Keynote Speakers

Frank Kros

Frank Kros

Keynote Speaker | Director, NAREN & President, The Upside Down Organization

WEDNESDAY, 4/5
Listening to My Brain: Why Neuroscience Can Transform At-Risk Education

Summary: Neuroscience discoveries have more potential to improve student learning than any other resource available to at-risk educators, counselors, para-professionals and parents. Brain research has provided a deep understanding of how memories are made that guide us to the most effective ways to help students learn and, perhaps more important, reveal the old school instructional strategies we think work but actually obstruct robust memory making. This keynote will help you remake your teaching repertoire and powerfully improve student learning and motivation!

About Frank

Frank is a career child advocate, who has served as a childcare worker, child abuse investigator, children’s home administrator, consultant, college professor, attorney, writer and speaker. Frank currently serves as president of The Upside Down Organization (UDO), Director of the National At-Risk Education Network (NAREN) and Cheif Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of The Children’s Guild, a multi-service children’s organization headquartered in Maryland.

Frank joined The Children’s Guild as vice president of programs in 2000 and became executive vice president in 2002. Prior to arriving at The Guild, Mr. Kros practiced law with Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego, California, where his practice focused on children’s issues. He also has served as vice president for curriculum and training at Children’s Square U.S.A. in Council Bluffs, Iowa; as a child abuse service officer for the Douglas County Juvenile Court in Omaha, Nebraska; and as a family teacher at Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Home (Boy’s Town).

Frank is a worldwide speaker and presents seminars to parents, educators, child-serving professionals and their leaders on various topics including brain-based learning, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), neuroscience of the teenage brain and brain-compatible organizational leadership. He also speaks on the effects of stress, child abuse and poverty in relation to brain function and development. He has presented his workshops at national education, social work and human services conferences, and Frank was awarded a Maryland Governor’s Citation for his speaking efforts.

In addition to lecturing nationwide, he co-authored the books Creating the Upside Down Organization: Transforming Staff to Save Troubled Children (2005) and The Upside Down Organization: Reinventing Group Care (2008).

Frank received his law degree magna cum laude in 1993 from Notre Dame Law School, where he served on the Notre Dame Law Review. He also holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Creighton University.


Scott Goldsmith

Scott Goldsmith

Keynote Speaker

THURSDAY, 4/6
I Take my Fun Seriously…Play, Connect, Reflect and Learn!

SummaryNot your typical keynote, this Playnote appeals to the playful spirit in all of us. Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I    forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” This experience will  connect the audience through play and learn through reflection as a sense of community is created in just 75 minutes!

About Scott

Based in the Greater Hartford area of Connecticut, Scott Goldsmith is the author of the book Experiential Activities for Enhancing Emotional Intelligence: A Group Counseling Guide to the Keys to Success. Scott is also a school psychologist at an alternative high school and the coordinator of the Manchester Ropes Challenge Course in Manchester, Connecticut. Through his own organization, Outside the Box Experiential, Scott offers team building programs and professional development opportunities. Known for his passion, charisma, humor and creativity, Scott’s ability to quickly and effectively create community and help others elevate to a higher sense of self has been experienced at numerous workshops and conferences at the local, state, regional and national levels. Scott is also a professional musician, black belt in tae kwon do and constantly seeks out physical and mental challenges that foster personal and professional growth for himself and those around him.


Carl Price

Carl Price

Keynote Speaker

FRIDAY, 4/7
Heroes in Regular Clothing

Summary: This workshop will explore how “regular” people influence the lives of children in foster care. Foster parents, social workers, CPS and others who help the child do not always have access to the child’s past or present experience. When entering the foster care system, the child may age out, run away or return to their biological family. The presenter speaks to those silent heroes who do not stand up and take credit for the time, effort and care dedicated to the child. The presenter speaks on those private conversations that occur with caregivers and foster care children that have the longest lasting impact but receive no acknowledgment of the effort and time they invested. Carl holds these invaluable moments in high correlation to his success today, and the importance of working with children through a trauma focused perspective. The audience will gain an awareness of the often unmentioned heroes consisting of Child Protective Services, social Workers, judges and others who play pivotal roles in saving children’s lives. The participants will also gain insight into the importance of incorporating trauma based practices and the benefits achieved by practicing through a trauma focused lens.

About Carl

Carl is a cancer survivor (nasopharyngeal carcinoma), a former foster child and a US Navy Veteran, who has worked in Sales, Tech Support, Enrollment, Client Services, and Data Management among other fields. He had the honor to speak before a US Senate hearing on Childhood Trauma and continues to provide training on Childhood Trauma and Complex Trauma.

Carl is affiliated with the following organizations:

  • Advisory Committee Member for the Center for Child Welfare Trauma-informed Practice and Systems Change
  • Baltimore Breakthrough Series Collaborative Faculty
  • Therapeutic Foster Care Advisory Member

Additionally, Carl has mentored youth who are in foster care and those who have aged-out from foster care. Carl is an adviser and helps many organizations and departments with his broad perspective and strong background in the areas of trauma, foster care, and community organizations.