Conferences & Training
Faculty - Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals

Conference Co-Chairs

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.

Keynote Speaker


Brian Kish
Emeril Lagasse Foundation

Brian Kish serves as the president of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. Carrying out the vision of Emeril and Alden Lagasse, the foundation supports programs that work to inspire, mentor and enable youth to help them achieve their full potential. Funds are distributed nationally, but are focused in those areas where Emeril has restaurants with a focus in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Donors support the foundation in a variety of ways capped off by an annual fundraising weekend that celebrates celebrity chefs and world renowned wine makers.

Prior to his current position, Kish was the senior vice president for development at the University of Arizona Foundation. He was a member of the executive management team of UAF and oversaw the offices of annual giving, communications, corporate and foundation relations, strategic prospect development and analytics, gift planning, special events and donor relations. In Spring 2014, he led the team that launched a $1.5 billion comprehensive campaign.

Kish has also served in development positions at Salve Regina University, University of California Irvine Medical Center, and Iowa State University.

Since 2000, he has served as a part-time consultant for Campbell & Company, based in Chicago, serving clients in elevating their development, and more specifically broad base giving, operations. As a development professional and consultant, Kish has worked with clients and institutions throughout the world including universities in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.

He is a frequent speaker for CASE and AFP conferences having served as chair or faculty on 32 development conferences and making more than100 professional presentations. He has been awarded the CASE Crystal Apple for teaching excellence, the youngest person to ever receive this honor.

Additionally, Kish hosts collaborative benchmarking meetings for Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company. He is also an adviser for ScaleFunder, a crowdfunding platform.


Rodger Devine

Rodger Devine
Senior Executive Director of Business Intelligence
University of Southern California

Rodger Devine is the senior executive director of business intelligence and operations at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California. In this role, he oversees data analytics, information strategy, advancement operations, gift data administration, prospect development and leadership annual giving programs. Prior to joining USC, he served as the director of information, analytics and annual giving at the Michigan Ross School of Business, where he managed information, data analytics, reporting and business process related to development strategy, portfolio activity and goal attainment.

Devine brings more than 15 years of experience in enterprise information systems, software engineering, IT operations, organizational development and cross-functional leadership. He completed his graduate studies in information, analysis and retrieval at the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the Michigan Data Sciences team and co-founded the Student Organizational for Data Analytics, formerly known as the Student Organization for Information, Analysis and Retrieval.

He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Organizational Change and Leadership program at the USC Rossier School of Education. He speaks at various conferences, teaches machine learning workshops and volunteers on data science projects that benefit nonprofit communities such as the A2 Data Dive. Devine co-authored and launched his book Data Science for Fundraising: Build Data-Driven Solutions Using R in 2018, and looks forward to connecting with other lifelong learners to build communities of expertise, insights and solutions for higher education and beyond.

Megan Doud

Megan Doud
Executive Director of Annual Giving
University of Michigan

Megan Doud serves as executive director of annual giving at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has a dual appointment between the Office of University Development and the Michigan Medicine Development Office and oversees critical pipeline programs including annual giving, leadership annual giving, and digital fundraising for the university and health system. Over the past decade, she has helped expand the university's annual giving program and integrate it into the "Victors for Michigan Campaign," which surpassed $5 billion. Last year, the University of Michigan had more than 116,000 annual donors who collectively contributed more than $66 million.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan in 2008, she worked on the annual giving team at Northwestern University and served as the director of development for Peninsula Players Theatre in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. At Peninsula Players, she managed all aspects of development including a capital campaign to rebuild the 60-year old theater pavilion and several of its support buildings.

Doud holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Northwestern University and a master's degree in business administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She and her team have won several CASE Circle of Excellence Awards over the years and Doud is delighted to be making her CASE faculty debut at the Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals.

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.


Rob Allen

Rob Allen
Assistant Vice President, Annual and Leadership Giving
Tulane University

Rob is assistant vice president for annual and leadership giving at Tulane University in New Orleans. He oversees teams responsible for reunion giving, leadership giving, annual giving campaigns (including direct response, student phone-a-thon, and digital) , as well as school-based annual giving directors. He plays a chief role in coordinating annual giving efforts campus-wide and as part of Tulane's Only the Audacious campaign. Rob came to Tulane in 2012 as Senior Director for Reunion Giving. Since that time, he and his team have built a comprehensive undergraduate reunion program that has experienced significant growth in weekend attendance, dollars raised, and alumni giving participation. Rob has held various roles in higher education over the last 20 years in academic affairs, student affairs, athletics, and admissions. He started his development career in annual and reunion giving at Harvard Business School and has been a major gift officer at Princeton University and Director of Individual Giving at a youth mentoring startup non-profit organization in New York City.

Elise Amacker
Marketing Communications Editor
Audubon Nature Institute

Elise Amacker is a communications professional with a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, primarily focused on fundraising. She has worked in development and communications at Audubon Nature Institute, a family of 10 parks and museums dedicated to nature in New Orleans, for more than four years, first as the annual giving manager, then as the director of development communications, and now as the marketing communications editor. In her current role, she is responsible for reviewing and editing all external communications and is the primary copywriter for development communications such as annual giving appeals, a quarterly print newsletter, and all executive major gift proposals.

She began her career in development at Columbia University, where she was on the Law School’s Annual Giving team before transitioning to the Communications and Projects team in the Office of the President. She has a Juris Doctorate from Tulane University Law School and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola University New Orleans. She served as a student attorney representing clients in Tulane Law School’s Domestic Violence Clinic, and she has volunteered as a writing mentor for the Posse Foundation since 2015.

Joshua Fertitta
Director of Development
Café Reconcile

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.

Cory J. Howat
Executive Director
Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans

Cory J. Howat is the executive director of the Catholic Community Foundation for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He has an extensive background working in nonprofits including service to both the programmatic and development side of the mission.

Howat's business background started when he and an associate established the Smoothie King franchises in the Las Vegas valley. This motivated him to take some of the entrepreneurial expectations of the business industry into the nonprofit sector. His nonprofit development experience broadened as the executive director for Boys Hope Girls Hope where he served for more than nine years. This included the rebuilding of the organization following Hurricane Katrina.

He has fundraising experience as a major gifts officer and as a director of institutional advancement. He served as the director of stewardship for the Archdiocese of New Orleans before being promoted as the head of the Catholic Foundation in 2017. He helped create and launch #iGiveCatholic, the first-ever day of Catholic giving in the country, now reaching donors in all 50 states while raising more than $5.5 million dollars in 24 hours.

Howat holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Mississippi State University and a master's degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary's University in Minnesota.

Melissa Lancaster
Director, Charter Membership
The National WWII Museum

With more than 14 years of nonprofit fundraising experience, Melissa Lancaster has managed the National WWII Museum's robust direct marketing program, which generates more than $10 million annually. She has assumed leadership roles throughout her professional career including the design and implementation of strategic, marketing and fundraising plans, program and project management, recruitment and supervision of personnel, written and verbal communications and presentations and cultivation of constituency relationships.

She oversees the museum's onsite membership program which has more than tripled in revenue and stabilized member conversion over the last five years. A graduate from the University of New Orleans with a bachelor's degree in marketing and business administration. She many organizations, including the Direct Marketing Association, the American Alliance of Museum and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

She will be completing her DCMP certification this spring and is perusing her CFRE accreditation.

Geneva Longlois-Marney

Geneva Longlois-Marney
Director, Annual Fund and Alumnae Relations, Newcomb College Institute, Tulane University
President, AFP New Orleans Chapter

Geneva Longlois-Marney currently serves as the director of the annual fund and alumnae relations at Newcomb College Institute. Newcomb College Institute (NCI) represents the evolution of undergraduate education of what was once Newcomb College at Tulane University. NCI's mission is to educate undergraduate women for leadership in the 21st century.

Prior to joining Newcomb College Institute, Longlois-Marney has more than 15 years of experience in donor development and volunteer management gained at nonprofit organizations throughout New Orleans. Most recently, she was with New Orleans City Park as their major gifts and planned giving officer, where she created their major gifts program and secured more than $500,000 in gifts from individuals and foundations as well as managed multiple volunteer boards.

Previously, she coordinated the capital campaign for Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans and Acadiana. She currently serves as the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater New Orleans Chapter and is on the board of the New Orleans Planned Giving Council.

Longlois-Marney earned her degree in humanities and social thought with a minor in women's studies at Louisiana Scholar's College at Northwestern State University.

Caitlin Scanlan
Director of Development
Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana

Caitlin Scanlan serves as director of development for Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana. She has worked as a fundraising professional in the New Orleans area for 14 years. A recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater New Orleans Chapter Chamberlain Scholarship, she is currently serving on the chapter's board of directors.

Scanlan is a graduate of Drew University, Volunteers of America's KeyMakers Leadership Institute, and is an active member of her neighborhood Mid-City Rotary Club. 

Heather Sweeney
Director of Development
Second Harvest of Greater New Orleans

Heather Sweeney has 15 years of experience working in development and philanthropy. She joined Second Harvest Food Bank in 2008 and is responsible for growing and sustaining the annual community support from individuals, corporations, and foundations that is crucial to fulfilling Second Harvest's mission. In addition to overseeing the annual fund, she also manages planned giving and is coordinating a $15 million capital campaign.