About CASE

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release
March 29, 2011

CASE, Commonfund Name 2011 IRF Award Recipients

Great Basin College, University of New Mexico Foundation Leaders to be Honored at IRF Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A chief financial officer who helped fuel extraordinary growth at a small, rural foundation and a senior leader who helped build two young foundations into high-performing organizations are the 2011 recipients of the CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation awards.

The IRF awards recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement, quality and effectiveness of their foundations and the community of institutionally related foundations as a whole. Institutionally related foundations are private, nonprofit corporations that cultivate and manage private resources to support the missions of the colleges, universities and university systems with which they are affiliated.

The 2011 recipients are:

Lisa HeiseLisa Heise, controller, Great Basin College Foundation. Heise has extensive experience in all aspects of exempt organization accounting and reporting. During her nine-year tenure with the foundation, she has implemented best practices in fiscal matters, board relations and donor stewardship that have helped grow its assets and reputation with its college, community and the Nevada System of Higher Education. Heise's leadership in these and other areas helped move the organization into the ranks of the most successful small college foundations in the country. Beyond her work at the Great Basin College Foundation, Heise is actively involved with the institutionally related foundation community and has been a regular contributor to the field. In addition to being a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences, Heise successfully advocated for a biennial audit review policy with her state's board of regents, a step that will result in considerable savings for small foundations.

John StroppJohn Stropp, former president of the University of New Mexico Foundation. Stropp is a nationally recognized leader among institutionally related foundations with more than 25 years of experience at Texas A&M Foundation (1984-2008) and the University of New Mexico Foundation (2008-2010). During his tenure as vice president of finance and administration at Texas A&M Foundation, Stropp oversaw growth in assets from $70 million to more than $1 billion and was actively involved in two major campaigns that raised more than $1.5 billion. Stropp also served as interim president of the Texas A&M Foundation during the 2007 fiscal year. As president and chief executive officer of the University of New Mexico Foundation, Stropp oversaw the transition of all development-related and asset management services from the university to a separate, independent foundation. He also prepared the foundation and university to launch a major campaign, which raised a record $95 million in the 2009 fiscal year, and announced the public phase of an eight-year, $675 million capital campaign. Stropp is an active member of CASE and a past chair of the CASE National Committee for Institutionally Related Foundations.

CASE and Commonfund will recognize Heise and Stropp during an awards luncheon April 13 at the 19th Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations in Phoenix, Ariz.

The awards are underwritten by Commonfund, a nonprofit corporation that provides fund management services and investment advice to educational institutions, hospitals, foundations, and other nonprofits.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

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