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Change Agent Provocateur

For more than 14 years Todd Garrison has devoted himself to the work of elevating the well-being of children who’ve experienced adversity in their young lives. In 2003, Todd joined nationally-recognized Intermountain, a Montana non-profit that has been committed to the plight of vulnerable children for more than 100 years. His roles at Intermountain were in fund raising and project development. ChildWise Institute was one of those projects. Since 2009 Todd led the launch and growth of ChildWise as its Executive Director until April 2018, when he “re-wired” not retired. ChildWise is an independent Montana not-for-profit 501c(3) organization. The focus of ChildWise is elevating the well-being and futures of our children by Advancing Awareness, Accelerating Knowledge, and Advocating for Positive Change – all around child well-being issues. Under Garrison’s leadership, ChildWise garnered statewide and national attention. The organization’s Elevate Montana ACE Study Summit is featured in the documentary film Resilience by James Redford, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, director, and producer. Garrison is a Certified Adverse Childhood Experiences ACE Study Master Trainer.

KEYNOTE "My Brains Are On Fire" - Many children and youth are in a fierce battle, but the enemies are unseen ... they hide in a child’s brain. These enemies are chemicals and hormones, and the kiddos just don’t know how to fight the battle... nor do most of us! Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are maybe the most common “ailment” in you community, yet most often not addressed. Why? Because ACEs are not always obvious. What is obvious are behavior issues... children, youth, and adults unable to slow down, sometimes shutting down, feeling overwhelmed, and often overheating with anger. But here’s the deal - ITS NOT THE BEHAVIOR! ITS THE BRAIN! This presentation will provide knowledge of the ACE Study, how adversity and toxic stress affect a child’s developing brain, and strategies to consider using to help “douse the fire.” Todd Garrison is an ACE Study Master Trainer.