Forward Annual Conference

Devin Henderson

Keynote Speaker

Bio:  Devin Henderson is a multi-talented powerhouse: an experienced presenter and seasoned performer, having logged thousands of performances as an award-winning comedian and magician and an in-demand keynote speaker. His unique combination of skills and storytelling and his hilarious and engaging interaction are what make him an audience favorite. His clients have included Pepsi, Hallmark, Cerner and hundreds more. His performances have been called, "unreal," "unexpected," and "unforgettable" and he delivers the ultimate keynote experience to inspire resilience.


For many individuals and teams, a once-held vision of unlimited possibility gets small and limited as a result of life’s daily stressors, persistent insecurities, self-doubt, isolation, and even failure. But what if you and your team could reclaim and even expand your full potential at any time? And what if your truest potential was bigger, richer, and more satisfying than you had previously envisioned?

Seasoned speaker and performer Devin Henderson brings an unforgettable experience of impact and inspiration that helps people and organizations take a break from the worries of the day while breaking free from perceived limits. You will discover practices for maintaining mental strength and resilience to realize your greatness like never before.

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Mark Mayfield

Keynote Speaker

Bio: It’s pretty simple what Mark Mayfield does: he talks about very serious stuff in a very funny way.

Mark has one of the most diversified backgrounds in the speaking industry having owned and operated several businesses ranging from livestock production to nightclubs to golf instruction, and also spent ten years as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and in thirteen state legislatures for a Fortune 500 company. That business experience combined with his work as a nightclub performer allowed him to create truly unique presentations.

His tagline is simple: Solid Business Wisdom in a Brilliant Comedic Style. He is one of the rare individuals in the world who is equally adept at performing comedy shows or high-content speeches.

He has received rave reviews sharing the stage with a wide variety of celebrities like Paul Newman, Peter Frampton, Colin Powell, and Bob Newhart and has introduced the President of the United States on a live, nationwide television broadcast.

Mark is the author of several business books and two joke books including his latest “Morph”, a guide to accepting and managing change, and has spoke to a “Who’s Who” list of corporations, conventions, and trade associations
over the past four decades. He was raised on a farm, received two degrees magna cum laude from Kansas State University, and taught school before he began his lobbying, business, and speaking career. He has received the CSP designation from the National Speakers Association and been inducted into their Hall of Fame.

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Sara Grafstrom


Bio: Sara leads all ARRM’s government affairs and public policy advocacy efforts at both the state and federal level, as well as the leading ARRM staff representative to the Best Life Alliance and the Grassroots Advocacy Network. 

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Jesse Ross

Mr. Jesse Ross

Bio: Jesse Ross is the CEO of Mr. Jesse Ross, a leadership development consulting company that focuses on enhancing communication and connection while addressing conflict management, culture, people development, and productivity in an intentional way.

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Megan Sanders

University of Minnesota ICI

Bio: Megan Sanders is a national workforce consultant at the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration. She provides training, consultation, and technical assistance to provider organizations, states, and individuals to address workforce challenges for direct support professionals (DSPs) and frontline supervisors (FLSs). Before joining the ICI staff in 2020, Sanders worked as a DSP and FLS. She earned a master's degree in social work and a master's degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree from Truman State University.

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Claire Benway

University of Minnesota ICI

Bio: Claire Benway provides technical assistance, training and development support within the direct support profession. She works on state and federal projects focusing on improving community services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her current projects involve training, technical assistance and state policy development in person centered thinking/planning, direct support workforce development and community living. She provides quality assurance for online curricula in DirectCourse. Claire is a certified Person-Centered Thinking 2 Day Mentor Trainer and holds a Master's in Theatre Education from Emerson College in Boston Massachusetts.

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Ted Schick

Schick Corporate Learning

Bio: Residing in Fredenberg Township, just north of Duluth, MN, Ted Schick is a professional speaker, corporate trainer, and consultant with his own business since 2009, Schick Corporate Learning. A retired naval officer who rose from the enlisted ranks, Ted has over 30 years of experience leading people.

With over 30 years in teaching, Ted holds a BA Business from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, received a teaching certificate from Bemidji State University, and a Master of Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Ted has served his community with Spirit Mountain Ski Patrol, local animal humane societies including Animal Allies and Friends of Animals as well as a mentor for Mentor Duluth. During the pandemic, he packed food at the Second Harvest Foodbank in addition to delivering for “Meals-on-Wheels.” Ted believes in all aspects of Servant Leadership.