Amanda Adams, CPA, tax partner, joined Blazek & Vetterling in 2003 and became a partner of the firm in 2011. Ms. Adams currently serves a broad range of nonprofit clients including social service agencies, civic, business, and cultural organizations, private foundations, and health-care related organizations. In 2007, she co-authored an article entitled “Transfers Between Private Foundations” that appeared in Trusts & Estates magazine. In 2013, she co-authored an article entitled “The Death of Sudden Tipping” that appeared in Taxation of Exempts magazine. She has also co-authored (with Jody Blazek) Revised Form 990: A Line-by-Line Preparation Guide (2009) and Tax Planning and Compliance for Tax-Exempt Organizations (2012). Ms. Adams has presented seminars on nonprofit tax issues for the Houston Chapter of CPAs, Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, South Texas College of Law, and many others. In 2011, she wrote questions about nonprofit and governmental accounting that were selected for use in the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the Uniform CPA Examination. Ms. Adams received her Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1999, and her Master’s of Accountancy degree from The University of Houston in 2009. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and an associate member of the AICPA’s Exempt Organizations Tax Technical Resource Panel. Ms. Adams is also a member of The Woman’s Club of Houston.
Melissa Bank Stepno is the consulting manager for Target Analytics, a division of Blackbaud, Inc., where she is responsible for managing a team of consultants and consulting services related to strategic implementation of data analytics projects. Prior to assuming her current role in 2014, she served as a consultant at Target Analytics for nine years. Her areas of focus included the impact high net worth philanthropy on major giving programs and on helping organizations develop effective research and prospect management operations. Ms. Bank Stepno has also worked for both Boston University and Boston Ballet and has served on the boards of NEDRA, AFP’s Northern New England Chapter and Brandeis University’s Alumni Association. She received her B.A. from Brandeis University and masters’ degrees in arts administration and higher education administration from Boston University.
Taryn Baranowski is the Director of Communications for the YMCA of Greater Houston, the third-largest YMCA in the county. At the Y, Ms. Baranowski directs all internal and external communications including strategic planning, collateral production, media relations and nonprofit messaging. Prior to joining the team at the Y, she served as the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for Neighborhood Centers Inc. Ms. Baranowski has previous nonprofit marketing and development experience with agencies focused on foster care, affordable housing and homelessness. She has a BA in Communication from the University of St. Thomas and an MA is Communication Studies from Marquette University. She works as an adjunct instructor at the University of St. Thomas and is a member of IABC and PRSA.
Leslie A. Berardo, CPA, is a partner at Carr Riggs & Ingram, LLC (CRI) and has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting. Before joining GD&D, she was a principal with another local Houston firm where she headed up the governmental and nonprofit audit practice. Her audit experience covers a variety of nonprofit organizations and governmental entities including health and welfare organizations, private foundations, community college, special districts and municipalities. Ms. Berardo is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Joshua M. Birkholz is a principal at Bentz Whaley Flessner, where he oversees specialty consulting services. His team includes experts in development operations, prospect development, social media, constituent engagement and analytics. Mr. Birkholz is founder of the BWF analytics division, DonorCast. He has built data mining programs and ushered organizational change for leading nonprofits in higher education, healthcare, the arts, advocacy and social service sectors throughout the United States and beyond. He is widely regarded as a leading innovator in 21st-century development strategies and is the author of the sought-after book, Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to Guide Strategy. Mr. Birkholz holds a BA from Concordia University-St. Paul and an MA in nonprofits arts and cultural management from St. Mary's University of Minnesota.
Jody Blazek, CPA, is a partner at Blazek & Vetterling, a Houston accounting firm focusing on tax and financial services for tax-exempt organizations. Her concentration on nonprofits began in 1969 when she advised clients about the Tax Reform Act that completely revamped the taxation of charities and created private foundations. From 1972 to 1981, she gained nonprofit management experience as treasurer of the Menil Interests where she worked with John and Dominique de Menil to plan the Menil Collection, The Rothko Chapel and other projects of the Menil Foundation. She reentered public practice in 1981 to found the firm she now serves. She is past-chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Tax-Exempt Organizations Resource Panel and worked on the Panel for the Nonprofit Sector report to Congress. She is author of six books in the Wiley Nonprofit Series, a frequent speaker on nonprofit issues and a member of several nonprofit boards. She holds a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin.
Christopher Cannon, CFRE, is Zuri Group’s president of strategic services. His areas of expertise include fundraising strategy and systems, staff and resource management, database management, business intelligence and data reporting, database conversion projects, gift and data processing and technology needs. Prior to joining Zuri Group, Mr. Cannon was a managing associate at Bentz Whaley Flessner, where he provided strategic counsel on database systems, advancement operations and fundraising strategy. He has led fundraising operations and campaign strategy at Saint Louis University, Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Science Center. He has been a featured speaker at CASE, APRA, AFP, and other conferences and has written articles for AFP's Advancing Philanthropy, APRA's Connections and AHP's Journal. His book, "An Executive's Guide to Fundraising Operations" (Wiley 2011), is the industry resource for maximizing ROI from operations. Mr. Cannon holds a Master of Arts from The University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts from Truman State University.
Lisa M. Chmiola, CFRE, is the director of major gifts and planned giving at St. Agnes Academy, a Catholic college preparatory girls’ school in Houston, Texas. She is responsible for transformational fundraising, particularly related to capital campaigns and the 1906 Society for legacy donors. Previously she served as director of advancement for the University of Houston College of Technology, where she oversaw fundraising, alumni relations, marketing and communications efforts. She was part of a task force in 2009 to develop the college’s social media sites, strategy and policies. She has presented several times locally, nationally and internationally on fundraising and social media, and was responsible for the AFP Houston chapter’s social media site development. She is a certified AFP Master Trainer and an official member of the AFPeeps, a flock of volunteers dedicated to spreading the word about AFP and the International Conference on a variety of social media outlets. She serves on the AFP International Collegiate Chapter Support subcommittee, and the task force that coordinates the annual National Philanthropy Day Honors event. She currently serves on the Planned Giving Council of Houston board as president-elect. Lisa’s 14 years of development experience also includes fundraising for the American Heart Association and the City of Lake Charles, Louisiana. In addition to a bachelor’s in journalism at UH, she earned a master’s in public relations from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Lisa is also a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston, and a graduate of Leadership Houston’s Class XXIX and the Center for Houston's Future LeadershipNEXT program.
Muffin Clark has more than 30 years of experience with nonprofit organizations serving children and has served as a board member, volunteer, consultant and executive director. She is the 2009 recipient of the Heart of Hope award for outstanding community service and activism on behalf of children. During her tenure as the director of patient relations and volunteer services for Texas Children's Hospital, Ms. Clark was recognized with the prestigious Joan Waite Hanlon award as the Outstanding Volunteer Administrator in the city of Houston. From 2000-2002, she served in a consulting position as the interim executive director for Bo's Place and returned to Bo's Place in 2004 as executive director for three years. She serves or has served as a member of the board of directors of more than 35 different organizations in Houston, the state of Texas and nationally. Now retired, Ms. Clark remains active in the community serving as a member of the boards of directors of several organizations. She is an instructor in the Leadership Institute of Nonprofit Executives and continues to consult with nonprofit organizations needing assistance.
Michael Delzotti, CFRE, CSPG, is director of philanthropic resources for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Previously, he served as director of development and team lead for Rice University and chief development officer of the Houston Food Bank. In addition to being past president of AFP's – Greater Houston Chapter, he is a member of AFP International's Political Action Committee Board, where he serves as a member of their Committee on Directorship (2012-2013) and chair of their U.S. Government Relations Committee. Mr. Delzotti holds a BA in philosophy and sociology.
Sherrie Dodson is the director of Prospect Development at Baylor University, where she directs prospect research, prospect management and data analytics. She has developed and implemented predictive models in the areas of annual fund and major gifts as well as collaborating in the establishment and implementation of a prospect management tracking and reporting system. Prior to joining Baylor University, Ms. Dodson worked in the for-profit sector where she was responsible for the statistical and financial analysis of key financial components. In this capacity, she built new mathematical and statistical models to aid in cost and budget forecasting. Ms. Dodson earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Mobile College, Master of Arts in Mathematics from University of Louisville, and Master of Arts in Statistics from Baylor University.
Ryan Dolibois is currently the executive director of advancement at Episcopal High School. His 17-year background in education includes teaching, fundraising, strategic planning, and executive leadership in both public and private schools. He began his career in a Houston inner-city elementary school as a Teach for America corps member, where he was named first year Teacher of the Year for the state of Texas. For a decade, he helped lead the growth of YES Prep Public Schools, a Houston charter school system, raising more than $80 million for its expansion. At Episcopal High School, he manages an ambitious capital campaign and leads the school's admissions, communications, and development efforts. He and his wife are active volunteers in the community. He currently serves as an elder at Christ the King Presbyterian Church and is a member of the Yellowstone Academy Board of Trustees. Mr. Dolibois is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.
Mary Donnelly Jackson has been professionally managing volunteers for twenty-two years. Mary is currently the program director for the Department of Volunteer Services, Division of Institutional Advancement, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She has been with MD Anderson since 1999. Previously, she recruited and managed volunteers for Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas and the Beaumont Main Street program, a program of the Texas Historical Commission. Mary completed her B.A. degree in speech communications with a minor in journalism from Texas A&M University in 1992. Mary has been an active volunteer in the community with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Trinity Family Alliance, Ronald McDonald House, Texas Children’s Hospital, Children’s Museum of Houston, Museum of Natural Science, St. Michael’s Catholic Church and the Junior League of Houston. She also serves as an Anderson Ambassador at MD Anderson. She is a member of Leadership Beaumont and Leadership Houston. Mary was selected to receive the MD Anderson Public Affairs Achievement Award in 2007 and the MD Anderson Volunteer Services Quarterly Performance Award in December 2003 and December 2009.
Mary Doorley, ACFRE (Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive) has been a capital campaign consultant for more than 20 years. She has planned and directed dozens of feasibility studies and major gift campaigns for social service, arts, educational, and health care organizations. She began her career with the consulting firm of Ketchum, Inc. In 1995, she established Doorley and Associates, an independent consulting practice serving New England. In 2009, Mary was awarded the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) highest professional certification, the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE). The ACFRE program is the most rigorous certification process available to professional fundraisers.
Scott Fortnum is executive director of The Living City Foundation. A professional fundraiser since 1990, he served as the CDO for Saint Elizabeth Foundation, VP Development for the ALS Society of Canada and as the national development director with Ducks Unlimited Canada. Scott has also spent time as a consultant as vice president with DVA Navion and he was the first executive director of the Foundation of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. Mr. Fortnum has been an instructor at a number of colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. He is the chair of Association of Fundraising Professionals’ International Awards Committee and a member of the ethics committee of the Greater Toronto Chapter. A frequent speaker throughout Canada and the United States, Mr. Fortnum was the first Canadian to earn a master of arts degree in philanthropy and development from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, has held the CFRE designation continuously since 1995, and became the 92nd person to earn the ACFRE designation in 2011 joining the ACFRE Certification Board in 2014. He is also a trained auctioneer and calls bids at charity auctions throughout Canada. As a volunteer, he serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity, Greater Toronto Chapter and Ducks Unlimited Barrie Chapter.
Kathy Fountain, CPA, CGMA, has been a CPA for 35 years and has experience working in public accounting, manufacturing and broadcasting. In 2011, Ms. Fountain was named one of the year's most distinguished CFO's for a Charitable Organization by the Houston Business Journal.
Melissa Garlington has 26 years of leadership experience within the nonprofit sector with her last role being the vice president of development at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston (BGCGH). During her time there, she was responsible for all aspects of fundraising and special events including managing a staff of five. Prior to joining BGCGH, she spent over five years as the director of development for the Children’s Museum of Houston, more than five years as the senior director for the Memorial Hermann Foundation at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and more than 14 years serving in multiple positions at Houston’s Ronald McDonald House.
Garlington is a graduate of St. Agnes Academy and holds a BS in human development and family studies from the College of Human Science at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. She was recognized by Texas Tech University as a Distinguished Alumni from the College of Human Sciences in 2002.
Garlington holds the distinction of being a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2002.
She served as an active member of the Junior League of Houston for 20 years, recently becoming a sustaining member and currently serving as a Sustaining Charity Ball Underwriting Committee Member. The Junior League of Houston honored Garlington in 2013 with the Sara Houstoun Lindsey Award,the top volunteer honor for an active member. She is also an active member of the Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club, currently serving as the Houston recruitment chairman.
Terri Golas is a native Houstonian whose background includes 25 years in branding, strategic marketing and business development for some of the world’s best companies. She was director of worldwide marketing and strategic planning for Compaq, director of brand management at BMC Software, and manager of advertising and marketing programs for MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she led development of the award-winning “Making Cancer History®” campaign. Ms. Golas now applies the skills and experience gained from her corporate experience to helping arts organizations and nonprofits achieve the business success necessary to fulfill their missions. She was executive director / general manager of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra for six seasons, and is now a management/marketing consultant and adjunct professor in the University of Houston M.A. Program in arts leadership. She is on the board of directors of Dance Source Houston, advisory boards of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and Arts+Culture Magazine, and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Ms. Golas holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Houston and an MBA from University of St. Thomas.
Kate Goldberg is the Director of Advancement Services for Washington College. In this role for the past ten years, she has served as the chief information officer for the Office of College Advancement at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, providing strategic leadership to create and manage an effective infrastructure to support the College’s fundraising and alumni relations efforts.
In 2013, Ms. Goldberg was a member of the inaugural group of participants in the Fundraising Operations Certification Capstone. She received her Bachelors Degrees in Mathematical Biology from Randolph-Macon Woman's College. She is currently enrolled in the Data Analytics Masters Program at University of Maryland University College and will graduate in May 2016. She is a chapter registrar with the Daughters of the American Revolution and serves as a Chapter Chair for her alma mater.
Laurie Gutierrez, audit partner, joined Blazek & Vetterling in 2003 and became a partner of the firm in 2008. She began her accounting career with Ernst & Young where she spent eight years serving healthcare and nonprofit clients. In that capacity she participated in the audits of hospitals, long-term care organizations, independent practice associations, and other health care related organizations. She subsequently spent six years in health care management. Her health care management experience includes approximately 2 years as Chief Financial Officer of PowerBrief, Inc. and its predecessor Integrated Orthopaedics and 4 years as controller of Memorial Sisters of Charity Health Plans. In addition to the overall direction and operations of the finance departments, she was responsible for financial reporting, regulatory reporting, and compliance monitoring. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in 1988. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Society of CPA’s, and the Houston Chapter of CPA’s. Laurie is President of The Parish School Board of Directors and serves on the finance committee. Laurie serves on the Board of Directors and Finance Committee and is a past-president The Women’s Home.
Ronnie Hagerty, Ph.D.,CFRE, assistant vice president, community relations, for the United Way of Greater Houston, is responsible for community outreach initiatives including the Nonprofit Connec- tion, 2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE Information and Referral Services and Project Blueprint. Hagerty serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals/Houston Chapter, the Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries/ACAM, and ESCAPE Family Resource Center. She has been appoint-ed by the State of Texas to serve as a board member for the OneStar National Service Commission. Prior to her transition to the nonprofit sector, Hagerty was a consultant with New York and Houston advertis-ing and marketing firms. Hagerty holds a B.A. in Journalism from St. Mary’s College/Notre Dame; an M.B.A from the University of Houston Graduate School of Business; a doctoral degree from Antioch University; and is credentialed as a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
Dr. Jan Hewitt, Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL), teaches engineering graduate students how to write and speak clearly and persuasively about their research. They learn how to explain complex material to a range of audiences, from expert to those not in their field of research. For many years Dr. Hewitt has also taught courses and workshops for Continuing Studies. She holds a master's degree in English from the University of Michigan, as well as a master's degree in history and a PhD in English from Rice University.
Emily Hilber has worked in higher education advancement for over nine years, the last five of which were in the Rice Annual Fund at Rice University in Houston, TX. She is currently the director of the Annual Fund, overseeing a staff of 16 class officers and direct marketers. Prior to serving as the director, Emily founded the Rice Annual Fund Student Initiative (RAFSI) with the help of several capable undergraduates who wished to make an impact at the university, and led the Rice young alumni giving program, increasing the number of leadership donors and volunteers throughout her tenure. Prior to joining Rice University, Emily was an associate director in the Lafayette College Annual Fund in Easton, PA. Emily became a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in December 2012 and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton University in 2006. Like many fundraising professionals, her beloved work as a student Telefund caller at her alma mater led to a career in development.
Alyssa Hill, CPA, is a partner at Carr Riggs & Ingram, LLC (CRI) and has more than 15 years of experience in public accounting. She has significant nonprofit and governmental audit experience and has served a variety of clients in the manufacturing industry. Ms. Hill graduated from Texas A&M University.
Mimi Holt, audit partner, joined Blazek & Vetterling in 1994 and became a partner of the firm in 2007. She began her accounting career with PriceWaterhouse Coopers where she spent approximately five years and was an audit manager serving a variety of clients including non-profit organizations. Before joining Price Waterhouse, Ms. Holt spent three years as business manager and controller of University of St. Thomas where she supervised the accounting and personnel functions. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from the University of St. Thomas in 1986. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Texas Society of CPA’s, and the Houston Chapter of CPA’s. Ms. Holt serves on the audit committee of Catholic Charities USA.
Kathy Howrigan is a consultant at Marts & Lundy. She works with nonprofit clients across all sectors on strategically implementing analytics projects including constituent surveys, predictive modeling, annual giving and campaign feasibility projects. She also provides consulting services for annual giving programs. Prior to joining Marts & Lundy, she was director for the Saint Michael’s Fund and for advancement services at St. Michael’s College, Vermont. She previously worked at Dartmouth College for seven years, rising from director of prospect management to director of marketing and analysis for the Dartmouth College Fund. As a private consultant, she has provided business analysis services to Columbia University, Tufts University and Rice University. She has worked as an analyst in both the nonprofit and for-profit markets for more than 15 years.
Sheridan Joslin is a consultant at Dini Spheris. She brings experience in major gift fundraising, campaign planning, volunteer engagement and personnel management from a variety of environments including higher education, the arts and health care. Her professional background includes upper-level development leadership roles with Texas Children's Hospital and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Ms. Joslin holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma in theatre performance with an emphasis in arts management and a minor in business and legal studies.
Kaiti Kling has 25 years of experience as a professional fundraiser. She is the senior director for principal giving at Baylor College of Medicine, where she has worked for over 10 years. Kaiti was an integral part of BCM’s ten-year, $1 billion, Best Minds Best Medicine campaign, which successfully concluded in 2013. Kaiti also served as a regional field officer during Rice University’s Next Century Campaign, and as Chief Development Officer at San Antonio Academy. Kaiti is a graduate of Trinity University, where she was a student fundraiser, and holds an MBA from Texas A&M University.
Diane Korb is a metrics analyst in the development office at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she has served for seven years as an analyst and previously as a prospect researcher. Prior to UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, she was a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers focusing on business process improvements in the customer relationship management solutions area. Ms. Korb is a graduate of Texas A&M University and an alumna of Americorps*VISTA.
Megan Kromer, PhD, consults with foundations and nonprofit service agencies in the areas of program evaluation, program development and organizational effectiveness. She leads the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation's multi-million dollar initiative focused on early childhood development, Precious Minds, New Connections. She has toured the southwest for the Conference of Southwest Foundations speaking on program evaluation to private and community foundations. Dr. Kromer previously served as managing director of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation and was involved in grant making in a wide variety of areas, including health and human services, art, museums, libraries and wildlife protection. She also has designed research and evaluation studies, collected and analyzed data, and helped organizations use information for sound decision making. She has taught statistics, research methods, psychometrics and program evaluation at The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Kromer holds a BA in mathematics and an MS in experimental psychology from Trinity University, a PhD in educational psychology with a specialization in statistics and research methods, and an Executive MBA degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio. She has also completed the Executive Program for Leaders in Philanthropy at Stanford University.
Rebecca Lamb is a consultant with the nonprofit fundraising firm, Dini Spheris. Ms. Lamb’s development background is in prospect research and analysis. During Rice University’s $1 billion Centennial Campaign, she partnered with development officers to not only provide an objective view, but to serve as counterpart with which they could strategize. While at her alma mater, she also organized and managed the Rice Centennial Ambassadors Program, an alumni engagement initiative. Working on Houston Grand Opera’s comprehensive $165 million campaign, the largest one undertaken by an arts organization in Houston, she gained valuable insight into grant writing, campaign management, donor cultivation and stewardship. Ms. Lamb also enjoys sharing her knowledge with the next generation of nonprofit leaders through the University of Houston’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Greater Houston Chapter. Ms. Lamb holds a BA in English from Rice University and a Certified Fund Raising Executive credential.
Bond T. Lammey is a senior associate at Bentz Whaley Flessner specializing in prospect development. Ms. Lammey’s experience ranges from higher education to academic medicine, large and small social service agencies, and national and local member/cause organizations. She is accomplished in implementing prospect management processes, conducting proactive prospect identification, and establishing comprehensive prospect development programs. Prior to joining BWF, Ms. Lammey led prospect research efforts at the University of Chicago, where she oversaw the central prospect research team and developed integrated strategies with prospect management, analytics, corporate and foundation relations research. Ms. Lammey has also worked in development at Loyola University Health System, Association House of Chicago, and Teen Living Programs. Ms. Lammey received her BA in sociology and her Masters of Management in Nonprofit Administration, both from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. She is on the board of APRA International and has presented over forty times at CASE, SunGard, ADRP, and APRA conferences.
Angela Lane, CFRE, is the chief development officer at Houston Ballet. Prior to this position, she worked at Houston Grand Opera as director of individual giving, and she worked at American National Red Cross in support of disaster fundraising, major gifts and regional fundraising. She holds an MA in philanthropic studies from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis and an MA in public communication from American University.
Holly Lang is a consultant at Dini Spheris. She is well-versed in the important operations and best practices of annual fund, direct mail, and donor recruitment and retention programs as well as program evaluation and strategic statistical analysis. An alumna of Rice University, she began her career in the nonprofit sector at her alma mater with a focus on young alumni annual giving. She has also gained experience in corporate and foundation grant writing, membership management and data manipulation. Ms. Williams volunteers for Rice University and The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, and she serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Houston Chapter.
Michael Larson has 14 years of experience working with boards, executive teams, and operational groups to facilitate people-centered systems that think strategically, make decisions with compassion and clarity and continuously self-evaluate to respond to changes. He is known for creating programs that focus on connecting stakeholders with an organization at a deep level, exploring the links between why the organization exists and a stakeholder’s choice to invest. Mr. Larson focuses on inclusive discovery, strategic planning, deliberate decision making, and honest evaluation of results.
Lori Hood Lawson utilizes her years of institutional development research experience to help organizations turn data into actionable fundraising intelligence. As Co-Founder and CEO of WorkingPhilanthropy.com, she helps to keep the nonprofit sector current in the latest issues and trends. She has also served as the Group Director of Fundraising Intelligence for DonorTrends, where she was instrumental in creating an exact match screening service for professional biographies and charitable contributions for the nonprofit community.
Ms. Lawson is a member of the Membership Committee and the Ethics Committee for the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement International (APRA) and has served on the board of the Florida chapter of APRA, most recently as President and Director-at-Large. She is also a member of the Prospect Development Best Practices Committee for the Association of Advancement Services Professionals. She holds a master’s degree from The Florida State University School of Information and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University.
Jackie Martin is principal of J S Martin Associates, LP, providing consulting services in the areas of development and fundraising, strategic collaboration and strengthening corporate cultures. Prior to starting her consulting business in 2005, she served as president of United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, the largest charitable giving organization in the Houston area. Ms. Martin has devoted more than 30 years to serving the community professionally and personally in human services. She serves on the board of Discovery Green Park Conservancy and is a member of the Greater Houston Partnership. She also serves on the Houston Regional Board of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and the Women's Advisory Board of Vinson & Elkins. In 2003, Ms. Martin was recognized as executive communicator of the year by the Houston Business Journal and International Association of Business Communicators, Houston Chapter. She attended Tennessee State University and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in sociology from Texas Southern University.
Ali R. McLane is currently the chief consultant of McLane Consulting since spring 2016. Before her transition, she was the director of prospect management and research at the University of Houston in April 2015, after spending 16 years as a prospect development consultant. Most recently she was a senior associate in the development operations practice of Bentz Whaley Flessner. In her 16 years of consulting, including her ten years as a developer for Prospect Information Network (P!N), she has provided prospect development counsel to more than 600 clients representing every nonprofit sector. Her areas of specialty include database management, prospect screening, identification, research and relationship management. Ms. McLane is a leading innovator in applying software technologies and “back-room” strategies to advance the philanthropic agenda for nonprofits of all scopes and sizes. She is the chair of the fundraising operations certification program at Rice University Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, as well as, teaching the prospect research and donor relations classes and serves as a mentor to the students working toward the certification. Before her years as a prospect development consultant, she enjoyed a career at both public and private educational institutions. She was a development researcher at Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and The University of Tulsa. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications studies from Texas Tech University. In 2015 she joined the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication Advisory Board. Ali is a co-founder, past president, and board member of the Southwest Chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers (APRA). Ali is past president of APRA of Greater Houston and is a charter member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, serving on their prospect development best practices committee. Ms. McLane is a volunteer with APRA International, serving on the 2010 Nominating committee and the 2011 APRA International Conference Curriculum Planning Committee, 2013 on-line education committee. She is a frequent conference presenter, including APRA, AFP, CASE, AHP and specialized fundraising organizations.
Nicole S. McWhorter, CFRE, is a consultant at Dini Spheris and has expertise in marketing, communications and public relations. Her background includes work in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, focusing on the public and market perception of businesses and organizations. She volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Lubbock, Texas, the Center for Child Protection in Austin, Texas, and Sheltering Arms Senior Services in Houston, Texas. Ms. McWhorter holds a double major in advertising and public relations and a double minor in marketing and communication studies from Texas Tech University.
Debbie Moffett has more than 20 years of experience as a finance executive in both public and private companies. After retirement from the corporate sector, she completed the Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives certification program from the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University and began her work in the nonprofit sector. She held the position of senior partnership development officer with OneStar Foundation from 2010 until 2013 and vice president for strategic planning with Family Services of Greater Houston from 2008 until 2010. Ms. Moffett has extensive experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, financial analysis, investor relations, strategic planning, grant writing and partnership development.
Gina Murphy is a positive and enthusiastic nonprofit professional with thirteen years of increasing responsibility and experience in the design, implementation, support, and evaluation of volunteer management systems. She is currently the Volunteer Experience Director at the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. In this capacity she supervises and provides professional development opportunities for volunteers and staff; curriculum and program development for adults and youth; budget development, volunteer management and development; risk management, and strategic planning. She also holds a Certificate with Distinction in Nonprofit Management from Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.
Anne Murphy, CFRE, is principal and partner of Dini Spheris. She has more than 25 years of experience as a development professional, capital campaign manager and leadership training consultant. Ms. Murphy has served as executive director of University Advancement for the University of Houston Downtown and director of Development for the University of Houston Foundation and the Gulf Coast March of Dimes. Her national fundraising experience includes positions with Mary Baldwin College, the Girl Scouts of the USA, and the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation Campaign. She has served on the boards of Stephens College, The Chinquapin School, Downtown Historic District, the Chicano Family Center, the NSFRE Foundation Board and the Greater Houston Chapter of the NSFRE, now the Association for Fundraising Professionals, where she also served as president. She holds a master's degree in fundraising management from the New School University.
Kelli Newman brings 30 years of communication experience to her position as president of Newman & Newman, where her responsibilities center on formulating messaging strategies, developing communication plans and producing communiation tools for both nonprofit and for-profit clients. Prior to joining Newman & Newman in 1996, she spent 11 years as in-house public relations counsel for Baylor College of Medicine (including the DeBakey Heart Center) and Texas Children’s Hospital. In 2012, Ms. Newman was invited to begin serving as an instructor for Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership after co-developing curriculum for the course on Communications for Nonprofits. Her work has received numerous awards, including the Grand Excalibur, PRSA Houston’s highest recognition of professional standards. Accredited in 1989 by the Public Relations Society of America, Ms. Newman has published several articles regarding public relations strategies, electronic media, and the experience advantage of online video. Her article, “Conveying the Essence of Your Organization” appeared in the fall 2014 issue of the Association of Fundraising Professional’s “Advancing Philanthropy” magazine.
Heather Patrick is the chief executive officer of HSP Services, LLC, a consulting firm that focuses on helping organizations increase revenue, build sustainability, maximize talent and capitalize on strategic partnerships. Ms. Patrick has spent more than fifteen years in the nonprofit community both as a volunteer and nonprofit executive, serving at the local, regional and national levels of healthcare nonprofits focused on impact. In previous roles, Heather has been responsible for the design and implementation of an entire community engagement plan for a $10 million organization, development and execution of best practices for 120 Affiliates, with revenues of more than $100 million, ranging from fundraising to structure to governance, leading the development and management of community grants program portfolio that spans 2000 organizations and makes investments of $95M annually, and developing the strategy for restructuring a field network to leverage resources and improve efficiencies. In August of 2009 she was selected to participate in the Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives at Rice University. She is also a part of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Host Committee for the 2016 Alliance Management Institute, serves as the chair of the Delta Gamma Foundation Richard D. Shirk Family Lectureship in Healthcare Values and Ethics at the University of Houston, was a member of the 2012 Community-Campus Partnerships for Health Conference planning committee, participates on the Advisory Council for the Houston Delta Gamma Foundation, and served on the Advisory Council for the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities Center for Collaborative Leadership. Ms. Patrick earned her B.B.A. from the University of Houston.
Michael Pawson, PhD is CFO at Greater Houston Community Foundation. He previously served as CFO at Genesys Works, Interim CFO at TUTS, CFO at the Houston Symphony, and as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company (and maintains an ongoing relationship with McKinsey). He is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants and holds the CMA designation. He has been awarded the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Leadership award and is a former board member of the Education Foundation of Harris County. Dr. Pawson holds a BS in chemical engineering and economics from Caltech and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Jill Pranger, founder and president of Pranger Philanthropic, has 30 years of professional fundraising and not-for-profit management experience. Since founding the business in 2003, Jill has worked with organizations across the Northeast region. Additionally, Ms. Pranger is an internationally sought-after trainer and keynote presenter in the areas of fundraising, the not-for-profit sector, organizational management and development, philanthropy, business networking, and working with volunteers. In 2006, Ms. Pranger earned her Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) designation, an advanced certification held by only 100 people in the world. Jill is an Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Master Teacher and was the recipient of the 2006 Fundraising Executive of the Year Award from the AFP Genesee Valley Chapter, Rochester, New York. As a volunteer, she serves on the ACFRE Certification Board and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy. She is a past board member of AFP International, AFP Great Smoky Mountain Chapter, Big Brothers / Big Sisters of Greater Rochester, and Lilac City Toastmasters. She is past president of the AFP Genesee Valley Chapter, the Junior League of Rochester, and Rochester Hearing and Speech Center, and has 35 years of continuing volunteer service with the American Red Cross. Prior to establishing Pranger Philanthropic, Ms. Pranger worked as a fundraising professional with the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, Highland Hospital Foundation, Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region, Seneca Park Zoo Society, and National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
Kelly Quin is senior director of constituent strategy for Rice University. She has 17 years experience in university administration, including five years in finance and 12 years in development. She has served as a board member and officer of a local nonprofit. Ms. Quin holds a BA in history and MBA in finance and marketing.
Jennifer Reeves, CFRE, is a seasoned development professional with more than 18 years of experience with progressively responsible roles in large multi-part academic- and health-related institutions as well as leadership positions in social service-based nonprofits and private K-12 education. Her experience includes a proven track record of successful major gift fundraising including demonstrated success in identifying, personally cultivating, soliciting and closing leadership-level gifts. Previously, she served as vice president of advancement for Family Services of Greater Houston (Family Houston) and as a major gifts officer for the Houston Food Bank, the nation’s largest food bank and member of Feeding America. Ms. Reeves is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, with an emphasis in English and psychology. She is a longtime member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and holds CFRE certification. She currently serves as senior philanthropic advisor for St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Hospital/ALSAC.
Ronald J. Schiller is the Founding Partner of the Aspen Leadership Group and the Chief Development Officer of Career Network. Mr. Schiller is a nationally recognized advisor to presidents, board members, and other leaders in social profit organizations. Since 2011, he has focused his attention on executive search and strategic consulting. He has held leadership positions in seven educational and cultural institutions, including the University of Chicago, where he led a team of more than 450 that completed a $2.3 billion campaign and facilitated two nine-figure gifts. He serves on the faculty of the annual CASE conference, "Inspiring the Largest Gifts of a Lifetime" and serves as co-chair of CASE's Winter Institute for Chief Development Officers. His book, "The Chief Development Officer: Beyond Fundraising," was published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2013. Mr. Schiller is a member of the Cornell University Council, the Cornell University Trustees Glee Club Advisory Council. He also serves on the boards of directors of The Buddy Program, the American Friends of Covent Garden and the Salt Bay Chamberfest. He has previously served on the boards of Chicago's Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
Kristen Schlatre recently transitioned to serve as the Associate Director of the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rice University in the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. In this capacity she is responsible for ensuring the continued quality and growth of professional development courses as well as increasing the certificate program participation. Her career in the nonprofit sector began with an internship as part of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance program at the University of Houston. She taught elementary school as a Teach For America Corps member in South Louisiana after earning a BBA in Marketing. She also holds a MPA in Nonprofit Management and MA in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University through the Center on Philanthropy.
Clint Shipp, PhD,is director of advancement services at the Dallas Zoological Society. Previously, he held a similar positions Trinity University and the University of North Texas. He has been involved in philanthropy and community service for more than a decade. He has experience fundraising and operating nonprofit organizations. Dr. Shipp also teaches in the master's degree program in public administration at The University of Texas at San Antonio and is a frequent speaker at fundraising conferences. He holds a PhD in public affairs from The University of Texas at Dallas, a master's of public affairs and a bachelor's in economics and finance.
Melissa Simon, MSW, CFRE is the director of development at Boys and Girls Country of Houston, Inc. She has 25 years of experience in the social service sector, 14 of which she has dedicated to resource development for nonprofits. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Houston and a bachelor of science degree from Sam Houston State University. Before receiving her MSW and transitioning into nonprofit management and development, Melissa was a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, working with at risk youth in alternative schools, probation departments, and locked facilities. Since that time, she has focused on fundraising and capacity building for nonprofit social service agencies. She considers herself a generalist and particularly loves sharing her knowledge and experience by leading teams, mentoring young professionals and teaching. Ms. Simon is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and sits on the board of directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Houston Chapter.
Marianita Snodgrass is an executive coach, specializing in fundraising assessments, strategic plans, staff recruitment and building strengths-based advancement managers and teams for organizations. She worked in the public relations department for the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, became a capital campaign assistant at Saint Agnes Academy, and served as director of brand management and as director of development-capital campaign for the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Houston Chapter, and participated in its Strategic Advance Professionals Focus Group and served on the task team for membership for its 2008 Strategic Plan. Ms. Snodgrass has presented at the AFP's Ask the Experts conferences covering career building, donor stewardship, job hunting and strength-based leadership and team building. She serves on the Saint Agnes Academy Emeritus Advisory Council. She holds a BA in journalism from Texas A&M University with a minor in marketing and Spanish. She earned an EmPower Coaching Tools Fundamentals certificate from the University of Houston and is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach.
Joe Synan is a leadership and strategic planning consultant and group process facilitator who has served organizations and teams in the corporate, nonprofit and public sectors. He is founder and president of Leadingwell Associates, a consulting practice, and has served as a consultant to a number of arts organizations, assisting them in planning for the future, advising them regarding direction and leadership, and helping build their governing boards. Mr. Synan is past president of the American Leadership Forum, a national nonprofit organization which brings together diverse senior leaders in communities across the country, currently serves the organization as a faculty member and was board chair of the organization and instrumental in guiding it into an expansion mode. He co-founded Change Management Associates, a Houston firm which specialized in helping companies down-size and helping people affected by the down-sizing to continue their careers. He has 17 years of experience in the energy industry with Gulf Oil and has held executive positions in information resources, research and development, and strategic planning. Mr. Synan He holds three degrees in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Notre Dame, completed the executive business program at the University of Virginia and holds a master's in theology from the University of St. Thomas.
Nicola Fuentes Toubia, JD, is the founding member of Fuentes Toubia, PLLC, a law firm dedicated solely to the legal and tax issues facing nonprofit organizations. With more than 16 years of experience, she serves a variety of nonprofit clients including religious organizations, nonprofit health care systems, universities, charter schools, private foundations, community development centers and juvenile justice organizations. Ms. Toubia served as co-chair for The University of Texas School of Law's 2011 Nonprofit Organizations Institute. She also served as exempt organizations coordinator for the Gulf Coast TE/GE Council. She has authored numerous articles on tax issues and has had several speaking engagements including ones on corporate governance of nonprofits, political campaign and lobbying rules for charities, structuring innovative programs for nonprofits, the revised Form 990 and other recent developments affecting nonprofits. Ms. Toubia is a member of the Tax Sections of the Texas Bar, the American Bar Association (Exempt Organizations Committee), the District of Columbia Bar Association and the Gulf Coast Tax-Exempt/Governmental Entities Council. She holds a BS from Texas A&M University, a JD from The University of Texas School of Law and a LLM in taxation from the University of Houston Law Center.
Ann Turnbach is president of Ann Turnbach & Associates, a firm specializing in providing organizations with human resource and executive consulting services. She spent 23 years at the Houston Chronicle where she served as personnel director and vice president of human resources. As a result of her success with the Chronicle's programs, all Hearst Newspaper diversity and professional development programs were centralized and added to her area of responsibility. Ms. Turnbach was awarded the John Blodger Diversity Award by the Human Resource Media Association in 2002 and was named Best HR Executive by HR.com in 2005. She holds a bachelor's degree in education from Bloomsburg State College and a certification in human resource management from New York University. She was a participant of the Hearst Management Institute, an executive development program administered by Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business.
David VanLone is director of corporate/foundation relations for the Office of Development and Alumni Relations in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He has 20 years of experience in development, including a previous post as the senior vice president of major gifts for the Great Rivers Affiliate of the American Heart Association, as well as the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, and Southern Methodist University. While at SMU, the university announced and completed the $540 million The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead initiative. Mr. VanLone has served as a fundraising consultant for universities and nonprofits, and as a technical consultant for prospect screening companies. He is co-founder, former president and board member of the Southwest Chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers (APRA) and is a frequent presenter for organizations such as CASE, AHP, AFP, APRA. In 2009, he was presented with the Jonathan Lindsay Award, which recognizes long service and expertise in prospect research. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from St. Bonaventure and an M.B.A. from Syracuse University.
Emily Walsh has more than 10 years of experience in database development and management, prospect development, academic research, and strategic planning and process analysis within higher education and non-profit organizations. She began her development career with the University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center where she helped them launch their first development database. In 2007, she joined the University of Chicago’s Alumni Relations and Development office, moving from Prospect Management Analyst to the position of Senior Director of Prospect Research, Prospect Management, and Analytics in 2011. Ms. Walsh now works for the University of Arizona Foundation as the Senior Director of Development Research & Resources, where she has been since 2011. In her role, she manages the Prospect Research, Prospect Management, Constituent/Alumni Records, and the Applications Training & Reporting Support teams.
She has been an active member of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) since 2007, and has served on the Board since 2014. Ms. Walsh has been a speaker at APRA, CASE, and SunGard conferences, and was the Conference Chair of APRA’s Annual International Conference - Prospect Development 2014. She is an honors graduate of James Madison University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and a graduate of the University of Chicago where she received her Master’s Degree in Social Sciences.
Kay Walther, CPA, is a partner with the firm of Blazek & Vetterling LLP. She specializes in nonprofit accounting and auditing services and currently serves a broad range of nonprofit clients including foundations, social service agencies, civic, business, and cultural organizations, schools, churches, and health-care related organizations in Houston and its surrounding areas. She has more than 20 years of public accounting experience with nonprofit organizations and was previously a manager with Ernst & Young. Ms. Walther is a speaker on technical accounting and management subjects for nonprofits and has presented seminars for The Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rice University, the University of Houston Nonprofit Executive Series, the United Way of Greater Houston and its National Financial Management Forum, Houston Chapter of Certified Public Accountants and the National Society of Fundraising Executives. She serves as board member and past president of The Women's Home. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Houston Chapter of Texas Society of CPAs. Ms. Walther holds a BBA from Texas A&M University.
Leslie C. Wang came to Houston in 2000 as a Teach For America corps member and taught fifth grade at Oates Elementary School. She later attended business school at The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned an MBA focused on nonprofit management. Her goal was simple: to help the people who help other people. After graduate school, she served as a program officer at Houston Endowment, a private philanthropy in the greater Houston area. In that position, she had the privilege of learning about nonprofit organizations in Houston and analyzing the unique strengths that they bring to tackling complex social problems. As a program officer, she developed a strong network among the non-profit and philanthropic community, along with a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that drive the non-profit sector. In January 2016, Ms. Wang launched Honu Advisors, a small consulting practice focused on strengthening the social sector through board development, succession planning and governance reviews.
Carme Williams, CFRE, is executive director of Houston Community College Foundation. She has served as director of development in Major Gifts and in the Central Office as regional director at Rice University. She has worked in development for more than 10 years. Ms. Williams serves as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Houston Chapter board as vice president of Diversity and Community Outreach, chair of the nominating committee for the United Nations Association of Houston board of directors and a board member on two local nonprofits.
Sarah W. Williams is team leader for the analytical solutions group at Marts & Lundy, where she has served on the board of directors since 2009. She works with consultants and clients on data mining and analysis projects, constituent surveys and custom benchmarking projects of all sizes. She previously worked as a strategic communications and research consultant with Shipley & Associates, Inc., and as a special projects consultant with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. She has been an AmeriCorps volunteer and a reporter/researcher for the Congressional Quarterly. Ms. Williams holds a BA from Trinity University and a MPAff from The University of Texas at Austin.
Iska G. Wire, CFRE, a native Houstonian and sixth generation Texan, has been in development for more than 10 years. She is currently senior director of Talent Management & Organizational Development at Rice University in addition to serving as director of development for the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. She has also held fundraising positions at both the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and the University of Houston. She is a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Greater Houston Chapter and earned her CFRE in 2011. She has served on the executive committee of the Girl Scouts Emerald Circle and was a member of Leadership Houston Class XXVIII. Ms. Wire holds a BA in English with minors in geology and environmental studies from Trinity University in San Antonio and an MEd from the University of Houston with a specialization in upper elementary science education.
Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga serves as the CEO at the Holocaust Museum Houston which is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. She is responsible for all museum operations and reports to a 30 member Board of Trustees and a 75 member Board of Advisors.
Her past work experience includes key fundraising positions with the Houston Community College Foundation, Houston Zoo, Inc.; University of Houston System; Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut; Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California; and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She earned her Doctor of Education from the University of Houston in administration and supervision where her dissertation focused on a study of donors who have made online contributions to universities. In addition, she has earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Diego and a Bachelor of Science in finance from San Diego State University.
Dr. Zúñiga is an adjunct lecturer at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service and is also a member of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Executive Women’s Partnership, the Houston Museum District Executive Board, and is a Sr. Fellow, American Leadership Forum Class of XXXIV. She was named in 2013 by Houston Woman Magazine, “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2012.” and in 2016, was awarded by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Houston Chapter the M. Anne Murphy Award for Professional Advancement.