2020 Conference Speakers

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

Bob Burdenski

Bob Burdenski is an internationally-recognized annual giving and engagment programs consultant for schools, colleges and universities. He is a prolific writer and published author, often appearing in CURRENTS Magazine, the member magazine of the Council for the Advancement and the Support of Education (CASE). 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 a new CASE book, 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 numerous 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.  This past year, Bob served for the third straight year as Chair of the CASE Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals, and was named a CASE Laureate for 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.

John Taylor

John Taylor is Principal of John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC.  For nearly 5 years John served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services, as well as Interim Campaign Manager during his last 18 months, at North Carolina State University. He holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and Socio-Political Change from Vanderbilt University, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. John has also served as Vice President for Research and Data Services at CASE – a position he held from its inception in late 2002.  Prior to that he was the Director of Alumni & Development Records at Duke University for nearly 15 years.

John formed one of the largest advancement-related listservs in the world, FundSvcs, now with over 3,600 subscribers.  He has spoken at hundreds of conferences across the country and received the CASE Crystal Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is the Founder and Former President of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals. John received the AASP Jonathan Lindsey Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.  He resides in Durham, NC, with his wife and children.

Ellen Whitlock Baker

Ellen is the Senior Director of Alumni and Stakeholder Engagement at the University of Washington Alumni Association/Alumni and Stakeholder Engagement. 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. Ellen works with professionals across the UW to support and facilitate broad based engagement in support of UW and UWAA initiatives. She oversees UWAA/ASE’s metrics development and reporting, working with central Advancement colleagues to measure the impact of the engagement work done by ASE and the UW’s schools and colleges. Previously, Ellen served as the Director of Information and Evaluation at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at UW, directing the School’s communications and marketing and assisting the Dean with institutional analysis and strategy. 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 Barker is an experienced nonprofit and Institutional Advancement professional with concentrated expertise in special events, alumni relations, and donor communications. As the Associate Director of Events, Alumni, and Donor Relations at The Evergreen State College he oversees the design and implementation of the college’s special events program including fundraising, alumni, and university events, as well as alumni programs and development marketing and stewardship efforts. Most notably at Evergreen, Correan successfully led the Advancement division in growing net support for their annual scholarship fundraiser the Art of Giving Gala & Auction by more than $150,000 over the last three years and unified all Advancement events under a singular program. Correan has presented twice at CASE’s national Special Events in Advancement conference, was featured in the May 2019 issue of CASE Currents magazine where he spoke about the orchestration of large-scale anniversary events, and garnered Evergreen the highest honor in the 2020 District VIII Best of CASE Excellence Awards for special event marketing collateral. Most recently he served as a member of the faculty for the June 2020 CASE Special Events in Advancement conference.

Meagan Bataran

Meagan Bataran is the Director of Development at Oregon Symphony.

Ali Bessee

Ali Bessee is the Assistant Director of Annual Giving at Seattle University. Ali is an experienced development professional who has served 8+ years in nonprofit fundraising, 4 of which include higher education. Ali’s expertise includes donor events, digital fundraising including giving days, texting and phone-based fundraising, student philanthropy, direct mail solicitation and stewardship strategy. Ali earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Washington and a Master of Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University.

Chris Bingley

Chris Bingley offers 15 years of experience in higher education fundraising. His expertise runs the full spectrum of fundraising management, including annual giving, stewardship, alumni relations, planned giving, and public relations. Mr. Bingley has served in several on-campus fundraising positions. Most recently, he was associate vice president/chief operations officer for advancement at Gonzaga University (WA). He has also served as vice president for advancement services/annual giving at Washington State University. Prior to that position, he served at the University of Idaho as director, annual giving/advancement services. Mr. Bingley received his MS in higher education administration from the University of Idaho and holds a bachelor’s degree from Rocky Mountain College (MT).

Brisen Brady

Brisen Brady is the Director of Development at The Overlake School. Brisen began her career in education at the San Francisco Art Institute, followed by the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, CA, where she was the Director of Development, leading their capital campaign to build their first permanent home. She was the Urban School of San Francisco’s Director of Development for 11 years where she led the school’s largest capital campaign, significantly grew their annual fund, and revitalized their alum program. Brisen joined The Overlake School as Director of Development in 2016, where she is currently leading a $35 million capital campaign. She is a graduate of Leadership Mountain View, has served on the Board of Directors of GenArt SF and Pacific Primary, and is an Annual Fund Class Captain for Mills College. She has presented at both local and national conferences and workshops, including the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education/National Association of Independent Schools (CASE/NAIS), Association of Bay Area Development Officers, California Advancement Partnership for Schools, and the Center for Nonprofit Success/San Francisco Leadership Series. She has a BA from Mills College and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown is the Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement at Seattle University. Jonathan’s 25-year career in Higher Education includes holding administrative and adjunct faculty roles at various Washington Community Colleges, the University of Washington, and Seattle University. His experience includes leadership roles in both Student Affairs and Alumni Engagement. Career highlights include co-founding the Washington State Community and Technical College Student Association supporting coordinated statewide student civic engagement and receiving the 2014 National Association for Student Personnel Administrators Region V- Professional Service Award. In 2017, Jonathan returned to his alma mater to lead the Seattle University Alumni Association including oversight of: Alumni Marketing, Alumni Engagement, and Annual Giving departments. Jonathan holds an Ed.D. from the University of Washington in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, a MA in Student Development Administration, and a BA in English Literature & Philosophy both from Seattle University.

Jessica Budzianowski

Jessica Budzianowski is the Director of Development for the Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council, Idaho.

Tessa Burke

Tessa Burke has been spent the past 15 years working in higher education and secondary education, with a focus on marketing, communications, alumni relations, enrollment, and institutional advancement. Before joining iModules, Tessa was the web content manager for two private college preparatory schools in the Chicagoland area. She received her BA from Saint Xavier University and earned an MA in Communications from DePaul University. When she’s not hard at work, Tessa can be found spending time with friends and family or running countless miles along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Rachel Cleary

Rachel Cleary is Sales Manager at GetThru, where she provides strategic support to GetThru’s education clients. Rachel’s background is in higher education fundraising, and she’s led annual giving programs at The New School and the Cal Alumni Association, UC Berkeley.

Laurent (Lo) de Janvry

Laurent “Lo” de Janvry is the Assistant Dean of College Relations & Development, UC Berkeley College of Chemistry.   Laurent, who goes more informally by Lo, received his BA in Economics from UC Berkeley and his MBA in Business from the USC Marshall School of Business. Lo worked in marketing and brand strategy consulting in the private sector for 5 years before entering higher education 20 years ago. While Lo serves as an independent consultant, he has spent much of his 20 years at UC Berkeley: first in the central development office as the Director of Strategic and Direct Marketing Services, then as the Executive Director of Annual and Leadership Giving at the Haas School of Business, and he is now the Assistant Dean of College Relations and Development for the College of Chemistry. Lo is speaking to you today from his home in Berkeley.

Brian Dowling

Brian Dowling is the Senior Vice President for Finance and Information Systems at the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. Brian has invested more than 25 years working in advancement services, development services, finance and administration, and operations for nonprofit organizations. His experience includes: technology and information systems, software conversions, gifts and records processing/management, prospect research, document imaging, web sites, online programs, finance, investments, working with senior management teams, strategic planning, boards and committees, and other duties that help organizations manage their fundraising, constituent engagement and sustainability. He has been in his current role since 2008. Brian worked previously at the University of Michigan and was responsible for managing the technological infrastructure, gift processing, and records administration for the Office of University Development. Before that, Brian worked at The University of Toronto. The University’s $1 billion-plus campaign was Canada’s largest and most successful philanthropic effort in higher education. He has written many articles, is a published author and speaks at conferences and through webinars. He was a founding board member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals and a founding committee member of the BC Blackbaud Users Group.

Rick Erickson

Rick Ericson is the VP of Marketing and Development at Holt International Children’s Services.

Scott Fendley

Scott Fendley is the Director of Data Analytics at Central Washington University. He has been at ‘this’ for almost 20 years. A graduate of Wabash College and Indiana University, he started his career in Advancement Services in 2000 at his alma mater, becoming their Director of Advancement Services during the successful “Campaign for Leadership.” From there, he became a consultant, and a subject matter expert for a software company before coming to Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA He has a long history of presenting at conferences and writing for publications, and was the Founding President of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, and has several war stories from the early days of the AASP. He also writes music reviews at isitanygood.net, broadcasts a weekly radio show on Ellensburg Community Radio, and is part of the statistics crew for CWU athletics in volleyball, football, basketball, and softball. Much too often, he gets into arguments on social media.

Casey Fish

Casey Fish is the Partner Success Manager at GiveCampus. Casey spent 4.5 years with the University of Hartford’s Office of Institutional Advancement and 1 in Advancement at San Francisco State University. As the Director of Advancement Communication and Annual Giving, and the Director of Alumni Communications, she worked at the intersection of communications and fundraising. Using thoughtful, donor centric, creative digital communication, she helped these institutions reach wider audiences, more effectively, for less money. Currently she serves as a member of the Partner Success team at GiveCampus, working with schools across the country to elevate their digital fundraising strategies.

Eric Howell

Eric Howell is the Director of Technical Architecture at the University of Colorado Office of Advancement.


Ross Imbler

Ross Imbler, MA, CFRE is the Annual Giving Manager at Oregon Humane Society. Ross joined the Oregon Humane Society in September of 2017 as the Annual Giving Manager. Prior to his current role, 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.

William Jacko

William (Bill) Jacko is the Interim Director of Data Services at Washington State University Foundation. Bill’s eyes for the power of data were opened in 1997 when he began managing an annual giving calling program at Case Western Reserve University. Bill quickly learned how data configuration and utilization can improve fundraising results through segmentation and metrics. Since then he has honed his craft as a software implementation consultant for SunGard Higher Education and serving as the advancement services technology lead at Simmons University and George Washington University. Bill enjoys working with all aspects of the data lifecycle, from identifying collection and entry efficiencies through visualization.

Nohe Ka

Nohe Ka is the Director, Gift Services & Data Management, Philanthropy at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (Fred Hutch)

Ann E. Kaplan

Ann E. Kaplan is the senior director of CASE’s Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) program.  She joined CASE in July 2018, when CASE acquired the VSE program. In this position, Ms. Kaplan manages the VSE survey, the annual survey on charitable support of education institutions since 1957, and she directs the companion benchmarking program, Data Miner, which is a CASE member benefit and available by subscription to others.

Abby Kelso

Abby Kelso is the Associate Vice President for Advancement Operations at The Evergreen State College. Abby launched her career as a high school physics teacher just after graduating from The Evergreen State College. She has since served in roles in college counseling, student recruitment, and advancement. As the Associate Vice President for Advancement Operations, Abby oversees annual giving, alumni engagement, advancement services, and donor relations for Evergreen. She works closely with the board of The Evergreen State College Foundation on recruitment, governance, and policy matters and she chairs the college’s Campus Leadership Group which convenes over 100 managers and leaders from throughout the institution. She is inspired by Evergreen graduates who solve the world’s most pressing problems and loves raising funds for students who are facing the greatest obstacles.

Priscilla McGraw Boyer

Priscilla McGraw Boyer is the Student & Peer to Peer Philanthropy Manager at University of Washington. Priscilla has spent the last 3 years working on the Annual Philanthropy team to build and foster the student and young alumni giving experience. She has also been very fortunate to be a part of the Annual Giving Directors Conference Associates team (AGDC), helping to build connections and share ideas and practices between the UW and other schools in the country. Priscilla’s expertise includes building a Student Philanthropy program, Senior Class Gift, and digital fundraising efforts that include Crowdfunding and Husky Giving Day.

Felicity Meu

Felicity Meu is Director of Partner Success at GiveCampus. 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.

Margaret Neitzel

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.

Christina Nichols, CFRE, bCRE-Pro

Christina Nichols 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.

Caroline Oblack

Caroline Oblack is the Director of Research, Prospect Management, and Analytics at Oregon Health & Science University Foundation. Caroline has nearly 20 years of experience in the areas of fundraising and prospect development. Before OHSU Foundation, Caroline worked for WealthEngine, Inc., American Red Cross – National Headquarters, Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and as an independent consultant. Caroline’s volunteer experience includes previously serving on the Apra International, Apra-NW, and Apra-VA boards. She served as Chair of Apra’s Prospect Development Conference in 2016 and served on the Conference Curriculum Committee in 2014. Caroline is also a member of CASE and AHP. Caroline earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Oregon and her Master’s degree in Education from Strayer University. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for more than 20 years, and they have two young sons.

Brin O’Hare

Brin O’Hare is the Development Officer, Annual Giving at Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.

Hannah Penfield

Hannah Penfield is the Annual Giving Coordinator with the Oregon Humane Society, the nation’s fourth-oldest humane society. She is responsible for creating omnichannel appeals that include direct mail, email, social media, and digital advertising components. Additionally, she produces stewardship pieces designed to maximize donor retention. Hannah earned a B.A. in Art History from Portland State University and is working to become a CFRE. A lifelong Portlander, Hannah lives with her two cats and a lot of craft projects.

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.

Laura Rose

Laura Rose is Director of Development at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, WA. Laura got her start in fundraising at her alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, where she received her B.A. in Communication and her MBA. Serving the school for 15 years, she held roles in annual giving, development operations, development communications and alumni engagement, while also playing a key role in the successful completion of two $100+ million campaigns. As the Director of Development at CWA since 2017, Laura works to help the community experience the joy of giving, and builds opportunities for meaningful community partnership toward the achievement of the school mission. Laura also serves as a board member and programs co-chair for the AFP South Sound Chapter, and believes in the importance of lifetime learning for our profession.

Andrea Sanders

Andrea Sanders is 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. Now in the PAC-NW, she is embarking upon her 10th year as a Director of Advancement guiding fundraising efforts for children grades K-8. She is a member of AFP Northwest, and a former Toastmaster, NCAA D1 rower, and marathon runner.

Rob Schlitts

Rob Schlitts is the Division President of Wilson-Bennett Technology Incorporated, a nationally recognized provider of cutting edge phonathon technology and services located in Little Rock, Arkansas.   Rob began his phonathon career as a student caller at Hillsdale College in Michigan.  Over the last decade, Rob has been instrumentally involved with hundreds of phonathon programs.  This association has allowed him the experience of working with many diverse institutions ranging from 3,000 – 300,000 callable prospects.  Rob holds a  master’s degree in organizational management. Wilson-Bennett provides over 150 on-site managed phonathon programs, off-site calling, membership calling, admissions calling and automated software leasing; each unique to the non-profit needs.

Brittany N. Shaff, bCRE

Brittany Shaff is the Assistant Vice President, Digital Engagement + Philanthropic Giving at University of Miami. In her role, she oversees philanthropic giving and digital engagement initiatives for the University and the University of Miami Health System. With an extensive background in analytics and digital marketing, Brittany has spent the last fourteen years utilizing search engine marketing, social listening tools, and predictive analytics to augment engagement and giving experiences for constituents. Brittany has held various roles for SaaS companies, independent schools, and higher education, as well as medical development. Before working at the University of Miami, Brittany held positions at Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, Towson University, and Santa Clara University. She resides in Coral Gables, Florida.

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 is a true phonathon expert benefitting from a long and varied career in tele-fundraising. 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 present role at VanillaSoft she works closely with more than 80 universities around the world on a wide variety of telephone-based campaigns.

Lisa Thomas

Lisa Thomas is the Associate Vice President, Campaigns & Emerging Initiatives, at the University of Washington. Lisa is responsible for leading comprehensive campaigns in an integrated advancement structure. This includes the recently concluded Be Boundless campaign, which catalyzed commitments of $6.3 billion. Her work additionally encompasses emerging initiatives, assessing, and shepherding forward ideas from throughout the University that may ultimately become targeted fundraising initiatives, communication campaigns, and/or engagement programs. Proud to work for her alma mater, Lisa holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Washington. Prior to focusing on campaigns and emerging initiatives, she held both major gift and operations roles at the UW. Outside of work, Lisa competes in kettlebell sport and bakes desserts

Jon Thorsen

Jon Thorsen is the Senior Associate Vice President of Finance, Operations and Services at the Washington State University Foundation.  He joined the development profession in 1987 and has led research, relationship management, and advancement services operations for such organizations as Princeton University, the American Red Cross and The Nature Conservancy. Jon currently chairs the Best Practices in Advancement Services effort of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, and has been recognized for his volunteer work to the association. He is a former president of APRA, and has received the association’s Distinguished Service Award. Jon has given presentations on many facets of the development profession at a number of conferences and has received the CASE Crystal Apple award for teaching excellence.

Charu Uppal

Charu Uppal is the Annual Giving Manager at the Oregon Zoo Foundation. 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. During her tenure at the Oregon Zoo Foundation, she has tripled the total funds raised through annual giving programs.

Meg Weber

Meg Weber is a fundraising professional with two decades of experience in higher ed advancement. She serves as an industry luminary and expert on advancement topics for her campus partners. Previously, Meg served Colorado State University as executive director of annual giving, where she specifically focused on fundraising pipeline and engagement. Her efforts helped move CSU from low performance to a leader in the region and Mountain West Conference. Meg has been at the front of numerous innovative and forward-thinking programs and has held positions at Community Funded, University of Texas at Arlington, University of North Texas and Washington State University.