Welcome and Opening Keynote
Matthew Luhn is a writer, animator, director, and top innovation keynote speaker. During his 20-year career at Pixar Animation Studios, he worked on numerous films including Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars, UP, and Ratatouille. Alongside his story work in Hollywood, Matthew works with Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, and other professionals to craft and tell stories that bridge the gap between business and heart to build stronger brands and business communication.
With over 30 years experience creating and developing dozens of films, TV shows, and video games, at Disney/Pixar, The Simpsons, ILM, and beyond, Matthew knows what it takes to create memorable stories with enduring characters. From filmmaking to business, Matthew’s story talks are beneficial to anybody wanting to improve their story skills, or learn the persuasion of great storytelling. He provides practical strategies that teach and inspire people and teams to connect more effectively with audiences. Matthew uses the power of storytelling to bridge the gap between business and heart, driving your story toward one unforgettable selling point.
Luncheon Plenary: CASE’s 50th Anniversary and the Future of Advancement
Sue Cunningham is President and CEO of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), which supports over 3,000 schools, colleges and universities worldwide in developing their integrated advancement work (alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing operations). As CASE President and CEO, Ms. Cunningham provides strategic and operational leadership for one of the largest associations of education-related institutions in the world with members in over 80 countries. She started her leadership role at CASE in March 2015.
While at CASE, Ms. Cunningham has engaged CASE in two strategic planning processes. The first, which engaged thousands of CASE volunteers, resulted in Reimagining CASE: 2017-2021, and created an ambitious framework for serving CASE’s members and championing education worldwide, which included a comprehensive restructure of CASE’s volunteer leadership and governance structure. Building on the strengths of this plan, she led a recalibration exercise that resulted in Championing Advancement: CASE 2022-2027. This Plan articulates a clear strategic intent: that CASE will define the competencies and standards for the profession of advancement, and lead and champion their dissemination and application across the world’s educational institutions.
Among the key initiatives that have developed under her leadership include the redesign and delivery of a new global governance structure. In addition, CASE acquired the Voluntary Support of Education survey and created CASE’s Insights, CASE’s global research and data efforts. CASE published the first global and digital edition of CASE’s Global Reporting Standards and Guidelines, which operate as the industry-leading Standards for the profession, and launched the first global Alumni Engagement survey in addition to annual fundraising surveys. CASE created an ambitious competencies model across all advancement disciplines and a related career journey framework; opened the CASE Opportunities and Inclusion Center which focuses on equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging; and has reinvigorated a global advocacy agenda to communicate the value of education. Ms. Cunningham serves as a Trustee and Secretary for the University of San Diego, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board. She is a member of the Signature Theatre (Arlington, Virginia) Board of Directors, Chairs their Governance Committee, and sits on the Executive Committee. She is a member of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat steering committee, the International Association of University Presidents Executive Committee, and the International Women’s Forum. She has recently been named to the new, US-based Council of Higher Education as a Strategic Asset. She is the author of ‘Global Exchange: Dialogues to Advance Education’.
Prior to her appointment to CASE, Ms. Cunningham served as Vice-Principal for Advancement at the University of Melbourne where she led the Believe campaign resulting in surpassing its original $500 million goal; and the Director of Development for the University of Oxford where she led the development team through the first phase of the largest fundraising campaign outside of the United States (at the time): Oxford Thinking, with a goal of £1.25 billion. She served as Director of Development at Christ Church, Oxford and as Director of External Relations at St. Andrews University.
Before working in education, Ms. Cunningham enjoyed a career in theatre, the arts and the cultural sector. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2012, Ms. Cunningham received the CASE Europe Distinguished Service Award, and has received the coveted CASE Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Ms. Cunningham was awarded a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, a bachelor’s degree in performing arts from Middlesex University, and is a graduate of the Columbia University Senior Executive Program.
Monika Moore currently serves as the director of donor relations and stewardship at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. A graduate of Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University, she held key alumni relations positions at both of those institutions, as well as leading alumni and parent engagement efforts at the University of La Verne and Occidental College. Monika is an active advancement and engagement consultant, having conducted external program reviews for several institutions. She is the convener of the Southern California Independent College Alumni Professionals (SCICAP) since 2019 and is a CASE volunteer, co-chairing the Alumni Relations track for the 2022 and 2023 District VII Conferences and serving on the CASE Commission on Alumni Relations from 2017-2020. She served as a faculty member for the 2022 and 2023 Donor Relations Conference.
Ellen Whitlock Baker
Ellen Whitlock Baker is passionate about authentic engagement and empathetic leadership. Ellen has spent twenty years working in higher education in marketing and communications, alumni engagement, and annual giving. Currently Ellen serves as the Assistant Vice President of Alumni Engagement at Seattle University. Prior to that, Ellen spent a decade at the University of Washington driving alumni engagement at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and the University of Washington Alumni Association. Ellen has proudly served as a CASE District VIII board member and conference chair and the planning committee for the 2023 CASE Summit for Leaders in Advancement. She currently serves as a member of the CASE Alumni Commission. Ellen has recently launched a leadership coaching business and is completing coaching certification training with the Hudson Institute, which will allow her to spend even more time helping people navigate big changes in life and at work.
With more than 23 years of experience in the fundraising sector, Sofia Janmohamed, MBA, CFRE, is the Executive Director, Development at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her role provides executive leadership to pipeline development, working closely with individuals, foundations and corporations, as well as providing leadership for faculty fundraising, gift and estate planning, and principal giving. She has also held senior level fundraising roles with the healthcare sector. Sofia serves as the Educational Programming Liaison on the CASE District VIII Cabinet and is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) Canada. She previously served as the AFP Greater Vancouver Chapter President from 2020-2023. Sofia became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2010 and completed her Master of Business Administration in 2016. She is an AFP Fundamentals of Fundraising instructor, Mentor, and a contributing author to Excellence in Fundraising in Canada Volume 1 Second Edition. Sofia was awarded Outstanding Fundraising Professional by Charity Village in 2021.
Jason “JT” Thomas
Jason “JT” Thomas serves as the Associate Director, Talent Management for the Oregon State University Foundation. He focuses on the OSU Foundation’s recruiting efforts by developing relationships, networks, and candidate pools across all positions using all recruiting channels. He has helped recruit for positions of all levels of the 160+ OSU Foundation staff, and he has seen what it takes for someone to successfully go through a job search in today’s competitive environment. He also serves as one of CASE District VIII Opportunity and Inclusion Co-Chairs, as well as serving as a member of the CASE District VIIII Cabinet.
Closing Plenary: DEI Workshop with Dr. Jenn Wells
Dr. Jenn Wells
Dr. Jenn Wells (she/her/hers) received her B.A. from UCLA and received her M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University. She recently completed her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Change & Leadership at the University of Southern California. Her doctoral dissertation focused on organizational resistance toward chief diversity officers in small liberal arts colleges. Jenn’s career in education focuses on student leadership with an emphasis on identity development and social justice education. Jenn developed a deep passion for the empowerment of girls, women, non-binary, and transgender students after she worked at Mills College, Barnard College, and Scripps College. Her experience in higher education included emergency response, new student orientation, student support services, student activities, residential life, and honors programs. In the summer of 2020 Jenn transitioned away from higher education, and she currently works as the inaugural Director of Equity and Inclusion for the Marlborough School, a 7th-12th grade independent girls' school in Los Angeles. In her current position, Jenn works as a chief diversity officer, directing campus-wide leadership, programming, and initiatives aimed at supporting the School’s commitment to inclusion, equity, and accountability. Jenn currently also serves on the Board of Directors for the UCLA Alumni Association, co-chairing the association's Diversity Advisory Committee.