Home >
Speaker Bios

The "2014 PSI Conference on Philanthropy" planning committee has created a conference filled with some of the most respected fundraising professionals and thought leaders in our field. Below is the list of conference speakers listed first by plenary session, and then alphabetically. Please check back often as we contine to update this list.

Steve Ford (Plenary):
Actor & Inspirational Speaker

Steve Ford has enjoyed a successful acting career for over 25, years appearing in over 800 hours of film and television productions. He has worked on over 30 films and many guest leads in television. Most recently, you would have seen him appearing in the hit movie Transformers. His other film credits include films such as Blackhawk Down, Contact with Jodie Foster, Armageddon with Bruce Willis, Starship Troopers, Eraser with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Heat with Al Pacino and Robert deniro, and When Harry Met Sally as Meg Ryan's boyfriend. He has also done numerous guest leads in television shows such as Suddenly Susan, J.A.G., Dark Skies, Flipper, Walker Texas Ranger, Dr. Quinn--Medicine Woman, Baywatch, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, The Cape, Pensacola, The Sentinel, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, and Happy Days. He also hosted a full season, 22 episodes, of the prime time series Secret Service For NBC.

Early in Mr. Ford's career, he spent six years playing the character Andy Richards on the Emmy Award winning daytime show The Young and the Restless. Before becoming an actor in 1979, he worked on the professional rodeo circuit as a team roper and still ropes today in his spare time. He owns a ranch in California. He was involved in the thoroughbred race horse industry for years during the 1980's and 90's as an owner, breeder, racing manager, and race track executive as Associate Vice President of Turfway Park Race Course in Kentucky. He represented Turfway Park for five years in all of their TV and radio advertising and served as the track spokesperson.

Today, Steve Ford travels nationally as a motivational and inspirational speaker for corporate events and conventions, sharing memories of his family's stay in the White House and his years in Hollywood. He served three years on the Board of Directors of The National Cowboy Hall Of Fame in Oklahoma City and currently serves on the board for The President Gerald R. Ford Museum and The Gerald R. Ford Foundation. He is the third son of former President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford.


Joe K Golding (Plenary)
Chairman & CEO, Advancement Resources

Joe Golding is Chairman and CEO of Advancement Resources.  He also led the team that conducted the research that forms the basis of Advancement Resources work in major gift fundraising for non-profit organizations.

Joe’s own background is in marketing and corporate strategic design within numerous industries—both national and international.  His ability to relate concepts into specific action steps makes his workshops lively and meaningful.


Eddie Thompson, Ed.D, FCEP (Plenary)
Founder & CEO, Thompson & Associates

Dr. Eddie Thompson founded Thompson & Associates. As CEO he provides leadership and direction to Thompson & Associates. Additionally, he provides consulting services to nonprofit organizations, foundations and charities assisting them in developing their planned giving policies.

Eddie obtained his Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University. His doctoral dissertation was on successful fund raising methods. His academic achievements include two MA degrees and a BA and Associate of Fine Arts.
Eddie was recognized by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives as a Certified Fund Raising Executive from 1986 to 1996. He speaks to organizations from coast to coast on fundraising.

Eddie began his career at David Lipscomb University where he served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Assistant to the President, and Director of Planned Giving. His career advanced to The EAR Foundation, a national nonprofit, where he served as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Thompson has garnered many honors during his distinguished career.


Lois E. Peters (Awards Lunch)
President and RN, At Home Pediatric Nursing Team

Lois Elaine Peters was born in Jamaica.  Her exceptional ability to learn qualified her to attend high school at West Indies College, with students several years her senior.  In the late 60’s, Lois ‘family migrated to Boston Massachusetts, Lois attended pursued a nursing career at Atlantic Union College. Leroy Peters was born in Boston Massachusetts where he attended Adventist schools until he was drafted into the army in his late teens. While attending the Berea SDA Church in Boston, Lois and Leroy met and married. 
Lois & Leroy felt led by the Lord to purchase and mange several assisted living facilities in Maryland. The family seeks to minister to the healthcare needs of their fellow man by providing care for the elderly in a safe and supportive home-like environment.
The Lord has blessed Lois to fulfill her goal of making a difference in the lives of young people.  She sat on the board of her Alma Mater, Atlantic Union College for twenty-one years and is currently a member of the board of Oakwood University and Washington Adventist University.  She also serves on the board of The Family Life department of The General Conference of Seventh Day Adventist.
Lois has received numerous awards including the Stream of Light award from the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists and the Alumna of the year award from Atlantic Union College. Lois holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Washington Adventist University and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her Alma Mata, Atlantic Union College.
Leroy and Lois have traveled extensively, lending their support to orphanages, clinics and other mission projects. The Peters have championed many causes throughout the world, and underwritten the cost of education for many who would otherwise not have access to Christian education.    The Lois and Leroy Peters Music Center at Washington Adventist University is a testament to their unwavering support of Christian Education.

Dave Kennedy (Spiritual Renewal)
Pastor, Newday Christian Seventh-day Adventist Church

Dave Kennedy Lives in Parker Colorado and started pastoring Newday right out of seminary in 2000.  Newday is a vibrant church that is involved deeply in serving their community, as well as partnering with and serving communities around the world.  They have a 10-year relationship with a community in Rwanda through World Vision.  They have also been involved with the community in Iquitos, Peru since 2007.  They are a radically generous church, and because they own no property, they are able to give most of their money away to people in need and organizations making an impact around the world.

Dave has been married for the past 23 years to Kim, the love of his life.  They enjoy traveling together, serving together, laughing together, hosting guests, golfing and dining out. They have 2 boys.  Luke has just completed his sophomore year at Walla Walla University.  Logan just completed his sophomore year at Mile High Academy in Denver. David is working on his doctorate in executive leadership, and has plans to climb to Mount Everest Base-camp this fall.  


Clay Bergren
Creative Partner, Mindseye Project Partners

Clay is a Creative Partner at Mindseye Project Partners and has led a wide and varied career in the creative field. With a music degree from the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Program in 1973, he has enjoyed several stints as a professional musician with appearances on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, Las Vegas show rooms, and jazz clubs in Iowa. Clay was president and creative director of his own advertising agency in the '80s, and throughout the '90s, has focused on communications, video productions, and inter-media presentations for several Fortune 1000 corporations.

For the past decade, Clay has drawn from his experiences to be a creative force behind campaign launch, donor recognition, and anniversary celebration projects for colleges and universities.

Combining his background in music, performance, communications, and video story-telling, Clay has found creating and producing major events for colleges and universities an exciting and rewarding adventure.

Julie Collett, RDH
Executive Director, Kids in Need of Dentistry

Julie Collett is a Registered Dental Hygienist, who has been Executive Director of Kids In Need of Dentistry for the last 5 years.  Kids In Need of Dentistry-KIND is a nonprofit that provides dental care for low income children in Colorado.  KIND was established in 1912 by a group of dentists who believed that dental care was needed for the children of the rail roaders and miners.  Today KIND operates 3 dental clinics and also a school based sealant program that provides dental education, oral screenings and sealants to second graders in 82 elementary schools in 10 school districts.

Julie has more than 30 years of dental experience. She graduated from Union College with an Associate Degree in Health Science and then received her Dental Hygiene Degree at Pueblo Community College in Colorado.  She has been involved with  nonprofits for the past 15 years. Before coming to KIND, Julie was an Executive Director for the Alumni Awards Foundation. She started her career in development at Mile High Academy as their first Director of Development and was part of PSI’s MAP II Program.  Julie is the Co-Chair for Oral Health Colorado and sits on several boards as an oral health advocate for Colorado childre.

In her spare time, Julie enjoys the beautiful State of Colorado and everything that is offers.  She is a proud mom of two daughters Jocelyn and Alexis, a son in law, Chase and a wonderful little granddaughter Charlee.
David Collis
Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Florida Hospital Foundation

David Collis - Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Florida Hospital Foundation. David Collis has spent more than 18 years working with nonprofit organizations to help them advance their missions through effective fundraising. He began his professional career at the Georgetown University Cuba Project in 1992, where he helped craft proposals and reports to the project's primary sponsors, the Ford and MacArthur Foundations. In 1997, David joined the development team at Rollins College where they were engaged in a 5-year $100 million fundraising campaign. The Campaign for Rollins ended in October 2001 with more than $160 million in overall commitments. From 1997 to 2005, David held positions at Rollins College including: Assistant Manager of the Annual Fund, Director of Foundation Relations, Director of Major Gifts, and Assistant Vice President for Development.


LuAnn Davis, CFRE
Vice President for Advancement, Union College

LuAnn Davis, CFRE, is Vice President for Advancement at Union College, Nebraska.  She accepted this position at her college alma mater in 1992 returning a decade later to the office where she started her career in philanthropy in 1982, the same year she graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration with an emphasis in management. LuAnn went on to receive an MBA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1996.
Davis administers the development, alumni, public relations, guest services and marketing communication functions at Union College.  Accomplishments to date include the successful completion of two major capital campaigns totaling $23 million; the creation of new programs in planned giving, major gift solicitation, prospect management, annual fund, marketing and alumni activities that have worked together to yield an additional $37 million in philanthropic income for operations, scholarships, special projects and growth of the college=s endowment; and also overseeing a communication plan to increase awareness and appreciation for Union College among multiple constituent groups. LuAnn is honored to work with a dedicated staff of Advancement professionals who strive to create a positive learning experience for students and a campus the alumni and community are honored to affiliate with.
As Associate Director of Philanthropic Service for Institutions for six years, LuAnn consulted with secondary and higher ed institutions and was privileged to help many young professionals gain their start in philanthropic careers. LuAnn was deeply honored in 1999 to be recognized as a Trailblazer in Philanthropy at the Philanthropic Service for Institutions Triennial Conference. She has served as president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Nebraska Chapter, and is currently a member of the operating committee for the Milton Murray Fund for Philanthropy and President of the Southeast Lincoln Kiwanis Club.
LuAnn is married to Lynn Davis, a freelance graphic designer and program assistant for Union College’s honors program, and proud to be mom to Caitlynn Paige, a 14 year-old young lady who inspires and amuses those around her.

Mark A. Dennis, Jr.
President & Chief Executive Officer, McGaw YMCA

(Reverend) Mark A. Dennis, Jr. is the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the McGaw YMCA – A citadel of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility throughout Evanston, IL and the North Shore. Currently, he is completing his tenth year as the eleventh Senior Pastor of historic Second Baptist Church of Evanston where he was called by the congregation to provide leadership in spiritual formation, strategic visioning, community development and pastoral care.

Vocationally, Mark has served as: President, The Alford Group Inc., -- a highly acclaimed national consulting firm best suited to strengthen the not-for-profit sector; Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement, Assistant Professor, Church Music and Worship; Director of Continuing Education for Clergy and Laity (Howard University School of Divinity). Reverend Dennis has also served as Associate Pastor (Third Street Church of God); Instructor of Music Theory & Composition, and Coordinator of The Upward Bound Program, (Bowling Green State University); Minister of Music -- Asbury United Methodist Church (District of Columbia), First Church of God, (Toledo, Ohio), Martin Street Church of God (Atlanta), and the Third Street Church of God (District of Columbia); Interim pastor -- Progressive Baptist Church (Chicago) and Second Baptist Church (Evanston); Facilitator and Consultant to numerous “houses of worship, seminaries, Universities, colleges, hospitals, foundations and other not-for-profit organizations throughout the United States.

Mark A. Dennis, Jr. is the holder of several degrees: Master of Divinity, Cum Laude, Howard University School of Divinity; Master of Music, Bowling Green State University; Bachelor of Arts, Morehouse College and doctoral coursework -- Professional/Staff Development, The University of Maryland. Honors include: The Benjamin Franklin Award -- “The Best Professional Leader in Philanthropy, 2000” (Chicago area); The Benjamin E. Mays Fellow, (The Fund for Theological Education); The Preacher’s Hall of Fame, Morehouse College; The D.B. Barton Award in Pastoral Theology; Outstanding Young Americans; Who’s Who Among Black Americans; International Who’s Who in Music and Musicians; and Pianoforte Competition--Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.


Douglas A. Dillon, CFRE
President, Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado Foundation

Doug Dillon has been actively involved in the management of nonprofit institutions for over 20 years. He has worked as a fund-raising consultant for organizations throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. This includes a variety of institutions of all sizes—medical centers, hospitals, universities, colleges, YMCA’s and a number of social service agencies.

Mr. Dillon is the President of Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado Foundation. His position includes oversight of nine hospital foundations / entities, as well as driving all aspects of these healthcare fund-raising programs. This includes staff development, preliminary campaign design and direction, strategic planning and major gift management. Doug has personally directed numerous campaigns for institutions in North America. In addition to being a campaign and development specialist, he has particular experience in conducting board retreats, development audits, strategic planning and feasibility studies.

Mr. Dillon has served as a faculty member for The AHP Institute for Healthcare Philanthropy for the past decade. Additionally, he is Dean of the Capital Campaign / Major Gift track at Madison Down Under (Australia) and is a regular presenter at AHP and AFP district and international conferences. His strength is in motivating and challenging both staff and volunteers.

Kevin Emmerson
Director of Development & Alumni Relations, Mount Ellis Academy

Kevin Emmerson is the Director of Development & Alumni Relations at Mount Ellis Academy in Bozeman, MT.  He graduated from MEA in the late 80's and received a BS in Broadcasting from Southwestern Adventist College, now Southwestern Adventist University.  After 17 years working with Adventist Media Productions, Kevin returned to MEA in the fall of 2009.  He’s got a crazy passion for MEA which energized him for the most incredible experience of his time here so far; the Kohl’s Cares for Kids Facebook Contest of 2010 through which MEA received a $500,000 grant. His dog Charlie keeps him sane and when life gets too crazy he enjoys dabbling in his main hobby, travel.


Derrick Feldmann
CEO, Achieve

Derrick leads the research team on the Millennial Impact Project (themillennialimpact.com) – the most comprehensive research initiative to understand how the Millennial generation connects, involves, and gives. He coauthored – Cause for Change: The Why and How of Nonprofit Millennial Engagement published by Jossey Bass/ Wiley. He is a speaker on the latest trends in fundraising, marketing for nonprofit organizations, and Millennial cause engagement.

Derrick is a writer for Philanthropy News Digest of the Foundation Center and the Huffington Post IMPACT channel, a member of the Leadership Faculty of the Points of Light Corporate Institute, and a guest lecturer for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Derrick received is graduate degree from the School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and is a board member of the International Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Milinda Fraley
Creative Partner, Mindseye Project Partners
  In her role as a Creative Partner at Mindseye Project Partners, Milinda brings a broad background of diverse skills and talents to the team. With an education degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, she has over 15 years’ experience teaching everything from science and language arts to music theory and tax law. As a tax consultant since 2003, her unique ability for taking complicated concepts and creating simple cause and effect analogies served her clients and students well. Her experience creating new learning opportunities for a diverse audience of students and clients has fueled her ongoing interest in the effective use of multi-media in all learning situations.

When Milinda made the transition to video production and project management, she viewed this step in her journey as a logical progression of growth: her passion for words and numbers combined with the power of creative storytelling—and she loves every bit of it. 
Clark A. Gafke
Vice President & Senior Consultant, RuffaloCODY

Clark Gafke’s first alumni phone solicitation occurred in the fall of 1986 as a freshman student for the University of Missouri - Columbia.  As a student caller, he raised $374,000 in alumni pledges for the Mizzou Annual Fund.
Since graduation, Clark has traveled the U.S. and Canada working directly with universities, colleges, hospitals, museums, public broadcasting, and other non-profit organizations.  His work centers on designing solicitation campaigns which enable organizations to reach their annual and capital campaign goals.
Clark’s experience includes building and evaluating strategic fundraising plans, caller and phone program management, evaluating phone room managers, and cultivating major and planned gift relationships.
He is a frequent speaker at CASE, AFP conferences and on many college campuses.  He is a past president for the Las Vegas AFP chapter, former national delegate, and past chair of the chapter’s education committee and every-member campaign.
He is an avid supporter and volunteer for 4-H. He enjoys fishing and traveling with his wife, Marilynn, and their two daughters, Lauren (13) and Amanda (7).

Marcy Heim, CFRE
Professional Speaker & Development Coach, The Artful Asker

Marcy Heim brings a sincere respect and passion for the transformative effect philanthropy has on our organizations, institutions and communities. With over 25 years of experience in development at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, Marcy is a trusted authority in major gift fundraising. As founder of The Artful Asker, Marcy helps organizations and institutions improve their major gift programs through artful, long-term relationship building to dramatically increase fundraising success and job satisfaction.


Karen Johnson, EdD, CFRE
President/CEO, Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation

Dr. Karen Johnson is the President/CEO of Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation in Denver, CO.  She began this position on December 1, 2007.  Prior to moving to Denver Karen was the President/CEO of the Walla Walla General Hospital Foundation.  Her work there included starting a Foundation for Walla Walla General Hospital and working to grow philanthropic income for the hospital.
Prior to her work in healthcare, Karen worked for 16 years as Vice President for College Advancement at Walla Walla College, now Walla Walla University.  During her tenure at Walla Walla College the College/University experienced a substantial increase in total support ($3.3 million to $11.1 million), which resulted in her institution receiving the CASE Circle of Excellence Award in 1993, and Dr. Johnson receiving the Trailblazer in Adventist philanthropy Award in 2004.  Other accomplishments include: growth in major gifts, increased staff for prospect research, special events and capital campaigns.  Development, with the entire staff, of a useable annual planning document is also a significant accomplishment for Dr. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson worked in private secondary schools for 18 years prior to her appointment at Walla Walla College.  She received, on behalf of Mt. Ellis Academy in Bozeman, MT, the 1990 CASE/USX Achievement in Mobilizing Support Award giving special recognition for total development effort in private secondary school with over 2,500 alumni.

Dr. Johnson served for 15+ years on the Operating Board of Philanthropic Services for Institutions in Silver Spring, MD,  served on the board of Campfire USA in Walla Walla, WA and was a member of the National Exchange Club in Walla, Walla, WA for over 18 years.

Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE
Principal, Joyaux Associates

Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE is described as “one of the most thoughtful, inspirational, and provocative leaders in the philanthropic sector”. She has guided countless organizations and professionals through her consulting and coaching, teaching and writing.

Simone provides consulting services in fund development, strategic planning, and board development to all types and sizes of nonprofits. She speaks at conferences worldwide and is a faculty member for the Masters Program in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary’s University, Minnesota. In June 2013, she taught governance to the wives of UN ambassadors from African nations.

Her three books – Keep Your Donors, Strategic Fund Development and the newest, Firing Lousy Board Members – receive rave reviews. She has contributed to multiple other books, writes a popular web column for the Nonprofit Quarterly, and blogs as Simone Uncensored.

As a volunteer, Simone founded the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, a social justice organization. She regularly serves on boards, often as chair, and chaired CFRE International when it became an independent corporation. She and her life partner have bequeathed their entire estate to charity.

Visit Simone at www.simonejoyaux.com. Check out the Free Download Library and subscribe to her regular tips through her e-news and blog.


Judy Leach
Director of Marketing & Communications, Adventist Medical Center - Portland

Judy has spent her professional career as a broadcast journalist, communication director and healthcare marketing leader.  During the past 25 years, she has utilized the power of relationships and strategy to create mission and vision alignment, enhance brand reputation, deploy media integration, enhance government relations and create effective marketing strategies that produce a healthy return on investment.

As a director of Marketing for Adventist Health–Portland, Judy’s passion is community involvement.  She has served as the President of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, a member of the mayor’s communication taskforce, and a gold award winner for multiple advertising campaigns.  She is a graduate of Southwestern Adventist University and has a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Warner Pacific College.

Judy finds joy in collaborating with her husband Jonathan who leads a vibrant church in the Portland suburbs, cheering for her teenage daughter Angelica who plays sports every chance she gets, and long walks on the beach.
Session: Like it or not, a Public Crises will Strike Your Organization.  Are You Prepared?

Every organization is vulnerable to a media crises. In the age of instant communication and rapid fire news outlets, the days of playing ostrich by digging your head in the sand are long gone. As the world watches, your donors and stakeholders will demand immediate answers. Your brand reputation will be highly vulnerable. Are you prepared with a crisis communication plan? Waiting until the crisis strikes to develop a strategy will prove damaging to your organization and the trust invested by donors. 
Come learn from an actual communication crisis that received local, state and national exposure. How were the values of the organization upheld and donor perceptions managed?  You’ll leave this session with tools needed to develop a crisis communication policy that will help donors become your strongest advocates.
Jerry Linzy
Executive Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners

Jerry Linzy is Executive Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners—one of the nation’s largest firms in the field of campaign services and financial resource development. A major force in the industry, the firm has offices in Chicago and Boston.  Since its founding in 1968, the firm has served over 3500 client institutions.
Mr. Linzy brings to his position remarkable experience. He has nearly forty years (twenty-five with the firm) experience as a senior devel- opment officer in major healthcare institutions and higher education. Since joining the firm, he has been involved with every type of institution and has been successfully related to most of the major clients of the firm.
While working with institutions throughout the United States and Australia, Mr. Linzy remains an active volunteer in his community. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of  Evansville and President of the University’s Alumni Association.
Additionally, he was a member of the Corporate Council for Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan.  Mr. Linzy is past International Chair of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy—its highest office, and a distinct honor, for professionals in healthcare.
Jerry Linzy is a contributing author of The NonProfit Handbook.  He teaches in six tracks at the AHP Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and is the former Dean of the Capital Campaign and is Senior Faculty for the Institute for Charitable Giving.

Anand Mahurkar
CEO & Founder, Findability Sciences

Anand Mahurkar, CEO and founder of Findability Sciences, is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in multiple technologies and business disciplines. Founded in 2009, Findability Sciences addresses the urgent technology need of businesses to find relevant information from “too big to know" data repositories. A thought leader in contextual data management, Anand is also CTO of NewSci, as well as Global Advisor Big Data at Whyness Worldwide. Anand previously held executive and managerial positions at Reliance Communications, Datamatics Technologies, and other companies.


William C. McGinly, Ph.D., CAE
President & CEO, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP)

With more than 40 years nonprofit management experience, Dr. William C. McGinly is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), representing over 5,000 executives raising funds for nonprofit health care providers.  McGinly, who has been named for 15 consecutive years in the NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50, is a former board member for the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University Indianapolis; a past chairman of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives (GWSAE); an active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); an I/D/E/A/ Fellow; a Certified Association Executive (CAE); and received his doctorate in administration from The American University.


E. John McKee
Executive Director/Senior Gift Planner, University of Maryland Office of Gift Planning

John McKee is Executive Director/Senior Gift Planner in the University of Maryland Office of Gift Planning, the office that cultivates and manages planned gifts for the colleges and development units at Maryland’s flagship campus in College Park.  John has worked full time in planned giving for 12 years, and overall in development for 17 years. Prior to UMD, John worked in major and planned giving at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, and prior to that served as Executive Director of the Saratoga Springs History Museum (formerly the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs). In addition, John’s experience includes being an Agent and Registered Representative for New York Life Insurance Company. Before starting a career in museum work, John earned a Bachelor’s from Yale and a Master’s from University of Delaware. Born and raised in Seattle, John now calls downtown Baltimore home.



Melanie J. Norton, CFRE
Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement, DePauw University

Melanie Norton is Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN.  In her second term of service for DePauw, she oversees a staff of 40 and is currently leading the silent phase of a $250 million campaign.  Most recently Melanie served as a consultant with Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates in Greenwood, Indiana.  JGA is a full-service consulting firm that provides clients with authentic and strategic  philanthropic consulting solutions.

Melanie served as Director of Gift Planning at DePauw University from 2007-2011.  In that role, she spearheaded the oversight and administration of a gift planning program that exceeded $180 million in documented expectancies and boasted a planned giving honor society with more than 1,400 members.  Melanie was also the Director of Major and Planned Gifts at Franklin College for nearly seven years, serving as the second in command behind the Vice President for Institutional Advancement. 

Melanie holds an M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a BA degree from Franklin College.  She worked as an Assistant Vice President at Fifth Third Bank in the divisions of Trust and Investment Advisors and Retail Banking for seven years and is currently the Treasurer of the national board of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP).  She is past president and board member of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana and has served on the board of the Independent College Advancement Associates as well as several other volunteer and social service organizations.   

Carole J. Pence
President, Pence Consulting

Carole J. Pence, is President of Pence Consulting, a privately held consulting firm based in Marquette, Michigan.
Since 1992 Carole has conducted trainings and facilitated meetings with thousands of people throughout the United States.  Carole is known for finding practical solutions for raising money and is recognized as a philanthropic specialist. Services offered through Pence Consulting include the following: annual fund development, campaign fundraising (endowment and capital), board training and development and feasibilities studies.  Her concentrated training focuses on how personality and effective communication skills produce extraordinary results.

In addition to work with her firm, she is on the faculty of Lilly School of Philanthropy and she is also an Adjunct Professor at Lawrence Technological University.  Through her extensive involvement with the Lily School of Philanthropy she has had the privilege of teaching for organizations like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, San Diego Foundation, and Kellogg Foundation.

Pence Consulting serves as a consultant for various collaborations in Michigan such as BEST Project in Flint, Nonprofit Alliance in Battle Creek, and Great Lakes Center for Youth Development in Marquette.

Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE
Professional Speaker & Fundraising Consultant, Fired-Up Fundraising

Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE, is an international fundraising consultant, trend-spotter, speaker, trainer and thought-leader. She has worked with literally thousands of board members, nonprofit leaders and fundraising staff to boost them with the fundraising skills and inspiration to change the world.

Gail’s energy and know-how reaches around the world via her international Fired-Up Fundraising newsletter with over 15,000 subscribers. Her popular Fundraising INSIDERS on-line training brings in top fundraising gurus to teach the latest strategies that will raise more money than ever in less time.

Gail’s Fired Up Fundraising board workshops help turn board members into happy ambassadors, actively helping in fundraising. Her book, Fired-Up Fundraising: Turn Board Passion into Action (Wiley/AFP)  has been called the “gold standard guide to building successful fundraising boards.”



Joel Simon
VP for Development & Director of Principal Gifts, LifeBridge Health

Joel L. Simon is a national expert, speaker, and author on fundraising and federal privacy regulations (HIPAA). Joel has worked at LifeBridge Health, a 1,000 bed system, in Baltimore, MD since 2004, currently serving as its director of principal and planned gifts. During his career, Joel has personally raised more than $40,000,000 in gifts from individuals or family controlled foundation. Joel serves on the Strategic Committee for Standards of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy as well as the boards of both the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council and Baltimore Estate Planning Council. He has spoken at numerous national and regional conferences on different aspects of fund raising.  In the past year, Joel has presented more than a half-dozen national webinars on fund raising and HIPAA.  He is a contributing editor to the leading publication on HIPAA compliance in fund raising.


Nathan Stelter
Vice President of Business Development, Stelter

Nathan Stelter is vice president of business development for The Stelter Company, a leading source for gift planning marketing for the nonprofit community. The Stelter Company, which was founded in 1962, currently serves more than 1,800 organizations nationally with a staff of over 95 individuals.
Nathan’s primary concentration is on overseeing Stelter's consulting team and using his expertise and experience to strategize with all of Stelter's regional consultants and key accounts to develop distinct marketing solutions that meet each nonprofit's unique planned giving needs.
He has been quoted in Planned Giving Today and other trade publications and is a past board member of the National Capital Gift Planning Council (Washington, DC) and current member of the Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council.

Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHP
President & Principal Consultant, Third Sector Strategy

Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHP, is an award-winning author, speaker and consultant on healthcare philanthropy drawing on 17 years of previous experience as chief development officer and foundation president in academic, community, children's and religious healthcare organizations. 

In addition to serving as principal of Third Sector Strategy, she is a faculty member for the American College of Healthcare Executives teaching CEOs and other senior healthcare executives about positioning philanthropy as a key revenue resource for healthcare and is a speaker with the American Hospital Association's Speakers Express speakers bureau.  She is author of the book Healthcare Philanthropy: Advance Charitable Giving to Your Organization's Mission published by Health Administration Press and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, author of the study guide Advancing the CEO's Role in Healthcare Philanthropy published by Health Administration Press, author of the monograph Boards and Philanthropy:  Developing the Next-Curve Revenue Source for Health Care from the Center for Healthcare Governance and editor of the book Redefining Healthcare Philanthropy from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. 

Her work has also been featured in national trade publications for philanthropy and healthcare management.  She is a frequent speaker at national conferences in both healthcare and philanthropy, and a list of recent and upcoming public engagements may be found by clicking here.  She holds an MBA from the University of Georgia and an MS of Journalism from Columbia University in New York.  She has achieved the highest level of certification in healthcare philanthropy as a Fellow of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy.

Ray Tetz
President & Creative Director, Mind Over Media, Inc.

Ray Tetz is the President and Creative Director of Mind Over Media, Inc., founded in 1995.  Mind Over Media works closely with non-profit organizations to design fund-raising and media initiatives that effectively align and communicate organizational goals, values, and messages. Ray is also Director Non-profit Engagement for Findability Sciences. Prior to establishing Mind Over Media, Ray held the position of Vice President Communications for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), and he has also served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a pastor, teacher, and ministry director.


Lilya Wagner, EdD, CFRE
Director, Philanthropic Service for Institutions

Lilya Wagner is director of Philanthropic Service for Institutions, a consulting office serving North American organizations affiliated with or operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 
From 2005-2008, Lilya was Vice President for Philanthropy at Counterpart International in Washington, D.C., an international development organization which provides a variety of services and projects in many countries.  Prior to joining Counterpart, Lilya completed fourteen years of association with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University serving as associate director for public service and director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.  Her responsibilities included developing and managing projects and programs, such as the Philanthropic Ambassadors and the Hispanic Stewardship Development Partnership.  She was in charge of curriculum preparation and revision for The Fund Raising School (TFRS) and was a frequent speaker and workshop presenter in North America and also internationally.  She continues to do training for The Fund Raising School, is on the philanthropic studies faculty of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and also teaches in the graduate program at St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.
Her published writings include articles and book chapters on philanthropy, fundraising and the nonprofit sector, along with books and numerous articles on a variety of general interest and professional topics. Careers in Fundraising, winner of the Skystone Ryan Research Prize presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), is a comprehensive volume on fundraising as a profession.  Another significant publication in her field is Leading Up:  Transformational Leadership for Fundraisers.  She has also had several books published in other areas of interest, such as Women War Correspondents of World War II.  She has been an editor and a columnist as well. 

Michael Wagschal
Senior Vice President - Senior Philanthropic Specialist, U.S. Trust

Michael is a Senior Vice President and Philanthropic Specialist for the West Coast for U.S. Trust Philanthropic Solutions. His primary role is to assist the firm and its advisors when establishing business relationships with nonprofits institutions involving endowment and planned giving assets as well as individuals in their chartable planning. He also provides ongoing strategic planning and philanthropic consulting to support endowment growth to existing nonprofit clients. Consulting services for private and family foundations includes mission development, grant making strategies as well as next generation planning.

Michael’s 26 years philanthropic involvement has extended from being Development Director at the American Heart Association, Maryland Division to Vice Chancellor for Planned Giving for the University System of Maryland Foundation. He has worked at such nationally recognized institutions as The American Cancer Society, California Division and Scripps Foundation for Medicine and Science in La Jolla. Throughout his career he has held leadership positions for endowment and planned giving growth. He has served as the president of the Planned Giving Roundtable of San Diego and has been a board member on numerous nonprofit organizations such as Heritage Point Home and The American Cancer Society. Michael is a founding board member of HALO, a nonprofit providing scholarships for speech therapy for Autistic Children. He is a frequent speaker on philanthropic trends and issues presenting at such conferences as the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference and the Jewish Federations of North America's General Assembly, as well as being quoted in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the Orange County Business Journal. Michael holds a BA from the University of Maryland.


Darren Wilkins
Principal, Spring Valley Academy

Darren Wilkins currently serves as principal of Spring Valley Academy in Kettering, OH. Previously he a filled the same role for Mt. Ellis Academy in Montana where he took a wild ride on the Kohls Cares campaign that resulted in a $500,000 grant to replace the school's sewer system.  Darren is passionate about education, travel, and beautiful natural places which means he can often be found in remote corners with groups of students on mission and study trips.  Most importantly Darren is a husband to the beautiful Yvette and father to three handsome and intelligent boys.


Lisa Wright
Executive Director of Philanthropy, Loma Linda University Health

As executive director of philanthropy for Loma Linda University Health, Lisa Wright mentors and coaches a team of sixteen major gift officers to raise support for eight schools and six hospitals. In her fundraising career, she has served primarily in major gift positions for universities, but has also served as vice president of development for two human services organizations in Orange County, Calif. She credits her 20-year passion for her career in fundraising to her first fundraising experience at 16 years old working for the Volunteer Center of Tucson, Ariz. 

In addition to her role at Loma Linda University Health, she also volunteers her time frequently preaching at United Methodist churches in California, actively participates in community outreach events, recently came back from a teaching mission trip in South America, serves as a California representative for the United Methodist's Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign, and has been a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters for the last four years. She has spoken at many conferences about the connection between spirituality, religion and philanthropy.

Wright earned a bachelor's degree in business, accounting from the University of Arizona and a Master of Divinity degree from Claremont School of Theology.