A1: What We've Learned from the Second Acts Initiative & How It Can Help

Track: All

Format: Project-Based 

Are you looking for new solutions to workforce challenges? Does your organization lack a diverse talent pipeline or needs new strategies to improve the health and well-being of community members across their lifespan? This session will provide solutions as we explore the learnings, evaluation data, and implementation strategies from the Alliance’s intergenerational initiative, Second Acts for Strong Communities.

The three-year, grant-funded initiative just recently concluded. The evaluation data demonstrated that the intentional inclusion of older adult talent and intergenerational models have a lasting and positive impact across all stakeholders ─ including the organization, the youth served, and the Second Acts talent. Adults 50+ offer experience, skills, and lower turnover to the workplace, as well as empathy, healing relationships, and commitment to the youth and families in the community. They also provide critical talent and capacity to the organizations they serve. These intergenerational models also help increase youth outcomes related to confidence, relationships, and performance in school, while enhancing the health, life satisfaction, and longevity of the older adult population, leading to stronger communities as a whole. 

This presentation will explore the nine demonstration sites’ journeys, challenges, best practices, and recommended implementation strategies, leading to stronger workforces and models that increase the sense of belonging, purpose, and connection among community members. Participants will not only hear informative first-hand experiences from executing this work but will also be introduced to tangible resources and instructional tools to support efforts to build intergenerational models. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop stronger human capital strategies as they learn about the unique value proposition older adults bring to an organization and how to best leverage this population 
  • Learn how to more effectively and efficiently utilize this older talent pool through a variety of models, approaches, and successful implementation strategies 
  • Be empowered to integrate intergenerational and 50+ talent models into organizations through easy to use resources and instructional ‘how to’ tools 


  • Nancy Meegan, vice president of human resources, Ascentria Care Alliance  
  • Janet Waters, manager of intergenerational workforce, Ascentria Care Alliance 
  • Vernon Washington, encore fellow, Family Foundations
  • Cindy Arakaki, human resources operations manager, Child and Family Service, Hawaii

Nancy Meegan 
Vice President of Human Resources 
Ascentria Care Alliance 

Nancy Meegan is vice president of human resources at Ascentria Care Alliance, a New England-based nonprofit, with 1,400 employees headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts. Throughout her career, Meegan has had a passion for mission-driven nonprofits. She began as a child and family clinician and for the past 25 years has worked in human resources leadership positions. She is committed to finding and supporting outstanding staff and embraces a diverse workplace.   

Janet Waters 
Manager of Intergenerational Workforce 
Ascentria Care Alliance 

Janet Waters is manager of the intergenerational workforce at Ascentria Care Alliance. She works to engage age 50+ talent to support Ascentria’s mission in its work with children and youth. In her role, Waters promotes paid and unpaid opportunities to create meaningful intergenerational experiences between older adults and young people.  

Waters has recent extensive experience consulting to and delivering services for families with children of different needs, multiples, and mental health issues. 

Previously, Waters has held a variety of positions in the field of Criminal Justice. She was clinical director and then program director for a locked treatment facility for violent juvenile offenders, specializing in sex offender therapy and clinical group therapy for gang members. Waters also has experience in the adult correctional system, serving as the director of volunteer services and then director of classification for the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston. 

Waters earned her bachelor’s in history and women’s studies from Yale University and earned the Dupuis Award for Scholarship. She earned her master’s in divinity at Harvard University where she won the Billings Prize for Preaching. 

Cindy Arakaki
Human Resources Operations Manager
Child and Family Service, Hawaii

Cindy Arakaki oversees all areas of Human Resources, recruitment, payroll, volunteer management and credentialing.  
With over 25 years of Human Resources experience in organizing and developing individuals, she has built rapport through coaching and mentoring the next generation to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Through her professional partnerships with SHRM-Hawaii and YWCA-Honolulu, along with leading in a Women’s Ministry, she has mastered the ability to cultivate individuals from seed to harvest.

Future goals are to have collaborative forums that will develop more mentoring and intergenerational teachings. Perpetuating love and guidance from Kupuna to Keiki.

A2: Strategic Marketing Partnerships that Drive Greater Outcomes at Lesser Cost

Track: Organizational Excellence
Format: Project-Based 

Marketing dollars for human service agencies are hard to find – so, how do you maximize them effectively? Can they even generate revenue? In short – YES! 

This session will go over examples of marketing partnerships that started as simple paid logo placements but are now in-depth organizational partnerships engaging at all levels around shared interests ─ C Suite, staff, professional athletes, schools, youth, and the community. After discussing the benefits and challenges of creating such partnerships, small groups will brainstorm potential partners in their area. They will discuss some non-conventional ways to work together that could produce greater outcomes for all parties while costing everyone less (and even generating revenue in some cases!). We hope each participant walks out of this session with at least one action plan for generating a new type of partnership. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Identifying influential community partners
  • Showcasing the Win-Win-Win for all parties – marketing, recognition, and fundraising
  • Negotiating contracts and duties of marketing partnerships to generate revenue and new donors 


  • Gerianne Puskas, chief advancement officer, Villa of Hope 

Gerianne Puskas, MBA, CNPM, CFRE 
Chief Advancement Officer 
Villa of Hope 
@whattwin; @villaofhoperoch 

Gerianne Puskas joined the leadership team at Villa of Hope in July of 2015 and is now chief advancement officer. Puskas brings more than 25 years of experience in fundraising, non-profit management, and leading community building initiatives. She has served in various positions with national nonprofit agencies where she focused on diversifying fundraising portfolios; strategy design and implementation; building and developing new teams; marketing; and managing regional and national accounts. In 2018, Puskas achieved the rank of Certified Fund Raising Executive through CFRE International. She also serves on SUNY Empire State College’s Business Management & Economics Residency team helping to educate and coach the next generation of nonprofit leaders. In addition to adjunct duties, Puskas helps develop residency curriculum and evaluates students’ prior learning to award undergraduate non-profit management credits. 

A3: Innovative Strategies that Strengthen Families


  • Health and Well-Being
  • Safety and Resilience

Format: Petcha Kucha 

Children’s Institute is one of the oldest, largest family services and community mental health agencies in Los Angeles, serving over 26,000 children and caregivers annually. The agency offers behavioral health and wellness services, early childhood services, community programming, and a range of programs under the umbrella of Strengthening Families. These programs reflect the Safe Children and Strong Families service delivery model created by the Department of Family and Children Services in Los Angeles County, which is designed to prevent and treat the negative impact of child maltreatment through the provision of strengths-based, family-centered, and community-oriented programming and resources.

During their respective 20x20 presentations, Children’s Institute managers will present on their program areas. They will discuss innovative strategies related to outreach, service delivery, and program implementation for a variety of services, including skill-building programs for youth transitioning out of foster care, adoption promotion and support services, economic well-being and job stability services, prevention and aftercare, family preservation, and developmental screenings/assessments. 

In addition, all Strengthening Families programs have a robust evaluation component, managed by the Research and Evaluation Center (REC) at Children’s Institute. REC will be represented by their director and senior research associate, whose presentations will include dynamic visuals of program outcome data across all the featured programs with active evaluations, including sharing the agency’s annual Impact Report. The research department and program managers work closely together to develop logic models, evaluation protocols, and reports that are meaningful and informative. Best practice for maintaining effective partnerships between program and evaluation teams will be discussed.

Following the 20x20 presentations, we will facilitate a collaborative, hands-on activity designed to further engage participants, followed by a group discussion and opportunity for questions. Through our Pecha Kucha, we hope to spark conversations amongst attendees about practical and innovative strategies that they may implement throughout their own work in social services. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will learn about the Safe Children and Strong Families service delivery continuum developed by Los Angeles County’s Department of Child and Family Services 
  • Attendees will be able to describe at least three program areas under the umbrella of Strengthening Families at Children’s Institute 
  • Attendees will discuss practical and innovative strategies that they may incorporate into their own work in similar programs 


  • Vera Stiefler Johnson, senior research associate, Children's Institute 
  • Amina Jones Fields, director of research and evaluation, Children's Institute 
  • Candy Caceres, behavioral health and wellness program manager, Children’s Institute 
  • Julia Esqueda-Arteaga, clinical program manager, Children’s Institute 
  • Allyson Manumaleuna, family preservation clinical program manager, Children's Institute

Vera Stiefler Johnson
Senior Research Associate
Children's Institute

Vera Stiefler Johnson is the senior research associate at the Research and Evaluation Center (REC) at Children’s Institute. REC is responsible for evaluating programs offered at Children’s Institute, supporting staff and managers with both individual client and program-level reports, and fostering a data-responsive culture within the organization. She received her bachelor of science in applied psychology from New York University in 2015.

Amina Jones Fields
Director of Research and Evaluation
Children's Institute

Amina Jones Fields is responsible for leading Children’s Institute’s Research and Evaluation Center (REC) in the preparation of service delivery and outcome data, management of research projects, and program innovation. She supervises the REC research associates/assistants and provides monthly, quarterly, and annual reports to guide senior staff in data-informed programmatic planning. Fields received her bachelors of arts from Duke University in 1998. She has extensive background as an education researcher, analyst, and consultant. She previously worked as director of education for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and as research partner at WestEd’s Center for Educational Equity.

Julia Esqueda-Arteaga
Clinical Program Manager
Children’s Institute

Julia Esqueda-Arteaga is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in working with children and families impacted by trauma. With extensive training and experience in the field of clinical psychology and social services, Esqueda-Arteaga has worked with children with a range of socio-emotional, developmental, and behavioral problems at all stages of development. Her pre-doctoral training includes work at Harbor UCLA's Dual Diagnosis Program, Eisner Pediatric Medical Center's Mental Health Department, and at King Drew's Medical Hub. 

Esqueda-Arteaga earned her doctoral degree from California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. She is also a strengthening families clinical programs manager at Children's Institute and is involved in multiple collaborative groups committed to the wellbeing of DCFS involved children and their families. By being raised in the city of Gardena by Mexican immigrant parents, it has enriched her therapeutic work providing her with greater empathy and understanding for the children and parents her teams work with. 

A4: Partnership between Networks of Community-Based Organizations and Health Care


  • Health and Well-Being
  • Organizational Excellence

This will be an interactive workshop based on the extensive work of Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) in supporting community-based organizations to partner with health care, including real-time findings from the Advancing Resilience in Community Health (ARCH) Initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. ARCH is supporting networks of nonprofit community-based organizations across the U.S. to develop new partnership approaches, payment models, and contracts with large health care organizations to achieve better health outcomes. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about the various kinds of networks of community-based organizations that are contracting with, or in negotiation with large healthcare organizations 
  • Learn about pros and cons of negotiating as a network 
  • Hear about the latest approaches to contracts and payment models, including the payor perspective 
  • Learn about preparing for contracts, including approaches to unit pricing, with an opportunity to apply costing tools to your own work  


  • Sophia Raday, manager, Nonprofit Finance Fund

A5: Results-based Accountability to Identify Impact Indicators and Measure Outcomes

Track: Organizational Excellence

Child & Family Service (CFS) used A National Imperative to engage employees around the five north star initiatives. CFS has been using the method of Results Based Accountability (RBA) to measure all their program outcomes. RBA is a disciplined way of thinking and acting used to improve the lives of children, families, and communities.  

CFS utilized the RBA process to conduct a four-quadrant exercise around the north star initiatives to come up with a plan to see where CFS stood in relation to the initiatives. The RBA process was conducted with the leadership of the organization. This four-quadrant process asks three questions: How much are we doing, how well are we doing it, and is anyone better off?  

The objectives of the four-quadrant exercise were the following: 

  • Developing measurable key indicators for each of the north star initiatives  
  • Establishing a process for future action steps to achieve measurable impact 
  • Incorporating the North Star Initiatives into our current Strategic Planning Process 

CFS will be presenting on how the RBA exercise can be used as a tool that can heighten awareness among leadership and provide the frame work for moving forward in the areas of outcomes, collaborative partnerships, innovation, financial sustainability, and regulatory modernization as it has done in our organization. Emerging themes from the leadership group discussions served as key areas to focus on and measure for the following fiscal year. 


  • Kristin Hartley, director of organizational impact, Child & Family Service 
  • Christie Onato, chief performance officer, Child & Family Service

Kristin Hartley 
Director of Organizational Impact 
Child and Family Service 

Kristin Hartley has been the director of organizational impact at Child and Family Service (CFS) since 2016. In her role as director, she is responsible for facilitating and proving the impact of CFS. She oversees the organization’s quality assurance, EHR system Efforts to Outcomes (ETO), and outcomes-based process (Results Based Accountability (RBA)). She has been working in data and statistics for nearly 30 years in varying capacities. In her role at CFS, she was solely responsible for the organization-wide implementation of and transition in to ETO for all 50 of CFS’s programs. She is also primarily responsible for all aspects of RBA, ensuring with the help of her team, that all programs have meaningful performance measures and that program specific scorecards prove impact for the organization. 

Christie Onato 
Chief Performance Officer 
Child & Family Service 

Christie Onato is chief performance officer for Child & Family Service (CFS) and a member of the CFS Executive Leadership Team. In her position, she is responsible for performance measurement and quality assurance for the nearly 50 programs of one of the state’s largest human services community-based organizations.  

CFS measures the impact of its programs through Results Based Accountability (RBA), a nationally recognized model for using data to measure outcomes. Under Onato’s leadership, CFS has taken RBA to the next step to drive continuous quality analysis and improvements to provide better outcomes and guide transformative data measurement change to improve the lives of those served by CFS. 

Onato brings a strong background of clinical, as well as management experience, to CFS, enabling her to see potential from the family as well as systems sides. She joined CFS in 2003 as a program supervisor for the Healthy Start program. In 2005 she was named clinical coordinator for quality assurance and training and in 2010 was named director of the department. She was appointed CFS chief performance officer in 2018.  

Prior to joining CFS, Onato was a Family Visitation Centers supervisor at Parents and Children Together (PACT). She has also served as a family assessment worker at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and as a skills trainer at The Institute for Family Enrichment (TIFFE). 

Onato holds national positions as a peer reviewer for the Council of Accreditation as well as a member of the Performance Excellence Alliance Peer Exchange Group core team for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. She holds a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Hawaii and a master’s in marriage and family therapy from Capella University.     

A6: Just in from Washington: The Family First Prevention Services Act

Track: All

Join this session to catch up on all the latest happenings on the Family First Prevention Services Act. As implementation kicks off this fall, hear from a panel with a range of expertise on Family First implementation for states, communities, and community-based providers. Learn about opportunities to engage in prevention services work, challenges states are facing with implementation, ideas for how to prepare for upcoming changes, and potential gaps that need to be addressed by future policies.

Participants will receive an update on key family first implementation news, legislative proposals aimed at easing the transition to Family First, and strategies to help your organization and community prepare.  

Learning Objectives: 

  • Learn more about Family First Prevention Services Act implementation
  • Develop an understanding of various legislative proposals aimed at easing the transition
  • Understand the implications of these public policies on your work and develop effective planning strategies


  • Lisette Burton, vice president of national advocacy and public policy, Boys Town
  • Jody Grutza, principal, Grutza Consulting
  • Daniel Heimpel, president & founder, Fostering Media Connections
  • Ann Leinfelder Grove, president and CEO, SaintA
  • Ilana Levinson, senior director of government relations, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities   
  • Sarah Sparks, consultant, Public Consulting Group

Lisette Burton
Vice President of National Advocacy and Public Policy
Boys Town

Lisette Burton is the Vice President of National Advocacy and Public Policy for Boys Town, where she advocates for effective federal and state policies related to child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and health. She joined Boys Town in 2007 as a family teacher caring for girls in foster care and boys committed to the juvenile justice system in a family-style, community-based, therapeutic residential program. 

Prior to Boys Town, Burton worked in North Carolina as a program director at a therapeutic residential wilderness program and later as a community organizer focused on quality early childhood education and parental involvement in schools. Her foundational experiences with children and families included work in Detroit as an Americorps volunteer at a day treatment center for court-involved youth and as a coordinator for a school-based early intervention program. 

Burton currently serves on the Public Policy Committee of the Family Focused Treatment Association, the Act4JJ campaign of the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, as a board member and the Public Policy Committee chair for the international Association of Children’s Residential Centers, and she is a mayoral appointee to the Washington, D.C. Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. Burton regularly facilitates conversations and shares policy and practice insight and expertise with local, state, and national audiences.

Burton received her bachelor’s in science from the Eberly College of Science at Penn State University. She earned her law degree at the University Of Maryland Carey School Of Law, where she was a Leadership Scholar and Schweitzer Fellow, a pro bono law clerk representing children with special needs, a student attorney at the National Association of the Deaf, and a legislative intern with the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. 

Jody Grutza
Grutza Consulting

Jody Grutza is a savvy strategist and proactive change champion offering more than 15 years of expertise in planning strategic initiatives and mobilizing high-level teams to execute them seamlessly.  She has a track record of delivering on national system and policy overhauls as well as leveraging an established network of relationships with executive and legislative government leaders.

Most recently, Grutza co-lead strategic planning for the Virginia Department of Social Services along with completing two federally mandated State Plans for the Commonwealth. She drafted the five-year Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) that justifies Title IV-B funding and provides a five-year strategic plan along with the Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR). Grutza is also leading strategic growth for BAYS Florida as they diversify their business model and expand services in juvenile justice and child welfare in Florida and beyond. In addition, she is an active grant reviewer for the federal Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau.

Grutza headed the administration, strategic planning, and execution of a county-wide community-based care contract responsible for the safety and well-being of more than 4,000 children as the executive director of Eckerd Connects - Hillsborough. In this position, she oversaw a more than $70 million contract with the Florida Department of Children & Families. She maximized service capabilities for at-risk children and guided the staff and community partners in supporting families in cases requiring high-level intervention.

Previously, as the deputy director of strategic planning and innovation at the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, Grutza steered the strategy roadmap to overhaul the DCFS system. This plan, partially in response to the 26-year standing federal BH Consent Decree in Illinois, received unprecedented support of and coordination with the Plaintiff’s Council and Court Appointed Experts.  She also assisted with the governor’s health and human services transformation.

Daniel Heimpel
President & Founder
Fostering Media Connections

Daniel Heimpel is the president founder of Fostering Media Connections, a national nonprofit news organization dedicated to issues facing vulnerable children youth and their families, an educator and an award winning journalist. He has taught graduate students on the intersection of journalism and child policy at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, U.C. Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. In addition, through the Journalism for Social Change Massive Open Online Course, offered on the edX learning platform, Heimpel has trained thousands of students globally.

Heimpel has written and produced stories for Newsweek, The Los Angeles Daily News, LA Weekly, The Seattle Times, The Oprah Winfrey Network, KPCC, and KCRW among many others. This coverage has garnered him journalism awards from the Children’s Advocacy Institute, The Los Angeles Press Club, The North American Resource Center for Child Welfare, The National Association of Social Workers, The Child Welfare League of America and California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth, and The California Social Work Archives among others.

Ann Leinfelder Grove
President and CEO 

Ann Leinfelder Grove has served as CEO since February 2018 but has worked at SaintA for close to 30 years in a number of senior leadership roles, including executive vice president and COO. Over her tenure, she has led every agency program and administrative area, with a passion for innovation and change management. SaintA has grown and changed significantly, from a residential treatment center to a diverse human serving organization with a deep commitment to community partnership and trauma informed care. Beginning in 2008, Leinfelder Grove championed the program implementation of SaintA’s trauma informed care model, Seven Essential Ingredients (7ei), including in child welfare, where translational research has demonstrated improved outcomes through the use of 7ei-based, trauma informed program practice. 

Leinfelder Grove is involved in Milwaukee community initiatives such as Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM) and in Wisconsin Department of Children and Families discussions to create innovative solutions to support families. As CEO, her strategic vision has enhanced SaintA’s partnerships in the community and advanced a culture of equity and inclusion at SaintA.

Ilana Levinson 

Senior Director of Government Relations 
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities 

Ilana Levinson is the senior director of government relations for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. In this role, she represents the Alliance and its strategic action network to Congress, federal agencies, and applicable state government. She also coordinates activities and partnerships with fellow human service organizations and policy coalitions in Washington D.C. to advance aligned goals.  

Prior to joining the Alliance, Levinson served as senior director of advocacy and public policy for YouthBuild USA, a national organization focused on reconnecting low-income, out-of-school youth to education and job training. Under her leadership, the organization more than doubled federal legislative support and increased annual federal investment by $12 million, to $90 million annually. She also cofounded the Reconnecting Youth Campaign, a national advocacy campaign focused on creating one million reconnection pathways for opportunity youth each year. She served as a legislative assistant from 2006-2011 in the office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), focusing on furthering legislation to expand healthy food access to low-income residents, the promotion of green collar jobs, and efforts to re-engage out-of-school youth in education and employment opportunities. Levinson also spent time working in city government in New York City, organizing hiring events for victims of Superstorm Sandy in severely affected neighborhoods.  

She received her master’s of public and nonprofit administration from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and her bachelor’s in social relations and psychology from Michigan State University. 

Sarah Sparks
Public Consulting Group

Sarah Sparks, a consultant at Public Consulting Group, Inc (PCG) located in its Indianapolis office, and has 15 years of child welfare experience. 

Since joining PCG, Sparks has worked on a variety of projects providing consulting, technical assistance, and subject matter expertise in a vast array of child welfare topics. Sparks is currently working with the Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Community Based Services (KY DCBS) as the project manager of its Medicaid services initiative with the goal of leveraging Medicaid funds to increase service access for children in residential care. In this role, she developed and currently manages a comprehensive project plan facilitating decision-making with executive leadership at DCBS and providing relevant expertise in funding systems. She also provided support for the state’s provider engagement efforts surrounding the implementation of this initiative by facilitating a provider survey and focus groups to assist DCBS in future planning. Sparks is also currently assisting KY DCBS in planning for Title IV-E Family First Prevention Services as an early implementer. She partnered with KY DCBS to complete a gap analysis of their current system to determine necessary changes needed to successfully claim Title IV-E prevention funds for eligible candidates. Sparks is now assisting with development of a roadmap to implement changes to address identified gaps.

Sparks is the former Assistant Deputy Director of Child Welfare Services at the Indiana Department of Child Services where she had oversight of the Community Based and Community Mental Health Center Contracts. She has extensive knowledge of child welfare services and programs, as she managed service coordination for Indiana’s foster and adopted children. Sparks is skilled and experienced in collaboration with service providers and stakeholders, development and implementation of service programs, and development of policy and procedure. She started her career on the front lines working directly with families as a family case manager in Indiana. Sparks holds a master’s in leadership and strategy and bachelor’s in psychology from Marian University.

A7: Leading Transformational Change - Success Patterns


  • Organizational Excellence
  • Board/CEO focus

Target Audience: Chief Executives and Board Members Only

This session for member CEOs and board chairs will focus on the human dynamics of orchestrating major transitions within organizations as well as the roles that senior leaders play in the change process. Based on over four decades of research, this executive briefing will address the success patterns demonstrated by leaders who achieve full realization of their strategic endeavors.

Learning Objectives:

Outcomes of this executive session include:

  • Understanding the critical change dynamics in play during major transformation (how commitment unfolds, why resistance is inevitable, when/how to align culture and change, etc.)
  • Learning about the most common implementation risks that jeopardize strategic change and how they should be addressed
  • Defining leadership’s role as well as the responsibilities of other key players
  • Establishing a baseline for what it means to be prepared to lead strategic change, including the mindsets and behaviors required for success


  • Daryl Conner, co-founder and chairman, Conner Advisory
  • Ed Boswell, co-founder and CEO, Conner Advisory

Daryl Conner
Co-Founder & Chairman
Conner Advisory

In addition to being chairman and co-founder of Conner Advisory, Conner is chairman of Conner Partners where he has educated and advised strategic leaders and seasoned change practitioners in many of the world’s most successful organizations for over four decades. His focus has always been on helping his clients both understand and address the challenges and opportunities they face during transformational change.

Conner’s work is built on a strong foundation of research and extensive consulting experience. He has authored two books—Managing at the Speed of Change (Random House, 1993) and Leading at the Edge of Chaos (John Wiley & Sons, 1998)—and more than 250 publications, including journal and magazine articles, monographs, book chapters, and videos.

Ed Boswell
Co-Founder & CEO
Conner Advisory

With over 30 years of experience helping senior leadership teams around the globe execute major organizational changes, Boswell became a founding partner in 2014 of Conner Advisory – a firm focused solely on helping leaders in the civil society sector execute their most urgent strategic priorities. He has advised leaders at World Vision, Doctors without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, Relief International, as well as many other humanitarian groups that focus on children and the world’s poorest communities.

Prior to co-founding Conner Advisory with Daryl Conner, Boswell served eight years as CEO of The Forum Corporation – a global leadership development and strategy execution firm. He was subsequently elected as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he led their People and Change consulting practice until 2014.

Ed earned his PhD in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and serves as an advisor to the NeuroLeadership Institute – an international organization that applies the insights of brain science to organizational performance and leadership effectiveness.


A8: Economic Mobility through a Two-Generation, Whole-Family Lens

Track: Economic Opportunity

This session will lift up how the Two-Generation Approach is being leveraged in communities to support families impacted by poverty, trauma, racial inequity, toxic stressors, and other challenges. The session will provide an overview of The Kresge Foundation’s Human Services Program’s efforts to increase social and economic mobility for families living with low-income and American cities. The session will also take a deep dive into how one organization in the south is partnering with families, schools, law enforcement, workforce, and others to meet families where they are and where they dream. 

Participants will engage in activities to assess their organizations’ readiness for implementing a 2Gen framework and be provided with resources to support their journey in partnering with families to create a better quality of life and realize their dreams. 


  • Joelle-Jude Fontaine, senior program officer for human services, The Kresge Foundation
  • Julie Sanon, chief operating officer, Agape Child and Family Services

Joelle-Jude Fontaine
Senior Program Officer, Human Services
The Kresge Foundation

Joelle-Jude Fontaine is a senior program officer at The Kresge Foundation, which supports the advancement of human services to accelerate social and economic mobility for people with low income. She has spent most of her career promoting the development of equitable systems at the local, state, and national levels. Currently, Fontaine is leading the Human Services program’s efforts to help the human services sector improve its effectiveness through better practice, policy development, and advocacy. She is also helping to promote collaboration across sectors to improve the integration of service delivery, community engagement, and economic development at local levels. Because racial inequality is a significant barrier to opportunity, central to Fontaine’s work is a focus on applying a racial equity lens to advancing social and economic mobility.

Before joining Kresge in 2017, Fontaine served as a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she led the development of its early childhood funding strategies focusing on obtaining equitable outcomes for children pre-birth to age eight. She also led the development of the foundation’s infant toddler funding strategy, designed to maximize outcomes for young children and their families.

Fontaine served as a member of the leadership team of the National Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (2010-2017), which helps leverage private and public funding and other resources to increase equitable early childhood systems building efforts.

She earned a bachelor’s in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and completed coursework toward a master’s in public affairs from City University of New York’s Bernard M. Baruch College.

Julie Sanon
Chief Operating Officer,
Agape Child and Family Services

Since 2011, Julie Sanon has served as Chief Operating Officer for Agape Child & Family Services. She and her team have helped position the agency as a recognized community collaborator in support of youth and families. Under her leadership, Agape has consistently achieved year-over-year success, culminating in significant growth and expansion. She is passionate about serving from a two-generation paradigm – whole child and whole family, and aims to provide healing for the full family unit and their community so that permanency and sustainability are possible for all. 

In 2004, Julie was honored with the official flag of the State of Florida, flown over the State Capitol for 21 years of dedicated service, and has received numerous awards in her 39-year career.  She attended Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts, majoring in psychology/sociology, and received her Public Manager Certification from Florida State University Center for Professional Development.


B1: Building Deep Media Partnerships to Improve Community Mental Health


  • Organizational Excellence
  • Health and Well-Being

The Peace of Mind Project is a unique collaboration between 14 News (WFIE) and Lampion Center. This partnership utilizes neuro-science research to illuminate issues and inform our community of the latest scientific understanding of what can lead the community to greater mental health.

During this workshop we will provide an overview of Lampion Center and WFIE’s special partnership, discuss how to make connections and manage expectations, and highlight the communication and clarity of purpose that is necessary for success. Descriptions and video footage will be shared of the Peace of Mind Project interviews, prime time specials, and “Taking a Stand.” We will explore how a partnership between the mental health community and a local broadcaster can inform the community and bring about positive change. Questions and discussion will be interspersed throughout the presentation. Audience participants will be engaged in discussion on how to move from transactional relationships to full media partnerships that move the community forward.   

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the goals and values that media and mental health partners bring to the table 
  • Explore how to move beyond a transactional relationship to a mutually beneficial partnership
  • Outline steps and tools for moving forward in your media market 


  • Lynn D. Kyle, executive director, Lampion Center, Inc. 
  • Beth Sweeney, anchor/reporter, WFIE 14 News 
  • Joe Schlaerth, news director, WFIE 14 News

Lynn D. Kyle, LCSW 
Executive Director 
Lampion Center, Inc.

Lynn D. Kyle is the executive director of Lampion Center – a small community counseling agency that empowers children and families, helping them move beyond life’s challenges, traumas, and transitions to thrive and reach their full potential.  

Kyle received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Evansville. She has led and inspired the work of Lampion Center for over 20 years and is well known for establishing and promoting collaborative efforts to meet community needs. She is sought after for her expertise in non-profit management and Board/CEO development. 

Kyle holds Indiana licensure in social work, marriage and family therapy, and addiction counseling. She has been highly involved in promoting the community’s understanding and integration of trauma-informed practices. In addition to her work at Lampion Center and leadership positions at a state and local level, Kyle is an experienced crisis responder. She provides local and national crisis response, which in the past has included 9/11, aviation accidents, and natural disasters. Kyle is called upon as a consultant for local and national response teams including FEI. 

Beth Sweeney 
WFIE 14 News 

Beth Sweeney is an Anchor/Reporter at WFIE-TV 14 News in Evansville, IN. In the fall of 2005, Sweeney joined the 14 News team anchoring mornings, and now currently co-anchoring at 4 and 5 p.m. Before coming to Evansville, Sweeney worked as a morning reporter at KTLA in Los Angeles, and later as a morning reporter for a station in Lexington, KY. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky, and then went on to attend Northeastern University's Graduate School of Journalism in Boston, MA.  

Sweeney is the lead reporter on the 14 News Peace of Mind Project, a mental health awareness project launched by the station in mid-2017. Through this project WFIE shares stories, prime time specials, brings together experts, and provides resources regarding mental health. WFIE was recently named “Station of the Year” by the Indiana Broadcasters Association. 

Sweeney has a strong commitment to helping others, as evidenced by her service on the board of a local non-profit crisis child care center, volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, and the “American Reads” national child literacy campaign.  

Joe Schlaerth 
News Director 
WFIE 14 News 

Joe Schlaerth is an award-winning producer and news director, currently at WFIE-TV, 14 News, in Evansville, Indiana. He spent much of his career at WIVB-TV in Buffalo, working up from intern to news director. Schlaerth then moved to Indiana for his current role.  

Schlaerth has won several national and regional awards for his producing and reporting. Among his national awards, is the prestigious SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) and the Sigma Delta Chi award for a series of stories called The Bully Project. Those stories centered around school bullying and included coverage of the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, bullied for being gay, and Lady Gaga’s support of Jamey’s family following his death. 

B2: Big Data in Practice

Track: Organizational Excellence

This breakout session is offered as a part of CBO of the Future: Embracing Disruptive Technology.

The presentation will focus on the use of big data, defined with a specific focus on health and human services. We will discuss how to use big data to improve processes and outcomes. We will further discuss the use of data analytics with examples of how to do it correctly vs. incorrectly and delineate between operationalized data and historical data. 

Learning Objectives:

  • What is big data? 
  • Adopting analytics 
  • How to make use of big data and data of interest 
  • Forward looking vs. backward looking 
  • Operational support vs. decision support 


  • Greg Povolny, CEO, Mindshare Technology
  • Nate Roggenbaum, director of performance and quality improvement, West Michigan Partnership for Children 

Greg Povolny 
Mindshare Technology 

Greg Povolny is the CEO and founder of Mindshare Technology. During Povolny’s tenure at Mindshare Technology, he applied high impact data analytics to more than 16 state child welfare systems. His efforts have paved the way, enabling agencies to make best use of data intelligence to improve outcomes for children and families. Prior to Mindshare Technology, Povolny started his career at IBM in research and development. After 10 years, he started a Tampa Bay based firm that was later acquired by Internet Capital Group (a Safeguard Scientifics company). Subsequently, Povolny founded Mindshare Technology and his primary focus continues to be the application of new technology in critical areas of social services. 

B3: LEAN Six Sigma Plus Innovation Equals Success

Track: Organizational Excellence

Have you ever wondered how to innovate within your organization in a structured and deliberate manner? Join us and learn how business practices, such as LEAN Six Sigma, can be leveraged to support you throughout your innovation journey. Tools and processes will be shared along with a case study demonstrating the power of this model of design. Participants will be encouraged to engage in identifying next steps in planning to execute within their own organizations. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Be exposed to LEAN Six Sigma processes  
  • Learn about innovation processes that can be utilized  
  • See an example of LEAN Innovation via a case study 
  • Begin to plan LEAN innovation tactics to utilize within their own agencies 


  • Jill Huynh, vice president of new business development, Beech Acres Parenting Center 
  • Ricka' Berry, director of quality improvement and program evaluation, Beech Acres Parenting Center  

Jill Huynh 
Vice President, New Business Development 
Beech Acres Parenting Center 

Jill Huynh is the vice president for new business development at Beech Acres Parenting Center, which is a parent-focused, family-centered organization with the mission of inspiring and equipping today’s parents, families, and communities to raise capable, caring, contributing children. Hunyh oversees transformative and innovative projects that will guide Beech Acres into the future by responding to the needs of today’s parents in creative and innovative ways.  

Huynh has been employed at Beech Acres for 20 years. Prior to joining the Beech Acres team, she was the intake coordinator for Psych Systems of Cincinnati. She was employed at St. Joseph’s Orphanage as a child mental health clinician for four years in Hamilton County communities, before her work at Beech Acres. Hunyh has participated in numerous speaking engagements, trainings and parenting workshops throughout the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area addressing parenting and mental health issues.  

Hunyh has been a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Ohio since 1994. She graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with two bachelor’s degrees ─ one in psychology and the other in sociology.  

Ricka' Berry 
Vice President of Child Welfare Programs
Beech Acres Parenting Center 

Ricka’ Berry, Vice President, Child Welfare for Beech Acres Parenting Center.  She has eighteen years professional experience working in social services and non-profits. Prior to the leadership role in Child Welfare Ricka’ served as the agency Director of Continuous Quality Improvement and Program Evaluation and Research.  She is a champion for CQI and innovation with expertise in process improvement, project management and compliance management.  She is a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma and holds a degree in Business Administration.  Ricka is currently serving on the Non-Profit Leadership Council Executive Diversity and Inclusion steering committee, the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Leadership Action class, the State of Ohio CQI Steering Committee, CHSA-FOI Evaluation Learning Community and Alliance for Strong Families and Communities as a core team member for the Performance Excellence group.  She also has participated on the Greater Cincinnati Health Foundation’s Regional Access to Primary Care Committee.  Ricka’ enjoys time with her family, cooking, travel, and sports.

B4: Tackling the Workforce Crisis


  • Educational Success
  • Organizational Excellence

High turnover and vacancy rates among direct support professionals are ascribed to low wages and less than ideal work conditions. It’s creating a workforce crisis in the health and social services sector. Simply raising wages is not always a practicable solution. Instead, organizations need to think more broadly about organizational culture.  

Learn about how one nonprofit organization is taking a unique approach in creating and sustaining an intentional organizational culture that is aligned with its strategies and objectives, particularly in its realignment with the principles and practices of population health and employee engagement and development.

Learning Objectives:

Attendees can expect to learn about the design and implementation of innovative initiatives pertaining to employee engagement, retention, and development in the context of business strategies and organizational culture, including, but not limited to: 

  • Career Pathways 
  • College Degree Cohort Programs 
  • Mentoring Programs 
  • Social Innovation Labs 
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives 
  • Trauma-informed Support Program & Approaches 
  • Enhanced Employee Benefits 


  • Tine Hansen-Turton, president and chief executive officer, Woods Services 
  • Dawn Diamond, senior vice president of strategy and transformation, Woods Services 

Tine Hansen-Turton 
President and Chief Executive Officer 
Woods Services 

Tine Hansen-Turton, president and CEO of Woods Services, has more than 20 years of experience in health and human services senior management, executive leadership, and consulting. She has founded and led several nationally recognized organizations and trade associations. A proven results-oriented strategic leader, Hansen-Turton is known for being an effective change agent and policy and health and human services systems reform advocate.  

For the past two decades she has been instrumental in positioning nurse practitioners as primary health care providers globally. She serves as the founding executive administrator for the Convenient Care Association, the national trade association for over 2,200 private-sector retail clinics. Hansen-Turton teaches public and social innovations, leading non-profits, and health policy at University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government and School of Nursing.  

Hansen-Turton is the founder and publisher of a social impact/innovation journal and has co-published eight books. She has received several advocacy and leadership awards, including the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship, Business Journal 40 under 40 Leadership and Women of Distinction Awards. She received her bachelor of arts from Slippery Rock University, her masters of government/public administration from University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute, and her juris doctor from Temple University Beasley School of Law. 

Dawn Diamond 
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Transformation 
Woods Services 

Dawn Diamond is a seasoned professional with a broad range of work experiences. In her role as senior vice president of strategy and transformation at Woods Services, she is responsible for driving Woods forward and inspiring a culture that embraces change. She leads special projects for Woods Services and partnership development around new, emerging, and transformational business opportunities. 

Diamond holds a master of science in industrial/organizational psychology from Florida Institute of Technology and a bachelor of arts in psychology from Salisbury State University in Salisbury, Maryland. 

B5: Risk Management Strategies that Address the Rising Concern of Cyber Liability

Track: Organizational Excellence

This course begins with an overview of recent cyber-attacks and then moves to what the most common cyber threats are to an organization. We will discuss how to estimate the financial impact of an attack on your organization and the five risk management controls, which include identification, protection, detection, responding, and recovery.

The course also includes information on coverage gaps found in the Commercial General Liability and Property policy and why it’s so important to purchase cyber liability insurance. We will look at the key coverages that should be included in every cyber liability policy. We will also cover topics such as passwords, software updates, encryption, setting data access levels, BYOD, new hire training, and what to do after an attack. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Estimating the financial impact of an attack. on your organization 
  • Applying risk management controls  
  • Insurance coverage gaps 


  • Lisa A. Bellis, director of risk management services, Brown & Brown of Lehigh Valley
  • Tiffany Vrabel, vice president and risk management advisor, Brown & Brown of Lehigh Valley  

Lisa A. Bellis
Director of Risk Management Services
Brown & Brown of Lehigh Valley

Bellis comes to Brown & Brown of Lehigh Valley with over 30 years’ experience in commercial property/casualty insurance.She maintains a deep commitment to reducing the effects of loss and increasing an organization’s overall profitability through effectively analyzing exposures and implementing sound risk management practices.Her enthusiasm to confront challenges with a positive and constructive attitude helps her to succeed in resolving difficult issues.She provides a multitude of resources to facilitate and implement effective best practices in organizations.

Her extensive knowledge in reviewing and modifying hold harmless & indemnification agreements, as well as insurance contracts, has helped to improve the financial and legal position of her clients with their subcontractors, suppliers, and vendors.She possesses thorough knowledge of commercial lines insurance products & coverages, as well as the ability to audit policies to ensure they do not contain any coverage gaps.Lisa has a proven track record for effectively and aggressively negotiating the reduction/closing of claims. She is uncompromising when it comes to attacking fraudulent claims.Lisa has extensive experience in working with insurance captives and regional purchasing groups.She successfully interviewed, negotiated, and coordinated third party claims and loss control services and held quarterly performance meetings on behalf of the captive’s members.

Lisa was awarded a bachelor’s degree of science in business administration through Albright College, where is achieved “highest honors.”She also holds an associate’s degree inbusiness management through Lehigh Carbon Community College.In 2000, she earned the designation of certified insurance counselor and went on to achieve the associate in risk management designation from the Insurance Institute of America in 2003.In 2010, she received the Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist designation from the International Risk Management Institute, Inc.Most recently, she was received the Certified Safety Manager designation from the National Association of Safety Professionals.She is also certified by the State of New York to conduct Workplace Safety Certifications under ICR 59 and ICR 60.

Tiffany Vrabel  
Vice President and Risk Management Advisor  
Brown & Brown of Lehigh Valley  

Tiffany Vrabel is a vice president and risk management advisor for Brown & Brown of Lehigh Valley. She joined Brown & Brown in 2009 and creates and adapts insurance and risk management programs for organizations across the country. Her responsibilities include strategic direction on insurance coverage design, negotiation, placement, and implementation, with a focus on the highest quality protection at the lowest possible cost. She makes it a priority that her clients understand all new and existing risks that their organizations face and what they can do to protect themselves.   

Vrabel holds a bachelor’s from East Stroudsburg University in business management with finance emphasis. In 2011, she earned her associate in risk management designation and her certified insurance counselor designation in 2014. She also received her master’s in business administration from Moravian College in 2013.   

B6: Examples of Addressing Trauma and Building Resilience at Various Organizational Levels


  • Health and Well-Being
  • Safety and Resilience
  • Educational Success

There has been a significant effort across the U.S. for human services organizations to become trauma-informed and provide trauma-informed services for their clients. Trauma-informed care often necessitates a sizable shift in the culture of an organization that can be difficult to achieve without the full commitment from leadership and staff. During this panel presentation, participants will hear from three organizations that have embarked on the journey to change their practices, as well as their organizational culture, to reflect trauma-informed principles. These examples will include changes that occurred at the recipient, staff, and organizational levels, and will illustrate how systemic efforts to promote resilience at all levels can positively impact outcomes for clients and staff. 


  • Jennifer Jones, director, Change in Mind Institute at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities


  • Carrie Carl, chief of strategy, Villa of Hope
  • Julie Carlberg, chief program officer, Maggie’s Place
  • Luke McDonough, clinical and behavioral health coordinator, Pressley Ridge
  • Andrea Roberts, program director, Pressley Ridge

Jennifer Jones
Director of the Change in Mind Institute
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Jennifer Jones currently serves as the director of the Change in Mind Institute at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. The Change in Mind Institute helps forward-thinking human-serving organizations put the latest brain science research into real-world practice to create better outcomes for children, families, and communities.

Previously, Jones led the Alliance’s Change in Mind initiative, a partnership between the Alliance, the Palix Foundation in Alberta, Canada, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to infuse, align, and accelerate brain science research into nonprofit agency practice, policy and systems. The Change in Mind initiative has demonstrated capacity infusing brain science and research-based innovative applications into programs and organizations and identified the longer-term opportunities and challenges of doing so at the systems and policy levels.

Prior to her positions with the Alliance, Jones served as the associate director of the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) and led the agency’s efforts on adverse childhood experiences. Jones was also responsible for CTF’s strategic planning, public policy, and communications efforts. For her last two years at the agency, Jones served as interim executive director and coordinated all activities related to the governor-appointed Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board. Preceding her positions with the CTF, Jones served as the communications specialist in the Secretary’s Office at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and as a child welfare policy advisor in the Wisconsin Division of Children and Family Services.

Jones is currently on the Hunger Task Force Board of Directors. She received her bachelor’s in social work from Marquette University and master’s in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Carrie Carl
Chief of Strategy
Villa of Hope

Carrie Carl has been serving youth and family survivors of trauma and chronic stress for over 20 years at Villa of Hope. She joined the field as a residential counselor and teaching assistant in 1994, and since then, she has helped usher the Villa through decades of growth and change. Carl moved into social work in 1998, followed by clinical administration, operational leadership of residential programs, and in recent years, strategic leadership of psychiatry, psychology, and medical services; Villa of Hope School; and organizational development. Presently Carl supports agency-wide strategy work as the chief of strategy. Carl’s practice includes Villa of Hope youth, families, staff, work teams, and the community. She is a certified trainer of the Sanctuary Model and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI), and she enjoys developing original training curricula of her own for new and seasoned staff. In the community, Carl has been a repeat guest speaker for Rochester Global Connections, teaching international visitors about human services in the U.S. She graduated in November 2016 from the Northstar Network Healthcare Business Academy Fellowship Program.

Julie Carlberg
Chief Program Officer
Maggie’s Place

Julie Carlberg is a dynamic and passionate leader with over 15 years of experience in nonprofit social services and education. She is currently serving as the chief program officer at Maggie’s Place. Overseeing the programs across all six homeless shelters and a Family Resource Center providing organizational oversight, best practice leadership, compliance, program creation, implementation and evaluation as well as grant writing and management. Her work at Maggie’s Place as nonprofit leader has helped families become resilient, stay together and change their lives. Most recently, incorporating a trauma responsive service delivery model that builds trust and includes the Strengthening Families Five Protective Factors. In her role as a college and career readiness coordinator, she designed and implemented curriculum to foster students’ college success. In her role as a middle and high school classroom teacher she maintained an engaging classroom and taught life-long learning skills. Currently, she also serves a virtual advanced placement economics teacher and has designed and implemented a rigorous curriculum for an online platform.

Luke McDonough
Clinical and Behavioral Health Coordinator
Pressley Ridge

Luke McDonough is the senior coordinator of program services for the Pressley Ridge Day School Pittsburgh. The Day School is an Approved Private School (APS) and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) located in Pittsburgh.

Andrea Roberts
Program Director
Pressley Ridge

Andrea Roberts is the current program director at the Pressley Ridge Day School Johnstown. The Day School is a licensed, private academic school service youth with social and emotional disturbances and autism in Western Pennsylvania.

B8: Turning Advice into Action: Risk Management for Community-Based Organizations

Track: Organizational Excellence

Format: Project-Based

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ report, A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America, featuring Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Capital’s joint paper, Risk Management for Nonprofits, offers a cross-sector call to action to address the challenges facing community-based organizations, which play a vital role in the human services ecosystem. In the current financial environment, these organizations face many challenges to their financial stability, which makes realizing their transformative potential and contributing to a healthy society and strong economy difficult. To address this financial vulnerability, the report identifies five “north star” initiatives designed to put community-based organizations on the path of financial stability while improving population health and well-being, increasing economic productivity, and lowering social costs over time. Taken together, they will contribute to a more stable human services ecosystem and ultimately, a healthier, more productive and prosperous society.

Designed for board directors and C-suite executives, this session will focus on findings from the above research and reports. Drawing on years of institutional expertise in risk management for community-based organizations and interviews with board leaders, executives, and funders, the workshop will cover the imperative for robust and systematic risk management, learnings from leaders of community-based organizations who have struggled, and an actionable best practice strategy that leaders can take back to their organizations.

Learning Objectives:

  • The context and financial imperative for robust systematic risk management
  • Recommendations and best practices from Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Capital’s research on how to adapt private sector risk practices to community-based organizations
  • Practical and targeted strategies for improving risk management that can be incorporated at participants' own organizations


  • Tammi Ling, partner, Oliver Wyman

Tammi Ling
Oliver Wyman

Tammi Ling is a partner in Oliver Wyman’s Financial Services practice in New York. She has over a decade of experience consulting to leading financial institutions in North America. Ling is focused on risk management and has worked across several risk management topics including organization and governance, risk framework development, model risk management, cost efficiency, regulatory compliance, operational process design, capital management and planning, and risk appetite.

Ling is passionate about social impact initiatives and using her experience to help improve communities and lives around the world. As the chair of the Oliver Wyman for Society New York Council, she is responsible for social impact activities including volunteering, philanthropy, Non-Profit Fellowships, Community Service Consulting, and special projects. She is also a member of the New York Leadership Council for Upwardly Global, a nonprofit focused on eliminating employment barriers for skilled immigrants and refugees and integrating this population into the professional U.S. workforce. Ling was elected president and vice president of the leadership Council in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

C1: Solutions Showcase: Concrete Tools for Your Most Pressing Challenges

Track: All

The Solutions Showcase is uniquely designed to provide conference participants with an exclusive opportunity to evaluate solutions and ask questions in a low-pressure environment. Using a speed networking format, participants will learn about innovative solutions and proven models to increase operational efficiency, improve outcomes, and achieve systems change. Presenters will share new products, services or data, and answer your questions during a series of multiple, short rounds. Come experience variety and liveliness at this interactive session.

New Solutions for Employees’ Professional Development

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ learning community will provide organizations with multiple opportunities to develop their employees. The informal learning through communities of practice that already exists on myAlliance will be complemented by live webinars a catalog of on-demand learning opportunities for members and nonmembers.

In this Solutions Showcase presentation, find out how you can help your employees take advantage of these new professional development opportunities. They will be able to explore topics around the Commitments of High-Impact Organizations, safety and resilience, health care, NTI’s Adoption Center curriculum for child welfare and mental health practitioners, and more. If you want to maximize your Alliance membership benefits, provide professional development to your employees, and explore other learning options at the Alliance, this session is for you.

Learning objectives:

  • Ways to provide employees with professional development opportunities that are included in Alliance membership
  • Preview NTI’s Adoption Center learning modules for child welfare practitioners and mental health practitioners
  • Additional ways to take advantage of the Alliance’s learning management system technology


  • Hope Liu, director, organizational learning, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Attract, Retain, and Reward High-Level Management with a Creative Retirement Benefit Alternative

Many nonprofit employers struggle with competing in the employment market. What an organization may lack in salary, it may be able to make up in benefits. When attracting and retaining high-level management, organizations may have to get creative with benefits while remaining compliant with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Department of Labor. There are tools outside of the traditional matching formula in a 401(k) or 403(b) that can be used for this purpose.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Learn about 457(b) deferred compensation plans
  • See what other ways your employer contribution could be structured to reward key employees 


  • Cynthia G. Pierce, vice president, national group accounts, Mutual of America
  • Sara Ann Wiencken, vice president, Mutual of America

How to Choose a Good Broker

Typically, insurance companies offering coverage to nonprofits work through insurance brokers to provide their coverages. But what is the primary role of an insurance broker? What are some of the qualities your broker should have? How do insurance brokers get paid?

This Solutions Showcase presentation will explain the important role that brokers play in securing coverage. It also will help participants better understand why working with a broker is to their advantage and how to choose a good broker for their organizations’ insurance needs.

Learning objectives:

  • An insurance broker’s role, needed qualifications, and payment model
  • The value that insurance brokers can provide and how to choose a good one
  • How to determine the best way to secure insurance coverage


  • Eileen Robillard, senior underwriter, Nonprofits Insurance Alliance

Outside the Hospital: Outcomes-Focused Data Tools 

Athena Software will be sharing new developments that have been made to improve the way clients are able to engage with their care. Through the client management system, Penelope, a focus has been placed on creating ways for the client to be more active in their service delivery. For example, with the addition of a patient portal, patients now can complete assessments on their phones.

Over almost two decades of providing data solutions for social service agencies, Athena has realized that many organizations have found themselves in the position where they are using a medical electronic health record (EHR) for a broad scope of programs that exist far beyond the physician’s office. While these platforms (along with behavioral health products) are typically powerful tools, they are usually medical-first solutions with an emphasis on biometrics and primary care. Athena has stepped forward to help organizations explore what is possible with solutions that are built from the ground up with a focus on counseling and case management, with off-the-shelf tools for the wraparound services these programs often entail.

In this discussion, Athena will share how a patient-centric, multi-service system can answer the question “How are all the services we are providing working together to help an individual or family get from A to B?” And perhaps we’ll make it easier to satisfy funders along the way.

Learning objectives:

  • How to use technology to increase client engagement in services
  • Ideas for automating processes to reduce administrative tasks
  • Techniques for thinking about the impact data structures have on reporting options


  • Micah Gold-Utting, account executive, Athena Software

Building Data Systems to Focus on Results for Expectant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care and their Children

Addressing the needs of Expectant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care (EPY), preventing future child welfare system involvement for their children, and reducing disparate outcomes requires timely and accurate data. This presentation will explore strategies, such as maximizing recent legislation including the Family First Prevention Service Act, that use the systematic collection and usage of data on EPY. However, there currently aren’t any standards regarding the data child welfare systems should be collecting on the characteristics of EPY, their strengths and needs, the services they are receiving, or the quality of those services. 

Using the recently released Expectant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care Systems Leaders Data Tool Kit as the basis for discussion, participants will explore how system leaders can begin to build or strengthen existing data systems by implementing recommendations from the tools. Participants will also discuss how the Family First Prevention Services Act can be leveraged to accelerate and support the implementation of data collection and utilization strategies related to EPY and their children and how data can be used to inform policy and practice so that resources are aligned to meet their needs. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Explore strategies and ideas for the collection of data to track, measure, and improve well-being outcomes for EPY and their children
  • How the Family First Prevention Services Act can be leveraged to accelerate and support the implementation of data collection and utilization strategies related to EPY and their children
  • Implications for the child welfare system, other public systems, researchers and community-based service providers


  • Tammi Fleming, senior associate, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Connectedness, Skills, & Support: Tools to Combat the Increasing Rate of Teen Suicide

There is national concern about the growing rates of death by suicide in adolescents and young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death nationwide in young people ages 10-24. Tragically, the trend is going in the wrong direction, with more U.S. adolescents and young adults in psychological distress, experiencing major depression and suicidal thoughts, and taking their own lives—but there is hope and there are resources to combat this crisis. There is evidence to show that the individual and population-level solutions include promoting connectedness, teaching coping and problem-solving skills, and identifying and supporting those at risk.

For more than 30 years, Boys Town crisis counselors have been the supportive voice at the other end of the line, fielding more than 10 million calls, texts, chats, and emails. They’ve worked with more than 300,000 people who were contemplating suicide and prevented 11,000 suicides in progress. The Boys Town National Hotline is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology and part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Ten years ago, concern about the specific needs of teens led to the creation of a free resource called “Your Life Your Voice.” Learn how to access YLYV tools to improve the safety and well-being of young people in your community and potentially save a life.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore a teen-specific interactive, web-based resource and how it can lead to improved self-help skills and well-being in young people at risk of self-harm
  • Discover concrete strategies and tools to empower parents, mental health providers, school leaders and other interested adults caring for young people
  • Discuss the impact and analysis of user data and the potential to concentrate and inform community response to prevent suicide


  • Lisette Burton, vice president of advocacy & public policy, Boys Town


Lisette Burton
Vice President of Advocacy & Public Policy
Boys Town

 Lisette Burton is the vice president of national advocacy and public policy for Boys Town, where she advocates for effective federal and state policies related to child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and health. Burton regularly facilitates conversations and shares policy and practice insight and expertise with local, state, and national audiences. She started her career by providing direct service to young people and their families and then worked as a community organizer, which heightened her personal and professional passion for effective systems of care. Burton received her bachelor’s in science from the Eberly College of Science at Penn State University. She earned her law degree at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she was a Leadership Scholar and Schweitzer Fellow, a pro bono law clerk representing children with special needs, a student attorney at the National Association of the Deaf, and a legislative intern with the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Tammi Fleming

Senior Associate
The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Tammi Fleming is currently a senior associate at The Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore. Her work at the foundation is focused on preventing untimely pregnancies in youth and young adults and supporting the developmental needs and networks of supports for young parents. She has an interest in integrating comprehensive reproductive health and parenting support strategies in public systems and institutions. Fleming is also a member of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative national team.

Prior to coming to the foundation, Fleming was the director of the Plain Talk National Replication Center at Public Health Management Corporation in Philadelphia. She served in a similar capacity at Public/Private Ventures. Fleming’s career spans over 25 years from her work as a community organizer in New Orleans, to her work developing and implementing multiple community-based health and social service initiatives. 

Fleming possesses an extensive array of skills including as a trainer and facilitator. She earned her doctorate in Public Health from Walden University. Her dissertation research focused on examining the role of structural fidelity in replication outcomes of evidence-based programs.

Hope Liu
Director of Organizational Learning
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Hope Liu joined the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities as its director of organizational learning in 2018. In this role, she is responsible for creating an enterprise-wide learning solution that supports and enhances the development of the Alliance network and professionals in the human-serving sector through learning.

She earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech, focusing on instructional design models and curriculum for varied instructional environments, including online, blended, and face to face. In Milwaukee, she has worked in the financial services industry, nonprofit sector, health care sector, and, most recently, higher education. She previously was the dean of the School of Continuing and Online Learning at Cardinal Stritch University. A certified DDI facilitator and experienced online learning expert, Liu brings her love of learning (and the challenges inherent to it) to the Alliance.

Cynthia G Pierce 
Vice President of National Group Accounts
Mutual of America

Cynthia Pierce is the relationship liaison nationally for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and a chartered retirement plan specialist.  Mutual of America is a longtime trusted partner and promoter of the Alliance mission. Mutual of America is an expert provider of retirement plan services across the country.

Micah Gold-Utting
Account Executive
Athena Software

Micah Gold-Utting works at Athena Software to support organizations with their data system evaluations. Leveraging his background in public relations data systems and enterprise procurement, Gold-Utting has extensive experience in helping organizations manage complicated funding structures and grantor requirements.

As part of his focus areas at Athena, Gold-Utting has worked closely with organizations running maternal home visiting programs to understand how to manage their data across multiple funders with diverse reporting requirements. This structure translates laterally to many different service verticals and can be applied to organizations serving a wide array of different populations. The organizations Gold-Utting has worked with over the last year include faith-based groups such as Agape Child & Family Services and government organizations such as the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Specifically, Gold-Utting is passionate about process optimization and legitimately gets excited about finding efficiencies in workflow. As such, he’s always down to discuss organizations data challenges.

Eileen Robillard
Senior Underwriter
Nonprofits Insurance Alliance

Eileen Robillard, CPCU is a Senior Underwriter for Nonprofits Insurance Alliance. She is graduate of St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY with a Bachelor’s in Economics and Business Management and quickly transitioned into commercial insurance from there. Eileen has an extensive underwriting background that spans from contractors to manufacturing firms. The last seven years she’s has focused explicitly on 501c(3) nonprofit organizations with a specialization in child welfare organizations.  In her spare time she plays the French horn with the Tipp City Community Band and was previously the treasurer for a small nonprofit performing arts group in Rochester NY. 

Sara Ann Wiencken
Vice President
Mutual of America

Sara Ann Wiencken, CRPS, joined Mutual of America in 2011.  She oversees the Indianapolis field office operations.  Ms. Wiencken has completed FINRA Series 7 and Series 63 requirements and holds applicable insurance licenses in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.

C2: Increasing Safety with Diverse SOGIE Youth


  • Educational Success
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Safety and Resilience

Format: Project-Based

This session will invite participants to examine concrete steps their organizations can take to support youth with unique strengths and needs.Participants will learn why this is a vital step for their work and growth, how their organizations can commit to a learning process, and what outcomes one would expect to see for diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) youth's safety, well-being, placement stability, and permanency.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to assess their team and agencies for strengths and areas of growth related to working with diverse SOGIE youth
  • How to consider asking people your agency serves about SOGIE in comprehensive intakes
  • How to develop standards related to inter- and intra-agency referrals when staff does not have competency related to supporting LGBTQ identity


  • Jessie Fullenkamp, education and evaluation director, Ruth Ellis Center

Jessie Fullenkamp, LMSW
Education and Evaluation Director
Ruth Ellis Center

Jessie Fullenkamp, LMSW, director of education and evaluation, joined the Ruth Ellis Center in 2010.She led the development and implementation of the first Medicaid billable, LGBTQ youth specific community mental health services in the state of Michigan.Additionally, Fullenkamp directed leadership and advocacy, transgender health, and street outreach programs. In her current role, she directs education and evaluation focused on increasing health and safety with diverse SOGIE youth.Fullenkamp has been instrumental in implementing positive youth development, harm reduction, transformative justice, and trauma-informed care at the agency. She studied in Kumasi, Ghana and graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Xavier University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. Fullenkamp lived and worked on the island of Weno in the Federated States of Micronesia focusing on education, HIV, and women's issues. In 2016, she was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work.

C3: Continuous Improvement to Impact Well-Being

Track: Health and Well-Being 
Format: Project-Based

Programs that support the healthy development and well-being of children, families, and communities often leverage a data-driven continuous quality improvement (CQI) process to monitor impact. In this workshop, participants will learn how Children's Hospital of Wisconsin adapted lessons learned from the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities' Change in Mind initiative to integrate human-centered design concepts, rapid cycle feedback from families, and data on family functioning into a CQI process that also informs systems change efforts. This session includes real-world examples where presenters share how their approach to using data evolved from monitoring process to sharing data with families to gauge the impact of their services. Attendees will leave the session with tools and an action plan, allowing them to start translating the core concepts from the presentation into their own work.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding how human-centered design can inform CQI
  • How to incorporate segmentation into evaluating change in child/family functioning 
  • How to engage staff and families in identifying moderating factors of program outcomes 
  • How to leverage a CQI process that includes family input into systems change efforts


  • Gabriel McGaughey, director of child well-being, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Luke Waldo, child well-being manager, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Gabriel McGaughey
Director of Child Well-Being 
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin 

Gabriel McGaughey serves as the director of well-being for Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee Community Services and is a founding co-director of the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being. He joined Children’s Hospital in 2003.

McGaughey has worked to advance the child welfare field toward a more holistic approach to working with children with a focus of meeting their developmental needs to support long-term success. Previously, He led the child welfare case management program at Children’s leveraging experience in direct practice, quality improvement, and data analytics to support improved services for families. McGaughey holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Luke Waldo
Child Well-Being Manager
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Luke Waldo currently serves as the well-being manager at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and associate director of program implementation and community outreach for the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being.

Waldo has dedicated his career to child well-being in Europe, South America, and his native city; Milwaukee, where he has worked with children adversely impacted by immigration, homelessness, abuse and neglect, and family violence. He has nearly two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector working in the domestic violence, childhood trauma and well-being, homelessness, and education and prevention fields with a special focus on engagement and innovative solutions to personal and community challenges. Waldo has trained hundreds of child well-being professionals in the areas of domestic violence, toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences, and childhood resilience. Before joining the institute’s leadership team, he led the Family Support Program which serves families involved with the child welfare system by providing strengths- and evidence-based interventions.

Waldo received bachelor's degrees in psychology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master's in cultural foundations of education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

C4: The Transformational Journey to Generative Governance

Track: Organizational Excellence

Target Audience: Chief Executives and Board Members Only

In today’s environment, a new mindset is required regarding how boards frame issues, challenges, opportunities, and engage and stay in dialogues. This is especially true when members are determining risk and the organization’s overall vision. A key word in this transformation is “partnership” within the CEO/board relationship. Both parties co-create the vision and agree on the path to success. It means transforming the board members to enable each to step outside of their individual perspective to listen to others’ viewpoints and then courageously make and implement the right decision. When this is embraced, difficult decisions are made by board members and then mutually supported by all to the executive team, staff, and external stakeholders.

This transformation can be difficult as a clear distinction exists between governance and operations and therefore decision making between the board and the CEO. The proof of this transformation is evident when a board self-manages the line between their realm and that of the CEO. A generative thinking board is one that is upstream from fiduciary responsibility, tactics, and execution and solves problems as well as governs.

Succession planning and trained, prepared board members are crucial. However, finding the right people can be difficult and rarely do we have the time and resources to develop them. By creating a Young Professionals Board, your organization can build a pipeline of engaged, active, and up-and-coming professionals. This sector is often disregarded in the workplace due to its perceived lack of networks and finances. However, changes in technology and social interactions has made networking and innovative fundraising strengths of this untapped generation. We will discuss the steps, challenges, and benefits associated with starting a Young Professionals Board and how to mold these individuals into brand ambassadors for your agency.

It’s time to raise expectations of the practice of governance within your organization – the present and future call for this to be successful for serving our communities and surviving.

Learning Objectives:

  • An actual specific story of developing a board from a Rubber stamp -> Fiduciary -> Strategic -> Generative process
  • The importance of the relationship between the CEO and board chair and how to develop a successful partnership
  • How to assess for skill sets needed and how to recruit board members
  • How to develop a young professionals board


  • Christina Gullo, president & CEO, Villa of Hope
  • Gerianne Puskas, chief advancement officer, Villa of Hope
  • Dawn Deperrior, board member, Villa of Hope
  • Curtis Johnson, associate, Bond, Schoeneck & King and founder and past president, Villa of Hope Young Professionals Board

Christina Gullo, MSW, MBA
President & CEO
Villa of Hope
@christina_gullo; @villaofhoperoch

In September 2010, Christina Gullo was named president/CEO of St. Joseph’s Villa of Rochester (now Villa of Hope). With a Master of Social Work from Marywood University and a Master of Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology, Gullo’s background includes clinical, professional, business, and leadership experience. She began her career as a social worker for Catholic Family Center in 1994 and worked her way through leadership positions in human resources, strategic planning and program to becoming executive vice president/chief operating officer for Catholic Family Center in 2010.

Gullo was a 2014 ATHENA Award finalist which is presented by The Women’s Council, an affiliate of the Rochester Business Alliance. She also received the 2008 Up & Coming Businesswomen’s Award, presented by the Rochester Women’s Network and was a 2005 recipient of the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award. Gullo co-authored Making Strategy Count in the Health and Human Services Sector which focuses on strategy in the human services world and the importance of adjusting to change, creating a strong organizational culture, and innovating in effective, meaningful ways.

Gerianne Puskas
Chief Advancement Officer
Villa of Hope
@whattwin; @villaofhoperoch

Gerianne Puskas joined the leadership team at the Villa in July 2015 and is now chief advancement officer. She brings to the Villa more than 25 years of experience in fundraising, nonprofit management, and strategy design and implementation. She has served in various positions with national nonprofit agencies where she focused on diversifying fundraising portfolios; strategy design and implementation; building and developing new teams; marketing; and managing regional and national accounts. In 2018, Puskas achieved the rank of Certified Fund Raising Executive through CFRE International.

She also serves on SUNY, Empire State College’s Business Management & Economics Residency team helping to educate and coach the next generation of nonprofit leaders. In addition to adjunct duties, Puskas helps develop residency curriculum and evaluates students’ prior learning to award undergraduate nonprofit management credits.

Curtis Johnson
Bond, Schoeneck & King
Founder and Past President of Villa of Hope Young Professionals Board

Curtis Johnson’s clients value his experience in large-scale, multi-party litigation as they navigate protracted disputes. The focus of Curtis Johnson’s litigation practice is the representation of publicly traded companies, financial institutions, universities, as well as closely-held business. Johnson also has experience litigating the inter-family disputes of high-net-worth individuals arising in the context of guardianship proceedings, will, and gift contests and estate litigation.

As a practitioner concentrating on complex corporate litigation, two of Johnson’s notable cases include representation of a large commercial and investment bank in Adelphia Recovery Trust v. Bank of America, N.A., et al. and representing one of two ownership groups in Ferolito v. Vultaggio in their dispute over control of AriZona Iced Tea. In addition, Johnson has successfully represented parties in disputes arising out of construction work, including general- and sub-contractors in pay disputes and defense of a regional bank against claims of lien law diversion. 

C5: Staff Well-Being as Foundational to Success


  • Educational Success
  • Organizational Excellence

Format: Project-Based

Success in our sector comes from committed and sustained attention to three elements in equal measure; the effectiveness of our services to others, fiscal sustainability, and staff well-being. Only a balanced commitment to all three components allows agencies to achieve their potential.

This session will explore how to chart a path from intention to action plan within highly strained work environments. Successful plans target strategies that truly make a different and can be implemented even within the pressures on agencies now. We will learn about this path and the critical element needed to develop strategies designed to each participant's agency context. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the connection between staff well-being and the performance and fiscal outcomes of agencies
  • Learn about a path for developing and executing strategies that boost staff well-being
  • Use the elements of a staff well-being plan to begin creating one that adapts to your agency’s current needs 


  • Margaret Vimont, vice president of strategy and service development, Nexus

Margaret Vimont
Vice President of Strategy and Service Development

Margaret Vimont, LCSW has dedicated her 30-year career to youth and family services.  Beginning as a youth care worker out of college, the first half of her career focused on residential treatment as she took the roles of therapist, clinical supervisor and residential director at Jewish Child and Family Services in Chicago. From there, she expanded her scope as Chief Operating Officer for JCFS in Chicago and One Hope United in Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin and statewide in Illinois. In these roles, Margaret provide leadership for the full array of services to youth and families, including mental health services, residential and foster care, workforce development, early childhood services, services to people with disabilities and community-based programs, related to both prevention and child welfare. 
Ms. Vimont served on the board of directors for the Association of Children’s Residential Centers for many years and as their Board President from 2009 to 2011. She also has represented JCFS, OHU and the private sector on Illinois’ Child Welfare Advisory Committee and on subcommittees for over 10 years. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in humanities and an Advance Clinical Practice Certificate from the University of Chicago. She also has dedicated 25-years of service as a self-defense instructor for IMPACT Chicago Self Defense for Women, where she continues to address the issue of violence against women through self-defense empowerment.

As the Vice President of Strategy and Service Development at Nexus, Ms. Vimont leads the identification, development and implementation of innovative treatment options to complement existing services and offer additional opportunities to help youth and families when they need it most. 

C6: School Partnerships - Pursuing Common Goals through School-wide Mental Health Integration

Track: Educational Success

Schools are uniquely positioned to promote wellness and resiliency as preventative interventions. Mental health and educational systems independently strive to build the developmental relationships and neurological structures that we know are essential to resiliency, learning, and exploration. We know that children who have experienced ACEs are at higher risk for mental health and physical health issues, and these stress-affected children struggle to maintain the “calm minds” required for learning to occur. Yet our systems of care often struggle to articulate common goals, intervention strategies, funding mechanisms, and outcome metrics to measure success at our efforts.

In this interactive forum, you will hear from experts with decades of experience building effective parnerships between schools and community mental health agencies. You will learn about a spectrum of collaborations ranging from training and consultation, to specialized programs that complement supports already existing in schools, to whole-school models for school-integrated mental health. Our forum experts will explain how they developed the long term partnerships with schools needed to promote effective practices grounded in evidence and neuroscience.

Participants will learn how the panel experts developed key relationships,  organizational capacity, common language, and creative solutions to common barriers to partnership. Participants will then consider their own opportunities for building authentic partnerships with schools across the continuum of options for system integration.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand keys to engaging in deep collaboration with progressive schools (e.g., demonstrate value; establish shared a language; identify evaluation metrics)
  • Learn about unique models of school-wide mental health integration from two Alliance members
  • Gain an understanding of the roles of clinicians and educators in the implementation of neuro-education, trauma-informed, and PBIS-consistent supports for school-age children
  • Consider priority actions to foster the relationships, finances, and logistics necessary for next steps
  • Connect with Educational Success stakeholders in the Alliance’s strategic action network and consider opportunities for collective impact y


  • Kelly Martin, director of educational success, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities


  • Marisa Perez-Martin, vice president, school-based mental health and early education services, Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services
  • Lynn D. Kyle, executive director, Lampion Center, Inc.
  • Susan Phelps, director of neuro-education, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation

Kelly Martin
Director of Educational Success
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Prior to stepping into the role of Director of Educational Success, Kelly Martin was a research analyst at the Alliance.  In this role she led research and evaluation projects both internally and across our strategic action network. Since joining the Alliance in 2016, she has become deeply embedded in the Alliance’s Advancing Equity and Educational Success impact areas through metrics coordination, content development, and facilitation of learning opportunities. Martin is an experienced convener and facilitator—she has led hundreds of social sector leaders through design sessions and learning opportunities and has a background in professional development and quality improvement systems in education spaces. Prior to joining the Alliance in 2016, Martin was a researcher in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. In this role, she partnered with various education stakeholders, including social service providers, school district administrators, policy makers, funders, community members, and educators, to infuse the theory, research, and best practices of developmental psychology into local, statewide, and national collaborations. Martin was also an adjunct instructor during her years at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching a graduate-level course in developmental psychology in the School of Education. She holds a dual bachelor’s in psychology and sociology, and a master's in applied developmental psychology.

Marisa Perez-Martin, M.S., LMFT
Vice President, School-Based Mental Health and Early Education Services
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services

Marisa Perez-Martin is the Vice President of School-Based Mental Health and Early Education Services at Hathaway-Sycamores CFS. For 18 years, she has worked on school campuses’ starting off as a school-based therapist and now supporting the implementation of school based services in various schools districts and SELPA’s. In addition to implementation of school-based best practices, she is responsible for the expansion of School Based Mental Health and Educationally Related Mental Health Services in Los Angeles County. She provides clinical training and supervision as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and supports the implementation of evidenced-based practices as a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior (TF-CBT) supervisor and Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP) supervisor and agency trainer. In addition to working at Hathaway-Sycamores CFS, Ms. Perez-Martin also has a private practice working with children, adolescents and families.  

Lynn D. Kyle, LCSW

Executive Director
Lampion Center, Inc.

Lynn Kyle is the Executive Director of Lampion Center – a small community counseling agency in Evansville, IN, that empowers children and families, helping them move beyond life’s challenges, traumas and transitions to thrive and reach their full potential. Kyle received both her bachelor's and master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Evansville. She has led and inspired the work of Lampion Center for over 20 years and is well known for establishing and promoting collaborative efforts to meet community needs. Kyle is sought after for her expertise in nonprofit management and board/CEO development. She has been highly involved in promoting the community’s understanding and integration of trauma-informed practices. In addition to her work at Lampion Center and leadership positions at a state and local level, Kyle is an experienced crisis responder.

Susan Phelps
Director of Neuro-Education
Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation

Susan Phelps is the director of Neuro-education for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC). EVSC is a national leader in neuro-science integration in education, partnering with such experts as Dr. Bruce Wexler of Yale School of Medicine in implementing best practices. Phelps has directed the implementation of Culturally Responsive PBIS in 36 schools, developed an alternative to suspension program, helped develop and implement evidence-based programs district-wide, and more recently helped develop GAIN – Growth in Academics through Innovation in Neuro-education. Phelps obtained her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Murray State University in 1995. Prior to working with the EVSC, Phelps held similar positions in schools in Kentucky, had her own private practice, and worked in inpatient and outpatient mental health settings providing counseling and neurodevelopmental assessments for children and adolescents.

C7: Community Conversations around Gun Violence and Trauma

Track: All

Every day, 100 people in the U.S. are killed by guns, and many others are injured. This type of violence occurs most frequently in some of the poorest communities, disproportionately impacting communities of color. Gun violence is often a symptom of larger and underlying issues related to poverty and mental health. In fact, gun violence is often associated with people who have experienced toxic stress in childhood, which may have impacted their developmental trajectory. Gun violence creates ripple effects of trauma for survivors, victims, their families, observers, first responders, and the entire community. 

This frank conversation will explore the topic of gun violence in our communities, discuss the impact of gun related trauma as it relates to children and families, and brainstorm the ways we can infuse empathy, therapeutic interventions, and the right training to law enforcement, educators, health care providers, and other community-based systems. We will explore the ways we, collectively, as representatives of communities across the country, can endorse the policy interventions that address root cause issues that prevent violence.

Please note that this session will be more focused on daily gun violence in communities and will not be specifically focused on the topic of mass shootings. We believe both topics are critically important discussions with some individual nuances. We hope to tackle the topic of mass shootings at a future session.

Learning Objectives

  • The impact of gun violence on the communities we serve, with an equity lens
  • Connect brain science research on trauma to these issues, to inform our approaches
  • Ways to facilitate community conversations, policy interventions, and ideas to create systems change in our communities and our country


  • Ilana Levinson, senior director of government relations, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities 
  • Jay Paris, director of Youth Link, NAFI
  • K. Bain, founding director of Cure Violence Model, Jacob Riis Settlement House

Ilana Levinson
Senior Director of Government Relations
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Ilana Levinson is the senior director of government relations for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. In this role, she represents the Alliance and its strategic action network to Congress, federal agencies, and applicable state government. She also coordinates activities and partnerships with fellow human service organizations and policy coalitions in Washington D.C. to advance aligned goals.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Levinson served as senior director of advocacy and public policy for YouthBuild USA, a national organization focused on reconnecting low-income, out-of-school youth to education and job training. Under her leadership, the organization more than doubled federal legislative support and increased annual federal investment by $12 million, to $90 million annually. She also cofounded the Reconnecting Youth Campaign, a national advocacy campaign focused on creating one million reconnection pathways for opportunity youth each year. She served as a legislative assistant from 2006-2011 in the office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), focusing on furthering legislation to expand healthy food access to low-income residents, the promotion of green collar jobs, and efforts to re-engage out-of-school youth in education and employment opportunities. Levinson also spent time working in city government in New York City, organizing hiring events for victims of Superstorm Sandy in severely affected neighborhoods.

She received her master’s of public and nonprofit administration from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and her bachelor’s in social relations and psychology from Michigan State University.

Jay Paris
Director, Youth Link
North American Family Institute (NAFI)

Jay Paris is the Director of Youth Link, the North American Family Institute (NAFI), prevention division.  In this capacity, Mr. Paris directs the development and implementation of many initiatives in early intervention and prevention across the ten states where NAFI oversees programs. He also helped to create and now directs the Youth Police Initiative (YPI), a program that aids youth and police build trust and positive communication. He has also developed numerous youth leadership programs. YPI is been adopted by 32 cities across the country, including Boston, Kansas City, Providence, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and New York City, as well as Bermuda. During his 19 years at NAFI, he also has served on its Executive Committee, overseeing corporate development and marketing. Prior to joining NAFI, Paris co-founded and served as the director of an educational travel publishing company, Travel Review Publishing, Inc.  Through his career has had extensive management and editorial experience, as an editor of journalist. Mr. Paris has published widely in magazines and is the author of four books, including “Walking Nova Scotia,” which was a travel book best seller.

K. Bain
Founding Director, Cure Violence Model
Jacob Riis Settlement House

K. Bain is a serial social entrepreneur. He has cofounded and cultivated several nonprofit and for-profit organizations. He currently is a Cofounder, and the Executive Director of Community Capacity Development, a 501c3 committed to applying the Human and Healing Justice models to providing tools and strategies for sustainable growth.
K. Bain is also the founding director and visionary of 696 Build Queensbridge, which over the past 3 years has established itself as one of New York City's most effective cure violence sites with unprecedented results in violence interruption activities and mediation endeavors.

Previously, K Bain served as a New York City Director of legislation and budgetary affairs for the 45th Council district in Brooklyn. His role included duties such as; participating in the balancing New York City’s 90-billion-dollar annual budget, as well as direct oversight of a multi-million-dollar member item budget. K has also been instrumental in the drafting, development and enactment of numerous of pieces of legislation, most recently the Community Safety Act. This is landmark legislation originally consisting of five bills aimed at increasing police accountability, creating better community police relations and safer streets.
In addition to his years of budget and policy experience, K. Bain's passion for the arts, human justice and community capacity development remain at the forefront of his priorities.

K Bain is a highly sought-after consultant, community leader, advisor and guest speaker for various city agencies, educational institutions and nonprofits organizations both domestically and internationally.


C8: Supporting Older Youth: What’s the Brain Got to Do with It?

Track: Health and Well-Being

Brain development research provides clear evidence that adolescence is a unique period that is different from both early childhood and adulthood, ripe with opportunities for skill building, healing, and growth. This interactive session is designed to translate adolescent brain science concepts into daily practice guidance for those who work with and support young people. Presenters will share relevant research on the interconnection between self-regulation, relationships, and risk taking in the context of engagement and partnering with young people to promote healthy adolescent development, especially those in or transitioning from foster care.

The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative believes that if practitioners, caregivers, and others truly cultivate a shared understanding of adolescent brain development, we can transform the field, more effectively engage young people, and ultimately promote health and well-being.

The presentation will be co-led by Alex Lohrbach as a Jim Casey Initiative representative and a Jim Casey Young Fellow who will provide a deeper, more nuanced perspective having experienced the foster-care system. Ages 18-26, Jim Casey Young Fellows are leaders and advocates from Jim Casey Initiative sites across the country. 

Learning Objectives

  • Share the latest information adolescent brain development research
  • Translate adolescent brain science research into practical language and application for those supporting older youth who have experienced foster care
  • Increase understanding on the implications and requirements for how families and caretakers can more effectively engage older youth as partners and decision makers  


  • Alex Lohrbach, senior associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation 
  • Jim Casey Young Fellow 

Alex Lohrbach
Senior Associate
Annie E. Casey Foundation

Alexandra Lohrbach is the senior associate for Youth Engagement at the Annie E. Casey Foundation with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative team in Baltimore. In her role, Lohrbach provides technical assistance in developing youth-adult partnership strategies on a national level and with Jim Casey Initiative sites including the development of youth leadership tools and resources centered around racial and ethnic equity and inclusion, staffing the national Advisory Committee, and partnering with young people various projects. Lohrbach leads the Adolescent Brain Development body of work, creating new partnerships, developing guides and practice tools and presentations to further educate the field and promote developmentally responsive practice in child welfare.

Prior to joining the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Lohrbach contributed her knowledge and skills to youth organizing efforts and participatory action research with community foundations and grassroots organizations in Minnesota. Her work has been centered on the intersections of identity, racial and ethnic equity, community building, and youth-adult partnerships. Lohrbach earned a master’s in social work with a concentration in community practice and organization, advocacy, and leadership from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s in Social Work from Luther College.

D1: Understanding Family First Act Accreditation Requirement for QRTPs and Other Providers

Track: Safety and Resilience

Under the Family First Prevention Services Act, it is critical that congregate care providers understand the requirement that qualified residential treatment programs (QRTPs) be licensed and accredited and what that entails. This interactive session will focus on accreditation for all types of human service providers with a thorough review of the major phases of the accreditation process while highlighting the benefits of becoming accredited including enhanced revenue opportunities. 

Participants will learn about the fundamental organizational requirements necessary for accreditation, key individuals to include throughout the process, and how to avoid the common pitfalls of accreditation preparation. There will also be a review of the similarities and differences between the three main accrediting bodies for agencies that provide services to children and families: Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), Council on Accreditation (COA), and The Joint Commission.

Learning Objectives:

  • About the accreditation requirement for QRTPs in the Family First Act
  • Identify the key benefits of becoming nationally accredited
  • Compare timelines and costs for accreditation
  • Become familiar with common accreditation preparation challenges
  • Discover what is needed to prepare for accreditation successfully


  • Jennifer Flowers, CEO, Accreditation Guru

Jennifer Flowers
Accreditation Guru

Jennifer Flowers, a nationally renowned expert in the accreditation arena and nonprofit governance, is the founder and CEO of Accreditation Guru. Across North America, she and her team assist human service organizations in achieving and maintaining national accreditation. Flowers has worked with a variety of organizations in the social services, behavioral health care, religious, and education sectors in the areas of long-term strategic planning, board development, quality improvement program design, and risk management strategies.

She is a regular speaker at state and national conferences on all areas related to accreditation preparation and the Family First Prevention Services Act. Flowers received her master's in business administration in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and is certified in Nonprofit Board Education by BoardSource.

D2: Facing the Opioid Epidemic: A Model for Aligning Organizational Forces

Track: Health and Well-Being
Format: Project-Based

The opioid overdose epidemic has had a devastating effect on the Philadelphia community. As the public health institute of Pennsylvania, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is uniquely positioned to combat the opioid epidemic in an effective, multi-systemic manner. As a comprehensive nonprofit public health institute, PHMC comprises over 2,500 employees, 350 programs, and a network of subsidiary organizations. It operates 70 sites and annually serves nearly 350,000 clients across the Southeastern Pennsylvania region. 

In early 2018, PHMC convened an Opioid Task Force with the goal of maximizing the impact and coordination of its work related to opioid use disorder treatment, research, and advocacy. Composed of representatives from across the organization, the Opioid Task Force intends to inventory and integrate its vast programming and services to bolster its efforts to address the epidemic.

Since its inception, the task force has worked to identify immediate, short- and long-term objectives focused on increasing internal organizational capacity, improving service delivery for clients and partners, and developing policy priorities at local and national levels. The Opioid Task Force quickly identified a need for targeted subgroups and began initiatives focused on assisting current employees in the navigation of an opioid use disorder in both a personal and professional capacity while also providing educational and training opportunities around overdose prevention.

In this session, presenters will share their perspectives on the process of unifying a complex organization around a public health issue, including challenges encountered and lessons learned. Presenters will describe the development of guiding principles, policy recommendations, and immediate short- and long-term objectives. The presenters will mentor participants on considering the strengths and limitations of convening a task force as an approach to identifying solutions to a public health problem. Participants will work in groups to develop a road map for convening a task force at their own organization around a critical issue, including the organization of key participants, the structure for participation, and the development of primary tools such as guiding principles and agendas.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand one model for the development of a task force, including the processes of convening representatives, establishing principles, and identifying immediate short- and long-term objectives
  • Consider how an inter-organizational collaboration can foster internal and external partnerships and drive meaningful initiatives and policies around a pressing public health issue
  • Develop a roadmap for aligning and modifying existing policies and practices around a critical issue to impact outcomes


  • Stephanie Shell, senior director of strategy development, Public Health Management Corporation
  • Laurie Corbin, senior director for criminal justice initiatives, Public Health Management Corporation

Stephanie Shell
Senior Director of Strategy Development
Public Health Management Corporation

 Stephanie Shell trained as a social worker at the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, graduating with a Master of Social Service in 1992. She then entered the children, youth and family services arena as a foster care social worker. Through her 12 years of direct service, Shell focused on at-risk children, devoting herself first to those in placement services and then to behavioral health services for children and families. In 2003, Shell started her own consulting practice providing grant writing, evaluation, strategic planning, and project management services to a range of organizations and entities. In 2013, she accepted the position of director of organizational advancement at a child and family serving nonprofit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she worked to provide development, marketing, and public relations services. In 2017, this organization was acquired by Public Health Management Corporation, and Shell moved into the role of senior director of strategy development. In this role, she is working with senior leadership to develop and implement a vision for new business development, support, and fundraising.

Laurie Corbin
Senior Director for Criminal Justice Initiatives
Public Health Management Corporation

Laurie Corbin is the senior director for criminal justice initiatives at Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC). Her primary responsibility is directed to Forensic Services (aka FIR) which includes a continuum of programs and services that focus on the diversion and early release from incarceration for justice-involved individuals. This initiative’s goal is to connect these individuals to substance use disorder or other behavioral health treatment and social support services. Corbin is responsible for several other PHMC community-based outreach programs, including a treatment readiness/recovery support program titled New Pathways Project and the Philadelphia Hepatitis Outreach Project. 

Prior to her current position with PHMC, Corbin worked in leadership positions in the area of child welfare at Methodist Family Services and Northeast Treatment Centers and was program director at Interim House West and Bridges’ Step Down, a drug treatment and recovery house for woman and children. Corbin has more than 30 years’ experience in human services and nonprofit management and holds several related degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Social Service, and a Master of Law and Social Policy. She also holds certificates in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research and the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum (PAADLF) through the Urban League of Philadelphia. 

D3: Calling Aspiring and Newly Appointed CEOs: Lessons Learned from Seasoned Executives

Track: Organizational Excellence

The 2018 Alliance National Conference saw an extraordinary number of new executives among the attendees. This reflects the significant turnover in our sector, as many CEOs are reaching retirement age, choose to leave the field, or are replaced by boards for various reasons—warranted or not. There will be even greater changing of the guard in the next decade.

This panel presentation and structured interactive question and answer session is targeted toward human services chief executives who are new to their leadership positions and executive directors or middle managers who envision themselves in that role as the next step in their career. Four seasoned CEOs, each with 15 or more years of tenure, will offer perspective, advice, regrets, and honest conversation and thoughts. 

This session aims to be powerful, educational, entertaining, and even humorous by featuring candor among presenters. In advance, several provocative questions will be created, along with a commitment from fellow panelists to be vulnerable and frank, creating a session where participants have a chance to learn what mistakes to avoid, potential pitfalls and landmines to navigate, and can react to ideas and suggestions from seasoned leaders. 

Panelists will give brief introductory remarks followed by answers to key questions including reactions to their fellow panelists’ responses. The second half of the session will be engaging the audience with additional questions, reacting to what they have heard, and sharing what they have learned and/or any changes in key beliefs or expectations about the role of a nonprofit executive.

The final set of interview questions will be curated with the input of several other Alliance leaders, illustrative questions may include:

  • What is something you learned the hard way?
  • How has this role changed you over the years?
  • What is the best burnout prevention advice to share with new CEOs?
  • What has been a painful mistake you have made?
  • What would you want your replacement to know/think about before taking over your position?

Learning Objectives:

  • Key wisdom, advice, and suggestions from several successful long-term CEOs
  • Honest sharing about mistakes made, lessons learned, and regrets
  • Best approaches for creating effective leadership teams
  • Burnout prevention tips/how to stay fresh, engaged, and vibrant


  • Eric Schindler, president & CEO, Child and Family Resources
  • Hector Colon, president and CEO, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan 
  • James R. Mason, president & CEO, Beech Acres Parenting Center
  • Eileen Torres, executive director, BronxWorks

Eric Schindler
Child and Family Resources

Since 2005, Eric Schindler has been the president and chief executive officer of Child and Family Resources (CFR), a statewide, community, nonprofit organization based in Tucson, Arizona. Across 11 cities in Arizona, CFR works to promote strong, healthy families and ensure high-quality early childhood education so children can reach their full potential. CFR also partners with teens to prevent pregnancy, dropping out of school, drug use, and suicide.

Schindler received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona in 1982. After postdoctoral studies in child and family psychology at U.C. Davis, and pediatric psychology in Chicago, he has spent the last 40 years working in the Tucson community as an administrator, director, teacher, and practitioner. A licensed clinical psychologist since 1984, he worked in his private practice focusing on marriage and family therapy and substance abuse. For many years, he also taught as an adjunct instructor in the Family Studies Department at the University of Arizona.

D4: Family Feud: Board Member Edition

Track: Organizational Excellence

Target Audience: Chief Executives and Board Members Only

Using the game show format from Family Feud, this presentation will engage participants (board members and executives) in learning about, discussing, and developing strategies based upon the results from two national surveys of nonprofit board officers. The surveys reveal officers’ thoughts related to how they came to be in their positions, what each perceives regarding their roles and relationships, and what, if any, preparation has been helpful to them. In addition, the session will dig into the survey results focused on diversity and shared leadership. Participants will obtain a working knowledge of the survey results to develop ideas on what they might do differently in their positions given the information provided.

Learning Objectives:

  • Officer roles and responsibilities
  • Preparation
  • Succession planning
  • Board diversity


  • Michael Burns, partner, BWB Solutions

Michael Burns
BWB Solutions

Michael Burns began his career as an executive director of a community health center, followed by 15 years as an executive director and primary consultant for a nonprofit capacity building organization. During this time, he was also an associate professor of management at the Antioch-New England Graduate Schools of Organization and Management and Environmental Studies. 

In 1994, Burns joined BWB Solutions. His practice focuses on strategic and revenue generating planning, nonprofit governance, and helping nonprofits assess their readiness for mergers and partnerships. He regularly posts to his blog, Nonprofit Board Crisis, where he focuses on nonprofit governance issues. As part of a research team, he recently completed a national survey on the roles and relationships of nonprofit board chairs.

In addition to his professional work as an organizational development and planning consultant, Burns operates an organic farm growing asparagus, raspberries, garlic, strawberries and tomatoes. Burns has been a professional foster parent for nearly 20 years.

Burns graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration from Marquette University and completed a master’s in nonprofit management with a focus on governance at Lesley College. He also holds a graduate certificate in nonprofit marketing management from the University of Hartford.

D5: The Right Story at the Right Time Gets the Right Gift: The Real Art of the Ask

Track: Organizational Excellence
Format: Project-Based

In the age of technology and big data, many nonprofits are focusing on presenting outcomes—graphs, numbers, percentages, etc. These are good. In fact, they are great to have, but they are not the whole story, and rarely can you secure a gift based solely on facts.

There is more psychology involved in philanthropy than most acknowledge. Some even see it as manipulation when it really is identifying how to speak directly to the head and heart concurrently to make your audience fall hopelessly and rationally in love with your mission.

Donors want to hear the story of your organization, of your successes and how you approach and overcome challenges. They want to know that while their gift may help two youth gain independence, hearing what it means for “Jack and Jane” to experience the confidence of being out of the system, in college and their own apartment can be a game changer. Hearing how they couldn’t have done it without YOUR help taps into the psychological needs of the donor and can help you secure the gift to support programs for the next Jack and Jane.

Participants will have the opportunity to begin writing the story of their organization or a program. Feedback will be shared on what we hear in each other’s stories and how small changes can transform what your audience hears and what would enhance the desire to give.

Learning Objectives:

  • Clarify your organization’s story—how do today’s priorities fit into your “storybook”
  • What your target/donor/community HEARS when you tell your story and how the nuances of storytelling to influence this
  • The psychology of philanthropy so your story goes through the head to the heart of your donors


  • Gerianne Puskas, chief advancement officer, Villa of Hope

Gerianne Puskas
Chief Advancement Officer
Villa of Hope
@whattwin; @VillaofHopeRoch

Gerianne Puskas joined the leadership team at the Villa in July 2015 and is now chief advancement officer. She brings to the Villa more than 25 years of experience in fundraising, nonprofit management, and leading community building initiatives. She has served in various positions with national nonprofit organizations where she focused on diversifying fundraising portfolios; strategy design and implementation; building and developing new teams; marketing; and managing regional and national accounts. In 2018, Puskas achieved the rank of Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) through CFRE International. She also serves on SUNY Empire State College’s Business Management & Economics Residency team, helping to educate and coach the next generation of nonprofit leaders. In addition to adjunct duties, Puskas helps develop residency curriculum and evaluates students’ prior learning to award undergraduate nonprofit management credits.

D6: How Community-Based Organizations and Health Plans Can Collaborate to Improve Health


  • Health and Well-Being
  • Organizational Excellence

Health is more than just a set of clinical metrics. And we know that health is impacted by more than what happens at the doctor’s office. There is a direct connection between social determinants of health—factors such as employment, housing, and transportation—and poor health. In fact, social and economic factors are estimated to attribute to 40 percent of an individual’s health resulting in a widespread need to connect the health care and human services systems. 

To meet the needs of the individuals that intersect with both systems, we know it is imperative that community-based organizations, health care providers, and managed care organizations align and partner. We also know that is easier said than done because the current system by which health care and human services are delivered is fragmented and misaligned. During this session, presenters will discuss overcoming these challenges and share how one managed care organization is working to incorporate services and supports to improve health and well-being by engaging in cross-sector partnerships with human services organizations.

This engaging and interactive session will include a high-level overview of the health care trend, specifically in the Medicaid system, to integrate health care and human services to provide whole-person care that addresses the social determinants of health. Participants will then walk through an example of how cross-sector partnerships with human services organizations involve different stages of engagement—screening, stratifying, referring, and follow up—to effectively meet the needs of the individuals we all are serving. The session will then transition to small-group projects, where participants will talk through a current cross-sector partnership example involving a community-based organization and Medicaid/health care plans or a hypothetical example of such a partnership to surface the opportunities and barriers/challenges. The full group will reconvene at end the session to discuss practice and potential policy changes that are needed to facilitate greater engagement between the health care and human services systems.

Learning Objectives:

  • About Medicaid and the role of managed care organizations in the health care system
  • Examples of how health care payors, providers, and community-based organizations are partnering to address the social determinants of health
  • Barriers that limit collaboration between community-based organizations and health care payors to address the social determinants of health 
  • Ideas to address these barriers


  • Kevin Moore, vice president of policy for Health and Human Services, UnitedHealthcare Community & State
  • Jane Pirsig, executive director, Aurora Family Service at Aurora Healthcare

Kevin Moore
Vice President of Policy for Health and Human Services
UnitedHealthcare Community & State

Kevin Moore is the vice president of policy for Health and Human Services at UnitedHealthcare Community & State. UnitedHealthcare Community & State serves nearly 6.4 million Medicaid members in 30 states, plus Washington D.C. UnitedHealthcare is a division of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), which is a diversified health and well-being company with a mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone. As vice president of policy, Moore focuses on the development of sustainable interventions that improve the health of those we serve by addressing social, economic, workforce, transportation and nutritional barriers. Prior to this role, Moore served as senior vice president of Medicaid Strategy for Aurora Health Care. Before joining Aurora Health Care, Moore was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s Medicaid Director and Administrator of the Division of Health Care Access and Accountability in the Department of Health Services. Moore has served on a several boards and committees including the State Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SCAODA) and the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Board. Moore holds bachelor’s degrees in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jane Pirsig
Executive Director
Aurora Family Service at Aurora Healthcare

Jane Pirsig has over 30 years of leadership experience in mental health, social service, and aging services. Since 2002, Pirsig has led the integration of Milwaukee's oldest family service agency into Aurora Healthcare, a $5 billion regional health care provider with innovative services in clinic social work, social service navigation, chronic illness supportive counseling, public benefits counseling, emergency department interventions with high utilizers, targeted home visitation services for families of high-risk infants, and training in medical family therapy.

Pirsig has informed national innovation in addressing social determinants of health through work with electronic health recorder provider EPIC, the Wisconsin Association of Child and Family Agencies, and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. She holds a master's in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a master's in social work from the University of Wisconsin.

D7: Toxic Stress and the Developing Brain: Prevention through Home Visiting


  • Health and Well-Being
  • Safety and Resilience

 Format: Project-Based

Childhood exposure to toxic stress alters the rapidly-developing brain and can have a lifetime effect on learning, behavior, physical, and mental health (Center on the Developing Child, 2007; Robinson et al., 2017). The brain may be protected through supportive parenting and a nurturing, developmentally-stimulating environment (CDC, 2018). For families experiencing stress, protection must begin early in the child’s life. Based on a Los Angeles home visiting program, this presentation explores strategies to help high-needs families of newborns strengthen protective buffers and ensure optimal child development.

Select Home Visitation at Children’s Institute in Los Angeles is a weekly home visiting program for mothers of newborn infants. All families enrolled experience stress factors such as poverty and/or a history of violence. Visits are guided by the evidence-based Growing Great Kids (GGK) parenting, attachment, and child development curriculum. GGK includes age-specific, development-supporting activities for parent and child, which build parenting skills while simultaneously helping the child grow. Additionally, staff utilize ongoing developmental screens to ensure early identification and intervention for developmental concerns that may arise.

Attendees will learn about Select Home Visitation’s multi-generational prevention strategies that mitigate the effects of toxic stress and ensure optimal development. They will see examples of how results from developmental screens can be aligned with specific parent-child activities to support the identified areas of need. Finally, they will see aggregate outcomes demonstrating that this strategy is effective. During the project portion, attendees will apply what they’ve learned in small-group scenarios. They will be asked to interpret sample developmental screens, select an appropriate parent-child activity to support the delays expressed, and prepare a prototype of the selected activity. For example, they may prepare paper supplies for an activity that supports fine motor delays.

This workshop is relevant to conference attendees because it is about equity at its core, and practical because attendees will gain replicable strategies for action. By addressing a root cause of lifelong health problems, attendees who are motivated to ensure all children have a healthy start regardless of the circumstances they’re born into will be interested in attending.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the connection between early exposure to toxic stress and lifelong health disparities
  • Describe strategies to implement a multi-generational, prevention-first model for newborns born in high-stress conditions
  • Replicate methods for early identification and intervention of developmental delays in young children


  • Elana Muldavin, research associate, Children's Institute
  • Nancy Watt, select home visitation program manager, Children's Institute

Elana Muldavin
Research Associate
Children's Institute

Elana Muldavin is a research associate with the Research and Evaluation Center at Children’s Institute (CII), a multi-service organization in Los Angeles that addresses childhood trauma, poverty, and violence. Elana manages program evaluation and reporting for CII’s early childhood services. In this role, she collaborates with program staff to continuously improve service quality through individual and aggregate outcome data analysis. In her tenure at CII, Elana has presented at the 38th Annual California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth Conference, 2018 and the 23rd International Summit on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma Across the Lifespan, 2018. She also was co-author for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 publications of CII’s annual Impact Report, serving as co-lead editor in 2017 and 2018.

Nancy Watt, LMFT
Select Home Visitation Program Manager
Children's Institute

Nancy Watt is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Presently, she is serving as a program manager of Select Home Visitation at Children’s Institute (CII). Her early experiences working with at-risk families with young children inspired her passion for her career focus working with the 0-5 population. Ms. Watt has experience providing direct services to families in the in the home for over 12 years; first as a home visitor and then as a 0-5 therapist. Currently, Ms. Watt is in the process of becoming a Growing Great Kids Curriculum system trainer for CII. She is also a Reflective Parenting Program (RPP) trainer and enjoys supporting those who are new to using the RPP curriculum. Ms. Watt understands the importance of strength-based relationship work and strives to provide a safe and reflective space for those she trains and supports. 

D8: Giant and Courageous Steps to Advance Equity and Inclusion

Track: Organizational Excellence

This workshop will highlight SaintA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, (EDI) work to date. Being fully aware of the plight that resonates throughout our organizations and the community at large; proactive approaches are vital to ensure organizational health and success. SaintA is committed to equitable and inclusive practices. We demonstrate these practices within our processes and with clients, staff and community in intentional ways. Presenters from each of our EDI areas will detail the process of aligning the work of SaintA’s Diversity Committee, Historical Trauma workgroup and Affinity groups under the umbrella of equity. The presenters will also answer questions to aid participants in advancing EDI work within their organizations.


  • Ann Leinfelder Grove, president & CEO, SaintA
  • Kenyatta N. Sinclair, vice president of equity and talent development, SaintA
  • Kanisha Phelps, staff development supervisor, SaintA
  • Lilia Figueroa, child welfare supervisor, SaintA
  • Monika Walbergh, child welfare ongoing case manager, SaintA
  • Zach Holler, child welfare ongoing case manager, SaintA
  • Penny Liddell, family services supervisor, SaintA

Ann Leinfelder Grove
President & CEO

Ann Leinfelder Grove has served SaintA for close to 30 years in several senior leadership positions including executive vice president and COO with oversight of all programs. She championed the program implementation of SaintA’s trauma-informed care model Seven Essential Ingredients (7ei), including in child welfare, where translational research has demonstrated improved outcomes through the use of 7ei-based, trauma informed program practice. She is involved in Milwaukee community initiatives such as Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM) and in Wisconsin Department of Children and Families discussions to create innovative solutions to support families. As CEO, her strategic vision has enhanced SaintA’s partnerships in the community and advanced a culture of equity and inclusion at SaintA.

Kenyatta N. Sinclair
Vice President of Equity and Talent Development

Kenyatta Sinclair oversees SaintA’s diversity and inclusion and equity initiatives. She has a plethora of human services program management and experience. Most recently, she was the director of leadership development at SaintA. Prior to that, she was director of learning and professional development at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.

D9: Study Tour: Creating Collective Impact by Engaging Neighbors and Partners in Development


  • Organizational Excellence
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Educational Success

Format: Study Tour

This study tour overlaps with Session E workshops. Participants are expected to return to the hotel at approximately 5:45 p.m., which may conflict with early evening activities. 

This study tour will demonstrate how neighbors and partners can authentically collaborate to achieve resident-defined goals for education, affordable housing, business and economic development, job creation, and health and wellness. Participants will learn how resident-led decision making and asset-based community development shapes and informs all of John Boner Neighborhood Centers’ efforts to redevelop Indianapolis’ Near Eastside neighborhood. 

Tour participants will learn how the neighborhood created its first quality of life plan, how the plan has become a living document that guides redevelopment activities, and how objectives in the plan are achieved. By touring these sites and hearing from those directly involved in redevelopment, participants will see how neighbors authentically collaborated with organizational leaders to create the first neighborhood school, offer hundreds of units of affordable housing, and develop abandoned legacy industrial sites that once contaminated the neighborhood.

John Boner Neighborhood Centers was founded in 1971 to serve residents of the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. The center believes that neighborhood-driven efforts are essential in developing a healthy, thriving, and vibrant community and provides numerous tools for change and growth for our residents and community partners. Through its work, John Boner Neighborhood Centers inspires hope and fosters change to improve the lives of those it serves. 

Tour Schedule:

  • Departure from the Hotel: Participants will learn about the demographics and history of the Near Eastside neighborhood
  • First Stop: John Boner Neighborhood Centers: Participants will tour the community center and learn how programs and services have been improved by using a two-generation approach
  • Drive to Second Stop: During this drive along one of the main streets in the district, participants will learn how neighbors have worked for more than a decade to create an arts district that will be built out over the next four years
  • Second Stop: Minnie Hartmann Center: Participants will tour this innovative multigenerational development where an abandoned school building was turned into affordable senior housing and a daycare; learn how neighbors planed for the redevelopment of abandoned land
  • Third Stop: Englewood Village Great Places 2020 Site: Participants will tour a unique housing development that features mixed-income tenants and learn why the neighborhood thinks this is an important model; learn about how neighbors worked to develop abandoned land into the home for two schools, expanding learning opportunities in the neighborhood; this stop features the only rooftop hockey deck in the city
  • Fourth Stop: Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School: Participants will learn how residents worked together to create the first neighborhood school in the neighborhood; now in its second year of operation as a neighborhood school, school leaders and administration will talk about the changes that have happened since the school came under neighborhood control and discuss how partnership opportunities between the school and the community center provide housing for school families supplemented with services
  • Fifth Stop: Boner Fitness & Learning Center: Participants will learn how partners leveraged the opportunity of the 2012 Super Bowl to create a one-of-a-kind building that features programs and services for children and youth and a full-service, membership-based fitness facility and how a unique partnership with a local university helps keep membership fees low 

Learning Objectives:

  • The role that neighbors can play in shaping redevelopment of neighborhoods and how strong neighborhood engagement strategies provide a clear process for decision making
  • How organizations can authentically collaborate to increase impact and accelerate achievement of neighborhood-defined goals
  • How programs and services can be created in ways that directly respond to resident needs

Tour Guide(s):

  • Melissa Benton, community development officer, John Boner Neighborhood Centers
  • James Taylor, CEO, John Boner Neighborhood Centers

Melissa Benton
Community Development Officer
John Boner Neighborhood Centers

Melissa Benton is the community development officer for the John Boner Neighborhood Centers. In this role she oversees and coordinates numerous community development initiatives in the neighborhood including implementation of the neighborhood’s Quality of Life Plan and the 10-year federal designation as a Promise Zone. Benton oversees the marketing, fundraising, and grant writing strategy for the center and is also responsible for oversight of large-scale capital developments and construction projects. In overseeing a staff of five, Benton and the Community Development team work to ensure that all programs and services are aligned with the community’s Quality of Life Plan.

James Taylor
Chief Executive Officer
John Boner Neighborhood Centers

In November 1998, James Taylor became the CEO of the John Boner Neighborhood Centers, which serves residents of the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Taylor is a passionate advocate for social justice, urban renewal, and comprehensive community development. The center provides Near Eastside neighbors with tools, programs, and initiatives to improve themselves and the neighborhood they call home. Since 1998, the center’s budget has grown from $1.4 million to more than $10 million with a staff of 105 to deliver unique and innovative programs to the Near Eastside community. 

The center provides afterschool programs at five local public schools, homeless prevention services, the Center for Working Families, adult day services, and senior socialization and wellness programs. In addition, the center owns and manages 221 housing units for at-risk families, seniors, and those who are mobility impaired or homeless. In addition, the center oversees neighborhood engagement efforts through the Quality of Life Plan and the administration of the federal Promise Zone designation.

Taylor graduated from Ball State University with bachelor’s degrees in social work and psychology, and he received his master’s in social work with “highest distinction” from Indiana University.

E1: LIFT Together: Prevention System Bridging Families, Schools and Communities


  • Educational Success
  • Safety and Resilience

For over 100 years, the Village of Boys Town has been a safe haven for children who have suffered adverse experiences, trauma, and other challenges. Since 2012, Boys Town has been working to implement a comprehensive prevention strategy that goes beyond serving individual youth and families to impacting communities to build wellness through the LIFT Together system. 

This workshop will present LIFT Together, a multi-component community-based prevention intervention system that uses family- and school-based programs to generate community-wide impact. Participants will understand LIFT Together as a comprehensive intervention implemented in collaboration with schools and other service providers to address specific community goals, such as preventing and reducing school disciplinary referrals. Participants will be introduced to the Boys Town Model of Care and components of LIFT Together, which are both universal and targeted, and include parent training, schoolwide social emotional learning interventions, care coordination, and family preservation. 

LIFT Together outcomes are measured at the population level instead of upon individual children and families. This presentation will consider on the implementation of universal prevention programs at three sites: Nebraska, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Evidence presented corresponds to routine clinical and implementation data collected for three programs (Boys Town Education Model, Common Sense Parenting, and Care Coordination). 

Learning Objectives:

  • Overview of LIFT Together as a "community prevention intervention system"
  • Specific elements of LIFT Together (needs assessment, capacity building, planning, program delivery, and evaluation)
  • Evaluation techniques and strategies for the success of the prevention interventions


  • Jon Jelley, vice president of youth care site operations, Boys Town

Jon Jelley
Vice President of Youth Care Site Operations
Boys Town

Jon Jelley brings 20 years of practice, supervision and executive management experience in both social services and the Boys Town model. Having previously been a police officer in the United Kingdom, Jon and his wife Kara, ran a home for 6 years for Boys Town using the Teaching Family model. Jon then moved into management overseeing residential and community-based programs in the Midwest and New York City. As the Executive Director of Boys Town New England, one of the Boys Town affiliate sites currently using the “LiftTogether with Boys Town” framework, Jon partnered closely with school leaders to impact children and families and improve outcomes in school communities with significant challenges. Jon is currently the Vice President of Youth Care Site Operations supervising Boys Town affiliate sites in multiple states. 

Cancelled E2: BeyondMe: A Platform for Engaging Young Philanthropists

Track: Organizational Excellence

During this session, presenters will discuss how they formed the idea for BeyondMe and outline the steps they took to launch the program. Learn about the successes and pitfalls in how the society has progressed including how the it has leveraged community partners and nonprofits to grow.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to use the hub concept in launching a young philanthropist group
  • Using media/social media and marketing to capture promote your ideas
  • Leveraging partners to help organically grow the concept of young philanthropy


  • Stephen Fancher, vice president of major gifts and planned giving, JFCS of the Suncoast

Stephen Fancher
Vice President of Major Gifts and Planned Giving
JFCS of the Suncoast

Stephen Fancher had been with JFCS of the Suncoast since February 2018. His background is in music. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, he was a musician and teacher in the greater New York area for many years. Fancher transferred his skillset in music and teaching to finance working in business development and financial planning as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch from 2012-2016. He made the jump to nonprofit fundraising in 2016 working as the development officer for Sarasota Opera. He has helped start numerous young patron societies in the arts including the Culture Collective, a young arts patron society in Sarasota, as well as the Da Capo Society for Sarasota Opera.

E3: Tenets of Quality Older Youth Programming


  • Health and Well-Being
  • Safety and Resilience

Hear findings from a just-released Child Trends qualitative study on how states and jurisdictions are utilizing and maximizing funding streams to better serve transition-age youth. Panelists will share an overview of the funding gaps and challenges identified by the eight jurisdictions interviewed for the report.  Opportunities to improve funding for services and supports for young people transitioning from foster care will be identified.  You will be asked to participate in an interactive discussion of the policy considerations and reflect on older youth funding and opportunities in your jurisdictions.  The session will conclude with Q & A and a group discussion around how to catalyze funding to enhance outcomes for youth exiting foster care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Current landscape of older youth in foster care
  • Qualities required for a child welfare system to operate well for older youth
  • Thoughts from peers and experts in the field on best practices in older youth programming
  • Funding options to support this work


  • Jessica Foster, executive director of strategic partnerships, Youth Villages
  • Kristina Rosinsky, research scientist II, child welfare, Child Trends
  • Lynn Tiede, consultant, LHT Policy Works LLC

Jessica Foster
Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships
Youth Villages

As executive director of strategic partnerships, Jessica Foster reports directly to Youth Villages’ CEO and oversees the organization’s national strategy, federal policy, and partnership efforts. Foster joined Youth Villages in 2011 and has held various positions leading strategy, business development, and government relations. In 2016, Foster took on her current role building partnerships with public child welfare agencies and private community-based organizations across the country to improve outcomes for older youth in foster care nationally. Foster joined Youth Villages from the Boston Consulting Group and formerly worked at the Monitor Group and as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, serving as a key adviser on foster care, adoption, welfare, economic development, public housing and nonprofit issues. Foster holds a master’s in business administration in marketing from The Wharton School and a bachelor’s in public policy from Brown University.

Kristina Rosinsky
Research Scientist II, Child Welfare
Child Trends 

Kristina Rosinsky is a Research Scientist II in the Child Welfare research area at Child Trends. She leads Child Trends’ biennial Child Welfare Financing Survey, which serves as a comprehensive guide to child welfare agency expenditures in the United States. Ms. Rosinsky also directs other child welfare financing-related projects at Child Trends, including a project that more deeply explored one state’s approach to child welfare financing, and a project focused on the financing of services and supports for older youth transitioning out of foster care. In addition to her substantial work on child welfare financing, Ms. Rosinsky directs a project focused on the provision of trauma-informed care and evidence-based trauma treatment, a project using human-centered design to develop a tool to promote the understanding of community connections in the home visiting context, and others.

Before joining Child Trends, Ms. Rosinsky worked at the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University, where she managed the Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative—a project designed to help states translate juvenile justice research into practice. Previously, at CJJR, Ms. Rosinsky managed certificate programs designed for local, state, and national leaders from juvenile justice, child welfare, education, and other child-serving agencies. 

Ms. Rosinsky earned a Masters of Public Policy at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics.

Lynn Tiede
LHT Policy Works LLC

Lynn Tiede is an independent consultant working with nonprofit organizations, government agencies and foundations to strengthen their programs and initiatives. Lynn has an extensive track record guiding successful collaborative efforts, impacting federal and state policy, organizing coalition-based initiatives, and managing multi-state program and evaluation projects. She is currently serving as Senior Policy Advisor for CHAMPS, a national policy campaign to promote quality foster parenting. Lynn also recently co-authored issue briefs on effective financing and implementation of evidence-based programs within the education and child welfare fields for Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Evidence2Success initiative. In recent years, she has worked with Boys and Girls Clubs of America Native Services Unit, U.S. Office of Adolescent Health, Wyman Center, and National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.

Previously, as Policy Director for the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Lynn worked with staff, communities, national partner organizations and young adults in the execution of a common set of child welfare policy goals; and co-authored a series of publications on adolescent brain development and implications for child welfare policy and practice. Earlier in her career, as Policy Manager for Parents and Teachers National Center, Lynn led a national coalition of partners to work with Congress on the development and introduction of legislation for federal funding of home visitation programs. Lynn also has experience in education research, community development, and international democracy development.


E4: Building a Value-Driven Integrated Care Clinic Model

Track: Organizational Excellence
Format: Project-Based

Participants will hear the story of how Villa of Hope’s mental health outpatient clinic evolved into an integrated treatment model from conception to sustainability and building consultation and technical assistance services for other community-based organizations in the region.

Learn about the types of process changes that have the best opportunity to drive value and fundamental practices necessary for a successful value-driven integrated model of care. In using the project-based format, the experiential design of this workshop will allow presenters to use real examples and use concepts presented to discuss solutions and options for advancing their own value-driven strategy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Building a sustainable clinical integration and coordination mode
  • Using evidence-based models
  • Prioritizing patient engagement, coordination and navigation
  • Formalizing relationships with other providers for comprehensive care delivery model
  • Service contracts for consultation/implementation and training for community partners


  • Saarah Waleed, chief program officer, Villa of Hope

Saarah Waleed
Chief Program Officer
Villa of Hope

Saarah Waleed has been serving people challenged with substance use disorders and mental health for over 15 years. She received her first bachelor’s in political science and economics from Karachi University in Pakistan. After moving to the U.S., she went on to receive a bachelor’s in counseling skills from SUNY Empire State College and a master’s in mental health counseling from SUNY College at Brockport. In her current role, Waleed oversees all aspects of programming at Villa of Hope including behavioral health outpatient clinics, residential programming for behavioral health and substance use disorders, home- and community-based services, addiction prevention education programming in the community, and medical and psychiatry services.

E5: Advancing Equity: Lessons for Healing a Divided Society

Track: Organizational Excellence 

In 1968, the Kerner Commission concluded that, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” The commission had been established by President Lyndon Johnson to explore the origins of the 1967 race riots. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication, the Eisenhower Foundation, the private-sector continuation of the original commission, released an update of the report titled, Healing Our Divided Society. The critical question to be answered is, are we still a divided society 50 years after the publication of the Kerner Commission report?

Join Alan Curtis, president and CEO of the Eisenhower Foundation, in a frank discussion and exchange on just how far our society has come over the past 50 years in erasing poverty, inequality, and racial injustice leading to two societies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase understanding of the Kerner Commission Report
  • The impact of poverty, inequality, and racial injustice on our country today
  • Solutions the sector can adapt and advance within respective co-created communities 


  • Alan Curtis, founding president and CEO, Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation

Alan Curtis
Founding President and CEO
Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation

Alan Curtis is president and CEO of the Eisenhower Foundation in Washington, D.C., the private-sector continuation of the Kerner Commission and the Violence Commission. He served as executive director of President Carter’s interagency Urban Policy Group and as Urban Policy Advisor to Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African American woman to be appointed a cabinet secretary. Earlier, he was a taskforce co-director on President Lyndon Johnson’s National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, formed after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Kennedy, known as the Violence Commission.

Curtis is co-editor of the Choice award winning book: Healing Our Divided Society: Investing in America 50 Years after the Kerner Report, the Eisenhower Foundation’s 50-Year Update of the 1968 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known as the Kerner Commission. The update concludes that the nation has made relatively little progress in reducing poverty, inequality, and racial injustice.

Curtis holds a bachelor’s in economics from Harvard, a master’s in economics from the University of London and a doctorate in criminology and urban policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

E6: A Holistic Approach to Health and Academic Success


  • Health and Well-Being
  • Educational Success

Multiple research sources have shown the connection between health and the academic success of students. When the mental, physical, and emotional health needs of children are being met, they can have better school attendance, are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, and overall have better concentration and academic performance. By using the CDC’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model as a guide, Managed Health Services (MHS) strives to bring resources to school partners statewide to address the needs of the whole child and in turn address the social determinants of health for communities these schools serve.

MHS is a managed care entity that has been proudly serving the state of Indiana for more than 20 years through the Hoosier Healthwise and Hoosier Care Connect Medicaid programs, and the Healthy Indiana (HIP) Medicaid alternative program. MHS also offers Ambetter from MHS in the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace, and Allwell from MHS, a Medicare Advantage plan. Through the Adopt-A-School program and our school-based health services support, MHS provides our school partners with programs and initiatives to promote health and wellness. These programs focus on nutrition, physical education/activity, bullying prevention education, and staff trainings for behavioral health. Additionally, we offer family and community programs to include events on nutritional cooking, mental and emotional health, and health care education and financial training. MHS seeks to address barriers to access of care through telehealth partnerships. By partnering with school administration and trusted health care providers, we are able to coordinate health services, both physical and behavioral, at school sites without the student missing school and the caregiver needing to provider transportation to a provider, which may be located miles away.

This workshop will provide information on MHS’ school resources and how to change the conversation for health care professional, school personal, parents/caregivers, community members, and public health advocates from thinking of health and education as two silos of separate systems to an integrated, collaborative effort to improve the overall cognitive, physical, social, mental, and emotional health and success of the individual and their community.

Learning Objectives:

  • About the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model 
  • About MHS and the MHS Adopt-A-School program
  • About telehealth practices, the process of MHS partnerships with schools and practitioners on telehealth, and how telehealth impacts students, schools, and communities
  • Tools to identify health education gaps and programs to improve these as well as to address social determinants of health in their school systems as well as in the community as school personnel, health care personnel, or as public health/social service advocates


  • Elizabeth Sons, school-based service administrator, Managed Health Services (MHS)

Elizabeth Sons
School-Based Service Administrator
Managed Health Services (MHS)

Elizabeth Sons’ primary job requirements are to support MHS’ school-based health clinics, collaborate on telehealth initiatives, and to organize and oversee the MHS Adopt-a-School Program. 

A Certified Community Health Worker (CCHW), Sons received her bachelor’s from Butler University. Originally from Mitchell, Indiana, she is a member of Indiana’s Healthy Schools Action Team, working to empower Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) efforts across Indiana through advocacy, collaboration and information sharing.

Sons volunteers with the American Red Cross and is a member of the Marion County Afterschool Network Coalition as well as the Fort Wayne Community Schools Health Advisory Committee.

F1: A Child Welfare Response to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Track: Safety and Resilience

This presentation will include an overview of sex trafficking including identification and review of risk factors. Through videos, a case study, and group processing, participants will learn why children in foster care are more susceptible sexual exploitation. 

This presentation will walk participants through how to create a successful service team within child welfare to address the silent victims of sex trafficking. Participants will explore successful engagement techniques as well as how to overcome barriers and challenges from the community, the child welfare and legal system, as well as from children and families themselves.

Learning Objectives:

  • Risk factors for children in the child welfare system 
  • Signs of commercial sexual exploitation of children 
  • How to build a successful human anti-trafficking response team within child welfare


  • Lisa M Vega, child welfare program director, SaintA
  • Alison McMorrow, director of child welfare services, SaintA

Lisa Vega
Child Welfare Program Director

Lisa Vega is currently a child welfare program director at SaintA. She has worked within the child welfare system in Milwaukee for the past 20 years. Vega has overseen various programs and initiatives within her career including ongoing child welfare services, intensive in-home child welfare cervices, and child and family liaisons services.

In 2012, Vega was the recipient of the Caring for Kids Award for Excellence in Child Welfare from the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families. From 2013-2016, she directed two case management teams that worked under a grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to provide trauma-informed services within the child welfare system. In 2018, Vega created HART (Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team) to serve commercially sexually exploited children in Milwaukee's Child Welfare system.

Alison McMorrow
Director of Child Welfare Services

Alison is the director of child welfare services for SaintA in Milwaukee. She has been with SaintA for five years and was previously a child welfare leader in Florida. She has 20 years’ experience in health and human services specifically children’s mental health, juvenile justice, and child welfare.


F2: Mastering the Major Gifts Conversation

Track: Organizational Excellence

This session will begin with a 30-minute interactive discussion of:

  • The role of major gifts in the organization
  • How they fit into a comprehensive resource development plan
  • Basic principles of raising major gifts

Following the discussion, participants will form small groups practice asking for major gifts for their organizations. The presenters will circulate, observing and fielding questions from the small groups. During the concluding 10 minutes of the session, groups will report their observations and share how rehearsal practice fits into the solicitation plan.

Learning Objectives:

  • The potential impact of major gifts to your organization by mining your mailing lists and networks of volunteers and donors
  • How to identify those interested and capable
  • How to inform and engage them in your vision and mission
  • How to ask them for financial gifts
  • How to thank and steward your donors and volunteers


  • Leonard P. Iaquinta, president, Excellence in Communications
  • Barbara Ritchie, principal, Barbara Ritchie Professional Coaching Services

Leonard P. Iaquinta
Excellence in Communications

Len Iaquinta is recognized as a strategic and tactical thinker, often contributing to professional practice journals and presenting at professional meetings and the continuing education nonprofit certificate programs of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He has spoken frequently at Alliance for Strong Families and Communities conferences over the past 16 years. Known for his breadth of skills and depth of experience, Iaquinta is a career fundraiser of millions of dollars in major gifts, grants, and periodic funds. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University (Medill School) and Columbia University in the City of New York (Pulitzer School) respectively. He also is the past president of the Racine-Kenosha (Wisconsin) Estate Planning Council.

Barbara Ritchie
Barbara Ritchie Professional Coaching Services

Barbara Ritchie is a former president of the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and former Executive Director of the Griffith Centers for Children Foundation. She was a member of the National Association of Homes and Services for Children Board of Directors and was instrumental in the merger of that organization with Family Service America to form the Alliance for Children and Families.

She increased resources for 12 years as director of operations, chief development officer and chief financial officer of Denver Children’s Home. She joined Griffith Centers for Children in 2005 and has been recognized for her turnaround of the current organization in the face of disruptive change.

F3: Recognizing and Understanding Implicit Bias

Track: Organizational Excellence

How we perceive the world is, in part, based on our experience and upbringing. These perceptions may also cause us to have biases, some of which we may not even be conscious of. Often rooted in our subconscious, implicit bias reflects our feelings and attitudes about others based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age and appearance. Beginning at an early age, these associations develop over the course of a lifetime and can impact our behaviors and lead to discrimination. 

This session explores the idea of implicit bias and how it can influence our behaviors. Participants will be allowed to explore these biases in a safe environment and learn how to recognize their own biases and reduce the potential for micro-aggressions. Strategies for creating a diverse and equitable workplace will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • What implicit bias is and how it affects individuals and the workplace
  • How to neutralize the impact of bias on decision making
  • Strategies to more successfully embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace


  • Terri Howard, senior director, FEI Behavioral Health

Terri Howard
Senior Director
FEI Behavioral Health

Terri Howard is a career corporate management executive with more than two decades of experience in organizational development. A key passion and area of expertise, for her, is in diversity, inclusion, and equity training and consultation. She has designed and delivered sensitive people focused training on topics including implicit bias, leadership development, bullying and harassment, teamwork, anger management, and workplace violence prevention. Howard has provided training and consultation for nonprofit organizations, Fortune 500 companies, government, and institutions of higher learning around the country. Her relaxed style and informal approach create an engaging learning environment for participants.

F4: Building Your Organization’s Operating Model to Bridge Strategy and Execution

Track: Organizational Excellence
Format: Project-Based

In the The Bridgespan Group’s extensive work helping social sector organizations achieve impact at scale, we’ve observed the importance of organizations having an operating model that is fit-for-purpose to strategy. This session will introduce participants to the concept of organizational operating models, help them complete an initial diagnosis of the performance of their own operating model against their strategic requirements, and equip them with a framework and techniques they can use to pinpoint improvement opportunities to enable stronger execution.

Organizations get from “strategy” to “execution” via their operating models—the aggregate of high-level choices about structure, accountabilities, management bodies and practices, decision behaviors, and underlying performance enablers. These components heavily determine the day-to-day decision effectiveness, discipline of focus and productivity of an organization—in short, determine whether good strategies are actually executed over time. 

When an operating model is not quite right for the strategy or circumstances, it can be challenging to deliver impact, and frustrating for those inside the organization who find it difficult to pinpoint why. In a Bridgespan survey of staff from 25 nonprofit networks, 80 percent of respondents reported that their network has a clear strategy, yet barely half feel that they are set up to operate in a way that supports that strategy. However, investment to improve operating models can pay off: Bridgespan’s research has found that organizations with top effectiveness scores assess themselves as stronger than most on critical operating model components.

In this session, presenters will provide an overview of operating models, using a framework developed specifically for social sector organizations by Bridgespan in collaboration with Bain & Company, who collectively have guided hundreds of organizations through operating model redesign. They will briefly share research on operating models in the social sector, highlighting common challenges for which leaders can be on guard. They’ll guide leaders live through exercises to brainstorm some of the strategic requirements for their own operating model and assess their current operating model’s readiness to execute. They’ll conclude with tips for how leaders can more thoroughly assess and align their operating models, including both quick wins and more significant investments.

Learning Objectives:

What an organizational operating model is: Key components, that every organization has one, how it should organize resources optimally against strategy to enable execution
Reflect on own organization’s operating model: Current readiness to execute in the ways required by your strategy and circumstances, initial priorities for attention
Approaches to bring operating model into closer alignment with strategy


  • Leslie MacKrell, partner, The Bridgespan Group

Leslie MacKrell 
The Bridgespan Group

Leslie MacKrell is a partner in the New York office, and joined The Bridgespan Group in 2011. She is a leader in Bridgespan’s consulting services and knowledge development on operating model design and organizational effectiveness and is also an advisor in Bridgespan’s consulting and capacity building program for nonprofit executive teams, Leading for Impact. MacKrell has managed engagements for clients in public health, human services, education, global networks, philanthropy, advocacy and systems change. She is co-author of “Cutting Costs to Increase Impact,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2017, and co-author of a forthcoming article on organizational operating models in the social sector.


F5: Engaging African American Fathers in Services


  • Health and Well-Being
  • Educational Success
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Safety and Resilience

Format: Project-Based

African American fathers play an important role in the lives of their children, families, and communities. Despite evidence of positive academic, health, social, and economic outcomes when these fathers are involved, health and human service education, practice, research, and policies have been focused on mothers. It has been documented that practitioners, researchers, educators, and policy makers have limited skills in effectively engaging African American fathers and developing supportive programs and policies. Further, research studies have found that many practitioners have biases against African American fathers, which is a barrier to them accessing care and resources for themselves and their families. Although there was an information memorandum issued by President Clinton in 1995 to federal agencies to engage fathers, another was just issued in October 2018. Now is the time to finally turn the rhetoric of our country’s democratic ideals and the ethics of our professions into real life practice and create a culture of health and equity for African American fathers and their families. This workshop will introduce a father-inclusive framework for education, practice, research, and policy. The workshop will also allow participants to assess their practice and develop an action plan to engage fathers.

Learning Objectives:

  • A father-inclusive framework for education, practice, research, and policy 
  • Community- and evidence-based strategies for engaging African American fathers 
  • Biases against African American fathers that impact service utilization and provision
  • Methods for assessing practice and policies for father-inclusion
  • Develop an action plan to engage fathers in services


  • Latrice Rollins, assistant director of evaluation, Morehouse School of Medicine

Latrice Rollins
Assistant Director of Evaluation/Assistant Professor
Morehouse School of Medicine

Latrice Rollins is the assistant director of evaluation and institutional assessment at Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center. She is a social worker and evaluation generalist. She provides evaluation plan development and management for academic and community-based programs focused on strengthening the research infrastructure of minority institutions, public health workforce development programs, and reducing health disparities in various areas, including behavioral health, sexual health, and chronic disease. 

Rollins is also an Assistant Professor in the Morehouse School of Medicine Department of Community Health & Preventive Medicine. Her research focuses on father engagement and fatherhood programs. She is a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders cohort. She received awards for her work at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General. She also worked for the State of Georgia Department of Child Support Services. 

Rollins received a bachelor’s in sociology from Spelman College and a master’s and doctorate in social work from the University of Georgia.

F6: A Frank Discussion in Search of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Board Governance

Track: Organizational Excellence

Target Audience: Chief Executives and Board Members Only

Social sector boards lack racial and ethnic diversity in profound ways, and recent studies show recruitment practices in achieving a more equitable board is unlikely to change soon. BoardSource’s recent report, Leading with Intent, found people of color comprised 10 percent of CEOs, 10 percent of board chairs and 16 percent of board members. These facts misalign with 40 percent of the workforce representing persons of color. Building Movement Project’s report, Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap, highlights racial leadership gap is not a pipeline problem, nor is it due to differences in education, skills, or interest; instead, it is a structural problem within the sector. 

But true equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) goes beyond just race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, and other primary composition factors. True EDI for board governance encompasses good practice in its behaviors, actions, and intentions. The combination of diverse and inclusive board composition along with equitable practices in behaviors, actions, and intentions of board members in addressing structural problems in governance serve as a foundation for achieving EDI. Join social sector leaders and board members for a frank discussion in search of creating EDI in governance.  


  • Undraye Howard, senior director of EDI & Engagement, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
  • Phyllis Richards, director of evaluation and research services, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities


  • Molly Greenman, president & CEO, The Family Partnership
  • Michael Bertrand, president & CEO, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois
  • Zachary Schrantz, president and CEO, UCAN
  • Charles Montorio-Archer, president & CEO, One Hope United