Conference Sessions & Breakouts
We are excited to bring you a wide variety of eductaional and informational programming. The general sessions (keynotes and plenaries) will be held in the main ballroom, including the Achievement Awards Banquet. Brealkouts will take place in seperate rooms located on the same level as the ballroom.
General sessions, plenary, and breakout development is ongoing. When topics and speakers are confirmed they will be updated on this page.
Achievement Awards Banquet Keynote Speaker
Uniquely You - You Were Made To CONQUER!
Monday, May 8
Honor through celebration and praise. This inspiring keynote lifts up the 2023 Achievement Award honorees for the ways in which their circumstances inspired success. For having the audacity to overcome insurmountable challenges. To unapologetically live in their truth.
How do we do it? The focus will be to exemplify how adversity, though painful and unforgiving can also be hopeful and motivating, leading one to fight even harder, dig deeper and understand profoundly what it means to conquer. Beginning with personal testimony, Tanisha will use her story as a backdrop to highlight the resilience and determination of people with disabilities, whose collective stories share one common theme: refusing to be confined to life’s limitations, and reimagining what their life can be by choosing to conquer daringly.
To know who you are is to face the world with intrepidness, determined to live with purpose. The brave men and women being honored have abided by this truth, dispelling the idea that individuals living with a disability in today’s world can be considered anything less than extraordinary. This attitude in part is attributed to the evolving social acknowledgment and action from conscious minds (agencies, businesses, and government) whose innovations and intentions need also be saluted. Such forward thinking has created spaces for acceptance and opportunities for people with disabilities, while influentially modeling best practices for inclusion.
Tanisha Carter is a native of Philadelphia. As an infant she was severely burned in a fatal house fire resulting in facial and body disfigurement. She has experienced continual employment discrimination, lack of support and resources, resulting in chronic homelessness for her and her family. What many would consider hardships, Tanisha saw as experiences necessary to understand and walk in her purpose. Tanisha has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and has worked in numerous social and educational service settings providing counseling, outreach, educational, and trauma informed expertise. Tanisha currently serves in management as a cotact center team lead for UniqueSource Member InspiriTec. Tanisha is an accomplished public speaker who has also shared her story internationally. She has been speaking her truth since the age of 11 and has appeared on numerous stages, including on the Maury Pulvich Show and with celebrity personality, internist and Addiction Medicine Expert, Dr. Drew Lapinsky. Her book More Than a Conqueror: Confessions of a True Testimony was published by Christian Faith Publishing in 2018. In 2022, Tanisha received the UniqueSource Achievement Award.
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Re!magine Keynote Speaker
Dis-labeled: Re-!magining Who You Are
Tuesday, May 9
The opening conference keynote will create an interactive opportunity for participants to enhance their ability to find best possible outcomes for their businesses, employees, and other stakeholders and clients. Susan will focus on re-imagining value, potential and possibility in order to highlight greater opportunities for individuals, groups and the larger community. She will share her inspirational and humorous insights on curiosity, adaptability and fearlessness, and will facilitate activities that support the audience with re-imagination. Participants will complete the session with an increased vision for outcomes of their work, increased ability to recognize talents and strengths in others, and an increased confidence to follow through on finding new levels of success.
Susan Robinson is an international speaker, business consultant and advisor, author, world traveler, tango dancer, yogi and cyclist. And she is legally blind. But she has never let that fact disrupt or interfere with her pursuit of audacious dreams. Susan uses her experiences and humor to uncover, challenge and flip generally-accepted ideas upside down…and then creates new, inclusive narratives for success. Her inspiring TED Talk “How I fail at being disabled” has more than 1.5 million views. She has worked with global firms and Fortune 500 companies, top not-for-profit organizations, leading universities and the United Nations. Susan is an Executive Board Member and Governance Committee Chair of the Penn State Alumni Association's Alumni Council, and is a Board Member of both the New York State Preferred Source Program for People Who Are Blind and InTandem Cycling. Susan received her Master of Public Administration, specializing in Health Policy and Management, from New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; and her Bachelor of Science, Health Policy and Administration, with minors in Business and Economics, from The Pennsylvania State University.
Re!magine is offering individual breakouts across four focused tracks. Attendees can choose any session that they find interesting. The four education tracks are:
- Sales & Marketing - Workshops A
- Organizational Operations - Workshops B
- Innovation & Policy - Workshops C
- Photo ID - Workshops D
Pre-registration for breakouts is not necessary. It is our hope that the variety of educational offerings provides something for a larger cross section of the Membership. Breakouts will take place in breakout rooms located on the main conference level of the hotel.
Tuesday, May 9
Breakout Sessions 1
9:30 am to 10:45 am
Workshop A1: Now That’s Interesting! – UniqueSource Sales Team
So just what type of things has the UniqueSource sales team been working on? This workshop will let you see behind the curtain at some of the new and innovative approaches that are in the works. Topics will include a case study on the Brookaire/VisionCorps HVAC filter production partnership that is re-shaping how we tackle barriers to entry in a new industry. Bring your notebook!
Workshop B1: Money, Protecting & Planning – Doug Berman, RKL & Dave Hanson, Fulton Financial Advisors
This workshop will provide a look at the trends in accounting and global banking. Doug Berman from the accounting firm of RKL, will discuss the Top 8 Financial Reporting Errors Facing Nonprofit Organizations. He will examine some of the most common reporting errors many nonprofit organizations are making, touching on the budget process, internal financial reporting, and also the year-end audit and tax filings. Dave Hanson from Fulton Financial Advisors will continue the discussion by examining global financial outlooks, including an economic and market update with short, intermediate and long-term trends and considerations.
Workshop C1: Still under development
Workshop D1: Ready Response & Direct Labor – Ellen Mazzocchi, UniqueSource
This workshop designed specifically for those working within the photo ID program and will focus on two important items for coordinating around staffing.
- The Ready Response platform is an important tool to manage employees and your photo ID site. There are many benefits to the tool. Get a how-to demonstration and make your daily coordination easier.
- The direct labor invoicing process can be confusing. Let us unpack it for you and layout the how-tos along with some process enhancements.
Workshop sessions 2
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm
Workshop A2: Still under development
Workshop B2: Supporting Member Growth –Tracy Thompson & Phil Grimes, UniqueSource
UniqueSource is Re!magining our Member services and the ways in which we can support your continued growth. Hear what we have in store for the upcoming fiscal year, including updates on the new UniqueSource Grant Program. A Member organization will share their experience with the Grant Program.
Workshop C2: Transformation Journey – Shane Roos, Achieva & Rob Labatch, Hope Enterprises
Hear the story of two organizations that entered into the process of surrendering their 14C certificates. They will explain their journey from concept to execution and how they continue support successful employment outcomes for the individuals they serve.
Workshop D2: When They Come, and When They Go – Donna Cifarelli, UniqueSource
Onboarding new employees requires consistent and careful planning. This is true of all roles, but non-more-so than in the photo ID world. The procedures for the onboarding, and off boarding, of photo techs comes with some unique requirements. Learn the ins and outs of the process while staying mindful of compliance & security, orientation procedures, and training requirements.
Workshop sessions 3
3:15 pm to 4:30 pm
Workshop A3: Let’s Tear this Up – Steve Stasko, UniqueSource
Shredding is back and taking off. Learn more about the growth opportunities of this service within UniqueSource and hear from a member who has been doing it for a long time. Whether you are considering getting into the shred biz, already taken the leap, or up to your ears in confetti, this session will be sure to provide you with some insights and tips to be successful.
Workshop B3: The Employee Experience: Engagement & Team Building – Jackie Williams, UniqueSource
Engagement is the key to success in 21st century people and culture management. Strategic HR management rests on the belief that an organization’s people are the key to achieving a competitive advantage. During this workshop, we will explorer the definition and types of employee engagement, the real motivators for today's worker, drivers of employee job satisfaction, ways organization and managers drive employee engagement, and the relation of teambuilding to employee engagement.
Workshop C3: Still under development
Workshop D3: Liquidated Damages Reduction: Positive Outcomes – Marla Langley, UniqueSource
No one likes to make mistakes, especially those that can cost you money. Good news is this workshop is all about helping you to identify and reduce errors. In the photo ID program, liquidated damages, or non-compliances to the contract, that can occur within the photo ID program. Learn:
- How to proactively identify behaviors/concerns which may result in a liquidated damage fine,
- About tools/resources on how to reduce the most common and costly errors,
- Best practices around damage reduction, and
- How to implement a plan that provides for positive outcomes.
The various plenary sessions will take place in the main ballroom and cover topics that are of interest across multiple staff levels. There are a total of five plenary sessions being held over the two days.
Tuesday, May 9
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
What's Going On...Nationally - Kate McSweeney, ACCSES, Stephanie Walker, Porter Group LLC & Lisa Biggica, SUPRA
Updates on federal policies and programs from three national perspectives.
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
UniqueSource Annual Membership Business Meeting
The annual business meeting provides the Membership an opportunity to hear about UniqueSource initiatives and progress made on the strategic plan. The new slate of officers for the Board of Directors will be introduced as will the FY 2024 focus areas. UniqueSource Member Representatives are required to attend the Annual Membership Business Meeting.
4:45 pm to 5:45 pm
A Conversation with OVR - Ryan Hyde, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation & Dawn Sokol, Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services
Our relationship with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) is an important factor in our ongoing work to advance employment for professionals with disabilities. Learn the focuses and priorities of OVR and BBVS and how they connect with those of UniqueSource and the Members.
Wednesday, May 10
9:30 am to 10:30 am
Ready to Hire: A Unique Talent Pool - Kristy Richardson & James Marker, Commonwealth Technical Institute at the Hiram G. Andrews Center
The Commonwealth Technical Institute (CTI) at the Hiram G. Andrews Center prepares Pennsylvanians with disabilities for the careers they want with individualized, affordable education and training. Learn the unique ways that the school support individuals through specialized programming, externships, and a flexible career path. These individuals are educated and trained in fields such as skilled trades including welding, building maintenance and automotive technology. CTI also offers materials management, culinary arts, healthcare, information technology and more.
10:30 am to 11:30 am
State Landscape - PJ Lavelle, Malady & Wooten
UniqueSource's new government relations partner will share insights in to the state landscape and the priorities of the Pennsylvania state legislature. Nofre Vaquer, chair of UniqueSource's Legislative & Policy Committee will facilitate.
11:30 am to 12:00 pm
Meet DGS - Ken Hess, Department of General Services
The Deputy Secretary of Procurement will provide insight into the focus and priorities of the Department of General Services.