5 reasons we loved our 2021 National Conference

By Karen Stecher 05/25/2021
5 reasons we loved our 2021 National Conference

Our National Conference is an annual opportunity for those who work at SourceAmerica network nonprofit agencies to participate in specialized training sessions, engage with others in the industry, and reinvigorate their approach to creating jobs for people with disabilities. 

The 2021 conference was a one-of-a-kind online experience that offered a little something for everyone. Here are five amazing highlights from our virtual event: 

  1. Phenomenal speakers sharing stories – We got to hear from former Paralympic skier, author, and public speaker Bonnie St. John. Award-winning author Amanda Leduc read passages from “Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space.”  And Chef Julian Rodarte demonstrated how to mix up margaritas and guacamole. Of course, event emcee Josh Sundquist (Paralympian and bestselling author) kept us all smiling with his high energy and unique sense of humor. 
  2. Outstanding participation – Nearly 800 attendees came together (virtually!) to connect with business partners and peers. Most of our sessions featured robust conversations and active chats, and many participants took advantage of the chance to schedule one-on-one meetings with each other. 
  3. Spotlight on diversity and inclusion – Our own Lawrence Adkins and Tamara Rodriguez-Hale led a deep dive into the importance of diversity and inclusion, tackling the tough topic of how to ensure everyone feels equally involved and supported in the workplace. 
  4. Honoring those who make a difference – We recognized everyday heroes for being a positive force for inclusion in the workplace. From innovation and leadership to outstanding individual contributions, our Achievement Award winners prove every day that people with disabilities are essential to our nation’s workforce. Learn more! 
  5. Serious, silly, and sentimental sessions – Of course the National Conference offered some serious training – like on budget and financial communications in disruptive times, employment growth opportunities, and regulatory requirements for nonprofits. But there were lighter moments, too! From singing along to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” during dueling pianos to focusing on self-care during desktop yoga, every session was a unique experience for attendees. (And yes – we teared up a bit during the award sessions. We own that.) 

We’re already looking forward to the 2022 National Conference in Dallas, Texas!