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2020 Leadership Conference Staff Photo
02 MARCH 2020

ALF Hosts Leadership Conference in New York

Each year, the American Liver Foundation family gathers in New York City to touch base, take stock and prepare to move forward.  From February 9th to the 12th, sixty of us—Board members, National leadership, Division staff and several consultants and guests—shared our triumphs, and insights with one another.  For an organization offering programs from Maine to Hawaii and from the Pacific Northwest to Florida, this yearly opportunity to meet face-to-face is essential.  Our theme this year was “Mission Forward: Preparing for the New Decade.”

We were delighted to be joined by Dr. Griffin Rodgers of the National Institutes of Health, who accepted our National Liver Leadership Award.  Dr. Rodgers is the Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and provides exemplary leadership in fueling both basic and clinical research in liver disease.

Each day of the conference had a different focus.  On Sunday, we came together for an informal reception, met old friends and got to know those who joined us in the past year.  Monday brought an overview of the past year, both operational and financial.  We heard from Divisions around the country about the varied range of new programs they developed.  Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s meetings drilled down into the nuts and bolts of program development and, of course, fundraising to support those programs.

We were careful to nurture ourselves in order to better help others.  Lindsay Ventura, Community Outreach and Education Manager in ALF’s New England Division, presented on mindfulness, the process of purposefully bringing our attention, in a non-judgmental way, to experiences occurring in the present moment.  As she pointed out, “We look for progress, not perfection.”

If it is true that an organization is only as strong as the people in that organization, I would say with confidence that ALF has the strength to move into the new decade ready, willing and very able to make an even greater positive impact on the lives of liver patients and their families.

NealonTom Nealon
President & CEO
American Liver Foundation

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