2024 Housing Authority Spring Symposium – Minnesota NAHRO

Connect, Learn & Engage 

Thanks for Joining Us! Key Materials Posted Below for Your Reference. We will continue to post items as we receive them from our speakers.   

Our Spring Symposium is back and we return to Sugar Lake Lodge in the northwoods just outside of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  Our symposium features interactive workshops that will offer in depth learning opportunities while building your network amongst your HRA peers. Session highligths include:

  • Writing for Understanding – How to Use Plain Language at Your HRA to Communicate Better with Your Clients, Stakeholders and Community
  • Mental Health and You – Strategies for Self Care Plus How to Support Your Staff and Others
  • State Rental Assistance Program Update with Minnesota Housing
  • Hot Topics with Your HUD Software Providers
  • And best of all, get to know your colleagues from across the state as they are the best resource

Our 3 day event will provide personal and leadership skills tailored to those who work in housing authorities, including executive directors, team leaders and front line staff. Each highly interactive workshop is designed to enhance your leadership effectiveness and develop your communication skills while engaging with your peers from across the state.

Plus all of this will take place in the distraction free location of Sugar Lake Lodge surrounded by the beautiful Minnesota Northwoods.  This unique location will take you out of the office, get you away from the many distractions of your busy HRA and allow you to recharge and refocus.  

More details about the symposium workshops and pricing options are provided below. Book your lodging and meal package directly with Sugar Lake Lodge – details provided below including a fillable form.    

Symposium Countdown








Event Details

Contact Info



Minnesota NAHRO Cancellation Policy

Cancellation requests must be made in writing and sent to [email protected].

  • Refunds: Registration fees are  refundable less a $100 per person administrative charge if notification is received no later than 5:00 p.m. 10 days prior to the start of the training.
  • No refunds or registration transfers will be permitted within 10 days prior to the start of the training or event.
  • You may send a substitute attendee to the same training/conference for which you registered but can no longer attend.
  • Please inform us in writing of any substitutions at least 7 business days prior to the start of the event.
  • Advance registration and full payment are required in order to be admitted to the training or conference.
  • We may not be able to hold your spot if full payment is not received prior to the start of the event.


Monday, May 20 


10:00 am – registration & check in available

11:00 am – Spring Symposium Kick Off & Opening Session

12:30 pm – Lunch

1:30 pm – Skill Building Workshop and Roundtables

5:00 pm – Happy Hour at the Lodge

6:00 pm – Dinner at the Lodge

7:30 pm – Networking & Scholarship Event 

 (seeTuesday, May 21 


8:00 am – Breakfast

9:00 am – Skill Building Workshops (see descriptions below)

12:00 pm – Lunch

1:00 pm – Skill Building Workshops (see descriptions below) 

4:00 pm – State Rental Assistance Update with Minnesota Housing

5:00 pm – Happy Hour at the Lodge

6:00 pm – Dinner at the Lodge

Wednesday, May 22 


8:00 am – Breakfast

9:00 am – Legislative & Program Updates

10:00 am – Roundtable with your Peers

11:00 am – Hot Topics & Dialog with Your Software Providers – NEW FEATURE!

12:00 pm – Box Lunch & Get To Know HUD Software Providers (Demonstration) – NEW FEATURE!

1:00 pm – Adjourn

Skill Building Workshops

Writing for Understanding – How to Use Plain Language at Your HRA To Communicate with Clients, Stakeholders and Your Community

Speaker & Facilitator: Don Gore

Don Gore is the Plain Language Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Revenue and a board member of the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators. He leads an award-winning team ensuring Revenue is easily understood in person, in correspondence, and online. He’s been writing and editing for plain language since 2013, teaching and creating writing and editing classes since 2018. Don is a communications veteran, with a background including public speaking and broadcasting.


Workshop Description

This class will explain what plain language is and the benefits of using it in your writing for different audiences and formats. We’ll work through group and individual exercises to get you familiar with how to take facts and turn them into clear, concise, considerate writing.

Skills you’ll learn in this session:

  • Creating clear, meaningful subject lines
  • Structuring what you write
  • Getting your audience’s attention
  • Using active voice
  • Avoiding jargon

This session will be interactive and walk participants through real life examples used by housing authorities in their programs. Also how plain language can be applied in various formats including forms, emails and online.

Mental Health and You – Strategies for Self Care and How to Support Your Staff and Others

Speaker: Angel Hohenstein, Wellness Coordinator for City of Duluth, Housing Redevelopment Authority, Airport Authority, and DECC employees. She has been the Wellness Coordinator going on 9 years, and prior to that worked in the wellness arena working for the Duluth Area Family YMCA.

Her role as Wellness Coordinator is to be a resource and advocate in all aspects of wellbeing, including Physical, Social, Financial, Mental/Emotional and more.  Angel understands that everyone has unique needs in their wellbeing journey.   As a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Angel has conducted numerous trainings for staff, member of the Duluth Police Department’s Peer Support Team, and is also the liaison for the City of Duluth’s Employee Assistance Program, assisting with coordination of training and response to critical incidences (specifically for employees).


Workshop Description

Mental health is a continuum, a diverse spectrum of experiences in which we all play a part. Learn how to identify signs and symptoms of mental health challenges and support someone when they are experiencing these challenges. We will discuss a variety of support strategies, tools for compassionate conversations, and identify when to refer someone to appropriate care. We will also cover self-care strategies to help mitigate your own compassion fatigue. You’ll have the opportunity to share your experiences and ideas with others during a few break out groups.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding continuum of mental health and its impact
  • Identify signs and symptoms
  • Be able to identify support strategies
  • Learn how to support someone in non-crisis situations and when to refer
  • Understand boundaries and roles when supporting someone
  • Identify signs of compassion fatigue and self-care strategies

This session offers important skills for all staff who work in our industry. We know this work can be challenging and take its toll, so join us for this training to help you and your staff support eachother.

Lodging Info

Lodging & Meal Package at Sugar Lake Lodge

Our Spring Symposium will be held at Sugar Lake Lodge located 15 miles outside of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. We have exclusive use of the full venue for the duration of the symposium. Reserve your lodging with Sugar Lake Lodge by using the fillable form provided. Advance payment is required.

What Is in the Lodging & Meal Package? Minnesota NAHRO has secured a lodging and meal package for the symposium which includes: 

  • 2 nights lodging for Monday & Tuesday nights 
  • All meals including Monday lunch and dinner, Tuesday breakfast, lunch and dinner plus Wednesday breakfast and lunch.   
  • Sunday night available as an add on (includes Sunday dinner and Monday breakfast)
  • Conference package begins at $366.54 per person 
  • More details available on the form provided.
  • Contact Brittany or use the form to request a meal only option for those living nearby.
  • Lodging package rate ends April 26th
  • To make your reservation, complete the form and email to Brittany or call her at 218/327-1462

Location Info

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