LeadingAge Nebraska 2024 Annual Conference & Expo

March 12-14, 2024
Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center
Kearney, Nebraska
Conference Theme: COURAGE IGNITED

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  • March 12, 2024: Pre-Conference Program + PAC Dinner & Casino Night
  • March 13-14, 2024: Annual Conference & Expo

Giving voice to things that matter takes courage.

Being creative and breaking new ground takes courage.

Cultivating an environment where staff and older adults thrive takes courage.

Doing the right thing for the right reasons takes courage.

When we tap our inner strength and combine it with thousands of others who share our common purpose, courage is ignited.

Join us at the LeadingAge Nebraska Annual Conference & Expo to explore innovative and courageous ways to redefine your work. This meeting will focus on empowering you to develop the courage to overcome obstacles, take risks, and pursue your goals with confidence. You’ll engage with our sector’s leading experts, network with fellow aging services professionals, and discover new products and services. Whether you are a member seeking to inspire your team or a business partner looking to share your insights with providers, you’ll find everything you need and more to overcome fear, face adversity, and build resilience. Ignite your passion for serving others and feel the spark that inspires us all to make Nebraska a better place to grow old.

LOCATION The Pre-Conference program and the Annual Conference and Expo will take place at the Holiday Inn Kearney at 110 2nd Ave, Kearney, NE 68847.

Click below to register for the Pre-Conference, the PAC Dinner & Casino Night, and/or the Annual Conference & Expo.


PRE-CONFERENCE: Courage Ignited: Preparing Yourself, Your Organization & Your Community for the Unthinkable

March 12, 2024, 1:00 - 5:30 pm
Kearney Holiday Inn, Kearney, Nebraska

We will be offering a Pre-Conference program focused on Crisis Management beginning at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at the Holiday Inn Kearney. Prepare yourself, your organization and your community-at-large for future emergencies and crises. Expert speakers with hands-on experience will help you to formulate answers to questions like How would we care for ourselves, staff and residents in a crisis situation? What would we do if our building was damaged or destroyed by a weather event? and How would we as an organization react if a horrible news story was written about our organization?  Casino image


March 12, 2024, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Join your colleagues and friends in supporting the Friends of LeadingAge Nebraska PAC! Enjoy drinks and dinner as you throw the dice and flip the cards. Experienced and inexperienced gamblers welcome!

All attendees will receive casino "bucks" for casino-style play when you walk in the door. Additional casino "bucks" and otherQFI logo prizes are available with a donation to the Friends of LeadingAge Nebraska PAC. The PAC Dinner & Casino Night is open to everyone, but only employees, officers, directors, stockholders, or members of LeadingAge Nebraska may donate to the PAC. Thank you to Quality First Insurance for sponsoring the PAC Dinner & Casino Night!


Holiday Inn Kearney
Time Title Speaker & Details
1:00-2:30pm Leading in Times of Crisis: A Decompression Session (Crisis Management for Individuals) Claudia Blumenstock, LNHA, Founder & CEO of Copernicus, Inc. 1.5
2:45-3:45pm I Know a Guy (Crisis Management for your Organization) Chris Blomgren, Healthcare & Public Safety Planner, Katmai Solutions 1
4:00-5:30pm Crisis Management in Your Community + Round Table discussions Janine Finck-Boyle, LeadingAge VP of Health Policy and Regulatory Affairs 1.5
6:30-8:30pm Friends of LeadingAge NE Political Action Committee (PAC) Dinner & Casino Night  Sponsored by Quality First Insurance  
    Total CEUs for Pre-Conference  4


Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - Holiday Inn Kearney
Time Title Speaker CEUs
8:00-9:30am WELCOME & KEYNOTE: Igniting Creative Courage Claudia Blumenstock, LNHA, Founder and CEO of Copernicus, Inc. Sponsored by INNOVATIVE LTC SOLUTIONS  1.5
9:30-9:45am BREAK    
9:45-10:45am 1A: Collaborating with HCCs for Emergency Preparedness Jerry Nevins, NHA, RN & Justin Watson, MPA  1
  1B: Addressing Swallowing Concerns in the Elderly Kellie Brink, Heartland Swallow Studies  1
  1C: Resilience: Turn the Page Gwen Maag, Avera Education & Staffing Solutions  1
10:45-11:00am BREAK    
11:00-12:00pm 2A: Takeaways from the LeadingAge Nebraska Nurse Leadership Academy 2023/2024 Nurse Leadership Academy participants  1
  2B: Feeling Dread? Try this Instead. Using State Survey as an Opportunity to Shine! Brianne Gerron, RN, MSN & Rebecca Ortmeier, PharmD, Consonus Pharmacy  1
  2C: Compassion Fatigue: The Impacts of Being in Helping Professions Sarah Griess, Rising Hope Counseling & Consulting, P.C.  1
12:00-1:15pm LUNCH & AWARDS PROGRAM  Sponsored by McKesson  
1:15-2:15pm 3A: Budgeting Best Practices Bob Dick & Kailey Riskowski, Bland & Associates  1
  3B: Motivational Interviewing: A Technique for Positive Change Dr. Ingrid Provident, Select Rehabilitation Education Specialist  1
  3C: Power Strips, Patient Care-Related Electrical Equipment (PCREE) and Nonpatient Care-Related Electrical Equipment Testing Ed Hendershot, VP of Facilities Management, Midwest Geriatrics  1
2:15-2:30pm BREAK    
2:30-3:30pm 4A: Home Care and Senior Living - Build, Buy or Collaborate Nigel O'Mahony and Sarah Pappas, HomeCare Advocacy Network  1
  4B: Federal Regulatory & Congressional Update Janine Finck-Boyle, VP, Health Policy and Regulatory Affairs, LeadingAge  1
 3:30-3:45pm BREAK    
 3:45-4:45pm 5A: Embracing Culture Change and Person Directed Care Kelly Sparr & Theresa Parker, NECCC  1
  5B: Resident Rights Penny Clark, State LTC Ombudsman  1
  5C: Norms Shape Organization Success: Creating a More Positive Normative Culture Paul Rieken, Normative Point, LLC  1
 6:00-9:00pm Wednesday Evening Social - Dinner, Drinks & Dueling Pianos!  Sponsored by Quality First Insurance, HCIS-MBS & RTG Medical  
     TOTAL CEs for day 1:  6.5


Thursday, March 14, 2024 - Holiday Inn Kearney
Time Title Speaker CEUs
  6A: The Secret of Engaged Leadership: Uncovering Keys to Stabilizing Your Workforce Claudia Blumenstock, LNHA, Founder and CEO of Copernicus, Inc.   1
  6B: LANE Quality Assurance: Keeping You in the Fast Lane with Quality Assurance & Survey Prep Kierstin Reed, LeadingAge NE CEO & Mike Fisk, Guru Alliance  1
9:00-9:30am BREAK & EXPO    
9:30-10:30am KEYNOTE: Have No Fear Curt Tomasevicz, Ph.D., former Husker football player & Olympic bobsledder Sponsored by QUALITY FIRST INSURANCE   1
10:30-12:00pm BRUNCH BUFFET & EXPO    
12:00-12:30pm 7A: LeadingAge NE Ambassador Program Kierstin Reed and LAN Board members  0.5
  7B: A Further Dive Into Fear  Curt Tomasevicz, Ph.D.  0.5
  7C: Unveiling the Consumer Behavior Shift: Navigating the Changing Landscape of Senior Living and Care Shopping Christie Stukenholtz, Senior Care Finder  0.5
 12:30-1:00pm BREAK & EXPO    
1:00-2:00pm 8A: The Mental Health Journey: Lessons Learned from the Elderly  Laurie Loughney, Longtree & Associates  1
  8B: Protecting Your Organization's Data Art Provost, Filament Essential Services  1
 2:00 END    TOTAL CEs day 2:  3.5



We will again be using the Yapp Conference App. In the app you will be able to check the agenda, locations, read speaker bios, read session descriptions, link directly to sponsor and exhibitor websites, and more. We will not have paper evaluations this year - the evaluation for each session will be accessed through the app. The app will be free to download from both the Google Play and Apple app stores. Assistance with app download and navigation will be available at the conference. Stay tuned for more information!


Claudia BlumenstockDAY 1 (March 13): CLAUDIA BLUMENSTOCK Claudia is the Founder and CEO of Copernicus and has been a nursing home administrator and a nationally recognized speaker and consultant in long-term care for over 30 years. Her primary focus is to help leaders cultivate organizational cultures that attract and retain quality staff.Innovative LTC Solutions logo

Prior to starting Copernicus, Inc. Claudia led a nursing home start-up, overseeing the hiring of all staff and resident occupancy of specialized units. As Vice President of a senior housing development company, she created the niche, “college connections” product, an initiative linking active adults to university life, which defined the company and its specialized offerings. Claudia was a trainer on two New York State Department of Health grant projects. The first called the Advanced Training Initiative, offered her relationship focused staff retention and resident engagement programs to facilities across the state. The second funded a first-of-its-kind project in which she was one of nine coaches working to improve resident satisfaction in state long-term care facilities. Claudia's keynote is sponsored by Innovative LTC Solutions.

Curt TomaseviczDAY 2 (March 14): CURT TOMASEVICZ, Ph.D. Curt Tomasevicz grew up in Shelby, Nebraska, a small town of nearly 700 people located a few miles southwest of Columbus. While attending the University of Nebraska, Curt played running back and linebacker, earning most of his playing time on special teams. During his senior year in 2003, he earned first-team academic All-Big 12 honors.

After his college football career Curt went on to become an American bobsledder. He won six medals at the FIBT World Championships with two golds (Four-man: 2009, 2012), a silver (Mixed team: 2007) and three bronzes (Two-man: 2009, Mixed team: 2008, 2009). Tomasevicz finished sixth in the four-man event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. He was an alternate during the (2006–07) season on World Cup tour for driver Steven Holcomb and won a gold in Cesana, Italy during the 2007–08 season. He made the US team in both the two-man and four-man events at the 2010 Winter Olympics, where he won a gold medal.

Curt holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in electrical engineering with a minor in Astrophysics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2017, Curt earned a Ph.D. in biological engineering. Curt's keynote is sponsored by Quality First Insurance.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SOCIAL: Dueling PianosHeartland Dueling Pianos

QFI logoAll conference attendees, speakers and exhibitors are invited to join us for an evening of relaxation, networking and dueling pianos! From 6:00 - 9:00 pm, enjoy the entertainment, dinner, drinks, and prizes! The networking event will be held at the Holiday Inn Kearney. The Wednesday Night RTG logoSocial is sponsored by Quality First Insurance, HCIS-MBS & RTG Medical.

 HCIS-MBS logo


We will be giving awards in the following categories: Lifetime Achievement, Excellence in Innovation, Excellence in Care and Service, Emerging Leader, & Friends of Long-term Care. Award recipients will be chosen by our selection committee and honored at our Annual Conference & Expo in Kearney, NE on March 13, 2024. The Awards ceremony is sponsored by Gold Business Associate McKesson.McKesson logo


We have a dynamic variety of vendors participating this year in the Expo on day two of the conference. You will expect to see some familiar faces and also some new faces! But as always, get ready to learn, discover new solutions and get fresh ideas for your residents and staff!

Exhibitor list



  Member Rate  Non-member Rate 
Pre-Conference Program (March 12, 2024) $150 $200
Friends of LeadingAge NE PAC Dinner & Casino Night $50 $50
2-day Conference rate $350 $550
Single day rate (Wed OR Thurs) $250 $450
Students, Retirees or Direct-care Staff (nurse aides, etc.) $95/day  $95/day 
Non-exhibiting vendor $500 $750










No refunds will be given for cancellations. Substitutions are accepted. However, if you cannot attend due to circumstances out of your control (such as exposure to/testing positive for COVID-19, a death in the family, or state surveyors in your community during the conference) and no substitute is available, a credit will be issued for you to use at a future LeadingAge Nebraska event. Please send credit requests by email to Natalie McCormick at [email protected] and LeadingAge Nebraska will review your request promptly and respond on whether a credit will be granted in your situation. Thank you!


LeadingAge Nebraska has reserved a room block that is guaranteed through February 12, 2024. The Holiday Inn Kearney phone number is 308-237-5971. You must call to reserve your room to receive the LeadingAge Nebraska room block rate.


Our conference is relaxed but professional. We ask that you wear comfortable, business-casual attire. We also suggest wearing layers as temperatures can vary from room to room. 


A total of 14 CE hours have been approved for the Pre-Conference and Conference programs. 4 CE hours for the Pre-Conference program plus 10 hours of continuing education from Nebraska DHHS Regulation and Licensure, Board of of NHA has been approved for the LeadingAge Annual Conference. Appropriate records will be maintained for other disciplines to receive credit from their credentialing organizations. 4+10 CE credits provided by IWCC, Iowa’s Board of Nursing Provider #6. Approval pending. 10 CE hours, fulfilling the continuing education requirements of the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM). Approval #: 168186 Granting prior approval does not constitute endorsement of the program content or its program sponsor.CBDM approval logo


All handouts will be available a few days prior to the conference on our website and in the conference app. Please download and/or print those you wish to have at the conference.


Photographs will be taken during the LeadingAge Nebraska 2024 Annual Conference & Expo. By registering for this event, you agree to allow LeadingAge Nebraska to use your photo in our related publications, promotions or website.


Interested in sponsorships for the conference? CLICK HERE to claim your sponsorship. Please note that this form is also for the Expo, but the Expo is now full. However, you are able to use the form to claim sponsorships.