Jon Paparsenos is the vice president, university advancement at Seton Hall University. He provides leadership and oversight over the University’s fundraising and alumni efforts and serves as the institution's chief fundraising officer. He brings more than 17 years of experience in the planning and execution of fundraising campaigns and building high performing Advancement teams.
Prior to Seton Hall, Paparsenos served as the vice president for philanthropy and CEO UNSW Foundation at UNSW Sydney in Australia, with Caltech (the California Institute of Technology), with Marquette University in Wisconsin and with Community Counselling Co., LLC in New York.
Paparsenos is an active volunteer for CASE serving as chair and a member of faculty for the CASE APIEF Institute in Melbourne, Australia.
Paparsenos came to philanthropy following an eight-year service with the US Marine Corps. He holds a BA from Seton Hall University. He is a fluent Greek speaker and emigrated from Greece at the age of 18 to the United States of America.
Lorna Somers is recognised internationally as a teacher/facilitator in the field of Higher Education and Institutional Advancement speaking at educational and arts organisations throughout the world. As an accomplished practitioner, she is in her 31st year at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. From the introduction of foundational programmes like Annual and Planned Giving, and the establishment of Major and Principal Giving and Recognition and Stewardship, Somers also leads strategic planning, case and vision development. Campaign Director for two university-wide comprehensive campaigns, she has also led targeted campaigns for the Museum of Art, Health Sciences, Endowment, Chairs and Scholarships and University Centre. Somers works closely with academic leadership and is leading McMaster's new Brighter World Research Initiative.
Somers and Dr Frank Minton have written the definitive Canadian fundraising text, Planned Giving for Canadians. She is the recipient of numerous international awards for excellence in teaching and leadership.
Jimmy Buck is the Chief Advancement Officer at Deakin University, leading a team of advancement practitioners at one of Australia’s youngest and most progressive universities. A lifelong fundraiser, Buck started his career in advancement as a university student, co-chairing Boston University’s class gift campaign that raised $100,000 from graduating students.
During his nine years at The University of Sydney, Buck worked across all areas of advancement, leading advancement services, alumni relations, and development teams in both higher education and medical philanthropy. He played a leadership role in the university’s INSPIRED campaign, the first philanthropic campaign in Australian higher education to raise $1 billion.
Buck is a CASE volunteer and speaker, serves on the editorial board of Journal of Education Advancement and Marketing, the Community Bank at Deakin University Advisory Board, and the Board of Anam Cara House Geelong.
Deborah leads the activity and strategy for philanthropy at Western Sydney University, having worked in Western’s Office of Advancement for six years, and holding the position as Executive Director, Advancement for the last three years. The philanthropy strategy aims to ensure that a strong culture of giving and asking advances the University’s teaching and research agendas. The culture of philanthropy at Western has grown substantially over this time, with funds raised increasing from $2M in 2014 to $21M in 2018.
Deborah is a dynamic and accomplished philanthropy and marketing-communications executive, with over 20 years’ experience and a versatile skill set. Deborah brings strategic insight from industries including higher education, charities, finance, building and construction, and private enterprise.
Deborah enjoys articulating complex issues and managing multiple stakeholders, through a focus on concise communications and target audience, taking each on a journey and providing mutual benefit. She feels that stimulating collective thought, identifying new opportunities and developing a culture are paramount to building strong relationships and ultimately, strong philanthropic support.
Dave Shepherd recently established a bespoke consultancy practice after 30 years’ experience in the schools’ sector, as both an educator and senior administrator. Dave specializes in the full range of Advancement disciplines, volunteer management and senior strategic leadership training for International and Independent schools globally. In 2006, Dave established the Development, Alumni Relations and Marketing and Communications Office as Director of Advancement at United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA); a K1 – Grade 12 non-profit International school in Singapore. The Advancement team has raised over S$30 million, connected with over 15,000 alumni representing 140 countries and is supported by over 100 Parent Ambassadors and senior volunteer leaders. Dave has taught and presented regularly at CASE institutes, commissions and events. He chaired the 10th Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference in 2017 and is currently a director of the CASE Asia-Pacific Board.
Marcus Ward is Chief Philanthropy Officer at Monash University. He leads a team of 40 with a remit to embed a culture of philanthropy in support of Monash’s mission and vision, through both securing transformational gifts and significant levels of alumni donor participation.
In 2018, Marcus led the launch of the University's largest-ever fundraising campaign, “Change it. For good.”, with goals of raising $500m from 50,000 donors and doubling the number of bequests made to Monash.
Before joining Monash, Marcus was Head of Major Gifts at Queen’s University Belfast, where he worked on two comprehensive fundraising campaigns that culminated in the team recognised as the Times Higher Education Fundraising Team of the Year 2012. Prior to that Marcus led the Corporate and Trust Fundraising Team at The Prince's Trust in London, securing its largest ever philanthropic relationship, still in place almost 20 years later.
Helen Astbury loves people. She loves talking to them. And she particularly loves learning what motivates them to do what they do. So naturally, she ended up in fundraising!
A passionate fundraising and stakeholder engagement specialist, Astbury has successfully worked with leading state, national and international organisations to deliver outstanding development outcomes across several industries - including medical research, higher education and the arts.
With over 18 years of experience, Astbury is currently the senior manager, philanthropy and supporter experience for Cancer Council Queensland - responsible for all individual and corporate giving across the state including Gifts in Wills, Major Gifts, Trusts & Foundations, Corporate Partnerships, Regular Giving, Direct Mail, General and In Memory donations, acquisition and all aspects of supporter experience.
With a supporter first mentality, Astbury loves taking donors on a journey of giving that is fulfilling and enriching for all involved. Known during her time at QUT as the Septuagenarian Whisperer, talking with donors and finding out exactly what they want is her very mild superpower.
Nick Blinco joined the University of Melbourne as Vice-President (Advancement) in September 2015.
Previously Nick was Director of Engagement at the University of Birmingham, where he worked since 2004, starting as Director of Development and Alumni Relations. During his tenure, the University of Birmingham's Circles of Influence campaign exceeded its 160 million-pound ($320m) target and had significant impact on its research, students and campus.
Nick also led the change in the structure of the department: in 2013, Development and Alumni Relations were joined by Business Engagement to form a new Division of Development, Alumni and Business Engagement (DABE). His role in successfully maximising the new division's partnership-building strategies significantly increased business income for the University of Birmingham.
In 2012, Nick served on the Pearce Review of Higher Education Fundraising, which made a series of high-level recommendations to change the face of philanthropy in the UK's higher education sector. He was a member of the CASE International Philanthropy Commission from 2008–2010, has a CASE Crystal Apple, and has taught on the Spring Institute for Educational Fundraising. He was awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Medal in 2011.
He holds a BA from the University of Hull and a masters from the University of Oxford.
Mr Peter McMullin, BCom, LLB, graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1975. He established his own legal practice, PG McMullin & Company Solicitors, in 1978. He joined Cornwall Stodart in 2008 and prior to that was a consultant at HWL Ebsworth for six years. Mr McMullin is Chairman and Director of the McMullin Group, a privately owned, diversified investment group, and is an experienced consultant and mediator with high-level expertise in commercial and financial management.
Mr McMullin has served as Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, Mayor of the City of Greater Geelong, Secretary for the Victorian Council of Social Services, Chair of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Deputy President of the Museums Board of Victoria and President of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He has served on the Boards of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Action and Resource Centre for Low-Income Families, Philanthropy Australia and the Geelong Art Gallery. He is a former Member of the Commonwealth Refugee Review Tribunal.
In June 2017, Peter and Ruth McMullin supported the establishment and operation of a Research Centre on Statelessness at the University of Melbourne. The Centre will play a critical role in worldwide efforts to eliminate statelessness and to protect the rights of stateless people. The Research Centre is based at Melbourne Law School and is called the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness.