2017 Conference Session Descriptions

Keynote address:

Growing Your Mission with Leadership & Passion

Chris Manley is the keynote speaker; he has served as the Executive Director & Founder of Rebuild Update in Greenville, South Carolina for ten years. Growing your mission is critical – and sometimes that involves growing your organization too. In the midst of all the challenges we face each year, how do we continue to grow our mission of repairing homes, creating healthy living environments for low-income people, and instilling a sense of hope with the people we serve? Based on his experience growing Rebuild Upstate, Chris will motivate each of us to grasp our own leadership role – regardless of your title – in growing the mission of our organization. We are excited for Chris to help us explore this year’s conference theme, “Home, Health & Hope – ReFraming the Future.” Learn more about Chris here.

Break-Out Session 1:

After The Great Abdicating: The Decline of (Some Kinds of) Protestantism and the Rise of Non-Religion in the United States

Between 1990 and 2016, the proportion of American adults claiming no religion tripled, a remarkable change in the religious landscape over a relatively short time period. In conjunction, the proportion of Americans who identified as Protestant sharply declined. Changes in religious/secular composition are especially pronounced among younger generations of Americans. This presentation outlines recent trends in religion and secularism in the United States using in-depth analyses of survey data from the 1970s until the present. The potential ramifications of the decline in religious affiliation for civic engagement, including for levels of volunteering and service work, will be discussed in light of these trends. The presenter is Joseph O. Baker ,an associate professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at East Tennessee State University, and a senior research associate for the Association of Religion Data Archives. He is the author of American Secularism: Cultural Contours of Nonreligious Belief Systems (New York University Press).

Build Hope: Wheelchair Ramps in A Day (or Two)

Over the last 10 years, HopeBUILDERS has constructed nearly 200 wheelchair ramps, generally in one day; larger ramps may require two days. These ramps allow clients safe and easy egress from the homes, provide freedom that many had not have and allow them to lead more normal lives. The design was originally based on the Minnesota modular ramp design, but evolved over the years. HopeBUILDERS has materials delivered to the project site the day before a ramp build and then constructs the ramp on the next day. Volunteers with various levels of skills enjoy these ramp projects as they provide an immediate sense of accomplishment when a client tests the ramp and shows the joy of this freedom at the end of a day. This presentation will provide details of the design and construction process to accomplish this level of performance. The video link provides testimonials from several ramp recipients: https://vimeo.com/209817637. Kevin Dolan and Greg Wayne of HopeBUILDERS will lead this session.

Deep Dive: The Growth of Rebuild Upstate

Rebuild Upstate is a home repair organization in South Carolina that works year-round, primarily with volunteers from its own community. This deep dive will focus on how it has achieved explosive growth (their current three year revenue growth rate is 645%), engaged community partners to maximize effectiveness, and built a scale-able model to continue expanding to serve a rapidly growing need. Chris Manley, keynote speaker, will share challenges that were faced and the key elements that led to the organization’s growth and how they are accomplishing their mission more effectively than ever as a result. Learn more here: https://reframeassociation.org/2017-keynote-speaker/

Ruralities: The Changing Face of Rural America

Some of the most important housing challenges in rural America may not be directly related to housing itself. For most of its history the United States has been a predominately rural country. Today people of rural America make up roughly one-fifth of the U.S. population, but are located across 97 percent of the nation’s landmass. With stagnant wages, continuing out-migration of working age residents, rural communities contain larger shares of older and lower-income households. These and other demographic drivers will be presented through a series of “story maps,” setting stage for a discussion on housing options and solutions for rural communities across the nation.

The presenter is Lance George, Director of Research and Information at Housing Assistance Council (HAC) in Washington, D.C. Previously, Lance served as the organization’s Senior Research Associate for 10 years. Before HAC, he worked for Frontier Housing, Inc., a nonprofit organization that builds affordable homes for low-income families in Eastern Kentucky. Lance’s research and policy analysis at HAC encompasses a wide array of issues and topics related to affordable housing including manufactured housing, poverty and high need rural areas, rural definitions and classifications, mortgage access and finance, and general demography, mapping, and data analysis of rural people and their housing conditions. Lance is a recipient of the Rural Sociological Society’s Excellence in Practice and Application Award. He also serves as a reviewer to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report.

Break-Out Session 2:

Best Practice Guide Review

This is an opportunity to meet in small groups to review the Best Practice Guide that ReFrame Association is developing. Copies of the guide will be available to review in advance. Six small groups will meet, one for each section of the guide: Stewardship of Volunteers, Partnership with Homeowners, Home Repair Practices, Temporary Staff, Community Partnership, and Assessment & Evaluation. Members of the Best Practice Task Force will lead the interactive discussions.

Millennials: Our Hope for the Future

Millennials have been given a pretty bad rap. In fact many don’t even want to associate with that distinction. Yet, what if we were able to tap into what makes this generation unique and use that to propel them and our organizations forward? Learn how you can shift your perspective and leadership style to benefit your home repair nonprofit and this next generation of leaders. The session will be led by Jennifer Rackley Chacon, a certified professional business coach whose consulting business, Dare To Thrive, is based in Greenville, South Carolina. Jennifer has 20 years of nonprofit management experience, and her pre-conference workshop and break-out session were among the top rated presentations at last year’s ReFrame Conference.

Resilient Flooring: Meeting the Seven Principles of Healthy Housing

Vinyl plank flooring is very volunteer friendly and provides outstanding change in the quality of a room’s air and safety over all. Flooring can be one of the most neglected areas of a home and one of the most dangerous, so why not fix it. Session will cover subflooring, installing underlayment, vinyl plank installation. A vinyl plank flooring training model will be used as a demonstrative during the session. The presenters are Dan Thennes, and Josh Barfield of Rebuilding Together of the Triangle. Dan has twenty-eight years in residential construction and renovation work, and serves as the Construction Director for RTT; he is also a Renovation Specialist for Professional Housing Rehabilitation Association of North Carolina (PHRANC). Josh Barfield is a Field Operations Manager at RTT.

The Role of Advocacy in Ending the Housing Affordability Crisis

Nationally, the shortage of homes affordable for the lowest income people has skyrocketed over the last decade. Families sacrifice basic necessities like food and medication to pay their housing costs, which often consume 50 to 60 percent of the monthly income of a household living in poverty. Combined, high housing costs and low wages trap households and communities in cycles of poverty. This workshop will consider the causes and impacts of the housing affordability crisis and how those engaged in repairing homes in under resourced communities can act as advocates for increased investment in affordable housing programs. It will also include an update on the federal budget and the impact on vital housing groups like HOME, CDBG, the national Housing Trust Fund, and others. This session will be led by Sarah Jemison, Housing Advocacy Organizer at the National Low Income Housing Coalition in Washington, D.C.

Break-Out Session 3:

Giving Days, The Rest of the Year, and Other Elements of a Kick-Ass Individual Fundraising Program

Giving Days are growing in popularity, but are only one of several important elements for developing a successful individual fundraising program. This session will get you thinking about how to succeed at a giving day, acquire new donors, create a monthly giving program, increase your engagement with existing donors, and achieve year-over-year increases in number of donors and money raised. Donations to Sierra Service Project from individuals have grown from less than $30,000 annually in 2010 to more than $149,000 in 2017. Rick Eaton and Megan Walsh, Co-Executive Directors of Sierra Service Project in California, will present this session.

Organizational Health: The Secret of Teams

Do you know the difference between and a good team and a great/high performance team? In this session we will be discussing the progression of your organization as it relates to that topic, as well as the reality that: great teams focus on results, talent is the foundation of great teams, two types of skills are essential for success, community separates the great teams from all the others, and teams don’t drift to greatness. Join us for a fun, interactive, organizational health tune up! Matt Overby of Summit Leadership Foundation will be leading this session. He was one of our most popular guest speakers last year!

The Hammer Rings Hope: Disaster Relief & Recovery

Why does the hammer ring hope? Come to this session and find out! You’ll learn how the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) uses the Four Pillars to help make decisions about when to arrive and when to leave a disaster area, as well as how they address various challenges of disaster relief and recovery. The session will be led by Larry Stoner of MDS. He was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Larry worked as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity for 10 years in the U.S. and in Africa, owned a construction company for 28 years, and has worked for 4+ years as the Regional Operations Coordinator for all states east of the Mississippi River. He helps to investigate the need for volunteers after a storm, and then coordinates and organizes the work.

The Heart of Home: An Occupational Therapy Perspective

This presentation will emphasize the importance of understanding interactions between person, environment, and occupation, and how these relationships impact performance, independence, and occupational engagement. The session will be led by Rachel Ellis, an occupational therapist and adjunct professor of Occupational Therapy at Milligan College. Like you, she has witnessed firsthand the impact that can be achieved by altering someone’s personal environment. As an occupational therapist and Certified Aging in Place Specialist, Rachel can assess the individual and the environment as a cohesive unit and tailor recommendations that are unique to the individual. This intentional approach allows the client to experience their home environment wholly and not merely as a physical dwelling place.