Each year, the Department of Public Administration’s Nonprofit Management Advisory Board organizes the conference for the local nonprofit community. This year, the Grant Professionals Network, Inc., co-hosted the conference with the Advisory Board.

Pamela Landwirth, president of the nonprofit Give Kids the World, chaired the sold-out conference and offered both opening remarks and closing comments.

Among the inspiring presentations was the “Disney Approach to Creativity,” made by Sharon Conroy of the Disney Institute.

Her series of thought-provoking activities unleashed competitive creativity among the participants.

“The highlight was having Dean Frumkin model a hat with Mickey Mouse Ears, with each table trying to come up with the most uses for the hat in 90 seconds,” said Public Administration’s Donna Mohney. “The winning score was 19!”

The conference also included sessions on grant writing and grant management; an unveiling of the “Central Florida NEXUS” Web site by department Chair Mary Ann Feldheim; a presentation on the story of American Humanics by its president, Kala Stroup; and a challenge to “Be Bold, Be Different, Be Valuable” by presenter Julia Kivistik of Cause Branding Cone, Inc.

The afternoon keynote address featured a lively slide show with humorous observations by Bob Kodzis, president and founder of Flight of Ideas, Inc. He shared his thoughts on how to “Live Happy” and bring that happiness into the work environment.

Feldheim said the conference was a welcomed lift to nonprofit managers as they face the challenges of today’s economic climate.