Convention Workshops

The Providers' Council's 43rd Annual Convention & Expo offers a wide array of useful workshops for human service professionals at all levels of your agency.

From direct care professionals to executive directors, HR staff to IT, supervisors to CFOs, this convention has educational opportunities for everyone.

Workshops #1-18 are Morning workshops (11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.).

Workshops #19-36 are Afternoon workshops (2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.).

Check out the workshop descriptions below.

Workshops # 1, 6 ,12 ,13 ,16 , 18 19, 22, 24, 27, 29 and 35 will have American Sign Language Interpreters.

Workshops 5, 7, 10, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 28, 35 and 36 have been approved for 4 Category I MaMHCA hours for re-licensure, in accordance with 262 CMR.
MaMHCA Approval #18-0702

All workshops except # 21, 31 and 32 have been approved for 4 CEUs with NASW-MA for social workers.

All workshops are eligible for 4 LADC licensing unit (for alcohol & drug counselors) CEUs.

Please note that to be eligible for CEUs, participants must attend both a morning and an afternoon workshop and sign in and out of each. Only the workshops listed above are eligible for LMHC and NASW CEUs. All worksops are approved for LADC CEUs.

Sample Workshop Tracks

Clinical & Direct Care Programs Track
Executive Track
Human Resources Track

7. Improving the Coordination of Care for Survivors of Acquired Brain Injury

13. Bridging Autism, Mental Health and Applied Behavior Analysis

14. Teen Identity: How to Nurture a Healthy Identity Through Self-Awareness

19. Juvenile Justice Reforms – Implications for Clients and Providers

20. Understanding the Syndemic Risks of the Massachusetts Opioid Crisis

24. Improv-ing Social Skills: Techniques to Build Social, Communication & Play Skills in Individuals with Autism

28. Building an Accessible Community

2. Practice-Focused Interagency Partnerships

4. How Our Changing Landscape Impacts the Provider Community

18. Chat with the Commissioners: Disability & Community Services

32. New Partnerships in Charitable Giving

35. Chat with the Secretaries & Commissioners: Public & Mental Health, Veterans’ Services, & Elder Affairs

36. Chat with the Commissioners: Children, Youth, & Family

5. Diversity in the Disability Community and What is Cultural Competence

10. Immigrant Access to Health Care

17. Helping Individuals Navigate Social Media

29. Got Conflict? Tools to Deal with Conflict Effectively

30. Modernizing Performance Management: Learning to Apply the New Rules

Personal Growth & Wellness Track
Administrative & Finance Track
Supervision & Management Track

1. Creating Solutions for Self-Care

8. Unconscious Bias: What’s the Brain Got to Do With It?

12. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in the Workplace

26. Unwind with Music: Music-Based Stress Management

33. Improv to Improve – Using Improvisation for Team Building

34. I Can’t Wait Til Monday!

3. Federal Government Grants: Is My Organization Ready?

15. Staying on Top of the Latest Nonprofit Financial and Legal Hot Topics

16. Creating Opportunities through Innovation and Partnerships

21. Case Studies in Cybersecurity – A Primer for Human Services Organizations

23. Optimizing Community Partner Success in the Transition to Data Driven Patient Care

31. Fearless Finance – Top 10 List for Non-Financial Managers

6. Manage Up!

9. The Power Prism: A Framework for Building Power and Winning Campaigns

11. Building Relational Capacity to Achieve High Performance

22. Facilitating and Participating in Effective Meetings

25. Collaborating for Success: What Works in Inter-Agency Collaboration

27. Top 10 Keys to Being Successful Supervisors

Please note: To receive CEU credits, participants must attend both morning and afternoon workshops.

  1. Creating Solutions for Self-Care
    • Presenters:
      • Jeanne Schwalbach, Clinical Director, Solutions for Living
      • Erin Dunham, Director of Case Management, Solutions for Living
    • This interactive workshop will assist participants in developing effective self-care practices. Participants will learn to take care of themselves in a realistic manner; balance daily demands and personal needs; and develop practical self-care strategies. Trainers will identify tools to help maintain a healthy life style.
  2. Practice-Focused Interagency Partnerships
    • Presenters:
      • Lesli Suggs, President & CEO, The Home for Little Wanderers
      • James Lister, Executive Director, Plummer Youth Promise
      • Kari Beserra, Executive Vice President, Justice Resource Institute
      • Matthew Stone, Executive Director, Youth Villages
    • The Home For Little Wanderers, Plummer Youth Promise, Justice Resource Institute and Youth Villages formed Massachusetts Permanency Practice Alliance in 2017 to align permanency practice by embracing robust, nationally recognized best practices, to disseminate shared outcomes, and to advocate for systems change. Executive leadership from these four organizations will present insight, experiences, and lessons learned along the way.
  3. Federal Government Grants: Is My Organization Ready?
    • Presenters:
      • Rebecca Field, Manager, Grant Compliance Services, CliftonLarsonAllen
      • Teresa Kalinowsky, Chief Financial Officer, Outsourcing, CliftonLarsonAllen
    • Grant funding can be a smart and strategic revenue source for a human services organization. This workshop will discuss some of the requirements that organizations need to be in compliance with when receiving federal funding, including financial management system, procurement, subrecipient monitoring, time and effort reporting, grant accounting, internal controls, required policies and procedures, and some best practices for grant management.
  4. How Our Changing Landscape Impacts the Provider Community
    • Presenter: David Bucciferro, Senior Advisor, Foothold Technology
    • This is an interactive conversation about how current and future federal policies are likely to impact your agency. Hear how Medicaid reform is playing out around the country, share your perspective on preparing for an uncertain future and come away with a plan to survive and thrive in this new reality.
  5. Diversity in the Disability Community and What is Cultural Competence
    • Presenters:
      • Mark Wheeler, Director of Marketing & Communications, Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc.
      • June Sauvageau, CEO, Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc.
      • Sheila Hegarty, Training & Special Events Coordinator, Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc.
    • This workshop offers a value-driven model based on the Independent Living Philosophy and values of consumer-directed care and self-determination for practitioners. The Americans With Disabilities Act awareness and cultural competence around disability-related terms enhances the practitioner’s engagement with the consumer for improved outcomes.
  6. Manage Up!
    • Presenter: Jacqueline Ross, Director of Human Resources, NFI Massachusetts Inc.
    • Manage Up! is a workshop focused on developing the skill of managing your manager. Leadership workshops often focus on how to manage those whom you directly supervise. This workshop, however, focuses on how to manage up and navigate the relationship with your boss, honing skills that will transcend in any environment.
  7. Improving the Coordination of Care for Survivors of Acquired Brain Injury
    • Presenters:
      • Liz Harnois, Resource and Support Manager, Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts
      • Helen Stewart, Information & Resource Outreach Coordinator, Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts
    • Each year, 3.5 million Americans sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI), often caused by a traumatic event, stroke or, perhaps, an overdose.  This workshop will identify causes and symptoms of ABI, explore strategies for working with this population and review resources for survivors and caregivers.
  8. Unconscious Bias: What’s the Brain Got to Do With It?
    • Comma Williams, Founder, Comma Williams Enterprises
    • Unconscious bias begins to explain why seemingly “good” people, meaning people who feel that they are consciously unbiased, still make decisions or take actions that have unintended biased consequences. This session will help attendees recognize their unintentional biases and how to help shift these thoughts to help promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  9. The Power Prism: A Framework for Building Power and Winning Campaigns
    • Presenters:
      • Lori Fresina, Senior Vice President, M+R Strategic Services
      • Diane Pickles, Vice President, M+R Strategic Services
    • This workshop will introduce the Power Prism®, a step-by-step framework for identifying, creating and acting on opportunities to build momentum in an advocacy campaign by answering three key questions, leveraging six “power tools” and uncovering pathways of influence to decision-makers.
  10. .Immigrant Access to Health Care
    • Presenters:
      • Thomas Barker, Partner, Foley Hoag, LLP
      • Christian Springer, Associate, Foley Hoag, LLP
    • The Administration in Washington has proposed to curtail immigrant rights. In that environment, how can providers ensure access to care for an immigrant community? What do providers need to know about immigration laws and regulations?
  11. .Building Relational Capacity to Achieve High Performance
    • Presenters:
      • Lauren Hajjar, Assistant Professor of Public Management, Suffolk University
      • Saleema Moore, Chief Operating Officer, Relational Coordination Analytics, Inc.
    • Learn about Relational Coordination as an evidence-based theory, framework and tool for building collective capacity and improving performance within and across provider groups. Participants will engage in relational mapping to explore how it can be applied in their agencies, specifically the inter-professional dynamics of decision-making, coordination and communication in the context of doing complex work.
  12. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in the Workplace
    • Presenter: Katherine Fox, Director of Training, Vinfen
    • Our work and personal lifestyles often present us with stressful situations that can impact our health and ability to be at our best. This workshop provides participants the opportunity to practice mindfulness techniques including gentle yoga, meditation and breathing exercises that can be integrated into the workplace. Current research on mindfulness practices will be reviewed.
  13. Bridging Autism, Mental Health and Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Presenters:
      • Nicholas Golden, Clinical Director, Northeast Arc
      • David Rosenberg, BCBA Behavior Specialist, Northeast Arc
    • Given the increased prevalence of both autism and mental health co-diagnoses, there is a need for better understanding of symptoms and treatment options. Presenters will explore different mental health co-diagnoses and various treatment options, including treatment using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
  14. Teen Identity: How to Nurture a Healthy Identity Through Self-Awareness
    • Presenters:
      • Emily Carey, Clinical Director, Communities for People
      • Debra Jean Laurent, Residential Director, Communities for People
      • Marlon Carey, Poet, Communities for People
    • This workshop will introduce a therapeutic treatment model used to help the youth in Communities for People’s intensive supervised living programs develop greater self-awareness. Presenters will help workshop participants understand the treatment model through an interactive process and a self-expression exercise.
  15. Staying on Top of the Latest Nonprofit Financial and Legal Hot Topics
    • Presenters:
      • Anita Lichtblau, Attorney, Casner & Edwards, LLP
      • Scott Harshbarger, Attorney, Casner & Edwards, LLP
      • Sharon Lincoln, Attorney, Casner & Edwards, LLP
      • Dyan D. Reinhold, CPA/Director/Shareholder, CBIZ & MHM New England
      • Janet O’Neill, Managing Director/Shareholder, CBIZ & MHM New England
    • Join legal and financial nonprofit experts for updates in key areas, including: impact of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on nonprofits; new equal pay and pregnancy discrimination acts; update on new nonprofit financial reporting model, leasing standards and revenue recognition standards; and role of board in investigation of sexual harassment.
  16. Creating Opportunities through Innovation and Partnerships
    • Presenters:
      • Timothy Brown, Director of Innovation and Strategy, Northeast Arc
      • Jo Ann Simons, CEO, Northeast Arc
    • This session will highlight two examples on how the Northeast Arc was able to create and develop innovative program models while addressing the needs of partners. Learn how changing thought process and relationships and addressing risks have helped redefine business strategies to drive innovation and create opportunities.
  17. Helping Individuals Navigate Social Media
    • Presenters:
      • Pam Sampson, Vice President of Residential Services, Venture Community Services
      • Jennifer Gay, Rehabilitation Counselor/Job Developer, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    • For individuals, navigating social media can be problematic, often due to misunderstanding the social, emotional and language cues in online interactions. This workshop will help staff to address social media difficulties such as cyberbullying, in-person meetings, financial exploitation and online fighting/arguing.
  18. Chat with the Commissioners: Disability & Community Services
    • Toni Wolf, Commissioner, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
    • David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner, Commission for the Blind
    • Mary Otiato, Chief of Staff, Commission for the Blind
    • Heidi L. Reed, Commissioner, Commission for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
    • Jane Ryder, Commissioner, Department of Developmental Services
  19. Juvenile Justice Reforms – Implications for Clients and Providers
    • Presenters:
      • Sana Fadel, Acting Executive Director, Citizens for Juvenile Justice
      • Marlies Spaanjard, Director of Education Advocacy, The EdLaw Project
    • The recently enacted criminal justice law significantly changes legal interventions with children, adolescents and transition-age youth. In this workshop we will discuss implications on young clients, their families and providers; reforms tabled for future debate; and opportunities for providers to share recommendations and challenges of implementation.
  20. Understanding the Syndemic Risks of the Massachusetts Opioid Crisis
    • Presenters:
      • Meg von Lossnitzer, Director of the Prevention Division, Victory Programs, Inc.
      • Richard Baker, Program Director – Mobile Prevention Team, Victory Programs, Inc.
    • This workshop will educate participants about the current opioid epidemic and highlight the effect it has on the rising rate of HIV & Hepatitis C infection in specific populations in Massachusetts. Structural barriers leading to this syndemic will be identified, as will the current and potential policies and practices to mitigate it.
  21. Case Studies in Cybersecurity – A Primer for Human Services Organizations
    • Presenters:
      • Ray Gandy, GCCC, Leader of the IT Risk & Security Practice, CBIZ & MHM New England
      • Michelle White, CISA, CIPP/E, Manager, IT Risk & Security Practice, CBIZ & MHM New England
    • Cybersecurity is a concern for many health and human services organizations however, it can feel like a foreign subject to some. This workshop covers real life examples of how nonprofits have taken ownership for knowing and managing their cybersecurity risk. It will also cover how to navigate a relationship with a third-party IT service provider and the questions you should be asking about cybersecurity.
  22. Facilitating and Participating in Effective Meetings
    • Presenter: Jim Ognibene, Owner, Visioneer Consulting
    • Meetings, meetings, meetings – we all attend them! This workshop provides helpful guidelines and parameters to make meetings more efficient and productive and, perhaps, more enjoyable. The interactive session includes practice in a mock meeting and participants will walk away with proven techniques to apply right away.
  23. Optimizing Community Partner Success in the Transition to Data Driven Patient Care
    • Presenters:
      • Matthew Hutt, Partner, AAFCPAs
      • Chris Gendron, Healthcare Consulting & Reimbursement Strategist, AAFCPAs
    • AAFCPAs and a panel of community partner providers will share challenges and opportunities related to implementing care coordination activities and in developing infrastructure and capacity building. This session will cover best practices for capturing the necessary information and statistics, and solutions for gleaning necessary insights to truly understand & evaluate costs.
  24. Improv-ing Social Skills: Techniques to Build Social, Communication & Play Skills in Individuals with Autism
    • Presenters:
      • Amy Swisher, Vice President of Community Relations, ServiceNet
      • Katrina Manegio, Director of Autism Services, ServiceNet
      • Janelle Matrow, Speech-Language Pathology Assistant, ServiceNet REACH Early Intervention Program
    • In this playful, interactive session, presenters will introduce a variety of improv games and exercises that have been proven effective by professionals and caregivers in helping people with autism enhance their social and communication skills. Discussion will also include how to use these techniques in staff meetings and with parents.
  25. Collaborating for Success: What Works in Inter-Agency Collaboration
    • Presenter: Brenda Bond, Associate Professor, Suffolk University
    • Organizations collaborate to solve complex challenges and achieve goals that they cannot achieve on their own. Increasingly, funders are mandating partnerships with diverse entities, thus collaboration is at the heart of organizational effectiveness, requiring proactive approaches that involve the structures and process of partnering organizations. This workshop will explore the evidence and best practices for inter-agency collaboration.
  26. Unwind with Music: Music-Based Stress Management
    • Presenters:
      • Annette Whitehead-Pleaux, Senior Clinical Supervisor, Roman Music Therapy Services
      • Meredith Pizzi, Founder and CEO, Roman Music Therapy Services
    • This workshop will explore using music to de-stress. The facilitators will give tips to attendees on how they can use music to relax in their everyday lives, but also lead the group through music based relaxation experiences.
  27. Top 10 Keys to Being Successful Supervisors
    • Presenter: Christine Singer, President, Your Personal Best: Workshops For Success
    • This workshop will focus on 10 specific areas that assist new, aspiring and seasoned supervisors to achieve mission-based optimal program outcomes with members of their work team/s. Specific emphasis will be on how to manage to get the best work efforts from others based on personal style, self-discovery and current leadership principles. Management concepts relative to goal setting, teaching, facilitating individual and group meetings, negotiating conflict and team building are incorporated.
  28. Building an Accessible Community
    • Presenters:
      • Nancy Munson, CEO, Bristol Elder Services, Inc.
      • Jen Apazidis, Founder, Purple Table Reservations
    • Everyone deserves to live in a community where residents and businesses are informed and respectful of people living with dementia.  Learn how to expand on dementia-friendly and age-friendly concepts to build a community that is accessible to all.
  29. Got Conflict? Tools to Deal with Conflict Effectively
    • Presenter: Gail Packer, Executive Director, Community Dispute Settlement Center, Inc.
    • Is workplace conflict decreasing productivity and morale? Have you dealt with a difficult situation that you wish had gone better? This interactive workshop uses real life examples to improve your conflict management skills and add tools to your conflict toolbox.
  30. Modernizing Performance Management: Learning to Apply the New Rules
    • Presenter: Jamie Resker, Founder and Practice Leader, Employee Performance Solutions
    • Workforce changes are driving organizations to reassess how they inspire and motivate workers to do their best. Annual reviews and the perpetual redesign of forms, competencies and rating schemes have failed to improve the system. This program will present proven strategies, examples and tools to reboot performance management.
  31. Fearless Finance – Top 10 List for Non-Financial Managers
    • Presenter: David Orlinoff, Founder/Principal, Concord Financial Organization
    • This workshop will present 10 key areas that non-financial managers and program directors need to know about nonprofit finance. Areas covered include basic financial statement literacy, good/bad budgeting practices and investing for sustainability.
  32. New Partnerships in Charitable Giving
    • Presenters:
      • Stephanie Guidry, Program Officer, The Boston Foundation
      • Amy Hampe, Program Officer, Smith Family Foundation
      • Colleen Richards Powell, Vice President, Director of Corporate Citizenship and Diversity, MFS Investment Management
    • This workshop provides a look into the trends in charitable giving, as well as a funder’s perspective on priorities and strategies in charitable giving. The workshop will also provide attendees an opportunity to have their questions about charitable giving answered by a panel of experts.
  33. Improv to Improve – Using Improvisation for Team Building
    • Presenters:
      • Dan Marois, Chief Entertainment Officer, Mainely Improv
      • Katie Nadeau, Senior Program Director, Bay Cove Human Services
    • This interactive session will help you to learn the skills of improvisation, which can be used to improve decision making in the workplace. Areas covered include communication, trust, thinking quickly on your feet as well as putting forth a positive “Yes…and” attitude in daily tasks. Participants will experience “hands-on” improv games in this fast paced session.
  34. I Can’t Wait Til Monday!
    • Presenters:
      • Gary LaPierre, Assistant Director of Training, Bridgewell
      • Michael Cotter, Staff Developer, Bridgewell
    • It’s OK to have fun at work. In fact, it’s beneficial and can lead to increased productivity, retention and morale. Fun stimulates energy and creativity in the workplace. Participants in this interactive, fun-filled session will learn how develop and maintain a positive attitude, increase staff morale and have a few laughs along the way.
  35. Chat with the Secretaries & Commissioners: Public & Mental Health, Veterans’ Services & Elder Affairs
    • Kevin Cranston, Assistant Commissioner and Director, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences
    • Carole Malone, Assistant Secretary, Executive Office of Elder Affairs
    • Joan Mikula, Commissioner, Department of Mental Health
    • Francisco Ureña, Secretary, Department of Veterans Services
  36. Chat with the Commissioners: Children, Youth & Family
    • Jeff McCue, Commissioner, Department of Transitional Assistance
    • Linda S. Spears, Commissioner, Department of Children and Families
    • Maria Mossaides, The Child Advocate, Office of the Child Advocate
    • Peter J. Forbes, Commissioner, Department of Youth Services
    • Thomas L. Weber, Commissioner, Department of Early Education and Care


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