2018 Conference of Champions

Why I Attend

bing chang

“As board chair, I encourage you to join us in Baltimore to share insights and ideas face to face. You’ll be re-energized by the impact of our work on so many lives, making these two days incredibly stimulating and rewarding.”
Rowland W. (Bing) Chang, MD, MPH, Chicago, Arthritis Foundation Board of Directors Chair

julie butscher

“I wouldn’t miss this conference for anything. What I learn, how inspired I get, the people I get to talk from across the country – it rejuvenates me and makes me even more thrilled to be part of this wonderful organization.”
Julie Butscher, Denver, Colorado/Wyoming Fundraising Chair

kelby peachey

“Understanding the big picture organizational goals, and the progress we are making towards achieving them, helps me do the best job I can do as an Arthritis Foundation volunteer back home.”
Kelby Peachey, Boston, Walk to Cure Arthritis Chair

colleen ryan

“The Conference of Champions is where I get to reconnect, in person, with folks who are committed to doing the same as me: forging the best path forward to cure arthritis.”
Colleen Ryan, Orange County California, 2016 Charles B. Harding Award Recipient

tony bihl

“For me, the Conference of Champions is about spending time with highly motivated and inspiring people, who give me new ideas and new motivation for the important activities of our local leadership board.”
Tony Bihl, Leadership Board Chair, Raleigh, NC

kelli schandel

“I enjoy attending the Conference of Champions because it is an opportunity to connect with volunteers and staff from across the country, all of whom are committed to finding a cure for arthritis. I love meeting people that are as passionate as me about this organization!”
Kelli Schandel, Leadership Board Chair, Colorado/Wyoming

deb constien

I enjoy attending CoC every year, as it ties everything together. Everything you have been doing the past year, you find that all the threads join as one. You also get insight into everything new happening. It’s a time for learning, seeing new friends/ family as well as ones you only get to see a few times a year. This event nourishes the soul and gets you into a great mindset to take on the next year, to conquer the next goals set in front of us.
Deb Constien, Champion Award recipient, Leadership Board Chair, ASN leader, Platinum Ambassador, among other things, Madison Wisconsin

jeff roh

Attending Conference of Champions had a profound effect on my understanding of our work at the Arthritis Foundation and its significant impact across the nation. In connecting with other volunteer leadership; spending time with nationwide staff members; and being at the forefront of new initiatives, I found the tools and resources I need to be successful and impact deep change in my community.
Jeff Roh, Local Leadership Board Chair, Seattle WA

kelly and matt pierce

We have learned so much from attending the Conference of Champions. We are able to share stories and fundraising ideas with people who are just as passionate as us. Each year we meet people fighting this disease, just like we are, and we all have the same goal. To find a cure.
Kelly and Matt Pierce, local volunteers, Jingle Bell Run Fundraisers, Chicago, Illinois

Why You Should Attend

Here are some highlights from a survey of Conference of Champions participants.


45% of attendees came for the first time, deepening the Arthritis Foundation's reach and expanding our volunteer footprint.


76% of attendees networked with volunteers from other markets, citing this as an invaluable benefit of the conference.


90% of attendees were motivated by the scientific contributions the Arthritis Foundation has helped fund and the vision of where we are headed.


92% of attendees were inspired by the outstanding contributions our volunteers shared during the Evening of Honors.