National Conference on Guardianship

October 14 – 17, 2023
Caribe Royale
Orlando, Florida

Download the Conference Brochure

Continuing Education
Exhibitors / Sponsorships

Welcome to the National Guardianship Association’s 2023 National Conference on Guardianship. As you’ve come to expect from NGA, this year’s program features outstanding presentations that will appeal to professional and family guardians, public and private guardians, and participants at every level of experience.

NGA is planning a separate program, introduced in 2022, that has been developed for guardianship investigators, auditors, and other professionals who monitor and investigate guardianship.

This conference is being offered in person. NGA will adhere to any federal, state, or local guidelines related to the status of the pandemic at the time of the event.

4:00pm – 5:30pm State Affiliates Meeting
5:30pm – 6:30pm Welcome Reception
Greet old friends and make new connections as participants gather to kick off this year’s event!
7:00am – 5:30pm Registration Area Open
7:00am – 7:45am Breakfast
7:00am – 8:00am New Member Breakfast
8:05am – 8:15am Welcome and Opening Remarks – Tracey Bowles, 2023 Conference Chair
8:15am – 9:45am

How to Recognize Body Language Cues and Present Your Best Self
Patti Wood, MA | The Gold Standard of Body Language Experts

In each minute of interaction, you have the potential to share up to 10,000 nonverbal cues. Understanding and using the secrets of nonverbal communication can enhance your listening ability and the way you’re perceived and understood. As a guardian, you are interacting with people all day long: explaining options to clients, listening to their preferences, and advocating for them. In addition, you are often working with family members, addressing the court, working with medical professionals, and more. Do people understand you accurately? Are they persuaded by your messaging? Would you like to improve your understanding of what clients are really saying? In this unique program, you will “experience” accurately reading and using these cues to enhance your communication skills and discover methods to be more receptive and open to others. You will walk out of the program with your eyes and ears open with action steps ready to take your communication to the next level.

9:45am – 10:15am Break with Exhibitors
10:15am – 11:30am Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Fiduciary Reporting
Jennifer A. Davison, NCG
Tandem Fiduciary Services

This presentation is designed to provide fiduciary
reporting skills and techniques for trustees, conservators/guardians, and anyone else required
to provide financial reports. A case study of a
fiduciary report will be reviewed and discussed
to identify strengths and weaknesses and techniques for improving the report.

Stepping Down from Guardianship
Lisa Wawrzonek, MS
Alaska Court System

Knowing when a guardianship can be reduced or dismissed can be tricky if the individual doesn’t have a clear recovery from their disability or diagnosis. Setting up a “step down” plan might give the family, guardians and court the information needed to make a safe and ethical determination.

Medical Guardianship: A Successful
Collaborative Model Between the
Court and an Academic Health System
Alethia J. Battles, JD, LMSW
University of Michigan – Michigan Medicine
Teresa A. Killeen, Esq.
Washtenau County Trial Court

Medical and legal challenges often occur at the cross-section between clinical care and statutory boundaries. This presentation will review a collaborative model that has improved outcomes, streamlined processes, and created strategic partnerships between the health system and the legal system.

11:30am – 12:45pm Networking Lunch and Dessert with Exhibitors
12:45pm – 2:00pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions
  • Ethical Dilemmas in Guardianship
  • Irene Rausch, NMG
    Professional Guardian

This presentation will focus on five case studies that cover various ethical dilemmas that may arise in guardianship practice. The issues cover confidentiality, determining residence, making medical decisions, and end of life decisions. The presenter will present the dilemma, discuss factors that need to be determined in order to resolve the issue, and the resolution. Reference to the appropriate NGA Standards of Practice will be included.

Navigating and Preserving Government Benefits
Cameron Lindahl
Comerica Bank

Navigating needs-based benefit eligibility can be cumbersome and the solutions are often expensive. This presentation will provide tools to identify and protect eligibility in a cost-effective manner. These tools will include a flowchart to identify eligibility, guides for ABLE accounts, spend down instructions, and questions for trustees.

  • Coordinating Assessments and In-Patient Treatment for the High Functioning, but Highly Resistant, Person with Mental Health Issues
    Roger T. Coventry, MBA, JD
    Coventry, Vernon, & Roberts, LLC
    Sharon A. Bell, PsyD
    Associates in Health Psychology

Coordination is crucial for a detailed assessment and admission to an in-patient mental health treatment facility, for a person who may be a danger to self and/or others. The presentation will focus on the planning and logistics that help lead to a safe and appropriate admission.

2:00pm – 2:30pm Break with Exhibitors
2:30pm – 3:45pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions
  • Assessment Fundamentals: What to Look for When Evaluating a Facility or Client
  • James Alaniz
    The Good Shepherd Fund

This session will present a clear and concise guide to initiating and documenting an assessment of both the facility and the person when choosing and evaluating a placement. Not every client can assess or choose for themselves what type of facility they want to live in, so it is vitally important that you have a good understanding of your client’s needs, both mentally and physically, so that placement will be beneficial to everyone involved.

  • Successor Fiduciary Issues: Taking Over a Disaster
  • Peter J. Wall
    True Link Financial Advisors, LLC

Accepting appointment as successor trustee or fiduciary comes with a unique set of challenges. Difficulties including prior accounting complications, investment considerations, beneficiary expectations, public benefits issues, and tax filings (among other issues) can derail proper administration from the onset of a relationship and may expose a successor trustee to heightened liability. This presentation will provide insights and case studies (and case law updates) while providing best practice tips and problems anticipated before accepting appointment.

  • Coping with Disenfranchised Grief as a Guardian
    Stephanie M Parker
    Paramount Guardianship Services
    Laura L. Klein, LCMHC
    Light After Loss

As a guardian, you may experience disenfranchised grief, a type of grief that is not openly acknowledged or socially recognized. This session will provide you with strategies to cope with this type of grief, including how to acknowledge your grief, seek support, create a memorial, take care of yourself, and find meaning in your loss. Through this session, you will learn ways to work through the challenges of disenfranchised grief and find healing. Join us to discover how you can cope with disenfranchised grief and gain the tools you need to move forward with your grief.

3:45pm – 4:15pm Break with Exhibitors
4:15pm – 5:30pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions
  • How to be a Guardian to Someone with Hoarding Disorder
  • Frances Piekarski, NCG, CDP, CCA
    Life with Dignity

Learn from this presenter’s decades of experience in working with people afflicted with hoarding disorder. Participants will learn effective and strategic methods for working with individuals with this disorder compassionately and with dignity.

  • End-of-Life Dilemmas for Guardians: Comfort vs Suffering, Identifying End-of-Life Symptoms, and Unusual Burial Customs
  • Mari Adams MSN-Ed., BSN, RN, CHPN
    Chapters Health System

This presentation addresses the ethical, and often
difficult, decisions that guardians face regarding
comfort and end-of-life care. In addition, it will
address unusual burial and funeral customs for
diverse populations.

  • Can This Person Have Sex? Legal and Other Implications for Autonomy of Individuals Under Guardianship
  • Alethia J. Battles, JD, LMSW
    University of Michigan – Michigan Medicine

Statutory provisions ensure that a guardian’s authority represents the least restrictive means of alternative decision making for their clients. What about sexual intercourse and reproductive rights? Is this a decision for the person with a guardian, the guardian, or the courts?

5:30pm – 7:30pm Reception with Exhibitors and Live Auction
Spend a fun evening with your fellow participants, visit with exhibitors who are available to answer your questions about
their products and services, and enjoy some great food! A highlight of this event is the live auction of donated items; the
proceeds benefit scholarships for public and family guardians.
7:30am – 5:00pm Registration Area Open
7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast
8:20am – 8:30am Daily Opening Remarks
Tracey Bowles, 2023 Conference Chair
8:45am – 10:00am Concurrent Breakout Sessions
  • Walking the Tight Rope: Self-Determination and Dignity of Risk vs. Supervision and Protection
  • Heather Allin, MSA, NCG
    Vermont Office of Public Guardian
    Ben Chater, JD
    Office of the Vermont Attorney General

As guardian, do you ever feel conflicted or overwhelmed managing the competing duties of honoring a person’s right to self-determination while simultaneously ensuring their safety and wellbeing? We will discuss this ethical and legal quandary and present a case study.

  • Minnesota’s Conservatorship Account Audits and Guardianship Monitoring
  • Jamie Majerus, CPA, CIA, CFE
    Minnesota Judicial Branch
    Heather Scheueman
    Minnesota Judicial Branch

The Minnesota Judicial Branch implemented software and centralized audit/monitoring units over
conservatorships and guardianships. In this session you will learn about the software used, audit/review processes, red flags, budget, statistics,
concerns identified, and real-life stories, tips, and
tricks to prepare for your audit and review.

  • Lawyers, Guns & Money: What to do with Troubled Assets
  • Frank R. Acuña, Esq.
    Acuña Regli, LLP

You have a new case involving real estate that was used as an automotive graveyard, a junkyard dog, and the property is protected by Smith & Wesson. What will you do? Professional fiduciaries often take control of assets that are difficult to manage or to transfer. This session will look at a number of “troubled assets,” the legal requirements of dealing with them, and how to do so with the least amount of potential liability possible.

10:00am – 10:30am Break with Exhibitors
10:30am – 11:45pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions
  • Leveraging Your Guardianship Expertise to Support Family Guardians
  • Bradley Loliger, Esq., MSW
    Center for Elder Law & Justice
    Christopher J. Phillips, Esq.
    Center for Elder Law & Justice

This session will provide practical tools and recommend strategies that experienced guardians can employ to empower family guardians to prevent common pitfalls and avoid exploitation. The presenters will explore ethical principles and liability concerns, pulling from a replicable family guardian support project based in Western New York.

  • Playing God? The Ethical Conflicts in End-of-Life Decisions
  • Hon. Marian Parker
    Probate Court of Fulton County
    Sarah White
    Probate Court of Fulton County

Ethical issues in guardianship come into sharp relief during end-of-life decisions. Family members are informed by their social, cultural, and religious upbringing, and healthcare professionals must abide by their own ethical and legal obligations. Fiduciaries must anticipate these conflicts, provide realistic solutions, and engage the courts to protect the person. This presentation will include a highly charged case study, and participants will practice their own decision-making throughout the session.

  • Disaster Planning for Guardians
    Mary Galvez, MA, CMC, NMG, CSA
    Guardianship and Care Management Services, LLC

Natural disasters, crises, pandemics, violence, and civil unrest! These stories occupy the front page of all of our newsfeeds. As guardians, how can we address our clients’ needs during these times? This session will inform and enable you to create a suitable disaster/emergency plan for the individuals whom you serve.

11:45pm – 1:15pm Lunch and Annual Meeting
1:15pm – 1:30pm Break with Exhibitors
1:30pm – 2:45pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions
  • Protection and Advocacy Systems and Adult Protective Services Collaboration to Deflect from Guardianship
    Cathy Bahadur
    Georgia Deptartment of Human
    Services, Division of Aging Services
    Dana Lloyd
    Georgia Advocacy Office

Through collaboration, Georgia’s Protection and Advocacy system and Division of Adult Protective Services developed a process of training and evaluation that strives to connect vulnerable people to services and support that meet their needs and avoid guardianship. Participants will review practical tools for identifying collaborators and building partnerships.

  • Optimizing Disability Benefits: An Overview of Social Security Disability (SSDI / SSI) for Guardians and Conservators
    Sharon Reich, CTFA, CSA
    AGED, Inc.
    Grayson Smith Cannon, Esq.
    Gullett, Sanford, Robinson & Martin PLLC

This presentation will explain the Social Security disability benefit system to explore the differences between Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Learn how disability is determined, what the differences and similarities are between each program, when each benefit comes into play, and how the programs relate to other areas of law. Practical information will be provided about optimizing benefits for a client and/or their family, maximizing healthcare benefits, and exploring interactions between benefits and other areas of the client’s financial world.

  • Best Practice: Conflicts of Interest
    Frank R. Acuña, Esq.
    Acuña Regli, LLP

Conflicts of interest are tricky! They can arise in a variety of contexts and can take a guardian by surprise! This course will examine various types of conflicts of interest, how they arise, and how to resolve them (while avoiding personal liability in the process). Be prepared for a lively discussion of one of the most common ethical traps that exist!

2:45pm – 3:15pm Break with Exhibitors
3:15pm – 4:30pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions
  • Supported Decision-Making: What it is, isn’t, and Tools You Can Use Right Now
    Elizabeth Moran, JD
    The Arc of Colorado
  • Megan Rusciano, JD
    The Arc of the United States

Supported decision-making (SDM) and SDM agreements are commonly known as less restrictive alternatives to guardianships and conservatorships. This session will explore the nuances and “how to’s” behind passing legislation that codifies this alternative support system, provide discussion around tools you can use right now to get started using SDM and related agreements, and present 5 things you can do to ensure families, attorneys, and court personnel in your state are aware of this alternative and how it seeks to promote human and civil rights while allowing for the human dignity of risk taking both within and outside of guardianship.

  • When You Are Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Identifying and Recovering from Burnout
    Joyce McHugh, MSW, LSW, BSW
    Advocate Care Services

Burnout is real and impacts yourself and your clients. We often do not recognize the signs or symptoms until we are in a crisis. With the revision of the NASW Code of Ethics in 2021, self-care became a must-do, not a “when I have time” issue. We are going to dig deep into identifying triggers, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and how burnout can impact our decision-making process. We will discuss ideas for avoiding burnout and form a care plan. This session will benefit everyone but be prepared to discuss advanced triggers, trauma, and ways to talk about it with others!

  • National Investigator Training for Guardians
    Kelly Cornelius, CPA, CIA, CIGA, CIGI, CFE,
    Walton County Clerk of Courts & Comptroller
    Linda Moros, CIGA, CIGI
    Brevard County Clerk of the Circuit Court &

NGA recognized that the skills and techniques utilized by guardianship investigators, auditors, and monitors are transferrable to guardians and others serving and protecting the safety, health and welfare of significantly incapacitated persons. Containing portions of the 3.5-day National Investigator Training program which is offered separately during NGA’s conference, this session will teach guardians, attorneys, advocates, and other stakeholders some of the core competencies for guardianship and conservatorship auditing and investigating. For example, participants will learn how to obtain truthful information through “conversating,” independent verifications, fraud investigating techniques, and accounting basics.

Open Evening to Enjoy Orlando
7:00am – 11:30am Registration Area Open
7:00am – 8:00am Breakfast
8:00am – 8:15am Daily Opening RemarksTracey Bowles, 2023 Conference Chair
8:15am – 9:45am
  • Successful Transition from Guardianship to a Supported Decision-Making Model to Independence: A Case Study
  • Shannon Butler, NMG | Ethical Solutions
    Kerry Gerber | Restored to Capacity in 2020

Kerry, in her own words, will take you through her life journey. She will address her traumatic childhood and being a young adult “in the system” with a guardian. She will also detail her struggles while growing up and working with her guardian to develop skills that have allowed her to become more and more independent, contributing toward her amazing story that continues to unfold. Shannon, her former guardian of 17 years, will share how she helped to support and guide Kerry through her challenges to assist her in overcoming some very large obstacles to achieve her dreams.

9:45am – 10:00am Break
10:00am – 11:30am
  • “Getting to Yes”: Overcoming the Challenges to Enacting the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act (UGCOPAA)
  • Erica C. R. Costello, JD, NCG | ABA Commission on Law and Aging
  • Robert B. Nettleton, JD | Harlowe & Falk LLP
    Benjamin Orzeske, JD | Uniform Law Commission
    Elizabeth Russo, JD, NCG | ABA Commission on Law and Aging

Participants will learn successful strategies for enacting UGCOPAA. Panelists from national organizations, including the Uniform Law Commission and the American Bar Association, will share ideas for identifying resources and creating political will to pass the “gold standard of guardianship reform.”

11:30am Final Remarks, Conference Concludes

These conference intensives are not included in the conference fee. Additional registration fees apply to attend these programs.


7:00am – 5:00pm  Registration Area Open
8:15am – 11:30am 

Choosing Your Words Changes the Situation: Setting and Holding Boundaries in High Conflict Cases

Joyce McHugh, MSW, LSW, BSW | Advocate Care Services

Guardians, social workers, and other professionals are not immune to the necessity of setting and holding boundaries with clients, family members, and others. In addition to a presentation and an interactive discussion, we will role-play and practice communicating boundaries in small groups.

From phone calls and texts to emails and meetings, we will explore how to set and hold that invisible line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. We will explore how boundaries create realistic expectations and safety in practice. Participants will also identify through discussion how boundaries relate to the NASW code of ethics, such as the value of relationships and the dignity and worth of the person.

If you struggle with how to set, communicate, and hold boundaries or want a robust reminder, this session is for you!

8:15am – 11:30pm
12:45pm – 4:00pm
  • Legal and Legislative Review, Part 1
  • Legal and Legislative Review, Part 2
  • Amy Willoughby Bryant, JD, NCG | Office of Conservatorship Management
  • Erica C. R. Costello, JD, NCG | ABA Commission on Law and Aging
  • Sally Balch Hurme, JD | Sally Balch Hurme LLC
  • Gregory W. MacKenzie, JD | Hurley Toevs Styles Hamblin & Panter, PA
  • Elizabeth Moran, JD | The Arc of Colorado
  • Ira Salzman, JD | Retired

A panel of legal guardianship experts will summarize the major reported court decisions and legislation in the United States during the past year that concern guardianship issues relevant to both professional and family guardians and the attorneys who represent them.

12:45pm – 4:00pm
  • Guardianship Clinic
  • Tracey Bowles, MA, MFT, CPM, NCG | Washoe County Public Guardian
  • Shannon Butler, NMG | Ethical Solutions
  • Heather Connors, PhD, NCG | Center for Guardianship Excellence
  • Mary Galvez, MA, CMC, NMG, CSA | Guardianship & Care Mgmt Services, LLC

You’ve been appointed guardian…now what? Participants in this session will have the opportunity to engage in lively discussion about the ins and outs of various types of guardianship cases – from the time of appointment through the long-term management of the case. This is an interactive session filled with the sharing of ideas about how best to serve those for whom a guardian has been appointed.

The guardians on this panel bring with them perspectives from both the private and public sectors. Each is committed to the ethical implementation of guardianship services, focusing on the NGA Standards of Practice as well as knowledge and practice of alternatives to guardianship. If you have ever wanted more time at the conference to participate and share ideas, this panel invites you to join them. Bring your questions, scenarios, resources, and tools to help navigate this unique profession in which we are all privileged to work.

National Investigator Training Leadership Class 002

Download the Brochure

NGA is proud to announce the second year of its certificate program, designed and intended for guardianship investigators, auditors, monitors, visitors, reviewers, law enforcement, adult protection, and prosecutorial investigators. This is specialized training for people serving in these professions, regardless of any local, state or federal role.

This four-day event will be held in conjunction with the National Conference on Guardianship.

Participants will:

  • Learn the steps for investigating, documenting, and reporting guardianship complaints
  • Identify common and uncommon red flags that warrant a deeper assessment
  • Practice interview skills for uncovering the truth
  • Review best practices for auditing and accounting
  • Apply NGA Ethical Principles to case studies to determine appropriate resolutions
  • Leave with more than 20 CEUs

Class size is limited, so participants should register early. The eligibility requirements to participate with this specialized training, including experience, education, and supervisory approval, are waived for the 2023 certificate program. The number of CEUs is tentative depending on a granting agency’s final approval.

The event schedule will mirror the schedule outlined for the National Conference on Guardianship, and participants will have access to the same meals, breaks, activities, and receptions as conference attendees. This program schedule includes full days of programming on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and a half day or programming on Tuesday. Please see Registration page for fee details.

In order to be awarded the full credit hours, participants must be present, registering attendance and departure on the attendance sheets at the registration desk with the session monitors.

Participants have the potential to earn 23.5 CPE credits.

Field of Study:
Specialized knowledge (18.5 CPE credits)
Accounting (1.0 CPE credit)
Auditing (4.0 CPE credits)

Prerequisites: None

Who Should Attend: Guardianship and conservatorship auditors, investigators, reviewers, monitors, court visitors, law enforcement officers, adult protection investigators, prosecutorial investigators. Others are welcome.

Advanced Preparation: None

Program Level: Basic

Delivery Method: Group Live

Refunds and Cancellations: Requests for refunds must be received in writing prior to October 9, 2023. No refunds will be granted after October 9, 2023. For more information regarding refunds, concerns, and/or program cancellation policies, please contact NGA at 877-326-5992.

The National Guardianship Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered

7:00am – 9:00pm Registration Area Open
7:00am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast
9:00am – 9:05am Welcome and Opening Remarks
NGA Past President Anthony Palmieri, JD, CFE, CIG, CIGI, CIGA, CCSA
9:05am – 9:55am The Complexities of Guardianship
NGA Past President Anthony Palmieri, JD, CFE, CIG, CIGI, CIGA, CCSA
9:55am – 4:20pm Full Day Presentation
Bret Hood, MBA, CFE; Retired Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Former Instructor FBI Academy; Adjunct Professor, University of Virginia
9:55am – 10:45am Fraud
10:45am – 11:05am Break
11:05am – 11:55am Principles of Investigating
11:55am – 1:30pm Lunch on Your Own
1:30pm – 2:20pm Investigative Techniques
2:20pm – 3:10pm Case Preparation and Presentation / Report Findings
3:10pm – 3:30pm Break
3:30pm – 4:20pm Ethics for Investigators
4:20pm – 5:30pm NIT Olympic Games
Get to know your fellow program participants and win prizes!
5:30pm – 6:30pm NGA Conference Welcome Reception
Greet old friends and NIT Leadership Class alumni or make new friends as participants gather to kick off this year’s event!
7:15am – 8:00am Breakfast with NGA Conference Participants
8:00am – 8:10am Welcome to Florida
NGA President Heather Connors, PhD, NCG
8:10am – 2:00pm Presentation: Auditing Guardianships
Andrew Thurman, CPA, CFE, CIGI, CIGA, CECFE
Interim Inspector General, Okaloosa County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
8:10am – 9:00am Basics of Accounting and Financial Transactions
9:00am – 9:50am Auditing Framework
9:50am – 10:15am Break with Exhibitors
10:15am – 11:30am Red Flags: Guardianship of Property
11:30am – 12:45pm Networking Lunch with NGA Conference Participants and Dessert with Exhibitors
12:45pm – 2:00pm Case Studies: Guardianship of Property
2:00pm – 2:30pm Break with Exhibitors
2:30pm – 3:45pm Critical Thinking for Guardianship Auditors, Part 1
Toby Groves, PhD, Psychologist and Researcher
3:45pm – 4:15pm Break with Exhibitors
4:15pm – 5:05pm Critical Thinking for Guardianship Auditors, Part 2
Toby Groves, PhD, Psychologist and Researcher
5:30pm – 7:30pm Reception with Exhibitors and NGA Conference Participants
Meet and network with NGA conference participants from around the country during this fun evening. A highlight of the event is the live auction, which raises money to fund scholarships for public guardians and family guardians to attend the conference.
7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast with NGA Conference Participants
8:30am – 8:45am Welcome and Opening Remarks
NGA President-Elect Shannon Butler, NMG
8:45am – 4:30pm Full Day Presentation: Interviewing to Obtain Factual Information
Mark Anderson, Special Agent US DOJ OIG (Retired), FLETC Instructor
8:45am – 10:00am Interviewing Techniques, Part 1
10:00am – 10:30am Break with Exhibitors
10:30am – 11:45am Interviewing Techniques, Part 2
11:45am – 1:15pm Lunch and Annual Meeting with NGA Conference Participants
1:15pm – 1:30pm Break with Exhibitors
1:30pm – 2:45pm Psychological First-Aid
2:45pm – 3:15pm Break with Exhibitors
3:15pm – 4:30pm Telephone Intake and Virtual Interviews
4:30pm – 4:45pm Class 002 Photo
5:30pm – 7:30pm Dine-Around
7:00am – 8:00am Breakfast with NGA Conference Participants
8:05am – 8:15am Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:15am – 9:05pm Case Studies: Lynrod Douglas
Vaughn Mitchell, Detective, Palm Beach County Sheriff Office, Financial Crimes Unit
Stacey C. Ibarra, Esq., Assistant State Attorney, White Collar Crime Unit, Office of the State Attorney, Florida 15th Judicial Circuit Court
9:05am – 9:55am Guardian Decision-Making in the Grey Areas
Tracey A. Bowles, Public Guardian, Washoe County, Nevada
9:55am – 10:10am Break
10:10am – 11:15am Case Studies: Rebecca Fierle
Brad Embry, Chief of Staff, Okaloosa County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
11:15am – 12:05pm Leadership
Ronna Caras, Training Manager, The Center for Guardianship Excellence
12:05pm Program Concludes

2023 Conference Registration

Conference registration is now closed; the event is sold out. See you in Orlando!

If You Need a Room

  • First, keep checking at the Caribe Royale using the reservation link or calling the hotel directly. Any rooms cancelled before September 21 go back into the conference room block, so you may be able to secure a cancelled room.
  • Second, reserve an overflow room. NGA has secured a room block at the nearby Sheraton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. If a room is cancelled through NGA after September 21, NGA will attempt to fill that room with a conference participant at an overflow hotel.


Overflow Hotel Information

  • Sheraton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Resort
    • Reservation Link
    • 12205 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando 
    • $181 per night + tax and resort fee
    • $23.95 daily resort fee covers in-room wi-fi, two bottled waters daily, general manager’s daily reception, and scheduled individual transportation to Disney parks and Disney Springs.
    • NGA’s room contract also includes shuttle transportation to and from the Caribe Royale Orlando once daily on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. 
    • Reservations must be received on or before Thursday, September 21, or when the block fills, whichever comes first. 
    • Available for October 13 – 17, 2023

Main Hotel Information

Caribe Royale Orlando
8101 World Center Drive | Orlando, Florida

Hotel Website | Book Online

Uncovering a Floridian escape where the sun is warm and the welcomes are even warmer, Caribe Royale is a destination that offers all the connection you could ever imagine right within reach. Recently revealed as part of a complete resort reimagination, Caribe Royale’s effortlessly warm ambiance covers every moment like never before. Discovering as much or as little as you’d like is all up to you.

Amenities include:

  • Outdoor Swimming Pool with 75-Foot Waterslide
  • Two Hot Tubs
  • Tennis courts, basketball courts, and arcade
  • Two-story, 3,500 square foot fitness center
  • 1.5 mile walking and running trail
  • Seven restaurants and bars
  • Pet-friendly accommodations
  • The Island Spa
  • Bicycle rental and catch-and-release fishing
  • Transportation to Disney theme parks & Disney Springs
  • And more

For reservations, visit the reservation website

Call the hotel’s reservations line at 1-888-258-7501.
You must identify yourself as part of NGA’s 2023 conference to obtain the group rate.
It is important that you indicate any special rooming needs or arrangements at the time of this call.

Group Room Rate (rate does not include taxes)
$179.00 per night | Queen Double or Standard King
$199 per night | Deluxe King
The hotel has waived the resort fee for rooms in NGA’s block.

NGA cannot guarantee room availability. The discounted group rate concludes on Thursday, September 21. Rooms will be available at the discounted rate until that date, or until the block is filled, whichever comes first. Please be aware that the NGA room block usually fills well before the deadline. At that point, you are competing with other guests for rooms. Requests for reservations after September 21 will be accepted by the hotel on a space and rate availability basis. For those making reservations prior to the deadline, rooms may also be available at the group rate on the three days prior to and the three days after the actual conference to accommodate vacation planning.

NGA’s conference is approved for guardianship continuing education credits by the Center for Guardianship Certification (CGC) and any state that accepts CGC’s approval. 

  • The main program holds a potential of 14.50 credit hours.
  • A full day of conference intensives adds another potential 6.0 hours.

Due to accrediting body approval processes, the specific number and type of credits accepted will not be defined until October. Keep in mind that not all hours will be deemed acceptable for all types of credit. Questions about continuing education credits can be sent to Kelly Dolan at or by calling NGA at 877-326-5992, ext. 2. 

Proof of Attendance 

NGA moderators and presenters will announce three codes during each session: one at the beginning of the session, another in the middle, and another near the end of the session. Codes MUST be submitted online to receive proof of attendance; should you miss one of the codes, you may record the time you entered or exited the room. Moderators, staff, and other attendees are unable to repeat these codes, as this is a requirement to verify attendance for continuing education credit; falsifying information can result in loss of education hours for all attendees. NGA strongly advises that all attendees submit attendance verification forms to document your participation should you need record of it in the future. 

Verified Certificate of Attendance 

The conference registration includes a verified certificate for every attendee who submits the proof of attendance codes online. This certificate can be submitted as proof of attendance to areas of education where NGA did not seek pre-approval. 

State-Specific Guardianship Credits 

NGA also applies to CE Broker (Florida Public Guardian Office) and Professional Guardian Certification Board of Washington State. Certificate fees apply to receive Guardianship CEUs for Florida and Washington. 

Continuing Legal Education Credits 

NGA has applied to offer Continuing Legal Education credit in Florida. Certificate fees apply to receive a legal certificate. Individuals outside of Texas seeking legal credits should contact their state boards prior to the conference to see if their state accepts Florida approval prior to purchase of the legal certificate. 

Social Work Certification 

NGA is approved for 14.5 (plus potential for 6.0 for the conference intensives) education hours through the National Association of Social Work (NGSW). NGA has been informed by NASW that the following states do not accept the NASW approval: New York, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Due to fees associated with obtaining approval, NGA is not able to submit for social work credits in the above-mentioned states. If you live in these states, please check with your social work board prior to using the NGA conference for social work credit hours. All other states do endorse NASW’s approved status. Purchase of a social work certificate is required to receive this certificate. 

The following breakout sessions were NOT approved for NASW credit hours: 

  • Fiduciary Reporting
  • Successor Fiduciary Issues: Taking over a Disaster
  • Minnesota’s Conservatorship Account Audits, Guardianship Monitoring
  • Lawyers, Guns, and Money: What to do with Troubled Assets

Issuing of Certificates 

To issue your certificate in a timely manner, NGA must receive your attendance code verification form promptly. Individuals submitting verification codes on or before November 3 will receive certificates by December 15. If proof of attendance code submissions are received after November 3, a late fee of $25 will be charged. Certificates can be downloaded online.

Download Full Brochure >


From a diamond sponsorship of $10,000 to a general sponsorship of $500, NGA offers opportunities to fit the needs and budget of any business. Sponsorship opportunities are made available on a first-come, first-served basis through submission of NGA’s official sponsor and exhibitor agreement. You will be contacted if your selected sponsorship opportunity has already been confirmed, or you can check with the NGA business office for availability of sponsorship opportunities and benefit information.

Exhibit Space

Exhibitors can take advantage of numerous opportunities to network, educate, and interact with conference attendees on a regular basis. In addition, the exhibitor package offers a single conference registration. The 2022 conference hosted approximately 530 paid attendees.


Sponsorship Opportunities

Important Notes for all Sponsors

Sponsor benefits apply as stipulated above, provided that all information and a commitment for payment are received by NGA no later than Friday, September 8 (unless an earlier commitment date is noted).

Sponsor is responsible for providing an electronic/digital copy of the company logo and a company description. You cannot receive proper recognition on the website, app, signage, or in other acknowledgements, until the logo and description are received.

Sponsorship opportunities are made available on a first-come, first-served basis through submission of NGA’s official sponsor/exhibitor agreement. You will be contacted if your selected sponsorship opportunity has already been confirmed. You can also check with the NGA business office for availability of sponsorship opportunities and information about benefits. Email: Phone: 877-326-5992.


Exhibit Opportunities

The deadline to be eligible for exhibitor benefits is Friday, September 8.

Exhibit Package Fee

$1,000 for each tabletop exhibit package (diamond, platinum, and gold level sponsors are entitled to one free exhibit space.)

The Exhibit Package Includes

A single tabletop exhibit space with a draped and skirted 6’ X 30” table, two chairs, and a tent card sign. One complimentary exhibitor registration with:

  • A printed attendee list and all other conference materials
  • Access for all food functions held in the exhibit area (see schedule below)
  • Admittance for one person to lunch on Sunday and Monday, and the welcome reception Saturday evening
  • The opportunity to attend all educational sessions
  • Discounted registration of $300.00 for additional exhibitors (includes breaks only; additional exhibitors wishing to attend meals and sessions must register for the applicable day(s) of the conference.)

Contract and Payment

Exhibit space is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Exhibit location is determined by NGA. Payment is due by Friday, September 8. No space will be guaranteed until payment in full is received.

Set-Up and Tear-Down

Exhibits must be operational by 9:30 am on Sunday, so that they are ready for the opening of the exhibit area at 9:45 am. All exhibits must remain in place until tear-down, which will begin at 3:45 pm on Monday. The exhibit area must be completely cleared no later than 5:00 pm on Monday. Please do not set up prior to 8:15 am on Sunday or leave materials after 5:00 pm on Monday.

Exhibit Furnishings

Each exhibit space is the equivalent of a six-foot tabletop. You must provide advance notice if your standing exhibit requires more space than allotted with a six-foot table or if you are using a floor display behind your table. Each space will be provided with one printed tent card, a table, and two chairs. The entire exhibit area is carpeted. If you require electric service for your tabletop exhibit, email for info.

Hotel Processing & Handling Information

Packages will not be accepted if delivered prior to October 11. Please Note: If packages arrive prior to October 11, additional fees may apply for storing of shipped items.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received by Friday, September 8 will result in a refund of 75%; NGA will retain 25% for administrative services.
No refunds will be given after September 8.

For More Information

For all questions on sponsoring or exhibiting, contact NGA’s business office at or 877-326-5992.


Sponsorship & Exhibitors Registration Form