Opening Keynote

Susan N. Dreyfus 
President and CEO
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities 

North Stars in Context: Staying Ahead of Emerging Trends
Two years after the release of the breakthrough report, A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services, we are seeing the north star recommendations take root across the country. During her keynote address, Alliance President and CEO Susan Dreyfus will showcase how the report’s recommendations for ensuring community-based organizations’ pivotal role in the greater human services ecosystem are playing out in national trends in human services and beyond.

Learn about the new and emerging ways organizations are positioning themselves to achieve breakthrough results with individuals, families, and communities. Dreyfus will share specific examples from organizations that are creating new partnerships to revolutionize their operating models, investing in innovation to stay ahead of emerging trends, and improving data use to better measure outcomes. Progress also is happening in improving financial policies and practices. Hear about advances in contract reimbursement rates, pay parity for community-based/public sector counterparts, and more.

This keynote will provide the big-picture context, forward-thinking examples, and practical tactics you need to begin accelerating the north star recommendations to achieve financial stability and transformative impact to help all children, families, and communities achieve their full potential.

About the Keynote

Susan N. Dreyfus is president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. She is dedicated to advancing equity through access and opportunity, so all people can reach their full potential. She believes in the power of the social sector to be influencers of larger systemic change through its excellence, distinction, innovation, and influence. 

Prior to joining the Alliance in 2012, Dreyfus was secretary for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in 2009 and approved by the Senate. She had responsibility for Medicaid, aging and long-term care, child welfare, behavioral health care, juvenile justice, economic assistance, and other human services.

Before her work in Washington state, Dreyfus served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Alliance. 

In 1996 she was appointed by the Gov. Tommy G. Thompson Administration in Wisconsin to be the first administrator of the Division of Children and Family Services. Her responsibilities included child welfare, child care quality and licensing, youth development, and an array of emergency assistance, and other programs. 

Dreyfus is chair of Leadership 18, a coalition of CEOs from the largest and most respected nonprofit organizations in America, and was also the chair of its 2016 Executive Committee. She serves on the governing boards of the American Public Human Services Association and Generations United. Dreyfus is also on the advisory committees of the Social Intervention Research & Evaluation Network (SIREN) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Systems for Action (S4A). She was appointed through the Speaker’s office in the U.S. House of Representatives to serve on the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities from 2013-2015.

Dreyfus was named to The NonProfit Times’ Power and Influence Top 50 list of nonprofit leaders in 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2015.  The American Public Human Services Association awarded Dreyfus its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for her contributions to the field of health and human services in both the public and private sectors. In 2018, Dreyfus was recognized with a Women of Influence Award by the Milwaukee Business Journal


Closing Keynote

Victor J. Strecher, PhD, MPH 
Professor at the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health and Medicine 
Founder and CEO of Kumanu 

Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything

Socrates said that an unexamined life isn’t worth living. Aristotle went further to say that a purposeless life isn’t even worth examining. Vic Strecher will reconsider directions taken in health and wellness and discusses new strategies for improving health, well-being, and resilience. This presentation examines ancient philosophy along with the latest scientific knowledge for living a more fully engaged life.

About the Keynote

Vic Strecher is a behavioral scientist, professor, and director of innovation and social entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. He is also founder and CEO of Kumanu, a company that integrates the science of purpose and well-being with advanced predictive analytics. 

In 1995, Strecher founded the University of Michigan Center for Health Communications Research, a pioneering organization studying the impact of digitally-tailored health communications. Through this Center, he has been a leading investigator on over $45 million in grant-funded studies of computer-based interactive communications for health-related behavior change and decision making.

In 1998, Strecher founded HealthMedia, an Ann Arbor-based company that grew to over 185 employees, developing and disseminating award-winning tailored health interventions for health promotion, disease prevention, behavioral health, and disease management to millions of users before being purchased in 2008 by Johnson & Johnson.  

Strecher and the organizations he founded have won numerous national and international awards, including the Secretary of Health and Human Services Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, two Smithsonian Awards, four International Health and Medical Media Awards, the International Film Festival Silver Screen Award, Health Evolution Partners Innovations in Healthcare Award, two eHealthcare Leadership Awards, and the National Business Coalition on Health’s Mercury Award. In 2010, Strecher won the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Innovator Award and the School of Public Health’s Award for Translating Research into Practice. In 2014, he won the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award. 

Strecher’s latest intervention, neuroscience, and epidemiologic research, and his two recent books, are related to the importance of developing and maintaining a strong purpose in life. His most recent book, Life On Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything (HarperOne), examines the science and philosophy of purpose in life and ways to develop and align with one’s purpose. His book On Purpose: Lessons in Life and Health from the Frog, the Dung Beetle, and Julia (Dungbeetle Press), is written for the lay public with a professional comic illustrator as a graphic novel.