Summit Summary: A Heartfelt Thank You!

“How are the children? How are the elders? How are you? How is your heart?” 

Dr. Ben Danielson

The 2020 Best Starts for Kids Summit concluded on a sweet note as Dr. Ben Danielson shared his Love Letter in Community With You where he encouraged each of us to hope, persevere, lean on each other, love, and transform our world. There wasn’t a better way to bring to conclusion a week of connecting, learning and building impact.

The first-annual and virtual summit, took place August 18-21, with August 17th serving as a special preview day.

Executive Dow Constantine welcomed summit attendees and Alice Oligario led a land recognition.  Sheila Capestany, Strategic Advisor for Children and Youth, presented an opening keynote address on the State of Best Starts for Kids. 

Rainier Avenue Radio’s own Tony Benton started off every morning interviewing summit speakers, partner organizations, and BSK program staff—highlighting some of the amazing impact Best Starts for Kids Champions are having in our community. Interviews were recorded and available here: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday sessions.

Summit MC’s, Jessica Cafferty and Reginald Cole, greeted us every morning with an overview of the previous day and what we could anticipate for the day ahead.

Summit MCs modeling selfies to encourage photo sharing on the Whova platform!

Summit partners hosted 36 events encouraging us to “Say ‘Yes’ to Kids with Disabilities”, teaching us how to examine how we engage youth in partnerships, and discovering new ways to foster healthy development in our children.

Later in the week, inspirational speaker Shellie Willis challenged participants to start Tapping Into the Power of [O]ur A.N.D.

What do the stats say?

  • Over one thousand Best Starts for Kids Champions registered for the summit.
  • 662 Whova.com app downloads
  • 58 community board topic posts
  • More than 2,000 messages sent between participants
  • 2700 items added to personal summit agendas.  

Our virtual summit platform, Whova.com, made it possible for participants to network and connect to each other with ease.

The 2020 BSK Summit was an extraordinary opportunity for me to connect 1:1 with people who are working in support of children and families in King County. This [conference model] was incredibly different from all the other conferences I’ve attended since our virtual world started.  The Summit time together helped me learn so much AND connected me with people to grow my mind, approach and my work.

Nancy Woodland

Announcing our Competition Winners!

Then there were the “friendly” competitions.  Best Starts for Kids hosted the “Community Building Impact Challenge” and Whova.com gave points to attendees who fully participated in all the summit had to offer.  Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you for your earnest engagement!

Whova.Com Engagement Leaderboard Winners for BSK Summit

Kayla Nichols – 1st place (Ninja Foodi)

Florida Steele – 2nd place ($25 Gift Card)

Damica Shelton – 3rd Place ($25 Gift Card)

BSK Summit – Communities Building Impact Challenge Winners

Emily Van Dyke – 1st Place with 575 points (One Hour 1-on-1 meeting with Sheila Capestany)

Carlecia Bell – 2nd Place with 345 points (Box Subscription of choice – value up to $75)

Janny Ho – 3rd Place with 225 points ($25 Gift Card)

Whova.com BSK Summit Photo Contest

Alesia Cannady – 1st Place (gift card)

Kayla Nichols — 2nd Place (gift card)

Florida Steele — 3rd Place (gift card)

Summit Presenters Award*

Look, Listen and Learn (Lunch with Seattle Foundation program staff)

*Random drawing from eligible presenters. Watch the drawing on video here!

BSK Speed Networking Participant Drawing

Valentina Visscher (Box Subscription of choice – value around $75)

Watch Recorded Sessions


If you were unable to attend the summit, or if you wanted to view your favorite session for a second or third time, we have put together a library of the recorded sessions and keynote presentations here.

Thank You!


A big, hearty “thank you” to everyone who partnered with us to make this year’s summit a success and to all the Best Starts for Kids Champions who attended. We love you and cannot wait to host you again in the future.

We should recognize that I am actively leaning on you at the same moment that you are leaning on me. After all, that’s the definition of community. And of love.

Dr. Ben Danielson
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