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MIE 2015 National Directors Conference - "The Dynamics of Leadership: An Inclusive Approach"

Save the date!

June 22 and 23, 2015

The Warwick Allerton Hotel
701 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Our special guest speaker will be Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits, and an engaging writer and speaker on nonprofit organizations.  Jan will join us to talk about leadership development, the preservation of institutional knowledge, and succession planning.

About Jan Masaoka

Jan Masaoka is CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a statewide policy alliance of nearly 10,000 nonprofits speaking to government, philanthropy, and the public at large.

CalNonprofits recently released the first-ever economic impact study of California's nonprofits: Causes Count: The Economic Power of California's Nonprofit Sector. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, CalNonprofits works with legislators and regulators to strengthen the business and regulatory climate for nonprofits. CalNonprofits also provides health insurance to nearly 15,000 nonprofit staff.

Jan is a leading writer and thinker on nonprofit organizations with particular emphasis on boards of directors, business planning, and the role of nonprofits in society. Her books include Best of the Board Café (Fieldstone), Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, co-author (Jossey Bass) and The Nonprofit's Guide to HR (Nolo Press). Jan founded and publishes Blue Avocado magazine, often described as the second-best read publication in the nonprofit sector, with 64,000 subscribers.

Prior to CalNonprofits and Blue Avocado, she served 14 years as executive director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services in which position she was named Nonprofit Executive of the Year by Nonprofit Times. She is an eight-time designee as one of the "Fifty Most Influential" people in the nonprofit sector nationwide and was named California Community Leader of the Year by Leadership California.

Additionally the National Directors Conference will explore advanced topics in employment law and financial management.

Day One


Understanding Leadership and Leadership Development
Join us for a provocative conversation on leadership with Jan Masaoka,* CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits, and an expert on leadership and management in nonprofit organizations:

What actually IS leadership, anyway?
How do we strengthen our own leadership, and how can we turn our management teams into leadership development teams? And what is wrong with our focus on leadership?

Our Best and Worst Leadership Development Experiences: Personal Stories, Organizational Lessons Legal aid leaders will respond to Jan Masaoka’s  presentation and invite you to a dialogue.


A facilitated conversation with Jan Masaoka: What should I do to prepare my organization for
my departure? Prepare myself? And how do I think differently if I decide to stay?

Share practical experiences about leadership development in legal aid organizations with a panel of legal aid leaders.


MIE ROUNDTABLE FOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS: The Dynamics of Taking Charge as a New or More Experienced Executive Director


Day Two


  • Hot Topics in Legal Aid. Join Don Saunders, Vice President, Civil Legal Services, NLADA ADA, FMLA, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination— What Every Director and Manager Needs to Know
  • Managing Your Finance Function: Staffing, Controls, Oversight, Expectations
  • Wage and Hour Compliance: Exempt Employees, Paralegals, Overtime, Comp Time, Travel, Paid Interns, Volunteers and more
  • Social Media — Thinking through Your Communications Policies and Plan, Including NLRA Considerations
  • MIE Roundtable for Legal Aid Organizations with Unions

Finding Unity with Unions:  Current Trends in Collective Bargaining

Legal Aid managers in unionized programs may strive to frame collective bargaining as a family issue, but may feel as though they are engaged in an antagonistic “us” vs. “them” conflict.  Unions have made attempts to enhance their negotiating leverage through personal attacks on Executives using social media, focus on Executive salaries, NLRB complaints alleging bad faith bargaining and direct dealing, work stoppages, and other forms of theatre and demonstration.  At the heart of collective bargaining discussions lie fundamental issues such as power sharing, decision-making, resource and staffing allocation in an era of declining revenues, and the provision of a fair compensation package including salaries, retirement plans, and health care insurance coverage in an environment where the pace of escalating premiums far exceed revenues.  Difficult questions of whether to lay-off and how lay-offs will be conducted may be at play.  Join us as we discuss recent collective bargaining experiences of Legal Aid managers and share ideas on how best to approach the challenging issues that are faced.

Facilitator:  Shawn Boehringer has been Chief Counsel at Maryland Legal Aid since October of 2009 and in that position, oversees the substantive work and service delivery of the firm.  He has practiced with four civil legal aid programs serving the poor, including Legal Aid Service of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale from 2000-2009, during which time he held several positions, including staff attorney with the Senior Citizens Law Project, supervising attorney for the housing and consumer units, Project Director for the HIV/AIDS Law Project, and Director of Advocacy.  From 1997-2000, he was a housing staff attorney with Legal Services of Greater Miami.  He began his legal career with the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky (“Appalred”) and received a prestigious Skadden Fellowship to support his work there.  Shawn received his J.D. in 1993 from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and he graduated with a B.A. cum laude from Gettysburg College in 1990.  He is a member of the Kentucky, Florida, and Maryland bars.

Social Media and Legal Aid: Connect, Context and Control

Legal aid organizations can connect with constituents, both lawyers and the public, through social media platforms. But which ones? We will discuss which platforms are best for reaching your target audience and what messages resonate best. Lawyers will also want to be mindful of any ethical concerns when using very public communications tools, and we will review some of the rules that you need to be aware of as you embark on your social media campaign. Finally, we will review the workplace policies and procedures need to be in place to effectively and legally leverage social media in your organizations – and how to draft these policies to keep up with the ever-changing standards of the National Labor Relations Board.

Catherine Sanders Reach is Director, Law Practice Management and Technology for the Chicago Bar Association. She was the Director at the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center for over ten years, providing practice technology assistance to lawyers. Prior to her work at the CBA and ABA she worked in library and information science environments for a number of years, working at Ross and Hardies as a librarian. She received a master's degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa in 1997.

Catherine’s professional activities include articles published in Law Practice magazine, Law Technology News and GPSolo Magazine. She has given presentations on the use of technology in law firms for national bar conferences, state and local bar associations and organizations such as the National Association of Bar Council and the Association of American Law Schools. In 2011 she was selected to be one of the inaugural Fastcase 50, celebrating 50 innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the field of law and in 2013 was nominated as a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. She is currently serving on the ABA TECHSHOW Board and is editorial advisory board emeritus for Law Technology News.

Pete Gillespie is Of Counsel in Fisher & Phillip’s Chicago office. Pete represents and counsels management on a wide array of employment law-related issues, including workplace discrimination and harassment, covenants not to compete, wage and hour laws, retaliation, workplace privacy, data retention, occupational health and safety issues, and statutory compliance. He currently is a council member of the American Bar Association, Section of Science and Technology Law where he currently serves as the Vice Chair of Membership and Diversity Committee, and is a past chair of the SciTech Social Media Committee.  He is also a member of the editorial board of the ABA’s SciTech Magazine.  Pete also serves as an advisor to the Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee on Social Media and Privacy.

Trending Issues in Employment Law Today

This discussion will focus on some of the trending issues in employment law today, including learning how to spot – and avoid – problems in the employer-employee relationship.  The discussion will specifically cover issues arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including the proper classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt from overtime requirements, and the calculation of overtime.  Other topics to be addressed will include claims of workplace retaliation and whistleblower suits, properly classifying independent contractors, and an employer’s obligations to accommodate employee religious practices.

Sean Smith is an associate in the Employment Law Department of the Paul Hastings Chicago Office. Mr. Smith’s practice includes counseling clients with respect to all aspects of federal and state employment law, as well as representing clients in employment-related litigation. His appellate experience includes representation of clients at the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeal, and in federal bankruptcy appeals.


A Legal Aid for Legal Aids: What Every Director and Manager Needs to Know About the ADA, FMLA, PDA, and Workplace Harassment & Discrimination

This interactive session will focus on the latest developments and challenges concerning reasonable accommodations and leaves of absence under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).  We will discuss employee and employer obligations, and best practices for effectively managing the accommodation and leave of absence process.  As part of the discussion, we will analyze hypothetical fact scenarios that employers, human resource personnel, and managers frequently encounter in the workplace. The session will also highlight recent trends and issues related to workplace harassment and discrimination, including key components of good employment policies, proper investigation procedures and tips, practical guidance on retirement or near-retirement discussions and considerations, and overall best practices for compliance, risk management, and a happy workplace.

Cara J. Ottenweller is an Attorney in the firm’s Labor and Employment practice area. She has successfully represented and defended employers in a variety of traditional labor and employment law matters, including federal and state litigation, and administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Department of Labor, and other federal, state and local agencies. Ms. Ottenweller regularly counsels and advises clients on a broad range of day-to-day human resources and employment issues such as EEO compliance, antidiscrimination laws, employee discipline and discharge, wage and hour issues, FMLA and leaves of absence, ADA compliance, reductions in force, and restrictive covenants. Ms. Ottenweller offers clients creative and strategic solutions for a wide variety of employment law and compliance issues.  Ms. Ottenweller has a B.A. from Indiana University and a J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law, magna cum laude.  She is admitted to the State Bars of Indiana and Illinois.  Ms. Ottenweller was selected for inclusion as an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2014 and 2015.

Andrew Oppenheimer
is an Attorney at Vedder Price and a member of the Labor and Employment group in the firm’s Chicago office. He assists clients with matters relating to all facets of labor and employment law, including FLSA, wrongful termination, EEOC, Title VII, ADA and ADEA employment discrimination and breach of contract, as well as collective bargaining proposals and contract amendments.  Mr. Oppenheimer has a B.A. from The University of Iowa and a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.  He is admitted to the Illinois Bar.



Additional Document(s): 

Event Details

Jun 22 2015 - 9:00am to Jun 23 2015 - 5:00pm
Chicago, IL
Event Address: 
The Warwick Allerton Hotel
701 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
Management Information Exchange
Patricia Pap, MIE Executive Director
Contact Phone: 
Contact Email: 

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