2023 SFN Dads Virtual Conference

David Hirsch

David is the father of five adult children, ages 25-32, founder of the 21st Century Dads Foundation (2015) and Illinois Fatherhood Initiative (1997), host of the popular SFN Dad To Dad Podcast, and author of the book: 21st Century Dads: A Father’s Journey To Break The Cycle Of Father Absence.
He also gave a TEDx Talk entitled Why We Need To Break The Cycle Of Father Absence, which has been viewed more than 30K times.  He is also a Senior Vice President with UBS Financial Services in Chicago and has been financial advisor for 36 years.  He’s also completed three endurance bicycle rides, known as the Dads Honor Rides: DHR 2015 Santa Monica to Chicago (2,300+ miles), DHR 2016 Boston to Chicago (1,400 miles) and DHR 2017 Around Lake Michigan (950+ miles).  
When he’s not advocating for father involvement or advising clients about their investments, he enjoys: underwater photography, reading and adventure sports, including more recently Ironman Florida.

Duncan Keya

Duncan Keya of Nairobi, Kenya, is the father of four children and works as a Designated Migration Officer at the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi. He and his wife, Faith, have been married for 6 years and are the proud parents of four children including Luka (5), who has Autism and Khalayi (2) who has Albinism. Duncan also leads the SFN Nairobi Dads Meetup Group, is a SFN Mentor Father and was featured in episode #201 of the SFN Dad To Dad Podcast.

Paul Koza

Paul is a retired senior sales director at Amgen, a biotechnology firm he worked at for 17 years.  
He and his wife Maureen have four boys, including triplets, two of which have Autism.  
He has also been actively involved with Special Olympics for 30 years and on the board of the Center For Enriche

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna is an Emmy Award winning American actor who has more than 100 Broadway, TV and film credits to his name, including voicing the character of Fat Tony in the TV show Simpsons and for playing the role of agent David Rossi in the TV series Criminal Minds the last 13 seasons. 
Joe and his wife Irene have two adult daughters, Gia and older sister Mia, who has Autism.

Wayne Messmer

Creator of The Spirit of a Champion Private Mentor Program, a 1:1 Personal Improvement Program for motivated individuals in a professional services business who are looking to reignite their leadership and communication skills. 
Known as “America’s Voice of Victory,” I inspire audiences through keynote speaking centered on resilience, perseverance, and forgiveness. My success stems from my upbringing but emerged from setback. With sharp focus on motivating others, I share my story through words and music.
Raised on Chicago’s Southwest side, my parents modeled the standard of how to live, laugh, and love. I mirrored their behavior, shaped my personality through lasting friendships, and built my professional image from those who inspired me. I work tirelessly to pass on my lessons learned so others can build their image and reach their goals.
My voice, the power of words, and the inspiration of song carried me across several thresholds. I was the PA announcer and soloist for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Sting Soccer Team. For 13 seasons I was the Anthem soloist for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. My rendition of the U.S. and Canadian National Anthems at the 1991 NHL All-Star Game still reigns as one of the most memorable singing performances. Perhaps my most cherished moment was singing before two games during the 2016 World Series in front of hometown Chicago fans at Wrigley Field.
Success did not come without setback. An incident left my voice and my life in the balance. Through perseverance, I regained strength to survive and thrive. I captured my story in my best-selling book, The Voice of Victory.
My passion for people, gift for singing, and drive to motivate led me to become a founding partner of the 4-time Cup Champion Chicago Wolves. I co-founded Wayne Messmer & Associates where I presented over 700 financial retirement seminars. I also host the Wayne Messmer Radio Show.
I am a Certified Speaking Professional, a member of the National Speakers Association, NSA-IL and SAG/AFTRA. Proudly, I hold a PhD in Psychology from La Salle University and an a Masters degree from Loyola University Chicago, a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, Honorary Doctorates from my alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Sarah Putt, MA, OTR/L

My name is Sarah Putt and I am a licensed and certified occupational therapist.

I am the founder and clinical director of a private practice in Los Angeles, California and have over 12 years experience as an OT. My company specializes in therapy interventions in the home environment and typically works with children from birth to 3 years of age.

I am the host and creator of OT 4 Lyfe, a podcast and website dedicated to sharing the amazing field of occupational therapy. I also co-host two other occupational therapy podcasts, The OT Roundtable and The Real OTs of Early Intervention. It is my hope that I can connect and inspire OT practitioners, students, and people interested in occupational therapy across the globe.

I am an avid world traveler, scuba diver, craft beer enthusiast, and mom to an amazing one year old girl named Abigail, with baby number 2 coming July 2022. Having worked in early intervention and now becoming a parent myself, my perspective and lens for helping children and families has shifted as I have gained a deeper appreciation for what it is really like to be a parent.

Rooster Rossiter

Kim “Rooster” Rossiter serves as the President of the Ainsley’s Angels of America and as a special advisor to many other adaptive sports organizations across the country. He and Lori, his wife of over 20 years, hail from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and are parents to Briley, Kamden, and the late namesake for Ainsley’s Angels, Ainsley.

A retired United States Marine, he attended Marine Corps Boot Camp upon completion of high school in 1994 and served for over 24 years in North Carolina, Washington DC, Virginia, California, Okinawa, Africa, Korea, Norway, and is a veteran of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

Co-host of the “Together, We Shall” podcast, join us weekly for a little conversational dance!

Warren Rustand

Warren Rustand of Tucson, AZ, is the father of seven, grandfather of 19, a serial entrepreneur, former White House Fellow, former NBA player, past CEO of the World President’s Organization, Co-Founder & Dean of the Entrepreneurs Organization’s Leadership Academy, International Chairman emeritus of L3, a leadership organization, frequent speaker and more recently, an author.
Warren and his wife, Carson, have been married for 57 years. They have six biological children including son, Scott, who was diagnosed with Autism. They also fostered William Whitehorse, who has become a very accomplished Native American artist. 
From a young age, Warren demonstrated a unique level of determination for achievement and commitment to excellence. From some formative experiences growing up and being selected as a White House Fellow, Warren has also developed a keen sense for making use of the 86,400 seconds from every day. 
One of the secrets to Carson and Warren’s success is their intentionality to communicate with one another and amongst family members. Their family motto is ‘we do hard things.’ Another key aspect of their success is the use of and implementation of family vision and mission statements. 
In addition to having an extraordinary business experience, Warren has also been very deliberate about mentoring others through Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) to name two organizations.
More recently, Warren authored the book The Leader Within Us; Mindset, Principals & Tools For Life By Design, published by Forbes.
He is also SFN Dad Podcast #142 & #143

Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall of Tulsa, OK, who is the founder and president of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network, a world renown speaker and author of 51 books (including eight that have been made into major motion pictures).  In his youth he was also a national Olympic weight lifting champion.  He started losing his sight at 17 and has been completely blind for more than 30 years.  Jim was featured in episode #163 of the SFN Dad To Dad Podcast. 

Dr. Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin of Ft. Collins, CO is a national speaker, a best-selling author, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and outspoken advocate for the neurodivergent and those on the Autism Spectrum.  She was an Ashoka Fellow and was also named in the Time 100 List as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in the ‘Heroes’ category.  Temple has received a number of honorary degrees form universities around the world, including; McGill University in Canada, the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Carnegie Mellon University and Emory University.

Temple is the author of numerous books including: Emergence: Labeled AutisticDeveloped TalentsThinking In PicturesThe Autistic Brain: Thinking Across The Spectrum, and Different Not Less

Temple’s TED Talk entitled: “The World Needs All Kinds Of Minds” has been viewed more than 6M times.  The movie Temple Grandin, produced in 2010, received numerous awards including seven Emmy Awards.  She was featured in episode #236 of the SFN Dad To Dad Podcast. 

Nathan Woerner

 Nathan Woerner is a member of SEND International, a global Christian ministry.  He and his wife, Maryah, have been married for 16 years and are the proud parents of two girls; Naomi (6) and Ada (4), who has Angleman’s Syndrome.  The family lives in Colorado Springs, CO.  Nathan was featured in episode #144 of the SFN Dad To Dad Podcast.