Meet the Faculty and Guest Speakers
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.
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 Carr joined the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in December 2019, moving from Western Sydney University where she held senior Advancement roles since 2013, including executive director, advancement from 2015 to 2019.
Carr is an accomplished philanthropy and communications executive, with over 25 years of professional experience and a versatile skill set. She brings insight from sectors including higher education, mental health, homelessness, domestic violence, disability, finance, building and construction, private enterprise, and now – medical research.
Carr loves fundraising and philanthropy - connecting passionate and committed supporters with institutional priorities. She enjoys identifying new opportunities and developing a ‘culture of philanthropy’ - which permeates and engages everybody in the fundraising programme – paramount to building strong, long-lasting, institution-wide relationships and ultimately, strong philanthropic support.
Sue Cunningham leads one of the largest global membership associations of educational institutions. CASE provides professional development and advancement knowledge for 3,700 institutions and 90,000 practitioners working in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other related professions. Previous roles: vice-principal, advancement, the University of Melbourne; director of development, the University of Oxford; director of development, Christ Church, Oxford; and director, external relations, St. Andrews University.
She's a member of the International Women's Forum, an honorary fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of the fundraising committee for the Aurora Foundation, Australia. She holds a master's degree from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree from Middlesex University. While a CASE Volunteer, she received the CASE Crystal Apple Award and a CASE Distinguished Service Award.
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. On August 15, 2022 she became Executive Director of the Mohawk College Foundation.
An accomplished and successful fundraiser, Somers spent the past 35 years at McMaster University where she has been engaged in securing some of the largest charitable gifts in Canadian history. She led two university-wide, comprehensive campaigns, both with a focus on volunteer and academic participation. She has also structured and led targeted campaigns for McMaster's Museum of Art and Faculty of Health Sciences, the University's Student Centre, and secured support for numerous endowments establishing scholarships, bursaries, chairs, and professorships.
Somers is co-author of the definitive Canadian fundraising text, Planned Giving for Canadians and the recipient of numerous international awards for excellence in teaching and leadership.
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.
Lesley Gillespie OAM
Lesley Gillespie OAM is director and co-founder of Bakers Delight, the largest national chain of bakeries in Australia.
Gillespie took a full-time job teaching at Footscray High School after completing her bachelor's degree in science (honours) and diploma of education at Monash in 1977. Whilst studying at the University, she gained extensive bakery experience working in the Old Style Bread Centre chain. In 1980, she launched Bakers Delight with her husband, Roger Gillespie and another partner, Gary Stephenson.
In 1983, the Gillespies bought Stephenson and began to develop Bakers Delight, which today boasts more than 700 bakeries operating throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America. In 2004, the company teamed up with the Breast Cancer Network of Australia and became a finalist in the Prime Minister’s Award for Community Partnerships. The Gillespies shared 2002’s Boroondara Citizen of the Year award. The couple has also been inducted into Swinburne University’s Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. This year, the Gillespies were jointly awarded honorary doctorates of Monash University in recognition of their exceptional leadership and dedication to causes of importance to all communities.
Gillespie was awarded the Order of Australia in 2006 in recognition of her work in business and philanthropy. She received a Fellowship from Monash in 2013 and in 2015 was appointed chair of Swinburne’s Business School Advisory Board.
The Gillespies have recently stepped back from the active running of Bakers Delight, sitting only on its board. Their son, Aaron, oversees the company’s North American operations while their daughter, Elise, and son-in-law, David Christie, oversee operations in Australia and New Zealand.
Roger Gillespie OAM
Roger Gillespie OAM is co-founder and executive chairman of Baker’s Delight, the largest national chain of bakeries in Australia with over 700 bakeries operating throughout Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame for both Swinburne University of Technology’s Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship and the Franchising Council of Australia. Gillespie has been named ‘Citizen of the Year’ for the City of Boroondara and was granted an Order of Australia for his tireless work within the community.
Gillespie served as president of the Australian Retailers Association for 10 years till February 2018. He is a board member of the Bionics Institute, and is also a board member of several other private companies. This year, he and his wife, Lesley Gillespie were awarded honorary doctorates of Monash University in recognition of their exceptional leadership and dedication to causes of importance to all communities.
A native of Ottawa, Ms Labarge holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from McMaster University and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
Ms Labarge joined Royal Bank in 1971 and held a variety of positions within the bank prior to being appointed an executive officer in 1979. She left the bank in 1985 to join the federal government as assistant auditor general where she was responsible for a report on Financial Management and Control in the Government of Canada.
She joined the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada in 1987 as deputy superintendent, policy responsible for developing regulatory policies for Canadian financial institutions. She was a member of the BIS Committee for Bank Supervision. In her last position as deputy superintendent, deposit-taking institutions, Ms Labarge was responsible for all matters relating to deposit-taking institutions.
Ms Labarge returned to the bank as executive vice-president, Corporate Treasury, in April 1995. She assumed the role of chief risk officer in October 1998 and was appointed vice chairman and chief risk officer in February 1999. She retired from that position in December 2004.
Ms Labarge was a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Coca-Cola Enterprises. She also served on the Board of Directors, the Audit Committee and the Risk and Finance Committee of XL Group and was trustee for a Canadian family trust and director of associated companies. She has served as a member of the Supervisory Board and Risk Committee of Deutsche Bank, as a director and chair of the audit committee of Novelis Inc and was also a member of the Board of the Bank of China, Beijing.
She served on the Board of Governors for McMaster University for twelve years. She was appointed Chancellor of McMaster University in September 2013. She also serves on the board of the Ontario Brain Institute.
She was granted an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from McMaster University and is a recipient of the Queen’s jubilee medal.
Dave Shepherd recently established a bespoke consultancy practice after 30 years’ experience in the schools’ sector, as both an educator and senior administrator. Dave specialises 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 member of the CASE Asia-Pacific Regional Council.