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Home About Us Blog My Milestones: Past Conference Speaker & Exhibitor, Amanda Buzo

My Milestones: Past Conference Speaker & Exhibitor, Amanda Buzo

Posted on 11/29/17 by Milestones

My Milestones: Past Conference Speaker & Exhibitor, Amanda Buzo

Amanda Buzo was a young lawyer starting her career in special needs estate planning when she first heard about Milestones.

In her interactions with clients, she kept coming across the organization’s name.

“Amazing resources! Invaluable tools! You have to go to the conference!”  her clients would tell her. Wanting to find out more, Amanda attended her first Milestones conference and was blown away.

“It was such a phenomenal event,” she says. “The environment was so positive and everyone was supportive of each other. It was very inspiring."

Tell us about your first experience with Milestones.
I was an exhibitor at my very first conference in 2015. As an exhibitor, you’re on your feet all day and it can be very tiring. But the Milestones staff was very attentive and supportive, making sure we were comfortable and had everything we needed to make our experience a success.

Lauren (Daughtrey) introduced me to a board member and helped me make connections with the professional community. Milestones went out of their way to connect me, and as a result, I developed a lot of relationships with fellow exhibitors, conference attendees and the community. I had such a good experience that I wanted to be more involved.
How has Milestones helped you professionally?
Working with Milestones has given the Community Fund Management Foundation credibility and a seat at the table.
You are executive director at Community Fund Management Foundation. Tell us more about your organization.
We are a non-profit that establishes trusts for individuals with disabilities with money provided by the individuals or their families. We help families provide for a person’s needs in a way that helps safeguard their loved one’s eligibility for government benefits like Medicaid. We have 2,200 trusts in 82 of 88 counties in Ohio, which amount to about $93 million in assets. We have one of the largest pooled trusts in the US.

Your relationship with Milestones has evolved over the years. You are now a speaker, exhibitor and donor. Tell us more about your contributions.
I love having the opportunity to reach individuals and families. As a special needs estate planning attorney and as a parent, you’re always seeking out information. I want to make the information readable and something that families can digest. I love all the ways Milestones helps us educate the community.

I did a co-presentation at the conference about STABLE accounts, which are accounts for individuals with disabilities that are generally not counted as a resource when determining Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income eligibility. It was a great opportunity to help equip families and help them make informed decisions for their future.
How has Milestones helped you personally?
Though I don’t have a personal connection to autism, as a parent of a young child, I am always looking for the best information and recommendations from experts. Milestones has a vast number of resources on their website. And the network of professionals, teachers, therapists and doctors that they have is truly exceptional.

Also, I think Milestones has done a wonderful job in helping families connect, to not feel alone, and to know there are others walking that journey with you. And so many inspiring stories! I’m always in awe of what other families have accomplished and overcome. I can apply those lessons to my own life.
Why is Milestones important to the community?
Milestones makes itself relevant to the community. For one, it has an amazing website. The resources, tools and networks- I think everything that they’ve done behind the scenes is and their desire to help families is incredible.
What advice would you give someone about Milestones?
I would tell them to contact Milestones because they follow through. I was talking recently with a young mother of twins. One of her children had been diagnosed with autism so I told her about the Milestones conference. She lived about an hour from Cleveland, but I encouraged her to attend. She wasn’t aware of the organization but after I told her about it she was excited to find out more.
What do you see for the future?
I look forward to continuing our involvement with Milestones at the next conference. It’s a fabulous organization with a strong purpose and mission. We have some exciting ideas for 2018. I see us continuing to support the organization in perpetuity.  

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