We are in the process of updating our website for the 2023 conference. Thank you in advance for your patience.


We are grateful for the inspiring and motivating speakers we had in past years!

Previous year's conference information can be found on the About Us/History page.

Yshai Boussi, MA, LPC:

Yshai Boussi, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor who has helped teens, young adults, and families for more than twenty years. He's worked extensively in residential treatment programs, community mental health agencies, with the juvenile justice system, and has navigated the foster care system as a parent. Yshai is the author of the forthcoming book, Staying Connected With Your Teen, to be released early 2024. He currently runs a private practice in Portland OR, called Portland Family Counseling. Yshai offers workshops and classes for parents, educators, and teens and writes a parenting blog. He and his wife Mariah (also a therapist) are proud parents of a 14 year-old daughter, 11 year-old son, and adult foster son.

You can learn more about Yshai through his website portlandfamilycounseling.com, Instagram @yourteentherapist, or Facebook @portlandfamilycounseling


Melissa Corkum & Lisa Qualls:

Melissa Corkum (adoptee and adoptive mom)

As an adoptee and adoptive mom, Melissa Corkum provides insight and resources to parents and professionals through her speaking, coaching, and writing. She is a TED Speaker, Safe and Sound Protocol Practitioner, Cultivate Connection Facilitator, Certified Enneagram Coach, and co-founder of Adoption Wise. Additionally, she co-authored Reclaim Compassion: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Overcoming Blocked Care with Neuroscience and Faith and Foundations for Overcoming and Preventing Blocked Care: The eight-session program for helping parents reclaim compassion. Melissa and Patrick live in Maryland and have six kids and two grandchildren.

Lisa Qualls (birth mom and adoptive mom)

Lisa C. Qualls serves the adoption community from her unique perspective as a birth mom, former foster youth, foster mom, and adoptive mom. Lisa is a TBRI Practitioner, co-founder of Adoption Wise, Trauma Competent Caregiving trainer, and spiritual director. She is also the author of The Connected Parent: Real-Life Strategies for Building Trust and Attachment (with Dr. Karyn Purvis), and co-author of Reclaim Compassion: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Overcoming Blocked Care with Neuroscience and Faith, and Foundations for Overcoming and Preventing Blocked Care: The eight-session program for helping parents reclaim compassion. Lisa lives in Idaho with her husband Russ. They have twelve children by birth and adoption and two beautiful granddaughters.


April Dinwoodie:

Motivated by her experiences as a transracially adopted person, April Dinwoodie is an accomplished corporate marketing executive turned nationally recognized voice on adoption, foster care, and multicultural families.  From creating a mentoring program for youth in foster care to becoming the CEO of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, April is a fiercely dedicated leader helping individuals, systems, and corporations as they navigate the foundational elements of identity, relationships, and differences of race, culture, and class. April works on several adoption-focused federal grants, leads Transracial Journeys, a camp for families experiencing transracial adoption, facilitates adoption affinity groups in schools, and is a sought after speaker and trainer.  Dinwoodie hosts the popular podcast “Born in June, Raised in April: What Adoption Can Teach the World!” and most recently, received the Adoption Excellence Award from the Children’s Bureau as well as Adoption Rhode Island’s Advocate of the Year Award. 



Elliott Orrin Hinkle, BS, PSS:

Elliott Orrin Hinkle, BS, PSS (they/them), Principal and Founder of Unicorn Solutions LLC, is a skilled speaker, facilitator, trainer, advisor, and national expert focused on elevating lived expertise in systems that serve children, youth, and families particularly in support of LGBTQIA2S+ community members. They bring 12+ years lived and professional experience on topics such as child welfare, youth mental health, and the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Elliott graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelors of Science in Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Queer studies. Elliott has lived experience in the Wyoming Foster Care System as a young person but calls Oregon home. They currently serve as a Federal Lived Experience Expert Partner for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Equity Technical Assistance Center (ETAC). Elliott has worked on the Children's Bureau Capacity Building Center for States Project and Division X TA Project at ICF, the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Reviews via JBS International, and Oregon Healthy Transitions Project at Portland State University, a SAMHSA grant. To learn more about and reach Elliott visit www.unicornsolutions.org.


Melissa Sampson-Grier, BA:

Melissa Sampson-Grier currently works for the Oregon Department of Human Services as the Race & Equity Transformation Manager where she is tasked with re-imagining & supporting equity efforts across the organization. This includes the implementation of equity frameworks, service equity initiatives, organizational culture change, community engagement & Tribal relations. She has over 20 years of Child Welfare experience, developing & maintaining a foster care program for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, where she worked for over 10 years, serving as the Community Engagement Specialist on the Safe & Equitable Foster Care Reduction partnership with Casey Family Programs as well as leading the racial equity efforts statewide. She is recognized for her skills as a facilitator, community organizer and leader. Melissa is one of the founding members of WAHONE (We Are Here Oregon’s Native Employees) employee resource group and chairs their leadership team. She is a fellow on the Women Transforming Families: Rising to End Violence, Oppression & the Legacy of Trauma national cohort which focuses on impacting system change specific to the intersections of child welfare and domestic violence. She is a member of the Yakama Nation and proud alumni of Washington State University where she majored in Human Development and Sociology.