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Join us for the 10th First Place Global Leadership Institute Symposium, Oct. 13–15, delivered in person and via webinar. Benefit from decades of research and community-building know-how, along with experiences and strategies for navigating opportunities and challenges inherent in real estate and community development.

Take advantage of our powerful and in-depth three-day program—and build momentum for your supportive community, vision, funding needs and healthy outcomes. Learn how to inspire and engage others to be part of changing the world for those we serve.

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Agenda Overview

Wednesday, October 13
3–7:30 p.m. PDT / 6–10:30 p.m. EDT

Changing the World, One Community at a Time

Presented by the First Place Global Leadership Institute
Mulzet Center for Expression/Communication
12:30 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

First Place–Phoenix Property Tour

First Place–Phoenix helps connect residents to community opportunities—including jobs and volunteer work—along with retail, restaurants, recreation, arts and culture and a variety of venues for continuing education. Experience all First Place–Phoenix offers first-hand.

First Place–Phoenix, 3001 N. Third St., Phoenix

3:00 p.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

In A Different Key: The Movie–Screening

Enjoy an exclusive screening of “In A Different Key: The Movie,” the first-ever full-length documentary to travel the timeline of society’s tense and sometimes misguided response to people on the autism spectrum.

AMC Arizona Center - 565 N. Third St., Phoenix

Artful Approaches to Community Building

Bringing together essential special ingredients to build strength, resiliency, collective memories and forever points of pride.

The Future Starts with You

The producers of “In A Different Key: The Movie” are launching their Multi-City Mission Tour in Phoenix. From First Place in Phoenix, AZ to the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation in Nashville, TN and several cities in between, learn more about the film and how you can be involved. "We are excited to partner with committed organizations and community leaders to share In A Different Key with their audiences, working together to inspire the world to have the backs of people on the spectrum." 

John Donvan & Caren Zucker

Pulitzer Prize-Finalist Authors of “In A Different Key: The Story of Autism” and Award-Winning Documentary Film Producers of “In A Different Key: The Movie”

5:30 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Evening In-Person Experiences

Reception, discussion with authors/filmmakers and networking

Snell & Wilmer 400 E. Van Buren St., Suite 1900, Phoenix

Thursday, October 14
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. PDT / 12–3:30 p.m. EDT

Your Story from Prologue to Epilogue

Presented by the First Place Global Leadership Institute
Center for Real Estate & Community Development
9:00 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Critical Markers and Milestones Along the Way

What to know before getting started on and during your real estate and community development journey.

First Place–Phoenix, 3001 N. Third St., Phoenix

Denise D. Resnik

Founder & President/CEO, First Place AZ

9:10 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Advancing Policy Priorities and Pioneering Change

Ensure we express what’s needed now in terms others understand—by local, state and federal governments—to fuel a new marketplace of housing and community options everywhere.

9:40 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Broaden Your Reach by Accessing Trusted Sources and Content

Expand your search beyond Google and ad-sponsored platforms to discover vetted sources, empowering you to advance your research and inform your plans, process and funding streams.

Toby Green

Publisher, Policy Commons; Former Head of Publishing, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

10:05 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Keynote Speaker: Expand Your Peripheral Vision

Be the change agent in your community and beyond, embracing innovation and disruption. “Having perspective is really important. Use peripheral vision to see what is around, allowing you to enhance the effectiveness of your work and organization.”

10:50 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Defining Affordable Housing 2.0

What’s needed and how it gets funded, built and supported through tri-sector leadership and collaboration.

Tom Simplot

Director, Arizona Department of Housing

Michael Trailor

Chief Strategy Officer, Native American Connections
Former Director, Arizona Dept. of Housing and Economic Security

James R. Stringham

Vice President & CEO, Banner University Health Plans
Fund Chair, Home Matters to Arizona

11:30 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Fortify Your Community

Learn about available tools and trainings that help police officers bridge the communication gap and interact more effectively, and positively, with individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Nancy Martinez

Investigative Specialist, Chandler Police Coordinator, BE SAFE Training Program

Lon Bartel

Director of Training and Curriculum
VirTra, Inc.

Noon (PDT)

In Person & Online

Your Story. Our Story.

Meet Arizona Republic breaking news reporter and woman with autism, who regularly covers topics that include disability and religion, along with producers of "In A Different Key: The Movie," whose multi-city film tour begins in Phoenix. Discover their passion and how you can be part of their shared mission to connect communities and support everyone on the spectrum. Learn what influences news content and placement across various platforms and how to represent all voices.

BrieAnna J. Frank

Reporter, The Arizona Republic

Caren Zucker

Pulitzer Prize-Finalist Author of “In A Different Key: The Story of Autism” and Award-Winning Documentary Film Producer of “In A Different Key: The Movie”

John Donvan

Pulitzer Prize-Finalist Author of “In A Different Key: The Story of Autism” and Award-Winning Documentary Film Producer of “In A Different Key: The Movie”

In-Person Workshops & Small Groups at First Place–Phoenix
1:30 p.m. (PDT)

In Person

Starting Your Story

Draft your most desirable headline(s) along with the major points of your press release and envision corresponding images; benefit from approaches by fellow pioneers and journalists’ input.

BrieAnna J. Frank

Breaking News Reporter
The Arizona Republic

Caren Zucker

Pulitzer Prize-Finalist Author of “In A Different Key: The Story of Autism” and Award-Winning Documentary Film Producer of “In A Different Key: The Movie”

John Donvan

Pulitzer Prize-Finalist Author of “In A Different Key: The Story of Autism” and Award-Winning Documentary Film Producer of “In A Different Key: The Movie”

2:15 p.m. (PDT)

In Person

Navigating with Knowledge

Impact the culture of your police force through training and tools addressing challenging behaviors, sensory processing issues and strong partnerships: Nancy Martinez, Investigative Specialist for Chandler Police, trainer of more than 2,000 first responders and mother of a son with an I/DD.

Nancy Martinez

Investigative Specialist, Chandler Police; Coordinator, BE SAFE Training Program

2:45 p.m. (PDT)

In Person

What’s Standing in Your Way

Beyond bricks, mortar and funding, explore what may be holding you back—and what can get you through the detours and over the speed bumps.

6:00 p.m. (PDT)

In Person

Dinner, Discussion & Networking with Keynote Speakers

Building Community Through Autism + One

Alexi's Grill - 3550 N. Central Ave. #120, Phoenix, AZ 85012

Friday, October 15
9 a.m.–Noon PDT / 12–3 p.m. EDT

Building Blocks: Jumpstarting Your Programs

Presented by the First Place Global Leadership Institute
Colonel Harland Sanders Center for Applied Research
Maricopa IDA Center for Education, Training & Employment
9:00 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Health Starts at Home

Set a high bar through the power of our examples—in the real estate we develop, collaborations we foster and communities we build.

First Place–Phoenix, 3001 N. Third St., Phoenix

Denise D. Resnik

Founder & President/CEO, First Place AZ

9:10 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Reimagining Complex & Disconnected Systems

Build a healthcare equity model where no one goes untreated or is medically misunderstood because of autism and other related disorders.

Maureen Casey

Director, First Place Global Leadership Institute Centers for Applied Research & Public Policy; Coordinator, Creighton Medical School Elective

Caroline Kim Kupfer, MD, MPH

Dignity Health; Internist, First Place Health Spot; Preceptor, Creighton University

9:45 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Transitioning to Greater Independence

Earn public support for innovative, impactful programs based on design, outcomes and shared experiences.

10:15 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Save Time, Money & Heartache

Inform and expedite your journey based on decades of research, uphill climbs, trailblazing and results.

Denise D. Resnik

Founder & President/CEO, First Place AZ

10:25 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

10 Actions to Engage Your Board in Storytelling

Align board interests and know-how with fundraising goals, transforming members into powerful storytellers and effective fundraisers.

Julia Patrick

Founder & CEO, American Nonprofit Academy

11:00 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Build for Strength and Resilience

Roll up your sleeves for this community-building exercise and learn from leaders in this space.

Denise D. Resnik

Founder & President/CEO, First Place AZ and Matt’s Mom

Wilanne Daniels

Jackson County Administrator, NextStep at Endeavor Academy

Justin Dougherty, MPA

Executive Director, Autism Action Partnership Transition Academy
Omaha, NE

11:30 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

The Sequel

Ensure your content is authentic, credible and powerful and allows you to tell your story at the right time and in the right place(s).

Denise D. Resnik

Founder & President/CEO, First Place AZ

In-Person Workshop & Community Tour
12:45 p.m. (PDT)

In Person

Building and Strengthening Your Bench

Identify strategies for board diversification, engagement and expanded circles of influence beyond gender, socioeconomics and ethnicity to advance your goals and ensure you make promises you can keep.

Julia Patrick

Founder & CEO, American Nonprofit Academy

1:30 p.m. (PDT)

In Person

Community & Property Tours

First- and second-year Transition Academy participants reside at First Place–Phoenix, practicing what they learn in their own apartments—also called “independent living classrooms.” But that’s not where we started!

In 2015, First Place established the Transition Academy independent life skills program at 29 Palms in Phoenix, our beta site, before incorporating it into First Place–Phoenix in 2018. A development of the Foundation for Senior Living (FSL) in collaboration with First Place AZ, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), the Arizona Dept. of Housing and the Arizona Community Foundation, 29 Palms incubated the program where students lived among supportive senior neighbors.

Transition Academy graduates can now continue living on their own at 29 Palms—no longer as students but as neighbors themselves. A second, similarly situated property, Spectrum Courtyard Apartments—where Academy graduates also currently live—opened earlier this year.

Additional Information for In-Person Attendance

Included

  • Morning sessions outlined above
  • Additional afternoon workshops
  • Small group planning
  • Facilitated discussion
  • Property & supportive community tour
  • Networking
  • Meals

Not Included

  • Flight
  • Transportation
  • Hotel (We suggest staying at Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Downtown North. Use our group rate!)

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