United Way

Community Conference 30th Annual

Community Professional Development Conference

For 29 years United Way of Kern County has hosted a professional development conference for members and directors of nonprofit organizations and way makers. This year, United Way of Kern County will host its 30th Annual Professional Development Conference for a wider audience in need to include community and health-based organizations, along with city elect officials and those individuals who want to make a positive impact where they live. The conference allows for individuals to network and share plans and collaborate to better serve the community.


Community Conference Tickets

General Registration is now closed

Space is very limited and tickets at the door at available on a first-come, first-serve basis at $120 per person.

If you have any questions please call Sydney Cullen at 661-885-5741


For Special Room Rates at the Bakersfield Marriott, you can call or email Lupita Aguilar: (661) 565-9310 | Lupita.Aguilar@bakersfieldmarriott.com

Gold Partners

Silver Partners





Bronze Partners




Media Partners


Keynote Speakers

Brandon Leake

Winner of America’s Got Talent Season 15 is an artistic visionary whose roots lie in Stockton, California. Brandon started Called To Move – CTN at Simpson University with a small group of artists trying to share their gifts and encourage others to do so, which has grown into a national initiative that has inspired audiences through poetry all across the country. In 2016, Brandon Leake released a debut album entitled, “In My Thoughts”, and since has traveled from LA to New York and everywhere in between performing his pieces, leading spoken word poetry workshops, and keynote speaking. He’s performed at conferences, universities, and theaters nationwide – leaving audiences speechless by his beautiful words.

Glenn Ellis, MPH 

Glenn Ellis, MPH is a health educator, lecturer, and syndicated health columnist. Ellis is a Visiting Scholar at the National Bioethics Center at Tuskegee University and was a Research Bioethics Fellow at Harvard Medical School. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Glenn Ellis was a Pre-Med undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, did his Hospital Ethics graduate studies at St. Joseph University (Certified Health Care Ethicist). and received a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Liverpool. Ellis is selected in 2018 as a Research Bioethics Fellow Harvard Medical School and is a 2020 Writing Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He lectures frequently on “Inclusion and Retention of African Americans in Clinical Trials”. He is author of Which Doctor? and Information is the Best Medicine. Ellis is an active media contributor on Health Equity and Medical Ethics. He is President of Strategies for Well-Being, LLC, a global consultancy that focuses on medical ethics; health advocacy; medical history; and protection of the rights of vulnerable populations.

Mari Pérez-Dowling

Mari first joined our United Way of Kern County family in October of 2017 as Director of Marketing and Development. She was then promoted to Interim President & CEO in April of 2018, and as of November 20, 2018 she became the permanent President and CEO of the organization. Mari is a bilingual professional who has specialized in community education and program development within multicultural communities. Her experience also includes public and community relations, strategic planning, event planning, community engagement, volunteer engagement and media communications. She’s a creative thinker with a positive attitude, recognized for her strong leadership, and her abilities to engage different community-based organizations towards common projects promoting collaboration. Mari’s relevant qualifications include her education background with a B.A. in Spanish Language & Literature, Teaching Credential in Single Subject/ BCLAD – Foreign Language – Spanish, M.A. in Multicultural Studies; Environmental Journalism Fellowship and News Production Fellowship.

Community Conference Agenda – 7/20/2021

   7:30 am  Registration & Continental Breakfast
  8:00 am  Morning General Session - Welcome
  8:10 am   Morning Keynote, Mari Pérez-Dowling, President & CEO of UWKC and Woman of the year for Assembly District 32
  8:45 am  Break – You may visit Exhibitor Booths
  9:00 am  Session 1 Workshops (5 Breakout Topics)
  9:45 am  Break – You may visit Exhibitor Booths
10:00 am  Session 2 Workshops (5 Breakout Topics)
10:45 am  Break – You may visit Exhibitor Booths
11:00 am  Keynote Speaker, Glenn Ellis, MPH, CHCE
11:45 am  Lunch
12:15 pm  Break – You may visit Exhibitor Booths
12:30 pm  Session 3 Workshops (5 Breakout Topics)
1:15 pm  Break - You may visit Exhibitor Booths
  1:30 pm  Roundtable Discussion General Session
  2:15 pm  Keynote Speaker, Brandon Leake, Winner of America's Got Talent Season 15
  3:15 pm  Concluding Remarks

Breakout Session Topics*


  • DEI  (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion): Claudia Catota (Chief Diversity Officer at CSUB) and CSUB Diversity Staff
  • Donor Management: Cheryl Scott, Executive Director of the Bakersfield College Foundation; Amy Travis, Executive Director of CASA of Kern County; and Jennifer Henry, Executive Director of Links for Life
  • Media (TV, Radio, Paper) Advertisement: Connie Uthenwoldt and Brittney Allen, the Bakersfield Californian; Robert Solorio, KGET and Telemundo; and Sylvia Cariker, KUZZ. 
  • United Against Human Trafficking: Dustin Contreras, Co-director of the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking
  • How Networking Gets Done in 2021: Bob Meadows, Economic Development Director of the City of Shafter
  • How to Effectively Utilize  Social Media: Rachel Glauser, Providence Strategic Marketing
  • Storytelling in the Community: Speaker Pending
  • The Power of Mentoring: Bob Meadows, Economic Development Director of the City of Shafter
  • Using  Creativity to Solve Problems: Manuel Cantu, Director of Community Relations at the Wonderful Company 
  • Homelessness in Kern County: Anna Laven, Executive Director of Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative
  • Mental/Self Health  (Anxiety, Depression): Courtney Rayne, LCSW, Executive Director and CEO of Ananda Rayne Wellness
  • The Arts as an Addition to Your Departments: Carmen Dias, Executive Director of Mariachi Sun Foundation 
  • Connected Community Network: Cristina Camacho, Kern Community Foundation 
  • Volunteerism: Carmen Dias, Former Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Kern County 
  • Grant Writing: Dr. Lucia Vazquez, Consultant/Weaver 

*Topic list may change


















More Information

contact Sydney Cullen at:
Phone:  661-885-5741
Email:   Sydney.C@uwkern.org

Conference Location

Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center
801 Truxtun Ave
Bakersfield, CA

(661) 323-1900

Click HERE to Register Today!

• General Registration: $95 per person
(Now - July 14th)

• Group of 4 Registration: $85 per person
(Now - July 14th)

For Special Room Rates at the Bakersfield Marriott, you can call or email Lupita Aguilar: (661) 565-9310 | Lupita.Aguilar@bakersfieldmarriott.com

Exhibitor opportunities

Interested in having an exhibitor booth for the 30th Annual Community Conference?  Call (661) 885-5740 for more information.

Click here to view photos from our 29th Annual Conference.

Our Focus

Early Childhood Literacy

Financial Stability

Homelessness and Hunger

We are all part of this community and together we can make it succeed. At United Way of Kern County we believe that UNITED we can make change happen... one day at a time.
Sign up for our newsletter