News Attendees RISE! at 43rd Annual Convention

The Providers’ Council’s 43rd Annual Convention & Expo: RISE! brought more than 1,200 human services providers and supporters to Boston for the sold-out event on Sept. 20. Keynote Speaker Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch and Gov. Charlie Baker spoke to attendees, who were able to attend workshops, engage in networking and celebrate the sector.

Gov. Baker spoke of the impact the crisis in the Merrimack Valley has had on the residents and him and expressed awe and appreciation for the people in those communities providing social services including shelter, food and guidance on navigating available resources.

“I call them the shelter and sustenance folks and they were really the first responders,” Baker said. “One thing you realize as you go through an exercise like this is how important the social services infrastructure is.”

He also said that, if re-elected, workforce issues and trauma-informed care are among the top issues his Administration wants to tackle, and he asked for input from community-based providers.

Attendees also heard a riveting person story of triumph over hardship from retired Lt. Col. Kickbusch. The Council presented its annual Awards of Excellence to 13 individuals, business and community partners, and honored President and CEO Michael Weekes for 20 years of service to the Council. In the afternoon, four organizations received Peer Provider Awards in recognition of their innovation and contributions to human services.

Convention attendees also determined the winner of The Caring Force’s Broadcast Your Love Contest, voting Advocates the winner, followed by Community Connections and Communities for People.

During the Chair’s Reception, Board Chair Jackie K. Moore, President and CEO of North Suffolk Mental Health Association, presented the Chair’s Award to Roxbury Youthworks Executive Director Mia Alvarado.

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