2021 Speakers

2021 speakers will be added to this page as they are confirmed, so check back!

Bob Burdenski – Co-Chair

Bob Burdenski is an internationally-recognized annual and regular giving programs consultant for schools, colleges and universities. He is a prolific writer and published author, often appearing in CURRENTS Magazine, the member magazine of the Council for the Advancement and the Support of Education (CASE). Bob is the author of three CASE books: Innovations in Annual GivingTen Departures That Worked, which presents ten U.S. case histories of advanced annual giving strategies; More Innovations in Annual GivingTen Global Departures That Worked, which features case histories from institutions around the world; and a new CASE book, Online Innovations in Annual and Regular Giving, Ten Dozen Departures That Worked.  In 2013, Innovations in Annual Giving was published by Fudan University in Shanghai, becoming the first CASE book translated into Chinese.

Bob is a recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple Award for Lifetime Teaching Excellence as ranked by his audiences. He has educated (and entertained) at presentations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, including numerous CASE Europe Annual and Regular Giving Conferences and Masterclasses.  He presented CASE’s first-ever annual giving training programs in India, Japan, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia, and he is also a frequent contributor to CASE’s Online Speaker Series on the subject of annual and regular giving.  In 2019, Bob served for the third-straight year as Chair of the CASE Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals, and was named a CASE Laureate for his years of volunteer service to the profession.

Since 2002, Bob has served as the moderator of FundList, the largest fundraising e-mail discussion listserv in the world, with thousands of development professional subscribers.

Taylor Stayton – Co-Chair

Taylor Stayton has served as the Director of Crowdfunding, UCLA Spark, for the last 3 fiscal years and has grown the Bruin community’s official crowdfunding program into the #1 most-given-to online giving site at UCLA. Previously, she led Annual Giving strategy exclusively for Student Affairs and Scholarships at UCLA as the Associate Director of Development. Prior to that, she helped to launch the University of Miami’s crowdfunding program, CaneFunder, and also led development strategies for Young Alumni & Student Giving. Although she got her professional start in Major Gifts at the Miller School of Medicine, Taylor finds much more joy in getting strangers on the internet to fund the projects most meaningful to them at gifts under leadership level. She is pleased to make her return to Meeting of the Minds, and is Bob Burdenski’s biggest fan.

John Taylor – Co-Chair

John Taylor is Principal of John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC.  For nearly 5 years John served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services, as well as Interim Campaign Manager during his last 18 months, at North Carolina State University. He holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and Socio-Political Change from Vanderbilt University, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. John has also served as Vice President for Research and Data Services at CASE – a position he held from its inception in late 2002.  Prior to that he was the Director of Alumni & Development Records at Duke University for nearly 15 years.

John formed one of the largest advancement-related listservs in the world, FundSvcs, now with over 3,600 subscribers.  He has spoken at hundreds of conferences across the country and received the CASE Crystal Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is the Founder and Former President of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals. John received the AASP Jonathan Lindsey Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.  He resides in Durham, NC, with his wife and children.

Monica Alejandre

Monica Alejandre is the associate vice president of advancement services and operations at California State University, San Bernardino. She oversees gift processing, records management, donor relations, constituent research and advancement operations that includes budget, human resources, and a $40 million endowment. She manages the daily gift financial transactions, including audit and reconciliation while ensuring compliance with gift accounting policies. Monica also serves as secretary of the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation. Previously she served as the director for advancement operations for the University Advancement division and oversaw a $5.5 million budget in addition to scholarship management of over 200 endowed and expendable scholarships. Monica has worked in advancement for over 13 years and has a long career in fiscal responsibility. She has identified and implemented best practices and efficiencies in fund reporting and endowment management with positive results. She is a strong advocate for donor transparency and works tireless to ensure donors know the impact of their gift. Monica holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public administration from CSUSB and is currently a doctoral student in the educational leadership program at CSUSB. Her area of research is focused on Latino alumni philanthropy.

JD Beebe

JD is the Co-Founder and CEO of ThankView. Originally designed to help him and his wife thank their wedding guests with personalized video, ThankView has evolved into a personalized video platform embraced by over 1500 institutions to build donor relationships that last. JD lives in New York with his wife Liz, his daughter Sunny, and his dog Smokey.

Jacob (Jake) Blodgett

Jake Blodgett is Director of Digital Philanthropy at City of Hope.


Full biography to come.

Jill Boline

Jill Boline is a founder of the Meeting of the Minds Conference, and served for 23 years as Director of Annual Giving at CSU Los Angeles before retiring in 2020. She has great taste in wine and her husband Don is a fabulous chef. You’d be retired, too.

Christina Brandel, CFRE

Christina Brandel has a passion for making the world a better place for all and loves a good “why.” After nearly two decades in non-profit and higher education fundraising, she has joined the team at Marketing Communication Resource, Inc. (MCR) to leverage her skills and experience on behalf of MCR clients. She was a first-generation college student who is fiercely committed to providing post-secondary education to those who choose it. She firmly believes that showcasing causes that are meaningful and connect with donors is important work.

Tessa Burke

Tessa Burke is a Marketing Manager at Anthology and previously served as a Team Manager on the Customer Experience team for Advancement Solutions. Tessa began her career in marketing in Higher Ed and prior to joining Anthology, served as the Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment at a private college preparatory school in the Chicago. She implemented the Anthology Encompass system in 2009 and enjoys bringing the perspective of an experienced Encompass user to her role as she supports customers in strategic digital engagement. A lifelong Chicagoan, Tessa received her BA from Saint Xavier University and her MA in Communication from DePaul University. When she’s not supporting Anthology’s customer communications, you can find her running on the Chicago’s lakefront path.

Jeffrey (Jeff) B. Callaghan

Jeff currently serves as the Director of Data Integrity and Reporting for University Advancement at Loyola Marymount University, where he started as a Gift Processor in 2012. As leader of the Data & Analytics and Gift & Records Management teams, Jeff helps guide data collection strategies (and usage!) in support of LMU’s comprehensive campaign. He is a proud alumnus of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and received a more useful graduate degree in Educational Studies from LMU. The shift to remote work allowed Jeff and his wife to relocate to his hometown of San Francisco, where they currently reside.

Terri Carlos

Terri Carlos is one of the founders of the Meeting of the Minds Conference and is the Director of Philanthropy for Student Affairs and interim director for the College of Natural Science at California State University, San Bernardino. In her role, she is the chief fundraiser for the university’s campus-wide priorities including the EOP Renaissance Scholars, the Veterans Success Center, the Obershaw DEN Food Pantry, Undocumented Student Success Center and other student success initiatives.  Prior to her appointment, she served as the university’s Director of Annual Giving since April 1999, overseeing the entire annual giving program, including the annual Faculty Staff Campaign.  During her tenure, Terri has raised more than $11.7 million in gifts and pledges, including $5.7 million in planned gifts and several scholarship endowments.  She served as a Vice Chair for the 2020 CASE District VII Connect West conference, and she served CASE DVII as a board member from 2019-2020 and 2007-2011; notably as program co-chair for the 2009 conference held in San Francisco and as Conference Chair for 2011 in Los Angeles.  She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the San Bernardino Diocesan Education and Welfare Corporate Board of Directors and is a member of the Aquinas High School President’s Advisory Committee, Finance committee as well as the Strategic Planning cabinet.  She and her husband Jorge live in San Bernardino with their daughter, Elle.

Laura Carlson-Weiner

Laura serves as the Director of Advancement Services for Cal State LA managing the fund-raising database, gift and pledge processing, bio-demo updating, prospect research & management, gift reporting, and data loads and extractions within University Advancement. Prior to serving in this position, she served eight year as a front-line fundraiser in one of the academic colleges. Laura has over 30 years of experience in higher education fundraising, including attendance at over 100 conferences, webinars, benchmarking meetings, Raiser’s Edge trainings and serving on planning committees with the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Six years ago she led her team to convert and implement the Raiser’s Edge fundraising database on her campus. And just last year, her team rolled out the NXT web-version. In her current role she oversees a team of four to ensure that all personal information about, and donations from their alumni, donors, and friends are processed, prepared, and stewarded properly and their work supports the overall fundraising success of the University.

Nathan Chappell, CFRE

Nathan serves as Senior Vice President For DonorSearch Aristotle. As a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), he is regarded as a thought leader in the nonprofit industry and speaks frequently on the topic of precision philanthropy. In 2018, Nathan presented the first TEDx on the topic of artificial intelligence and the future of generosity. Nathan has served in a variety of nonprofit leadership positions for the past 20 years. Though his prior roles as Senior Vice President of Philanthropy at City of Hope, Assistant Vice Chancellor at UC San Diego and consultant with CCS Fundraising and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Nathan has directly led fundraising teams that have generated more than $1 billion in philanthropic revenue. Nathan holds a Master in Nonprofit Administration from University of Notre Dame, a Master in Business Administration from University of Redlands, a certificate in International Economics from University of Cambridge, and a certificate in Artificial Intelligence from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Victor Collado

Victor Collado is a communications and marketing professional that weaves storytelling strategies into digital campaigns. His career has seen him propel narratives for blue-chip companies and hyper-local businesses alike – including Spotify, Bacardi Limited, and the U. As the Digital Engagement Associate for the University of Miami, he currently drives multi-channel social to create a digitized unison between metrics and social initiatives, with a goal of expanding the division’s digital footprint to promote modern-day philanthropy and engagement opportunities for their audience. Victor holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University.

Diana Colmenares Vélez

Diana Colmenares Vélez is joining us from Colombia, where she is Director of Development and Community Affairs at Colegio Nueva Granada. She is in charge of the creation and execution of the $30 million Building CNG’s Future Fundraising Campaign, with a Master Plan that includes seven building projects and three phases.

Sam Davies

Sam Davies is Head of Philanthropy and Alumnae Engagement at the Girls’ Day School Trust in the UK. She’s also an alumna of Portsmouth High School, Class of 1994. Together, she and Bob Burdenski presented the regular giving plenary session at the annual CASE Europe Spring Institute in Educational Fundraising for five straight years, with an abundance of karaoke stories.

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Laurent (Lo) De Janvry

Laurent “Lo” de Janvry has been in higher education marketing and development for over a decade and is a perennially-popular speaker at the Meeting of the Minds.  He serves as Assistant Dean of College Relations & Development at the UC Berkeley College of Chemistry.  Previously, as the Director of Strategic and Direct Marketing Services at UC Berkeley, he grew the university’s annual giving department to provide direct response marketing, market research, and data mining-modeling services campus-wide. Lo has presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences, and consulted universities on the utilization of market research and data mining-modeling to enhance their marketing, development, and alumni relations programs.   Lo has his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and his MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. Before entering higher education, he worked in the private sector in marketing, brand strategy, and operational consulting for Arthur Andersen, Mars & Company, Del Monte Foods, and Prophet Brand Strategy.

Rodger Devine

Rodger Devine is the Senior Executive Director of Business Intelligence for USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, including USC Shoah Foundation, at the University of Southern California Rodger oversees data analytics, information strategy, advancement operations, data administration, prospect development and leadership annual giving programs. Prior to joining USC, Rodger served as the Director of Information, Analytics and Annual Giving at the Michigan Ross School of Business, where he managed information, analysis, reporting and business processes related to development strategy, portfolio activity and goal attainment.  Rodger brings over 15 years of experience in enterprise information systems, software engineering, IT operations, organizational development and cross-functional leadership. Rodger 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 Organization for Information, Analysis, and Retrieval.  In his spare time, Rodger speaks at various conferences, teaches machine learning workshops and volunteers in data projects that benefit non-profits such as the A2 Data Dive. Rodger is the author of Data Science for Fundraising: Build Data-Driven Solutions Using R.

Debra (Debbie) Garcia

Debbie Garcia serves as the Manager of Gift and Donor Records at Azusa Pacific University where she oversees gift processing and data management. With over 15 years of experience with non-profits in both Operations and Development, Debra has transitioned into higher education focusing on data integrity and doing more with less. Debra is a proud alumnus of Azusa Pacific University with an undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership. She also holds a MPA from Villanova University.

Natalie Graff

Natalie Graff serves as the Executive Director of Advancement Services for Cal Poly Pomona, overseeing their Prospect Research & Management, Donor Relations & Stewardship, and Gift Processing offices. With over 13 years of experience in higher education fundraising, as well as an MBA from Cal Poly Pomona, she and her team ensure that all members of the Bronco family have an exceptional philanthropic experience. In her free time, Natalie enjoys spending time with her husband, two cats, dog, and friends. She also enjoys thrift shopping and collecting vintage furniture.

Jennifer Dunn Greenspan

Jennifer is the Executive Director of Leadership Annual Giving and Constituent Relations at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. In her role, she oversees the annual giving team, mass appeal strategies and activities for USC Dornsife and maintains a portfolio of annual leadership prospects and donors. Bringing more than 15 years of higher education fundraising experience, prior to joining USC, Jennifer served on the annual giving teams at Chapman University, UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz.

Cameron J. Hall

Cameron J. Hall is senior director of annual giving for institutional advancement at Texas Tech University System. Focused on identifying and renewing donors to build a broad base of philanthropic support for the Texas Tech University System and Texas Tech University, he oversees direct marketing, telemarketing, digital marketing, and social fundraising. He also provides annual giving consultations to the other universities within the system.
Before joining the Texas Tech University System, Cameron was director of annual giving at Augustana College. There he led a team that tripled direct marketing efforts to successfully reverse a five-year trend in declining alumni participation and significantly increased first-time donors. His team also implemented day of giving campaigns that nearly quadrupled in revenue and doubled annual giving donor participation from previous campaigns. Cameron earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Montevallo. He is a member of the boards of trustees for T1International and T1International, USA. He is also a member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

Stormie Kirby Harless

Stormie Kirby Harless serves as the Associate Director of Digital Strategy & Annual Giving with the Ball State University Foundation. She has been with the University for four years and leads the digital efforts and serves as a project manager for One Ball State Day. Stormie serves on the board for the Boys & Girls Club, is extremely involved at her church, married to Michael, aunt to the best kids in the world, and dog mom to Yogi.

Marina Tan Harper, PhD

Marina joined UC Davis in 2016 as Senior Director for International Development. She has customised giving platforms for alumni, parents, and friends of UC Davis to give from abroad: Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Canada. Understanding local giving traditions, propensity to give, affinity, connectedness, and readiness of varied constituents on the ground, she knows this is not one-size-fits fundraising. Marina was also the Founding Director of the Development Office at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. During her tenure from 2005 to 2014, S$500 million of private support was raised, she made a deep and transformational impact on students, faculty and the university through private support with the naming of: Wee Kim Wee School, Rajaratnam School, Lee Kong Chian School, Lien Ying Chow Drive, Tan Chin Tuan Lecture Theatre, Toh Kian Chui Annex, Margaret Lien Centre for Professional Success, and Sembcorp Marine Lab. Marina Harper earned her PhD in philanthropic studies in 2019, from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University.

Torrey Hood

Torrey Hood is the Director of Annual Giving at the University of Nevada, Reno. Torrey has over 16 years of experience in Development and Marketing. Currently she oversees the Annual Giving program at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she manages direct mail, phone, and digital fundraising efforts for the general campus and 14 colleges and areas within the University. Torrey began her career in Annual Giving at the University of California, San Diego, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Torrey spent several years in the corporate world, managing direct-to-consumer marketing initiatives for companies such as Shari’s Berries, LendingTree, and PayPal. After over a decade in Southern California and the Bay Area, Torrey was thrilled to return to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and find her way back to her passion of Higher Education and Annual Giving.

Doug Hupke

Doug Hupke is the Director of Advancement at Moreau Catholic High School in San Francisco.


Full biography to come!

Caldwell Jackson

Caldwell Jackson is the Associate Director of Search Engine Marketing at the University of Miami. In his role, he helps direct and manage strategies for growth through the upkeep of university websites, according to current search engine optimization best practices, and deploying and tracking search engine marketing conversions for campaign initiatives through online advertisements. Before joining the University of Miami, Caldwell served as a brand marketer in digital agencies supporting corporate, community, and government organizations. He started his data analysis background as an Intel Analyst for the United States Army during wartime operations during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

Lauren Jaeger

Lauren Jaeger is the Director of Client Development at Mongoose. With extensive experience in stewardship, fundraising, and nonprofit organization management, Lauren helps Mongoose partner schools thrive in their communications with students and alumni.

Kirsten Jasna

Kirsten Jasna has been a fundraising professional for 30 years, starting at an arts advocacy membership organization in Minneapolis, MN. She has moved further west of the cold weather consistently over her career – spending the first ten years after college in Minnesota and is now based in Los Angeles, CA (I’m enjoying the best weather ever). Kirsten is the senior director of development at Braille Institute, a non-profit that provides free services to the blind and visually impaired in Southern California and online. She manages the direct response team and is responsible for direct mail /digital fundraising, stewardship, database management, and advancement services.

Andre Khachaturians

Andre Khachaturians is the Senior Director Annual Giving & Advancement Services, CSU Dominguez Hills. He has 15+ years of higher education development and philanthropy experience, specializing in comprehensive annual/individual giving programs and advancement services operations. As the chief compliance director for philanthropic gifts, Andre oversees numerous policies, procedures, and protocols for gift acceptance and is responsible for the university’s alumni and donor database. Additionally, Andre coordinates the operational activities of the university’s philanthropic foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) organization. A proud double alumni of the California State University (CSU) system, Andre holds a master’s in public administration from CSU Dominguez Hills and a BS in business administration from Cal State LA. Andre and his wife Maria (also a double CSU alumna) recently rescued a German Shepherd and regularly attended 80’s hair band concerts pre-COVID and plan a summer of concerts after the pandemic is over.

Ryan Lawrence

Ryan Lawrence is the Associate Director of Digital Philanthropy at the University of California, Berkeley where he oversees digital fundraising efforts within university development and alumni relations.  Ryan manages the Berkeley Crowdfunding program, which raised half a million dollars from more than 4,200 donors last academic year. Additionally, Ryan is serving as a project manager for Big Give, Cal’s annual fundraising 24-hour event. He also evaluates and tests new technologies to engage and solicit the Berkeley community and has recently implemented a texting program at Berkeley’s call center and beyond. Ryan has been working for UC Berkeley since February 2016.  Previously, he served as the Assistant Director of Web Fundraising at the University of Delaware, where he also received his bachelor’s degree in English.

Kamalei Lee

Kamalei Lee is the Associate Director of Annual Giving at Pitzer College. She received a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of La Verne with a background in communications, fundraising, digital media, organizational leadership and community outreach.

Justin Marquart

Justin Marquart is a fundraising professional with a depth of experience in both advancement and business. Prior to joining RNL, he served as vice president for philanthropy and business development for SightLife, a unique global health organization with a mission to end corneal blindness around the world. Justin led the organization to tremendous growth in both private and corporate support. Prior to SightLife, Justin served as deputy director, individual giving for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. In this role, he managed major and planned giving for the center and oversaw the fundraising efforts of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a consortium of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the University of Washington Medicine. Justin started his advancement career at Washington State University where he was the chief development officer for the Carson College of Business during an important growth phase and successful campaign effort. Leading the effort to bring in transformational individual as well as corporate gifts from Boeing, Starbucks, Marriott, and Microsoft, Justin and team positioned the Carson College of Business as a leader in the state and worthy of transformational investment. Justin received his BA and MBA from Washington State University where he was also a four-year letterman in baseball.

Shalonda F. Martin

Shalonda Martin is the Senior Director, Data Integrity, at the University of Southern California. Shalonda is a data integrity, organizational development, DEI, and leadership professional with over 18 years of experience. In her career, she has led teams at Pepperdine University, UCLA, and now USC. She specializes in developing data quality programs, curating and designing DEI content, leading professional and organizational development efforts, implementing data management strategies, identifying opportunities for system optimization, troubleshooting operational issues, and implementing better practices. In addition to her role as Sr. Director of Data Integrity at USC, she serves as the University Advancement DEI Council’s co-chair. She is also a member of the data privacy council for USC. Additionally, she is the founder of Shalonda Martin Coaching and Consulting, where she provides career and executive leadership coaching and consulting services for leadership and organizational development. Shalonda has a BS in Intercultural Communications and an MS in Management and leadership from Pepperdine University. She is currently working on her EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership at USC.

Ricky Martinez

Ricky Martinez is Hustle’s commercial, education, and nonprofit (CEN) Client Success Manager. He’s spent the last 10 years in the government and nonprofit spaces enabling changemakers to leverage transformative technologies to deepen impact and advance digital transformation. At Hustle, he works with diverse teams to optimize stakeholder engagement and retention in order to build a better world.

Eliza Lazar McNulty

Eliza McNulty is Director of Donor Relations at Stanford University. She leads the university’s 14-person central donor relations team and works with senior development staff and colleagues across campus to shape the vision for comprehensive donor relations at Stanford. Prior to Stanford, Eliza held donor relations, communications, and development positions at YMCA of the USA, Loyola University Health System, and the Elks National Foundation. Eliza is Past President of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP). While serving ADRP, she advocated for and promoted the donor relations profession, representing the association’s nearly 1,800 international members. Eliza shares her passion for gratitude by speaking, writing and presenting on effective practices in donor relations and stewardship. She has more than 20 years fundraising experience in healthcare, university and national membership offices.

Jeff Meece

Jeff Meece Ed.D brings 24 years of higher ed experience to the table. Most recently the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Columbia College Chicago, Jeff specializes in helping Mongoose clients reach new levels of engagement with their constituents.

Chandra Montgomery

Chandra Montgomery is a veteran fundraising strategist and certified diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) speaker and practitioner. Her background in philanthropy spans academic medicine, higher education, public media and social services. She is currently chair of Apra International’s Advocacy Committee and is a founding member of Apra’s inaugural DEI Committee. Additional commitment to Apra includes service as Membership Chair, PD Conference Planning Committee member, Apra-Virginia Board of Directors, Relationship Management Body of Knowledge Committee, and MARC conference volunteer. She is also an alumna of CASE’s Minority Advancement Institute. Chandra is co-chair of the University Advancement DEI Council at the University of Southern California where she is the director of pipeline and prospect development for Health Sciences. Prior to USC, she led prospect development teams at National Public Radio and Virginia Commonwealth University. Chandra holds a BA from Hampton University and is pursuing a master’s degree at USC’s Gould School of Law.

Sarah Nash

Sarah Nash is Advancement Communications Manager at Mills College.


Full biography to come!

Seth Newman

Seth served as the Associate Director of the Fordham Fund for three years, overseeing the planning, implementation, and success of many crowdfunding campaigns designed to increase participation and reach Annual Giving goals. He currently serves as a Partner Success Manager at GiveCampus where he leverages his experience to help educational institutions deepen engagement and bring in more dollars and donors through online giving and volunteer management. Seth holds a BA from Binghamton University and an MA from Fordham University, and currently lives in San Francisco.

Valerie Nguyen

Valerie is currently the Director of Advancement Services in University Advancement at California State University, Dominguez Hills. She has 18+ years of experience in higher education advancement services. She manages the daily operations of Advancement Services team including gift processing, database management, prospect management and tracking system (PMATS), online giving site development and maintenance for the university, financial accounting services, technological & training support, and other related functions. She serves on various campus-wide committees and partners with internal and external entities to anticipate needs and provide detailed targeted analytical needs that influence and support fundraising strategies and priorities. Valerie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with System Programming concentration from CSU Fullerton. She completed the Leadership Development Program at CSU Fullerton in 2010-2011. She also has a certificate in Healthcare Information Technology. She resides in Westminster, CA, with her husband and their 2 children. Her philosophy: ALWAYS REMAIN A STUDENT of industry, system, and people.

Dan Noonan

Dan Noonan is the Vice President of Sales at BCG Connect, a full-service direct mail marketing company located outside of Boston. BCG Connect specializes in helping fundraising professionals at educational institutions, hospitals and nonprofit organizations develop and execute successful direct mail programs. Dan’s mission is to help organizations use direct mail to improve their communication, enhance donor engagement and optimize campaign results by targeting the right people with an effective message.

Emily Parris Sandler

Emily Parris Sandler is the Senior Director of Digital Philanthropy at City of Hope.


Full biography to come!

Christian Perry

Christian Perry has worked across the nonprofit sector, and cares deeply about the issues of education inequality and arts advocacy. Since March of 2020, he’s brought that experience to his work with GetThru’s education and nonprofit clients. In his free time, Christian enjoys getting outdoors, producing music, and rooting for his hometown DC sports teams.

Maureen Procopio

Maureen is the Senior Director of Campaign Strategy and Institutional Benchmarking (CSIB) in University Advancement at the University of Oregon (UO). Working in prospect development, prospect management and analytics since 1998 while supporting several campaign efforts helped prepare Maureen for her current role studying institutional effectiveness and conducting best practice research. Her favorite part of the job is to connect with peers at institutions throughout the country researching various topics so that the UO team can learn from and apply new opportunities to achieve best practice. In addition to campaign strategy and benchmarking advancement organizations, Maureen is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of advancement and higher education. She currently serves on the CASE District VIII Board of Directors as the chair of the opportunity and inclusion portfolio. Maureen resides in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and daughter.

Perry Radford

Perry Radford (she/her/hers) is the Director of Leadership Annual Giving and The Scripps Fund at Scripps College. Previously, she has had roles at Emerson College, Caltech, and Harvey Mudd College. She began her advancement career fifteen years ago as a freshman phonathon caller at UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!) and hasn’t looked back since.

Robin Savoian

Robin is currently the Associate Director of Development at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) overseeing upper-level, annual giving. Previously, she worked with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and Walt Disney World. She earned her BS degree in entomology from UC Davis.

Rachel Spencer

Rachel is the Telefundraising Expert at VanillaSoft and works with 100+ universities on telephone-based campaigns. She is a true phonathon expert benefitting from a long and varied career in tele-fundraising. Over the last decade she has graduated from student caller, to professional tele-fundraiser, to phonathon manager and now phonathon advisor and consultant. In her present role at VanillaSoft she works closely with more than 80 universities around the world on a wide variety of telephone-based campaigns.

Taylor Stayton

Taylor Stayton has served as the Director of Crowdfunding, UCLA Spark, for the last 3 fiscal years and has grown the Bruin community’s official crowdfunding program into the #1 most-given-to online giving site at UCLA. Previously, she led Annual Giving strategy exclusively for Student Affairs and Scholarships at UCLA as the Associate Director of Development. Prior to that, she helped to launch the University of Miami’s crowdfunding program, CaneFunder, and also led development strategies for Young Alumni & Student Giving. Although she got her professional start in Major Gifts at the Miller School of Medicine, Taylor finds much more joy in getting strangers on the internet to fund the projects most meaningful to them at gifts under leadership level. She is pleased to make her return to Meeting of the Minds, and is Bob Burdenski’s biggest fan.

Suzanne Stone

Suzanne serves as the Senior Director of Advancement Services for the University of San Diego. She has over 20 years of experience in higher education fundraising. Suzanne is responsible for overseeing Prospect Research & Management, Gift Processing and Demographic Data Entry and Retrieval. Suzanne received her BA and MA in International Relations from the University of San Diego.

Carter Stripp

Carter Stripp has served as the Assistant Director of Student Philanthropy and Digital Fundraising at Caltech since July 2019. In his current position, Carter manages the Caltech Fund’s digital outreach from peer-to-peer advocacy, texting, to video communications and works as a leadership annual giving officer for recent alumni. Additionally, he oversees Caltech’s annual senior class gift campaign and the Caltech Fund’s student philanthropy initiatives. Before his current role, Carter interned at Caltech for two summers through the CASE Advancement Summer Internship Program and worked as an Office Associate at Pitzer College for four years as he pursued his BA in history.

Sarah Sturm

Sarah Sturm serves as the director of alumni relations for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. She joined the University of Southern California team in 2017, leading strategic alumni engagement for 87,000+ alumni. In this role, Sarah oversees alumni programming, career development, volunteer leadership, and just a little bit of fundraising. Prior to joining USC, Sarah spent nine years working with community nonprofits in communications, program and project development. Sarah holds a master of public administration with a focus in nonprofit management from the California State University, Northridge and a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Arizona.

Jonathan Thomas

Jonathan Thomas is the Senior Director of Annual Giving at Westmont College.


Full biography to come!

Meliza Trimidal

Meliza is a Research Analyst for the Department of Advancement Services for the University of San Diego (USD). She has been in prospect research since 2017 but has almost 10 years of experience conducting research in both academic and legal settings. As a Research Analyst for USD, Meliza conducts research and complex analysis on prospective donors and identifying new donor pipelines all while considering philanthropic patterns, tendencies, and relationships among individuals, corporations, and foundations. A part of these research analyses is performing effective data mining and visualization techniques using Excel to manage Directors of Development’s portfolios. She is an undergraduate alumna and current MBA student at USD.

Jonathan Van Oss

Jon Van Oss brings over 30 years of in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience gained from various senior data analytics and market research positions for organizations, such as the American Medical Association and World Vision. Jon has also served for more than 15 years as Vice President of Data Analytics at several advertising agencies that served a wide range of national and international non-profit organizations. He is nationally recognized for his insightful marketing and fundraising database analytics, decision-tree modeling, segmentation, testing and attrition strategies and analyses.

Michele Wanner

Michele Wanner is the Associate Vice President for University Advancement at Chapman University.

Full biography to come!

Ray Watts

Raymond W. Watts, CSPG, is Associate Vice President for Development at Claremont McKenna College. Ray manages the Development team at the College, and oversees all College philanthropic outreach efforts, working closely with Trustees, the President and the Vice President for Advancement to achieve organizational goals. Before assuming the role of AVP at CMC, Ray served for 12 years as Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement and Senior Philanthropic Advisor at the University of Redlands, and previously served for 5 years as the University’s Director of Development, overseeing the major gift fundraising for its historic Centennial Campaign. Prior to Redlands, Ray spent 7 years at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles, spending the last 4 years as Director of Annual and Special Campaigns. Prior to this role, Ray served as Director of University Relations Administration, overseeing special events, donor stewardship and worked closely with the Vice President of University Relations. Ray received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from LMU and a master’s degree in Business Administration from LMU with an emphasis in management. Ray received CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) certification in 1999, CSPG (Certified Specialist in Planned Giving) certification in 2014 and has presented at multiple conferences on varying topics relating to development and management. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the School of Business at the University of Redlands, teaching classes on management, leadership and working with students on their capstone projects.

Laura Wensley

As Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations at The Webb Schools, Laura Wensley manages the development office and an alumni program serving eight decades of alumni. She supported the school’s last comprehensive campaign which raised $50.4 million and is now part of the team launching Webb’s most ambitious campaign for its Centennial in 2022. Laura has been a faculty member for the CASE Summer Institute for Independent Schools and a speaker for CASE-NAIS, CASE VII and the California Advancement Partnership of Schools conferences.

Stephanie Zapata

Stephanie Zapata is the Associate Director, Multi-Media Marketing at the University of Miami. She oversees marketing and design assets for all forms of engagement and solicitations, including innovating content to engage through social media, digital advertisements, and electronic and print solicitations. As a proud educator in marketing and design, Stephanie has obtained an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design from Miami International University of Art and Design and her MS in Marketing from Florida International University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Higher Education Leadership at Nova Southeastern University to combine her passions to make her institution one that makes a lasting difference for students.