2017 ConnecT1D Retreat Speaker Bios


Mike Lawson, *PWD, Keynote Speaker

sessions: dealing with diabetes burnout (keynote), t1d men only

Mike Lawson has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for 15 years. Diagnosed during the "Myspace Years," he turned online to find support and advice from others that were dealing with the burden of a chronic condition. He now works as the Senior Director of Programs and Marketing for the Diabetes Hands Foundation - a nonprofit organization working to ensure people touched by diabetes never feel alone.

Fun fact: Mike's very first job was dressing up in a big furry mechanic's costume waving at cars outside of an auto collision repair shop.


Kendra B. Baldwin, *PWD, MPH, RD

Session: Your diabetes in the world: Navigating conversations, your identity and relationship with T1D

Kendra’s diabetes journey began halfway through her freshman year of college when she was diagnosed with T1D while she was a scholarship athlete. She completed her undergraduate degree and went on to finish her Masters in Public Health in Nutrition before beginning work in pediatrics. Somewhere in that timeline she summited Kilimanjaro, drove across the United States a few times, and developed an appreciation for chicken biscuits. Kendra currently works as a clinical dietitian at Seattle Children’s Hospital and enjoys cooking, training in Krav Maga, and building IKEA furniture.

Fun fact: Kendra can touch her tongue to her nose.

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Alex Bautz, *PWD, Successful Architectural Designer, Puppy Daddy

Session: T1D Adventures: Staying Active with Type 1 Diabetes

Alex has been involved with ConnecT1D since 2012.  After diagnosis with Type 1 in 2011, Alex joined with Insulindependence for a number of Type 1 endurance events, including a full marathon and a Ragnar relay.  This experience inspired Alex to develop a program within ConnecT1D to provide a platform for people impacted by Type 1 in the Pacific Northwest to meet new people and push the perceived boundaries of living with Type 1.  Alex used this concept to build Team ConnecT1D, a way for people of all athletic abilities and interests to come together and have amazing adventures.

Fun fact: At diagnosis, Alex was terrified of needles, and it took him 3 hours to work up the courage to do a fingerprick test.  He was 23.


Annie Schultz, *PWD, T1D Research Participation & Clinical Trial Expert

session: research participant panel

Annie came to the T1D research world as a person who is directly impacted by T1D.  Her father was diagnosed in 1964 at age 19, Annie herself was diagnosed at age 21.   She and her family members have participated in numerous clinical research trials of type 1 diabetes.  Specifically, Annie has participated in trials for the artificial pancreas at the Benaroya Research Institute.  She is also a member of the JDRF Speakers Bureau, a volunteer for ConnecT1D an organization that puts on a type 1 diabetes family camp and a volunteer for JDRF Seattle.  She was recently awarded the Auto-immune Alliance-A3 Focus Award for her spirit, dedication and community involvement while living with an autoimmune disease.  Annie is currently the Project Manager for Outreach & Recruitment for Diabetes TrialNet, an International Network of researchers working to prevent T1D based at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason in Seattle, WA

Fun fact: Annie’s crush growing up was Magnum PI.  We wear short shorts!


Julie Schliebner, *PWD, MSW, LICSW

Sessions: Research Participant Panel, T1D Women Only Discussion Group

Julie has been living with the highs and lows of T1D for 20 years. She came to the Pacific Northwest from New England to be surrounded by family and the natural beauty of the region. She enjoys hiking, sailing, cycling, and all the urban adventures Seattle has to offer. Julie work as a Diabetes Social Worker for Seattle Children's Hospital and feels passionate about supporting people who are living with Type 1 Diabetes. As a ConnecT1D board member, Julie is excited to bring her personal and professional experience to help build a positive social community for all T1D’s and the people who support them.

Fun fact: Julie plays ukulele in a women’s ukulele group.


Madison (Madi) Johnson, *PWD, RYT

Sessions: T1D Mind and Body Connection Through Yoga, Optional Sunday Yoga

Madi was diagnosed with Type 1 ten years ago. During college she struggled to control her diabetes. After two years of unhealthy life habits and A1c's, she turned to yoga to find balance and discipline. Madi recently graduated from the University of Colorado and moved to the PNW after a few months of traveling. Now she works at a Diabetes Education Center, is a Registered Yoga Teacher and a diabetes advocate, dedicated to sharing yoga with her Diabetes Family!

Fun fact: Madi spent the last 8 months living in Alaska, Hawaii, and a Chevy 1997 Van


Jude Restis, *PWD, Ridiculously Smart Person

Session: Top Research Advances in T1D

Jude has been T1D since 1972. He has been a part of the JDRF team for the past ten years, and is currently a volunteer the JDRF NW (Seattle) chapter as a coach for the Ride program. He has served on the JDRF Seattle South Sound Board of directors. He is currently a JDRF research information volunteer (RIV). He also serves on the RIV national working group to help steer the RIV program. What he does on his days off from volunteering with the JDRF is manage a team of Engineers at Boeing. He leads a team of engineers who develop and conduct structural tests on new aircraft. He has spent most of his career working on structural fatigue prevention and testing. He got his BS at University of Illinois and an MS in mechanical engineering from UW.

Fun fact: When he is not working on aircraft, and not volunteering for the JDRF, people actually pay Jude to take pictures of dogs, cats and race cars.


Cassady Kintner, *PWD, LMFTA, MDFT

Session: T1D Women Only Discussion Group

Cassady is a licensed therapist who specializes in working with people living with chronic illness, particularly Type 1 Diabetes (which she's had herself for over 20 years). Cassady is passionate about growing and enriching the T1D community because she has seen firsthand the importance of having relationships with people who understand Type 1. She also loves playing softball and watching cooking shows with her husband Austin and their two cats.

Fun fact:  Both of Cassady's cats made an appearance at her wedding. It was epic.


Jamie Elzea, *T3, MPH, LICSW

Session: T3 Only Discussion Group

Jamie is the mother of a 6 year old with T1D, a clinical social worker specialized in supporting people living with chronic conditions, and the Executive Director of ConnecT1D. Until her son was diagnosed nearly 3 years ago, she knew very little about Type 1 Diabetes, but within days of her new role as a T3 (loved one/caregiver of someone with T1D) she quickly got a crash course in Type 1 Life. When Jamie attended ConnecT1D's Family Camp a few months later, she was amazed at the power of being in the same room with so many other T3s--who truly understood the highs and lows of supporting someone with such a unique chronic condition. She loves her work at ConnecT1D growing opportunities for T1s and T3s to come together in social connection and support.

Fun fact: Jamie gets fiercely competitive playing board games.


*What stuff means:

*PWD: Person With Diabetes

*T3: someone who loves a PWD

Joel Calhoun, *PWD, Retreat Committee Dream Team Member

Research participant panel

Joel was misdiagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2014 at the age of 35.  Two years later he was diagnosed with Type 1.5 or LADA.  Frustrated with the lack of available training and programs for newly diagnosed adults he was forced to research much of his diabetes management on his own.  He created a YouTube channel with tutorials and informational videos chronicling his journey with diabetes to help other newly diagnosed adults who may be experiencing the same frustration.  In the year since his LADA diagnosis he has been active in the T1D community on the Beyond Type 1 app, and by participating in events by the ADA, ConnecT1D, and JDRF.  Last year’s TypeOneNation Summit inspired him to become a clinical research participant.

Fun fact: The first time Joel had blood drawn he nearly passed out.