Executive Director Message – April 2024

April 23, 2024

Dear Team Commerce,

I hope this message finds you all well and that you are enjoying the beautiful spring season. As we welcome this season’s new beginnings, I am excited to announce the launch of our new Office of Artificial Intelligence Policy and the AI Learning Laboratory Program.

I am pleased to welcome Zach Boyd, the director of our newly established Office of Artificial Intelligence Policy and the AI Learning Laboratory Program. Zach comes to us with an impressive background as a faculty member at Brigham Young University’s mathematics department, where his focus was on applied and computational mathematics, particularly machine learning. Before working at BYU, Zach was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an NDSEG Fellow at UCLA, a research associate at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a Presidential Scholar at BYU.  His experience positions him perfectly to lead our efforts in exploring and integrating AI technologies. Zach joins us on Monday, April 29th.  Zach and his incoming team will be in Admin on the second floor. Please join me in welcoming Zach to our Commerce family.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Great Shakeout last week. Your engagement in such exercises is crucial for our preparedness in emergencies. I encourage you to share any feedback or suggestions that could enhance your division’s safety measures with your direct supervisors. Your insights are invaluable in our continuous efforts to create a safe working environment.

I also want to reflect on the Disagree Better training led by Dan Chase in March. The session provided valuable tools to navigate workplace disagreements and conflicts more effectively. Here are some of your responses after attending the training:

  • “Engaging in healthy conflict allows for innovation and growth within your organization.”
  • “I took away the fact that everyone has their own opinion- it doesn’t mean I’m wrong or they are wrong-it’s just different. And to see each other’s opinion with empathy and understanding, rather than contempt, is the best way to disagree better.”
  • “Trusting each other leads to more successful and effective communication, including when a disagreement needs to be communicated.”

If you couldn’t attend in person, please watch the training online. Completing the session and this form will count toward an hour of your required professional development.

As we approach the end of the 2024 Fiscal Year, I want to highlight upcoming pay increases and remind you of the pay-for-performance (P4P) deadlines. First, we will have end-of-year one-time P4P bonuses, which will be paid in late June/early July.  In July, employees will also receive P4P wage increases, averaging 2% based on their performance over the past year. Eligibility for these benefits varies based on employment dates during FY2024. You can find detailed information regarding these adjustments on the Knowledge Base. Finally, in addition to the P4P increases, anyone employed during FY2024 is eligible for the 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA). The COLA applies to hours worked in FY2025. 

Your commitment and hard work are crucial to our ongoing growth and success. Let’s continue to welcome new opportunities and changes with the innovative spirit and teamwork that has always defined us.

Best regards,