© Bright Futures USA 2019 Community Engagement Conference.  

Presented by: 

Be the best you: Be the Change!

Three days of encouragement and enrichment for our community's most dedicated individuals!  

The Engage Conference is Bright Futures’ most powerful event of the year!  At this dynamic 3-day event, you will hear from seemingly ordinary people who are making an extraordinary difference in their communities. You will learn solid, practical strategies that you can implement immediately, which will help you make a lasting impact in your community!  Just one community member dedicated to helping their community reach its highest potential could cause a ripple effect that eventually changes the legacy of your community.  



The Engage Conference will equip you with:

  • Tools and strategies to begin change-work immediately!  

  • Knowledge, Resources and Connections to finally step out and do something more!

  • Inspiration and motivation to do what you’ve been called to do!

  • Ways to recognize disengaged families, teachers and students, and how they are affecting our communities

  • Learn solid, practical ways to re-engage your community members in order to activate the power of EXPLOSIVE community engagement.

Don’t wait another day, or month, or year to do something to help your community!  Today is the day, and this is the conference that could change it all.

Keynote Speakers


David Staal and his son, Scott Staal

Get ready for this #Dynamic Father-Son duo #Keynote session! Stories help hearts melt open and create #SacredMoments. Well-shared slices of time—moments when simple acts changed lives—will help everyone listening to gladly leave their seats and step into a new narrative.

Authors, speakers, and nonprofit leaders @DavidStaal and @ScottStaal, bring their warm and witty story-telling to illuminate the need for #ThePowerOfOne. David is the President & CEO of Kids Hope USA, and author of six books including, “Show Up, Step out of your story and into someone else’s.” Scott is the Northwest Indiana Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the world’s largest interdenominational Christian sports ministry and co-author of the STUDENT EDITION of “Show Up, Step out of your story and into someone else’s.”

David currently serves as President & CEO of Kids Hope USA, a national non-profit organization that partners local churches with local elementary schools, and then trains the churches to provide mentors for at-risk students. Kids Hope USA is one of America’s largest faith-based mentoring programs. David began his career in corporate marketing. After thirteen years in the business world, he became the communications director for Willow Creek Community Church. This role involved hands-on leadership for Willow’s publications and creative design areas, as well as serving as the church’s media spokesperson. Following this assignment he served as children’s ministry director until he joined Kids Hope USA.


David has published six previous books, including:

Show Up (2016) by Dust Jacket Press.

Harper Collins Christian Publishing / Zondervan published his five other titles:

Lessons Kids Need to Learn (2012)

Words Kids Need to Hear (2008)

Leading Kids to Jesus (2006);

Leading Your Child to Jesus (2006)

Making Children’s Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid’s Week (2004); co-authored with Sue Miller


A graduate of Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN), he holds a BA in Communications and has completed several Executive Education courses through the University of Michigan Business School and the University of Chicago Business School. He lives in Grand Haven, MI, with his wife Becky, where he is involved in various community activities, including serving on the advisory board of Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing. David and Becky have two adult children; a son Scott, and a daughter Erin.

Scott serves as the Northwest Indiana Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes

(FCA), the world’s largest interdenominational Christian sports ministry. Upon accepting his current position, Scott became the first FCA staff member to oversee that area, building and applying focused leadership to create new programs designed for student athletes and coaches.


A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, IN), he holds a BS in Business Management with an emphasis in Philanthropic Leadership and Service. Scott played quarterback on the Valparaiso University football team; he received university and national sports academic honors for his achievements as a student-athlete. 

Priscilla McKinney

Rise Up! The Manifesto for Revolutionary  Engagement

The education and community transformation industry continues to grow. In an increasingly digital world, organizations are concerned about differentiating their brand, amplifying their thought leadership, and growing their community engagement. Being found online and creating a sustainable engagement system requires strategy and planning.

We offer up our Manifesto for Revolutionary Engagement for your consideration. You’ll discover secrets that separate the ordinary from the outstanding; the chaotic from the focused.  We’ll reveal a radical approach to organized content marketing focused on amplifying reach in an increasingly noisy marketplace and creating a predictable stream of leads - for your programs, your ideas and your need for engaged volunteers.  We'll give you insider information about how to build a system totally based on your own strategy and goals to attract your most ideal partner. This is a crash course of sorts including immediately actionable tasks to get your message in front of the right audience and organize engagement actions into a sustainable system for growth.


Lastly, we'll touch on how to build synergy across your entire organization to maximize efforts and unleash future potential. We encourage organizations of any size to sit in and discover this radical change of approach to amplify your authority, be seen by the right people and focus your engagement efforts for growth. If you’re ready to revolt against boring, sporadic and disorganized engagement this is the session for you!  Rise up and set yourself apart as a voice for the people - your people - the most ideal people you want to reach and serve.  JOIN THE REVOLUTION NOW!

LiTTLE BIRD MARKETING is a boutique marketing firm specializing in delivering premier graphics and creative ideas. We believe in solid branding before campaigning and solid campaigning around well-defined goals for profit. We are a powerhouse for the brands who know who they are but have not yet translated that well into consistent branding or profit-building strategies.


We are the home of the proprietary SOAR system - a content marketing system that delivers a firm and sustainable lead generation system for busy executives without taking them away from the rest of their job!


Specialties: branding, social media, e-commerce, graphic design, website development, inbound marketing, sales automation, lead generation, event planning, guerilla campaigns, page ranking improvement (search engine optimization services), marketing consulting and generally "making dreams come true" a la Laverne and Shirley.


Priscilla McKinney is CEO and resident Momma Bird at Little Bird Marketing. Priscilla is a catalyst. She fans the flames. For entrepreneurs, she is the "dream whisperer". No matter what your experience with Priscilla, you'll learn quickly she has a knack for connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated needs and wants. These micro connections, when combined with her team's creative work and their social expertise, become the foundation for something special in marketing.


Don't give her caffeine. She doesn't need it.


Join her on her podcast Ponderings from the Perch at https://www.littlebirdmarketing.com/podcasts/. This show is full of conversations she has along the way as a marketing principal and serial entrepreneur. Topics range from marketing best practices to the reality of running a business, managing creatives, company culture, and other marketing oddities.

Dr. Janet Dunlop

Announcing Dr. Janet Dunlop, Superintendent of Broken Arrow Public Schools as a #KeynoteSpeaker for #ENGAGE2019

Conference.  Join Dr. Dunlop as she tells of how tragedy gripped her community with two accidents that sparked the transition to a fundamental culture transformation!  More on her Keynote session to come later!

Here's the full scoop on @Dr.JanetDunlop's#Keynote. Read all the way to the end! 

In the fall of 2017, just six months after starting her term as superintendent at Broken Arrow Public Schools, the school district was hit with multiple tragedies that would initiate a #Fundamental#ParadigmShift. After a Friday night football game on Sept. 29, two junior high girls caught a glimpse of a band student hanging by one hand from a fence surrounding the top of the football stadium. They yelled up to him, “DON’T DO IT! DON’T DO IT!” Just as they finished their desperate plea, he let go. Jaymeson West, a junior at Broken Arrow High School, was killed on impact.

Conversations within the school district began to openly and unapologetically address #MentalHealthas the entire community grieved over the loss of a student who was talented both inside and outside of the classroom.
Two days later, the district experienced another heart-wrenching tragedy. Beloved middle school principal Mr. Shane Anderson was murdered in front of his wife and children by a home intruder.

Less than three months later, a band student and a cheer coach were killed in a head-on-head collision.
As sorrow gripped the Broken Arrow community, Dr. Dunlop and her team gathered together to figure out their next steps in offering additional counselors and mental health resources to students and families.

While Dr. Dunlop was out on a jog, it hit her. The district needed to create a culture exemplifying a ‘#FamilyAtmosphere’ that allows people to flourish, even in tragedy. 

In the aftermath of these heartbreaks, Broken Arrow Public Schools created four #CoreValues aimed at changing the #Culture of the entire district. They needed a culture that lovingly wrapped its arms around people, both in the best and worst of times. They needed an environment that focused on relationships and student wellbeing. They needed values to support the district’s vision of 100 percent literacy, engagement, graduation – EVERY student, every day.

Now nearly two years later, these core values are becoming a way of life.

Please join Dr. Dunlop for this keynote session to learn more about building #CoreValues around a noble cause. She will focus on the importance of a relationship-focused philosophy. She will tell you how she led her district in a movement that changed the very way they thought about their school district, which is better known now as the ‘Broken Arrow family.’ Her powerful voice is sure to do nothing less than compel you to initiate a positive change as well.

About Dr. Dunlop: 

Dr. Janet Dunlop has been in the field of education since 1991, starting her career as an English teacher. Dr. Dunlop has been with Broken Arrow Public Schools for more than eight years, serving as the executive director of curriculum, chief academic officer, associate superintendent of instruction and, now, as superintendent of schools.

During her time with the instructional division, she facilitated a districtwide literacy initiative resulting in significant increases in elementary literacy achievement, which received recognition by the National Reading Recovery Council. This literacy initiative helped develop Broken Arrow Public Schools’ mantra of “100 percent Literacy, Engagement, Graduation – Every Student, Every Day,” which provides a goal for every student and employee. From there, she established four core values that emphasize a family-centered school culture.

She also led efforts to form a partnership with Tulsa Technology Center and the Broken Arrow Manufacturing Alliance. This collaboration between the district, post-secondary educational institutions and business partners is creating a pipeline of highly skilled manufacturing certifications on the Broken Arrow High School campus while also generating pathways for every graduating senior.

In her first 18 months as superintendent, she joined forces with Tulsa Community College and Northeastern State University Broken Arrow to create a 2+2 Dual Degree program for students to graduate high school while simultaneously earning an associate degree at little to no cost to parents.

In addition, she collaborated with her leadership team to complete Phase I of the $370 million bond issue passed in 2015 and is working to complete the High School Configuration Study that will establish a road map for the future of Broken Arrow High School.

She represents the state of Oklahoma on the National College Board Advisory Council, and serves as the chairperson for the Tulsa County Area Superintendents’ Association. In addition, she represents Broken Arrow Public Schools on State Superintendent Hofmeister’s Advisory Council and the State of Oklahoma Accountability and Assessment Task Force.

In 2016, she was named as the Oklahoma Assistant Superintendent of the Year by the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration and the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators. In 2017, she received the Women’s Community Impact Award at the Broken Arrow Chamber’s Successful Women’s Luncheon

Schedule at a Glance

Day 1: Wednesday, February 27th

11 a.m. - Registration, Check-in

1 p.m. - Opening General Session

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Kick-off Keynote Speaker 

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. - Breakout Sessions

Day 2: Thursday, February 28th

7:00 - 8:30 a.m. - Registration, Check-in

8:00 - 9:50 a.m. - Opening General Session

10:00 - 12 p.m. -  Workshop Sessions

12:15 - 2:45 p.m. - General Session Lunch with "Best 

                              Practices Panel" followed by Keynote


2:45 - 3:00 p.m. - Break

3:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Workshop Sessions

Day 3: Friday, March 1st

8:00 - 9:40 a.m. - General Session

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Breakout Sessions 

11:05 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. - Closing Keynote Speaker


Who Should Attend?

  • School District Teachers, Leadership, Admin & Staff

  • Guidance Counselors

  • PR & Communication 

  • Community Members

  • Faith-based Organizations

  • Chambers of Commerce

  • City Officials, Social Workers

  • Parents

  • Change makers

  • Dreamers



Join us to discover how disengaged families, teachers and students are affecting our communities.  Also learn solid, practical ways to re-engage your community members in order to activate the power of EXPLOSIVE community engagement.


  • 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Registration

  • 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Opening General Session, Keynote Speakers David and Scott Staal, Father & son

  • 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Break

  • 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Breakout Sessions

    • David & Scott Staal Q & A on how to effectively work with Churches and Schools

    • Small Town Stitch Fix (Meeting Basic Needs)

    • Hidden Gems in Facebook for Businesses (Marketing)

    • Bright Futures 101.  What is Bright Futures? (All About Bright Futures) 

    • Going Beyond the Basics.  (Programming & Service Learning)


  • 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. - Registration 

  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. - General Session, Keynote Speaker Dr. Janet Dunlop

  • 10:00 a.m. - Noon - Workshops

    • But Facebook Isn't Enough... (Marketing)

    • Volunteer Recruitment & Retention (Volunteers)

    • Just Imagine Kansas (Service Learning)

    • Trust-Based Relational Intervention (Mentorship)

    • C.R.I.S.P. Leadership (Leadership)

  • 12:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. - General Session Lunch and "Best Practices Panel" followed by Keynote Speaker Priscilla McKinney (Lunch will be provided)  

  • 2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Break 

  • 3:00 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Workshops

    • Just Imagine Kansas (Service Learning) 

    • How to Create a Mentorship Program (Mentorship)

    • Which Key Fits? (Leadership/Personality Profiling) 

    • Setting Up Your 501 (c) 3 (Financial Management/Administrative) 

    • Setting SMART Goals that Matter (Strategic Planning)


  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. - The Gold Mine Session features up to 10            round tables on a variety of Bright Futures "best practice" 15 minute presentation/Q&A. Participants will rotate tables four times, with the same presentation repeated for a different group each time

  • 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - Break 

  • 9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. - Breakout Sessions

    • There are no "Impossible Problems"

    • Creating, Maintaining & Sustaining a Donation Center 

    • How to Plan To 'Help People More and Help More People"

    • Lise - Kids Hope USA - Engaging the Faith Community

    • It Takes a Village: Regional Collaboration - Creating a Larger, Stronger Network

    • Training Someone to Take Over as Coordinator

  • 10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Break  

  • 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Breakout Sessions 

    • Sleep In Heavenly Peace

    • How to Integrate Service Learning into the School Year

    • Changes - How to Keep Your Advisory Board Fresh and Engaged & Dealing With a New Superintendent

    • Breaking Through the "Handout" Perception

    • What About the Money?

    • Small Town Hustle: How the Bright Futures Framework works in Rural Communities

  • 11:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. - Closing General Session​ with Carrie Caruthers, Bright Futures USA and Sara Stipkovis, Attorney at Law 

We Are



Breakout Sessions

Keep your eye out here, or subscribe at the bottom of the page for updates! 

We will have an exciting line-up of breakout sessions AND workshops for you. 

  • Breakout sessions will be dynamic, high-energy and informational.  Join us as key experts in the field talk about exciting topics that will be relevant to your day-to-day work in your communities!  

  • Workshops will be highly interactive.  These will not be your typical lecture-style sessions.  Join presenters from around the United States to learn practical, necessary skills that are relevant to your work!  

Going Beyond the Basics

As a seasoned Bright Futures Affiliate, Bright Futures Miami has went beyond meeting the basics.  In this Breakout Session, Madeline Highsmith, Bright Futures Miami Coordinator, will discuss their newly revised “Operation College Bound’ Initiative, their “Serve to Skip” Initiative, and others Initiatives that are meeting critical student needs but might not be considered ‘basic.’     Join her to learn about the framework for these initiatives and how you too can implement them!

Here are three that she will discuss in depth:

  • Senior Serve and Skip Day: Senior Serve and Skip Day is a new spin on the traditional Senior Skip Day. During the Serve and Skip Day students participated in 3 hours of community service throughout Miami in the morning, then they were allowed the afternoon to “skip”.  Some of the locations students volunteered at include: the Animal Shelter, Boys and Girls Club, Teachers Toolbox, Miami Public Schools, the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department, and the Senior Center. The purpose of this event is to give students a reminder of the importance of giving back to their community. Also, our hope is that it inspires students to strive to continue to serve their community in the future.

  • NEO College Bound Day: All of the Freshmen at MHS were given the opportunity to have a full college experience at NEO in May. Students attended a wide variety of activities including; a mock classroom experience, classes about financial aid and OLAP, participating in asking questions to a college panel, touring the college campus, eating in the dining hall, attending a NEO college football tailgate and game, and so much more. The NEO College Bound Trip gave students a well-rounded introduction and experience of the college life. The purpose of the trip is to get the conversation about college started early in a student’s high school career and inspire them to make college part of their path.

  • Career and Health Fair: The Career and Health Fair was an event where all students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade attended. During this event 43 local businesses in Miami participated. Each business set up their own table that displayed information about what they did, along with goodies for each student. Students were able to go around to each of these business’ tables and engage in conversations about their business. The purpose of this event was to expose students to a variety of jobs while gaining new knowledge about different careers. Also, we hoped to spark student’s interest in thinking about their future and what they want to be when they grow up.

Join Jill Filer, Director of Communications for Harrisonville Schools, for the "Hidden Gems for Businesses in Facebook: Maximize Overall Efforts by Utilizing these FREE Facebook Functions" Breakout Session.


Learn how to create a fully developed page; how to use the page publishing tool and various tips for text, graphic, and video posts; about Facebook News Feed, Scheduling Posts and so much more!

Announcing TWO Workshops: 'C.R.I.S.P. Leadership' and 'Which Key Fits...' presented by Key Solutions.

In the '#CRISPLeadership' workshop, Key Solutions will #Energize current and potential #Leaders. Participants will learn what C.R.I.S.P. leadership is; how they can integrate it into what they are doing; and how it will help them reach their goals. Various #Leadership topics will be discussed including Teamwork, Communication, and Building Positive Culture.

In the '#WhichKeyFits...How to Help Different Personalities Work Together Effectively' workshop, Key Solutions will walk participants through an "unscientific" personality profile that will help them to identify how they and their colleagues look at #SolvingProblems. Key Solutions will take participants a step further by focusing on others, not just the participant. They will help participants understand how and why people do, say, and act the way they do in order to better understand the other's perspective. Join them in this workshop to learn how to identify other individual's #Strengths, and how to best utilize those strengths.

Breaking Through the "Handout Perception

Have you ever pondered how to slash the false perceptions and myths around providing 'helps' for others? Are you running into funding, donor, or volunteer issues because of these false perceptions? Join us for this exciting Breakout Session with Nancy Mango, MSW and social worker for over 30 years to learn how to counteract these misconceptions, and how to gain community supports by using the information provided in this breakout session.

Join Nancy Mango, MSW, and Social Worker for over 30 years to learn how to help potential donors, volunteers and board members understand who our Bright Futures students and families are, and why the community should invest in them. Mango will discuss various myths people form about helping others and teach how to counteract those misconceptions; she will also address how to gain supports in the community by educating community members with the information provided in this breakout session. Four main points that she will touch on are empathy vs sympathy, situational vs chronic poverty, poverty is not just financial, poverty isn't linear.

Let's Get Creative: Self-FUN-ded Fundraising - A Murder Mystery Dinner Theater 

Need funds? Need a creative way to showcase students? Join Becky Orf, Mother of seven, School Counselor from Bowling Green R1 School District, and Founder/President of The Libota Project in this Breakout Session to find out how to do both in a very unique way! Orf will share the framework so you, too, can put on a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater event, or something similar. Learn how she spearheaded this initiative that raised $8,000 for her Bright Futures Affiliate Community. Not only this, participants will learn how she was able to solicit donations for almost everything that was needed to put on this event including food, decorations, actors, props, advertising, servers, and more.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater was an actual event that Bright Futures Bowling Green successfully held in October of 2018 to raise money for their Affiliate Community. It was a night of food, fun and mystery! All proceeds from the event went to Bright Futures Bowling Green. They were able to provide child care at not cost. This was a sold out event!

Small Town 'Stitch Fix' - How to use a 'personal styling' model to meet Middle & High School Student's Clothing Needs

For this #BrightFuturesAffiliateCommunity, meeting basic needs for Elementary students came much easier than those in Middle and High School. Here, the older students were hesitant to accept donated clothing possibly for fear of being ostracized, embarrassment, or being labeled in a negative manner by their peers. Thus forcing this Affiliate to answer a hard question, “How do you get Middle and High School students with basic clothing needs to take and wear the gifted items?” Although the gifted clothing items were like-new or brand-new, the students in unclean, ill-fitting clothes didn’t seem to readily accept and use these items.

Shonna Morrison, Joyce Cox and other members of Bright Futures Gallatin’s Site Council put their heads together and came up with a solution that has created a paradigm shift: Black and Red Threads. Black and Red Threads is modeled after ‘Stitch Fix,’ a personalized shopping experience based on specific styles as selected by the customer. 
After implementing this initiative, not only were the older student’s needs getting met, the students were also getting connected with a caring adult in the community. Join Shonna and Joyce to learn about this initiative, and how it is changing the lives of their students.

Making an Impact When #Trauma Affects Your Students: The #Mentoring Relationship and Trust-Based Relational Intervention

When students face trauma at a young age, their undeveloped, immature coping mechanisms fail entirely to help them navigate the stresses experienced at school and in relationships. Thus, they begin operating from a constant state of fight, flight, freeze. Therefore, traditional relational methods often [unintentionally] reinforce their trauma story.

Join Melissa Streeter Winston, MSMFT, LMFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in this workshop to learn about what types of events are considered traumatic and how to spot the effects of such events in the lives of your students/mentees; learn what it looks like when a student is operating from a state of fight, flight, freeze; learn various #TraumaInformed’ terminology and techniques to become more trauma aware, trauma informed, and trauma sensitive; learn how to use the information presented to coach volunteers and mentors in methods that will build new, healthy neuropathways towards success for the students/mentees that they serve; and finally, learn how to use TBRI, Trust-Based Relational Intervention: A Systemic Approach to Complex Developmental Trauma

Small Town Hustle: How the Bright Futures Framework looks in Rural Communities

At first, some might think that the Bright Futures Framework wouldn’t work in a small town with scarce resources. Join members of Bright Futures Trenton to learn how their community has overcome this false perception. With a population of just 6,000 and NO Walmart, Bright Futures Trenton was proud to say that they were able to send EVERY student back-to-school with everything they needed as Bright Futures partners pulled together and pooled their resources under the #BrightFuturesFramework.


In this breakout session, participants will learn from Bright Futures Trenton’s practical experience to learn how to use the Bright Futures Framework to be smarter with current community resources in rural communities. Join them to hear success stories on how they have implemented weekend food packs despite being out of the range to receive free weekend backpacks such as some of the larger Bright Futures Affiliate Communities do; how to gain support of key community partners in a small town; how to creatively match and ask partners for specific needs: how the power of just one volunteer has impacted the overall framework; and many more nuggets of wisdom they have learned over the last 1 ½ years after their initial kick-off event.

Creating, Maintaining and Sustaining a Donation Center

One of the most frequently met basic need in our Bright Futures Affiliate Communities is clothing. As the demand for clothing grows, the need heightens for a solid initiative that supports the collection and distribution of clothing in your Affiliate Community. Some Affiliate Communities may consider implementing an on-site Bright Futures Donation Center for the intake of such goods, to store them, and then redistribute as needed.

Join 6-year Bright Futures veterans, Dale Peterson and Susan Dunaway Peterson. Learn how their Bright Futures Donation Center, “Darla’s Room,” has waxed and waned over these 7 years. From meeting initial ‘start-up’ needs, to dealing with an influx in needs and resources due to a natural disaster, to the sustainable meeting needs 5+ years after the crisis; learn how each time period demanded different staff, volunteer, and process requirements; learn from their practical experience what options are available for your Affiliate Community; learn processes for intake of goods, storage, and distribution; suggestions on how to organize clothing; the importance of clear communication when asking for items; best practices on purchasing or fulfilling immediate needs from a donation center; and so much more!

Dale is the Coordinator of Community Engagement for Joplin Schools and Interim Director of Bright Futures Joplin.

Dale began his time at Joplin Schools just days after the 2011 Joplin Tornado.  Since that time, he has coordinated thousands of volunteers in Joplin Schools.  Dale attended Missouri Southern and Ozark Christian College and brings a wealth of experience from a wide spectrum of industries.  Dale is a “whatever it takes” team player and serves with his whole heart. He brings a logistical mind and is fantastic at drawing the best out of every person with whom he serves.  Dale is married to Susan, and together they have two adult children and five beautiful grandchildren.


Susan volunteers with Bright Futures Joplin and oversees Darla’s Room Donation Center.   Dale still coordinates the Joplin Schools’ volunteer program and is the Interim Director of Bright Futures Joplin. He oversees Lunch PALS, Snack Packs, TREK, and meeting student’s immediate needs and other needs as they arise.

Join Lise Cook, Regional Executive Director in Texas for Kids Hope USA for THREE amazing sessions:

Volunteer Recruitment/Retention Workshop

Participants will learn best practices for Volunteer Recruitment and Retention from a top expert in the field, Lise Cook, Regional Executive Director in Texas for Kids Hope USA.


Mentorship Workshop

Lise will walk participants through the Kids Hope USA’s Mentorship process.   This is a 9-step process that has been proven to be effective and efficient. Join her to learn how you can improve your current process or implement a process immediately.


Engaging the Faith Community Breakout Session

Too many students stand just one close adult relationship away from thriving in school and in life. This gap hinders education; loneliness obstructs learning. Yet every church’s most abundant resource is people.

Join Lise in this exciting workshop to learn how to effectively engage your faith-based community.


Kids Hope USA

Kids Hope USA provides structure, training, support, and resources designed for use in public schools by churches to give kids what they need most—hope and love from a mentor.  Kids Hope USA believes that: together, we can make a life-long difference. In every school, in every community. One young heart at a time.


Lise Cook

Lise Cook attended Trinity Bible Church for 16 years and served five years as the Kids Hope USA director there. Prior to being the KHUSA director, she served as the children’s director for 4 years. Since seeing the impact Kids Hope USA has had on children, she has been passionate about spreading the vision of Kids Hope USA to recruit more volunteers and ministries, and ultimately make more hours happen for more KHUSA children.

Lise and her husband of over 31 years, William Cook, grew up in Fort Worth where they went to high school together. Lise stayed in Fort Worth to attend Texas Christian University while William went away to college. After dating seven years, they were married. Lise pursued a career in fashion and marketing until they adopted their first daughter.

They are also the proud parents of two daughters, Addison and Annie.

“Who are you?” asked Miss. Tims. “I work at Pizza Hut,” one said. “I will be the town DJ,” another said. “I work at the bank,” a third fourth-grade student said. Three weeks into their five-week long economic-focused curriculum, each student was understanding their role in the city more and more. In just two weeks the students would be submerged into their “Just Imagine Kansas” City Simulation. The students were hustling and bustling around the classrooms preparing price lists; ordering and counting inventory for their stores; business managers were getting their employee’s checks signed; employees were learning how to write out a bill of sale on a receipt pad, and how to count back correct change in a cash transaction; also, the simulation’s governor was preparing an opening speech.

Join Babs Tims, Tyanna Maiseroulle, and Adam Brown, Fourth Grade Teachers at Lakeside Elementary School in Pittsburg, KS for this exciting Workshop: Before Service Learning at the Elementary Level: Immersive Project-Based Learning.

Participants will learn how to implement immersive project-based learning at the elementary level that correlates with curriculum requirements as a precursor to service learning. You will be inspired as you hear how they have infiltrated their #Curriculum with project-based learning opportunities such as #JustImagineKansas,   #YellowStoneNationalPark, and #Route66. Participants will learn how to implement project-based learning opportunities in their schools; why project-based learning is an amazing precursor for service learning in higher grades; and how to coordinate service learning projects with project-based learning in elementary grades: and much more.

Tims and former co-worker, Joan Barbieri , were the Lakeside teachers that  developed the concept for the Just Imagine economic simulations in conjunction with Pittsburg State University’s Students in Free Enterprise (now called Enactus USA)

Students in Free Enterprise is a “not –for-profit” organization supported by individuals, foundations, and corporations whose mission is to build collegiate SIFE Teams who teach free enterprise in order to better individuals, communities, and countries.

The fourth grade teachers were awarded mini -grants in 1997-98 from SIFE that were used to support their classroom teaching of economics. They were approached by the organization, soon after, to write a curriculum for an economic mobile child centered community that would teach the free enterprise system to fourth and fifth graders.  SIFE had money from the Manco Company to fund the project. The name “Just Imagine” was used as it was a big part of this company’s mission statement.

The first simulation was a smaller scale version,  held in the school gymnasium with forty students but continued to grow and be more inclusive to area students.  There were many stages and versions of Just Imagine since its inception. It has been called Just Imagine City, World and now Kansas.

Thousands of students have been involved with this project having been used with area fifth –eighth grade students.  It was the recipient of the International SIFE Award Best Economic project. The simulation was funded by a School to Career grant at Greenbush Educational Center for seven years and was a yearly week long simulation for Southeast Kansas students and teachers. The present version of Just Imagine Kansas is now in the fifth year and is always held on January 29th the birthday of Kansas.  

Announcing a NEW Breakout Session!! Coordinators, you won't want to miss this one if you are thinking about making the transition from one Coordinator to another. 

Learn from a past coordinator who handed the reins over to a new Coordinator AND also learn from a NEW Coordinator to hear about her experience on taking over the reigns.

Here is the official Breakout Description:

Training Someone to Take over (as Coordinator):
Join Tracie Hicklin Skaggs as she shares how she started and grew the Bright Futures Framework in her community, and how she ‘handed’ it off to someone else as the need became necessary. ​ Participants will also hear how to make these same transitions from DeeDee Dowell, a new coordinator that stepped into a mature Bright Futures program. ​Participants in this breakout session will learn how to transition smoothly when one coordinator leaves and another one comes on board; they will receive a guideline that departing coordinators can leave for the new coordinator; and so much more!​​

Tracie Skaggs is the Public Relations Director at Carl Junction Schools in Missouri. In 2010, Carl Junction joined the Bright Futures network as their first affiliate and Tracie took on the responsibility of growing the Bright Futures program. In 2016 Bright Futures – Carl Junction was named the Affiliate of the Year.


Tracie is graduate of the University of Louisiana, Monroe (MA) and Missouri Western State University (BA). Tracie serves on the Board of the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity and the Carl Junction Educational Foundation. She enjoys spending time with her family, photography, reading, hiking and working in her yard.

DeeDee Dowell has been the Bright Futures Neosho Coordinator for one year.  She has lived in Neosho, MO for her whole life. Her and Larry, her husband of 30 years, raised their family in Neosho.  Larry is a 3rd grade teacher in one of the local elementary schools.  Prior to joining the Neosho School District, DeeDee owned a Salon for 16 years.  As that career was coming to an end in 2017, DeeDee had the opportunity to step into the roll as Bright Futures Coordinator and thus taking over one of the first Bright Futures Cornerstone Initiatives.  DeeDee feels blessed and privileged to serve and help meet the basic needs of Neosho’s youngest citizens.

What about the money? Do we need money? Where do we get money from? Where do we put our money? How do we account for our money? How should we spend out money? How much money do we need?


Do you have money questions? Join this group from Bright Futures Clinton to learn about numerous aspects of the financial side of the Bright Futures Affiliates. They will discuss fundraising and grants; options on where to house your money; how to decide where and when to spend your money and who can or cannot access it along with other steps that you can put in place to use as checks and balances; how to anticipate upcoming needs and much more!

Michael X. Edgett is an Attorney at Law in Clinton, MO at Cason, Edgett, Mahan and Lutjen.

He was born Spokane, Washington in June of 1950.  He was admitted to the Missouri bar in 1977 and been practicing law in Clinton ever since.  Mike is AV rated, and a member of the Missouri Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Missouri Trial Lawyers Association, and the 27th Judicial Circuit Bar Association.  Mike has a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Masters Degree from the University of Central Missouri. He attended Law School at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Before attending law school Mike was an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri.  He is also a member and past President of the Henry County Bar Association; the Missouri Bar; Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and American Association for Justice.


Mike has served on the Board of Directors of The Clinton Samaritan Center for more than 30 years, and was Board President during construction of their present facility.  He is a life member of the Clinton Sunrise Optimist Club and is the past distinguished President. Mike is also a 32 year member of the Knights of Columbus. Mike is currently on the Board of Directors of the Henry County Health Department Community Wellness initiative. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Education Foundation for Clinton Students.  He is a founder of Bright Futures Clinton and past Chairman and present Treasurer of the Bright Futures Advisory Board.


Mike received the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award in 2014.

He was awarded the Friend of Education Award by the Clinton School District in 2015.

He was a finalist for the Bright Futures USA Community Champion Award in 2016.


Mike is a member of Holy Rosary Catholic church.  He is passionate about helping others, meeting children’s needs and serving the Clinton community.

"It Takes a Village: Regional Collaboration - Creating a Larger, Stronger Network"

Collaboration is an important key to success. The Bright Futures framework provides that opportunity by bringing together many partnership areas. However, think of the possibilities if you could expand that network. Come hear how a group of Bright Futures affiliates collaborate on a regular basis to expand and improve their work in their communities. The group shares with, listens to, discusses with, and borrows from each other to engage their individual communities to ensure success for all their children. Come hear how this regional collaboration works during this breakout session.

This session will be presented by Jill Filer, Director of Communications for the Harrisonville School District, and Dr. Brad Welle, Deputy Superintendent at Grain Valley School District.

"Preparing for the Unexpected"

In 2017 the Neosho School District faced two natural disasters after Flash Flooding devastated a neighborhood surrounding Benton Elementary, and a tornado struck Goodman Elementary which displaced 400 students and faculty.

Natural disasters can happen at any time in any community. We’ll discuss resources, tools, plans, and actions to quickly respond and recover from crises and disasters.


Sleep In Heavenly Peace - A nonprofit that builds beds for kids who don't have a bed of their own and delivers them fully furnished.

Sleep In Heavenly Peace is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization that builds hand crafted beds and delivers them fully furnished to children who do not have a bed of their own to sleep in. Our focus is finding children who sleep in unfavorable conditions and engaging community volunteers to help serve this unmet need. Our mission statement is: NO KID SLEEPS ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN!

We have a WHOLE line-up of breakout sessions and workshops JUST for YOU, Coordinators or potential Coordinators. You won't want to miss these ones to be presented by Dr. CJ Huff, Founder of Bright Futures USA!

*Bright Futures 101 description: Each year our children come to our schools with greater needs while at the same time there are fewer and fewer resources to meet those needs. Finding more resources and quickly filling those growing needs is the challenge. In this session learn how to engage your whole community in this effort through the Bright Futures framework.

*Bright Futures 102: If you are interested in learning how to get Bright Futures started in your community this workshop is for you! Hear directly from Dr. C.J. Huff, founder of Bright Futures, to learn the history of how Bright Futures got started in Joplin, Missouri, and what you need to do to implement the framework in your community. This session will be very informal and provide an opportunity to have the dialogue you need to answer questions and start down the path to become a part of the Bright Futures continued on network.

*Setting SMART Goals That Matter: A common struggle for advisory boards is the on-going challenge of maintaining a focus while being pulled in many different directions. Establishing measurable goals can help bring clarity to your important work, create opportunities to celebrate milestones, provide talking points to share with your community and open doors to potential funders and grant opportunities. In this interactive session you will learn how to develop, implement and measure goals that will provide the focus you need and measurable results demonstrating the value of your Bright Futures efforts in your community.

*Changes - How to Keep Your Advisory Board Fresh and Engaged & Dealing With a New Superintendent: Have you had changes in volunteer leadership on your advisory board or school administration? Are you looking for strategies to help make the transition smoother? Join Dr. CJ Huff as he helps provide practical solutions to challenging transitions!

Change Makers, this conference is for you!


Register Now


Feb 27, 2019, 7 PM - Mar 01, 2019, 1 PM


Blue Springs Christian Church, 7920 MO-7, Blue Springs, MO 64014

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Have a large group to register?  Fill out this form and send to melissa@brightfuturesusa.org instead of having to register each one individually.

Need a W-9? --- email melissa@brightfuturesusa.org


Near by Hotels

900 NW S. Outer Rd., Blue Springs, MO 648015
4048 S. Lynn Ct., Independence, MO
1500 NE Coronado Dr., Blue Springs, MO 64014

Sponsorship Opportunities

Conference Platinum Sponsor Package
There will be one Platinum Sponsor.  The Platinum Sponsor will be acknowledged as the premium sponsor of the event, enjoying maximum exposure both before and during the ENGAGE Conference, with the highest priority of branding in all documentation and on-site signage. The Platinum Sponsor will also be acknowledged as the exclusive sponsor of the Opening General Session – which will take place on the first day of the conference (Wednesday, February 27) and the Workshop Presenters and Speakers Lounge, ensuring a high level of sponsor exposure to the experts, speakers, and leadership over the three days of ENGAGE 2019.

Conference Gold Sponsor Package - $5,000 

ENGAGE 2019 will have two Gold Sponsors, who will benefit from excellent exposure both before and during the Conference, with the second-highest priority of branding in all documentation and on-site signage (after Platinum Sponsor). The benefits common to each Gold Package are shown below, with the exclusive elements pertaining to each specific package following afterwards.

Benefits Included:

  • Recognized as major Conference sponsor, with 2nd highest priority branding among sponsors

  • Opportunity to develop and present one session on relevant and timely topic (topic to be selected in conjunction with Conference Content Event Staff)

  • Official recognition and gratitude of sponsor at Conference Opening and Close

  • Advanced logo recognition on Conference website homepage and sponsor section, with link

  • Logo on walk-in/out slide loop at Conference opening and closing sessions

  • Recognition in Conference Program, including logo

  • Half-page print advertisement in Conference Program (prime position)

  • Promotion to media and press outlets as a major sponsor of ENGAGE 2019

  • Opportunity for small brochure inserts in attendee welcome bags

  • A minimum of 10 social media mentions prior to, during, and post conference

  • Merchandising Option: Opportunity to include a bag insert in the Conference Packet given out to all attendees at the registration desk

  • Access to attendee list including mailing and email addresses pre- and post-conference for one mailing

  • Conference fee scholarship to cover the cost of five individuals on behalf of sponsor

  • One complimentary VIP ENGAGE 2019 registration, which includes access to special luncheons, two Dine & Learn Dinners, and any other exclusive happenings. 

Still Available! 

Event Lunch Sponsorship

Mid‐day will be a popular and exciting time as event attendees break for lunch. The visibility is exceptional, and your sponsorship will be greatly appreciated by hungry attendees!



Benefits Included:

  • Your company thanked by the emcee before and after lunch

  • Your company logo on the presentation screen during lunch

  • Your company listed on printed conference agenda as sponsor of lunch

  • Option to host a raffle and giveaway during the lunch and make remarks from podium

  • Company name on pre/post slide loop

  • Recognition on event website

  • Multiple social media mentions during event

  • One complimentary event registration

Sponsorship Cost

The cost of the ENGAGE 2019 Event Lunch Sponsorship is $750.

T-shirt Sponsorships

Our popular conference t-shirts are coveted by attendees.  We know that many attendees wear these t-shirts year-round, for many years in fact.  Prominently display your company name/logo throughout the year in a variety of schools and communities throughout the United States by sponsoring these shirts.


There are 3 levels to choose from.

  1. Platinum (1 available)

  2. Gold (2 available)

  3. Silver (5 available)

Benefits Included:

  • Logo/recognition on t-shirts distributed to attendees and sponsors

  • Recognition on conference website

  • Sponsorship priority at next year’s conference

Sponsorship Cost

The cost of the Platinum T-shirt Sponsorship is $1,000. The Cost of the Gold

T-shirt Sponsorship is $500. The cost of the Silver T-shirt Sponsorship is $250.

Wi-Fi Sponsor

Help all conference attendees get connected at the conference as the official

Wi-Fi sponsor.

Benefits Included:

  • Company name on pre/post slide loop at General Sessions

  • Recognition on conference website

  • Signage at registration table

  • Company name used as password at conference

  • Multiple mentions on CEC 2017 social media during event

  • Sponsorship priority at next year’s conference


Sponsorship Cost

The cost of the Conference Wi-Fi Sponsorship is $1,500.

Custom Sponsor

Would you like to sponsor this event, but do not see an option that fits what you are looking for?  Please contact melissa@brightfuturesusa.org to discuss possibilities.  


Sponsorship Cost

The cost of the Custom Sponsor will vary depending on your needs.

Vendors wanted!  

Would you like to support this event by offering a special service or item to our  guests at a booth?  This opportunity is for you!  

We will be accepting vendor applications until spots are filled.  Reserve your spot today!  Vendors will sign-up by clicking the "Sponsor Now" button.  

Sponsorship opportunities will fill up quick! Fill out the sponsor/vendor form by clicking the button above.  If you have additional questions, please contact melissa@brightfuturesusa.org  

ENGAGE 2019 Custom Sponsor 

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