Two years ago, Hickman and Lowder Co., L.P.A came to Milestones with a simple concept. They wanted to create a space at our annual conference for caregivers to relax and get some special treatment they don’t get in their everyday lives.
Milestones was sold. With so many parents and professionals taking some time out from life to attend the conference, we knew such an addition would be well-received and much needed. So a conversation turned into a plan, which then evolved into what we now all know to be the Caregiver Relaxation Room.
This year, caregivers of all kinds were encouraged to visit the space conveniently located between the exhibit hall and workshop rooms, where they could get a massage from a masseuse, make their own bath salts, and indulge in cucumber water while they enjoy a moment for themselve
“We’re all caregivers whether you have a child with autism or a professional, you’re a caregiver in some way,” said Jill Fowler of Hickman and Lowder. “It is important for our firm to be able to provide a place for conference goers of any kind to have some respite and take care of themselves a little bit. Usually you are the last person you care for so it was important for us to have a place for them to pamper themselves a bit.”
In addition to providing the Caregiver Relaxation Room, Hickman and Lowder was one of over 50 exhibitors at this year’s conference.
“It’s a fabulous mix of families and professionals and different tracks and topics,” said Fowler. “There is something for everyone here, it’s so valuable. Everyone you talk to they either know people or they meet new friends here and they can see each other again and again year after year. We are fortunate to have this in our community.”
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Amanda Buzo was a young lawyer starting her career in special needs estate planning when she first heard about Milestones.
In her interactions with clients, she kept coming across the organization’s name.
“Amazing resources! Invaluable tools! You have to go to the conference!” her clients would tell her. Wanting to find out more, Amanda attended her first Milestones conference and was blown away.
“It was such a phenomenal event,” she says. “The environment was so positive and everyone was supportive of each other. It was very inspiring.”
Tell us about your first experience with Milestones.
I was an exhibitor at my very first conference in 2015. As an exhibitor, you’re on your feet all day and it can be very tiring. But the Milestones staff was very attentive and supportive, making sure we were comfortable and had everything we needed to make our experience a success.
Lauren (Daughtrey) introduced me to a board member and helped me make connections with the professional community. Milestones went out of their way to connect me, and as a result, I inflatable slides for sale developed a lot of relationships with fellow exhibitors, conference attendees and the community. I had such a good experience that I wanted to be more involved.
How has Milestones helped you professionally?
Working with Milestones has given the Community Fund Management Foundation credibility and a seat at the table.
You are executive director at Community Fund Management Foundation. Tell us more about your organization.
We are a non-profit that establishes trusts for individuals with disabilities with money provided by the individuals or their families. We help families provide for a person’s needs in a way that helps safeguard their loved one’s eligibility for government benefits like Medicaid. We have 2,200 trusts in 82 of 88 counties in Ohio, which amount to about $93 million in assets. We have one of the largest pooled trusts in the US.
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