Annual Meeting – #WeMakeADifference

Program of Events


8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Keynote – General Session

Jim Uhl – Breaking the Chain Consulting

  • Topic: Employee Engagement and Achieving Organizational Health

Jim Uhl is the Founder of Breaking the Chain Consulting. Jim delivers a highly dynamic and engaging learning experience. He is an expert in leadership development, organizational development, team learning, critical thinking, human motivation/engagement, strength based leadership and critical incident stress management.


10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Track 1 - Santa Rosa Room A

Mary Miller, R.N, J.D. – V.P. of Risk Management & General Counsel, Home of Guiding Hands

  • Topic: It’s Your License: Risk Management for Nurses in the I/DD Setting

Mary Miller is an attorney and has been a Registered Nurse for over 35 years. Mary represents the long term care/health care industries as both a litigator and in-house attorney. Prior to joining Home of Guiding Hands, Mary was the Director of Risk Management for Prestige Care, Inc., a long term care company with over 80 skilled nursing and assisted/independent living facilities across eight states.

10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Track 2 - Santa Rosa Room B

Diana Bowden – Relias Learning, LLC

  • Topic: Innovative e-Learning Solutions

Diana Bowden has over 30 years of executive-level experience within the healthcare and human services industries. Diana has focused her career in advancing the adoption and incorporation of modern technology for healthcare and human services providers. Diana has been working with Relias for nearly eight years, delivering e-Learning services for Relias within the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities/Behavior Intervention areas.

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Buffet Lunch and Networking

Sponsored by: Mountain View Services, Inc.

  • Recognition of Gary Macomber, Ron Cohen, UCPLA, and Steve Zolno, DSN Founding Board Member 


1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Track 1 – Santa Rosa Room A

Olivia Sullivan – Elsevier - College of Direct Support

  • Topic: Standardized Competency-Based Support Through Expert Education

Olivia Sullivan has been with Elsevier for five years consulting specifically with organizations that support individuals with disabilities about their workforce training and development needs. After learning specific needs, she demonstrates how Elsevier’s learning management system and competency based e-Learning can help them accomplish their training and tracking goals.

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Track 2 – Santa Rosa Room B

Holly Johnson – Law Office of Holly L. Johnson, Inc.

  • Topic: Legal Updates

Holly Johnson is an attorney specializing in health care and business law, specifically licensing and certification of health care providers. Clients include ICF/DD providers, skilled nursing facilities, subacute facilities and residential care facilities.

BREAK – 2:45 p.m.– 3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.– 4:15 p.m. – Track 1 – Santa Rosa Room A

Gary Macomber, Kathy Mossburg, and Diane Van Maren – Consultants

  • Topic: Rates & Regulations/Legislative Updates

Gary Macomber is a consultant and influential leader in the health and human services sector and government relations with emphasis on long term care and developmental services. Gary has served the State of California at multiple agencies, focusing on skilled nursing, intermediate care, the complex issues of long term care and developmental disabilities.

Kathy Mossburg is a partner in the lobbying firm MVM Strategy Group. Kathy represents a wide range of clients focused on public health and safety net issues. She has comprehensive knowledge of legislative, administrative and budget processes.

Diane Van Maren is a consultant specializing in a wide variety of issues regarding the Medi-Cal Program, behavioral health, and developmental services. Having served for over twenty four years as a chief fiscal and policy consultant to the California State Senate and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, Diane played a key role in State budget negotiations, the expansion of the Medi-Cal Program, implementation of the Affordable Care Act and crafting system reforms in the areas of mental health and developmental services. 

 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. – Track 2 – Santa Rosa Room B

Jim Uhl – Breaking the Chain Consulting

  • Topic: Strength Based Leadership – The Antidote to Employee Disengagement

Whether you are a CEO, supervisor, parent, coach, line-level employee, or teammate; you are a leader. We invest more time, money and effort into showing people what is wrong them and trying to fix them rather than identifying and accentuating what is so right and brilliantly strong about them. Strength-Based Leadership gives the leader, the follower and the organization what they tangibly need so they can maximize organizational health and performance.

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Networking Reception – San Jacinto Ballroom

Hosted by our sponsors. Join our sponsors for a relaxed reception where you’ll have a chance to interact with our sponsors, presenters, Board members, and other attendees.


8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – General Session

Fred Rose - Consultant

  • Topic: Recruitment and Interview Process

Fred Rose is a Human Resource professional with experience in HR training and recruitment. Fred serves as a consultant at Mountain Shadows working with staff to review and implement improvements in the

“Employee Life Cycle” to reduce turn-over rate. Fred is the Managing Partner of a veterinarian surgical device LLC, volunteers as a Special Olympics Golf Coach and teaches interviewing skills to military personnel leaving the military.

BREAK – 9:30 - 9:45 a.m.


 9:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Track 1 - Santa Rosa Room A

Jessica Hawthorne – CA Employers Association (CEA)

  • Topic: HR Trivia

Jessica Hawthorne joined CEA in 2016 after serving as Sr. Employment Law Counsel and Manager of the Labor Law Helpline at the California Chamber of Commerce.  She used her employment law knowledge and expertise to produce and conduct webinars and seminars, as well as contribute to CalChamber publications. Previously she was with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) as Internal Counsel and an associate with Young, Minney, and Corr, a law firm specializing in labor and employment, and charter school law.

9:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Track 2 - Santa Rosa Room B

Ruthann Hernandez & Wendy Graca - California Department of Public Heath - (DPH)

  • Topic: Licensing and Survey Protocol

Ruthann Hernandez has worked for the State of California for over 17 years and has worked as a Health Facility Evaluator Nurse for 14 years surveying ICF, skilled nursing homes, home health agencies, and dialysis centers. Ruthann has knowledge and experience with surveys related to immediate jeopardy, Conditions of Participation and substandard quality of care. She has been a Health Facility Evaluator Supervisor for approximately three years and supervises a team of nursing surveyors. 

Wendy Graca has worked for the California Department of Public Health for over eight years and has served as a Supervisor for over two years. Wendy has been a Registered Nurse for more than 35 years and has worked in Acute Care, Home Health/Hospice, Primary Care clinics, and Long Term Care. 

11:30 a.m. General Conference Concludes


12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Therap User Group (Sign-up is required for this session)

Brent Hessee, Dawn Gilder, Stan Higgins – Therap Services

  • Topic:Free ranging topics which will include the ICF Billing Module

Brent Hessee is a Business Development Consultant and began his career at Therap as a Training and Implementation Specialist. He has trained over 15,000 people on how to effectively implement Therap at their organization.

Dawn Gilder is a Billing Specialist and worked for over seven years at an ICF/ID providing administrative and computer support, as well as Therap provider administrator services. She has been responsible for the training and implementation of Therap for all departments in organizations with T-logs, eMar, and billing.

Stan Higgins began using Therap at his agency in 2012. He has played a key role in the implementation and training process. He has experienced the value of using Therap for DSP’s, as well as the benefits it provided for agency management and reporting to oversight agencies.