Valerie and Brent Cuevas - “The Realities of Dating, Remarriage and Blending a Family”
Valerie and Brent Cuevas both lost their late spouses in 2016 leaving them both single parents with three kids each. They each had unique experiences as they tackled the dating world in their mid- thirties. After trying every way to meet people that could be imagined, they discovered that dating today as a single adult in the church can be difficult and is much different than when you’re in your early twenties.
It ultimately ended up being the W/W LDS Facebook group that connected them. They discovered that although they were completely in love and felt guided by the spirit to get married, challenges and trials would still face them in the midst of love.
Blending their 6 children together - 3 boys and 3 girls ( like the Brady Bunch) would also prove difficult at times. They enjoy sharing the realities and blessings along the way of this new path of life they walk together. They believe that having Christ at the center of their lives makes all the difference in the day to day.
Leila Headlee - "Healthy Body —> Healthy Soul!"
Widowed 4 years ago Leila is a strong believer that small positive changes in physical health can lead to emotional and spiritual wellness. Leila is a certified personal trainer currently studying nutrition. She has an education in psychology and has spent much of her life working to find balance in the areas of health and wellness.
Jenn Dalley - “Accepting The Things I Cannot Change”, "How I Survived Until I Thrived"
Jenn (Schneck) Dalley was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She graduated from The Ohio State University in Business Finance & International Business and married Kevin Dalley in 2002. They have 3 beautiful girls. At age 35 (on Black Friday 2016), she became a Vilomah and a Widow. She has learned to keep breathing and follows joy wherever it can be found. She has 2 surviving daughters and they travel the world, experiencing all that the world can offer when the girls aren’t in school.
Keynote Speakers - Kenneth Cope & Dr. Kent Allen
Sheri Peterson - "Healing Through Music"
Sheri is an organ professor at Brigham Young University. In addition, she teaches a large private studio of organ and piano students. She has presented at organ conferences, including the annual BYU Organ Workshop. As a professional organist she has had numerous opportunities to perform throughout the U.S. and France. Although she has played on many fine instruments and in remarkable concert halls, her most cherished place to play is in the Holy Temple. She believes that music is a sacred gift and that all good music brings us nearer to Christ. Her husband passed away thirteen years ago from a rare genetic liver disease, having had numerous health challenges throughout his life and being bedridden for seven years before he passed away. Sheri has six beautiful children and seven grandchildren that she adores.
Dr. O. Kent Allen, MS, LMFT - "Helping Children Through the Grieving Process", "Where Do I Go from Here: Choosing to Stay Single or Remarry?", "The Grieving Process"
Kent Allen is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in the Ogden, Utah area. He has been married to his wife Susan for 43 years. They have 3 wonderful children and 9 grandchildren whom they love and adore. Kent has served in numerous callings in the church and for 17 years has served as a mental health advisor to the Missionary Department. For the last 12 years, he has been the director over the early release missionaries in the US and Canada. He has been in private practice for 28 years and has seen thousands of individuals dealing with depression anxiety and other mental health challenges. He has been involved in helping individuals through the grieving process for over 29 years. He has been helping the LDS Widows/Widowers since it’s conception over 13 years ago. He has spoken numerous times around the Western United States to groups involved in grieving.
Grace Marie Chumley - "Facing Adversity"
Grace grew up south of Oakland, California. She was always a happy child and life seemed to be fairly simple with few major trials. In college she received an AA in Family Living Skills and a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. During college is when she met and married her late husband Mike. They moved to Seattle where they raised their three children. That is when life started to really turn upside-down. Within a year of moving to Seattle, three of their parents died and Mike was diagnosed with sever clinical depression. Through her future trials, Grace had to learn to smile through adversity. The most difficult time was learning to smile after her husband's suicide. Grace hopes that the insights of her journey may help others learn to smile through adversity and have grace under the pressure.
Grace currently lives in Herriman, Utah and works as a high school substitute teacher. Her three children are married and she had nine grandchildren. Eight of the nine are age 6 and under so they keep her busy. Grace loves to travel the world, work on family history, try crazy stuff, but most of all she loves to spend time with her family.
Joan Newby Wild - "Joy in the Journey"
Joan is a native Idahoan
She loves everything about the state she lives in. Born and raised by goodly parents. The 8th child of Eldon and June Whiteley. Raised on a farm in Middleton Idaho, her childhood was a fairytale.
Married to Calvin in 1979 until his passing in 2015.
Gifted with 4 children.
Remarried to Norm in 2017
Adding 4 more.
We have a total of 18 grandchildren.
Grief came calling and Joan became no stranger to tragedies and separation from those she loved, but along the journey she found joy.
Kenneth Cope - LDS Composer
Kenneth tells us his purpose. He says: “I was born to point people to God—to give them hope, and a true sense of their inestimable value in the eyes of their heavenly Parents and their Redeemer. Through song, through words, through every medium available to me, I am to proclaim my Lord’s glorious gospel, and do the greatest good I possibly can to my fellow human beings. And while I have all these artistic tools for my use, I am to accomplish my purpose through love.”
Kenneth was born in Salt Lake City, the third of six children. He grew up mostly in Houston, Texas, where he attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He later served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Switzerland and France. He began his musical career by writing and recording the 1986 Especially For Youth (EFY) theme song and has gone on to compose more than 25 songs for the EFY Program.
Some of Kenneth’s songs like “His Hands” and “Never a Better Hero” have become Latter-day Saint classics. Kenneth has produced twelve albums of his own and has most recently created a dramatic, two-act musical for the stage about the life of Jesus Christ, titled Son of Man.
Kenneth says: “I strongly believe that if we are doing with our lives those things which God has sent us here to do, He will open the way for us to continue in our path and consistently bring about more good in this world.”
Recognizing Kenneth’s achievements, the Faith Centered Music Association (FCMA) has awarded him numerous PEARL Awards over the years including Male Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Album of the Year.
Kenneth lives with his wife Kathy in Millcreek, Utah.
Cheri L. MacDonald Ph.D LMFT - Author
"The incremental threads in the tapestry of complex trauma-5 steps to unraveling from the paralysis of unresolved loss."
"How to Root, Rebound and Rise from the complications of your grief--draw up a personal blueprint to pressing forward."
"Where to begin when tragedy hits without notice? Learning how to make sense in the tragedies that "should have never" happened."
Dr. Cheri McDonald offers enriched insights to dealing with the intricate challenges of complex trauma as she walks you through the how to’s of untethering from the ramifications of your PTSD. With the gifted talent of her interweaving her psychotherapy training and her intuitive coaching skills, she guides couples through the shadows of trauma by releasing its destructive grip through imagery, symbols and rituals and carrying you outside the therapy room to love and beyond. Dr. Cheri’s teachings open the way to evolve toward complete healing from the inside out.
Dr. Cheri McDonald is the founder of A Place to Turn, Inc. and creator of To Love...& Beyond. She helps individuals, couples, families and communities rise from the avalanche of PTSD. Dr. Cheri is a bestselling author of two books - Whispering From Within-Creating and Achieving Your Ideal Self and Heal Your Trauma, Heal Your Marriage: 7 Steps to Root Rebound and Rise. She is the founder of the #BreakFree Movement. The goal of the #BreakFree Movement is to take the healing outside the therapy room and into the community. Her #Break Free podcast
offers a platform for influencers and role models to tell their story of trauma and how they turned it into a triumph, rising above to make their dreams come true. Dr. Cheri McDonald received her Bachelor of Science at Brigham Young University in Family Sciences in 1983. She continued her education at California Lutheran University where she obtained her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1987; then completed her formal education in 2007 with a Doctorate degree in Philosophy of Clinical Hypnotherapy at Pacific University.
Cheri and her husband, Patrick, have raised three sons and a daughter and enjoy their 8 grandchildren as they reside in Thousand Oaks, California. Being a wife, mother and grandmother has been her greatest responsibility and joy in life.