Best Friends National Conference schedule and official agenda

Stay on top of all of the events happening at the national conference with the official agenda. From general sessions to special workshops, there will be an array of social and informative events to attend.

Note: Details are subject to change and please keep checking back for updates, as additional sessions will be added.

TRACKS
Best Friends National Conference

Show me the money

Best Friends National Conference

Powerhouse programming

Best Friends National Conference

Master tactics

Best Friends National Conference

Best practices in animal care

Best Friends National Conference

Essentials for the no-kill community

 

Best Friends National Conference

Marketing and communications unleashed

Best Friends National Conference

Achieving No-Kill: Regional Case Studies

Best Friends National Conference

The Road to 2025: Regional Lifesaving Workshops

Best Friends National Conference

Critical conversations: Interactive talks on lifesaving

Wednesday, July 12
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Member Appreciation Event
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Early Conference Check-in
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. New Jersey Legislative Reception

 

Thursday, July 13
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Registration Open
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Our Time is Now: Aligning the Stars for 2025 (Gregory Castle, Rebecca Guinn, Mary Ippoliti Smith, Jane Hoffman, Elizabeth Jensen, Sara Pizano, Makena Yarbrough)
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Achieving No-Kill: Regional Case Studies (8 sessions)

Digital Dollars and Sense: Digital Fundraising 101Northeast (CT, DE MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) (Carmine DiCenso, Maya Richmond, Vicki Rowland, Jess Townsend)

Save Them All: Regional case studiesMid-Atlantic (DC,KY, MD, NC, TN, VA) (Natalie Corwin, Beckey Reiter, Stephanie Shain)

Save Them All: Regional case studiesSoutheast (AL, FL, GA, MS, SC) (Rebecca Guinn, Shelly Simmons, Ginny Sims)

Save Them All: Regional case studiesMidwest (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI, WV) (Jessica Henry, Heather Owen, Katie Trennepohl)

Save Them All: Regional case studiesGreat Plains (IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD) (Ron Edwards, Keri Heise, Brent Toellner)

Save Them All: Regional case studiesSouth Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) (Robin Beaulieu, Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Cheryl Schneider)

Save Them All: Regional case studiesMountain West (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) (Arlyn Bradshaw, José Ocaño, Anna Stout)

Save Them All: Regional case studiesPacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) (Lisa Drake, Lisa Feder, Marc Peralta)

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Workshop Session II
 

Digital Dollars and Sense: Digital Fundraising 101Digital Dollars and Sense: Digital Fundraising 101 (Kate Moore, Amy Starnes)

 

Capacity for Care: Maximizing Lifesaving by Understanding Your Limits Capacity for Care: Maximizing Lifesaving by Understanding Your Limits (Dr. Emily Purvis)

 

Big-Impact Boards: Recruiting, Managing and Utilizing Effective BoardsBig-Impact Boards: Recruiting, Managing and Utilizing Effective Boards (Sandy Rees)

  Litter Box Lowdown: Addressing Non-medical Litter Box IssuesLitter Box Lowdown: Addressing Non-medical Litter Box Issues (Pam Johnson-Bennett)
 

Common Ground: The Essential Roles of Collaboration and Coalition-BuildingCommon Ground: The Essential Roles of Collaboration and Coalition-Building (Natalie Corwin)

 

Making the News: Harnessing the Power of Traditional Media in a Digital Media WorldMaking the News: Harnessing the Power of Traditional Media in a Digital Media World (Cathy Rosenthal)

 

Language Matters: Unpacking the Term No-KillLanguage Matters: Unpacking the Term “No-Kill" (Judah Battista, Jon Dunn)

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Break
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Workshop Session III
  Writing with Appeal: How to Write an Effective Fundraising Appeal Both Online and Off-lineWriting with Appeal: How to Write an Effective Fundraising Appeal Both Online and Off-line (Elizabeth Doyle)
 

Classic Community Cats: Comprehensive Cat Programs and Partnerships Classic Community Cats: Comprehensive Cat Programs and Partnerships (Lisa Barrett, Desiree Triste-Aragon)

  Strategy vs. Clairvoyance: Evaluating the Impact of Strategic ProgrammingStrategy vs. Clairvoyance: Evaluating the Impact of Strategic Programming (Marc Peralta) (sponsored by Petco Foundation)
  Just Shy: Understanding and Working with Fearful and Shy DogsJust Shy: Understanding and Working with Fearful and Shy Dogs (Marcia Helm)
  No-Kill Resolutions: Committing to No-Kill at the Local LevelNo-Kill Resolutions: Committing to No-Kill at the Local Level (Jamie Case, Ledy VanKavage)
  Powerful Imagery: Getting Great Photos with a Smartphone BudgetPowerful Imagery: Getting Great Photos with a Smartphone Budget (Michael Hand)
  Behavior Bites: Tackling Your Most Common Behavior Challenges TogetherBehavior Bites: Tackling Your Most Common Behavior Challenges Together (Marla Browne, Michelle Weaver)
5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Welcome Reception in Exhibit Hall

 

Friday, July 14
7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Registration Open
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Get on the 2025 Train: Engaging Every Region and Everyone (Judah Battista, Arlyn Bradshaw, Jon Dunn, Tawny Hammond, Elizabeth Jensen, José Ocaño, Marc Peralta, Holly Sizemore, Brent Toellner)
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Workshop Session I
  Purposeful Fundraising: Getting proactive with your fundraising planPurposeful Fundraising: Getting Proactive with Your Fundraising Plan (Sandy Rees)
 

Caring for the Caregivers: A Comprehensive Approach to Compassion Fatigue Caring for the Caregivers: A Comprehensive Approach to Compassion Fatigue (Dr. Linda Harper, Faith Maloney)

  Service Enterprise: How to Powerfully and Effectively Leverage VolunteersService Enterprise: How to Powerfully and Effectively Leverage Volunteers (Pat Guerrero, José Ocaño)
  Soothing the Bouncy Beast: Managing Mouthy, Jumpy DogsSoothing the Bouncy Beast: Managing Mouthy, Jumpy Dogs (Sherry Woodard)
  Data-Driven: Understanding the Vital Role of Data on Our Path to No-KillData-Driven: Understanding the Vital Role of Data on Our Path to No-Kill (Vicki Kilmer, Shelly Thompson)
  Organizational Character: Understanding and Developing Your BrandOrganizational Character: Understanding and Developing Your Brand (Julie Castle, Kari Hartkorn)
  It’s Raining Community Cats: Coordinating Effective Community Cat ProgramsIt’s Raining Community Cats: Coordinating Effective Community Cat Programs (Arlyn Bradshaw, Scott Giacoppo, Holly Sizemore, Peter Wolf)
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Workshop Session II
  Your Wish Is Granted: How to Find and Manage Grant FundsYour Wish Is Granted: How to Find and Manage Grant Funds (Kelly Cramer, Stephanie Macgill)
  Enlightened Lifesaving: Engaging Your Whole Community in SolutionsEnlightened Lifesaving: Engaging Your Whole Community in Solutions (Karen Sheppard)
  Leading the Way to No-Kill: Strategic Challenges Facing No-Kill LeadersLeading the Way to No-Kill: Strategic Challenges Facing No-Kill Leaders (Bonney Brown, Rebecca Guinn, José Ocaño, Holly Sizemore)
  The Power of Play: Using Play Groups to Understand and Support the Dogs in Your CareThe Power of Play: Using Play Groups to Understand and Support the Dogs in Your Care (Ed Jamison, Krystal McGough)
  Please Step Away from the Cat: Knowing When and When Not to RescuePlease Step Away from the Cat: Knowing When and When Not to Rescue (Destiny Haney, Christie Rogero)
  Social Savvy: Crafting Your Social Media Voice and BudgetSocial Savvy: Crafting Your Social Media Voice and Budget (Melissa Miller)
  Lifesaving in 20 Images: Exploring Lifesaving Impact and Innovation from Around the CountryPowered by PechaKucha logoLifesaving in 20 Images: Exploring Lifesaving Impact and Innovation from Around the Country, Powered by PechaKucha (Marc Peralta)
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Break
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Workshop Session III
  Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: Unleashing the Power of Planned GivingWhere There’s a Will, There’s a Way: Unleashing the Power of Planned Giving (Karen Gallardo)
  Kitten Mania: Creative Programs for Saving More Tiny Lives Kitten Mania: Creative Programs for Saving More Tiny Lives (Sheila McLalin, Christi Metropole)
  Advanced Digital Tactics: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Digital GameAdvanced Digital Tactics: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Digital Game (Sue Citro)
  Fostering Behavior: Innovative Foster Programs for Animals with Behavior ChallengesFostering Behavior: Innovative Foster Programs for Animals with Behavior Challenges (Kristen Auerbach)
  Cultivating Culture: Laying the Groundwork for Progressive LifesavingCultivating Culture: Laying the Groundwork for Progressive Lifesaving (Scott Giacoppo, Scott Trebatoski)
  Grassroots Marketing: Getting that 'Big Group' Look for a Lot Less MoneyGrassroots Marketing: Getting that 'Big Group' Look for a Lot Less Money (Erin Miner, Rebecca Morris)
  Expertise Exchange: Let's Share Lifesaving SuccessesExpertise Exchange: Let's Share Lifesaving Successes and Learn from Each Other (Aimee Charlton, Michelle Logan)
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Yaps and Apps Networking Party

 

Saturday, July 15
7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Registration Open
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

The Road to 2025: Regional Lifesaving Workshops (8 sessions) (sponsored by Maddie’s Fund)

Go local: Regional lifesaving workshopsNortheast (CT, DE MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT)

Go local: Regional lifesaving workshopsMid-Atlantic (DC,KY, MD, NC, TN, VA)

Go local: Regional lifesaving workshopsSoutheast (AL, FL, GA, MS, SC)

Go local: Regional lifesaving workshopsMidwest (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI, WV)

Go local: Regional lifesaving workshopsGreat Plains (IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD)

Go local: Regional lifesaving workshopsSouth Central (AR, LA, OK, TX)

Go local: Regional lifesaving workshopsMountain West (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY)

Go local: Regional lifesaving workshopsPacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA)

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Workshop Session II
  What a Partner Wants: What Funders Are Looking for in a PartnershipWhat a Partner Wants: What Funders Are Looking for in a Partnership (Kelly Clardy, Sue Cosby, Stephanie Macgill) (sponsored by Skechers)
  Diversion Programs: Innovative Approaches that Keep Animals Out of Shelters Diversion Programs: Innovative Approaches that Keep Animals Out of Shelters (Bethany Colonnese, Lisa Norwood)
  Major Fundraising Campaigns: Scaling Campaigns for Maximum ImpactMajor Fundraising Campaigns: Scaling Campaigns for Maximum Impact (Makena Yarbrough)
  Cat Pawsitive Program: Positive Reinforcement Training for Cats in SheltersCat Pawsitive: Behavioral and Environmental Enrichment for Adoptable Cats (Jackson Galaxy) (sponsored by Petco)
  A Dog by Any Other Name: Innovative Approaches to Marketing PetsA Dog by Any Other Name: Innovative Approaches to Marketing Pets (Kristen Auerbach, Liz Finch)
 

Digital Marketing 101: Digital Marketing Strategies, Big and SmallDigital Marketing 101: Digital Marketing Strategies, Big and Small (Kate Moore, Amy Starnes)

 

A New Lifesaving Paradigm: Transitioning from Shelters to Community Resource CentersA New Lifesaving Paradigm: Transitioning from Shelters to Community Resource Centers (Jon Dunn, Tawny Hammond, José Ocaño)

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Workshop Session III
  Speaking 'Donor': How to Attract and Keep Big DonorsSpeaking 'Donor': How to Attract and Keep Big Donors (Tycely Williams)
  Lifesaving En Route: Best Practices in Delivering Our Best Friends to Safety Lifesaving En Route: Best Practices in Delivering Our Best Friends to Safety (Kimberly Elman, Linda Gage)
  Keeping Up with the 90 Percent: Sustaining No-Kill StatusKeeping Up with the 90 Percent: Sustaining No-Kill Status (Judah Battista, Scott Giacoppo, Tawny Hammond, Brent Toellner)
  More Purrs, Less Stress: Effective Stress Reduction Techniques for Cats in SheltersMore Purrs, Less Stress: Effective Stress-Reduction Techniques for Cats (Dr. Sara Bennett)
  Lifesaving Legislation: Advocacy Efforts Related to Puppy Mills, Pit Bull Terriers and CatsLifesaving Legislation: Advocacy Efforts Related to Cats, Pit Bull Terriers and Puppy Mills (Richard Angelo, Jr., Lee Greenwood, Elizabeth Oreck)
  Crisis Managed: Managing the Occasional Public Relations CrisisCrisis Managed: Managing the Occasional Public Relations Crisis (Lisa Norwood)
  Success, Measured: Employing Metrics and Community Data to Save More LivesSuccess, Measured: Employing Metrics and Community Data to Save More Lives (Arlyn Bradshaw, Marla Browne, Nikki Kelley)
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Break
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Countdown to 2025: Rising to the Challenge — No Fear (Julie Castle)

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Kedi Film Screening

 

Sunday, July 16

Optional side trip to visit Alley Cat Allies boardwalk cats program