Breakout Sessions

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bessie alcantara, msw (she/her)

Executive Director, Alternatives Inc. 

BIOGRAPHY

Bessie Alcantara is executive director of Alternatives, Chicago’s leading provider of Restorative Justice and Behavioral Health services and capacity-building for schools and organizations. Bessie has over a decade of experience working with youth-serving organizations. As a bilingual, first-generation Salvadoran-Mexican American and Chicago native, Bessie is passionate about dismantling systemic racism and advocating for trauma-informed care and restorative justice programming for young Black and Brown Chicagoans. She is also the host of Broken Office Chair, a social justice podcast highlighting the experiences of leaders of color. 

Session

  • Title: Employee Retention and Racial Equity in the Nonprofit Sector
  • Description: Fundamentally, the majority of us work for one basic reason: to survive. Already, this primary barrier prevents a majority of the population from being able to work in our sector as the lower wages barely cover costs of living let alone student loan debt. Why do we see the ability for nonprofit workers to thrive as a luxury? In this workshop we will be discussing how, as current or future leaders in the nonprofit sector, we can address barriers to working and thriving through a racial equity lens by addressing topics such as lack of diversity, organizational culture, professional development, and equitable compensation practices. We will be discussing innovative practices that respond to each of these topics and address the unique challenges nonprofit leaders face in cultivating employee retention in a racially equitable way.



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Kyle Boehr, CNP (he/him)

Program Analyst & Logistics Manager, Ability KC

BIOGRAPHY

I have been a member of the program management and nonprofit fields for over 10 years. I graduated from Rockhurst University in 2017 with a B.A. in Nonprofit Leadership with a fundraising concentration. Before and after my formal education, I have gained experience in corporate foundations, corporate volunteer management, event and recruiting management, and most recently in a program management role for the Therapeutic Preschool within Ability KC. I have a passion for looking at the whole picture, and thinking differently about the smaller daily tasks that make the big picture even better.

Session

  • Title: Small Steps or Big Goals: How your focus can change your missional success
  • Description: The nonprofit sector is still bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic through program stagnation, significant changes in funding, and staff retention and morale. On top of that, the focus more broadly has been to add more data, metrics, and goals to our programs. Through personal and professional experience as well as guidance from James Clear in the book "Atomic Habits", we will look at how to focus on the systems in your programs as the primary driver for missional success, not goals. This will be time to learn how to look at the big picture, drill down into the weeds to create the system, consider implementation and staff buy-in as part of the system, and come back out to the big picture to evaluate the impact on your mission. Examples and case studies will focus on education and healthcare programs, but rest assured the methods, software, and hardware used can be translated for any nonprofit program. This will be geared towards those currently in or interested in program coordination and management.



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zach carlino (he/him)

Director of Development, Alliance for Nonprofit Resources

BIOGRAPHY

Zach Carlino is the Director of Development at Alliance for Nonprofit Resources in Butler, Pennsylvania. Zach has worked at the agency since 2021. Working with the Development Team, he oversees grant writing, marketing, and nonprofit start-up activities. Zach also specializes in strategic planning and securing new contracts and clients for ANR. Zach has received certificates in Grant Writing from the Standards for Excellence® and Advanced Grant Writing from Pennsylvania Association for Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) and The NonProfit Times. He also has experience working in such industries as medical, human services, community development, historical societies, and arts and culture. Zach likes to spend his spare time playing sports and volunteering for local youth sports organizations. Zach received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mount Union in Political Science.

Session

  • Title: Collaborative Fundraising: Making Double (or Triple!) the Impact
  • Description: Foundations favor grants that have a collaborative element for a variety of reasons, including a higher return on investment, bigger community impact, and wider audience. Donors enjoy seeing agencies partner for the greater good rather than compete for the same dollar. Alliance for Nonprofit Resources’ (ANR) Directors of Development will review different fundraising avenues: grants, events, appeals, raffles, and donations. The Directors will discuss how strategic partnerships with other nonprofits (and even for-profits or governmental agencies!) can help win you financial support (think grants) and be mutually beneficial for both your programs’ participants and your partner’s participants.





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Miriam Dicks, CCMP (she/her)

CEO, 180 Management Group

BIOGRAPHY

Miriam Dicks is an operations leader with proven experience in transforming organizations to achieve optimal operational performance. Over the past 20+ years she has held several positions in operations management and operations consulting as well as serving as adjunct faculty teaching operations courses on both the graduate and undergraduate level. Miriam’s passion for operations is fueled by her belief that any organization can operate in excellence with the right tools for change.
Prior to starting 180 Management Group, Miriam spent 15 years working for organizations in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Miriam Dicks is also a sought-after speaker and trainer, having spoken on national platforms as well as statewide events. Miriam received a BA in public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of South Carolina, a Master’s Degree in Accounting candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a Certified Change Management Professional.

Session

  • Title: Leveraging AI in Nonprofit Operations
  • Description: AI is a growing topic in many industries, but its usefulness in the nonprofit operations is still unclear. The purpose of this session is to provide a framework to help participants learn how AI impacts their operations and how to best leverage this new tool.

    The learning objectives of this session are:

    • Provide a working definition of AI
    • Describe the different types of AI
    • Discuss how operations and culture impact the use of AI
    • Discuss how AI can be an asset to nonprofit operations




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Alyssa Durfey, MPH, MBA, CNP (she/her)

Principal Scientist, Dogwood Genomics

BIOGRAPHY

Alyssa Durfey is a 2020 ASCP Top 40 Under Forty laboratory professional, clinical research enthusiast, children’s book author, and business owner and investor with diverse, unique experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Master’s degrees in Global Health and Business Administration, and is currently a doctoral student in Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice working full time in the biotech industry. Using experience from earning her CNP credentials to guide her holistic approach to problem solving, she has built a career by asking tough questions, constantly learning, and lots of trial and error. Alyssa calls Syracuse, Utah home and loves going on weekend adventures with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

Session

  • Title: Buckets - Leveraging your daily activities to increase productivity and satisfaction when you don't have time
  • Description: We live in a world of constant change. Expectations, demands, and desires are all nebulous, so between shifting tides professionally and personally, it’s easy to fall into the traps of connectivity and productivity that ultimately leave you burned out. The solution is intentionality, but in an age of massive data availability at the touch of your fingers, where do you even start, especially if you are chronically burned out already? By gaining a better sense of balance and direction through this session, you will have actionable steps and direction moving forward, allowing you to be the best version of yourself for you, your family, your community, and your organization.







Jameson Dixon Jr (he/him)

Co-Director, New Leaders Council Chicago

BIOGRAPHY

Jameson Dixon Jr is an HR professional, Entrepreneur, and Co-Director of New Leaders Council Chicago, a non-profit leadership development program. As a Career Advisor, Jameson has advised students from across the country and led numerous workshops and events related to career development, leadership development, and inclusive recruitment. As a consultant, he has worked with multiple organizations to diversify their talent pipelines and change the way we approach the way we work. As a strong advocate for new labor standards and updated education policy, Jameson uses his experience to educate & support companies, students, and potential candidates. Jameson is an avid cyclist, a nature lover, and enjoys spending time with his large family; he is number 4 of 12 siblings and resides in Chicago. 

Session

  • Title: Empowering Impact: Unleashing the Potential of Operational and Strategic Tools in Nonprofit Excellence
  • Description: In this session, we'll explore the purpose of operational and strategic tools and how non-profits can leverage them to achieve their goals. Participants will learn about the importance of strategic and operational tools and how these tools can enhance organizational agility. This session will focus on two specific tools: CRMS and KPIs. Participants will learn how to leverage CRMs to improve operational efficiency and how to utilize KPIs to set clear goals for success. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of how strategic and non-profit tools can help them achieve better outcomes for their non-profits. 



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Janessa Mondestin (she/her)

Chief People Strategist, Hire 4 Higher HR Services

BIOGRAPHY

Janessa Mondestin, Founder of Hire 4 Higher HR Services, is an accomplished HR Executive with 15+ years of experience in driving organizational development, talent solutions, and transformative leadership. As a featured speaker, Janessa empowers nonprofit leaders with her strategic acumen and commitment to equity and inclusion. Janessa spearheaded diversity recruitment strategies as the Director of Talent Strategy at the InTulsa Initiative. At Mission North, she enhanced culture and employee engagement as the Director of Employee Experience. As the Director of People + Culture at Yoga Int'l (GAIA), Janessa led global people strategy, talent acquisition, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Janessa holds an MBA and a Bachelor's degree in Business Strategic Management from Fordham University. She actively engages in community affiliations and social impact initiatives, like Junior League, LeanIn.org and Culture Amp, showcasing her commitment to making a positive difference. With expertise in organizational development, talent acquisition, and fostering inclusive work environments, Janessa Mondestin empowers nonprofit leaders to achieve success.

Session

  • Title: Talent Strategy for the Scrappy Nonprofit: how to attract and keep talent 
  • Description: This session is designed to provide practical insights and strategies for nonprofit organizations operating with limited resources to effectively attract and retain talented individuals.
    In today's competitive job market, nonprofits often face challenges in competing with larger, well-funded organizations when it comes to attracting and retaining talented employees. This session aims to address these challenges by offering innovative approaches tailored specifically to scrappy nonprofits.



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Scott myers, M.A., CNP (he/him)

Executive Director, SADD l Students Against Destructive Decisions

BIOGRAPHY

A Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) and master's level senior leader with over 20 years in the nonprofit space, of which 15+ years have been in fundraising and communications roles advancing mission-oriented organizations through strategic fundraising and communication strategies, building collaborative community partnerships while engaging stakeholders, and acting as an advisor and mentor who embodies a positive team culture. Results-driven with a successful record of transforming and rebuilding stagnant and stalled development programs while advancing strong, mature ones. Scott works remotely from his home just outside of St. Louis, Missouri as the Executive Director of SADD | Students Against Destructive Decisions, the nation's premier health and safety organization. Scott always finds time to hit the golf course and cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs! 

Session

  • Title: So You Want to Grow Your Corporate Gifts?
  • Description: As we enter 2024, report after report shows an increase of concern around corporate philanthropy. Budgets, at best, are at the same or similar levels as previous years and the fears around recessions, economic downturns, and a potential change in political landscape bring uncertainty to the ever growing needs of nonprofits, who, are oftentimes tackling the issues caused by recessions, economic downturns, and changing political landscapes. Companies are under pressure to answer the call, but are oftentimes under considerable obstacles to meet the demand, including money, time, staff, and the wave of issues that sometimes change based on real life circumstances, such as disasters, social justice movements, and employee interests.
    So as a nonprofit, how can we grow our corporate gifts?
    Let’s discuss corporate giving and how companies sometimes decide who, what, and where to give their philanthropic donations. How do you break into the world of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs and bring awareness to not just the need, but more so the impact you have and they can have together. Corporate philanthropy sometimes is looked at differently than traditional donor fundraising, but is it?
    Let’s talk about CSR pillars, aligning your need with their focus, and building an internal team at the company to be an extension of your nonprofit. All in the name of growing corporate gifts!



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Allison quintanilla plattsmier, ed.d., dba, cfre, acnp (she/her)

Founder & CEO, AQP Consulting

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Allison Quintanilla Plattsmier has over twelve years of experience in the nonprofit sector and has raised approximately $5 million collectively for over 75 organizations. She is currently the Executive Director of ENP and runs her own nonprofit consulting firm, AQP Consulting. A Nashville native, she has watched Nashville’s transition from a quaint city with a small-town vibe to the “it" city. She has been at the forefront of issues such as the affordable housing crisis, the transit referendum, and the city's urban planning and infrastructure design through the creation of Nashville’s first art park, William Edmondson Park. A sought-after DEI practitioner, she is a vocal advocate for gender parity, closing the wage gap, and ending the motherhood penalty. With accolades such as Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30, NBJ’s 40 Under 40, Diversity MBA’s Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders, and the National Association of Female Executives’ 2019 Rising Star, Dr. Quintanilla Plattsmier is a true emerging leader in the Middle Tennessee community.

Session

  • Title: Courting Gen Z: Understanding Gen Z as Employees
  • Description: This session will look at the characteristics of Gen Z as donors and what they are looking for to ensure long-term commitment to the cause and expectations of the impact of their gift.



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Jordanya Reeves, Cva, CNP (she/her)

Corporate Citizenship Associate Manager • ED&A Analytics Strategy, TD Bank

BIOGRAPHY

Jordanya has a passion for volunteerism and has been serving and training others in the profession for 14 years. She is a Certified Volunteer Administrator and joined TD Bank as the TD Mindpower: Analytics for Social Good, Volunteer Manager supporting volunteers within the bank across the US and Canada. Jordanya loves sharing her expertise in volunteer management and has presented at many national conferences including American Service Commissions National Training Conference, Better Together Conference, and Texas Volunteer Management Conference. She is the former President of the Dallas Association of Directors of Volunteer and serves on the board of the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE). Jordanya enjoys life in the desert with her husband and daughter in El Paso, Texas.

Session

  • Title: Use Me! Utilizing Skilled Based Volunteers through Corporates Partnerships     
  • Description: Corporations are always searching for ways to make a positive impact on their communities. One often overlooked way to do this is through skilled-based volunteering. A corporation can partner with a nonprofit organization to provide skilled-based volunteers who can use their expertise to help the organization achieve its mission. The benefits of this type of partnership are numerous. The organization gets the expertise it needs to tackle complex issues and the volunteers, with extensively honed professional skills, gain valuable experience and a sense of fulfillment. It is a terrific way for corporations to make a positive impact on their communities while also developing their employees' skills. An ever-increasing number of corporations are creating programs for their employees to directly engage with nonprofit organizations through meaningful skills-based volunteering. This session with give you an in-depth look at one such program with TD Bank, TD Mindpower: Analytics for Social Good. This program has proven track record of making a measurable impact on the communities served and increasing overall employee engagement and job satisfaction. We will also explore ways that your organization can connect with and utilize skilled-based volunteers with corporate partnerships to tackle these complex issues. Attendees will be provided with resource guides for Better Understanding Corporate Skills-Based Volunteering, Top 20 Corporate Citizenship Programs, and Corporate Partnerships 101 a step-by-step guide to engaging corporations.



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Carly Rickard, ACNP (she/her)

Chief Development Officer, Logan Health Foundation

BIOGRAPHY

Carly Rickard, ACNP is the Chief Development Officer for Logan Health Children’s. Since relocating to Kalispell in July 2019, she has focused on frontline fundraising activity to secure maximum philanthropic support for Logan Children’s new pediatric facility and its programs.

Carly previously served as the Director of Philanthropy at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California. During her six years there, she gained extensive experience managing corporate partners and programs, increasing fundraising by more than $3 million annually in the process. A native of Sandpoint, Idaho and a graduate of the University of Montana, Carly is thrilled to be back closer to her family and enjoying all that Montana has to offer. Helping kids has been a lifelong passion and she is delighted to play a small role in providing pediatric services to Montana, ensuring that sick and injured kids and their families can stay closer to home for care.

Session

  • Title: Tech-Driven Philanthropy: A New Era of Giving and Impact  
  • Description: This presentation will delve into the transformative role technology has had in reshaping the landscape of philanthropy. Over the past century, philanthropy has evolved from traditional forms of giving to a dynamic and tech-infused sector that is more efficient, accessible, and impactful than ever before.
    This session will focus on how technology is catalyzing positive change, making philanthropy more accessible, efficient, and impactful for both donors and recipients. Attendees will gain insights into practical applications of tech-driven tools and strategies that can enhance their fundraising careers. By staying informed about these trends and technologies, fundraising professionals can harness the power of innovation to drive meaningful change in their respective causes.




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Meagan Snyder, CNP (she/her)

Director of Development, Alliance for Nonprofit Resources

BIOGRAPHY

Meagan Snyder is the Director of Development at Alliance for Nonprofit Resources, where she has been employed since September 2018. As part of the Development Team, Meagan works with clients to secure and renew contracts for the organization, supervises event planning, and assists with nonprofit start-up activities and strategic planning. Prior to her work with nonprofits, Meagan was employed in the banking industry, which has proved an asset to her and her clients in the nonprofit sector. Meagan has been the lead ANR staff responsible for the collaborative Pennsylvania Association for Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) conference for the past three years. Meagan has achieved her Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) certificate from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA). In her spare time, Meagan volunteers at her local church. Meagan holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Phoenix University. 

Session

  • Title: Collaborative Fundraising: Making Double (or Triple!) the Impact
  • Description: Foundations favor grants that have a collaborative element for a variety of reasons, including a higher return on investment, bigger community impact, and wider audience. Donors enjoy seeing agencies partner for the greater good rather than compete for the same dollar. Alliance for Nonprofit Resources’ (ANR) Directors of Development will review different fundraising avenues: grants, events, appeals, raffles, and donations. The Directors will discuss how strategic partnerships with other nonprofits (and even for-profits or governmental agencies!) can help win you financial support (think grants) and be mutually beneficial for both your programs’ participants and your partner’s participants.





Christiana Tasto, MA (she/her)

Executive Director, Nonprofit Solutions

BIOGRAPHY

Christiana possesses a rich and dedicated career in advancing professional development initiatives and programs. Her expertise spans a diverse range of topics, where she has successfully crafted and led numerous programs, such as Board Governance, Strategic Planning, Team Engagement, Communication Skills, Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, and has committed over two decades to Inclusion & Equity work. With over fifteen years in the nonprofit sector, Christiana has held pivotal roles directing programs, stepping into interim executive directorships, and effectively managing various projects.
 
Recognizing her significant contributions, Christiana was rightfully promoted to the role of Executive Director in February 2021 after five years of impactful service at Nonprofit Solutions, where she previously excelled as the Director of Learning. She brings proficiency in Group Facilitation Methods, having received training from the Institute of Cultural Affairs, and has undergone Micro-aggression training through the Valued Voices program at Hosteling International.
 
Christiana's academic background includes a Master of Arts in Psychology, enhancing her ability to provide valuable insights into both human behavior and organizational dynamics. Her multifaceted skill set and wealth of experience position her as an invaluable leader in driving organizational growth and fostering professional development.

Session

  • Title: Developing Meaningful Partnerships: Collaboration for Collective Impact
  • Description: Tired of meeting with people that you know you should meet, and leaving those meetings not sure why you are meeting? Wanting to get the most out of potential collaborators? Join Christiana Tasto, Executive Director from Nonprofit Solutions to: Explore the different types of partnerships, from transactional, to collective impact partnerships; Learn about best practices and lessons-learned first hand from an organization involved in partnership building; Look into the importance of sharing values, culture, and mindset; Follow a roadmap for future partnership building.