You’ll be a part of every Hot Topic Discussion!

Connect with experts in small groups of no more than 10 participants during six rounds of 45 minutes each. Sharing experiences in these small executive-level groups provides an excellent opportunity for knowledge exchange on specific topics in leadership development, strategic planning and growth, talent management, employee engagement, information technology security, and more.


Failure matters. Why? Because failure is like gravity – it’s everywhere and we spend much, if not most, of our lives creating it, dealing with it, and trying to learn from it. It’s a topic that impacts every aspect of business. It is also the other ‘F’ word in business. The fear of failure is encountered in virtually every major organizational function and level—from the C-suite to the factory floor and from frontline sales teams to back-office support managers. In this workshop, you will explore an alternative perspective on failure and learn how to turn failure from a regrettable reality into a resource for resiliency and walk away with valuable new knowledge and insights that can help your organization leap ahead in performance and deal with failure productively and intelligently.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Explore alternative perspectives in how to approach failure.
  • Engage in interactive discussion to strengthen the ability to tell and listen to failure stories.
  • Discover how to re-frame failures as opportunities.
  • Re-frame failure to turn it from a regrettable reality into a resource for resiliency.


According to IBM, 95% of breaches are due to human error, yet over 99% of security budgets are spent on technology to stop the breaches, and very little on cyber education.


Philanthropy can play a key role to ensure candidates for elected office are educated on issues affecting their communities and commit to addressing those issues once elected. During this talk, we’ll dive into legal guardrails, specific strategies for engaging candidates for public office, and lessons learned from past advocacy campaigns, answering the following questions:

  • What is political campaign advocacy and candidate education?
  • How do you engage in political campaign advocacy and candidate education without crossing any legal lines?
  • What are examples of permissible activities for organizations to engage candidates for elected office?
  • How are community foundations uniquely positioned to partner on advocacy work?
  • Why does any of this matter?

Talent Management

Talent management used to be just a fancy name for standard human resource practices, policies and resource management. Since the early 2000’s, organizations have realized that managing and leading the “whole” human resource cycle is critical for recruiting and retaining talented employees. This is a discussion for leaders, managers and anyone who manages and leads people and processes. During this interactive roundtable discussion, participants will discuss successful talent management best practices and will share their own experiences leading employees.

Strategic Planning & Growth

With 85% of employees experiencing some kind of conflict in their workplace, it’s time to put the focus on resolution. Resolving conflict requires a thoughtful approach and starts with the ABC’s. Given that most conflict starts from what is not said, communication skills play a major role in resolving conflict and an action plan for moving forward is evidence conflict is resolved.

Participants will be able to answer the following questions after the workshop:

  • What causes conflict?
  • Does conflict have value?
  • How do you use the ABC’s to resolve conflict?
  • What are the best communication tips to prevent, diffuse and resolve conflict?
  • How do we overcome our individual barriers to resolving conflict?


This session is highly interactive, audiences will first uncover the psychology behind the 3 stages of the buyer’s journey, with real-life stories and descriptive examples that illustrate each stage. Through experiential learning, the audience will create their own examples to implement how they can do this in their own business or sales cycle before they leave.

Three key takeaways for the audience
Understanding the 3 stages of The Buyer’s Journey Connect, Engage and Convert your audience will know:

  • How to trigger a sensory experience for your customer before inviting the close
  • How to build/navigate a custom journey based sale for your product/market
  • How to customer’s to convert themselves

Quantifiable Results/Case Study

  • Consistent KPI’s of 90%+
  • Improving non-profit major gifts from $96M to over $126M in 12 months

The best online marketing and advertising campaigns involve creativity and careful audience targeting. However, with new analytics tools and content sources available every day, it’s important to insure you remain in compliance with applicable laws. This session will cover basic legal considerations to keep in mind when implementing your next online marketing strategy.

Attendees will learn basics to watch out for regarding copyright, trademark, and privacy law requirements in online marketing as applied to (1) Social Media; (2) Email; (3) Paid Online Ads.

In today’s digital world, we are all fighting to make impressions on those who matter most for our organization. But marketing should be about acquiring attention and gaining traction, not just impressions. With over 5.5 Billion searches on every day, we’ll explore the power of search intent, discuss how to send thousands of visitors to your website every month and how you can motivate them to take a valuable action that moves the needle for you and your team.

Ready, Set, Launch ! This class teaches you the importance of launching .. even when you are not 100 prepared. Starting where you are and pushing forward without all the red tape of massive – time paralyzing considerations.

Main objectives:

  1. Believing in the things that scare you – (Trusting in your gut .. and listening from the inside out.)
  2. Preparing to LINK on LinkedIn
    ( Covers the importance of having a LinkedIn profile and how to set it up so you stand out.
  3. Preparing to Launch on LinkedIn.
    Once the profile is set up, you will begin to create your brand.
  4. Okay – I’m Linked – what’s next?
  5. Secrets to soar

Learn how to become an expert within your industry and become notable.


Most organizations conduct security awareness training on an annual basis as a “check the box” exercise, using lecture based materials that employees don’t connect with.  The threat landscape has changed dramatically.  In this session, we will discuss the psychological components that need to be woven into a security awareness program for it to have the best chance of changing employee behavior.

AR/MR experiences will change how people shop, eat and view data. Are you ready?
Participants will learn what GIS is and how it helps agencies analyze and share their data visually by using maps. By showcasing three GIS projects from the Child Care Resource Center (CCRC), participants will learn how online maps make it easier to share data, how story maps help engage and inspire audiences, and how a network analyst helps solve intricate routing problems (like finding the nearest child care center near a home). Participants will depart knowing which GIS software in the market is best suited for their personal and agency needs.


How much attention do you pay your middle managers? Think of the middle of an Oreo cookie – it is what holds things together and brings out the flavor in base ingredients. The middle is full of value! But there is a surprising hole in the middle of most organizations – one that you might not even be aware of. Middle managers are the glue of your business, yet they are often an overlooked asset.  They are often the ones with their ‘finger on the pulse’ and the ones who know how to navigate a range of relationships up and down the organization. If you are not empowering your middle managers, you missing a major opportunity to initiate change within your organization and leading from the middle.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Understand the value and pressures of middle management
  • Explore how to leverage the power and leadership potential of middle management
  • Discover how to help middle managers succeed
  • Explore strategies to more effectively engage middle managers 

There’s a workplace accountability crisis in our nation, but getting accountability right isn’t always easy.

Some leaders are too harsh. Some are too lenient. Others are completely disengaged from employee performance management. Striking a delicate balance between supportive leadership and accountability is the key to ensuring employees are as effective and productive as possible.

Learn from Sylvia Melena — 25-year social services veteran, management consultant, and award-winning author of “Supportive Accountability: How to Inspire People and Improve Performance” — how to equip your leadership team to strike that balance. You’ll walk away with tips, tools, and an action plan to help your leaders engage employees, promote accountability, and boost performance.

You can check out Sylvia’s book at

Digital leaders are in high demand. As organizations increasingly rely on digital technologies, tech savvy leaders who can inspire their teams are required in every job function, from operations to human resources to marketing. But how does a digital leader create effective strategies to deal with disruption caused by innovative technologies, evolving business models and a changing workforce?

What happens to teams when individuals focus only on strengths and stays within their comfort zone?

Building the bench will discuss why having staff strong in 10 key traits, builds infrastructure and an all-around skilled team allowing you to put anyone from the bench in the game!


Designing survey questions can be hard. Poorly constructed questions might not get the answers you need, but they can also deceptively lead your participants to answer in a certain way or be too confusing for them to interpret correctly. This session will teach you how to avoid common pitfalls in creating survey questions, best practices for designing survey questions, and how to get the most out of your surveys.

This presentation will discuss how to create reports and data visualizations that clearly communicate findings. During this presentation, participants will identify good and bad data visualizations, how to create more effective visualizations in excel, and how to present data to tell a story using free and low cost tools.

The Real Cost Measure is a poverty measure by United Ways of California that conveys the real cost of living for California households. In contrast to the official poverty measure, the Real Cost Measure takes into account the costs of housing, child care, health care, transportation and other basic needs the official poverty measure ignores.

In this presentation, Henry Gascon will present findings from the latest study, including a broad overview on what the Real Cost Measure looks like throughout California, including its counties and neighborhoods. We will also discuss the measure’s impact on vulnerable populations, and demonstrate new interactive tools such as our household budgets module which reveals what it cost to live in California based upon household size and geography. Following the presentation, we will engage in a conversation on how the cost of child care is impacting family well-being. Join us for this engaging conversation.

Fund/Business Development

In the age of ubiquitous disruption and unpredictable job evolution, it’s imperative that businesses and organizations focus on establishing a culture of creativity. This hands-on workshop guides you in exercises to boost your creative output and learn how to produce more innovative ideas, with relevance and novelty, while also establishing a creative culture at your workplace.

The goals of this workshop is to increase your ability to initiate, problem solve, collaborate, take risks, generate innovative ideas and increase adaptability through the creative process. Creativity is skill that can be exercised every day. Join us!

This workshop is designed for nonprofit organizations looking to diversify their funding base while still providing a positive impact in the community by selling goods or services. Learn how to identify, plan and build revenue earning programs to meet growing client needs and to help organizations better sustain their operations over the long term.

Every business and nonprofits needs a road map to plan its activities to reach its annual (and longer term) goals. This program will teach you the basic building blocks to create a working business plan and how to dispense resources among the functions optimize results.

Optimize employee attraction and retention. Build community bonds before you need them. Maximize the impact of community giving. John shares his proven tactics to conduct community research, build community intelligence, and develop long-lasting, impactful engagement. Attendees walk away ready to develop their own community intelligence and enhance their engagement.


Organizations constantly find both requirements and opportunities to collaborate, one on one or in larger groups. Collaborations may range from serving on a task force to long-term partnerships with shared goals and resources. Effective leaders set the tone for collaborations, and help them succeed. Often collaborations are offered as quick-fix, cost-saving solutions to complex problems. The reality is that they’re hard work, and involve both practical and psychological challenges.

That’s why paying attention to what we know from science and from common sense about collaborations is so important. This presentation will share eight strategies for effective collaboration, based on scientific research. And it will identify five challenges to success – such as insufficient attention to power differentials between collaborating organizations. Methods for evaluating the success of collaborations also will be discussed briefly. The session will include time for dialogue with the participants – to share their experiences and surface questions about organizational collaborations.

Driving the conversation as well as being responsive to the needs of policy-makers is at the heart of making large-scale change. This interactive session will provide an overview of connecting with legislators and policy-makers on topics that can have great impact on your customers, clients, and business. Specific examples of policy-relevant issues will be presented along with the data, and data format used to educate people on the issue. Audience members are invited to bring topics and data as we begin to craft impactful messages.

Elected officials develop their policy platforms in the context of political campaigns (i.e. before they are elected), but frequently, nonprofit advocates and philanthropy only engage with elected officials after an election. But, nonprofit advocates and philanthropy can play a key role to ensure candidates for elected office are educated on issues affecting their communities and commit to addressing those issues once elected.

This session will highlight Choose Children 2018, an ambitious candidate education effort that sought to make early childhood a key issue in the race for California governor. The session will dive into specific strategies and lessons learned from Choose Children 2018, as well as focus on the tools available to nonprofit advocates and philanthropy to influence the policy agendas of candidates for elected office.

Amy Malin, Partner at the creative agency Trueheart, will share how a powerful PSA (public service announcement) campaign can help increase donations and raise awareness for your non-profit. Over the last two decades, Amy has worked at the intersection of Hollywood and philanthropy and has been renowned for her parties with a purpose. Amy is an expert at connecting celebrities with great causes to raise millions of dollars for deserving non-profits and she creates global media campaigns that help shine a spotlight on their incredible work. Amy will discuss the importance of storytelling and creating an emotional connection with your audience, how to secure celebrities to star in your spot and current trends in PSA campaigns. Amy will also share how to capture millions of traditional media and social media impressions with a creative public relations strategy.

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