2021 Conference Speakers

Speakers aren’t likely to change. But they might.

Bob Burdenski (Conference Co-Chair)

Bob Burdenski is an internationally-recognized annual giving and engagement programs consultant for schools, colleges and universities. Bob is the author of three CASE books: Innovations in Annual GivingTen Departures That Worked, which presents ten U.S. case histories of advanced annual giving strategies; More Innovations in Annual GivingTen Global Departures That Worked, which features case histories from institutions around the world; and Online Innovations in Annual and Regular Giving, Ten Dozen Departures That Worked.  In 2013, Innovations in Annual Giving was published by Fudan University in Shanghai, becoming the first CASE book translated into Chinese.

Bob is a recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple Award for Lifetime Teaching Excellence as ranked by his audiences. He has educated (and entertained) at presentations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, including 20 times on the faculty of the CASE Europe Annual and Regular Giving Conferences and Masterclasses.  He presented CASE’s first-ever annual giving training programs in India, Japan, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia, and he is also a frequent contributor to CASE’s Online Speaker Series on the subject of annual and regular giving.  Bob served for three years as Chair of the CASE Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals, and was named a CASE Laureate in 2019 in appreciation of his years of volunteer service to the profession. Since 2002, Bob has served as the moderator of FundList, the largest fundraising e-mail discussion listserv in the world, with thousands of development professional subscribers.

Margaret Neitzel (Conference Co-Chair)

Margaret is the Director of Annual Giving at Seattle University where she also received her Master of Nonprofit Leadership. During her tenure, she has overhauled the university’s broad-based mail and email campaigns, greatly increasing both revenue and ROI. She also leads a team that has increased unrestricted fund allocations by more than 10% and has achieved multiple years of 40%+ giving day dollar and donor growth. Margaret has been recognized by the Association of Jesuit Advancement Administrators, received the Faculty Stars distinction at the CASE VIII 2019 Conference, and has been published by Giving USA and in the Journal of Education Advancement & Marketing. Margaret holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from University of the Pacific, and prior to joining Seattle University worked in small business marketing and with nonprofits domestically and abroad as a consultant, marketer, and program manager.

Ellen Whitlock Baker

Ellen is the Assistant Vice President, Alumni Engagement at Seattle University.  Adept at creating meaningful and relevant shared learning experiences for multi-dimensional audiences, she is passionate about building authentic relationships across a workplace and the community. Ellen loves thinking about how to use data to help organizations make decisions that drive towards their goals and tell powerful stories about their impact. Previously, Ellen served as Senior Director, Alumni & Stakeholder Engagement at the University of Washington, and as the Director of Information and Evaluation at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at UW. After receiving her Master of Public Administration from the Evans School in 2009, Ellen worked for Shunpike, a nonprofit arts services organization, as its first Program Manager. She received her bachelor’s degree in theatre from Whitman College. Ellen serves on the board of CASE District VIII, and chaired the CASE District VIII conference in 2020.

Correan Barker, MPA

Correan R. Barker is an award-winning nonprofit and advancement leader passionate about creatively leveraging philanthropy to equitably bolster access to education and other services.
With eight years of experience, he has cultivated progressive expertise in development, special events, marketing and communications, donor relations, stewardship and alumni engagement. Correan has become increasingly recognized for his ability to effectively design and implement institutional and cross-divisional strategies in alignment with organizational priorities. As the Director of Strategic Engagement at The Evergreen State College, Correan oversees marketing and communications, alumni engagement, special events, donor relations and annual giving for Advancement and The Evergreen State College Foundation. A firm believer in centering people at the heart of an organization, Correan leverages systems thinking and data-driven processes that evaluate and enhance collaboration and organizational effectiveness. In addition to his leadership at Evergreen, Correan has been a guest speaker and faculty member for the national CASE Special Events in Advancement conference and was recognized by CASE as a 2020 Best of CASE Gold winner for fundraising and special event communications. Most recently, he was a guest speaker for the PNW Engage conference in 2020 and co-chaired the 2021 CASE Special Events in Advancement conference. Correan holds a Master of Public Administration from The Evergreen State College, a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Houston and lives by the motto “Success is inevitable!”

Meagan Bataran

Meagan Bataran is the Director of Development at Oregon Symphony.

Ali Bessee

Ali Bessee is the Director of Individual Giving at Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. She is an experienced development professional who has served 9+ years in nonprofit fundraising. Ali’s expertise includes donor events, digital fundraising including giving days, texting and phone-based fundraising, student philanthropy, direct mail solicitation and stewardship strategy. She previously served as Assistant Director of Annual Giving at Seattle University. Ali earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Washington and a Master of Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University.

Christina Brandel, CFRE, bCRE-Pro

Christina Brandel has a passion for making the world a better place for all and loves a good “why.” After nearly two decades in non-profit and higher education fundraising, she has joined the team at Marketing Communication Resource, Inc. (MCR) to leverage her skills and experience on behalf of MCR clients. She was a first-generation college student who is fiercely committed to providing post-secondary education to those who choose it. She firmly believes that showcasing causes that are meaningful and connect with donors is important work.

Betsy Johnson Brown

Betsy Brown is a professional gratitude giver.
As the Stewardship Director at Swedish Medical Center Foundation, she leads a team responsible for strategic and high-impact donor stewardship, concierge care, facility management, and program development. Wrapped up into that is complex reporting, building strategic internals systems, thought partnership, relationship management, and cross-functional collaborations. Betsy’s background includes many years as a student development professional in higher education at the University of Florida, Cornell University, University of Washington, University of Washington Bothell. Through working in higher education, and sending students off to their lives after graduation, she decided to move into alumni engagement work to be in a space where the relationships built could continue indefinitely.

Ashley Buderus

Ashley Buderus serves as a consultant with Aspen Leadership Group, where she develops outreach strategies to build and refine candidate pools and establishes enduring relationships with ALG candidates in the process. She is an AIRS-certified Diversity and Inclusion Recruiter. Ashley has worked in the field of advancement for over 15 years, most recently serving as the Chief Executive Officer for Quarterly Forum, a non-partisan, not-for-profit leadership organization that educates and empowers Colorado’s most influential community leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Cynthia Cohn

Cynthia Cohn is Director of Annual Giving at Whitman College. Prior to her time at Whitman, Cynthia was phonathon manager at Colorado College, prospect management and research analyst at Boise State University and assistant director of development at University of Colorado Boulder Law School, where she led annual giving efforts. Cynthia began her journey in philanthropy as a student caller and student coordinator at her alma mater, Occidental College. Being data oriented, Cynthia’s professional interests include the intersection between information and philanthropy. She has a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Wyoming.

Colleen Cook

Colleen Cook is the Director of Operations at Vinyl Marketing, where she’s known for making things happen. A true rockstar at keeping the rest of the team on track, her incredible talents are on display every day—from directing operations to client relations, she brings an incredible work ethic and level of intelligence to every challenge that arises.  With a professional background in non-profit leadership, fund development, and marketing, Colleen takes that experience and pairs it with inventive, modern digital marketing strategy to help clients achieve record-breaking results.

Danielle Daugherty Durham

Danielle Daugherty Durham is Director of Alumni & Parent Relations at The College of Idaho. She is an experienced higher education & nonprofit professional who loves working for organizations who want to change the world. Danielle is skilled in donor and alumni relations, email and social media campaigns, event coordinating, and NBC sitcom binge-watching.

Pam Davis

Pam Davis is the Director of Market Intelligence at Publishing Concepts Inc. (PCI), where she oversees B2B marketing and client relations.
Pam previously served as the Vice President of Engagement Strategy at Oklahoma State University Alumni Association. She started her alumni relations career in 2011, where she increased alumni group by 200% as the Director of Chapters, then reached record high membership rates as Senior Director of Engagement and Membership before becoming Vice President of Alumni Engagement in 2015.

Rick Ericson

Rick Ericson is Vice President, Marketing and Development for Holt International Children’s Services. Rick has over 15 years of experience as a fundraising professional, focused on empowering fundraising teams to grow donor pipelines, implement donor-focused strategies and communications, and leverage technology and digital mediums to fuel philanthropic growth. Before becoming vice president of marketing and development at Holt, Rick worked for a decade in higher education advancement, most recently as the director of annual philanthropy at his alma mater, the University of Oregon. Rick is joining us fresh from presenting a session at October’s BBCON and has served as a speaker and panelist at conferences and events for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, PNW Engage Conference and Pacific Northwest Annual Giving Consortium.

Nicholas Harvey

Nick Harvey is the Assistant Director Of Annual Giving – Digital and Phone Campaigns at Western Washington University
. As a student caller for three years Nick has a great understanding of what makes an effective call to university prospects. It also gave him time to reimagine how Western Washington University’s Phonathon could be so much more, and thus the WWU Engagement Center was born when he filled the role of assistant director of annual giving. Changes to the structure of the program, methods of engagement, the ask, and training tweaks have made a positive difference so far for the university he and his student employees love to help support.

Ross Imbler

Ross Imbler, MA, CFRE is the Development Services Manager at the Oregon Humane Society. Ross joined the Oregon Humane Society in September of 2017 as the Annual Giving Manager and transitioned over to Development Services in 2021. In previous roles, Ross worked as the Director of Annual Giving for Lewis & Clark Law School and in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a two-time UAF alumnus with a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Professional Communication and is a recent graduate of the Harvard Business Analytics Program. Ross is the recipient of the 2020 USPS Mailing and Digital Innovation Award (Western Area) and the CASE VIII 2016 Rising Star in Philanthropy. Always innovating, Ross is proud to fill a data-focused niche within fundraising, knowing that the fruits of his work are saving animal lives, every day.

Lauren Jaeger

Lauren Jaeger is Sales Director at Mongoose.
For the past 5 years, Lauren has helped hundreds of institutions discover how to transform their student and alumni engagement strategies with personalized, conversational software. Prior to joining Mongoose, Lauren spent a over a decade working in higher education advancement. Starting as a phonathon caller and student alumni ambassador, she eventually worked as a Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at a small private college in Buffalo, NY.

Hayley Kindall

Hayley Kindall is the Annual Fund Director at the College of Idaho.

Kiki Keating, JD

Kiki Keating is the founder and principal of KikiNetwork, a boutique, global PR firm.
As the founding director of Public and Media Relations at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, she worked from 1998 through 2013 to build awareness and advance the reputation of the Tuck and Dartmouth brands throughout the world. Kiki was integral to the success of Tuck’s top-ten rankings in a variety of publications including Business WeekThe Wall Street JournalThe Financial Times, and The Economist, and she was instrumental in creating over 3,000 press hits a year for the Tuck School. KikiNetwork focuses on a small number of elite clients, bringing them international recognition and advancing their reputations. A former trial attorney, Kiki holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a JD from the University of Maine.

Mike Kochczynski

Mike Kochczynski is Client Success Partner Manager with Mongoose. As a Client Success Partner Manager, Mike specializes in relationship building, helping his clients actually reach their constituents. Mike helps schools improve recruitment, retention, graduation rates and alumni engagement. He also has extensive higher ed experience, serving as an admission counselor at Loyola Maryland and Marketing Manager at Towson University.

Christine Lessard

Christine Lessard is Director of Philanthropic Recognition Programs at the University of Washington.
Christine is skilled at strategic planning and exciting stakeholders to galvanize around big ideas. In her work she brings new vision for how UW celebrates the investment of philanthropists across the enterprise and rigorously examines centering an equity lens in her work. Previously, she was Director of The President’s Circle, where she overhauled a comprehensive donor engagement and loyalty program in service to a community of over 17,000 of the university’s most generous annual donors. Prior to her time at UW, she served as Chief Advancement Officer at Seattle Girls’ School, an innovative school that empowers its students to be agents of change. Christine has spent time working in Washington D.C., and in the Peace Corps after graduating from the University of Georgia. She is actively engaged in her community having served on several boards and committees, and is a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow ’15.

Julianne Masser, PhD

Julianne Masser, PhD, is a Clinical and Research Fellow at Lee Pesky Learning Center (LPLC) in Boise, Idaho.
Dr. Masser is also a technical assistance provider working on federally funded research grants through the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES). She works across multitiered systems of support (MTSS) providing technical assistance and professional development to Tier I general education teachers and Tier II reading interventionists. Her Tier III work focuses on comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation and diagnosis of students with learning and attention challenges. Her scholarly work focuses on professional development/coaching, early literacy screening and dyslexia identification, and self-regulated learning. Dr. Masser is dyslexic and an alumna of LPLC.

Felicity Meu

Senior Director of Partner Success at GiveCampus. Felicity Meu is Felicity spent 9 years with Stanford’s Office of Development. As Stanford’s inaugural Director of Next Generation Giving she worked closely with individual donors and volunteers but also helped craft the University’s vision for engaging its next great generation of philanthropists. Leaning into the needs of young donors, Felicity spent time consulting for Stanford’s Effective Philanthropy Lab, working on a project dedicated to taking a deep dive into better understanding the needs of millennial donors. Currently she serves as Director of Partner Success for GiveCampus where she continues to work against her goal of helping more people be more generous more strategically.

Andrea Michelbach

Andrea Michelbach is the Director of Annual Giving at Pacific Lutheran University.
She is a nimble development professional, project manager and communicator with over 14 years of experience connecting people with meaningful information, opportunities and organizations to improve their quality of life and help them realize their fullest dreams, impact and potential.

Corinne Pann, MBA

Corinne Pann is the Director of Alumni Engagement at Seattle University.

Alan Pesky

Alan Pesky is the founder of Lee Pesky Learning Center (LPLC), a non-profit working with families, schools, and communities to overcome obstacles to learning.
In its 25 years, LPLC has become a nationally known force for early literacy. Alan was a founding partner of the advertising agency, Scali, McCabe, Sloves. He and his wife are ardent supporters of humanitarian causes and were honored in 2005 as Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year in Idaho. Alan has served as trustee of his alma maters, The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and Lafayette College. He resides in Ketchum, Idaho.

Andriena Peterson

Ande Peterson is the Director for Annual Philanthropy at UW Medicine.
Since catching the fundraising bug as a student caller at the University of Washington, she’s been working on Annual Giving teams to amplify the work of students and faculty. At UW Medicine, Ande has created a robust peer-to-peer crowdfunding program, creating synergy between Annual Philanthropy, major gift fundraisers, faculty, patients, donors, and community members.

Maureen Procopio

Maureen is the Senior Director of Campaign Strategy and Institutional Benchmarking (CSIB) in University Advancement at the University of Oregon (UO). Working in prospect development, prospect management and analytics since 1998 while supporting several campaign efforts helped prepare Maureen for her current role studying institutional effectiveness and conducting best practice research. Her favorite part of the job is to connect with peers at institutions throughout the country researching various topics so that the UO team can learn from and apply new opportunities to achieve best practice. In addition to campaign strategy and benchmarking advancement organizations, Maureen is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of advancement and higher education. She currently serves on the CASE District VIII Board of Directors as the chair of the opportunity and inclusion portfolio. Maureen resides in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and daughter.

Andrea Sanders

Andrea Sanders is the Advancement Director at the Lee Pesky Learning Center in Boise, Idaho. Previously, Andrea served as the Director of Advancement at the Seattle Country Day School. Andrea received her BA in English from The University of California, Berkeley (CAL), and went on to receive her MEd in Special Education from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, she developed a passion for long distance running and fundraising for children with special needs and created the Team William Endowment to support reading scholarships for children with Down syndrome. She is a member of AFP Idaho, and a former Toastmaster, NCAA D1 rower, and marathon runner.

Jenny Cooke Smith

Jenny Cooke Smith is a senor strategic consultant for CASE, with a focus on AMAtlas, the global resource for educational advancement-related metrics, benchmarks and analytics.
 Jenny specializes in analyzing advancement trends, interpreting comparison benchmarks, and helping people understand the “stories behind the data.”   Prior to joining CASE, Jenny spent 15 years in a variety of positions within Blackbaud’s Target Analytics, most recently leading donorCentrics™ benchmarking cohorts, which provide opportunities for institutions and organizations globally to review and discuss direct marketing and annual giving trends.  During her time in this role, she built and expanded the Higher Education cohort groups, spurred development to analyze the impact of newer initiatives within fundraising, such as giving days, crowdfunding and mid-level giving analysis, and partnered with offices in Canada, the U.K., and Australia to deliver results specific to NGO’s in those fundraising markets. Jenny has also been a CASE volunteer and frequent speaker at CASE and other industry conferences.

Rachel Spencer

Rachel Spencer is a true phonathon expert with a long and varied career in telefundraising. Over the last decade she has graduated from student caller, to professional tele-fundraiser, to phonathon manager and now phonathon advisor and consultant. In her current role at VanillaSoft, Rachel works closely with 115 universities (and counting!) around the world on a wide variety of telephone-based campaigns. In previous roles, Rachel has managed teams of 40+ telephone fundraisers, worked with the likes of Oxfam, Unicef, NSPCC and Cancer Research UK, and set telephone campaign records from the most funds raised to the best campaign ROI.

Shaina Spencer

Shaina Spencer is a Digital Fundraising Strategist at The University of Iowa Center for Advancement.

John Taylor

John is the Principal of John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
, an independent advancement consulting practice.  He has served in various consulting capacities since 1994.  Between 2008-2013 John was Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services and Interim Campaign Manager at North Carolina State University.  He previously served as Vice President for Research and Data Services at CASE.  Before that, John was Director of Alumni & Development Records at Duke University for nearly 15 years.  He holds a BA in Mass Communications and Socio-Political Change from Vanderbilt University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. John formed one of the largest advancement-related listservs in the world, FundSvcs, with roughly 4,000 subscribers.  He has spoken at hundreds of conferences internationally, receiving the CASE Crystal Apple Award for outstanding teaching.  John is founder, current member, and former President of the Board of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (aasp).  He received the aasp Jonathan Lindsey Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.  CASE distinguished John as a CASE Laureate in 2019.  John was the editor for all three editions of the CASE Advancement Services book and served in various editorial capacities for the 3rd & 4th editions of the CASE Guidelines and the 1st edition of the CASE Global Reporting Standards, published in 2021.  John resides in Durham, NC, with his wife and children.

Connor Tudbury

Connor Tudbury is the Director of Annual Giving at Boise State University.

Jonathan Van Oss

Jon Van Oss brings over 30 years of in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience gained from various senior data analytics and market research positions for organizations
, such as the American Medical Association and World Vision. Jon has also served for more than 15 years as Vice President of Data Analytics at several advertising agencies that served a wide range of national and international non-profit organizations. He is nationally recognized for his insightful marketing and fundraising database analytics, decision-tree modeling, segmentation, testing and attrition strategies and analyses.

Charu Uppal, CFRE

Charu Uppal is the Associate Director of Annual Giving at the Portland Art Museum. The concept of philanthropy is fundamental to Charu’s value system, which is also her driving force in developing an overarching strategy that helps create enriching donor experiences. By synergistically connecting stewardship, donor communication and cultivation, she is able to maintain 88% retention rates in the foundation’s leadership giving society. Charu previously served as Annual Giving Manager at the Oregon Zoo Foundation. During her tenure at the Foundation, she has tripled the total funds raised through annual giving programs.

Scott Williams

As the President and Founder of Vinyl Marketing, Scott believes that story is a powerful tool to help brands better understand themselves and their customers.  Out of a deep understanding of story, his vision for the company continues to be developing and executing sophisticated marketing strategies for businesses, organizations, and higher education institutions looking to refine their brand, clarify their messaging, and get better results.