Keynote Speakers during the conference.

FIRST is fortunate that we will have 2 Keynote Speakers at the conference in Nashville. Andrea Avery and our own Bailey Pretak.




Andrea Avery

Andrea Avery is the author of Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano (Pegasus Books), which describes her experiences growing up as an aspiring pianist even after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis at age 12. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Real Simple, The Oxford American, and The Politics of Women's Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, Behavior (Oxford U. Press). She was the winner of Real Simple's 2010 essay contest and a finalist in Glamour magazine's essay contest. She holds a doctorate in education from Arizona State University. She teaches English at Phoenix Country Day School and is an active volunteer with the Arthritis Foundation.

Bailey Pretak

Bailey Pretak, a lifelong member of FIRST and a motivational speaker and performer, grew up with ARCI-lamellar ichthyosis.  Even with being bullied as a child, she has discovered a way to overcome insecurity with confidence and has turned her pain into a purpose.  Her desire is to help others embrace what makes them beautifully unique and to find their value and worth. Part of Bailey's story has been featured on Yahoo and Allure's websites as well as a Snapchat daily story. When she's not speaking, you can find her on stage performing (playing piano, singing, dancing, acting), teaching dance, modeling or traveling.

Conference Dates and Location:
Friday, June 29, 2018 7:00 am - Sunday, July 1, 2018 2:00 pm
Nashville Airport Marriott
600 Marriott Drive
Nashville, TN 37214

Register for Conference

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