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With superhero flair, this year’s ALCO Seminar was completely virtually and included the entire ALCO family! Highlighting the theme of “I am an ALCO Hero”, site staff was congratulated on the monumental acts of heroism over the past 18 months given the constraints and additional pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, staffing shortages and the introduction of new processes.

Throughout the 4 ½ hour event, team members were treated to some toe-tapping and hip-shaking tunes to keep everyone engaged and excited. Some teams even posted their great dance moves on social media to illustrate their talent and express their enjoyment!

Inspirational speaker, Ephie Johnson, gifted participants with a powerful message of motivation to “Do Your Part”. Her presentation reminded all about the incredible importance of the work that ALCO performs across its nine-state footprint. She described the work as a ministry to a vulnerable people. She encouraged viewers to continuously be in tune with the needs of each other and the residents that are served and “do your part” to show love and compassion. She ended her time by beautifully singing gospel songs. Her final prayer offered encouragement and praise for all attendees.

The Seminar kicked into overdrive as nationally known speaker, Toni Blake, took center stage or screen. Her high energy and humor kept everybody engaged and in laughter. She masterfully wove each of ALCO’s core values within her message of encouragement and hope. In her words “Being a great human being is not about a single act of kindness. Great human beings have daily habits that inspire relationships and make the world around them a better place.” Her “Wings of Positive Change” message provided witty but instructional suggestions on how to use these habits to positively manage inevitable life and work changes that improve our own life and the lives of the residents served.

The awards luncheon allowed each site to eat lunch together while executive team members presented awards that recognized successful REAC scores, MOR designations and tax credit audit accomplishments. Staff and property recognitions were also handed out to show ALCO’s appreciation for incredible achievements performed over the past two years. Berkely Burbank, CEO, offered a State of 35 Union Address reviewing the many challenges that have been experienced but then highlighted the many positive changes and accomplishments achieved over the past two years. He also emphasized ALCO’s newly revised Mission Statement and Core Values which will propel the company to a future of increased strength and success. Past and upcoming retirements of long-term employees were recognized for their decades of service.

The Seminar concluded with a scene from the movie “Facing the Giants”. The brief clip demonstrated that if you start off with a defeated attitude, you will likely end up defeated. But, if you “give me your best” and “Don’t give up!”, you can achieve far more than you would have ever imagined. That’s what the entire ALCO team has done and will continue to do. We are one team working towards common goals.

We have challenges ahead of us. If we employ the messages shared at this year’s Seminar, we are going to make it to the finish line. A huge thank you to all who participated in the planning of this amazing event! A special thank you to Courtney Harding for leading the group and keeping everyone on track.


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