Conferences & Training
Speakers - Aspire: Small Teams, Big Opportunities


Jo Ballantine

Jo Ballantine
Director of Development
The Royal Latin School

Jo began her fundraising career 20 years ago, working on a £27m capital campaign at Birmingham Children's Hospital before moving to work as a Regional Campaign Manager for the NSPCC's £250m Full Stop Campaign.

Since 2010, Jo has been Director of Development at The Royal Latin School in Buckingham, where she set up the Development Office and alumni relations programme and has led the creation of a ten year, four phase capital campaign to improve facilities in time for the 600th anniversary of the school in 2023. In 2015 Jo successfully delivered an innovative £5m Discovery Centre, followed by a £1m 6th form refurbishment in 2017 and is now mid-way through a £3m Sports Campus campaign. Phase four, a £5m+ Arts Centre, will follow.

Jo specialises in senior volunteer leadership, fundraising strategy and major gifts, and offers fundraising and development consultancy services to other schools and small charities via You can follow Jo on Twitter at @BallantineJo.

Robert Wayman

Robert Wayman
Alumni Relations and Philanthropy Manager
Solent University

Robert Wayman is an award-winning Development and Alumni Relations Professional within the Higher Education sector with over seven years experience. Wayman co-founded the Special Gifts Network and CASE Graduate Trainee Alumni Group. He is currently responsible for implementing the alumni relations and philanthropy strategy to support and advance Southampton Solent University along with managing their expanding Alumni Relations and Philanthropy Team. Outside of work Wayman is a Local Authority School Governor and Assistant District Commissioner for Cub Scouts.


Kate Burgess
Alumni Relations and Development Manager
University of Suffolk

Kate is the Alumni Relations and Development Manager within the Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship Team. She is working to raise the profile of the Alumni Association both internally and externally and ensuring the Universities philanthropic work continues to build through the work of the Foundation Board.
Kate Graduated Sheffield Hallam University in 2002 with a degree in Nutrition, Health and Lifestyles and moved back to Suffolk in 2004.
Kate's background is within the Voluntary Sector with over 15 years' experience of working with families and children both at ground level and strategic management level. She has many years of project management experience including contract management of a wide portfolio of services working with some of the most vulnerable people in Suffolk. The services Kate managed included; The Domestic Abuse Outreach Service for Suffolk, The Appropriate Adult Service, Money Advice, Drug and Alcohol Services, Advocacy and Mediation. She is passionate about meeting the needs of vulnerable and underprivileged groups in Suffolk through raising aspirations and contributing to building the Higher Education offer within the County.
Kate joined the University in June 2018 and is the Named School Governor for Safeguarding at Clifford Road Primary School in Ipswich.

Kurstin Finch Gnehm
Head of Individual Giving and Legacies
Royal Academy of Music

Kurstin Finch Gnehm is the Head of Individual Giving and Legacies at the Royal Academy of Music. Previously, she served as Regular Giving Manager for Imperial College London, where her team recently won a CASE Award and the 2016 London Marathon award for most money raised per charity runner. She has also worked in Regular Giving at the University of Aberdeen and the University of St Andrews. Kurstin started her fundraising career at Linfield College in the United States and holds degrees from Linfield, Oregon State University and the University of Iowa, where she has also taught communication and gender studies classes. She serves on the Learning & Development Committee at the Institute of Fundraising, and writes a blog about Americans living in the UK, called From Salem to St Andrews.

David Hudon
The Royal Latin School

David Hudson was brought up in Birmingham and attended Handsworth Grammar School

He read History at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge before completing his PGCE at the University of Oxford. During this time he was awarded a Blue in football for both universities.
David has taught in state schools since 1987 in Bristol, Thame, Didcot and Bicester.
As Head of History he co-authored "The Early Tudors", a text book for A-level study. He also spent two years teaching in Paris before being appointed Headteacher at The Royal Latin School in January 2010.

Since joining The Royal Latin School, David has introduced significant curriculum changes, guided the school to its current Academy status and used the freedom thereof to develop a significant fundraising campaign to improve learning facilities for the school and community (the 600 Campaign). This has resulted in a new 12 lab science "Discovery Centre" and a refurbished 6th Form Centre.

Professor Helen Langton
Vice Chancellor
University of Suffolk

Professor Helen Langton joined the University from the University of South Wales where she was Deputy Vice Chancellor and a Professor in Children's Cancer Nursing Education. Helen held a number of senior posts in universities in the United Kingdom and has a range of experience across health and social care, science and social science and education. Helen's research and teaching expertise relates to Children and Young People with Cancer, Inter professional Education, Technology Enhanced Learning and Innovation and Improvement methodologies.

Helen has been a member of a number of national boards and bodies including with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and Department of Health. Helen is now co-chair of the Health Education England Advisory Group for Nursing and Midwifery. Internationally Helen is a board member for the Academy of Health Care Improvement, and a board member for the De Souza Nursing Institute in Toronto Canada and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Child Health Care.

Emily Robin
Director of Advancement
American School of Paris

A seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in higher education and schools, Emily Robin is the leader of an integrated advancement program at the American School of Paris, an international school of 850 students from 61 nations. In this role, Emily aligns staff and resources to build capacity for sustained success in securing philanthropic support, engaging constituents, and recruiting students.

Emily began her career at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School, and most recently oversaw the Major Gifts program at Bryn Mawr College. She has served on the board of the Ecole Française Internationale de Philadelphie. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Penn's Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, Emily also holds a Master's degree, with Distinction, from University College, London. You can follow Emily on Twitter at @emilyarobin.

Fiona Ross

Fiona Ross
Head of Development
The Grammar School at Leeds

Fiona joined The Grammar School at Leeds in 2017 from the University of Leeds where she was a successful major gifts fundraiser for a number of years. Fiona has experience of multidimensional campaigns and is particularly skilled in fundraising for bursary and outreach projects. Her role at GSAL is to professionalise the development activity; establishing protocols and procedures, developing the events and engagement strategy, and of course fundraising.

Crystal Apple award winner for excellence in teaching