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2015 – Pathways Out of Poverty: The Heart of Community Action

According to federal data, New Mexico has the highest level of poverty in the nation. Attend this state-wide conference to address poverty issues. Engage in topics on strategic and operational planning, collaboration, and creative new strategies. Presented in partnership with UNM Continuing Education.

September 16-18

Registration Click to download printable registration form.

General Schedule of Events (click for printable version)

Wednesday, Sept 16

12:45-1:45 pm – Dessert and registration

1:45 pm – Opening remarks by Carolyn VanderGiesen and Sherry TenClay

2:00 pm – Welcome, Dawn Hommer, Chair of NMACP Board, CEO of CAASNM

2:20 pm – Carolyn Ice, Message from Senator Tom Udall

2:35 pm – Stephanie Kean, Message from Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham

2:50 pm – Keynote Speaker, David Bradley, CEO NCAF

3:30 pm – The Face of Poverty with Rodolfo Acosta-Pérez

4:15 pm – Awards

5:30-7:30 pm –  Reception at Home2 Suites

Thursday, Sept 17

Click >here for printable break-out sessions schedule

Click >here for Session descriptions & Presenter information (pdf)

8:30 – 10:20 Governance Board Roles & Responsibilities Jean Block D
Organizational Leadership ABCs of CAA Bylaws Eleanor Evans, CapLaw Auditorium
CSBG ROMA for Supervisors Marcus Crawford 108
Human Resources Effective Performance Appraisals 109
10:20 – 10:30 Break Lobby
10:30 – 11:55 Governance Board Roles & Responsibilities, Continued Jean Block D
Organizational Leadership Analyzing Financial Date for Decision-making Steve Meilleur Auditorium
CSBG Strategic Planning Jarle Crocker 108
Human Resources Wage Study Charles Lehman 109
12:00-1:00 Lunch Rooms B & C
1:00 – 2:20 Governance Roberts Rules for Boards Steve Meilleur D
Organizational Leadership OMB Circular Eleanor Evans, CapLaw Auditorium
CSBG Your Money, Your Goals –
Financial Literacy for Clients
Noelia McNew 108
Human Resources Developing Effective Staff Training & Orientation Crista Benavidez 109
2:20 – 2:30 Break Lobby
2:30-3:45 Governance Organizational Standards for Boards Jarle Crocker D
Organizational Leadership OMB Circular Eleanor Evans, CapLaw Auditorium
CSBG Creating Customer Surveys Art Martinez 108
Human Resources Perfecting Supervisory Skills Crista Benavidez 109

Friday, Sept 18

7:30 a.m – Breakfast buffet

8:45 – 10 am  – Community Needs Assessment with Jarle Crocker, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, CAP

10:00 am – Break

10:15 am – Awards, prizes, drawings

11:15 am – Adjourn


$225 per person (20% discount for CAA members or groups of 10 or more)

Guest Presenters


For more than 30 years, David Bradley has been one of Washington’s leading advocates on behalf of low-income programs. In 1981, David helped found the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF). As a private non-profit organization funded solely by non-governmental contributions, NCAF represents funding and policy interests of the nation’s 1000 community action agencies before Congress and the Executive Branch.

In this role at NCAF, David was the primary architect of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Besides the CSBG, David’s legislative activities include Weatherization Assistance, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Head Start, and job training programs.  […Read more]

Eleanor Evans

Eleanor Evans is Executive Director and General Counsel of Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW) and General Counsel to Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. Ms. Evans advises Community Action Agencies nationwide on a broad range of legal, governance and compliance matters, writes publications and presents workshops throughout the country on those matters. Before holding these positions, Ms. Evans was CAPLAW’s Deputy Director and Senior Counsel. Prior to joining CAPLAW, she practiced with the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow, where she represented nonprofit and for-profit organizations in corporate, tax and employee benefits matters. Ms. Evans is co-author of “Being a Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulations for Advocacy Charities,” published by the Alliance for Justice. She is a graduate of Smith College and Georgetown University Law Center.

crockerDr. Jarle Crocker, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Community Action Partnership. Dr. Crocker has over 12 years of experience managing training and technical assistance to public agencies and nonprofits engaged in community building initiatives from the local to the national level. His expertise includes extensive direct practice work in the areas of strategic planning, performance measurement, community involvement, systems reform, financing strategies, and the design of public policy consensus-building processes. His areas of content experience focus on early childhood systems and services, juvenile justice, children’s exposure to violence, community-based development, work supports, and education reform. He has a doctorate from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution where he also serves as adjunct faculty teaching graduate classes on organizational change and the design and facilitation of public policy consensus-building processes.

Jean Block

Jean Block incorporated Jean Block Consulting, Inc., in 1995 to share more than 45 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with organizations throughout the U.S. She is also founding principal of Social Enterprise Ventures LLC, a national training and consulting company devoted to teaching nonprofits how to diversify their revenue through earned income. Her career in the nonprofit sector has given her firsthand experience in nonprofit management and administration, strategic planning, volunteer recruitment and retention, marketing, public relations, board management, and fundraising. She has served in staff and volunteer leadership roles in local, regional and national nonprofits.

Exhibitor & Sponsorship Opportunities

Exhibitor & Sponsorship invitation letter

Please click >here for Exhibitor application

Please click >here to help sponsor our conference (thank you!)


The following agencies will be recognized for 50 years of outstanding service:

HELP-New Mexico, Inc.
Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico (CAASNM)
Southeast New Mexico Community Action Corporation (SNMCAC)
Mid-West New Mexico Community Action Program

We will also be presenting Service Awards and Volunteer Service Awards. Click >here for a complete list of 15-, 20-, and 25-year award recipients.


Home2 Suites by Hilton University Albuquerque Downtown/University

Rates: $83 – $114

Click here to book reservation (corporate account number will be auto-populated; just choose the dates and number of guests, then click “continue” for room choices at conference rates.)

For more information contact Sherry TenClay at or 505-277-6038.