general session speakers

Opening Session

Wednesday, June 7, 1:00 - 2:30pm
Mozart Guerrier
Executive Director, 21 Progress

Mozart GuerrierMozart guides strategic planning, mission, and development at 21 Progress. He has spent over ten years working on social justice issues as a project manager, organizer, social worker, and teaching artist. He was most recently the co-founder of a collective impact initiative called Healthy Neighbors at Upstate Medical University, focused on developing leaders in public housing who addressed health disparities in their community. Prior to Upstate, Mozart was the community manager at Aunt Bertha, a software firm backed by Unreasonable Institute, TED, and Code for America. Aunt Bertha’s mission is the transformation of access to need-based programs in the United States for youth and families. His career has focused on supporting grassroots leaders and social justice through technology, storytelling, organizing, and systems thinking. He has spoken at the 2015 Seattle Mayors’ Youth Opportunity Summit, TEDxSyracuse, TEDxUtica, and frequently lectures on social justice and innovation at colleges (MIT, Brown, University of Rochester, UT-Austin, etc) and cultural centers across the country. He is a 50 under 40 Emerging Leader via Social Enterprise Alliance. Mozart earned a Master of Social Work from the Falk College of Human Dynamics at Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Mansfield University.


Legislative Update & National Partners Dialogue

Thursday, June 8, 8:00 - 9:30am
David Bradley
National Community Action Foundation

David BradleyDavid Bradley has been recognized as one of Washington’s leading advocates for low-income programs. He has worked with federal government representatives, members of Congress, congressional staff and key White House personnel to develop national policies dealing with low-income needs and related regulations and guidelines. David has served as a member on a number of advisory boards and commissions. He helped found and fund CAPLAW, which provides a legal support system to this anti-poverty network and is widely credited with increasing the effectiveness of all partners, federal, state and local in the Community Services Block Grant network. David established CAP-PAC, the Community Action Program Political Action Committee. This allows individuals associated with community action programs to participate in a sophisticated manner in the political process. Recently David helped create CAP Fund, which is the first venture capital fund to be established to assist CAAs in their economic development activities. Mr. Bradley continues to demonstrate the ability to make issues affecting the poor of interest to both political parties. This was clearly demonstrated in 1995 and 1996 when the House Republican Contract with America agenda called for the elimination of funding for the CSBG. David turned that challenge into an opportunity to fully discuss the Community Action network. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from George Washington University. In 1987 he was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served in President Carter’s Administration as Congressional Liaison at the Small Business Administration..

Jenae Bjelland, NCRT
National Association for State Community Services Programs

Jenae BjellandJenae is the Executive Director of the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). Prior to accepting the position of Executive Director, she was the Director of Healthy Homes for NASCSP and previously the Director of Research for NASCSP. Jenae brings fifteen years of experience in the anti-poverty and energy efficiency network - working at the local, state and national level. She is results driven, adept in analyzing process management, data, and technology needs and is certified as a National Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) trainer.

Denise Harlow, CCAP, NCRT
Community Action Partnership

Jenae BjellandDenise is the Chief Executive Officer for the Community Action Partnership. Prior to this position, she served as Interim Chief Operating Officer and the Senior Director of Training and Technical Assistance. Denise has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and governmental sectors. Prior to her tenure at the Partnership, she served as the CEO for the New York State Community Action Association, Senior Vice President for Capacity Building at the New York Council of Nonprofits and started her Community Action career as a social worker at Schenectady Community Action Program. Denise has served on several nonprofit boards of directors as was an appointee to the Governor's Early Childhood Advisory Council (NY). She has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University at Albany with a focus on nonprofit management where she was also a Fellow on Women and Public Policy at the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. Denise holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Work from Valparaiso University.


Leadership Luncheon

Thursday, June 8, 11:45am - 1:45pm
Adrienne Kimball
Culture Manager, Rubicon

Adrienne KimballAdrienne was promoted to Culture Manager in 2014, after serving as the Executive Assistant to Rubicon’s Chief Executive and Chief Program Officers for seven years. Adrienne has been instrumental in building engagement and capacity building initiatives at Rubicon, including the facilitation of several agency-wide committees and Courageous Conversations on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Adrienne is accountable for employee engagement, internal communications, and expanded pathways to leadership for people of color. Prior to Rubicon Adrienne worked as a Human Resource Manager in the Biotechnology sector. Adrienne received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from California State University, East Bay. Adrienne was awarded the Tipping Point Community 2016 Hero of the Year Award.


Strategies for Effective Advocacy in Uncertain Times

Friday, June 9, 8:00 - 9:45am
Speaker information coming soon!