The Directors Conference is an annual highlight for our leadership community. We look forward to this retreat each year so that we can review the previous year’s growths and challenges, and plan together for the future.
All VA Recipient Grantee Directors and Managers are invited and encouraged to attend. This is our longest running conference, starting back in 2006 in VA Beach, always in June.
Book your group rate *183.00/night for VAHSA Directors Conference.
There should be NO resort fee on your reservation
Parking fee is 1/2 price: $10/day.
CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONLINE
Deadline to book is until May 10 or when block sells out.
*Any hotel booking issues or questions please contact Carrie at hotel sales directly. Do not call the hotel, or ask for Carrie in sales and say you are coming for the Virginia Head Start Association Conference:
Carrie Holmes, Group Sales Manager
Delta Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites
2800 Shore Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23451
757.481.9000 tel 757.910.1012 direct
Wipfli’s Commitment to Head Start’s Mission
Wipfli passionately supports NHSA’s commitment to early childhood development. Wipfli has worked with Head Start for over 30 years and has been a member of the Corporate Leadership Council since 2018. We engage with NHSA to provide subject matter expertise in order to provide training to their membership; we attend NHSA’s National and Leadership Conferences; and we have heavily engaged in NHSA’s Data Huddle since 2017. When we say Head Start and NHSA in our firm, EVERYONE knows we are talking about a deep commitment and partnership.
Wipfli’s history with Head Start is a rich one! Decades ago, you didn’t have to look far to find information on how to create programs and deliver services. Plenty of resources were ready and able to help. What Head Starts struggled with was complying with regulations and running their back-offices. Even when the federal government began creating websites for individual departments, those websites didn’t store information on regulations, so it remained difficult to look up the regulations, let alone determine whether you were properly complying with them.
Wipfli filled this need. We quickly became the go-to for Head Starts looking to ensure fiscal and regulatory compliance through national training and performing their audit. Our professionals were so knowledgeable and up to date on changing regulations that we started getting recommended by the actual funding sources to audit grant-funded nonprofits. Even national associations started asking our opinion on upcoming legislation and the impact it would have on grant-funded organizations.
All in all, Head Starts knew they could rely on us to provide accurate answers to their questions and guidance to help them stay successful and compliant. Wipfli has been, and continues to be, a valuable resource for finance, accounting and compliance services. In fact, Wipfli currently audits more Head Starts than any other firm in the country.
Yet compliance was not all we specialized in. As an accounting and consulting firm, Wipfli delivers a wide range of services to a wide range of clients. We began offering our grant-funded clients technology consulting, strategic planning, talent management, and other critical services focused on strengthening the entire organization. We helped Head Starts to solidify the foundations they were built on so they could focus on executing their mission within their communities. And we helped them innovate, grow, and then scale to continue supporting their success — all because we knew the grant-funded space so well, down to the accounting software that would best meet the needs of organizations with multiple funding sources.
One of the most impactful services we began offering was training. From the Wipfli Stronger to Serve Conference held annually, to local in-person trainings, to on-demand training series, we took our expertise and shared it with Head Starts. Organizations could ask us questions unique to their own situation, learn best practices, and connect with each other. Our annual conference became just as well known for fostering long-lasting relationships as it was for providing critical information and guidance for nonprofits.
The My Wipfli Membership Service developed as a natural extension of our support for grant-funded organizations. We created it as the ultimate resource. Organizations could look up regulations, use our templated policy and procedure documents, ask us questions and access on-demand training. We have organizations that have been members of My Wipfli for 25 years — since the very beginning — because they’ve found it to be such an essential resource to their operations.Today, Wipfli continues to provide training on in-kind, ERSEA, Uniform Guidance, HS regs, board governance and more. We help employees new to grant-funded nonprofits get up to speed so they can become strong contributors to the organization. We help boards better understand how the organization can use technology to execute on its mission and serve its communities, as well as measure the impact of its services on those communities. We help organizations improve client experiences so that anyone in their community — no matter if they call in, walk in, or use the website — can learn all of what they are eligible for, not just about their current need.
We’ve learned over the years how important it is to listen. It’s not just talking the same language as our clients but truly understanding their challenges, goals, and the path from one to the other. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we assembled a team to rapidly adjust the services we provide or even create new ones so we could help Head Starts pivot to meet the changing needs of their communities. We distilled information from the federal government into its impact on our clients. We helped them manage change. And we helped them adjust strategy and perform scenario planning so they could handle whatever came next.
We’re proud that we’ve kept so many of the same clients we’ve had for 30 years, while we’ve gained so many new ones. Our focus has always been on building long-term relationships that result in long-term impact. Part of that has been creating teams that are completely dedicated to grant-funded nonprofits, creating trainings completely specific to them, and always looking for new ways to help them continue adapting in an ever-changing world. And part of that has also been making it a priority to stay on top of trends and stay connected with associations so that we can not only see what’s on the horizon but also how organizations can position themselves for change.
Last, but certainly not least, we simply enjoy working with our grant-funded clients. We appreciate the work they do in their communities and are proud that our knowledge and assistance has helped them succeed. We look forward to another 40 years of successfully partnering with Head Starts — and their associations — to meet change head-on and become even stronger to serve.
TAMMY JELINEK | Principal
Tammy Jelinek is a principal with over 25 years of experience working in and with federally funded nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses. She engages with leadership teams to strategically align their goals to grow, expand, and meet their outcomes.
Tammy is one of our nationally recognized trainers in the areas of Head Start/Early Head Start, Community Services Block Grant, and Uniform Guidance regulations, employee engagement, organizational development and culture, talent management, leadership, action planning, and client service.
She answers questions and manages content for the My Wipfli Membership Service, adds regulatory expertise to templated policies and procedures, tool kits, and consulting engagements, including enterprise risk assessments and serves as a regulatory subject matter expert on consulting engagements.
- Predictive Index®
- Crucial Conversations®
- Designing learning
- E-Learning instructional
- Design managing learning programs
Professional memberships and activities
- Association for Talent Development (ATD) – Member
- Habitat for Humanity – Family Selection Committee member
- National trainer for numerous nonprofit conferences, including National Head Start Association, National Community Action Partnership, various state Head Start and Community Action Association conferences, and Wipfli’s Stronger to Serve annual conference
Areas of Focus
- Creating professional development opportunities for clients and their teams
- Connecting clients with the right solutions at the right time
- Developing customized solutions to meet client needs
- Federal laws and regulations training for grant-funded nonprofits
- Leadership and management training for businesses
- Organizational development and culture initiatives
- Process design and implementation
- Strategic planning, change management, and coaching
Upper Iowa University – Fayette, Iowa (Madison, Wisconsin campus)
- Bachelor of science degree in business with a minor in psychology – Graduated cum laude
- Master of business administration degree with an emphasis in organizational development
See full Bio here: https://www.wipfli.com/about-wipfli/partners-and-associates/jelinek-tammy
CHRISTINA KUNKLE |Resilience Coach / Transformational Leader / Reiki Master / Speaker / Author
Christina Kunkle is the founder of Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, and creator of Transformational Leadership Programs, Mastermind Circles, and Restorative Retreats.
Her greatest joy is helping Heart-Centered, Purpose-Driven High-Achievers create Balanced Success without Burning out by Working Smarter (not harder!), Playing Hard, and Resting Well. She is a graduate of Southern University in Tennessee, where she earned a Registered Nurse degree. After twenty years working in the fast-paced fields of Emergency Medicine and Ambulatory surgery, she felt overwhelmed and overworked, experiencing symptoms of burn out and stress related illness. Not satisfied to settle, she set out on a journey to find happiness, balance, and restored health.
This journey with many twists and turns has helped her to go from just surviving to truly happy and thriving, finding her true calling in Resilience Coaching. Coming to understand that she was a Highly Sensitive Person, like many who are intuitively called to caregiving professions,
required a deep dive into the principles of energy management. There she discovered the PEACE she had always been missing! Now a Reiki Master Practitioner, she shares Self-Care practices and Neuro-Resilience Tools to Relax, Balance, and Heal the Overloaded Nervous System.
Her Coaching practice is dedicated to helping Busy Leaders like you transform Stress into Strength, providing Inspiration, Motivation, Education, Synergy and Accountability, so you can cultivate and enjoy work/life balance, without burning out like she did.
A confident and from-the-heart individual, her writings have been published in “Bloom” magazine for women, and Health Quest magazine (a lifestyle publication by Sentara RMH Healthcare.) Her mission is to use her intuitive gifts to teach, guide, and coach through speaking, workshops, and one on one with clients.
Christina’s personal time is spent enjoying her home in Harrisonburg, VA with Garth, her husband of 28 years, Ben, their adventurous 27-year-old son, and Dani-Grace, their fun-loving 17-year-old daughter. As a family they have a great love for the outdoors, hiking with their dog Sox, and finding the humor and gifts in each new day.
THOMAS J. SHERIDAN | Deputy Director
Tommy Sheridan is the Deputy Director for the National Head Start Association (NHSA) in Alexandria, VA where he has worked since June 2009. In this role, Tommy plays a significant role in strategizing, developing, and implementing the Head Start community’s vision for the future of Head Start and early learning with a specific focus on ensuring all vulnerable children and families have access to Head Start’s comprehensive model of support for the whole child, family, and community. Tommy also works with the Head Start community to lobby, advocate, educate, and inform Congress, the White House, and the Federal Administration about the realities facing Head Start and early learning. During his tenure at NHSA, annual funding for Head Start has increased nearly 40% and Head Start has become seen as a rare bipartisan program with deep support from all ends of the political spectrum. Prior to his career at NHSA, Tommy worked in the Minnesota State Senate, on several political campaigns, and as a sales manager. Tommy received an Honors Bachelor of Arts from Saint Louis University and a Masters of Public Administration from George Washington University with a specific focus on social policy leadership.
DR. DEBORAH BERGERON | Deputy Director for Community Engagement and Innovation
Dr. Deborah Bergeron (or Dr. B as she is known to students and educators) has spent over thirty years working to support the growth and development of children. She worked in public education as a middle and high school classroom teacher, an elementary and high school administrator and holds a school superintendents license in Virginia.
Dr. B also started, grew, and eventually sold her own supplemental educational services company. In 2018, Dr. Bergeron was asked to lead the Office of Head Start and the Office of Early Childhood Development at the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. It was here where Dr. B developed her passion for Head Start, Early Head Start and the early learning environment in general. In January, 2021, Dr. B joined the National Head Start Association as the Deputy Director of Community Engagement and Innovation. Here, she aims to bring the Head Start and Early Head Start community together, provide the necessary support to ensure high quality programming and be a constant reminder to the folks on the ground that THEY are the backbone of Head Start and Early Head Start. Dr. B advocates for programming that develops the whole child and embraces the value the family has in that process. “Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher,” is her favorite mantra, compliments of Head Start.
Dr. Bergeron holds a B.S.Ed. from Texas State University, a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and a PhD in Education Policy and Education Psychology from George Mason University. She lives in Virginia with her husband and has four awesome children who, although are all grown up, will always be her heart!
Mary Ann Cornish | Served over 45 years as Executive Director of Higher Horizons Head Start and Early Head Start
Maryann Cornish served over 45 years as Executive Director of Higher Horizons Head Start and Early Head Start. Since 1977 she has been a tireless advocate for low-income children and families. Her work in the diverse community of Falls Church, VA has resulted in a strong reputation at local and national levels for sharing success stories regarding the role of culture and family in early childhood education, meeting the needs of dual language learners, preserving native languages and collaborating with community organizations. She served in leadership positions within state and regional Head Start associations, resulting in collaborative efforts aimed at building effective early care and education systems.
In 2000 she served on the faculty of the National Child Development Institute “Ensuring Quality through Leadership”. Her presentation, “Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners and Preserving Native Languages was made to over 3,000 leaders in Head Start and Early Head Start grantees and delegate agencies throughout the county.
A Howard University graduate and a 1977 Head Start Johnson and a Johnson Management Fellow at UCLA. She was awarded the Helen Taylor Award for Management Excellence by the Head Start Johnson and Johnson Fellows Program at the Anderson School of Business at UCLA in 2001. In 2013, she received the Golden Eagle Award for her work in early care and education by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, International.
Ms. Cornish worked with NAEYC for its School Readiness Connections – video cast – a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funded project. She has been featured on a webinar in the Early Head Start National Resource Center’s Early Essential Series focusing on Self Care and Professionalism.
Her focus continues to be working with early childhood professionals who are entering the work force and encouraging them to develop leadership skills. She participates in the PMFO-UCLA Head Start New Director Mentor Initiative as a mentor. New directors are provided tools and resources on key Head Start Management Systems and Leadership and Governance through live training and technical assistance webinars and self-directed learnings in the one year program.
Information about WIPFLI presentation:
Since the 1960’s what you do matters to your community. As program and financial leaders of Early/Head Start (E/HS) programs you know there are complex compliance responsibilities. Between finance guidelines of how to allowably spend funds, to program safety initiatives, all while helping children and families through numerous individual needs, there is a lot to juggle. For over 40 years Wipfli has been there right along side you with regulatory updates, best practices, thought leadership, and more. We are in this together.
Join us for this 1-day session on Wednesday, June 14th, to talk through what we can control within our agencies and how we can best blend regulations, best practices, and action planning to problem solve. We will share what is happening around the country in other E/HS programs, along with what we are hearing in Washington DC.
We will explore and address the current staffing shortages. We will identify the nuances of the future of ERSEA. We will address financial concerns. You have the opportunity to bring forth your most pressing questions. And throughout this day of training we will celebrate the successes, remind ourselves the why behind the guidelines, and walk away with an opportunity to continue serving the most vulnerable children and families in our communities, as we have for over six decades. If you’re new, if you’ve been around a while and want a refresher, if you’re program oriented, or if you’re fiscal oriented… let’s come together for an in-depth look at where things are in the E/HS world and how we can plan for the future. There will be something for everyone.
Call for Presenters: CLOSED.
Last day to Register is May 9th!
Conference fee is $425.00/person
REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.