Conferences & Training

 Institute Chair

Lorna SomersCrystal AppleLorna Somers
AVP, Development
      McMaster University

Lorna Somers is recognized internationally as a teacher/trainer in the field of institutional advancement within higher education and the cultural sector and is herself an experienced and accomplished practitioner in her 30th year at McMaster University in Canada.

Working in University Advancement at McMaster University since 1988, Lorna has been involved in the establishment and growth of the Annual Fund, Gift Planning, Major and Principal Giving, and the Recognition & Stewardship programs. She is currently lead for McMaster's Brighter World Research Initiative and has been Campaign Director for two university-wide campaigns, (Changing Tomorrow Today 2001 and The Campaign for McMaster 2010). In addition to these comprehensive campaigns, she has directed a series of targeted campaigns for Athletics, the Museum of Art, Scholarships & Bursaries, the McMaster University Student Centre and the Faculty of Health Sciences' Centre for Learning & Discovery. Somers currently focuses her attention on working closely with senior academic leaders and volunteers to secure principal level gifts, (most notable among them, the largest cash gift to a Canadian university) and to introducing non-traditional approaches to partnerships and resource generation.

Along with co-author Dr. Frank Minton, Somers wrote the definitive volume on fundraising, Planned Giving for Canadians, and regularly speaks at conferences and on campuses throughout the world. Her degrees are in English and Art History and her early career was spent in the curatorial department of the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

She's an Aquarius and enjoys math and kittens.


Sue CunninghamCrystal AppleSue Cunningham
President and CEO
       Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Sue Cunningham is president and CEO of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, which supports over 3,700 schools, colleges and universities worldwide in developing their alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing operations. As CASE president and CEO, Ms. Cunningham provides strategic and operational leadership for one of the largest associations of education-related institutions in the world with members in over 80 countries.

Appointed in March 2015, Ms. Cunningham joined CASE from the University of Melbourne where, as vice-principal for advancement, she worked with the vice chancellor in leading a campaign to raise AUS$500 million and in building the advancement team across the university.

Prior to her work in Australia, Ms. Cunningham was director of development for the University of Oxford where she led a development team in the execution of the largest fundraising campaign outside of the United States: the Oxford Thinking Campaign, with a goal of £1.25 billion. Prior to this, she served as director of development at Christ Church, Oxford, and as director of external relations at St. Andrews University.

Before working in education, Ms. Cunningham enjoyed a career in theatre, the arts and the cultural sector. She is an honorary fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2012, Ms. Cunningham received the CASE Europe Distinguished Service Award, and in 2008, she was awarded a CASE Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Jon PaparsenosJon Paparsenos
Vice President, Philanthropy & CEO UNSW Foundation
UNSW Sydney

Jon Paparsenos is the Vice President Philanthropy and CEO UNSW Foundation appointed in 2016. He brings to the role more than 13 years' experience in campaigns and major and principal gifts fundraising. Prior to joining UNSW, he served in the position of Executive Director of Development, Academic Divisions and Regions for Caltech (the California Institute of Technology) and with Marquette University in Wisconsin and Community Counselling Co., LLC in New York.

Jon came to philanthropy following an eight year service with the US Marine Corps. Jon holds a BA from Seton Hall University. He is a fluent Greek speaker and emigrated from Greece at the age of 18 to the US. In 2016, Jon immigrated to Australia with his wife and two children to take up his current position with UNSW.

Fritz SchroederCrystal AppleFritz Schroeder
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
       Johns Hopkins University

Fritz Schroeder became vice president for development and alumni relations at The Johns Hopkins University in October 2012 and has just completed his 20th year at the university in progressively senior management roles.

He provides leadership and oversight for the entire fundraising and alumni efforts of the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine, and serves as the institution's chief fundraising officer. He is responsible for planning and executing the university's current comprehensive campaign, "Rising to the Challenge," which recently increased its goal to $5 billion and will conclude at the end of fiscal year 2018.

Schroeder joined Johns Hopkins in 1996 as director of annual giving and became executive director of development and alumni relations in 2000. During this time he had responsibility both for alumni outreach and for annual giving programs, serving as the executive director of the alumni association.

In 2004, he became associate vice president for development and alumni relations, with a promotion to senior associate vice president in 2006. He shared responsibility with deans and directors for the university's decentralized fundraising operations in the schools and other units, provided leadership for centralized development support offices, and took the lead on strategic planning, budget planning and oversight, trustee stewardship, prospect strategy development and general organizational issues.

Schroeder joined Johns Hopkins from the University of Maryland at College Park, where he had served since 1989 in a number of roles, including director of annual giving from 1993 to 1996.

He is a graduate of James Madison University and earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Dave ShepherdDave Shepherd
Director of College Advancement

Dave Shepherd is Director of College Advancement at United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA), a K1 - Grade 12 non-profit International school in Singapore. Established in 1971, the school has 5,500 students across two campuses with over 20,000 alumni.

With 29 years' experience in the schools' sector, Dave established the Advancement department at the College in 2006 and is responsible for the strategic leadership of the programme, incorporating alumni engagement, fundraising programmers, volunteer engagement and responsibility for the UWCSEA Foundation. Dave and his team are preparing for the first comprehensive campaign at the College, assembling a new global Foundation Leadership Council and launching a notable alumni programme.

A member of the Council for Advancement in Education (CASE) since 2006, Dave has presented regularly at CASE events, has served as a faculty member of the CASE Asia-Pacific Institute in Educational Fundraising and the CASE Philanthropy Commission. Dave is currently a member of the CASE Asia-Pacific Board.

Outside of work, Dave enjoys playing golf, scuba diving and sailing.

Miles StevensonCrystal Apple Miles Stevenson
Director of Advancement
       The University of Sheffield

Miles Stevenson established the Development and Alumni Relations Office at the University of Sheffield, U.K., in 2002. The office is responsible for raising philanthropic funds for the University, for its alumni relations programme and includes the Events Team which organizes graduation ceremonies, public lectures and special events (such as H.M. The Queen's visit in 2010). Miles is one of the University's Public Orators for honorary graduates.

Over the last sixteen years, the office has grown to a staff of 44. It has established a successful annual fund and legacy programme, and received six- and seven-figure cash gifts. Over 30,000 donations have been received and team has helped to raise over £50 million in gifts. It also organises the University alumni relations programme for over 170,000 alumni based in more than 120 countries.

Prior to Sheffield, Miles spent nine years at the University of Bristol's Development Office. Miles was educated at the University of Durham where he took a Bachelor's degree in History and a Master's Degree in Medieval History specializing on the Crusades. He is a Trustee of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens. He has spoken at fundraising conferences in Australia, Cyprus, Eire, Germany, Ghana, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and South Africa. He chaired the CASE Europe Spring Institute for four years.

Guest Speakers

Helen AstburyHelen Astbury
Senior Manager, Donor Development
Cancer Council Queensland

Helen Astbury loves people. She loves talking to them. She loves how they think, how they feel. And she particularly loves learning what motivates them to do what they do. So naturally, she ended up in fundraising!

A passionate fundraising, marketing communications and stakeholder engagement specialist, Helen has successfully worked with leading state, national and international organisations to deliver outstanding development outcomes across a number of industries - including medical research, higher education and the arts.

With over 17 years' experience in philanthropy, donor development and sponsorship, Helen is currently the Senior Manager, Donor Development for Cancer Council Queensland. She is responsible for all individual giving programs across the state including direct mail, acquisition, regular giving, major gifts and bequests.

Working across silos for a seamless end user experience is a key strength of Helen's and is one of the most common challenges for fundraisers in any organisation. The integration of fundraising, customer experience, marketing and business outcomes is key to her holistic approach to best practice donor development.

From the Department of Health in the UK, to leading Australian charities like Cancer Council and Surf Life Saving, through to Brisbane Powerhouse and QUT, Helen's experience ranges the private, public and charity sectors with one common thread - the donor always comes first!

With a qualification in Integrated Marketing and Philanthropy from QUT, Helen loves taking donors on a journey of giving that is fulfilling and enriching for all involved. Known at QUT as the Septuagenarian Whisperer, talking with donors and finding out exactly what they want (when others have failed) is her very mild superpower.

A lover of all things bequest and legacy planning, Helen is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and insights to ensure more Australian donors leave a gift in their Will in the future.

Deep SainiProfessor Deep Saini
Vice-Chancellor and President
University of Canberra

Professor Deep Saini is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra. Professor Saini was previously a Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga, where he was also a Professor of Biology. Professor Saini began his academic career in 1982 at the University of Alberta and subsequently served as the Director-General of the Plant Biology Research Institute at the Université de Montréal and Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. An educational visionary and distinguished scientist, his research on plant biology and biotechnology has focused on detoxification reactions in plants and the cellular mechanisms behind crop survival and yield in hazardous environments.

At the University of Toronto Mississauga, Professor Saini led major expansions and internationalization of enrolments, hired nearly 100 additional professors, and oversaw a $350 million expansion and renewal of facilities. Under his leadership, the University of Toronto Mississauga launched the Mississauga Academy of Medicine (medical school), the Institute for Management and Innovation (a sector-oriented business school), the Centre for South Asian Civilizations, the Professional Accounting Centre and the Centre for Medicinal Chemistry. He has successfully led major fundraising campaigns at his previous institutions, most recently at the University of Toronto Mississauga as part of the University of Toronto's $2.4 billion "Boundless" campaign.

Professor Saini has served as the President of the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists and Federation of Canadian Plant Science Societies. He has been editor of scientific journals, sat on the Advisory Council on Corporate and Social Responsibility for Export Development Canada, was a member of two overseas trade missions by the Ontario Premiers, and served on the boards of the United Way of Peel Region, the Research, Innovation and Commercialization Centre and the Economic Development Advisory Board of Mississauga. He is a member of the (governing) Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Professor Saini is fluent in English, French, Hindi and his native Punjabi, and has a good working knowledge of Urdu. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and M.Sc. (Honours) and B.Sc. (Honours) from Punjab Agricultural University, India. He has been honoured by Nanjing University, the Sikh Foundation of Canada, the Punjab Academy of Sciences and the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. He was featured in India Abroad's "2011 Power List" and is the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

A former field hockey player and track-and-field athlete for his universities in India and Australia, Professor Saini remains passionate about personal fitness. He is also an avid golfer and jogger and jogger.

Crystal AppleThis faculty member has earned a CASE Crystal Apple award in recognition of excellence in teaching at 10 or more conferences, workshops, and institutes.