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ANAD’s 2016 Conference was Our, to Quote an Attendee, “Best Program Yet!”

By October 28, 2016ANAD Blog
As ANAD’s Current President and as along-term board member even before that, as soon as I saw the heart drawn next to our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Michael Berrett’s name on one of the conference CE Evaluation forms, I knew that this year, our conference had touched, not just minds, but hearts as well.
Dr. Michael Berrett, our keynote speaker, emotionally gave a message similar to ANAD’s new mantra: Your future is worth fighting for.  He meant this for clinicians who may struggle with burn out. He intimately shared his own honest experiences as a clinician and gave strategies to help us care for ourselves as we deeply as we care for our clients.
 Dr. Berrett inspired the audience with genuine concern, and because he wants to be a support to all of the clinicians in the audience, he gave everyone his cell phone number! He really practices what he preaches! The love from Dr. Berrett was felt by many, including the attendees who gave him these reviews:
“Thank you Dr. Berrett for your support, concern and inspiration for all”

“Spectacular keynote speaker, Michael Berrett. He really set the expectations for the conference. He kept the audience engaged and humbled.”

“Dr. Berrett was outstanding- wish he had time to go through all his slides. He could do a full day conference.”

“Michael Berrett was exceptional. Motivational, informative, and heartfelt. It was a gift to hear from someone so spiritually awake.”

Thank you Dr. Berrett for your support, concern and inspiration for all.

Dr. Kelly Klump was the plenary speaker, and she also served to truly motivate the group and keep our interest. Dr. Klump is one of the only researchers that I have seen who can take very complicated material, and keep it interesting and understandable! She presented some of her research on the genetic influences of eating disorders in girls, discovered from multiple twin studies. As she and colleagues continue to sdr berrett ANAD conferenceort out the differences between identical and fraternal twins during adolescence, they have been able to understand that getting an eating disorder has a strong genetic component, and the genes are “turned on” right at puberty! These new findings can help people better understand eating disorders, and how to treat and possibly medicate them.

We got wonderful feedback about Dr. Klump’s presentation as well:

From our conference attendees:

“I thoroughly enjoyed Kelly Klump’s presentation and found it to be very insightful. I also enjoyed learning about RODBT and think it will help me conceptualize and work with my clients. “

“Kelly Klump – Amazing speaker – made research interesting.”

Dr. Klump, than you for energizing us, and simplifying complex data to a way that we can use it and talk about it with our clients.

lindy westAnd Lindy West really captivated the crowd as our lunch speaker.  Lindy, as a writer and speaker, definitely had a way withwords during her presentation. She spoke from the heart, and found a way to explain how negative body image and fat shaming hurts and touches us all. She shared the story of how she personally dealt with shame about her body, and learned to fight for herself and others. She gave ways of helping each person learn how to love our bodies as well. Lindy, our attendees had so many great things to say about you at the end of the conference:

“Lindy as a speaker was fun and redefining. A wonderful variety of topics were represented. I’ll be back.”

“ Lindy West challenged all of us to see beyond stereotypes. Excellent.”IMG_3678

Lindy, we felt uplifted by your sharing and grateful for the tools you gave us to love our bodies, too. We will be passing these along to our clients as well.

I would also like to take this time to thank Deb Prinz, who spent many hours and days, and much heart and brain power to organize and plan the 2016 conference. And a special thank you to our interns and volunteers for all of your support for the conference.  We saw you guys work in such a caring and dedicated way.  Thank you.

Maria Rago, ANAD President




Deb and LindyAs ANAD’s Director of Community Relations, organizing the Annual Conference is one of my primary duties.  As I hit the “send” button I knew it was a long shot but I did it anyway. Would Lindy West, the American feminist writer and infamous “fat activist” even respond to my email? I have sent many emails out without ever getting a reply, but I was hoping this time would be different. Would Lindy West even consider traveling to Naperville to speak at the ANAD conference? I quickly found out that yes, she said YES! I could not believe how lucky we were and how hearing Lindy’s story would be a positive experience for all attending the conference.

Even though Lindy West has never suffered from an eating disorder, she was able to give amazing insight to how a fat person feels and how to stop the shaming of individuals based on their body size. Lindy was able to help us learn to love our bodies. As we age, we tend to gain weight, and I am no exception. But Lindy made me feel that my size is not what defines me. It was as if a light bulb went on in my head. I no longer had to feel shame and guilt because my over 50-year-old body was changing just as it is supposed to. After listening to Lindy and taking what she said to heart, I am more comfortable in my middle aged body, and I am embracing it! Lindy taught everyone in the audience to love their beautiful bodies regardless of shape or size! Thank you, Lindy!

I spent many months working on creating an exceptional 2016 conference and I believe that I successfully reached  this goal. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Berrett, presented at our 2015 conference in one of our breakout sessions, and  received overwhelming reviews: his room was at capacity with individuals sitting on the floor just to hear him speak. I knew I needed to get Dr. Berrett to return and be our keynote speaker at Maria Deb and Zingerour conference this year. I always feel a bit anxious when I ask individuals to speak for fear that they will refuse, like everyone I do not like rejection, but Dr. Berrett was humbled that I would even ask him! I was so thrilled that he agreed to be our keynote speaker! Next, I tackled the spot for plenary.

I had read an article about the research Dr. Kelly Klump was doing at Michigan State University and again, I felt the need to have her share her research at our 2016 conference. But again, I was nervous to reach out to her. Never in my mind did I think a researcher at a big university would come and speak at our conference. Again, I was surprised! Dr. Klump was honored to be asked and would gladly accept! We were well on our way to the exceptional conference I had envisioned.

The remaining speakers fell into place once the call for proposals went out. ANAD has always been blessed to have individuals willing to give their time and knowledge to present at our conferences. This year was no exception and based on the feedback everyone attending wholeheartedly agreed. I wish to thank all of our speakers, exhibitors and attendees for without all of you the 2016 ANAD conference would not have been the success that it was. Thank you for attending and see you at our 2017 conference!

Deb Prinz, Director of Community Relations

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