Keynote Presentations

The agenda below is near finalization and may be subject to change. Any changes will be made here once they are finalized. All events take place at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, VA. Questions? Email: [email protected].


Monday, September 24

Put on Your Oxygen Mask Before Assisting Others: A Fresh Perspective on Provider Self Care
Presented by:
Dr. Atira Charles, Florida A&M University & Think Actuality, LLC
In a day and age where information and work demands flow through our smartphones and emails 24/7, workplace stress, anxiety and fatigue continues to increase. In this session, Dr. Atira Charles will discuss the contextual factors that lead to this fatigue. She will then discuss how this fatigue can influence our health, professional performance and clients. During this session, Dr. Charles will help participants reflect on their own emotional and psychological state of fatigue, while offering tangible solutions and strategies to manage these, at work and outside of work. In an industry where solving problems for people is the expectation, Dr. Charles will help the participants strategize on how to prioritize and center themselves through many professional demands and expectations. She will present a framework that can be used as a tool for the conference participants. The participants will leave with a new awareness of self and set of tools that will aid them in both their personal and professional lives.

Tuesday, September 25

Not if, but When: Developing Resiliency for Future Emergencies
Presented by: 
Michael Sharon, FEMA Region III

Wednesday, September 26

Preparing Yourself to Communicate with Everyone: How Understanding Personality Types Can Help
Presented by:
Tara Orlowski, M.Ed.
How we communicate with others makes an impact on how the message is received, this is important in all facets of our daily lives but especially critical in  emergency preparedness. How we form our teams to respond to emergency situations can be influenced heavily by our personality types? During this interactive session, we will explore your own personality type as well as those around you and explore how these personalities impact our communication in order to strengthen our effectiveness.


Presenter Information:  

Dr. Atira Charles, Assistant Professor of Management in the School of Business & Industry at Florida A&M University & CEO of Think Actuality, LLC
As one of the most innovative organizational scholars in the country, Dr. Charles' research, consulting, and training facilitation seeks to shed light on and further understand the unique narratives revolving around the way in which individuals manage their differences while striving for personal, professional and organizational success and wellness. Her expertise also focuses on organizational structures and processes that promote positive, inclusionary, and healthy environments. Additionally, she explores how organizations can effectively manage the differences of their employees, through social and structural means. More specifically, her research and consulting revolves around r identity management in the workplace, organizational management of differences, wellness practices,  and communication and feedback processes within diverse organizations. Inspired by her teaching philosophy, she also engages in research and coaching which focus on how individual’s can motivate themselves to positive and productive action through self- awareness, wellness, and  identity management.

Michael Sharon, Federal Preparedness Coordinator, Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III
Michael Sharon is the Federal Preparedness Coordinator for FEMA Region III and has been an emergency manager for over 25 years.  He directs FEMA Region III’s emergency training, exercises, continuity of operations, hazard/risk identification, and the National Incident Management System.  Mike leads the Regional Response Coordination Center during emergencies and has responded to numerous disasters throughout his career.  He was previously a senior emergency management specialist at the U.S. Department of State, Chief of the Emergency Response in the Maryland Department of the Environment, and Assistant Director (Operations) at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

Tara Lynne Orlowski, M.Ed., Associate Director of Early Childhood Programs, Florida Center for Interactive Media at Florida State University
Tara Lynne Orlowski has a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Special Education, with a dissertation concentrating on early childhood professional development. Ms. Orlowski has been working as an instructional designer for over ten years, manages the instructional development unit, and oversees several projects related to training for both practitioners and regulatory staff. With over twenty years of experience, Ms. Orlowski has served in a variety of roles related to child care regulation, including several years working for the state program office working on policy development and training. Ms. Orlowski serves as the President for the National Association for Regulatory Administration, which is the professional organization serving child welfare, child care, and adult care regulatory personnel and agencies. She is a Commissioner for the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and has served on their Council for Standards Development since 2005. Ms. Orlowski serves as the Board Vice Chair for the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend, which is not-for-profit organization that provides services to families, children, and child care providers in seven Florida counties. Ms. Orlowski has worked in higher education since 2003, teaching credit and non-credit courses for five institutions in Florida at the undergraduate and vocational level.

Seminar Agenda:

View the Seminar agenda online by clicking here.

Session Information:

Session Schedule at a Glance and Session Details can be found online by clicking here.