down hikes!

For my fellow LPW gamers: I’ve been spending WAY too much time at the new Crossroads Tabletop Tavern in Downtown Manassas and recently joined a Dungeons and Dragons groupthere which I’ve never played before. While it’s definitely fun, I’m hoping to foster my creative thinking/writing skills through roleplaying. Also, if anybody plays League of Legends, I got an S+ with Zilean and Janna. Best ARAM support NA 🙂

What is your favorite LPW memory?

Honestly, there are so many good memories of LPW. It’s hard to pick just one. The one that is coming to mind at this moment is the activity we did on the last day where we wrote what traits we saw in each other. Whenever I feel anxious about a presentation or some other event, I carry that piece of paper with me to the event. It’s a tangible reminder that my classmates believe in me as a leader and so I should believe in me too.

How has Leadership Prince William helped you get to where you are today?

What I really love about being an alum is the vast network of alums I can reach out to for help or advice. Just recently I’ve reached out to alums including Betty Dean, Dr. Mary Lopez, Beverly Hess, Kathie Johnson, Chris Caseman, and Joy Ocetnik for advice on designing our Patron Engagement Survey specifically on how to properly and respectfully collect demographic data on disability. My Department is hoping with this information that we can better develop and direct programming and staffing to meet the needs of the disability community. Having a network of trusted contacts helps me better serve the community.

I’ve also had so many deep conversations with many of my classmates since commencement about my personal life and it has been so helpful knowing some people have experienced what you’re going through and can tell you there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel! I didn’t expect LPW to have such a profound impact on my personal life, but having a group of trusted friends outside of my previous circle of friends has been an invaluable resource. I’m so grateful for LPW 2017!

What does leadership mean to you?

For me, leadership is standing beside or behind others and helping uplift and amplify their voices. This might be informed by my social justice work and my work in communications, but I think too often people think leadership means taking the lead – or maybe it’s more correct to say people think leadership only means taking the lead. I think when you take the time to foster your employees to be the best they can be and when you use your privilege to advocate for marginalized people, that is true leadership. Why? Because both situations put other people first and carry a huge amount of risk. When you develop an employee, you could be setting them up for a great career at another organization and being an advocate always carries the risk of making other people uncomfortable. But I think risk taking is part of being a leader! Especially when it means you’re helping others.

Any final thoughts?

Live your best life, make time for self-care, and do MORE of what makes you happy!