2019 PLENARY SPEAKERS


2019 plenary speakers: Dr. Tiffany Manuel, Tony Marr, and Emily McGlohn

Dr. Tiffany Manuel is the President and CEO of TheCaseMade, a woman and minority-owned business dedicated to helping leaders powerfully and intentionally make the case for systems change. The Mercury News called her "a rock star in the affordable housing world." She'll be coming to us from the Washington, DC area.

Trained as a social scientist, Dr. T. is committed to building the capacity of change-makers and leaders to grow their social impact. She is a dynamic speaker, thought leader, and writer on the issues of community development, social change, and cross-sector partnerships. She has worked to expand opportunity for low-income workers, families, and communities through 25+ years of professional and volunteer experience spanning the private and nonprofit sectors, government and academia.

Dr. T. is passionate about translating the insights harvested from this work to increase opportunities for public deliberation and public will-building around the issues of poverty, inequality, and social exclusion. She holds a doctorate and master's degrees in public policy from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, a master's degree in political science from Purdue University, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago.  

At ReFrame Conference, Dr. T. will share a 45-minute plenary address on the afternoon of November 6th, followed by a 60-minute dynamic, engaging break-out session. Her topic will be, "Breaking New Ground: The Urgency to Build Public Will Around Housing."  Dr. T., an expert in public will building, will discuss how we can take advantage of the current momentum in the field and make a stronger case for our work. See more details here


Tony Marr has spent the past 20 years helping organizations and their leaders uncover, craft, and communicate their personal and corporate story. Who we are, what makes us unique, and why we are the best at what we do - these are all vital questions that every organization needs to verbalize if they are to reach their maximum potential. A nonprofit's story need to become part of the DNA and be told to potential volunteers, donors, and employees. 

A literal Master Storyteller (he has a Master of Arts in Storytelling), Tony has spent years captivating audiences with stories of humor, hope, and history. Winner of numerous awards including the Timpanogos New Voice Award, Tony invites listeners on adventures that they will never want to end. He has launched four nonprofits and has worked coast to coast helping others gain clarity in their mission, vision, values, and strategy. As a certified Gallup Strengths Coach, Tony offers a greater appreciation of life and a deeper understanding of yourself and your purpose. Visit his website to learn more.

Tony will lead a pre-conference workshop on November 6th, "Your Greatest Resource: Your Story." In this 3-hour workshop, participants will gain understanding about what a story is, what it means for their life and leadership, what makes a great story, and how to craft a story for any occasion and need. They will also learn and practice communication principles and skills to help them effectively communicate their stories for maximum impact.

On November 7th, Tony will give a plenary address, "The Power of Story." The power of story is undeniable. Stories connect all of our feelings and emotions, entwining them together to invoke action. Understanding your story and having the ability to connect your story to others is critical to sustaining success in business and in life. Clearly communicating your story in a compelling manner is just as critical as the story itself.

Following the plenary, Tony will lead a break-out session, "Their Story." In this 90-minute interactive workshop, you will learn how to utilize the power of others' stories (not just yours!) to recruit, train, and retain volunteers. Tony will help you understand how the story of your community can increase involvement and help volunteers become fully engaged supporters of your organization. 


Emily McGlohn is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Auburn University in Alabama. She teaches the 3rd year design studio at Rural Studio, an off-campus design-build program. She was inspired to become an architect after volunteering with a ReFrame member organization, Mountain T.O.P.

Emily earned her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon where she studies common practice use of vapor and air control layers in residential construction. Her research interests focus on energy efficiency in affordable housing. In her ongoing research, she studies the cost and health burdens of high air infiltration rates in existing homes in low-income communities. 

Her plenary speech, "Rural Studio: Educating the Citizen Architect," will be about their 20K Initiative and strategies and policies that facilitate a new paradigm of housing affordability. Drawing from Rural Studio's 20 years of leadership in the area of Public Interest Design, this session will outline best practices with regard to design, constructability, and affordability while simultaneously engaging in community growth, health, welfare, sustainability, and education. It will provide an inside look at how Rural Studio continues to evolve within the ever emerging complexities of an impoverished rural community while simultaneously striving to educate its students as citizen architects. Her plenary address will be on November 8th. Emily will also lead two break-out sessions, "Lessons Learned in Affordable Housing Details: The construction evolution of Rural Studio's 20K House," and "The Burden of High Air Infiltration Rates." See more details here