Conferences & Training
Faculty - Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals

Conference Chair

Robert A. Burdenski
Robert Burdenski Annual Giving

Chicago resident Bob Burdenski is a twenty-year friend of CASE Europe and an internationally-recognized expert, author and consultant in annual and regular giving fundraising strategies. He has worked with more than 200 institutions around the world, and is the author of the best-selling CASE books Innovations in Annual Giving: Ten Departures That Worked, More Innovations in Annual Giving: Ten Global Departures That Worked, and the new CASE e-book, Online Innovations in Annual and Regular Giving: Ten Dozen Departures That Worked.

Burdenski is a ten-time faculty member of the annual CASE Europe Spring Institute in Educational Fundraising at Loughborough University. In this role, he has taught hundreds of CASE Europe fundraisers their introduction to regular giving. He has also presented multiple CASE Regular Giving Masterclasses in the UK over the years, and presented CASE's first-ever regular giving programs in Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland and Singapore. This past month, he served as chair of the CASE Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals.

Known for sharing many examples from many institutions in his talks, he is a 2008 recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple for his excellence in educating - and entertaining - his audiences.


John H. Barnhill

John H. Barnhill
Associate Vice President for University Advancement
Elon University

John H. Barnhill serves Elon University as the associate vice president of university advancement. Often acting as a liaison for advancement; he serves on the vice president’s leadership team to oversee divisional priorities and provides leadership to academic deans to increase strategic engagement of alumni and parents. In 2010, he led the effort to create a strategic plan for alumni, which laid the current foundation of Elon’s vibrant alumni network. Under his leadership, the plan has increased alumni and student giving participation, expanded regional alumni markets and events, modernized web and marketing materials and expanded volunteer and recognition societies. Seeking to further engage Elon’s broadening alumni base, Barnhill conceived and piloted #ElonDay in 2014, an annual day of giving for the university. Since then, he has spearheaded four successful Elon Days, the latest raising $1,075,025 and more than quadrupling the number of gifts received in the last four years.

Previously, he served as Salem State University’s assistant vice president for institutional advancement. While there, he managed a team of 17 staff members, served on the president’s leadership team and co-chaired Salem State’s five-year strategic planning committee. Under his leadership, annual alumni events and activities doubled, the number of $1,000 donors grew 67 percent and the office of Institutional Advancement rebranded their marketing materials.

Graduating from Elon in 1992, Barnhill started his professional career at Elon and has led a number of programmatic efforts that remain critical to Elon’s success. In 2002, he served as the founding executive director of the North Carolina Campus Compact, a collaborative network of 37 colleges and universities committed to educating engaged citizens and strengthening communities. Earlier as the assistant dean of students, he directed the Residence Life and Service Learning departments and co-created the Experiential Learning Requirement. As the director of service learning and leadership development, he oversaw the endowment and creation of the nationally recognized Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. In the same role, he created the student leadership model, which involves students in progressive responsibility for coordination of both leadership and service programs. As a student, with Chaplain Emeritus Richard McBride, he started Elon’s campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity and Elon Volunteers (EV!).

He holds a master's degree in education from UNC Greensboro.

Ashley A. Buderus

Ashley A. Buderus
Quarterly Forum

Ashley Buderus is the chief executive officer for Quarterly Forum (QF), a non-partisan, not-for-profit leadership organization that inspires, empowers and connects Colorado’s most influential community leaders. She previously served Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation and University of Denver, in major and planned gift fundraising roles. She was a Fellow with El Pomar Foundation from 2005 to 2008, and served as the alumni representative to the trustees in 2011.

Buderus earned her bachelor’s degree in international business from the University of Denver and her master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University.

Brian Gawor

Brian Gawor
Vice President for Research
Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Brian Gawor is a 20 year higher education veteran, and has worked in student affairs, recruitment, annual giving and major gifts. He now coordinates fundraising research for RNL, following the latest trends and industry data. He also hosts the Fundraising Voices podcast, available on Itunes, Stitcher and Spotify. He is completing his doctorate at Illinois State University.

Andrew Gossen

Andrew Gossen
Executive Director, Digital
Cornell University Alumni Affairs and Development

Find Andrew Online:
Twitter: @agossen

Andrew Gossen is the executive director for digital in Cornell University's Division of Alumni Affairs and Development. He joined Cornell in 2010 to spearhead the integration of digital technologies into the division's strategic plan. Previously, Gossen spent eight years at the Alumni Association of Princeton University in a number of diverse roles. His main focus is on the use of digital technologies, including social media, to build audiences and mobilize them on behalf of a range of causes and organizations.

In addition to speaking frequently on this topic to domestic and international audiences, he serves as co-host of HigherEdLive’s Advancement Live channel, a monthly web show providing thought leadership and professional development for higher ed alumni affairs, communications, and fundraising professionals. He has served on the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Commission on Alumni Relations, co-chaired the CASE Joint Commission Task Force on Social Media, and served on the Advisory Group of Alumni Futures.

Gossen holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton and a doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University.

Meg Weber

Meg Weber
Executive Director of Annual Giving
Colorado State University

Meg Weber is the executive director of annual giving for Colorado State University, where she has served since 2011. At CSU, she oversees a centralized, integrated annual giving program targeting a diverse constituent base including alumni, parents, faculty and staff, and grateful clients, as well as a recent emphasis on students and young alumni. Under Weber's leadership, CSU has implemented several innovative programs and shifted to a data-driven approach to planning and decision-making. As a result, CSU has increased its alumni participation rate by more than 47 percent since 2011 and set institutional records for overall numbers of donors in each of the last five years.

Weber has more than 20 years of experience in the field of advancement, and considers herself a bona fide annual giving nerd. With a career focused on annual giving at large public universities, Weber has held positions with Washington State University, University of North Texas and University of Texas at Arlington. Weber also serves as an industry adviser for Community Funded. She is a proud graduate of Washington State University.


Nicole Cook

Nicole Cook
Director, Marketing & Participation
Cornell University

Nicole Cook is director of marketing and participation for Cornell University's annual giving programs. She is a direct marketing specialist with more than 15 years of experience in building patron loyalty within the performing arts and higher education. Before joining Cornell, she held marketing and audience development positions with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

Alexis Kanda-Olmstead

Alexis Kanda-Olmstead
Director of Advancement Talent Management
Dartmouth College

Alexis Kanda-Olmstead started a new role as the director of advancement talent management at Dartmouth College. Prior to this position, she was the managing director for talent management, training and support at Colorado State University. She leads diversity and inclusion efforts, coordinates career and professional development initiatives, and delivers learning programs for 140 staff in the division of University Advancement. She has worked in higher education for 20 years, primarily in the field of student affairs where she taught leadership classes and coordinated programming for undergraduate students.

Her work around diversity and women's development has been recognized at the university and national levels. She is the founder of AKO Collective, a women's leadership development initiative based in Northern Colorado that offers training and development to women and girls.

Kander-Olmstead holds a bachelor's degree in organizational studies from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University, and a Certificate in Organization Development from Colorado State University. She is a certified StrengthsQuest Educator and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Practitioner.

Catherine Marhenke

Catherine Marhenke
Senior Associate Director, Annual Giving
Colgate University

Catherine Marhenke serves as senior associate director, annual giving at Colgate University. She is responsible for the marketing efforts that contribute to Colgate's $13 million annual fund. She oversees professional staff and programs that focus on recent alumni participation, volunteer management, stewardship and student philanthropy. Her team drives Colgate's 48 percent annual alumni participation rate.

She came to Colgate in 2016, bringing with her a decade of nonprofit and higher education fundraising experience, including roles at the University of Central Arkansas and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Her expertise lies in multichannel unrestricted fundraising including direct mail, digital strategy and emerging trends.

Marhenke earned her bachelor's degree in theatre from the University of South Carolina and her master's degree in community and economic development from the University of Central Arkansas. She is a certified Raisers Edge user and currently serves on Colgate's RE NXT Core Implementation team.


appleCASE Crystal Apple for teaching excellence.

Jennifer Lackey
Vice President of Development
Project Angel Heart

Peter Moes

Peter Moes
Director of Annual Giving
University of Utah

Peter Moes currently serves as the director of annual giving for the University of Utah. Within his role he oversees the university's leadership annual giving society as well as all aspects of the central Development Office's annual giving efforts, including a 12 month, 25 station, Phonathon employing 60 students. As director of annual giving, he also spends a great deal of time assessing results and advising campus areas on annual giving strategy.

Prior to joining the University of Utah, Moes served as a Fundraising Program Consultant for Harris Connect. Working with clients across the country, his efforts focused on annual giving programs with an emphasis on Phonathon strategy and management and caller training.

He received a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in higher education administration from the University of South Carolina. Moes began his career in student affairs where he became involved in student philanthropy, which ultimately shaped his future career path.

Amy Stewart
Philanthropy Director, Annual Giving
Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation

Beka Wilson
Development Director
Conservation Colorado

appleCASE Crystal Apple for teaching excellence.