2011 Conference - Speakers

Gloria Horsley MFC CNS Ph.D. and Heid Horsley MSW Psy.D.

Keynote: Finding Hope After The Loss of a Spouse. In this multimedia presentation Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley will share their story of the death of their son and brother, Scott, and how their loss lead them to start the Open to Hope Foundation, the largest on-line grief support site in the world.

Heidi and Gloria’s presentation includes introspective interviews of those they have met through their their radio show, Foundation work, and web site…especially those spouses who have gone on to not only survive, but thrive, in spite of devastating loss!

This highly recognized, dynamic mother-daughter team will also share poignant stories of hope and resilience as they reflect upon their years of experience with hundreds of 9/11 families they have worked with.

Please join us for this inspirational presentation that will motivate those who have suffered the loss of a spouse, and as well, those looking for hope and healing.

Presentation #2: How do I know if it’s Grief or Depression? When you lose someone you love, it is natural to feel pain and grief. The grief process is a very normal response, after a loss. However, in some cases the pain is so great that constant feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness permeate one’s life. In this workshop you will learn the difference between normal grief and clinical depression, and learn how to recognize warning signs that may indicate suicidal tendencies in yourself or in those you love.

Gloria Horsley MFC CNS Ph.D.
Dr. Gloria Horsley is the Founder and President of the Board for the Open to Hope Foundation and is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Gloria co-hosts the syndicated internet radio show, “Open to Hope,” which is one of the top ranked radio shows on the Internet. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a member of the Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and media spokesperson.

Gloria has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including The Today Show. In addition, she has authored a number of articles for professional journals and written several books including Teen Grief Relief: Parenting with Understanding, Support and Guidance; Real Men do Cry: A Quarterback’s Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss; In-Laws: A Guide to Extended Family Therapy; The In-Law Survival Guide; Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice; and Open to Hope – Inspirational Stories of Life, Loss and Love. Gloria earned her degrees at the University of Rochester, Syracuse University, and Greenwich University. She is the bereaved parent of Scott, 17.

Heidi Horsley MSW Psy.D.
Dr. Heidi Horsley is a licensed psychologist and social worker, and is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Open to Hope Foundation. Heidi is in private practice in Manhattan (www.DrHeidiHorsley.com). In addition, she is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University. An internationally known grief expert, author, and bereaved sibling, Heidi co-hosts the syndicated internet radio show, “Open to Hope.” She presents at National Compassionate Friends Conferences and the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), and consults with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), working with military families who have had a loss. Heidi serves on the advisory board for Our Conservatory, a national music program for at risk teens. She has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, and been quoted in the Washington Post, Time Magazine, Money Magazine and the New York Daily News, in addition to many other media venues. She also gives presentations, workshops and professional continuing education courses throughout the country for health care professionals.

Since 9/11 she has worked in a research and clinical capacity for the FDNY/Columbia University Family Guidance Program; a study providing ongoing intervention and follow-up to families of firefighters killed in the World Trade Center, including workshops for bereaved siblings. She has written numerous articles for professional journals, and is co-author of the books Real Men Do Cry: A Quarterback’s Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss; Teen Grief Relief: Parenting with Understanding Support and Guidance; Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice; and Open to Hope – Inspirational Stories of Life, Loss and Love. Heidi earned a doctorate in psychology (Psy.D.) from the University of San Francisco; a master’s degree in social work (L.M.S.W.) from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in mental health counseling (M.S.) from Loyola University in New Orleans.

Ellen Gerst, Grief and Relationship Coach

Presentation: Love After Loss – Writing the Rest of Your Story. Through a combination of interactive coaching conversations and real-life stories that underscore the “rules and tools” for developing healthy and successful relationships, attendees of this session will be presented with a workable blueprint for redesigning their future to include a new love connection. Participants will receive the tools to help develop insight into the “single you”; to identify available choices for dating and relationship development; and to design an action plan that will allow them to find the love they want.

Bio: Ellen Gerst is a grief and relationship coach who draws upon both her professional expertise and the lessons born from her own experience as a young widow to help her clients successfully travel the road from grief to renewal. She works with her clients to help them maneuver through the maze of grief while exploring the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental aspects of this journey. She is the author of several books on both subjects and gives tips every day on coping with grief and finding love after loss online on two popular Facebook pages.

Nicole Gurley, CLTC

Presentation: Long-Term Care – Who Will Take Care of Me? Americans are living longer. The longer we live the greater the chance that we will experience a long-term care event. Without a plan for care and a plan to cover the cost of care, we turn our family members into caregivers and spend assets planned to provide retirement income. The cost of long-term care is now a significant threat to financial security in retirement. Planning for this expense is now an important part of overall financial planning. The need for long-term care expense planning is especially important to the widowed community who has a greater need to be able to pay for care provided by formal caregivers.

Bio: After 20 years in executive positions with healthcare, financial services and insurance corporations, Nicole Gurley founded Gurley LTCI (Long-Term Care Insurance) in 2002. She has been a licensed insurance producer since 1998 and focuses exclusively on long-term care expense planning and appropriate insurance solutions. Licensed throughout the country, Nicole holds the CLTC (Certification in Long-Term Care) designation, is a certified continuing education instructor, and assists financial advisors with long-term care expense planning. Nicole earned a Bachelor of Arts in Management and is the past chairman the Financial Planning Association of Greater Phoenix.

Caryn Kondo, Clinical Director, New Song Center for Grieving Children

Presentation: Parenting the Grieving Child. Development stages of childhood grief. Death is a life altering event for any family. Grieving families with children often struggle with many issues and profound changes. Parents of grieving children find themselves trying to work through their own grief while trying to understand the grief of their children. Parenting a grieving child, while grieving yourself is certainly one of life’s most difficult challenges. This session will assist the participants in understanding how children grieve from a developmental perspective and identify parenting ideas to meet this unique heart wrenching challenge. Creative parenting techniques and story-telling will be utilized throughout.

Bio: Caryn Kondo is a Clinical Social Worker and has worked with children and families for over 25 years. Experience includes child life, medical social work, hospice, individual and family counseling as well as grief support group facilitation for all ages. She specializes in children and family grief issues and has made numerous local and national presentations on various topics including: children’s developmental issues and grief, suicide effects on students and staff, self care, teen perspectives on grief, parenting grieving children, the dying child and anticipatory grief issues for children. She is currently the Clinical Director at The New Song Center for Grieving Children, a program of Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona.

Gabrielle Lawrence, Ph.D., Health 4 Relationships

Presentation #1: Healing Severe Complicated, Traumatic Grief. Moving through the grieving process is never easy. However, there are times when a death can be so painful that we feel we will never get through it to a place of resolution or find peace again. At those times, we can remain helplessly stuck in Complicated Grief unable to move on. Complicated grief is a severe prolonged form of grief that can result for numerous reasons: such as, when the death is very sudden and leaves no time for preparation, or involves extremely tragic circumstances such as the death of a child, a suicide, a murder, also, medical mistakes ending in death that may involve legal battles, or the death of someone on whom we depended for every thing and without whom we feel can not go on. All of these can be so devastating that a person withdraws, gives up, isolates, cannot stop think of the loss and remains trapped in grief, feeling hopeless and often suicidal. This workshop will look at gender differences and attachment theory as they relate to complicated grief, will provide both an understanding of why Complicated, Traumatic grief occurs and will provide a practical, effective approach with strategies for helping grievers with Complicated Grief navigate their way through to resolution.

Presentation #2: Dealing with the Holidays (Panel Discussion). As we approach the holiday season, many questions and emotions arise. Should I continue inviting family over for dinner and organizing our famous holiday party? Should I travel to “get away from it all.” What about the tree…he or she always decorated it. Can other family members take over certain tasks? I’m afraid to make changes…everyone has expectations of me. Emotionally can I deal with company when I just want to curl up in a ball and go away? How do I keep a positive memory of my spouse? Should I consider making a donation in his/her name? All these issues and more will be addressed during this two-person panel discussion. This topic will be presented to all attendees on Sunday immediately prior to the Remembrance Ceremony.

Presentation #3: Remembrance Ceremony. Right after the Dealing with the Holidays panel discussion all of us have the opportunity to participate in a Remembrance Ceremony which will close out the weekend conference. This is a chance for everyone to gather together to give thanks for their spouse’s presence among us, to grieve their death, to affirm the ongoing love we have for them, to honor their lives, and to rejoice in the gifts they have shared with us. The Ceremony consists of poem readings, several musical selections, and the reading of the names of spouses who passed away.

Bio: Gabrielle Lawrence, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in private practice in the state of Arizona. She is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapist, a Registered Play Therapist and Play Therapy Supervisor, and a trauma and loss specialist for children and adults. Additionally, she is certified in EMDR and is completing the advanced training in Somatic Experiencing Therapy. She is a recognized clinician working in the area of grief recovery and traumatic loss. Dr. Lawrence received her masters in Early Learning and Development in 1973 and her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University. In her private practice, she specializes in dealing with PTSD, traumatic loss, bereavement, couples in crisis, parenting, divorce adjustment, children, adolescents and adults with issues of early trauma and abuse. In 1990, she co-founded the New Song Center for Grieving Children, a support program for children and families who have experienced the loss of a family member through death. In 2007, she co-founded the Children’s Services Network, a web based referral directory for clinicians and other professionals working with children and families. She is also involved forensically as an expert witness for bereaved families who have experienced a wrongful death. In 2002, Dr. Lawrence was a recipient of the Hon Kachina Award for outstanding service to the community as a volunteer and founder of the New Song Center. In 2002, she also received another award for her work with children – the Scottsdale Life Magazine Five Who Care Award. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Lawrence is a recent board member and past president of the Arizona Association for Play Therapy. She is a current member of the board of directors of Hospice of the Valley, the largest nonprofit hospice in America. She has been a member of the graduate faculty of the University of Phoenix in the Department of Counseling. In addition, she lectures and trains locally and nationally for schools, hospitals, and parent, professional, corporate and community organizations concerning issues related to traumatic loss, parenting, bereavement, domestic violence, attachment and bonding, child development, coupleship and relationship management topics such as stress management, anger management and conflict resolution.

Joyce Vidal-Thornburg, MC, CT, BereavementCounselor & Resource Coordinator, Hospice of theValley

Presentation #1: Self-Care – A Holistic Approach. We know that grief impacts emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. Do we take care of ourselves in all these areas of our life? This presentation will be interactive as we explore together self-care activities and self-care plans to enhance the healing process.

Presentation #2: Dealing with the Holidays (Panel Discussion). As we approach the holiday season, many questions and emotions arise. Should I continue inviting family over for dinner and organizing our famous holiday party? Should I travel to “get away from it all.” What about the tree…he or she always decorated it. Can other family members take over certain tasks? I’m afraid to make changes…everyone has expectations of me. Emotionally can I deal with company when I just want to curl up in a ball and go away? How do I keep a positive memory of my spouse? Should I consider making a donation in his/her name? All these issues and more will be addressed during this two-person panel discussion. This topic will be presented to all attendees on Sunday immediately prior to the Remembrance Ceremony.

Presentation #3: Remembrance Ceremony. Right after the Dealing with the Holidays panel discussion all of us have the opportunity to participate in a Remembrance Ceremony which will close out the weekend conference. This is a chance for everyone to gather together to give thanks for their spouse’s presence among us, to grieve their death, to affirm the ongoing love we have for them, to honor their lives, and to rejoice in the gifts they have shared with us. The Ceremony consists of poem readings, several musical selections, and the reading of the names of spouses who passed away.

Bio: Joyce has been a Bereavement Counselor & Resource Coordinator with Hospice of the Valley for seven years. She has a master’s degree in professional counseling and a Certification in Thanatology. In addition to individual and family counseling and facilitating an on-going open grief support group in Scottsdale, Arizona, Joyce also facilitates a number of specialty six-week support groups: Mother Loss, Picking up the Pieces in Midlife, Life Cycle Interrupted (adult child loss), Grief in the workplace, Self-Care and Compassion Fatigue, Enduring Ties Family Group, Next Chapters, and Complex Mourning. Joyce has also worked as an Employment Counselor and high school Guidance Counselor.

Ilene L. McCauley, J.D., LLM, Partner, Goldinov and McCauley, PLC, Scottsdale, Arizona

Presentation: Controlling your Life after Loss…The Legacy. One common feeling shared by all of us after death of a beloved spouse is bewilderment and loss of control. Our lives become one of continuous movement…getting from place to place, but we don’t remember how we got there. We go through the motions, but we have lost control. Many of us are alone for the first time. Many of us have loved ones, children and even animals to provide for; now, as suddenly single. This break out session will deal with the realities of this loss of control. We will address how to recognize the problems and work out the solutions, now that the once solid link in our chain is gone. We will talk about the steps we must take, the choices we must make and the implementation strategies to regain control over the legacy aspects of our lives.

Bio: Ilene is a member of the State Bar of Arizona and is certified as a Specialist in Tax Law by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. She has practiced tax, estate and business planning law for over 30 years. She was widowed in 2002 upon the death of her beloved husband John, after a very long illness. She is currently raising her daughter Amy, who is now 17, along with their dog Miriam, as a single parent.

John Walter, General Manager of Automotive Products, AAA Arizona

Presentation: Car Care 101. Are you prepared to take on the responsibility of maintaining your vehicle? In this breakout session you will learn the basics of how to take care of your vehicle maintenance needs. Topics include finding the right auto repair shop, what questions should I be asking when speaking with the service department, and what options are available to me if repair service does not meet my expectations. We will also cover basic maintenance items that every vehicle owner should know which will greatly diminish the possibility of costly vehicle repairs.

Bio: John Walter is the General Manager of Automotive Products for AAA Arizona and puts his 18 years of automotive experience to use helping people understand vehicle maintenance needs and how make sure your transaction at the auto repair shop goes smoothly.

Jim Schwartz, CFP®, Strategic Wealth Advisors, LLC and President, Widowed Community Education and Support Services, Inc.

Presentation #1: Will I be OK, Financially? This is the number one question asked of me when meeting with a widowed individual. Answering this one question usually requires educating the client on certain issues and my analysis in specific areas. We will cover these important issues and areas during my session:

  • Financial organization. What records, statements, and receipts should I keep and for how long?
  • What is cost basis and why is it important to me?
  • Understanding my assets, liabilities, income, and expenses, and what a net worth statement can tell me.
  • What is cash flow and what does the latest research tell me about how much I can withdrawal from my portfolio each year while maintaining financial security?
  • Identifying common financial mistakes made by the bereaved and addressing the myth that all financial decisions must be delayed for at least a year.
  • How to evaluate a potential financial advisor to make sure you find a professional advisor and not a financial product sales person.
  • Identifying and avoiding financial scams.

Presentation #2: How to Start Your Own Widowed-to-Widowed Grief Support Group. If you want to get your own group started in your area, you need to attend this session. Jim will discuss how to market your group, use of Meetup.com and local media, finding a meeting location and which locations to avoid, constructing a meeting agenda and how to find topics, critical ground rules for your group, the importance of religious neutrality, what to do when the wrong person attends your group, administrative tasks and how to get help from your group members, and how to manage the growth of your group when you suddenly have 25 people attending! We will also discuss our Starter Kit for new groups and how to get your own kit!

Bio: With over 13 years in the financial services industry, Jim is a Senior Advisor and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) practitioner at Strategic Wealth Advisors, LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona. Prior to his financial career, Jim served as a fighter pilot in the US Air Force for twelve years where he flew A-10s and F-16s. He has more than forty combat missions over the skies of Iraq and Bosnia.

Jim earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and completed his professional CFP® education through the College for Financial Planning. He is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the East Valley Estate Planning Council. Jim has taught community college courses on various financial planning topics and he has been quoted in Money Magazine and The Arizona Republic and has been featured on ABC 15 News.

Jim realized that nearly half his clients were widowed and few had spoken of attending grief support groups or working with professional bereavement counselors. When trying to find local resources for his clients who recently lost a spouse or partner, Jim realized there might be a need for local peer-to-peer grief support groups and a multi-day conference. In 2010 Jim founded Widowed Community Education & Support Services, Inc. (WCESS), a nonprofit organization incorporated in Arizona. In October 2010 he started the first widowed-to-widowed grief support group in Tempe, Arizona and in April 2011 the second group was started in Central Phoenix. Plans exist to add additional locations throughout the Valley. Jim is also the founder and organizer of the WCESS conference, Tools for the “New Normal” Journey.

Dr. Sandra Howlett

Presentation: Journaling as a Grief Healing Strategy. Journaling is as simple as making a list or as complex as preparation for writing a memoir. Journaling is a safe, confidential, convenient strategy for expressing feelings, thoughts, regrets and dreams. Journaling has been proven to be one of the most effective methodologies for grief healing as well as clinical improvement in asthma and depression. In this workshop you will:

  • Recognize at least 5 benefits to journaling
  • Identify at least 5 types of journals
  • Do at least 3 journal writings in this session
  • Learn how to ‘harvest’ your journal for insight and understanding

Bio: Dr. Sandra Howlett is a Grief Educator and Facilitator in Phoenix, Arizona. Her workshops and support groups are arenas of authenticity, experience and insight. She believes that grief is a natural response to loss and that healing is a journey. She is a life long journaler and committed to helping others explore and heal. She has over 15 year’s personal experience and advanced training in dialogue journaling.

Jennifer Collins-Taylor, Owner, Living Life Dying Death

Presentation: Connecting Through Courageous Conversations. In order to understand, we must listen. In order to listen, there needs to be courageous conversations. This workshop features a simple, yet innovative communication process to foster healthy conversations about death, dying and grief. The process was developed by the presenter based on her 30 years of personal and professional experience, her MSW thesis on death attitudes and spirituality, and is grounded in family systems theory, empowerment theory with strengths perspective, and the meaning reconstruction model.

The conversational process involves answering five questions about death, life and dying. Individuals move into time-restricted dyad to allow each person to share experiences, beliefs and ideas through their answers. Partners are changed for each question. At the conclusion, the group comes together to share experiences by constructing a fun, “Top Ten Reasons Why” list of why people don’t talk about death and dying, and a second list about why they should. The process has been used within families, groups of friends, and professional peers to stimulate awareness about how these conversations promote health and well being while living now, as well addressing the complex issues of death, dying, and grief. Past feedback has indicated this process increases individual comfort in participating and initiating these types of conversations. Being comfortable with the uncertainty and mystery of life is encouraged, as the process is about the questions of life and death, moving towards each individual’s unique perspective.

Bio: Jennifer has a MSW focused in end of life care. She is certified to bring harp music to the seriously ill and has nationally presented “Gatherings”, her innovative communication process that encourages open conversations about life and death. Her newly released book is titled, Living Life Dying Death | A Guide to Healthy Conversations about Death and Dying to Inspire Life and Living. She is …living life loving… friendships, chocolate, travel, wine, orchids, family, coffee, laughter and tears. She looks forward to listening deeply to what is important TO YOU.

Philip Jay, Owner, Amity Mortgage Corporation

Presentation: Basics of Mortgages, Refinancing, and Credit. What do you need to do with your mortgage after losing your spouse? Should you refinance? Are legal changes needed? What if the mortgage is in your spouse’s name? How hard is it to qualify for a mortgage these days? What if you have little or no home equity? And many more topics. Plenty of time for questions and answers.

Bio: Phil is an independent mortgage broker and has over 20 years experience with all types of mortgages. He works on a fee-only basis meaning he charges a flat fee for his work. Phil has spoken to various professional groups educating them on current mortgage trends, products that make sense and those that don’t, and credit qualification issues.

Barbara Joy, Ph.D. (ABD), MC, FT, Manager of Bereavement Services, Hospice Inspiris

Presentation: Grief and Loss – Dispelling Myths and Misinformation. Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss. This program focuses on grief as society’s most neglected and misunderstood process. A discussion on society’s most off-limits topic of conversation (grief) followed by the definition of loss. The group will be invited to offer and identify potential losses, other than death. How society ill-prepares us to deal with loss. Resolving heart problems with our intellect – head vs. heart, intellect vs. emotions. Identification of intellectual comments that are the wrong tools to help the griever heal. A discussion on why others may not be able to help us. A detailed description of five common myths surrounding grief. How society teaches us to “act” recovered. Grief as emotional energy and illustrations as to what occurs when we “shut down” to grief. Negative cumulative effects of unresolved grief and how it affects our body and behavior. The bad news about short-term energy relieving behaviors. Resources and tools for help, healing, and relief.

Bio: In 1998 Barbara founded HeartSpace Adventures, providing an organizational structure for contracted services and private practice. She is an on-call grief specialist with the National Disaster Medical System, a federal agency providing emergency response and support. A former faculty member of the American Academy of Bereavement, Barbara traveled nationwide presenting seminars to professionals on topics of grief and loss, Ms. Joy was the first Director of Bereavement Services for SCI Arizona Funeral Services, Inc., administering a center offering community outreach programs to the public. She is Chairperson of the AHPCO Bereavement Discipline Community and is currently the Manager of Bereavement Services at Hospice Inspiris.

Dr. Beth Waddel, Licensed Psychologist, Personal Coach, Author of Do Not Grieve Alone blog.

Presentation: Everyday Wisdom – Reclaiming Life after Loss. An interactive Happiness Boot Camp where participants will learn about cutting edge research on resilience and flourishing from the field of positive psychology. Participants will leave with a specific self-care plan for managing this challenging time in their lives so they will flourish and rise from the ashes of despair like the mythical Phoenix. A guarantee for this workshop: lots of fun and laughter through tears.

Bio: Beth is a practicing life coach and has been a professional psychologist for more than 25 years. In 2005, Beth was suddenly widowed when her husband died during same-day outpatient sinus surgery. Her life was forever changed. As a tribute to her personal resilience she merged her professional interest in positive psychology and her personal experience with widowhood, and formed The Phoenix Rises Coaching practice to help others who have been widowed “rise out of the ashes of despair.”

Tisha Diffie, Founder and CEO of After the Fact – Final Affairs, LLC

Presentation: Before it Becomes After. You’ve updated your estate planning documents, medical directives, and beneficiaries, but, does your family know all the other details about your house and daily life? How are they going to know which bank your safety deposit box is at? Where you volunteer your time? What’s the first thing they should do? Who knows from where to pick-up the mail and at which box number? How to find the extra keys to the house and notify the right people when a problem arises. How do they access your voice mail at home or on your cell phone? The legal, tax and financial issues are talked about, but what about those other 197 items that the family will have to know in order to handle the final affairs of your estate? Would you like to give them the answers BEFORE something happens? This presentation provides you with guidance in securely preparing this information in one organized place.

Bio: Tisha has over 15 years experience as an independent fee-based Financial Planner. In 2009 she and husband Larry founded After the Fact – Final Affairs, LLC after she had to handle her 3rd estate closure. She saw that many other families needed assistance and had nowhere to turn. In 2010, she sold her financial planning practice to focus 100% on assisting other families that were overwhelmed with handling the final affairs of estate closure. She is a graduate of the College of Financial Planning and has held various securities and insurance licenses and many professional designations. She and Larry have a daughter in college and a son who is a senior in high school.

Ron Friesen, Licensed Professional Counselor

Presentation: Men’s Grief – Myths and Misconceptions. Common myths and misconceptions of men’s grief are discussed as well as strategies for helping men deal with their grief.

Bio: Ron Friesen is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Arizona. He has over 35 years experience working with grieving community members. Serving as a minister, a hospital and hospice chaplain and as a counselor, Ron has dealt with many grieving people individually and in groups. As a member of the Bereavement Training Team for the Diocese of Phoenix, he has trained hundreds of lay and professional pastoral ministers in the skills of bereavement ministry.

Rosie Romero Jr., Rosie On The House Radio Show Host

Presentation: Owning a Home – What Do I Need to Know to Keep it Operating? What do you need to know to successfully operate and maintain your home. The basics of your plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning systems and maintaining those systems. Circuit breakers, air filters, water softeners, r/o systems, and more. Home security is a big issue and Rosie will cover what you need to do to create a safe environment.

Bio: Rosie Romero is the host of Arizona’s No. 1 home improvement radio show. Rosie moved from the Lacassine Bayou of Louisiana to Arizona with his family when he was a young boy. He began working in the remodeling industry in 1972, and for 15 years, worked with a variety of contractors. He opened Legacy Custom Builders in 1988, and sold the majority of his stock to key employees in October 2002. In 2001, he was the first remodeler ever selected as a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The same year, Rosie received the International Furnishings and Design Association’s Visionary Award of Excellence. In 1989, Rosie began his Rosie On The House radio show as a hobby. Since then, Rosie On The House has become a powerful home improvement resource and referral network. He is a nationally recognized speaker for the remodeling industry and travels regularly to share his knowledge of the business. Rosie and his wife, Sweet Jennifer, have six children born between 1981 and 1997. They spend much of their time exploring, boating and hiking Arizona.

Christy Thompson, Attorney at Law, Thompson & Faas

Law Firm

Presentation: Taming Your Debt. Is your mortgage balance more than the value of your home? Are you behind on mortgage payments? Are you trying to avoid foreclosure? What is a short sale and how does it work? Are you facing excessive debt? Is bankruptcy an option? Is debt settlement different than bankruptcy? What types of bankruptcy are there? Who can qualify for bankruptcy? This session will answer all of these questions and offer plenty of time for questions and answers related to debt, short sales, foreclosure, bankruptcy, and credit.

Bio: Originally from Reno, Nevada, Christy Thompson moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2000 after being recruited by a Phoenix law firm. Christy received her law degree from Willamette University’s College of Law and two bachelor’s degrees in political science and English from the University of Nevada-Reno. Christy Thompson practices in the areas of Chandler bankruptcy, debt settlement and personal injury in Arizona.

Michael J. Malasnik, Impaired Risk Specialist and Healthcare Broker

Presentation: New Options in Healthcare & What You Need to Know. Many are quickly learning that we are entering a NEW WORLD in healthcare. Whether it is individual or group insurance plans, government and public health services, or our medical care providers. Much has already changed; more will be changing very soon. Learn what you need to know about the new system and how to get the most from it. Q & A to follow.

Bio: Michael has served the uninsurable and high-risk health population in AZ since 1996. Having worked with both the commercial insurance market as well as the government and public health systems, he has a very unique perspective and understanding of what is available and how to access it. He is the published author of What You Need to Know about Health Insurance and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Greater Phoenix Association of Health Underwriters.

Chaplain  Jeffrey P. Paparone, M.Div., Spiritual Care Coordinator, Hospice of Arizona

Presentation: We Allow Tears – Discovering the Blessings of Expressing One’s Grief. Spirituality and grief have been issues of interest for over 20 years. Chaplain Jeff believes spirituality may be the key to understanding ones grief expression. Join Chaplain Jeff as he continues to discover the blessing of experiencing grief. We Allow Tears: An interactive approach to understanding spirituality and grief, will give the attendees a safe place to express their own grief while learning tools to cope with their loss.

Bio: Chaplain Jeff Paparone was born and raised in North Canton, OH, home of the Hoover vacuum cleaner. Upon graduating from Hoover High School, he received his undergraduate degree in Community Health Education from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 1991. Chaplain Jeff was employed for almost five years at the Stark County (Canton, OH) Health Department employed as a Health Educator. He continued his career in health education as a National Field Organizer with the National SAFE KID Campaign in Washington, DC until 1998. Chaplain Jeff learned the importance of childhood injury prevention and consequently left Washington, DC and contracted with USAA Insurance as a member of the national leading team of educators responsible for implementing, training, and certifying instructors on child passenger safety (child safety seats). At this time, Chaplain Jeff met his wife, Christine, and married March 13, 1999. Although Chaplain Jeff was happy and content with his current career, God had a different plan. Chaplain Jeff and Christine were called to go to seminary to receive graduate training to become pastors. Both attended and graduated in May 2003 from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Both embarked on a new career in Glendale, Arizona at the Glendale Light and Life Church. Chaplain Jeff and Christine then adopted two children, Charlie and Oscar, from Colombia, South America over a four year period. Chaplain Jeff is now employed as a full-time Spiritual Care Coordinator with Hospice of Arizona.

Sarah Taylor, MT-BC, Hearts for Hospice

Presentation/Bio: Sarah Taylor is a board certified music therapist and she will be entertaining us during the last portion of Saturday lunch with her music. She graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelors degree in music therapy and completed her music therapy internship at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. She has been working as a music therapist for Hearts for Hospice in Phoenix since September 2007. As a hospice music therapist, she uses music as a tool to improve quality of life for Hearts for Hospice patients, their families, and their caregivers.


Speaker RFP

Our speaker line up is full for 2011, but are you interested in speaking at our next conference?

Details | Schedule | Sponsors | Exhibitors

Visit Us
Follow Me
Financial Tools for the Recently Widowed