The following folks were all attendees of this year's conference, thanks to the generous contribution of a supporter of our work which helped us to create a scholarship fund:
- Shane Scott
- Vito Abate
- Jonathan Winn
- Craig G. Howe
- Jerry Growney
- Justin Barton
- S. Mark Kennedy
- Robert Halley
- Grey Jacks
- James Ashton
- Hollis Kam
Each attendee added their own unique contributions to the conference, to the connections made, and to the success of the conference, and we appreciate and recognize their contributions, as well as invite their continued involvement with the GCA in sharing their time, talents and gifts.
Here are two testimonials from scholarship recipients. (We'll share more testimonials in a future issue, as well as more information about a future scholarship program!)
"When I first heard about the scholarship program, I was a little concerned about being around much more established coaches, but that concern quickly dissipated once things got started.
The most important part of the conference for me was the people, the gay coaches: the interactions I had with them, the wealth of experience which they brought with them. It was like getting a two-for-one conference—gay men who were also coaches! veryone brought something to the table. And because I'm just getting started in my coaching practice, it was great for me to be part of this unique group.
One personal highlight was the various group activities: for example the workshop with the two circles where the practice was to interact with every one as we moved around the circle or Arnie’s Touch Me workshop where we gave and received relaxing light touches, or the closing circle where we acknowledged the contributions that were offered. Each of these activities highlighted the importance of shared group experience.
Would I recommend this scholarship program to someone (who knows nothing about the GCA)?
Yes, I absolutely would.
I'd also tell them to check out the GCA because for me getting to go to the conference was not only a generous gift, it was a great welcome to a community of other gay coaches.
Overall, the conference was well run, informative, welcoming. And it was at Easton Mountain Retreat Center, which always brings it all together!
I was really glad to be there."
-- Vito Abate
"I went into the conference not really knowing what to expect (and not knowing anyone except for Michael). This conference exceeded my expectations - I thought the conference was run extremely well and there was obviously a lot of thought put into the weekend. The most important part of the conference for me was surrounding myself with like-minded people who are doing similar work to what I am doing. I truly felt the sense of community which is extremely important in a career which, at times, can feel very isolating. I was feeling a bit uninspired in my coaching practice prior to coming to the conference. I felt that the conference was exactly what I needed to re-ignite my passion for coaching.
The features that provided the greatest benefit to me were:a sense of community
- immersing myself in nature
- some of the workshops were beneficial to my business
When asked if I would recommend someone (who knows nothing about the GCA) to take a risk and apply for a scholarship in the future, I would say yes. I was that person who knew nothing about GCA and I am grateful that I took the risk and applied for the scholarship."