2024 Keynote Speaker: Adrian Wood

2024 Opening Plenary: 

Britnee Kinard, SD Gunner Fund

Adrian Wood, PhD

Adrian H. Wood, Ph.D. is a rural Eastern NC mother of four, one with extra special needs. Past preschool teacher, nanny, children’s ski instructor, early interventionist, college professor, early childhood researcher, wife, and full-time mama. Her blog, Tales of an Educated Debutante, is followed by over 350,000 people. In it she offers personal glimpses into a life where satire meets truth, faith meets irony, despair meets joy and this educated debutante escapes the laundry and finds true meaning in graceful transparency. To learn more about Adrian, visit talesofaneducateddebutante.com.

Britnee Kinard

Britnee Kinard, founder and CEO of SD Gunner Fund graduated from MTSU in 2005 with a degree in recording industry business. Britnee left her high profile career in business, to become a full-time caregiver to her husband, Hamilton Kinard, after he suffered life-altering injuries while serving our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On March 15, 2005, Britnee’s husband was critically injured on his tour of duty in Iraq by an IED (improvised explosive device) while on convoy security, resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma for three days. On September 15, 2010, he retired from the United States Army, and Britnee became his full-time caregiver and advocate at 29. In 2010, their son Blayne was born, and he was later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Then their second son Maks was born in 2012, and in 2013 Gunner, their beloved service dog, joined the family. Service dog Gunner changed their lives for the better, supporting her husband with mobility and with his PTSD and TBI diagnosis. However, it was a long arduous road to get their service dog approved by the VA. In June of 2014, Britnee founded the SD Gunner Fund, a nonprofit organization with the mission to assist veterans, children with disabilities, and first responders while inspiring disability awareness through public education and advocacy.

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