Hello from the new Washington State Fathers Network Program Manager

Hello, my name is Louis Mendoza and I’m the new program manager for the Washington State Father’s Network, taking over for Greg Schell.   This is now my 3rd week in the job and while I’ve met some of you I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself more broadly through the website.   Attached is a longer message that provides that introduction.

doc icon Hello-from-the-new-WSFN-Program-Manager.docx

Support Greg and the Father’s Network with an Honorarium Gift Today

As you know, Greg is gearing up for his pending retirement later this month.

And, as he said so profoundly, “Just know it has been a privilege to connect with you, learn from you, and be inspired by your efforts to make sense of this unique life we lead.”

Please consider donating to Greg’s retirement honorarium to help ensure that the Father’s Network can continue to grow and be a place for fathers to connect and find support and inspiration. Click here to donate to the Honorarium.

Every dollar makes a difference!

#WSFNConf2014 – A Great Time Was Had By All!!!

Yet another annual conference is behind us and a great time was had by all again this year.  Some of us are still recovering from an especially powerful conference.  I found this year’s sessions and guys to be exceptionally more introspective this year.  While past conferences were amazing as well, they have often had a more external focus with topics such as emergency preparedness; educational placements and IEPs; guardianship, trusts, and wills; etc.  Others have been celebrations of fatherhood, exploring ways dads bring our unique “male-ness” to the table in ways that help our children and families.  While this year’s conference had breakout sessions along these topics (they are always popular and were so this year too), our keynote, delivered by Dr. Robert Naseef, and at least two of our breakout sessions focused on fathers looking inward to better understand what was going on inside ourselves and how that could impact our children and families both positively and negatively.  It was a great day!

The steering committee (OK Greg Schell) is still going over the details of the feedback forms, but here are just a few of the quotes we heard and collected from dads:

This was my first time at a WSFN event.  I cannot express how much it means to me.  It was very insightful and helpful.

The Dads Panel & Open Mic-It is great to simply listen to other dads.

I didn’t come with any expectations.  However, it exceeded anything I could have imagined.

Great facilitation, management, and content.  I feel renewed.

I’ve walked away with new ideas and resources.

I recommit to being a better dad to my sons and a better husband to my wife.

The sense of community and camaraderie was amazing.  I felt a wonderful sense of support and understanding.

Superb in all ways.  Great panel and workshops.

Here are a few images of the day:

Reason #12 You Should Attend #WSFNConf2014

It Is Still Not Too Late!

Yes, the conference is today but it is still not too late.  We are excepting registrations all the way up to the start of the event at 8:30 this morning.  Come on down to the Microsoft mixer and meet the friendly guys at the registration table.  It will get you all set up and plugged into the day.  See you there!

Reason #11 You Should Attend #WSFNConf2014

Coffee and Donuts!!!!!!

Do you really need another excuse for coffee and donuts?  Come for the donuts and stay for everything else.  Give yourself a special exception for the day and have that extra donut or if the cup coffee usually don’t allow yourself.  While you’re enjoying it take some time to say hi to one of the other guys there and get to know them and their kids.  It will probably be interested in getting to know about you and yours.

So what are you waiting for, register now at http://www.FathersNetwork.org/ConferenceRegistration.

Reason #10 You Should Attend #WSFNConf2014

We Have A Silent Auction

Whether you bid or not have some fun walking around and checking out the items available in our silent auction.what do you think will take top dollar this year sports related items, wine or alcohol, coffee, some sort of experience? The only way to find out is to be there.

So what are you waiting for, register now at http://www.FathersNetwork.org/ConferenceRegistration.

#WSFNConf2014 Scholarships STILL Available!

Hey did you know that Washington State Fathers Network has its Annual Conference coming up?  If you haven’t heard, it’s coming up this Saturday on October 11th.  You haven’t registered yet?  Ehy not?  The $60.00 registration fee seem a bit too high?  Not sure if you will get your money’s worth out of the day?  Not a problem!  There are still scholarships available.  Scholarships are awarded on a first come, first awarded basis, no questions asked.  Here’s how you apply for a scholarship:

  1. Go to http://fathersnetwork.org/conferenceregistration/
  2. Fill out the web form there and click submit
  3. Your registration information will be submitted electronically and you will be redirected to a payment page
  4. Close your browser (do not fill in the payment information) and contact Greg Schell (Greg.Schell@Kindering.org or 425-653-4286) to request a scholarship

We always get an amazing group of dads, and this year we want to make sure that group includes you!  See you on October 11th.

Reason #9 You Should Attend #WSFNConf2014

Meet a Couple of Dads Involved in Autism Brainstorm’s Monthly Virtual Guy Talk

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Naseef, is not only has 25 years of experience as a psychologist specializing in working with families of children with Autism and other special needs, he is also the father of an adult child with Autism.  Dr. Naseef’s special interest and expertise in the psychology of men and fatherhood led him to partner with Autism Brainstorm to create a monthly online hangout of dads to discuss the issues of raising children with special needs from a father’s point of view.  Each month there are several participants on the live video feed from their webcams with Dr. Naseef as the facilitator and hosted by Kathleen Tehrani of Autism Brainstorm.  The discussions occur as a Google+ Hangout that is both broadcast live and archived for later watching.  You can find the archived discussions on YouTube at the following playlist link:  http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNVprmGNhO93mr_DvfT4W0T5JJpk15op5

In addition to Dr. Naseef, both Mark Gabarra and Greg Schell have sat in on these discussions.  Mark and Greg have used their time in these hangouts to share their unique experiences raising their children with special needs as well as representing the WSFN as an organization focusing on fathers.  If you get the chance make sure to chat with any or all three of these gentlemen.  Not just to find out more information about these virtual guy chats, but make sure to share some of your personal experiences and wisdom.  Your story very well could help to shape a future topic of discussion for the panel.

So what are you waiting for, register now at http://www.FathersNetwork.org/ConferenceRegistration

Btw, the next Virtual Guy Talk is scheduled to happen Sunday, October 12th at 6:00pm.

Reason #8 You Should Attend #WSFNConf2104

Spending a Day with Guys Who Get It

As dads of children with special needs, each of us travels through life down a very unique path; a path as unique as our children. Normally that means trying to fit into a world surrounded by people who just do not, and cannot, get what we are going through. They may have the best of intentions, but until you walk a mile (our five) in our shoes there are aspects of our lives we just cannot explain.

If that sounds familiar, you should come attend #WSFNConf2014 and change that for at least one day. While not every dad at the conference may be traveling the same path as you, every dad at the conference is not traveling the typical path either. Sometimes the fact that our lives are not typical is enough for is to each other and help us”get it”.

Reason #7 You Should Attend #WSFNConf2014

Dinner with THE Island Dads after the conference.

Yes, that’s right the one and only Island Dads will actually extend their stay in Redmond long enough for us lowly mainland folk to have dinner with them. Or feel free to come out to dinner and give these guys a hard time, whichever sounds like fun because this dinner is a blast. For more information check out the #WSFNConf2014 (UN) Official Post Conference Dinner event on our calendar.