Conferences & Training
Faculty - Annual Conference for Donor Relations Professionals

Conference Co-Chairs

Maureen Donnelly

Maureen Donnelly
Senior Director of Development, Donor Relations
Massachusetts General Hospital

Maureen leads the Massachusetts General Hospital donor relations/stewardship team responsible for gift agreements and acknowledgements, fund establishment and endowment/impact reporting, principal gift stewardship, and donor recognition. Prior to MGH, Maureen led similar teams at Boston University and MIT, and held management positions in development/alumni relations at Emmanuel College. She has experience in strategic planning, operations and relationship management, and is known for her expertise in building high functioning teams and programs that utilize creative approaches to stewarding, cultivating, and conveying to donors the impact of their philanthropy. In 2013, she was keynote for CASE Europe's annual Stewardship Conference, and she presents frequently for ADRP, AFP, CASE Donor Relations and District 1, and Women in Development Boston. Maureen earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Emmanuel College and a master of social work degree from Simmons College.


Mark Lanum

Mark Lanum
Director of Donor Relations
University of Washington

Mark Lanum is the director of donor relations at the University of Washington where he has served in a multiple roles since beginning his advancement career in 2000. He is passionate about driving the donor relations profession forward and he continuously seeks to identify new and innovative ways to connect donors with the organizations they support and love. Known for his enthusiasm for impact reporting, he encourages people to simply "tell them what you did with their money." To this end, he also champions strategies that make stewardship both personal and scalable.

A frequent speaker for CASE and other professional organizations, Lanum proudly serves on the board of directors for the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP). He holds a bachelor's degree from Trinity Lutheran College.



Faculty

Leslie Carmona

Leslie Carmona
Director of Donor Relations
Wayne State University

Leslie Carmona is the director of donor relations at Wayne State University in Detroit. She has worked in philanthropy for more than nine years and proudly serves on the executive committee of the local AFP Chapter. She is an experienced speaker with a keen understanding of philanthropy and the field of donor relations. Prior to joining the Wayne State team, she raised funds for the Humane Society of Broward County, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Michigan State University. 

She graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in sociology and completed her graduate work at Michigan State University.


Alta Compton

Alta Compton
Director of Donor Relations
Trinity University

Alta Compton is the director of donor relations for Trinity University, where she is responsible for everything from presidential-level stewardship and endowment reporting to tracking down students for thank-you notes and occasionally dressing as the university mascot. She started her development career in prospect research before spending six years working in administration and relationship management for the major gifts and executive teams at the University of Texas at Austin.

She holds a master's degree in information studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor's degree in history from Colorado State University.


Kirsten Lavin

Kirsten Lavin
Director of Stewardship
Johns Hopkins University

Kirsten Lavin is a classically trained musician who began her career in arts administration. In her 16 years at Johns Hopkins University, she has led communications teams at the Peabody Institute and the Office of Alumni Relations before helping to build the strategic communications and donor recognition platform for the $5-billion "Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins."

As director of stewardship in the Office of Donor and Volunteer Engagement, Lavin guides the stewardship, recognition and engagement of top donors to both Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, and leads a team working on discreet projects for principal level donors. Additionally, she calls upon her expertise in project management and constituent engagement to champion the mandatory stewardship program with the goal of building and enhancing relationships with donors at all levels. She has presented at the Association of Donor Relations Professionals International Conference and the CASE District II conference.



Keynote Speakers

Kathleen M. Sutcliffe

Kathleen M. Sutcliffe
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Carey Business School/School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University

Kathleen M. Sutcliffe is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University with appointments in the Carey Business School, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety. Her research program has been devoted to investigating how organizations and their members cope with uncertainty, team and organizational learning, and how organizations can be designed to be more reliable and resilient. She is currently investigating organizational safety, high reliability and resilience practices in healthcare and in other high hazard industries such as oil exploration and production and wildland firefighting.

She has published widely in management and organization theory and healthcare. Two recent co-authored publications include, Managing the unexpected: Sustained performance in a complex world (2015, Wiley Press); and Organizational response to adversity: Fusing crisis management and resilience research streams (2017, Academy of Management Annals). In 2012 she was appointed by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine to a research panel to study workforce resilience in the Department of Homeland Security. Sutcliffe was awarded a distinguished scholar award by the Academy of Management in 2015. In 2016 she received a Bellagio Research Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation.


Lisa Thomas

Lisa Thomas
Associate Vice President, Campaign
University of Washington

As associate vice president of campaigns, Lisa Thomas is responsible for leading the University of Washington's "Be Boundless" campaign, a comprehensive $5B effort. Her work encompasses vision, goals, priorities, plans, budget, timeline, policies, volunteer leadership and operations, bringing together leadership across the university's integrated advancement model.

Thomas has a long history at the University of Washington. Since joining the advancement team in 1994, she has led campaigns, served as a fundraiser, and directed the institution's donor identification and relationship management efforts.

Proud to work for her alma mater, she earned bachelor's degrees in sociology and communications and a master's degree in communication research from the University of Washington. She is a regular speaker both regionally and nationally on campaigns and related topics.



Speakers

Alyson Bell

Alyson Bell
Assistant Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations
College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Alyson Bell is the assistant director of stewardship and donor relations for the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this role, she develops, plans, and implements stewardship and donor relations activities to enhance advancement efforts for the College of Engineering. Bell began her career in higher education advancement in 2014 as a data specialist for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Annual Giving Office. She is passionate about creating systematic and sustainable stewardship programming to better foster long-term donor engagement. She received her bachelor of arts in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic and her master of science in library and information science from the University of Illinois.


Lauren Dixson

Lauren Dixson
Director of Development Services
Drake University

Lauren Dixson is the director of development services at Drake University, where she has managed the donor relations, prospect research and foundation relations departments since 2011. Previously, she worked at the Iowa State University Foundation as the associate director of development research.

Dixson is a former member of the Apra Board of Directors (2013-2017). In addition to her service on the international board, she served as the Apra conference chair in 2013, on the conference curriculum planning committee in 2011 and 2012, and as president of the Apra-Great Plains chapter from 2010-2012. She is a frequent speaker at CASE, Apra, and AFP conferences.

She is a proud graduate of Iowa State University.


Teresa Kesler

Teresa Kesler
Assistant Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship
University of Georgia

Teresa Kesler is the assistant director of donor relations and stewardship at the University of Georgia, a role she has held for nine years. She has worked in the Development and Alumni Relations division since 1996, beginning in the data management area, then the IT department as quality control and a query specialist. Her love of data, people and problem solving makes her a natural fit in the donor relations and stewardship world. She has presented at the Southeast Regional ADRP conference as well as the CASE District III conference. 


Bond T. Lammey

Bond Lammey
Managing Associate
Bentz Whaley Flessner

Bond Lammey is a managing associate at Bentz Whaley Flessner specializing in prospect development and donor relations. She has worked with higher education institutions, medical centers, and humanitarian and conservation organizations. Prior to joining BWF, Bond was the director of prospect research at the University of Chicago.

She received her bachelor's degree in sociology and her master's degree in Nonprofit Administration, both from North Park University. She is the treasurer of the Apra International board and an instructor at the Rice University Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. Bond has presented in the United States, Canada, Australia and Asia at CASE, ADRP, AASP, and Apra conferences..


Rachel Pirkle

Rachel Pirkle
Associate Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship
College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

Rachel Pirkle is the associate director of donor relations and stewardship at the College of Engineering, where she is responsible for developing and implementing a college-wide, comprehensive donor-centric stewardship program. She has worked in higher education advancement for seven years.

Previous roles include managing the UI Foundation's gift processing department and serving as a stewardship services specialist, also for UIF. She is a dual alumna from the University of Illinois, earning her bachelor's degree in biology and master's of business administration degree. Pirkle's scientific background leads her to approach stewardship with a problem solving, data driven, no-nonsense attitude. With 10 departments and more than 80,000 alumni, the College of Engineering stewardship and donor relations team focuses on implementing streamlined processes so they may efficiently steward as many donors as possible.


Jennifer Amodeo Riordan

Jennifer Amodeo Riordan
Executive Director, Donor Relations
The George Washington University

Jennifer Riordan has been with GW since the fall of 2007 and currently manages the centralized Donor Relations team. She has extensive experience in fundraising for higher education, particularly in the areas of annual giving, major gifts, stewardship and project management.

Prior to coming to GW, Riordan served as a major gifts officer for the Georgetown University Athletic Department and as university director of the annual fund for Long Island University. She began her career in development in 1999 as the assistant director of the annual fund at Hofstra University.

Riordan received her bachelor's degree in communications from the University at Albany and her master's degree in education from Temple University.


Tony Stringer

Tony Stringer
Senior Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship
University of Georgia

Tony Stringer has been employed by the University of Georgia for 21 years, and has held the position of senior director of donor relations and stewardship for the past 10. Prior to his move to the this office, he served as donor relations coordinator for UGA's Terry College of Business for more than six years. Before that, he was part of the Student Services department at UGA's College of Education.

Stringer received a bachelor's degree in journalism from UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He volunteers in the nonprofit sector, and has served as a trustee of the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation, a board member for the UGA Women's Gymnastics Ten-O Club, and currently serves on the Friends Board of the Georgia Museum of Art.


Anita Walton Headshot

Anita B. Walton
Director of Diversity and Talent Management
Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Anita B. Walton serves as director of diversity and talent management for CASE. She provides leadership in developing, communicating and executing a comprehensive strategy to successfully attract, hire and maintain a continuous talent pipeline, engage and serve select CASE constituencies with significant emphasis on efforts to diversify the profession, enhance and promote student programs including CASE ASAP, the CASE Advancement Internship Program and provide oversight to the CASE Career Central.

Prior to joining CASE, Walton served at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) for five years as director of alumni relations and the last two years as assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. Prior to NCCU, she served at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) for 18 years, seven years in student affairs and 11 years in alumni relations. With a master's degree in higher education and 25 years of experience including program management, volunteer stewardship, strategic and process development and relationship building, Walton is no stranger to CASE. She has served in numerous volunteer roles, including chair of CASE III, a member of the Commission on Alumni Relations, an active contributor to CASE's opportunity and inclusion activities serving as the DIII O&I chair from 2007-2011, CASE ASAP activities and has been a frequent CASE speaker.

She earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master's degree in education, with a concentration in higher education administration, from North Carolina State University.


Cassandra N. Zacharkiw
Director, Donor Relations
The George Washington University

Cassandra Zacharkiw joined the donor relations team at the George Washington University in 2016. She manages the day to day operations of the donor relations team, including oversight of two assistant directors. Prior to joining GW, Zacharkiw worked at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., as their director of advancement services and stewardship. She managed a team responsible for bio and gift records and the stewardship of major and leadership annual gifts. She also held positions in donor relations and special events at American University and annual giving at Bentley University.

She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Ithaca College and her master's degree in strategic communication from American University.