Track: All

The Solutions Showcase is uniquely designed to provide conference participants with an exclusive opportunity to evaluate solutions and ask questions in a low-pressure environment. Using a speed networking format, participants will learn about innovative solutions and proven models to increase operational efficiency, improve outcomes, and achieve systems change. Presenters will share new products, services or data, and answer your questions during a series of multiple, short rounds. Come experience variety and liveliness at this interactive session.

New Solutions for Employees’ Professional Development

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ learning community will provide organizations with multiple opportunities to develop their employees. The informal learning through communities of practice that already exists on myAlliance will be complemented by live webinars a catalog of on-demand learning opportunities for members and nonmembers.

In this Solutions Showcase presentation, find out how you can help your employees take advantage of these new professional development opportunities. They will be able to explore topics around the Commitments of High-Impact Organizations, safety and resilience, health care, NTI’s Adoption Center curriculum for child welfare and mental health practitioners, and more. If you want to maximize your Alliance membership benefits, provide professional development to your employees, and explore other learning options at the Alliance, this session is for you.

Learning objectives:

  • Ways to provide employees with professional development opportunities that are included in Alliance membership
  • Preview NTI’s Adoption Center learning modules for child welfare practitioners and mental health practitioners
  • Additional ways to take advantage of the Alliance’s learning management system technology


  • Hope Liu, director, organizational learning, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Attract, Retain, and Reward High-Level Management with a Creative Retirement Benefit Alternative

Many nonprofit employers struggle with competing in the employment market. What an organization may lack in salary, it may be able to make up in benefits. When attracting and retaining high-level management, organizations may have to get creative with benefits while remaining compliant with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Department of Labor. There are tools outside of the traditional matching formula in a 401(k) or 403(b) that can be used for this purpose.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Learn about 457(b) deferred compensation plans
  • See what other ways your employer contribution could be structured to reward key employees 


  • Cynthia G. Pierce, vice president, national group accounts, Mutual of America

How to Choose a Good Broker

Typically, insurance companies offering coverage to nonprofits work through insurance brokers to provide their coverages. But what is the primary role of an insurance broker? What are some of the qualities your broker should have? How do insurance brokers get paid?

This Solutions Showcase presentation will explain the important role that brokers play in securing coverage. It also will help participants better understand why working with a broker is to their advantage and how to choose a good broker for their organizations’ insurance needs.

Learning objectives:

  • An insurance broker’s role, needed qualifications, and payment model
  • The value that insurance brokers can provide and how to choose a good one
  • How to determine the best way to secure insurance coverage


  • Julie Bernhard, external relations director, Nonprofits Insurance Alliance

Outside the Hospital: Outcomes-Focused Data Tools 

Athena Software will be sharing new developments that have been made to improve the way clients are able to engage with their care. Through the client management system, Penelope, a focus has been placed on creating ways for the client to be more active in their service delivery. For example, with the addition of a patient portal, patients now can complete assessments on their phones.

Over almost two decades of providing data solutions for social service agencies, Athena has realized that many organizations have found themselves in the position where they are using a medical electronic health record (EHR) for a broad scope of programs that exist far beyond the physician’s office. While these platforms (along with behavioral health products) are typically powerful tools, they are usually medical-first solutions with an emphasis on biometrics and primary care. Athena has stepped forward to help organizations explore what is possible with solutions that are built from the ground up with a focus on counseling and case management, with off-the-shelf tools for the wraparound services these programs often entail.

In this discussion, Athena will share how a patient-centric, multi-service system can answer the question “How are all the services we are providing working together to help an individual or family get from A to B?” And perhaps we’ll make it easier to satisfy funders along the way.

Learning objectives:

  • How to use technology to increase client engagement in services
  • Ideas for automating processes to reduce administrative tasks
  • Techniques for thinking about the impact data structures have on reporting options


  • Micah Gold-Utting, account executive, Athena Software


Julie Bernhard
External Relationships Director
Nonprofits Insurance Alliance

Julie Bernhard is the external relationships director for Nonprofits Insurance Alliance, which includes the Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance (ANI) and Nonprofits Insurance Alliance of California (NIAC). She has been involved with the nonprofit sector for over 20 years and has volunteered for numerous nonprofits including the Boys & Girls Club and CASA. She received her master’s in social work in 2009 from San Jose State University and is a licensed insurance broker.

Hope Liu
Director of Organizational Learning
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Hope Liu joined the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities as its director of organizational learning in 2018. In this role, she is responsible for creating an enterprise-wide learning solution that supports and enhances the development of the Alliance network and professionals in the human-serving sector through learning.

She earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech, focusing on instructional design models and curriculum for varied instructional environments, including online, blended, and face to face. In Milwaukee, she has worked in the financial services industry, nonprofit sector, health care sector, and, most recently, higher education. She previously was the dean of the School of Continuing and Online Learning at Cardinal Stritch University. A certified DDI facilitator and experienced online learning expert, Liu brings her love of learning (and the challenges inherent to it) to the Alliance.

Cynthia G Pierce 
Vice President of National Group Accounts
Mutual of America

Cynthia Pierce is the relationship liaison nationally for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and a chartered retirement plan specialist.  Mutual of America is a longtime trusted partner and promoter of the Alliance mission. Mutual of America is an expert provider of retirement plan services across the country.

Micah Gold-Utting
Account Executive
Athena Software

Micah Gold-Utting works at Athena Software to support organizations with their data system evaluations. Leveraging his background in public relations data systems and enterprise procurement, Gold-Utting has extensive experience in helping organizations manage complicated funding structures and grantor requirements.

As part of his focus areas at Athena, Gold-Utting has worked closely with organizations running maternal home visiting programs to understand how to manage their data across multiple funders with diverse reporting requirements. This structure translates laterally to many different service verticals and can be applied to organizations serving a wide array of different populations. The organizations Gold-Utting has worked with over the last year include faith-based groups such as Agape Child & Family Services and government organizations such as the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Specifically, Gold-Utting is passionate about process optimization and legitimately gets excited about finding efficiencies in workflow. As such, he’s always down to discuss organizations data challenges.