Alliance Conference

Conference registration is now open for the California Alliance 2019 Executives’ Fall Conference at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa on Sept. 3-6, 2019.  Conference Early-Bird Registration is $345, plus $50 for CEUs. Early Bird Registration ends Aug 2, at which time registration increases to $395.

We have more options than ever before, including TWO options for sessions at the pre-conference on Tuesday, plus FOUR workshop options during the conference instead of three.

This year’s pre-conference times have changed, so please note that when you are making travel plans.  Pre-Conference is Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We have also booked Dr. Kenneth Hardy, professor, Counseling and Family Therapy, College of Nursing and Health Professions, at Drexel University. He will be a Plenary Speaker on Wednesday morning and then be available for a 5-hour intensive workshop for practitioners focused on understanding how sociocultural trauma impacts our clinical work with youth and families. Author of “Teens Who Hurt” and “Revisioning Family Therapy,” Dr. Hardy writes and speaks on issues of race, social justice and family therapy. This interactive training will help attendees explore their own biases, and develop tools they can use in creating authentic therapeutic relationships. If you plan to attend Dr. Hardy’s session all day, please check the box on the registration page.

The line-up of speakers we have confirmed so far, include:

Tuesday, September 3, starting at 9:30 a.m.

  • Monica Hendrix, Behavioral Health Consultant, Gadda Hendrix Consulting, Jen Cardenas, Behavioral Health Consultant, Consulting Group, and Alex Zandueta, VP of Planning, Reporting & Analysis at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services “Now What?” – STRTP  Implementation Following Provisional Licensure: Q&A Panel Addressing Next Steps for Completing the Mental Health Program Application, Medi-cal Certification & Contracting, and Implementing Specialty Mental Health Services
  • Joshua J. Ciszek, President & CEO, INP Partners, Get Data Ready – How to Collect Data and Leverage It
  • Levi Gelineau, Partner, Business Insurance and Chris Stickney, Partner, Employee Benefits, Finders Keepers, Loser Weepers
  • Kevin King, Lead Training, Seneca Family of Agencies, Seneca Institute of Advance Practices, Hiring the Right People Using Behavioral Interviewing
  • Elizabeth Barnett, MSW, Ph.D., Trainer, Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, Motivation Interviewing(MI) for Leadership

Wednesday, September 4

  • Dr. Kenneth Hardy, Ph.D, Professor, Counseling and Family Therapy Department, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Plenary and all day intensive workshop on Understanding Sociocultural Trauma in working with Children, Youth and Families
  • Chuck Ingoglia, CEO, National Council for Behavioral Health, the National Landscape for Behavioral Health and how it will impact California
  • Christine Stoner-Mertz, LCSW, Chief Executive Officer, California Alliance of Child and Family Services, Setting Policy Priorities that Make a Real Difference 
  • Angie Schwartz, Policy Director, Alliance for Children’s Rights and Sean Hughes, Director of Government Affairs, Social Change Partners, Implications of Passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act
  • Samuel Gonzalez, Vice President of Supportive Housing, Hathaway-Sycamores, and Stan Rushing, Vice President II of Supportive Housing, Hathaway-Sycamores, Supportive Housing for Transition Age Youth (TAY)
  • Russell Rice, Executive Director, River Stones Residential Services, Surviving and Thriving as a Small Provider
  • Toby Ewing, Executive Director, Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission, The MHSA in Action: How to Engage Locally and Create Innovative Practices
  • Gordon Richardson, Regional Executive Director, Capital Region, Uplift Family Services, Laurel Mechling, Project Management Director, Uplift Family Services, and Dr. Khush Cooper, CEO, Implematix, Inc, Using a Structured Implementation Process to Create a State-of-the-Art Resource Family Program at Scale
  • Christine Stoner-Mertz, LCSW, Chief Executive Officer, California Alliance of Child & Family Services, CEO Members Only

Thursday, September 5

  • Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General, INVITED
  • Tony Thurmond, California Superintendent of Public Instruction, INVITED, A Conversation with State Leaders on the Impacts of Trauma on Early Learning and Educational Engagement 
  • Richard Knecht, M.S, Integrated Services Advisor, California Department of Social Services and Brian Farragher, CEO, Hanna Boys Center, Leadership for STRTP Best Practices
  • Katie Albright, CEO, Safe and Sound and Malcolm Gaines, Senior Clinical Projects Director, Safe and Sound, Protective Factors: Strengthening Children, Families and Communities
  • CYC Members and Policy Staff, California Youth Connection #FosterStability 2.0 Campaign: A Youth-Centered Child Welfare
  • Panel Discussion with Alliance Members and Partner Organizations, School Based Mental Health Programs


We are using the same registration system that was used during the last two conferences. This system is separate from our database. If you used this system before (meaning you registered for the last conference), select “Returning User” and enter your email and password. If you forgot your password, you can request to change it. Otherwise select “New Registration” to begin the process.

Here’s the LINK.

For questions, contact Kevin Swartzendruber at [email protected] or call 916/449-2273, ext. 206 or Debbie Clore-Myers at [email protected] or call 916/449-2273, ext. 205.

For hotel reservations, rooms at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa are available at a special conference rate of $95 single or double occupancy. We have significantly increased the number of rooms available, however, the room block could still fill up quickly, so reserve now! To make your hotel reservations please use this LINK.

Please go to this LINK for the Committee Meeting Schedule on Thursday and Friday (Members Agencies only).

Thank you.  We hope to see you in September!

About Alliance Executives’ Conferences

Each year the California Alliance holds two conferences for executives and senior managers incorporating plenaries, seminars and workshops on a wide variety of timely and critically important topics. Often the list of speakers includes thought leaders and authorities in the field, members of the state Legislature, officials from state and county child welfare, mental health and juvenile probation agencies, and experts from the Alliance’s own member agencies. Conference presentations are approved by the California Department of Social Services for Group Home  and STRTP Administrator CEUs, LCSW and MFT and clinical psychologist CEs. by the pending approval application of the California Psychological Association. Alliance Executives’ conferences provide excellent opportunities for the exchange of ideas and for networking with colleagues in a relaxed, informal environment.

SAVE THE DATE for Future Conferences:

Winter Executives’ Conference, February 11-14, 2020, Hyatt Regency Hotel Monterey

Fall Executives’ Conference, September 8-11, 2020, Marriott Laguna Cliffs Hotel Dana Point