2022 CAPLAW National Training Conference

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 7:30 AM - Thursday, 30 June 2022 12:00 PM CDT

323 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, 60601, United States

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CAPLAW Member Partial Approval - $645.00

This rate is for the first attendee from your CAA or state association. All other attendees from your organization may use the CAPLAW Member - Additional Registrant ticket. Please note that credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted for online registrations made after June 10th.

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CAPLAW Member - Additional Registrant Partial Approval - $625.00

To use this discounted rate, your CAA or state association must first register one attendee at the CAPLAW Member rate. Please note that credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted for online registrations made after June 10th.

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CAPLAW Member - New ED or CFO Partial Approval - $595.00

Rate only available to EDs and CFOs who began their position on or after July 1, 2020. To confirm eligibility and receive an unlock code, please complete this form: https://bit.ly/2022discount. Please note that credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted for online registrations made after June 10th.

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Non-Member Partial Approval - $685.00

To inquire about your CAPLAW membership status, please email conference@caplaw.org. Please note that credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted for online registrations made after June 10th.

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Tuesday, 28 June 2022 7:30 AM - Thursday, 30 June 2022 12:00 PM CDT

Swissotel Chicago, 323 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, 60601, United States.

2022 CAPLAW National Training Conference 

Conference Hotel

We are excited to host the conference at the Swissotel, located in the heart of Chicago where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan, and steps from Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile. Our room blocks at the Swissotel and our nearby overflow hotel, Radisson Blu, are now FULL.  If you have questions about either hotel, please contact Sue Gove at sgove@gove.org.

NEW OVERFLOW HOTEL: We have secured a room block at The Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Chicago Riverwalk, 66 E Wacker Place – about 2 blocks (.4 miles/8 minute walk) from the conference hotel at a rate of $247 per night.  Make your reservation here for this hotel.

Please see this list for a few other hotels that still have availability for the nights of the conference. Please book rooms via the hotel’s website or a travel website and contact the hotel directly with any questions you may have.


City Tour 

Join us on Tuesday, June 28 for a pre-conference tour exploring the city of Chicago through the lens of Communities as Sustainable Ecosystems. Advance registration and payment for the tour is required and space is limited! Click here for more information and to register now. 

Sponsors + Exhibitors 

Sponsor a session or program announcement! Learn more and sign up here. Connect with Community Action Leaders as an Exhibitor! Learn more and sign up here

Educational Credits 

When you register, you may elect to earn the following educational credits (additional fee): continuing education unit (CEU), continuing legal education (CLE) and/or human resources certification institute (HRCI) credits. Learn more about each credit here

Emerging Leaders Scholarship 

We are pleased to offer the Robert M. Coard and Winston Ross Emerging Leaders Scholarships. Learn more here and apply by April 29, 2022! 


Frequently Asked Questions – General  

Is the 2022 National Training Conference an in-person event?

Yes! We are excited to gather in person at the Swissotel in Chicago, IL. All conference sessions will be offered live, and we will not have a virtual option. For more information about our health and safety protocols, including vaccination and masking requirements, please see Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19 Protocols below. 

Is it okay if the name on my registration doesn't match the person who attends? 

If you cannot attend the conference, another individual from your organization may attend in your place. Please contact CAPLAW at conference@caplaw.org or (617) 357-6915 to arrange for a substitution. 

Can I attend a different session than I registered for? 

Yes, you can. We ask for this information at registration to help us select the right size room for each session and help our speakers prepare for their workshops. 

Can I update my registration information? 

Yes, you can update your contact information and workshop selections online through Friday, June 10, 2022. Click on “Manage Tickets” in your order confirmation email and enter the email address used to place the order. You will be prompted to claim and activate an account using that email address. If someone registered for you, only that person can modify your registration. After June 10, 2022, please contact CAPLAW at conference@caplaw.org or (617) 357-6915 to update your registration information.  

What are the payment options? 

Credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted for online registrations made after June 10th.

When are check payments due and where do I send them? 

No check payments will be accepted after June 10th. Credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted for online registrations.
 

How do I request an invoice and/or a W-9? 

If you would like an invoice or a W-9, please contact Gove Group at sgove@gove.org or (412) 400-9164. 

Is there a printable version of the conference agenda?

Yes! You can download a copy of the conference agenda here.

Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19 Protocols

What are the COVID-19 protocols for the conference? 

The health and safety of our conference attendees are our highest priority. We are closely monitoring government mandates and public health guidelines, as well as requirements of our conference venue. As COVID-19 trends and public health guidelines evolve, we will adjust our approach as needed to ensure that we host a safe conference for everyone. All conference attendees must agree to abide by our COVID-19 Code of Conduct.

Will I need to show proof of vaccination for COVID-19? 

Yes, all conference attendees are required to be fully vaccinated and must provide proof of vaccination to attend the conference. We consider an individual to be fully vaccinated if they have completed two primary doses of a two-dose series (i.e., the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine), or one primary dose of a one-dose series (i.e., the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine).

Registrants are required to submit vaccine records through CrowdPass, a secure online portal. You will receive a link to access the portal in your registration confirmation email. Please upload your vaccine records prior to arriving at the conference. You must submit this information to attend the conference. Please contact CAPLAW at conference@caplaw.org or at (617) 357-6915 with questions.  

Will I be required to wear a mask? 

Yes, masks will be required at all indoor conference sessions and events that are an official part of the conference, and in conference venue common areas. 

Will there be social distancing? 

We will be implementing modified room layouts for social distancing. This includes limiting attendance and reducing seating capacities. 

Will COVID-19 testing be available? 

Free COVID-19 testing will be available at nearby pharmacies and Chicago community-based testing sites. Find local COVID-19 testing information here.

Cancellation policy

Conference fees will be refunded, minus a $50 administrative fee, only if written notice of cancellation is submitted to Gove Group at sgove@gove.org and received by June 3, 2022. A full refund will be provided in the event that the conference is cancelled by CAPLAW. Please contact Gove Group at sgove@gove.org or (412) 400-9164 with questions. 

Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW)

CAPLAW is the national legal expert for the Community Action network. Through consultations, training and resources, we equip Community Action Agencies (CAAs) with the knowledge and tools to operate as accountable and effective change agents. We also provide guidance to federal, state, and national Community Action partners on legal and financial issues affecting CAAs. CAPLAW is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization.

Contact the Organizer

Tai Blythe, CCAP
WiseCAP Training and Consulting, Pace Community Action Agency

As Pace Community Action Agency’s Chief Operating Officer, Tai handles agency communications, using technology to streamline processes at her CAA. She also works within the Head Start and Energy Programs. In the past, she has been an adjunct university professor, an ERSEA Specialist and a Program Coordinator. Tai was previously named one of the top 50 Exceptional Emerging Leaders in Early Childhood Education in the United States. She has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations and Fortune 500 companies to develop employee wellness and workplace safety initiatives, as well as smoking cessation and parenting classes. Efficiency and compliance are her specialties. Tai holds a master’s degree in Leadership Development from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Southern Indiana.

About Tai Blythe, CCAP

WiseCAP Training and Consulting, Pace Community Action Agency
David Bradley
National Community Action Foundation

For more than 30 years, David has been one of Washington’s leading advocates on behalf of low-income programs. In 1981, David helped found the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF). As a private nonprofit organization funded solely by non-governmental contributions, NCAF represents funding and policy interests of the nation’s 1,000 Community Action Agencies before Congress and the Executive Branch. In this role at NCAF, David was the primary architect of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act. Besides the CSBG, David’s legislative activities include Weatherization Assistance, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Head Start, and job training programs. In an age in which partisan gridlock is too often the norm, David has shown an uncanny ability to make poverty issues a concern to both parties. After facing elimination in the 1995 House Republican’s Contract with America, David was able to work with key House Republican leaders to ensure CSBG funding procured the largest percentage received of any domestic program in FY 1997. In his role at NCAF, David has also helped power CAPLAW and CAPPAC, a Political Action Committee. Prior to joining NCAF, David worked in Congressional Affairs at the Small Business Administration under President Jimmy Carter. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Washington University. In 1987, he was a Senior Executive Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University. David’s mentor, Sargent Shriver, perhaps described David’s advocacy best when he wrote “no one has done more to keep the War on Poverty fresh in the hearts and minds of individuals than David Bradley.”?

About David Bradley

National Community Action Foundation
Caitlin Bush, CPA
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Caitlin has more than nine years of audit and consulting experience serving public sector organizations. She has served as a member of the engagement teams for a number of our private foundations, social services firms, charitable organizations, associations, and other nonprofit organizations. Caitlin has performed audits for nonprofit organizations, including single audits in accordance with the Uniform Guidance, overseeing the process starting during the planning stages all the way through to wrap-up and issuance of audit reports. She has also prepared Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-T, 990-PF, AG990-IL, and IL-990-T for tax-exempt entities and assisted with the adoption and implementation of new accounting standards and pronouncements. Caitlin is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and Western Illinois University.

About Caitlin Bush, CPA

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Gloria Castillo
We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery

Gloria Castillo is the director of We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery, a coalition of public and private funders and communities accelerating equity in the Chicago region’s economic recovery so that everyone can achieve their full potential. We Rise Together is a five-year initiative spurring development in disinvested neighborhoods, increasing quality, resilient employment, and strengthening Black and Latinx-owned businesses. Gloria is the former president and CEO of Chicago United, a corporate membership organization that advances multiracial leadership in business to achieve parity in economic opportunity for people of color. She is a pioneering advocate for diversity, inclusion, and justice through the lens of business strategy. Numerous organizations have recognized Gloria's work, including an honorary doctorate in social justice from Roosevelt University in 2017 and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award in 2018. Highly regarded as an active and outspoken inclusion advocate in Chicago’s business community, Gloria has served on numerous boards and commissions. Currently, she serves as chairman of the Field Foundation Board of Trustees and director of Mather.

About Gloria Castillo

We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery
Jonathan Cohen, Esq.
Community Action Program Legal Services

Jon is a Staff Attorney at CAPLAW. He advises community action agencies on legal issues related to organizational governance, tax-exempt law, and federal government grant compliance. Prior to joining CAPLAW, Jon conducted research and wrote business case studies on organizational change management and strategy for Harvard Business School. He has also practiced business law in Boston, worked to promote international human rights with Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C., and organized around environmental justice issues in Hartford, CT. Jon earned a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College, a master’s from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.

About Jonathan Cohen, Esq.

Community Action Program Legal Services
Jeannie Chaffin
National Association for State Community Services Programs

Jeannie serves as interim executive director for the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). Previously, Jeannie led the Office of Community Services (OCS) as a senior executive service level, presidential appointee in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In her role as OCS director, Jeannie managed nearly $7 billion in federal block grants and discretionary funds and successfully led the Obama administration’s efforts to strengthen the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), the core funding for this nation’s 1,000 plus Community Action Agencies. Prior to her role as OCS director, Jeannie served as a senior policy advisor for NASCSP. Jeannie has also served as a consultant providing technical assistance, training, executive coaching, and strategic planning to community-based organizations at the local, state, and national levels.

About Jeannie Chaffin

National Association for State Community Services Programs
Jacqueline Davis
Head Start National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations

Jacqueline brings years of experience as director, project manager and training and technical assistance specialist for early care and education. Jacqueline is currently the Professional Development Manager for the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMF0). She assumed a lead role in developing and publishing a suite of products for emerging leaders in early childhood, a series of interactive homelessness lessons for staff who work with families, and a suite of human resource modules. Jacqueline has continued her work as a principal contributor for the leadership messaging and human resources work that comes through PMFO. She has earned a Master’s in Public Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University. Recently, Jacqueline earned certificates from Cornell University in Strategic Human Resource Leadership, Leading Remote Teams, and Systems Thinking.

About Jacqueline Davis

Head Start National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations
David Doig
Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives

David is the President of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI), a real estate developer and community partner focusing on high impact projects that coordinate resources, economic development and neighborhood revitalization efforts in Chicagoland’s low-to-moderate income neighborhoods. In addition to raising capital and setting strategic objectives, David recently helped lead an organizing effort to have the Pullman neighborhood declared a National Monument. David has served neighborhoods throughout Chicago for 25 years in various nonprofit and governmental capacities, including as a community organizer in North Lawndale and as Superintendent of the Chicago Park District. David has an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and a Master’s in Social Science from the University of Chicago. David is also a member of Millennium Reserve Steering Committee and on the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation.

About David Doig

Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives

Bryan is the Executive Director of I-CARE, which operates programs in Iredell, Lincoln, Alexander, and Catawba counties in North Carolina. He began his career in Community Action at Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency (SRCAA) where he worked with the JTPA Title II-C Out-of-School Youth Program and promoted to the position of Human Resources Director, overseeing HR generalist duties for a staff of more than 230 employees. He sits on the board of directors for the National Community Action Partnership; the N.C. Community Action Association; and the Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies. He also is the past Chair of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce; the co-founder of the Partnership for Equity Iredell; and a member of the Rotary Club of Statesville. He is a Nationally Certified ROMA Trainer (NCRT), a Certified Poverty Simulation Trainer, a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP), and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

About Bryan Duncan, CCAP, NCRT

I-CARE, Inc.
Dr. Cynthia Croom
Metropolitan Action Commission

Cynthia is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Action Commission (MAC), Nashville and Davidson County’s community action agency, where she has served since July 2000. During her tenure at MAC, Cynthia has served as president of the Tennessee Association of Community Action (TACA) and a board member of the Southeast Association of Community Action (SEACAA). She has also served on the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Early Childhood Advisory Council, the Middle Tennessee Workforce Investment Board, the Mayor’s Early Childhood Education Governance Committee, the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Adult Literacy, and she was co-chair of Nashville’s Poverty Initiative, a county-wide effort involving numerous county leaders. Before her tenure at MAC, Cynthia was Chief of Planning for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, at which time she coordinated statewide housing and community development activities related to HUD funding, including writing the state Consolidated Plan. Cynthia also previously served as Director of Child Development for a faith-based organization in the Chicago area, where she coordinated child care and workforce-related initiatives. Cynthia received an Education Doctorate in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. She completed her Master of Education in Administration/Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois, Chicago and received her undergraduate from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, Illinois.

About Dr. Cynthia Croom

Metropolitan Action Commission
Mark Eich
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Mark is a principal in charge of the Information Security Services Group at CliftonLarsonAllen. He has over 29 years of experience in auditing and technology consulting. In this position, he has actively led many IT audits and security assessments for clients in a range of industries and with a diversity of operating environments. He leads a team of technology and industry specialists in an efficient approach to provide security analyses that are balanced with business needs. Mark earned his B.S. degree in accounting from Winona State University.

About Mark Eich

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Eleanor Evans, Esq.
Hemenway & Barnes LLP

Eleanor is Counsel in the nonprofit practice at Hemenway & Barnes LLP. She has over 20 years’ experience representing Community Action Agencies and other tax-exempt organizations in a diverse range of legal, governance and compliance matters. She provides practical advice on strategic initiatives and day-to-day operations in areas such as shared services and mergers, bylaws, government grants and data privacy and security. Prior to joining Hemenway & Barnes, Eleanor served as Executive Director/General Counsel of Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW) and as General Counsel of Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), Boston’s Community Action Agency. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Smith College.

About Eleanor Evans, Esq.

Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Andrew Hammond, JD
University of Florida Levin College of Law

Professor Andrew Hammond teaches and writes in the areas of administrative law, civil procedure, and poverty law. His articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the California Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal, among other publications. He currently serves as the Chair of the Poverty Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Prior to joining the University of Florida law faculty, Andrew taught in the College and the Law School at the University of Chicago. Before entering academia, Andrew practiced as a legal aid attorney at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, first as a Skadden Fellow and then Of Counsel. He clerked for Chief Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Judge Robert M. Dow of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Andrew graduated from the University of Chicago, the University of Oxford, and Yale Law School.

About Andrew Hammond, JD

University of Florida Levin College of Law
Denise Harlow, CCAP, NCRT
National Community Action Partnership

Denise Harlow was named the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Action Partnership in December 2014. She has been with the Partnership since 2011 and served as Senior Director of Training and Technical Assistance and Interim Chief Operating Officer. Prior to her tenure at the Partnership, she was the CEO of the New York State Community Action Association and Sr. Vice President for Capacity Building for the New York Council of Nonprofits. Denise has more than 29 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, has served on several nonprofit boards of directors, and was an appointee to the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council in New York State. She started her Community Action career as a social worker with the Schenectady Community Action Program. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University at Albany where she was also a Fellow on Women and Public Policy at the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Valparaiso University.

About Denise Harlow, CCAP, NCRT

National Community Action Partnership
Keith Hundley, CPA
Carr, Riggs, & Ingram

With 21 years of diversified CPA experience, Keith provides accounting and auditing services to governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations across the United States. As a part of the firm’s governmental and not-for-profit audit team, Keith participates extensively in audits of community action agencies, Head Start programs, and state and local government, specializing in the Single Audit Act and the OMB Uniform Guidance. Additionally, Keith provides accounting and consulting services to not-for-profit organizations in the areas of budgetary compliance, cost allocation plans, tax planning and compliance, special transactions accounting assistance, fiscal operations training and technical assistance, and board training. As a consultant for the Head Start National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations’ Fiscal Consultant Initiative, Keith provides T/TA services to Head Start programs across the nation. Keith regularly serves as a continuing education leader for CRI as well as a certified facilitator in the CRI Leadership Academy. Keith is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA). Keith is a graduate of Troy University and a 2011 inductee to the Troy University Accounting Hall of Honor.

About Keith Hundley, CPA

Carr, Riggs, & Ingram
Charisse Johnson
Office of Community Services

Charisse Johnson is the Director of the Division of Community Assistance, which administers the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Ms. Johnson’s career in human services spans over 30 years in a wide range of roles and leadership positions. All of Ms. Johnson’s roles have required her to act as a change leader. Ms. Johnson’s work in the Administration for Children and Families began in 2010 as a Program Specialist in the Children’s Bureau within the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect. In 2012, Ms. Johnson became the Branch Chief for the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Discretionary Grant Program in the Office of Family Assistance. Since 2018, Ms. Johnson served as the Director of the Division of Community Strengthening Grants in the Office of Grants Management. Prior to becoming a federal employee, Ms. Johnson worked in North Carolina’s child welfare system. From 2007 to 2010, Charisse served as the Section Chief for North Carolina’s Child Welfare System, and in that capacity provided primary leadership and oversight for the state’s child welfare system. Ms. Johnson also has experience in the non-profit sector, and has served on a number of state and national boards and advisory groups. As the Deputy Director of Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency (WAGES), a Community Action Agency in North Carolina, Ms. Johnson had oversight for Head Start, Early Head Start, CSBG, childcare services, and a home visiting program. Ms. Johnson earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Ms. Johnson has two adult children and two grandchildren.

About Charisse Johnson

Office of Community Services
Darnell Johnson
Urban Efficiency Group

Darnell Johnson is the CEO and President of Urban Efficiency Group (UEG), Illinois’ first native, minority-owned utility implementation and sustainability design firm. Darnell served in the United States Army for nine years and began his formal education at Central Texas College majoring in Urban Planning, while on active duty. Darnell graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelors in Theology and a minor in counseling. His industry specific credentials include but are not limited to; BPI- Building Analyst, Building Envelope, Infiltration Duct Leakage, Energy Auditor, Quality Control Inspector, Healthy Home Evaluator, RESNET Rater, EcoDistrict Accredited Professional, and DEI Certified Professional (Cornell University). Darnell is a spiritual and sustainability architect, with over two decades of entrepreneurial, social science, and sustainability experience. His commitment to engineering solutions that humanizes sustainability for BIPOC communities and advancing energy equity is fundamental to all of his work. Darnell and Urban Efficiency Group have assisted thousands of underserved residents across Northwest Indiana, the greater Chicagoland and Milwaukee Wisconsin reduce their energy burden by delivering energy efficiency and community sustainability services, while working toward carbon neutrality. He believes that diversity brings strength, inclusion is indicative of an acceptance that is essential to growth, and equity is a human right that should be embraced as the standard and not an exception. By pragmatically implementing these beliefs systemic change would be the resolve and “Stronger Together” would become a reality.

About Darnell Johnson

Urban Efficiency Group
David A. Jones, LMSW
Federal Office of Head Start

David is a Senior Program Specialist in the Office of Head Start (OHS) and a Federal Project Officer for the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations. Prior to joining OHS, he was the Division Director of Family Support Services at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York for four years and a Program Director for twelve. He implemented their Early Head Start program, targeting adolescent parents providing home and center based services. He developed the nationally recognized Father’s First Initiative and the Bronx Fatherhood Program, one of New York City’s most successful programs serving 16 to 24-year-old non-custodial fathers. He provided mental health consultation for Head Start and Early Head Start Programs. The Visiting Nurse Association of America (VNAA) selected him as Innovator of The Year for his outstanding work with fathers. He was awarded a William Randolph Hearst Foundation fellowship in 2001 and in 2005. He is a 2016 UCLA Head Start Management Fellow, and a 2018 Nike Starting Block Leadership Fellow. David holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College, a Master’s of Social Work from Hunter College City University of New York. He completed a postgraduate clinical institute at the Jewish Board of Children and Family Services in Infant Toddler Psychotherapy.

About David A. Jones, LMSW

Federal Office of Head Start
Edward Leeds, Esq.
Ballard Spahr LLP

Ed is Counsel at the law firm Ballard Spahr LLP. His practice focuses primarily on the legal requirements that apply to employer-sponsored health and other welfare benefit plans. He helps clients implement programs to comply with rules under the Affordable Care Act, Consolidated Appropriations Act, HIPAA, COBRA, cafeteria plan requirements, and other federal and state laws. He assists clients with the design, implementation, and administration of health plans and initiatives, such as employee wellness programs. He negotiates contracts with plan vendors and assists in the drafting of plan documents and communications. Ed received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his undergraduate degree from Haverford College.

About Edward Leeds, Esq.

Ballard Spahr LLP
Anita Lichtblau, Esq.
Casner & Edwards, LLP

Anita is a partner in the Nonprofit Organizations Law practice of Casner & Edwards, a Boston law firm which provides comprehensive legal advice to tax exempt organizations and businesses and individuals involved in nonprofit matters. Her areas of legal expertise include nonprofit formation and affiliations, governance, fundraising, lobbying and political activity, employment, and government and foundation grants and contracts. Before joining Casner & Edwards, Anita served for fifteen years as both the General Counsel for Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), a large nonprofit human services organization and Community Action Agency (CAA) that provides Head Start and other services to low-income people, and Executive Director of Community Action Program Legal Services (CAPLAW), a nonprofit providing legal training and technical assistance to the approximately 1,000 CAAs across the country. In those positions, she advised, provided training, and wrote numerous articles and publications on many issues. She presented hundreds of in-person workshops and webinars across the national Community Action network. Prior to holding those positions, Anita was a senior trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice handling white collar criminal cases in federal courts in New England and practiced with the Boston firm Hill & Barlow and the Washington D.C. firm Steptoe & Johnson. Anita is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Cornell University.

About Anita Lichtblau, Esq.

Casner & Edwards, LLP
Allison Ma'luf, Esq.
Community Action Program Legal Services

Allison is the Executive Director and General Counsel of Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW). She advises community action agencies on a wide range of legal issues, including board responsibilities, Head Start, employment law, and tax-exempt organization law requirements. Prior to joining CAPLAW, Allison practiced law as a corporate associate at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, Massachusetts and Troutman Sanders LLP in Atlanta, Georgia where she represented public and private companies and nonprofit organizations in general corporate matters. She also completed a two-year appointment to the Staff Attorney’s Office at the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. Allison received her undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest University.

About Allison Ma'luf, Esq.

Community Action Program Legal Services
Norma Manjarrez, Esq.
Ogletree Deakins

Norma is a shareholder in the Chicago office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. She assists employers of all sizes and across various industries in several aspects of the labor and employment relationship. Norma is experienced in handling a variety of matters before the National Labor Relations Board, representing management in labor negotiations, advising employers through union organizing campaigns and elections, and defending employers in arbitration. She is also experienced in handling the labor and employment due diligence aspects of mergers and acquisitions. She regularly counsels human resources professionals and in-house counsel on wage and hour issues, employment handbooks and policies, compliance with federal and state anti-discrimination statutes, including anti-harassment training in English and Spanish, and terminations. Norma also co-chairs the firm’s Latinx business resource group, ODAdelante, and is also a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and an active member of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Norma earned her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Illinois College of Law in 2012, and her bachelor’s degree at DePaul University in 2007.

About Norma Manjarrez, Esq.

Ogletree Deakins
Anqunette Parham, JD, MPH
City of Rockford

Ms. Anqunette Parham is the Executive Director of the Health and Human Service Department for the City of Rockford. A native of Rockford, IL, Ms. Parham is an attorney with nearly twenty years of health care and human services experience in direct services, administration and risk management in community and clinical settings. She holds a law degree from University of Illinois at Chicago Law School, a Master’s in Public Health from Benedictine University and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from DePaul University. As an attorney, Ms. Parham is an experienced investigator and compliance leader with experience that blends research, legal analysis, and policy development with leadership experience in direct care and program administration in community and clinical settings. She previously served as Manager of International Trade Compliance for Collins Aerospace, and Grant Administrator at Crusader Community Health. In her role leading the Health and Human Services Department, she guides the designated Community Action Agency for Winnebago and Boone Counties. The agency, which exists to break the cycle of generational poverty and to mitigate the immediate effects of poverty on individuals, families, and neighborhoods is a public CAA with a Head Start Program. Every day, Ms. Parham brings to bear her experience as an advocate for fair housing, expanded educational opportunities, and increased social and health equity through better access to health care and health-related information. The hallmark of her work brings the knowledge and passion of the front-lines to the strategy and planning of the board room.

About Anqunette Parham, JD, MPH

City of Rockford
James (Jim) Paul, Esq.
Ogletree Deakins

Jim is a Shareholder in the St. Louis office of national labor and employment law firm Ogletree Deakins. Jim has extensive experience in handling labor and employment law litigation and appeals in federal and state courts and claims/investigations in various governmental agencies. Jim also regularly advises employers on all labor and human resource management issues, with special expertise and emphasis on accommodating employee disabilities, work restrictions, and medical leaves of absence. Jim holds Labor Relations and Economics degrees from Saint Louis University and his law degree from Washington University. He has received the top “AV Rating” by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, has been named since 2010 in the annual editions of The Best Lawyers in America as a top labor and employment lawyer and litigator (including “The 2016 St. Louis Employment Litigator of the Year”), and has been listed in Super Lawyers® Magazine since 2008. Jim earned his Juris Doctor degree at Washington University School of Law in 1995, and his bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University in 1992.

About James (Jim) Paul, Esq.

Ogletree Deakins
Michelle Picklesimer
South Central Community Action Partnership

Michelle Picklesimer is the Chief Financial Officer for South Central Community Action Partnership (SCCAP) in Twin Falls, Idaho. She has worked with grant-funded programs for over 25 years, with an extensive background in the financial management and administration of Weatherization programs, Community Service Block Grants, Low Income Home Energy Assistance programs, Housing programs, and other programs including Head Start. Michelle helped SCCAP start a for-profit company which primarily makes weatherization services available to all residents in their service area. For the last 15 years she has been providing financial management training and technical support to other nonprofits and state offices.

About Michelle Picklesimer

South Central Community Action Partnership

Rick is a Partner in the labor and employment law practice groups at Stinson LLP. He splits his practice equally between the labor and employment disciplines, and both counsels and litigates on behalf of clients. Rick also has considerable commercial litigation experience. He has appeared before numerous state and federal judges and administrative agencies, including the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Rick counsels clients daily in a variety of employment-related areas, including wage and hour, drug and alcohol testing, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), discrimination, hiring, discipline, separation, privacy, background checking, record keeping, and workplace violence. He also counsels clients on compliance with state and federal prevailing wage laws and transportation regulations. Rick frequently trains supervisors and employees on the basics of employment law, positive employee relations, and preventing workplace harassment and discrimination. He has been regularly selected for inclusion in both Super Lawyers® and Top 40 Employment Super Lawyers®. Rick received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.

About Richard Pins, Esq.

Stinson LLP
Bertha Proctor, EdD, CCAP
Pace Community Action Agency, WiseCAP Training & Consulting, CAPLAW Board

Bertha is the Chief Executive Officer and formerly served as both the ED and Head Start Director of Pace Community Action Agency. She is currently a Lead Consultant for WiseCAP Training & Consulting, and the Board President of CAPLAW. Her expertise in leadership training and staff development stem from advanced education in Communications, Human Resource Development and Educational Leadership. She previously received the Chamber of Commerce’s Woman in Business Award in her county. Bertha has served as an adjunct faculty member at local universities, a member on various boards, and she has conducted state and national trainings. She has also developed and implemented a variety of management systems and business initiatives. Bertha is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Indiana State University, and Oakland City University.

About Bertha Proctor, EdD, CCAP

Pace Community Action Agency, WiseCAP Training & Consulting, CAPLAW Board
Arnold Ramirez
Head Start National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations

Arnold Ramirez has over 43 years of Head Start experience at the local, state, regional, and national levels in grants management/administration, contract negotiations, community partnerships, governance, fiscal management, program planning/development, and human resource management. Mr. Ramirez has worked with Head Start Program Performance Standards from a service delivery standpoint, as a technical assistance provider, and an advocate for change. He has directly operated programs and assisted agencies in meeting both program and fiscal compliance standard requirements. Mr. Ramirez received a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts, both from Arizona State University.

About Arnold Ramirez

Head Start National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations
Harold Rice, Jr.
Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc.

Harold is the Executive Director for Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA). He came to CEDA in 2014 with more than 35 years of organizational leadership in both the non-profit and corporate sectors. His responsibilities involve developing long-term strategy, executing operating plans and managing government relationships. Prior to joining CEDA, Harold was the Executive Director and CEO of Albany Park Community Center and Chief Development Officer for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. He is an active Board member of Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies, as well as, Cook County Social Innovation Commission. He earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Engineering Technology from Kennedy-King College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota. He also holds a Master of Science Degree from Cardinal Stritch University.

About Harold Rice, Jr.

Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc.
Andria Ryan, Esq.
Fisher Phillips LLP

Andria Ryan is a partner in Fisher Phillips’ Atlanta office and represents employers in virtually every area of employment and labor law. She serves as co-chair of the Hospitality Industry Group and is currently a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Taskforce, a cross-disciplinary team of attorneys dedicated to advising employers on the many workplace law aspects of the global coronavirus pandemic. Andria represents employers throughout the United States in defending employment discrimination and harassment cases as well as handling traditional labor matters such as unfair labor practices and union campaigns. She spends much of her time counseling employers in day to day employment and labor decisions and educating employers about prevention and practical solutions to workplace problems. She is a frequent speaker to industry groups and human resources professionals on such topics as avoiding harassment in the workplace, maintaining a union free workplace, avoiding discrimination claims, proper interviewing, and effective discipline and discharge techniques. She is a recipient of the Chairman's Award from the Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association for her development of the Employment Compliance Guide for Colorado Hospitality Employers. She received her bachelor’s degree from American University and her law degree from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

About Andria Ryan, Esq.

Fisher Phillips LLP
Bryan Samuels
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Bryan Samuels is the Executive Director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. At Chapin Hall, Bryan’s deep expertise is aimed at the active integration of empirical evidence into public policy decision making, as well as into the management of government agencies, the design and delivery of programs, and frontline practice. He leads the organization in accelerating the use of evidence by those whose mission is to improve the lives of children, adolescents, and families. Since taking the helm of Chapin Hall, Bryan has focused on matching Chapin Hall’s historical reputation for rigorous research with unparalleled in-house policy expertise to further the organization’s impact. Bryan’s broad experience as a decision maker himself—and his lifelong work in partnership with policymakers and practitioners—undergirds his successful approach to shaping actionable and sustainable solutions based on evidence. Prior to joining Chapin Hall in 2013, Bryan was the commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bryan administered federal programs addressing child abuse and neglect, runaway and homeless youth, domestic and intimate partner violence, and teen pregnancy. Bryan has also served as chief of staff at Chicago Public Schools and as director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the nation’s third-largest child welfare agency. Bryan holds a Masters of Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. He has lectured at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Bryan has testified before Congress about the well-being of children in foster care, and frequently presents and writes on topics including the impact of trauma on child well-being and the use of evidence-based interventions to ensure all young people reach their full potential.

About Bryan Samuels

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Caroline Santilli, Esq.
Community Action Program Legal Services

Caroline is a Staff Attorney at CAPLAW. She advises community action agencies on legal issues related to governance, strategic collaborations, federal grant compliance, tax-exempt law, employment, and other matters. Prior to joining CAPLAW, Caroline was a corporate law associate in the Boston office of Ropes & Gray LLP, where she worked on leveraged acquisitions and debt refinancing transactions. She also represented pro bono clients in connection with their applications for asylum in the United States. Caroline is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Northeastern University School of Law.

About Caroline Santilli, Esq.

Community Action Program Legal Services
Maribeth Schneber-Rhemrev, CCAP, NCRT, CPMP
National Community Action Partnership

Maribeth is the Director of Organizational Capacity Building at the National Community Action Partnership. Maribeth has proudly served the Community Action network since 2010 at the local, state, and national levels, including at a local Community Action Agency where she provided direct services, facilitated agency planning and continuous improvement efforts; serving at the state level as Kentucky’s Director of Family Support where she led the state team responsible for administration and implementation of SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, CSBG, and LIHEAP; and at the national level as the CSBG State Assistance Director at the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) where she supported CSBG Lead Agencies to effectively administer CSBG and address poverty at the state level. Maribeth is a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP), Nationally Certified ROMA Trainer (NCRT) and Accountability Trainer, and certified Project Management Professional (CPMP). She has a degree in human services management from the University of Phoenix and holds a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in law and public policy from Walden University. Maribeth is an avid animal lover and enjoys hiking and being in nature. Maribeth lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her spouse and dog.

About Maribeth Schneber-Rhemrev, CCAP, NCRT, CPMP

National Community Action Partnership
Lana Shope
National Community Action Partnership

Lana began her career in the Community Action network at Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. (MICA) in Marshalltown, Iowa. Over a period of ten years, Lana created a variety of new programs that improved the lives of people experiencing poverty. Lana departed MICA to serve as the lobbyist for the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church, where she was immersed in the day-to-day efforts of advocating and lobbying for social justice issues, including addressing the causes and conditions of poverty. After five years in that role, Lana returned to the network as the executive director of the Iowa Community Action Association (ICAA) and served in that role for sixteen years. With a commitment to increase her skills and knowledge, Lana successfully completed the curriculum and became a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP) in 2010. Lana joined the National Community Action Partnership in October 2020 to lead the CARES Project. In addition to her work addressing the causes and conditions of poverty, Lana enjoys spoiling her grandchildren, reading, exercising, and operating a small business, Pies and Pastries by Lana, which she has been doing for six years. Lana has a Human Services Certification from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

About Lana Shope

National Community Action Partnership
Tommy Sheridan
National Head Start Association (NHSA)

Tommy Sheridan is the Deputy Director for the National Head Start Association (NHSA) in Alexandria, VA where he has worked since June 2009. In this role, Tommy leads NHSA’s efforts to strategize, develop, and implement the Head Start community’s vision for the future of Head Start and early learning with a specific focus on ensuring all vulnerable children and families have access to Head Start’s comprehensive model of support for the whole child, family, and community. Tommy also oversees NHSA’s advocacy, communications, and government affairs efforts seeking to lobby, advocate, educate, and inform Congress, the White House, states, and the Federal Administration about the realities facing Head Start and early learning. During his tenure at NHSA, annual funding for Head Start has increased nearly 40% and Head Start has become seen as a rare bipartisan program with deep support from all ends of the political spectrum. Prior to his career at NHSA, Tommy worked in the Minnesota State Senate, on several political campaigns, and as a sales manager. Tommy received an Honors Bachelor of Arts from Saint Louis University and a Masters of Public Administration from George Washington University with a specific focus on social policy leadership.

About Tommy Sheridan

National Head Start Association (NHSA)
Kevin Simon, Esq.
Fisher Phillips, LLP

Kevin Simon is a partner in helps employers formulate practical solutions and secure favorable outcomes in court and the workplace. Kevin has defended more than a thousand employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination claims in state and federal courts, administrative tribunals, mediations and arbitrations. Kevin also provides advice and strategic guidance to clients on a wide array of human resources topics and issues—always with an emphasis on instituting best practices and efficiently managing litigation risks. Having served for several years as a prosecutor, Kevin offers employers particular insight when assisting with workplace investigations. Kevin frequently conducts management training and lectures on emerging employment topics. He received his bachelor’s degree from College of the Holy Cross and his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

About Kevin Simon, Esq.

Fisher Phillips, LLP
Kay Sohl
Kay Sohl Consulting

Kay has provided training and consultation for Executive Directors, CFOs, and Boards of Directors of over 8,500 nonprofit organizations throughout the United States. She focuses her work on rethinking nonprofit strategies for financial sustainability, Board financial oversight, compliance with federal funds management requirements, and the challenges of nonprofit accounting and financial reporting. She is a frequent presenter for state and regional coalitions of nonprofits, and continuing professional education programs for attorneys and accountants serving the nonprofit sector. She has worked extensively with Community Action Agencies, CAPLAW, and the National Community Action Partnership. Kay has authored multiple financial management toolkits for CAAs and other nonprofits, including resources for cost allocation, financial reporting, dashboard development, and the new OMB Uniform Guidance. She is a licensed public accountant and graduate of University of California at Berkeley. She has a master’s in teaching from Reed College and completed post-graduate work in accounting and business law at Portland State University.

https://www.kaysohlconsulting.net/

About Kay Sohl

Kay Sohl Consulting
Elizabeth (Biz) Steinberg
Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo

Elizabeth “Biz” Steinberg serves as the CEO of the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc. (CAPSLO), a Community Action Agency serving low-income community members since 1965. Biz began working at CAPSLO over 40 years ago as the Head Start Education Coordinator and then as the Head Start/Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Director for five years. Biz became the CEO in 1984. As Chief Executive Officer, Biz is responsible for all operations, strategic planning, and development of a community action agency of over 1,100 employees, with an annual budget of over $100 million operating programs in 10 counties in California. Biz earned her BS in Home Economics from the University of Wisconsin, concentrating in Child Development and Preschool/Kindergarten Education. She has done graduate work at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo in Family Relations and Multicultural Education, and at Pacific Oaks College-Pasadena in Human Development, Leadership Education and Human Services Administration. For 26 years, Biz was a part-time instructor in Human Development at Cuesta College and is now a Professor Emeritus from Cuesta Community College. In fall of 2020 Congressman Salud Carbajal presented Biz with the Congressional Woman of the Year Award for “her incredible service to the community.” Biz is extremely involved in the following; She is the 2st Vice President to the National Community Action Partnership, Secretary for the CalCAPA Board as well as a past Board Member on the NHSA Board and past President of the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association. Locally she serves on the SLO Housing Authority, Children’s Services Network and Mission Community Services Corporation. Biz is a past Board Member of the Community Health Centers on the Central Coast. She is an advocate for the vulnerable communities CAPSLO serves.

About Elizabeth (Biz) Steinberg

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo
Melissa Struck, CPA
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Melissa has spent the majority of her 20 years in the accounting field performing, managing and supervising audits of tax exempt organizations. She has extensive experience handling the distinctive issues facing these organizations in today’s challenging environment and is the leader of our local Nonprofit Services Group. Melissa is a frequent speaker at both trade association and CLA seminars and conferences addressing topics such as cost allocation, alternative investments, and accounting for contributions. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance at the University of St. Francis

About Melissa Struck, CPA

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
James (Jim) Thomas, JD, CPA
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Jim is a nonprofit principal with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA) and has 34 years of nonprofit assurance, tax and consulting experience with CLA. He serves as a leader in the Chicagoland and national CLA nonprofit groups. Jim is also an attorney providing a variety of services to clients, including handling non-traditional services such as operational reviews, forensic engagements, cash flow and budgeting consulting, and human resources consulting. Jim received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. He earned a bachelor of science in accounting from Illinois State University and is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS).

About James (Jim) Thomas, JD, CPA

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Krystal Thompson
New River Community Action

Krystal is the CEO of New River Community Action (NRCA) in Radford, Virginia. Prior to joining NRCA in July 2021, she was the State Director for Family Preservation Services, a Pathways company. Krystal also previously served as Executive Director for Brain Injury Services of SWVA and the Chief Operating Officer at Commonwealth Catholic Charities. Krystal has a Master of Arts in Counseling Education and Student Personnel Services and a Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Development from Virginia Tech. Krystal also has a Certification in Mission-Based Leadership and Organization Development from the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Charities USA. Krystal has served in multiple board leadership and volunteer roles in her community. Her community leadership experience includes appointment to the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission and the VA Brain Injury Council. She has served as Chair of the Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Service Providers and the Foster Family Treatment Association of VA.

About Krystal Thompson

New River Community Action
R. Brian Tipton, Esq.
The Private Client Law Group

Brian is Managing Director at The Private Client Law Group in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, he worked in Montgomery, Alabama for the law firm Sasser, Sefton, Brown, Tipton & Davis, P.C. as a Shareholder. Prior to entering private practice, he completed a judicial clerkship with Senior United States District Judge James H. Hancock, of the Northern District of Alabama. His practice is concentrated in the representation of nonprofits and other tax-exempt organizations. He regularly represents Community Action Agencies and Head Start Programs in the areas of regulatory compliance, audits, funding source disputes, administrative appeals, and litigation. In addition, Brian consults with organizations on governance, human resources, programmatic, and corporate matters, and develops and presents training programs for nonprofits. He is a summa cum laude graduate of both the Louisiana State University and the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University.

About R. Brian Tipton, Esq.

The Private Client Law Group

Denes is a Certified Public Accountant and Partner in Wipfli LLP’s nonprofit practice (NPO). For 25 years, she has been overseeing audit engagements and consulting opportunities and working with clients to maintain compliance with laws and regulations. She trains nonprofits and government agencies in regulations, best practices, and governance. She graduated from University of Wisconsin, Platteville with degrees in accounting and business administration.

About Denes Tobie, CPA

Wipfli LLP
Ericka Jones Whitaker, Ed.D.
Southeastern Community Action Partnership

Ericka is the Chief Executive Officer of Southeastern Community Action Partnership, formerly Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc. (SCFS), which is one of the largest Community Action agencies in North Carolina. She oversees an annual budget of over $26 million and leads approximately 250 staff. Ericka previously held management positions with several nonprofit trade associations in Washington, D.C., including the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She was also a former full-time Executive in Residence/Professor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke School of Business and often teaches as an adjunct instructor. She serves on the Board of Directors for CAPLAW and the North Carolina Community Action Association, where she also serves as the Secretary for the Council of Executive Directors. Ericka is the recipient of the Carl D. Perkins Humanitarian Award by the Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies for her overall community leadership, specifically for bringing resources to the counties she serves during Hurricane Matthew. She is also the recipient of the Roselle Copeland Stewardship Award for her work specifically in Community Action and has received other leadership awards for her servitude in various communities. She holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from Fayetteville State University; a Master of Science in Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management from Trinity Washington University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Communications from The University of Maryland, University College.

About Ericka Jones Whitaker, Ed.D.

Southeastern Community Action Partnership
Aaron Wicks, PhD, CCAP, NCRT
National Community Action Partnership

Aaron is the Vice President of Organizational Capacity at the National Community Action Partnership. He began his career in Community Action working at Action for a Better Community, in Rochester NY. He credits his passion for Community Action to his mentor, James H. Norman. In his 15 years at this local CAA, Aaron helped support the agency’s strategic plan, community assessment, outcomes reporting, compliance, customer satisfaction, grantwriting, advocacy and other programmatic and organizational needs. Aaron is a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP) and a Nationally Certified ROMA Trainer (NCRT). Aaron holds a PhD in political science from the University of Rochester and has worked as an adjunct professor teaching courses in American politics and public administration. Aaron lives in Rochester, NY with his partner, Kelly, and children Dylan and Sydney.

About Aaron Wicks, PhD, CCAP, NCRT

National Community Action Partnership
Luther Wright, Jr., Esq.
Ogletree Deakins

Luther is Of Counsel and Assistant Director of Client Training at Ogletree Deakins. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University School of Law, Luther began his career with a general practice firm in the litigation section. He spent the first several years of his legal career practicing in the general litigation area before joining the Labor & Employment team. He has significant experience in the areas of labor and employment law, corporate business litigation and complex litigation, including class action and collective action lawsuits. He typically represents management in all forms of employment discrimination litigation, including litigation based on federal anti-discrimination statutes, state statutes and common law, violence in the workplace, Fair Labor Standards Act claims and independent contractor disputes. Luther is a member of Ogletree’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Team that provides timely client advice and guidance on diversity related matters. Luther also devotes a significant amount of his practice to day-to-day client advice, general supervisor/employee training, training and advising on diversity and inclusion issues and workplace violence issues, and also acts as the Assistant Director of Client Training as part of the Ogletree Deakins Learning Solutions (“ODLS”) team. ODLS provides employee and supervisor training in a variety of formats, including in-person training, training by webinar/webcasts and customized video training products.

About Luther Wright, Jr., Esq.

Ogletree Deakins
Veronica Zhang, Esq.
Community Action Program Legal Services

Veronica is Deputy Director and Senior Counsel at CAPLAW. She advises community action agencies nationwide on strategic, operational, and legal matters, including tax-exempt law, employment law, Head Start and other government grant compliance, and corporate governance. Prior to joining CAPLAW, Veronica was a business law associate at Goodwin Procter LLP, where she represented public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions and other strategic collaborations. She also helped nonprofit organizations operate and maintain tax-exempt status. Veronica is a graduate of Yale University and Boston University School of Law.

About Veronica Zhang, Esq.

Community Action Program Legal Services

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07:30 AM
Networking

Pre-Conference: Chicago Tour: Communities as Sustainable Ecosystems

07:30 AM - 11:30 AM
11:30 AM
General Session

Opening Session Luncheon: We Rise Together: For an Equitable and Just Recovery

11:30 AM - 01:30 PM
  • Gloria Castillo

    We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery

01:45 PM
Governance

1A. Ethical Issues for CAAs

01:45 PM - 03:00 PM
  • R. Brian Tipton, Esq.

    The Private Client Law Group

HR

1B. Charting a Course Through the Bermuda Triangle of Leave Laws

01:45 PM - 03:00 PM
  • Andria Ryan, Esq.

    Fisher Phillips LLP

Financial

1C. They Are A’ Changin’: Accounting Update for Nonprofits

01:45 PM - 03:00 PM
  • +1
  • Caitlin Bush, CPA

    CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Program

1D. CSBG Hot Topics

01:45 PM - 03:00 PM
  • +3
  • Jeannie Chaffin

    National Association for State Community Services Programs

Specialized

1E. Head Start HR and Fiscal: Strategies for Moving Forward

01:45 PM - 03:00 PM
  • +2
  • Arnold Ramirez

    Head Start National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations

03:45 PM
Governance

2A. A Board’s Eye View: Case Studies in Oversight and Governance

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • +1
  • Michelle Picklesimer

    South Central Community Action Partnership

HR

2B. Taking Diversity and Inclusion from Paper to Practice

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • Luther Wright, Jr., Esq.

    Ogletree Deakins

Financial

2C. Let’s Directly Address Indirect Costs

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • Keith Hundley, CPA

    Carr, Riggs, & Ingram

Program

2D. Head Start Update

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • +2
  • Tommy Sheridan

    National Head Start Association (NHSA)

Specialized

2E. Recipes for Success (and Sanity): CAA Leadership for Crisis and Beyond

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • +3
  • Elizabeth (Biz) Steinberg

    Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo

05:15 PM
Elective Session

Elective Session: Embracing Your Fiduciary Responsibility

05:15 PM - 05:45 PM
06:00 PM
Networking

Networking Reception

06:00 PM - 07:00 PM
09:00 AM
General Session

General Session | Helping Families Thrive: System Transformation through Community Leadership

09:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Bryan Samuels

    Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

10:15 AM
Governance

3A. Surfing the Turnover Tsunami: Succession Planning for CAAs

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
  • +3
  • Dr. Cynthia Croom

    Metropolitan Action Commission

HR

3B. Exploring Employee Compensation, Incentives & Recruitment

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
  • +2
  • Tai Blythe, CCAP

    WiseCAP Training and Consulting, Pace Community Action Agency

Financial

3C. Strategic Planning for your Finance Department

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Kay Sohl

    Kay Sohl Consulting

Program

3D. Strategies for Super Subrecipient Relationships

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
  • +1
  • Jeannie Chaffin

    National Association for State Community Services Programs

Specialized

3E. Digital Detectives: 2022 Cyber Crime Trends

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
  • +1
  • Mark Eich

    CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

11:45 AM
General Session

Legislative Update

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
  • David Bradley

    National Community Action Foundation

02:00 PM
Governance

4A. Inclusive Leadership

02:00 PM - 03:15 PM
  • Luther Wright, Jr., Esq.

    Ogletree Deakins

HR

4B. Workplace Investigations from Start to Finish

02:00 PM - 03:15 PM
  • Kevin Simon, Esq.

    Fisher Phillips, LLP

Financial

4C. Let’s Have Some Fun(d) Accounting

02:00 PM - 03:15 PM
  • Keith Hundley, CPA

    Carr, Riggs, & Ingram

Program

4D. Fires, Floods, and Federalism: Welfare Programs in the Climate Crisis

02:00 PM - 03:15 PM
  • Andrew Hammond, JD

    University of Florida Levin College of Law

Specialized

4E. Different Strokes for Different Public CAAs

02:00 PM - 03:15 PM
  • +1
  • Anqunette Parham, JD, MPH

    City of Rockford

03:45 PM
Governance

5A. Measuring What Matters: Key Board Financial Choices

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • Kay Sohl

    Kay Sohl Consulting

HR

5B. The Life of a Discrimination Claim—From Allegation Through Trial

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • +1
  • Norma Manjarrez, Esq.

    Ogletree Deakins

Financial

5C. Mastering Cost Allowability

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • Denes Tobie, CPA

    Wipfli LLP

Program

5D. Taking Your Board Beyond the Organizational Standards

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • +1
  • Maribeth Schneber-Rhemrev, CCAP, NCRT, CPMP

    National Community Action Partnership

Specialized

5E. Payroll Puzzles: The Davis-Bacon Act and Community Action

03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
  • Richard Pins, Esq.

    Stinson LLP

09:30 AM
Governance

6A. Minutes Matter: Making Life Easier With Board Records

09:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  • +2
  • Jonathan Cohen, Esq.

    Community Action Program Legal Services

HR

6B. Managing Employees: Turning Lemons into Lemonade

09:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  • Richard Pins, Esq.

    Stinson LLP

Financial

6C. Boards and EDs Working Together on Organizational Sustainability

09:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  • Denes Tobie, CPA

    Wipfli LLP

Program

6D. Creating Thriving Communities: The Pullman Revitalization

09:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  • David Doig

    Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives

Specialized

6E. Health Plans Check-up in a Post-Pandemic World

09:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  • Edward Leeds, Esq.

    Ballard Spahr LLP

11:00 AM
General Session

Closing Session | Environmental and Energy Equity

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Darnell Johnson

    Urban Efficiency Group

  • Integer nulla lorem, pellentesque eget eros malesuada, semper bibendum felis. Proin quis est egestas, ultrices purus tempor, aliquet erat. Nullam molestie, neque at hendrerit semper, dui lacus eleifend arcu, quis mattis augue leo condimentum dui. Nunc vehicula eleifend risus vitae luctus. Sed sed sem nibh. Nam sit amet massa ullamcorper, iaculis felis id, ullamcorper libero. Aenean aliquet orci quis nisi interdum faucibus. Maecenas sollicitudin, nunc vitae tempus feugiat, arcu elit egestas diam, sit amet maximus neque turpis ac quam. Curabitur at ligula eget turpis pellentesque vestibulum eu id ante. Cras eget turpis mauris. Vestibulum vitae quam elit. Suspendisse bibendum at ipsum nec tempor. Ut in tristique nibh. Aliquam erat volutpat. In hac habitasse platea dictumst.

    Vivamus tempor viverra enim, commodo faucibus quam porta sed. Sed et varius nunc. Fusce cursus sem nec tellus accumsan, sed laoreet nisi vulputate. Praesent varius quis turpis in aliquam. Phasellus nisl velit, porttitor eget risus sed, interdum elementum nibh. Praesent eget ante bibendum quam suscipit accumsan sit amet eu nisi. Ut eget facilisis risus. Proin molestie lorem ut interdum finibus. Sed pretium ut sapien at dictum. Sed sit amet dolor tincidunt turpis tincidunt ultricies et et neque.

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