The 2019 Spring Conference Season Recap

The team at HINGE loves attending early childhood education conferences! These events allow us to gain new insights on industry trends, network with early childhood leaders and reconnect with old friends. And this spring, we attended some of the very best!

Our first stop was to the GCCA Savannah Owners’ & Directors’ Conference where Kathy Ligon was a Keynote Speaker for the event. She presented ‘No Money, No Mission: Cost Control in the Childcare Business’ to a large group of Georgia early education professionals and received extremely positive feedback from the crowd. We love our Georgia childcare friends!


Our next stop took us all the way to the west coast to CQEL’s Spring Leadership Conference in Sacramento! Team members Kathe Petchel, Henry Tiberi and Molly Petchel hosted roundtable discussions for the one-day event examining childcare business topics like succession planning, center marketing and renovating your school facilities on a budget. The team had a fantastic time and look forward to attending CQEL’s Director’s Institute in September as well as their Fall Conference in November!


Of course, AELL’s National Conference was a can’t-miss stop on our spring conference tour. HINGE Brokers and All Stars Mike Pepper and Henry Tiberi hosted our exhibit booth for the event—handing out some HINGE swag as well as flyers for our upcoming THRIVE Workshop with a special discount code for AELL members and conference attendees. Mike also presented at the event—dropping some knowledge with his ‘Show Me the Money: Empowering Management to Lead Their Schools to Financial Success’ discussion. All in all, it was a great event and the guys had a lot of fun meeting and greeting early childhood leaders across the country. We can’t wait to be back next year in Newark!


Next stop: back to California for the PACE Spring Conference in Redwood City. Team members Kathe Petchel and Mike Pepper joined Northern California directors and owners at the opening reception eager to make some new connections and visit with old friends. The next day, Mike presented 'The Approaching Tsunami: How to Balance Rising Staff Costs with Tuition Rates' while Kathe led a discussion on 'Marketing in Today's World: How Do I Market to this New Age Group of Parents?' Supplementing our 2019 focus on succession planning, we gave away four Built to Sell books written by John Warrillow, our SHIFT 2019 celebrity keynote speaker.

We wrapped up our spring conference tour on a positive note by attending our first ever McCormick Center’s Leadership Connections Conference. Kathy Ligon and Kathy Petchel were thrilled to be chosen to present a 3-hour workshop session on ‘Your School’s Finances & Staffing: Let’s Get You Thriving!’ The presentation received high marks and extremely positive feedback—always great to know we’re making an impact on childcare business owners nationwide! We definitely hope to be back at this incredible conference in 2020.

Miss us this spring conference season? Know of any conferences in your area that the HINGE team should know about and attend? Then please let us know by emailing

Meredith Martin