Learning Labs

MHS is excited to offer many relevant and inspiring Learning Labs to choose from at Celebrating Resilience.

Learning Labs are interactive workshops designed to inspire and inform. They cover an array of topics, each led by a dynamic expert in their field, so you can choose the labs that will best equip you in the months and years to come.

Check out previews of several of them below.


Thursday, March 8
From 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm:

Leveraging Difference: Benefits of a Multicultural Workplace
Cultural differences are a proven asset to performance. When leaders support and encourage the differences of a multicultural staff, they gain the highest performing teams. It’s important to understand how systems create bias against people of color and learn how you can work toward true inclusion that will result in more effective organizations. In this Learning Lab, discover how you can foster an atmosphere of inclusion at your organization. 

Bruce Campbell-Janz, Executive Director, MCC East Coast and Dina Gonzalez-Pina, Ethnic and Gender Equity Specialist, MCC U.S.       


Essentials of Good Governance  
Explore how to make your board more effective by following a few simple practices.  By learning how to set board agendas, organize annual board work, and recruit new board members, you’ll gain the tools needed for successful governance. This Learning Lab will also discuss the importance of stakeholders and offer tips on how to connect with them in ways that are healthy, productive, and avoid micromanaging.
Donna Duss, Consulting Associate, MHS Consulting


Stronger Together: Thriving Through Consolidation 
With the complexities around the healthcare system, ongoing pressures around reimbursement, and ever-tightening regulatory environments, many organizations are looking to partners in order to better navigate these challenges. For nonprofits specifically, it’s important to understand the alignment of mission and values across partners. Learn how to successfully navigate a consolidation so that both parties can continue to thrive under their mission and vision as a combined organization.
Tom Meyers, Managing Director, Senior Living Finance, Ziegler, and
Keith Frndak, President/CEO, Concordia Lutheran Ministries


Misconceptions and Millennials: Perspectives, Opportunities & Challenges
Ten percent of the current workforce is made up of millennials, and they will make up half of the global workforce by 2050. They have lots too offer, but are often dismissed because of negative assumptions about Generation Y. In this Learning Lab, we will explore misperceptions surrounding this generation and discuss the positive ways that millennials challenge the status quo, help enhance an organization’s mission and vision, and strengthen relationships across all generations. 
Karen E. Lehman, Consulting Associate, MHS Consulting and Madalyn Metzger, Vice President of Marketing, Everence, Sara Alvarez, Content Marketing Manager, Everence, and Glen Guyton, Chief Operating Officer, Mennonite Church USA

Secrets of Storytelling 
Ted Swartz is a playwright and actor who has been mucking around in the worlds of the sacred and profane for over 25 years. Join him for an interactive excavation of your life stories, big and small, humorous and profound. Learn how to craft these experiences into a shareable tool that can inspire, educate, and entertain. 
Ted Swartz, Playwright and Actor


Friday, March 9
From 8:00 am - 10:00 am:

Innovation in the Workplace
This “Wide Awake at Work” session uses visual tools to promote creative thinking in order to solve problems both at work and home. From getting a better night’s sleep, to collaborating with difficult people in the workplace, no challenge is too small to explore. Learn an easy, 4-step process for creative problem-solving, designed by Emily Marko and presented in her book: Wide Awake: A 7-Day Visual Guide to Calm the Mind + Get the Sleep You Deserve. Emily's book will be available for purchase during the Health Assembly, but is not necessary for participation in the Learning Lab.
Emily Marko,Visual Problem Solver and Strategist, Author, and Founder of EmilyMarko.com 


From 8:45 am - 10:00 am:
The Ultimate Balancing Act: Mission vs. Success
Today, your nonprofit faces competitive pressure to keep pace with technology, industry practices, financial acumen and perpetual growth. On top of that, you are still passionate about your organization’s mission and unique work and want to maintain that vision. At this Learning Lab, discover how to balance living out your organization’s values while also advancing professionalism.
Chad Horning, Chief Investment Officer, Everence and Karen E. Lehman, Consulting Associate, MHS Consulting


Keys to a Strong Relationship: Board Chair/Executive 
The relationship between Chief Executive and Board Chair is key to an organizations success, but how can you achieve that effective partnership? In this Learning Lab, we’ll discuss recent research on the subject, while also exploring personal experiences of qualified participants. You’ll gain the knowledge needed to strengthen the partnership between board and executive.
Ann Hershberger, Board Chair, and Ron Byler, Executive Director, MCC U.S.


Benefits Beyond a Paycheck
You’ve heard of tech companies that keep stocked refrigerators at work or allow pets in the office to attract and keep staff. But are these the benefits that really matter? At this Learning Lab, find out what benefits are most desirable to employees, and hear first-hand how one nonprofit reduced employee turnover by instating a few innovative perks.
Carrie Arnold, Chief Human Resources Officer, Sunshine and Christine Scherer, Financial Advisor, Everence


Solutions for Middle Market Senior Housing
Come and discover strategic solutions that could make a middle market senior housing product a reality for your organization. In this Learning Lab, learn how to create a successful middle market senior housing model and how to identify the key success factors for development. We’ll present the latest design parameters and show how to reduce construction costs while maximizing efficiencies. We’ll include product pricing and innovative financing scenarios, putting your organization in a successful position to launch a middle market senior housing product.
Learning Lab Handout
Lynn Daly, Managing Director, BB&T, Beverly Asper, Senior Manager, Baker, Tilly, Virchow, Krause, and Craig Kimmel, Partner, Reese, Lower, Patrick & Scott Architects


Saturday, March 10
From 8:00 am - 9:15 am

I’m not Anabaptist: What Do My Co-Workers Believe?
Practically speaking, what does it mean to be Mennonite/Anabaptist? How does that faith affect the workplace? If you work in an Anabaptist organization but aren’t yourself an Anabaptist, then this is the Learning Lab to attend.  Here, you’ll discover how Mennonites and Anabaptists live out their faith, and what that means at the workplace.
Marty Lehman, Administrative Pastor, College Mennonite Church


Assessing Executive Performance and Board Functioning  
Reviewing an executive's performance or assessing the functionality of a board doesn’t need to be difficult or overwhelming tasks.  This Learning Lab will outline step-by-step processes for both of these essential governance functions, providing you with the tools you need to confidently handle your next review.  
LaVern Yutzy, Consulting Associate, MHS Consulting


Your Digital Toolbox: Essentials for Healthcare Marketing
Your primary healthcare markets, Adult Children and Professional Referral Services, are difficult to reach. To overcome that, we've created a Learning Lab that will provide you with the tools you need to reach these unique audiences. Learn how to use a host of digital tools, such as: carefully designed websites, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, LinkedIn advertising, Facebook cloning, re-marketing, and more, in order to best access your primary markets.
Tom Mann, Principal and Executive Vice President, and Tim Bracken, Love & Company


Resilience Through Improv!
Sometimes, a work environment can be tough. Sometimes, the folks you work with can be difficult. And sometimes, you just feel like you’re just plain winging it!  In this Learning Lab, we’ll practice embracing that sense of vulnerability while we explore the importance of being in the moment, not giving up, and collaborating with others to make something beautiful. Come join the fun! All experience levels welcome!
Billy Funk, Improv Comedian



Photo by:   The Climate Reality Project