Keynotes and Speakers

Adam Foss

Adam J. Foss is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO) in Boston, MA, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform, with a particular emphasis on redefining the role of the prosecutor to help end mass incarceration. To further these ends, Mr. Foss founded Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit which develops training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system, and he maintains an active speaking and lecture schedule.

During his nine years as a prosecutor, Mr. Foss collaborated with the courts and the community to
develop programs which continue to have a positive impact on distressed neighborhoods in the Boston area. He co-founded the Roxbury CHOICE program, for example, to turn probation from a punitive sentence into a beneficial relationship with the court, the probation department, and the District Attorney’s Office. He also founded the SCDAO Reading Program to bridge the achievement gap of area elementary school students. Before leaving the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Foss helped pioneer the first juvenile diversion program in Suffolk County, keeping young people out of the cradle-to-prison pipeline.

The Mandela Foundation recently recognized Mr. Foss as the 2017 Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year. Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business of 2017. The Root named Mr. Foss one of the 100 most influential black Americans of 2016. He was named “Graduate of the Last Decade“ by his alma mater, Suffolk University Law School, and is a visiting senior fellow at Harvard Law School. He also is a fellow at the Open Society Foundation Leadership in Government initiative as well as a Director’s Fellow in the world-renowned MIT Media Lab.

In February of 2016, Mr. Foss delivered a TED Talk that has already surpassed 2 million views. In 2015, he was voted one of the country’s 40 most up-and-coming lawyers by National Law Journal, and in 2013, the Massachusetts Bar Association voted him Prosecutor of the Year.

Follow Adam and Prosecutor Impact on Twitter: @adamjohnfoss and @prosecutorimpct and at Prosecutor Impact.

Tamara Konrade

website picture2Tamara is an inspirational speaker and consultant guiding individuals, teams, and organizations to increase their energy and engagement in their personal and professional lives. She has been a classroom teacher, instructional coach, principal, curriculum director, professional learning consultant, and is now working specifically as a VentureIn consultant. The job titles, however, don’t describe the work that truly matters to Tamara. Her real passion is having the opportunity to inspire others to lead their lives in a way that brings peace, joy, and enthusiasm; to help them reach the outcomes they never thought were possible!

Tamara is on a mission to improve leadership in our schools and organizations that impact education. Every single person is a leader by choice or by default, and they think and act in ways that either move them forward or hold them back from making great accomplishments.

Tamara has worked with students, teachers, parents, coaches, school board members, administrators, and state legislatures, inspiring them to approach their personal and professional leadership roles with high energy, engagement, and commitment.

Before leading the ESSDACK Professional Learning team, Tamara served as the Director of Student Learning at Valley Center School District in Kansas, working with dedicated professionals as she facilitated curriculum, instruction, and assessment decisions.

Follow Tamara on Twitter @TamaraKonrade and at VentureIn.

Jim Sporleder

We’re excited that Jim is again part of Bridging to Resilience. He comes to Kansas City with a deep background in building trauma informed schools and speaking.

Jim retired in 2014 as Principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA. Under Jim’s leadership, Lincoln High School became a “Trauma Informed” school, gaining national attention due to a dramatic drop in out of school suspensions, increased graduation rates, and the number of students going on to post-secondary education.

These dramatic changes at Lincoln caught the attention of Jamie Redford, who spent a year filming the documentary, Paper Tigers, which tells the story of Lincoln High School and the changes that Jim helped to facilitate. The documentary was released at the May 2015 Seattle International Film Festival and received positive reviews.

Get more information about Paper Tigers as well as Jim’s book titled The Trauma Informed School. Jim is currently working as a trauma-informed coach / consultant as well as a trainer with the Children’s Resilience Initiative, based in Walla Walla. His travels as a consultant, keynote speaker, presenter and trainer have taken him all over the United States.