Meet Your Co-Chairs
Juan García is the assistant vice president for advancement strategy and campaign director for the University of Texas at Austin. Previously, he served as chief strategy, analytics and campaigns officer with Texas Athletics, as associate vice president and campaign director at Wake Forest University, as vice president of operations and CIO at Arizona State University Foundation, and as assistant vice president for development services and analytics at the University of Texas at Austin.
His experience includes campaign planning and goal setting, case statement development, fundraising project planning and management, and analytics modeling. He has also led the development of multiple business intelligence capabilities that include data sources from CRM systems, ticketing systems, donation systems, donor capacity ratings, demographic profiles, behavioral indicators and additional third-party data sources. In addition, he has implemented reporting, data mining and statistical modeling capabilities to assist with prospect identification, revenue projections, and process optimization.
Prior to joining development community, García spent 11 years as a management consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Arthur Andersen and BearingPoint. His project assignments focused on data-driven business analysis, and development of business plans for strategy and operations projects. His experience includes strategy formulation, merger integration, revenue growth enhancement, and operational improvement consulting projects.
García received a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
Rebecca Kocher is the Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Engagement at Wittenberg University. In her role, Rebecca is responsible for leading the alumni engagement and fundraising efforts to help Wittenberg University successfully launch and complete its Having Light comprehensive campaign. Rebecca has a passion for developing, implementing, and analyzing strategies to expand outreach with limited resources, as well as extensive experience in relationship-building and cross-divisional collaboration, all within a metrics-driven environment. With more than 16 years of experience in higher education fundraising, Rebecca understands and embraces the value of creating a metric-driven environment that includes high levels of accountability and a high-touch modeling method. Her advancement experience spans both public and private institutions in all phases of campaign execution, board management, operations development and goal setting. Prior to Wittenberg University, Rebecca served in various advancement roles at Bowling Green State University, Albion College and the University of Mary Washington. Prior to her career higher education, she worked for a private publishing company in Virginia focused on marketing and communications.
Jennifer L. Howe
Jennifer Howe joined the University of Dayton (UD) as Vice President, University Advancement in July 2016 after having helped to lead a $1.93B fundraising campaign for Vanderbilt University.
Ms. Howe brought a stellar record in leadership and fundraising, including planning and implementing successful campaigns, personally bringing in principal and major gifts totaling more than $20M in her last several years at Vanderbilt, significantly increasing annual giving, and supporting athletics' capital needs. Howe joined Vanderbilt in 2001 and served as associate chancellor for university development from 2002-16. Her responsibilities included: development and alumni relations for undergraduate and professional schools, including the medical center; corporate and foundation relations; planned giving; international philanthropy; and athletics fundraising. Previously, she was director of development and foundation and international relations for Emory University for five years, as well as worked for their provost as a project manager during her initial year at the institution.
As UD’s Vice President for University Advancement, Howe is responsible for managing the full range of fundraising programs and constituent engagement functions (alumni, parents, friends and donors); serves on the President’s Cabinet; and works with the University’s Board of Trustees on new trustee recruitment. In her four years at UD, the University Advancement team has seen significant investment in terms of staffing, resources and infrastructure – and the results have followed, significantly elevating the total new commitments received by the institution, including notable gains in principal and major gifts as well as the launch of new fundraising and engagement initiatives in student philanthropy, parents, peer-to-peer ambassadors, DEI/affinity-based groups, and digital/virtual lifelong learning. In October 2018, UD’s Board of Trustees voted to approve its first comprehensive campaign since 2002 and to move forward in its leadership phase under Howe’s direction.
Howe earned a Bachelor's degree with honors in English from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and has served on a number of leadership and conference committees for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
She and her husband, Andrew, a retired insurance professional, recently celebrated 30 years of marriage in early 2021, and they share their homes in Dayton, Ohio and West Falmouth, Massachusetts with their Welsh Corgi, Skylar.
Bill Kissick joined Mercersburg Academy in July of 2019. As Chief Advancement Officer where he leads a team of 20 which strives to build the Mercersburg alumni and parent community around the world and raise funds in support of the school. The school is preparing for its next comprehensive campaign.
Kissick has 40+ years of alumni and development experience having served as chief advancement officer at St. Paul’s School where he directed a successful $175mm campaign, as associate dean for development and external relations at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, as director of capital gifts at Deerfield Academy, and in the major gifts offices at Dartmouth College, and St. Lawrence University. He has lead or worked on five separate campaigns, and got his start in annual giving and alumni relations at Denison University and the William Penn Charter School.
He graduated from Penn Charter, holds a bachelor's degree from Denison University and a master's degree in business administration from the Wharton School. Kissick received the Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018 and was named a CASE Laureate in 2021.
Chris Morrison joined the University of Dayton in January 2013 as Associate Vice President of Advancement (AVP) and assumed the additional responsibilities of Campaign Operations Director in 2017.
Just prior to joining the university, Morrison was President and Chief Operating Officer of The Geode Group, a Cincinnati-based sales consulting and training firm that he co-founded. Morrison developed and implemented a relationship management process within UD’s Advancement division in 2012 and in 2013 UD leadership asked him to join the Advancement team to lead to all major giving initiatives. During his time at UD he has applied his leadership and relationship building expertise to develop the major gifts area while also developing a true principal gifts process and team. As Director of Campaign Operations, Morrison has led efforts to complete the campaign feasibility phase in only 8 months. He designed a campaign cabinet structure, recruited a full volunteer network and continues to implement processes focusing on increasing philanthropy, engagement and overall donor participation during the university’s first campaign in 20 years.
Chris earned a BS in Marketing and minor in Communications from The University of Dayton. He met his wife, Mary at UD, and has three children: Matt (UD class of 2012), Andrea (UD class of 2014) and Kevin (UD class of 2018) and two grandchildren.
Emily M. Rankin
Emily M. Rankin is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development at the University of California, Riverside. Emily joined the UCR Advancement team in 2017 and recently helped to successfully close the university’s first comprehensive campaign, surpassing the $300m goal, in December 2020. In her role, Emily is charged with overseeing the fundraising teams for seven of the university’s colleges and schools in addition to serving on the Advisory Committee on Campus Art. Emily is managing the first campus public art exhibition of all women sculptors which will open Summer 2021.
Emily sits on the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII Cabinet as Chair-elect. She has been a member of eight CASE District VII Conference Committees including Alumni Track Co-chair in 2007 and Chair in 2008.
Emily’s career spans more than two decades in higher education and non-profit management at institutions including Scripps College, University of San Diego, Whittier College, Opera Pacific, and the Byrd Hoffman Foundation. Emily is an alumna of Scripps College and Claremont Graduate University’s Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management where she continues to be a loyal donor and avid volunteer.