Connect NOW! Breakout Sessions


Breakout Sessions Banner 1

The UNA Annual Nonprofit Conference: Connect NOW! celebrates and strengthens the nonprofit community, nonprofit organizations, and the dedicated professionals who devote their lives to improving health, arts, the environment, education, social services, and more in Utah communities. Connect NOW! Breakout Sessions are about connecting with skills, information, experts, and friends in the nonprofit sector. The day features three different breakout session time slots, each with your choice of eight unique topics covering fundraising, finance & legal, human resources, leadership, board governance, marketing, operations, volunteer management, advocacy, and more! Spend your day learning about mindfulness, planned giving, and strategies for avoiding UBIT on Sold Goods.

Here’s how your day will unfold. You can see details about the breakout sessions below.

8:00 am - Registration and continental breakfast
9:00 am  - Welcome and Keynote
10:20 am  - Break. Please spend some time in the Expo Hall.
10:40 am - Breakout Session 1
11:40 am - Lunch and Awards Ceremony
12:40 - Break. Visit the Expo Hall
1:00 pm - Breakout Session 2
2:00 pm - Break, with cookies. Check out the Expo Hall!
2:30 pm -  Breakout Session 3
3:45 pm  - Expo Hall Opportunity Drawing
4:00 pm - Conference Ends

 First Slate of Breakout Sessions: 10:40 am – 11:40 am

Casting Your Board
Area of Interest: Board Governance
Meet staff and board leadership from small, medium, and large organizations that have built excellent governing boards to improve overall success. Learn how to successfully identify, recruit, diversify, vet new board members as well as how to set expectations, conduct orientation, and train new members. What tools are used to manage the process? Find out more about the role of advisory boards and committees in the context of meeting strategic goals and building a strong community base.
Session Type: Panel
Speakers: Julie Delong, Pathway Associates (Moderator); Carrie Romano, Ronald McDonald House Charities;  Phyllis Hockett, Pathwat Assoiciates; Frankin Morton, Park City Community Foundation; Carl Fisher, Save Our Canyons

The Making of a Thought Leader
Area of Interest: Leadership, Culture
Contrary to popular folklore, thought leaders are made, not born. For a nonprofit leader, thought leadership can help attract donors, while also building a powerful base of stakeholders in support of a cause. During this 1-hour workshop, Vanessa Wakeman will provide the foundation for building an effective thought leadership platform.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speaker: Vanessa Wakeman, The Wakeman Agency

Simple Strategies for Nonprofits--How to Integrate Planned Giving without Wearing Another Hat
Area of Interest: Fundraising and Resource Development
Non-profits operate with leadership, staff, and board members who are visionary, nimble and wear many hats each day. It is easy to find planned giving to be yet another task piled on top of the many important things that you need to accomplish. In this round table discussion, facilitated by professionals from the Utah Planned Giving Round Table (UPGRT), we explore how to integrate planned giving strategies into the fabric of your nonprofit culture without adding specialized staff members or adding more to your ‘to do’ list.
Session Type: Panel
Speakers: Joanna Johnston, BDO; Lisa R. Schneider, Raymond James & Associates; Nancy Brown, Westminster College; Rylee T. McDermott , Wells Fargo, The Private Bank

Making Your Story One to Remember: How to Show and Tell your Organization's Story to Your Audience
Area of Interest: Marketing, Communications
With all of us constantly on screens it’s hard to escape the fact that almost all information is visually-driven. We respond to visual content constantly and in fact we usually remember written text easier when it’s paired with imagery. During this session we will break down what that means for you and your nonprofit and share ways for you to visually engage with existing and potential donors.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speakers: Jocelyn Kearl, Third Sun Productions, Brent Uberty, BW Productions

Using Business as a Force for Good
Area of Interest:
Leadership, Human Resources, Operations
Learn how Cotopaxi started as a benefit corporation and how the Cotopaxi team committed from day one to leveraging a sustainable business to promote a giving model and alleviate poverty. The aim of this breakout session is to help educate nonprofits on the new wave of social and sustainable businesses and how they might approach partnerships.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speakers: Stephan Jacob, Cotopaxi; Daniela Poulsen, Cotopaxi

5 Steps to Free Yourself from Debt
Area of Interest: Personal Growth
This session will share practical, proven strategies to manage debt and will also include information about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speaker: Robert Steed, Mountain America Credit Union

Ways to Improve Volunteer Recruitment and Management – Getting the Right Volunteers When You Need Them!
Area of Interest:
Volunteer Management
We know that volunteers are a key part of helping non-profits meet their objectives and that they often provide mission critical services for non-profits. We also know that all volunteers are not the same and that our efforts to recruit the right volunteer for task at hand is as important as working with volunteers as they serve at our organizations. This session will look at challenges in volunteer recruitment and management and offer some best practice information to help overcome the challenges as well as look at some new volunteer recruiting tools that help position volunteers where you most need them. Visit before the session to see one of the tools that will be used as an example of new technology tools available to help recruit the right volunteer.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speaker: Lorna Koci, Bountiful Food Pantry

Make Sure Tax-Exempt Means Just That: How to Avoid Unrelated Business Income Tax on Product Sales
Area of Interest:
Finance & Legal, Leadership
Want to increase your earned revenue by selling products? Tread lightly! What you don’t know could hurt you. Join an attorney and CPA as they explore how product sales can cost you money and even your tax-exempt status if not properly designed. Through a variety of real-life examples, we’ll highlight how organizations are navigating this terrain and discuss strategies your organization can use to keep your product sales tax free. This session is for nonprofit staff and board members.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speaker: Bruce Olson, Ray Quinney & Nebeker; Shalaun T. Howell, Shaw & Co. P.C.

Second Slate of Breakout Sessions: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Find Mentors and Be a Great Mentee with Your Personal Board of Directors
Area of Interest: Personal Growth
Learning from other great people can be vital to your success. But how do you find and learn from these people? How do you avoid wasting their time and add value to the relationship?  In a joint presentation and discussion session, conquer your fears and explore how to create and cultivate your own personal board of directors and mentors who can guide you to the next level of success. Learn and share personal examples of impactful mentor-mentee relationships that will change your future.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speakers: Varden Hadfield, Mountainland Technical College; Apollo Burgamy, Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs

Flip the Office: Building Program Capacity through Creative Partnerships
Area of Interest: Leadership, Culture
Big mission, small staff: that's one of the critical dilemmas facing most nonprofits. One way to overcome that dilemma is to build program partnerships, especially multi-organization partnerships that include other nonprofits, for-profit organizations, and university and government agencies. However, making these partnerships work requires finding the right partners, developing programs that meet each partner's needs, and managing without a central authority. In this interactive session, we will provide a detailed case study of one ongoing, dynamic, multi-organizational partnership and provide you with the resources to build effective partnerships to achieve your own mission.
Session Type: Case Study
Speakers: Heather Darata, Isabel Gardett, and Jenny Hurst of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch

Risk Reduction from a Financial Auditor and IT Security Perspective
Area of Interest: Finance & Legal, Operations
Learn low-cost or no-cost solutions to help mitigate risk in the IT Security and General Controls environments.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speakers: Sitori Holbrook, Tanner LLC; John Pohlman, Tanner LLC

Is Your Organization REDI? Leaning into Discomfort around Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) WorkDeveloping a culture of inclusivity starts with each of us as individuals, and moves in to shared values and collective action. Let's challenge ourselves to move beyond one time trainings, cultural competency and diversity, and in to operationalizing equity and inclusion in our work. In this session, we will begin to explore where discomfort around REDI work resides (i.e, intergenerational trauma, implicit bias, culture, etc.) and how we might move through it. We will discuss the importance of building shared values with our teams, and developing a REDI lens and framework.
Speaker: Sonya Martinez-Ortiz

Advocating for State Policy: A Case Study on Utah's HCR7
Area of Interest: Advocacy & Civic Engagement
Nonprofits work hard in our community to address some of the biggest issues facing our state, but very few know how to advocate for state policy as part of a broader strategy to impact a cause or support an organization. Yet advocacy on Capitol Hill and beyond can be a great way to make a meaningful difference. In this seminar, Action Utah will provide stories and tools from the front lines developing and passing Utah's HCR7 (the first climate resolution in red state in America) as a case study to teach attendees what community and nonprofit advocacy looks like and how to make legislative change at the state level.
Session Type: Case Study/Interactive Lecture, Single Speaker
Speaker: Andrea Himoff, Action Utah

The Zen (and not so Zen) Art of Fundraising Maintenance
Area of Interest:
Personal Growth, Fundraising & Development
This panel of fundraising professionals, moderated by Jacqui Voland, Associate Director, University of Utah School of Medicine Alumni Association, will discuss ways to help fundraising professionals reduce stress and avoid burnout by answering the question, "Why did I become a fundraising professional anyway?"
Session Type: Panel
Panelists: Jacqui Voland (Moderator), University of Utah School of Medicine Alumni Association, Andrew Swindle, Waterford School, Dinny Trabert, University of Utah John A. Moran Eye Center, Eve Mary Verde, Utah’s Hogle Zoo

Using Evaluation Data to Unify Our Nonprofit Organizations
Area of Interest: Leadership, Operations
Through an interactive approach, participants will have demonstrated different formats and purposes for using evaluation data throughout the organization. From the board, to the Executive Director, to Development team staff, and to program staff, discussion will center on how to keep data simple and useful while being a unifying force that focuses all roles on the mission. This presentation will apply to organizations of every size and type.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speaker: Marianne Downing, Amy Hansen, Pathway Associates

Empowering Leadership Strategies: Breaking Down Barriers to Transparency and Collaboration
Area of Interest: Leadership, Civic Engagement/ Advocacy, Volunteer Management Civic Engagement
In this discussion-based workshop we will review lessons learned from incorporating feminist ideas of leadership and hierarchy into a mid-sized non-profit, and suggest simple practices for staff empowerment.
Session Type: Panel, Case Study
Speakers: Mara Haight, Katherine Aguilera, Laura Baumgart, Morgan Stinson, Rape Recovery Center

Third Slate of Breakout Sessions: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Mindfulness Tools: Managing Stress and Burnout
Area of Interest: Personal Growth
Burnout has recently been recognized by the World Health Organization as a legitimate medical diagnosis. Stress and related health issues are negatively impacting employees, particularly in nonprofits where support and resources are often stretched thin. Recently mindfulness has become a valuable tool in the workplace to manage stress and avoid burnout as well as optimize productivity and team cohesion. In this session we will review the substantial research demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness at work as well as try out some mindfulness techniques that can be easily practiced in almost any setting. 
Session Type: Interactive Lecture, Single Speaker
Speaker: Anna Smyth, Mindfulness Utah

Connected Boards and Staff: Leading Your Organization Together
Area of Interest: Leadership, Board Governance
This session will explore the vital role of the Board of Directors in leading your organization to reach your strategic goals for fundraising and program delivery. Participants will learn how healthy, effective board develops a positive and strong relationship with the CEO and creates a culture of philanthropy to drive the mission forward. You’ll get the viewpoints from a fundraising professional, an executive director, and a board member to discuss how accountability, communication, and clear expectations lead to a successful partnership for your organization.   
Speakers: Rob Harter, Christian Center of Park City; Amanda Ree Hughes, Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Kellie Williams; Boys & Girls Clubs of America

On the Road to the 2020 Census
Area of Interest: Leadership, Civic Engagement/ Advocacy, Volunteer Management Civic Engagement
Why the 2020 Census matters and how it affects your state, your community, you!
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speakers: Sergio Martinez, United States Census Bureau

Better Benefits, Better Employees
Area of Interest: Human Resources, Operations
We all accept that working for a nonprofit might mean lower pay, but looking at benefits we can create a community of support that might attract and retain new and young talent. Let's take a look to what Children's Service Society has done to support young parents at work.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture
Speaker: Encarnacion Gallardo, Children's Service Society

Examining Diversity, Equity, and Cultural Power Dynamics
Area of Interest: Leadership, Human Resources, Civic Engagement
This session will discuss the benefits, opportunities, and challenges surrounding diversification of staff and Boards of non-profit organizations with an emphasis on Native American views. This session is aimed at improving equity and representation across racial, religious, gender, and socio-economic divides by looking at Indigenous models and power dynamics among classes.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture with Two Speakers
Speakers: Angelo Baca, Alastair Bitsoi, Utah Diné Bikéyah, Utah Diné Bikéyah

I Speak Donor, Do You?
Area of Interest: Fundraising and Resource Development
Highly effective fundraising isn’t just about “asking people for money,” telling them about your organization’s needs, or offering public recognition. Nonprofits can get so caught up in the language of their business that they forget about the emotion of their business. Effective fundraising means communicating your mission to donors in a way that moves them, inviting them to support something about which they care deeply.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture with Two Speakers
Speakers: David Jones, Lisa Arnette, Pathways Associates

Rabbit Holes
Area of Interest: Marketing & Communications
Creating a Brand Story and Multiplying Your Marketing Effort. We've all tumbled down an online rabbit hole—one bit of information leads to a story, then a video, then to social media as we chase our curiosity hopping around the Internet. Much like a maze of critter tunnels, linear marketing no longer applies. You have to appeal to your audience no matter their point of engagement with your brand. In this breakout session, you will learn basic concepts and strategy behind content marketing. You will also learn about WTF (what the fur), a "brand story," and how to find the inspiration to create one professionally. Finally, we will identify promotion methods that make sense for your story and formulate a scalable content marketing plan.
Session Type: Interactive Lecture, Dual Speakers
Speaker: Sarina Ehrgott and Josh Loftin, Utah Department of Heritage and Arts

Utilizing Individuals with Disabilities as a Workforce Advantage
Area of Interest: Leadership, Inclusion
Expanding your workforce to include people with diverse abilities creates an inviting culture and engaged team members. In this session, you’ll learn new ways to think about disabilities, disability etiquette, supervising staff with different abilities, and become familiar with disability employment resources to help make you confident in your leadership in this important area.
Session: Single Speaker
Speaker: Leah Lobato, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation

Learn more about the speakers, panelists, and moderators here.