Presenters will deliver in a TED Talk-style presentation and lead a follow up discussion with participants. Each presenter will be allowed to present for five minutes. After all presenters have spoken they will lead small-group discussions with participants on their topics.

Special Format: SLC Snapshots

Ageism and Why It Must Stop

Topic: Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofits

  • Investing in Capacity
  • Engaging All Voices
  • Advancing Equity

We are on the brink of a demographic revolution! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 33 million workers in the U.S. are age 55 or older. To put this into context: In 2000, the 55+ age group made up 13 percent of the labor force. By 2019, this group will make up more than 25 percent of the U.S. workforce, according to the National Council on Aging. This means that more than 40 percent of Americans over 55 will be employed. 

In short, the number of older workers is on the rise and the social sector is ill-prepared to leverage this incredible human capital opportunity. We live in a society ingrained with ageist attitudes, misconceptions, and discriminatory views, despite our good intentions.

The social sector workforce, led by emerging leaders, is faced with an incredible opportunity to reframe how we view older workers and begin to intentionally leverage this talent pool. But first, our emerging leaders must lead the way in shedding old mindsets and tackling ageist attitudes head on.

Learning Objectives

  • Status of older adults' in today's workforce
  • Common misconceptions about older workers
  • How to intentionally integrate older adults into social sector human capital strategies


  • Emily Merritt, director of intergenerational initiatives, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (@IntergenEm @AllianceNews #SecondActs4Impact)

Stepping on Legos and Cleaning up Poop

Topic: Self-Care for Leaders, Teams, and Organizations

Participants will be taken on a personal journey by presenter Jackie Schwabe as she discusses how she had to learn how to prioritize self-care. A mother of four children, ages 3-11 years old (including one on the Autism spectrum), she will describe her personal journey as a caregiver using the Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey, adapted from Denise Brown’s The Caregiving Year: Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey. Combining comedy with candor, she will share the challenge of finding time to shower more than once a week while washing a poop collage off a wall, running a startup, taking care of her home, working as a vice president of Leadership Research at North of Center, participating in her children’s school activities, being a good wife, and taking care of two aging parents. 

Schwabe’s work at North of Center on the Communication-Based Leadership model, her training for Caregiving Consultant Certifications, and her entry into the world of Applied Behavior Analysis using Errorless combine with the support of family and friends to resolve her own struggle to take time for herself. Her ongoing journey is filled with bare feet on Legos in the middle of the night, yet some simple strategies in communication capacity and planning taught her how to treasure herself, so she could care for others with an open mind … and shampooed hair.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the six stages of a caregiving journey and identify personal stage in the journey
  • Discuss and develop successful self-care strategies for personal place in the journey
  • How to use principles of the Communication-Based Leadership Model
  • Strategies for prioritizing self-care by identifying and rectifying word/deed misalignments


  • Jackie Schwabe, vice president of leadership research, North of Center (@noccbl)
  • Kyle Voigt, vice president of leadership coaching and team development, North of Center (@noccbl)
  • Cliff W. Gilmore, CEO, North of Center LLC (@noccbl)

Presenter Bios

Emily Merritt
Director of Intergenerational Initiatives
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

As director of Intergenerational Initiatives, Emily Merritt is leading the initiative to not only bring encore talent into the Alliance network, but to also to help change the way our communities think about and use older adult talent. Prior to this role, she worked with Ways to Work, providing support to the nationwide network of program operators. She previously led the Enhanced School-Based Mentoring Model at Big Brothers Big Sisters, directly benefiting Milwaukee youth through school-based mentoring partnerships. She also worked at ElderHelp in San Diego, building an entrepreneurial model that leveraged community supports to help seniors remain independent in their own homes. Merritt is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jackie Schwabe
Vice President of Leadership Research
North of Center LLC

Jackie Schwabe is the vice president of leadership research at North of Center and CEO of Mindlight LLC. She is a certified Caregiving Presenter and will soon complete her Caregiving Consultant and Certified Caregiving Educator certifications. She received a bachelor’s in management computer systems from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and master’s in business administration-technology project management at the University of Phoenix. She has been active in health care integration, health care IT, telemedicine, and product management for over 20 years. She has been a cross-sector, cross-discipline leadership practitioner her entire career. 

Schwabe wakes up motivated to help others. Her mission is to provide the tools, opportunities, and connections people need to be their best self. A career in health IT allowed her to figuratively and literally connect thousands of systems and people. A mother of four children—one with Autism—she often says different is not less and communication happens in more ways than verbally. She joined North of Center because she saw a way to use the Communication-Based Leadership framework to help others. Confident the North of Center team will guide the next generation of leaders towards their best self, she wants to be there to help.

Kyle Voigt
Vice President of Leadership Coaching and Team Development
North of Center 

Kyle Voigt is the vice president of leadership coaching and team development at North of Center. He entered the USAF Academy in 1986 as a cadet, and he has been exploring leadership development ever since. He earned a bachelor’s in science from the USAF Academy, then a master’s in aeronautical systems from Embry-Riddle Aerospace University. Additionally, Voigt completed two master’s degrees through the USAF Air University specializing in transportation management and strategic studies. 

Recently retired after 27 years of commissioned service in the USAF, he spent practically half of his career in leader development roles including being a four-time commander/deputy commander, spending a year in Iraq as a foreign military advisor, and leading a major change in air force culture with four years as a team chief for the service's new commander inspection program. His personal goal is to help others be better leaders through improved communication.

Cliff W. Gilmore
North of Center 

Cliff W. Gilmore is CEO of North of Center. His purpose is to help leaders recognize and realize—literally make real—the potential in themselves and those around them. A dedicated scholar-practitioner, he holds a doctorate in organization and management with a leadership specialization. A retired U.S. Marines officer, he knows firsthand that leadership is service; effective leaders are trusted communicators and; while nobody is perfect, at any given moment at least one member of a well-led team will be.

Gilmore has led multi-national and inter-agency teams in dynamic change environments including Afghanistan and Iraq as well the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, and advised the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs for two years. He puts that experience to work helping people become leaders they would want to follow using a research driven Communication-Based Leadership model developed in the field and refined over the course of his doctoral research.

A parent of two adopted children, Gilmore shares the enduring commitment to improving communities with his wife, who is a national award-winning child and family welfare consultant with more than two decades in the field. They coordinate regularly on leadership and policy challenges shared across their fields of expertise.