"Forty Years of Growth and Influence," the much anticipated 2014 INARF Annual Conference, began on March 13 with a welcome by Board Chair Steve Sacksteder followed by a powerful keynote address by Dr. Chuck Dietzen, founder and president of Indianapolis-based non-profit Timmy Global Health. The audience was inspired by Dr. Deitzen's descriptions of people with disabilities in need, and what it takes to make a real difference in the world. The inspiration continued, as the accomplishments and contributions of members, community partners, and individuals we serve were honored at the Annual Awards Luncheon.
The first day continued with a variety of thought provoking education sessions for all areas of professional interest. Kip Backscheider shared his vision of exceptional leadership in his session, "21 Leadership Truths." Participants learned how to tame the meeting process on Len Mozzi's "From Miserable to Masterful Meetings." Later in the day, keynote speaker Dr. Chuck Dietzen brought attendees to tears in his presentation on living life to the fullest in "Life Itself is a Death-Defying Act." The day of learning and development wrapped up with the Annual Conference Reception, giving attendees the opportunity to network and unwind.
On Friday, the exhibition hall opened with 37 companies in attendance, offering a wide-range of useful products and services for the human services industry, ranging from software solutions to adaptive furniture. Participants had the opportunity to learn about these offerings while attending another full day of industry-focused educational sessions. Conference Partner Meridian Health Services hosted "Performance Measures: Understanding Their Importance in Today's Health Care World" and "Trauma and Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Connie Ferrell presented "Working on Purpose," which introduced practical tools for the development of meaningful employment for individuals with disabilities. Scott Warrick, a certified Emotional Intelligence Counselor, offered tips for dealing with challenging employee behavior in "Coaching the Hypersensitive Employee.
INARF thanks all attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors for helping make the conference a success. Look for information soon to save the date for the 2015 INARF Annual Conference!