2019 Conference Keynote Speakers

May 15 – Dr. Donna M. Beegle

For over two and a half decades, Communication Across Barriers (CAB), a national and international gold standard consulting firm has been serving professionals and entire communities on breaking the cycle of poverty in America. Dr. Donna Beegle – poverty expert, life-changing speaker, and recognized author – launched the company to provide meaningful, memorable and realistic strategies for individuals, organizations and communities that want to make a real difference in moving and keeping people out of poverty. The team provides keynote presentations, trainings (in-person and on-line) from two hours to four days, organizational assessments, customized action planning, community development and educational materials. CAB-produced resources include books, learning guides, articles, research, organized games and activities, as well as custom-designed curriculum available to all organizations we work with. CAB, under the passionate commitment of Dr. Beegle, is dedicated to broadening and improving opportunities for people who live in the war zone of poverty and to assist communities and organizations to “fight poverty, not the people who live in it.” (Dr. Beegle)

May 16 – Dr. Alfred Perez

Alfred G. Pérez, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of social work at Seattle University. Dr. Pérez received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, his MSW from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in social work with a minor in speech communications from San José State University.

Dr. Pérez’s research focuses on young adults with foster care histories. He is particularly interested in how child welfare services and discharge outcomes of legal permanence (e.g., adoption or guardianship) and aging out shapes adolescents’ education, well-being, and family functioning during young adulthood. Dr. Pérez has published in leading academic journals including Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, and Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. Dr. Pérez has presented his research at nationally and internationally child welfare venues and currently serves as a consultant to the federal government on issues related to the national foster care system.

Dr. Pérez’s research and teaching is informed by his rich professional experience before academia that spans state government, direct child welfare practice, social welfare policy, and the federal government. Most notably, Dr. Pérez served as a senior policy advisor to former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano; served as a policy analyst for the Pew Commission on Children and Foster Care; and worked as an applied researcher at Westat on the National Head Start Impact Study and the development of the National Youth in Transition Database.