Speakers | Working Together for Rural Well-Being Seminar

President, Coalitions Work

Frances Dunn Butterfoss, PhD, MSEd, is president of Coalitions Work and a professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is a health educator committed to building, sustaining and evaluating partnerships to promote health and social justice. A nationally recognized expert, she has 30 years’ experience training and consulting with organizations, coalitions and communities across America. Butterfoss is a past president and distinguished fellow of the Society for Public Health Education. Her best-selling books, Coalitions and Partnerships in Community Health and Ignite! Getting Your Community Coalitions Fired Up for Change are popular among practitioners and academics.

Session: Ignite! Getting Your Community Collaborative Fired Up for Change

Read Butterfoss’ blog post: Recruiting and Engaging Diverse, Committed Collaborative Members

President, Impact Lufkin

Robert Shankle, president of Impact Lufkin, has served on Lufkin’s City Council since 2009. A member of the Texas Association of Black City Council Members and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, his devotion is evidenced by vast volunteer leadership, including founding the Clergy and Police Alliance, Lufkin Pro Day Group, and the Neighborhood Leadership Council of North Lufkin. A graduate of Leadership Lufkin, he is a recipient of the Citizen Chamber of Commerce Eagle Award and the Hometown Hero Award. A veteran of Desert Storm, Councilman Shankle served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard.

Session: Community Revitalization

Milken Scholar Health Policy, Milken Institute School of Public Health Co-Principal Investigator & Project Director for Building Community Resilience Collaborative and Networks, Sumner Redstone Global Center for Prevention & Wellness at George Washington University

Wendy Ellis, MPH, DrPH, is project director of Building Community Resilience (BCR) at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. The BCR collaborative model is based on Ellis’ research to design a strengths-based strategic process for cross-sector partners that aligns resources and initiatives with community-based efforts to address adverse childhood experiences and adverse community environments—the “Pair of ACEs”—to help individuals and communities thrive. A 2018 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow, Ellis has spent a decade growing a resilience movement to address systemic inequities that contribute to multi-generational social and health disparities.

Session: Building Community Resilience: Healing Trauma, Fostering Equity through Cross-Sector Collaboration

Read Ellis’ blog post: Building Community Resilience

Founder, Alpinista Consulting

Anna Jackson, MSSW, is a facilitator and consultant specializing in collective, distributive and participatory leadership approaches, such as Liberating Structures, to guide groups through complex challenges and imagine new possibilities for their work. She has over 20 years of professional experience in mental health, research, education and leadership programs. Since 2014, she has been a consultant to organizations and individuals in a range of fields and sectors, directing projects on strategic planning, capacity building, program design and evaluation, and collaborative approaches to change.

Session: Simple, Powerful Methods to Include Everyone in the Conversation

Read Jackson and Winfield’s blog post: Creating Conditions for Inclusive Conversations

Equity Consultant, Independent

Nakia Winfield, LMSW, is an antiracism workshop facilitator and business analyst who uses an interdisciplinary, anti-oppressive lens to examine power dynamics across social systems and help organizations and municipalities find effective solutions for their work. A leader for Undoing Racism Austin and a trainer for the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, she recently co-chaired the National Association of Social Workers Texas Chapter’s Race, Equity, Accountability and Leadership committee, created to provide an antiracist lens through which social workers view their role in systems in Texas. Winfield also has expertise in the areas of mental health, social work, policy analysis, and human resources.

Session: Simple, Powerful Methods to Include Everyone in the Conversation

Read Winfield and Jackson’s blog post: Creating Conditions for Inclusive Conversations

Managing Director, Prevention Institute

Sheila Savannah is managing director for safety, mental health and well-being at Prevention Institute, a national nonprofit that builds prevention and health equity into key federal, state, local and organizational policies and actions to ensure that places where all people live, work, play and learn foster health, safety and well-being. Previously, she served in the City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services. With over 30 years’ experience in multisector collaboration and youth/family engagement, Savannah is widely recognized for contributions in health equity, mental health, capacity building and therapeutic programming with children, adolescents, families and communities.

Session: Circles of Inclusion: Engaging Historically Excluded Groups


Read Savannah’s blog post: Drawing the Circle of Inclusion: The First Step Is Trust


Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, FiveTwo Network

Oscar Benavides is vice president of Strategic Initiatives for FiveTwo Network, a nonprofit that trains missional entrepreneurs to launch outreach start-ups in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New York and Texas. Previously the executive director of LINC North Texas and family and youth pastor for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Carrolton, Texas, Benavides is an Outward Mindset facilitator for the Arbinger Institute, a Systems Thinking facilitator for the DeVos Foundation, and a professional coach. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two adopted children, Bailey and Micah, and three foster children.

Session: Individuals and Organizations as Changemakers


Read Benavides’ blog post: How Changing Ourselves Can Change Systems