Free regional conference planned for Sept. 19

Several local organizations are working together to host a free regional conference called “Thrive” on Sept. 19 in Silver Springs.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Silver Stage High School at 3755 Spruce Avenue. There is no charge to those attending, but registration is required by calling 775-847-9311, or by going to the online form at

Participants may earn up to five continuing education credits in certain career fields. Call Erik Schoen at 847-9311 for more information.

The first annual Thrive Conference is a merging of the annual Northwestern Nevada Food Systems Summit and the Nevada Social Justice Institute.

The event will showcase some of the impressive community-building work happening in the region, and provide opportunities for people from the Northern Nevada area to connect and network.

The conference is being organized and sponsored by the nonprofits Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties and Community Chest Inc, along with Lyon County Human Services. Silver Stage High School is serving as host for the event and providing the venue.

Christy McGill, director of Healthy Communities Coalition, said, “The conference will include several nationally known speakers as well as people from the Lyon and Storey areas who will share some of the amazing things they’re doing right here in Northern Nevada.”

Attendees will learn from nationally known speakers like Hildy Gottlieb about effective, cutting edge approaches that allow communities to thrive and create the futures they want. The event will also serve to bring attention to some of the unusual and successful initiatives being carried out in the Lyon and Storey County region through planned collaboration among community members and diverse groups.

Opening remarks will be delivered by McGill and Lyon County Human Services director Edrie LaVoie.

Erik Schoen of Community Chest Inc. and the Human Services Network of Nevada will discuss the benefits of merging the statewide Nevada Social Justice Institute and the annual Northwestern Nevada Food System Summit to create the Thrive conference.

Award winning creative arts teacher Pan Pantoja will perform, and nationally acclaimed motivational speaker Brian Williams of “Think Kindness” will speak about his non-profit organization that inspires kindness in schools around the nation.

Local youth and adults leading unique work that improves food systems, including teacher Rachel Leach and her Silver Stage Elementary School students, will describe the meaurseable impacts of their work.

There will also be a presentation on “Cross-Sector Collaboration to Improve Access to Health Care.” Lyon County School District and Healthy Communities Coalition have partnered with many groups to create an innovative pilot that is attracting positive attention as a model for efficient and effective use of public dollars. Speakers will explain how the “Health Services Hub” has connected groups and individuals who are working together strategically to expand access to dental, medical, vision and behavioral health care in rural Lyon and Storey counties.

“Community Advocate Hero” awards will be presented to several groups and individuals from towns in Storey and Lyon Counties during a luncheon featuring a menu highlighting locally sourced ingredients.

Gottlieb will be the closing speaker. She is nationally known as a speaker, writer and the co-founder of “Creating the Future,” a social change organization.


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