Speakers 2017 Annual Conference 

 Walt Stasinski, MEd, MPH

I was born the son of hard-working Polish immigrants who came to the U.S. with not much more than the clothes on their back. My father worked hard in a foundry to bring the American dream to his family. I didn't start talking until I was three years old. By that time, my parents were ready to take me to a specialist. Ironically, here I am now, a professional speaker. I guess I’m trying to make up for lost time.

After earning a Masters Degree in Education from Wayne State University and a Masters Degree in Public Health (MPH does not stand for miles per hour) from The  University of Michigan, I began my real education, in the school of hard knocks. My early "speaking" career began as a teacher and football coach at Wayne State University. This is where I learned how to motivate and inspire. I also found out that people learn more when they're having fun, so I use humor to get the message across to my audience. I have my personal reasons too. Let's face it, life is just a lot easier with a smile on your face and a hearty belly laugh.

I enjoyed my success at Wayne State. I even won a football championship, but after a number of years I was eager to find another growth opportunity. I found it in the healthcare industry. I directed programs at hospitals including the Wellness Initiative for 10,000 employees at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.

I graduated from the school of hard knocks. The solutions I offer are for the real-world. They are straightforward, common-sense ideas that will work in your life.

The Power of Fun at Work

Do you really enjoy your job? Do you finish the day worn out? It doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, you can achieve success and have fun doing it. You will be given practical tools to reduce stress, re-energize yourself, defuse conflict and make your job more fun. As a bonus, humor will help you with your productivity and creativity.

Take your job seriously but yourself lightly. Find out how to enjoy the lighter side of your success and even get a standing ovation for all your accomplishments? According to the business journal, Human Resources Focus, 96% of the Executives surveyed said that employees with a sense of humor do a better job than employees with little or no sense of humor.


  • Discover the crucial difference between employees who have fun at work and those who don't.
  • Reduce the amount of stress hormones in the bloodstream with laughter.
  • Find out the value of humor in resolving conflicts at the workplace.
  • Learn the way to end the work week with a laugh and drive home with a smile on your face.

Chuck Lehman  

A graduate of Purdue University, Chuck formed his landscape architecture firm, Lehman & Lehman, Inc., in 1988 and has since established himself as a leader in master planning and strategic planning and is recognized for his vision in planning, design and Placemaking.

Lehman & Lehman is committed to practicing with an emphasis on social, economic and purposeful design strategies. The company is dedicated to crafting sustainable landscapes, sites, and places that create positive change through cross-disciplinary collaborations, and embrace the process of landscape architecture as the synthesis of art, technology and social sciences to create community-centered solutions. 

 Fun with Technology  

Technology is a part of our daily lives. How can applications of software apps and hardware can make each of us more effective and have fun in doing so? This session will share some of the latest and greatest examples of what you can do now with a glimpse of what is on the near horizon.

Workshop Learning Objectives:

  •   Learn how to maximize many of the apps you already own
  •  Understand how technology can provide a positive transformation in your work environment
  •  How various social media apps can become a key resource of keeping connected with your friends, customers and community

Building Stronger Teams with StrengthsFinder

How often are we told (or have told individuals) that we need to work on your (their) weaknesses? Would it make more sense to strengthen the areas you are already good at? Many of us do not know what are strengths are. Gallup says that, on average, people only apply 17% of their top strengths on a daily basis!

This session will demonstrate how the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment tool can greatly enable individuals in the strengths they already have and as applied to teams how together we can work more efficiencies and greater success. Knowing your strengths is the first step. Prior to the conference pick up the book “StrengthsFinder 2.0” by Tom Rath and using the code in the book take the assessment online before the conference. Bring your top five strengths to the conference and learn what the next steps are to improve yourself and those you work with.

Workshop Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how your strengths are enhanced with the strengths of others
  • Understand the process of building stronger teams based on individual strengths and the strength domains
  • Measure the impact of evaluations and procedures in your operations and your work dynamics

Carla Odell

Carla has held the Executive Director position at DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center for over 7 years. Yet, her 14 year tenure at DaySpring includes her work as a bookkeeper and as administrator. She is a member of the ECCC (Episcopal Camps and Conference Center Association). Carla's previous work experience includes teaching elementary grade levels and owning a software company for educational software for schools for Hewlett Packard where she installed software and trained School District Employees. Carla is the current IACCA Vice President and has previously taught several IACCA classes and workshops.

Serving Transgender Campers, Guests, and Staff

Has the issue of serving transgender campers and guests come up at your camp or center?  If not, it is probably just a matter of time when you’re confronted with this very realistic, emotional and legal issue.  Is the call to radical hospitality more compelling than any theological interpretation that being transgender is in conflict with Christian principles?  What does your parent organization believe?  What about the rights of others that aren’t transgender?  Being inclusive yet protecting all children and youth is difficult to navigate.  It is a process that is constantly changing and evolving.  There are no easy answers and it’s something that you have to decide with what is best for your center.  Come learn, explore and work out a discernment process for this emerging topic in our country today.

Establish a Health & Wellness Program for Employees at your Center

You offer many benefits to the employees at your center such as insurance, holidays, meals, uniforms, etc. so how about adding a health and wellness program as a benefit.  You might say that I don’t want employees taking a walk on the center’s time or I’m not as a Director willing to spend money on something to get an employee to stop smoking.  If that’s your thinking, though, you are missing a valuable opportunity to insure better health for your employees.  If you have healthy employees, they are less likely to take as many sick days and the morale goes up because the employees are feeling better physically and are feeling better about themselves.  Anyone can get the “runners high” without running.  They just need to get some type of exercise to experience that feeling.  Come to this workshop to find out how to establish a program at your center and to learn what are the pros and cons of setting this up for your employees.

Jennifer Morrison, M.Ed.

Consultant and Grant Writer – Ms. Morrison capitalizes on her 20 plus years of nonprofit leadership to help guide and fund nonprofit missions and projects. She has expertise in private and government grant writing and management, as well as leadership, program and outcome development. She holds a M.Ed. from the University of North Texas in Education and received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. 

Grant Writing

A step by step process of locating potential funders and how to develop a proposal requesting funding.

Fred C. Wasiak

Fred C. Wasiak, Owner/Principal, Humanics Consulting, LLC, background includes over 30 years of leadership and executive management experiences in all aspects of nonprofit operations, program development, education, consulting, and coaching.  This includes his vocation as the Conference Director for the Frost Valley YMCA from 1993-1999.  From 1995-1997 Fred served as the 1st V.P. for IACCA; 1997-1999 served as President for NYACCA (New York Association of Conference Center Administrators; and as the Ambassador for NEACCA (Northeast Association of Conference Center Administrators).  Whew! 

Fred has a B.S. in Physical Education from Niagara University and a M.S. in Human Services with a concentration in Organizational Management/Leadership from Springfield College. Coaching certifications and course work includes: Fowler International Academy of Professional Coaching; CTI's Fundamentals of Co-Active Coaching; 360 Certified Coach, The Booth Company; Conversations that Inspire- Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change, Case Western Reserve University; Total Leadership - Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life, Wharton Leadership Program; and Mindfulness Fundamentals, Mindful Schools. Fred is a husband of 31 years (and growing); father of three (all three children were born in three different states at three different camp/conference centers); maybe someday be a grandfather; a passionate cause driven leader; committed Rotarian; and an outdoor enthusiast. 

A Mindful Approach to Leadership: It is all about relationships, but I should get to know “ME” first!

Imagine the power of truly knowing yourself, what motivates you, and how you impact the relationships in your life. Unlike other personality tests, “The Color Code” assessment will make it easier for you to know your natural talents and the natural talents of your staff by understanding your core color (characteristics). This interactive, energetic, and fun workshop will examine your leadership characteristics, your “resonant leadership” capabilities, and how being in the “present” enables you to understand your role as an effective conference center administrator.   

The Very Rev. Canon Michael A. Bamberger

The Very Rev. Canon Michael A. Bamberger has served at the Church of the Ascension since 1985 and as Rector since 1986. Educated at the University of California, Santa Barbara and at Nashotah House, a seminary of the Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, he previously served as a mission vicar based in Needles, California with congregations along the Colorado River. Married since 1979 to Debbie, he has two sons – Christopher and Matthew. The rector serves the Diocese of Deanery V, Los Angeles as chair of the Commission on Ministry and as a trainer for making the church a safer place. He is a retired Battalion Chief with the Sierra Madre Volunteer Fire Department.  Michael has been a Partner iN response for Episcopal Relief and Development since 2012.  He has helped church leaders plan recovery efforts for hurricanes, wildfires, tornados and other disasters.

 Disaster Planning Step by Step

What are the steps to preparing for a disaster? How can a conference center participate in disaster response? Learn the steps to writing a disaster plan for your property, and envision how your organization would respond to the needs of your community in the event of a disaster. 


Rev. Jack Shitama 

Jack is the Executive Director of Pecometh Camp & Retreat Ministries where he has served since 2000. He is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and has served as pastor of churches in Port Deposit, MD and Chesapeake City, MD. He serves on the Peninsula-Delaware Conference Vision Team and was a clergy delegate to the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. He served as President of the International Association of Conference Center Administrators from 2003-2007.

How to Form a Healthy Habit. 

Learn how to develop a keystone habit that will improve every aspect of your well-being.

Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia currently serves as the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Claggett Center in Adamstown, Maryland.  Originally from Raynham, Massachusetts, she relocated to pursue her degrees at Hood College in Frederick.  In her early career, she worked as an English professor at Montgomery College in Damascus, Maryland and as a high school teacher at New Life Christian School in Frederick, Maryland.  In addition to being involved in her community and church, she is an active member of both the Frederick Chamber of Commerce and IACCA.  Lori recently completed the IACCA professional certification and is serving as a volunteer to help plan the 2016 IACCA conference.  She is an accomplished pianist and musician, with a penchant for medieval literature and languages.

Employee Engagement.

How can we as managers improve the quality of the workplace by altering the way we engage with our employees? In this session, we will address causes of job misery and look at how to combat the feelings of anonymity and irrelevance found within the workplace. 

Norman Ross

Norman is a talented, respected, and experienced conference center professional, with over 40 years of successful leadership, consulting, and teaching in the operation, design/building, and development of facilities and services.  He has worked with numerous facilities, organizations, staffs, and board teams enabling them to move forward with a process of visioning and planning. In addition, Norman served on the board of IACCA for several years, and as a President of Episcopal Camps and Conference Center.

His energy for conference center coupled with his passion for life and humor have made him a respected and sought after director, consultant, speaker, and teacher. 

The words “work” and “fun” shouldn’t be antonymous.  But for so many centers they can be.

This exciting workshop will help you as a leader step back and take an objective and creative way to infuse new energy and excitement into and with your staff.   Generally speaking and history tells us,  if employees are having “fun” they’re going to work harder, stay longer, maintain their composure in a crisis, and take better care of the organization.  Isn’t that what you as a leader want?  The content promises to be both didactic and experiential in nature.  Come join us, and be prepared to laugh~

Steve Doniger

Steven Doniger has a degree in business from Indiana Wesleyan University and over 25 years of parks & recreation services, camping and adventure park experience as both a manager and executive director. Steve is credited with multiple accomplishments, such as but not limited to: Strategic planning and management of community outreach events, resource development, and business partnerships; Development and management of financial operations that incorporated revenue and spending projections, purchasing standards, operation efficiencies, and long term capital outlays; Co-established parks & recreation as an essential service and leveraged multiple public/private partnerships; Facility development for hundreds of acres of land ropes course, golf courses, pools, extreme sports complex, sport facilities, camping, trail systems; Numerous professional awards for facility developments, creative programs and professional of the year.

Steve served on local, state and national boards from chamber of commerce to national parks and recreation and as president of Parks & Recreation state association. He has been married to his wife Tracey for 24 years and has two children Andrew 20 yrs. and a student at IUPUI in Indianapolis and Lily 15 a sophomore in High School. Steven serves his community as a member/coach of Special Olympics, and playground development taskforce leader.

Enhancing the guest experience and improving competitive advantage with outdoor adventures

To better position your facility in a competitive marketplace organizations need to find creative solutions to attract and retain customers.  Investing in outdoor adventures is one of the best ways to capture the imagination of group leaders seeking “that something different.”  Adventure facility and program development i.e. individual (self guided) adventures, team building, adventure play and educational programs will give a competitive advantage and help grow the bottom line.

Nicole Todd 

G Suites and Google Cloud

In this session, we’ll take an in depth look at tools Google offers for businesses.  We’ll discuss how to collaborate easily with colleagues and streamline documents to increase productivity at your centers.

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