Chad Hymas

Keynote Speaker

Chad Hymas inspires, motivates, and moves audiences, creating an experience that touches hearts for a lifetime. He is one of the youngest ever to receive the Council of Peers Award for Excellence (CPAE) and to be inducted into the prestigious National Speaker Hall of Fame.

In 2001, at the age of 27, Chad’s life changed in an instant when a 2,000-pound bale of hay shattered his neck, leaving him a quadriplegic. But Chad’s dreams were not paralyzed that day—he became an example of what is possible. Learn more...

     

 

Claire Gaudiani

Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Claire Gaudiani  is an idealist and an engaged American. Through her books and public speaking, she calls on all Americans to leave our nation and the world a better place. Claire's expertise in the history and economics of philanthropy is a source of important ideas for the nation and for citizens of every political persuasion.

Claire’s career has been shaped by her belief that action is every bit as important as reflection. She launched her first not-for profit organization while still a graduate student at Indiana University in the 1970’s. She has continued to put her idealism, optimism, and determination into action on behalf of fellow citizens ever since. Learn more...

     
 

Elizabeth Ayers

Executive Director of Gift Planning, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Elizabeth Ayers is the Executive Director of Gift Planning at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining UNC in 2008, she worked for The Ohio State University, where she served as Director of Planned Giving for the Medical Center and Associate Director of Planned Giving for the University. She has worked for the Columbus Foundation, served on nonprofit boards and committees and was president of Central Ohio Planned Giving Council in 2007.

Elizabeth served on the board of National Association of Charitable Gift Planners from 2015 through 2017 and chaired the 2017 national conference in Baltimore. She is also a member of the North Carolina Planned Giving Council and served on its board from 2013 through 2016. She has presented on various charitable topics at local and national conferences including PPP, NCPGC, AAMC, Wealth Counsel, the North Carolina Community College Fundraisers’ state conference and AFP North Carolina state conference. She has practiced law in the areas of estate and charitable planning and civil litigation. She holds a  J.D. from Capital University, M. M. from Ohio University, and a B. M. from Wittenberg University.

     
 

Gregory Baker

Executive Vice President, Renaissance Philanthropic Solutions Group

Gregory W. Baker, J.D., ChFC®, CFP®, CAP®, is Executive Vice President of RenPSG, the nation’s largest independent charitable gift solutions provider. For the past 28 years, he has provided trust, tax and philanthropic financial planning advice to over 4,000 attorneys and 8,000 financial planners in all 50 states regarding more than 19,000 charitable remainder trusts, more than 800 charitable lead trusts and numerous foundations, charitable gift annuities and donor-advised funds. Mr. Baker has helped advisors close cases for their high net worth clients in the areas of charitable, investment, retirement, gift, estate and tax planning. His advice has helped donors contribute over $6 billion to charitable gift plans.

Greg is a board member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, a past President of the Charitable Gift Planners Indiana, an Advisory Board Member of the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation at the American College, member of the Financial Planning Association and the Indiana Bar. He was previously VP, Charitable Fiduciary Risk Manager for the Merrill Lynch Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Management in Princeton, NJ. Greg speaks at national and local conferences for professional advisors, high-net-worth clients and charities regarding charitable gift planning, asset-allocation, investment modeling and tax issues.

     
 

Jonelle Beck

Assistant General Counsel, Trusts & Estates; Executive Director, Office of Estate & Gift Planning, University of the Pacific

Jonelle serves as Executive Director of Estate & Gift Planning and Assistant General Counsel for Trusts and Estates at University of the Pacific. In her role as Executive Director, she oversees the planned giving department supporting three University campuses—Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco. Her team uses complex trusts and real estate gift structures to secure long-term gifts for the University. In her role as Assistant General Counsel for Trusts and Estates, she manages open estate, trust and probate matters where the University is trustee and/or beneficiary.

Jonelle's previous experience includes 17 years in private practice handling estate planning, business and real estate matters. Jonelle has over 19 years of real estate experience and held a California Broker's License until 2013. In addition to the San Joaquin County Bar Association, Jonelle is a member of the State Bar of California, San Joaquin Estate Planning Council and the Planned Giving Forum of Greater Sacramento. She received her J.D. from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2000 and was admitted to the Order of Barristers that same year. Originally from Stockton, Jonelle is enjoying being back in her hometown with her husband and two children.

     
 

Alexandra Brovey

Senior DIrector, Gift Planning, Northwell Health Foundation

Alexandra Pia Brovey is the Senior Director, Gift Planning at Northwell Health Foundation in New Hyde Park, New York. Alex has worked in gift planning for 20 years at four nonprofit organizations. Earlier in her career she focused on estate planning and administration as a member of the Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York bars. Alex is a past board member and Treasurer of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, where she serves as chair of its Leadership Institute. She is a President Emeritus of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York in New York City, and has been an instructor for the planned giving certificate program at Molloy College. She is a frequent lecturer across the United States on topics related to charitable giving, and has had articles published in several national publications.

Alex earned a B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University, Phi Beta Kappa, a  J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and an LL.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami School of Law. Alex assists Georgetown Law with interviews, is a career coach for Penn State, earned a black belt in Shotokan karate, and has published her first book, Zen and the Art of Fundraising: 8 Pillars of Success.

     
 

Carlos Byrne

Director of Relationship Management, BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Carlos Byrne is a director of relationship management for BNY Mellon’s Planned Giving group. In this role, he manages client relationship teams responsible for the oversight and administration of planned giving programs. Carlos also co-founded and oversees the operations of the BNY Mellon Charitable Gift Fund, a donor advised fund. Prior to joining BNY Mellon in 1997, Carlos worked as a human resources manager at Time Warner.

Carlos received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree from Baruch College (CUNY), and is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®. He is currently a Board member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. He is also a member of the Planned Giving Group of New England and has served on their Executive Board.

     
 

Jean Carter

Attorney/Partner, McGuireWoods, LLP

Jean Gordon Carter is a partner at McGuireWoods LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she serves as Co-Chair of its nationally recognized Private Wealth Services Group. Her principal area of practice is Tax and Estates. Jean is also a Certified Public Accountant, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel, a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, and a Board-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. She received her B.S. from Wake Forest University, magna cum laude, with Honors in Accountancy in 1977, and her law degree from Duke University School of Law with High Honors in 1983. She is a member of the American Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and Wake County Estate Planning Council. Mrs. Carter has also lectured and written extensively on various tax, tax-exempt and estates topics.

     
 

Bryan Clontz

President, Charitable Solutions, LLC

Bryan Clontz , Ph.D., CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP®, AEP®, RICP® is the founder and President of Charitable Solutions, LLC, specializing in non-cash asset receipt and liquidation, gift annuity reinsurance brokerage, gift annuity risk management consulting, emergency assistance funds as well as virtual currency and life insurance appraisals/audits. Bryan is the founder of the National Gift Annuity Foundation and the Dechomai Foundation, Inc. and Dechomai Asset Trust - two national donor advised funds focusing on non-cash assets generally and S-corp transactions, respectively. He has written dozens of articles as well as a book released last year, Charitable Gifts of Noncash Assets.

     
 

Sindy Craig

Director of Planned Giving, The San Francisco Foundation

Sindy L. Craig, J.D., LL.M., is the director of planned giving at The San Francisco Foundation, one of the country’s oldest and largest community foundations. Sindy is a passionate charitable gift planner and director of planned giving who enjoys working with donors and families to create current and future giving plans. Sindy has 25+ years of nonprofit experience and diverse major and planned giving fundraising experience within higher education, health care and community foundation fundraising environments. In her current position, Sindy oversees legacy, endowment and nonprofit fund programs, using a variety of gift structures to help donors accomplish their charitable goals. Previously, Sindy led integrated major and planned giving efforts during campaign initiatives ($250 million to $2.5 billion) for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the University’s (7) Health Science Colleges, Kenyon College and the University of Vermont. Sindy began her gift planning tenure at Middlebury College.

Sindy is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. She earned a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Washington. Sindy serves as a board member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and the Northern California Planned Giving Council and is a past board member and chair of the education committee of the Central Ohio Planned Giving Council. Sindy is a member of the state bars of Oklahoma and Washington and a leader within the Junior League of San Francisco.

     
 

Phil Cubeta

Wallace Chair in Philanthropy, The American College of Financial Services

As the Sallie B. and William B. Wallace Chair in Philanthropy at The American College, Phil Cubeta, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP® is responsible for the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® curriculum. Prior to joining The American College, Phil served as Chief of Staff for The Nautilus Group, an elite unit of New York Life serving wealthy clients. Phil has an MA in Literature from Yale, an MA in Philosophy and Psychology from Oxford, and a Masters in Financial Services from the American College. He is a past President of the North Texas Council of Charitable Gift Planners.

     
 

Pamela Davidson

Consultant and Charitable Gift Planner, Davidson Gift Design

Pamela Jones Davidson, J.D., has been a nationally recognized speaker in charitable gift planning for over 29 years. She is President of Davidson Gift Design, in Bloomington, Indiana, a consulting firm specializing in gift planning, planned giving program design and implementation, and training. She is also a Senior Vice President for Thompson & Associates, offering estate planning services to nonprofits. From 1985 through 1996, she was with Indiana University Foundation, as its Executive Director of Planned Giving and Associate Counsel. Ms. Davidson received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in 1975, and graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in 1979. She has been an examiner in the Estate and Gift Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and practiced law with an Indianapolis law firm before joining the nonprofit sector in 1985. She is a past chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (then NCPG) board of directors and served on the board in various capacities for six years. She is also a past president of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana and serves on the Community Advisory Boards of both of her local public radio and television stations, and is among others, on the Board and past president of Middle Way House, her community’s nationally recognized women’s shelter.

     
 

Andrew Fussner

Vice President of Estate Settlement, American Heart Association

Andrew Fussner currently serves as the national Vice President of Estate Settlement for the American Heart Association and oversees the administration of $75 to $100 million in bequest assets annually for the organization. He is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Before assuming his current position he served as the Vice President of Planned Giving for the AHA’s Florida Affiliate and as the AHA’s Director of Planned Giving for the west coast of Florida. Prior to joining the AHA, Mr. Fussner was an attorney with the Tampa office of the national law firm of Foley & Lardner. He specialized in estate planning, probate/trust administration and tax law. He holds his law degree from the University of Florida. He also obtained a B.S. in Accounting and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida.

     
 

Sheila Hard

Senior Planned Giving Officer, University of the Pacific

Sheila A. Hard has over 30 years’ experience in charitable gift planning. She began her career in the University of California system-wide Office of Development Policy and Administration, where she edited a policy and procedures manual. Her fundraising positions have included Associate Director of Planned Giving for UC Berkeley; Executive Director of the Episcopal Foundation of Northern California; Director of Planned Giving at California State University, Sacramento; and Director of Gift Planning at the University of New Mexico Foundation. She currently serves part-time as Senior Planned Giving Officer at the University of the Pacific (UoP). Sheila received her J.D. from UoP’s McGeorge School of Law in 2009. While in law school she served as a consultant and wrote and produced an e-bulletin aimed primarily at professional advisors.

     
 

Johni Hays

Senior Vice President, Thompson & Associates

With 25 years of experience as a practicing attorney in charitable and estate planning, Johni Hays is a recognized expert on the subject of charitable gift planning. Johni served as the president of the Charitable Estate Planning Institute and she is the author of the book, Essentials of Annuities and co-author of the book, The Tools and Techniques of Charitable Planning. Johni served on the editorial advisory board for the books Tax Facts on Investments and Tax Facts on Insurance and Employee Benefits. She serves as a founding charitable planning author of Steve Leimberg’s electronic newsletter service, LISI. Johni has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and has published charitable planning articles in Estate Planning Magazine, Planned Giving Today, Fundraising Success, Life Insurance Selling and the National Underwriter magazines.

Johni is in demand as a national lecturer on estate and charitable planning, probate, living wills, annuities, life insurance, retirement planning and IRAs, as well as income, estate and gift taxation. Johni has been engaged in the practice of law with an emphasis in charitable and estate planning since 1993. She graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1993. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Drake University and graduated magna cum laude in 1988. Johni has been a member of both the Iowa Bar and the Florida Bar since 1993. She resides in Johnston, Iowa, with her husband, Dave Schlindwein.

     
 

Robert Hofmann

Senior Development Officer, University of Minnesota Duluth

Since 2007 Robert Hofmann, MA, CFRE, has worked for the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) as Senior Development Officer raising more than $16M for student scholarships and programs. Before returning to his native Minnesota, Robert was appointed by RI Governor Carcieri to the Rhode Island Economic Monitoring Collaborative, and he served as a member of the RI Workforce Development/Education Council of the Greater Providence RI Chamber of Commerce. He is married to Kathleen and resides in Hermantown, MN.

     
 

Christoper Hoyt

Professor of Law, University of Missouri (Kansas City) Schiool of Law

Christopher Hoyt is a Professor of Law at the University of Missouri Kansas City) School of Law where he teaches courses in the area of federal income taxation, charitable organizations and retirement plans. He received an undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University and he received dual law and accounting degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Chris is currently the Vice Chair of the Charitable Group (Section of Trusts and Estates - American Bar Association) and he serves on the editorial board of Trusts and Estates magazine. He is an ACTEC fellow and has been designated by his peers as a "Best Lawyer." He was elected to the Estate Planning Hall of Fame by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.

     
 

Lynn Ierardi

Director of Gift Planning, The University of Pennsylvania

Lynn Malzone Ierardi, J.D. has been in the estate and gift planning field for more than 25 years. She has served as Director of Gift Planning for the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) since 2005 and on a limited basis as an independent gift planning consultant. Her tenure at Penn has included the "Making History" Campaign which raised $4.3 million, and Penn's newest campaign just launched in April of this year. Prior to joining Penn, she held gift planning positions in health and higher education, served as Vice President with the Merrill Lynch Center for Philanthropy and practiced estate planning and real estate law.

Lynn has been a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) since 1993. She is currently a national board member and Chair Elect of CGP, and a member of the CGP Leadership Institute. She has served as board member and President of the Gift Planning Council of New Jersey and is a current board member of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia. As a dynamic and highly rated speaker, she has presented at conferences and meetings throughout the country on a variety of gift planning topics including Gift Planning in a Campaign, Gifts of Real Estate, Gifts of Retirement Assets, Face to Face Visits, Gift Planning Basics,and Estate Planning for your Pet.

     
 

Russell James III

Professor, Texas Tech University

Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP® is a professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. He directs the on-campus and online graduate program in Charitable Financial Planning. He graduated, cum laude, from the University of Missouri School of Law where he was a member of the Missouri Law Review and received the United Missouri Bank Award for Most Outstanding Work in Gift and Estate Taxation and Planning. He also holds a Ph.D. in consumer economics from the University of Missouri, where his dissertation was on charitable giving.

Prior to his career as an academic researcher, Dr. James worked as the Director of Planned Giving for Central Christian College in Moberly, Missouri, for 6 years and later served as President of the college for more than 5 years, where he had direct and supervisory responsibility for all fundraising. During his presidency the college successfully completed two major capital campaigns, built several new debt-free buildings, and more than tripled enrollment.

Dr. James has over 150 publications in academic journals, conference proceedings, and books. He has been quoted on charitable and financial issues in a variety of news sources including The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC News, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and the Chronicle of Philanthropy and his financial neuroimaging research was profiled in The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine.

     
 

Christopher Kelly

Director of Development, Planned Parenthood of Michigan

Christopher L. Kelly, is the Director of Development for Planned Parenthood of Michigan. He brings more than 28 years of experience in trust, estate and philanthropic planning from his previous positions, most recently the Vice President and Planned Giving Product Specialist with PNC Institutional Asset Management. Prior to joining PNC, Chris served with the Comerica Charitable Services Group as Vice President and Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Chair of the Grant Committee and President of the Comerica Charitable Trust and Comerica Legacy Foundation, with a combined value of $120 million+. He served in a similar role with Merrill Lynch Trust Company Center for Philanthropy as Senior Philanthropic Consultant and Manager of the Merrill Lynch Community Foundation Alliance, a program he grew to over 225 community foundations across the United States and approximately $1.3 billion+ of assets. He is a frequent guest speaker at conferences, educational programs and donor seminars across the country. He is a member of the Planned Giving Roundtable of Southeast Michigan, the Past President of the Council Board, Leave-A-Legacy Chair and is now Chair of the mentoring program. He served on the bational board of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and was the Chair of the 2013 National Conference in Minneapolis. Chris was a professional opera singer, debuting with the Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, and has performed with various opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States and in Europe.

     
 

Bill Knox

Director, Technical Consulting, TIAA Kaspick

Bill Knox,  J.D., LLM is Director, Planned Gift Technical Consulting at TIAA Kaspick, part of TIAA Endowment & Philanthropic Services. In this role, he advises clients on all aspects surrounding planned gifts, including legal, tax, and administration issues. Bill has presented on a variety of planned giving topics at both regional and national events. He joined TIAA in 2012 after serving for more than seven years as vice president of legal services at Crescendo Interactive, Inc. Bill has a BA from the California State University, Chico. He received his  J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America and his LLM in tax from Loyola Law School.

     
 

Katy Kotlarczyk

Deptartment Head and Senior Director, Gift Planning and Leadership Giving, University of Colorado

Katy Herbert Kotlarczyk is the department head and senior director of development for the Gift Planning & Leadership Giving office at the University of Colorado System. Katy’s previous CU experience includes serving as a gift planner for the CU Boulder campus and as a major gifts officer for the Leeds School of Business. Prior to coming to the University of Colorado, Katy led a scholarship program at Georgetown University that supported first-generation, low-income, and diverse undergraduate students. She has also served as a fundraising and strategy consultant for nonprofit organizations.

Katy is currently serving as a board member and the vice president for the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable. She completed her MBA at the Kellstadt School of Business at DePaul University. She has both an undergraduate and Master’s degree from Stanford University, where she served as captain of the women’s gymnastics team and earned All-American honors on the balance beam. She enjoys living in Colorado with her husband and their three children.

     
 

Jolene Hyppa Martin

Professor, University of Minnesota Duluth

Jolene Hyppa Martin, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a speech and language pathologist and faculty member at the University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr Hyppa Martin earned her PhD in Speech-Language-Hearing Science from the University of Minnesota. Her areas of research interest include enhancing social participation for individuals with severe communication disorders, including individuals with dementia and those who communicate using augmentative and alternative communication.

     
 

Anne Melvin

Director of Training and Education, Harvard University

Anne Melvin has worked as both a volunteer and a professional in the field of development for over two decades, holding positions of increasing responsibility at various schools at Harvard University, including Harvard College, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Harvard’s central University Development Office. In eight different positions at Harvard, her experience runs the gamut of development’s major functions, with career stops in the annual fund, major gifts, stewardship, gift planning, and operations. For the past three years, Anne has directed the fundraiser training and overall development education program at Harvard’s central development office.

Anne is a member of AFP, the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, and the CGP Leadership Institute. She speaks regularly around the country to professional development organizations specializing in donor motivation, gift planning, gift solicitation, and other topics critical for successful frontline work. She trains nonprofit development staff nationwide through her private practice, ATM Consulting. Anne is active on boards, serving as the chair of the fundraising committee for the Ethiopia Education Initiatives, Inc, and secretary of the Wellesley Education Foundation. She enjoys a ‘busman's holiday’ fundraising for her alma mater in Massachusetts and Little Traverse Conservancy in Michigan. Prior to joining Harvard, Anne practiced real estate law in the Boston area. She is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and holds a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.

     
 

Kathryn Miree

President & CEO, Kathryn W. Miree & Associates, Inc.

Kathryn W. Miree has more than 30 years experience working with nonprofit organizations and nonprofit boards. Kathryn is President of Kathryn W. Miree & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm located in Birmingham, Alabama, that works with boards and staff of nonprofits and foundations to build fundraising platforms and establish fundraising strategies. She received her undergraduate degree from Emory University and her law degree from The University of Alabama School of Law. She spent 15 years in various positions in the Trust Division of AmSouth Bank before joining Sterne, Agee & Leach to established its trust company and serve as its President & CEO. In 1997 she established Kathryn W. Miree & Associates, Inc.

Kathryn has been actively professionally as past president of the National Committee on Planned Giving, past president of the Alabama Planned Giving Council, past President of the Estate Planning Council of Birmingham, and past President of the Alabama Bankers Association Trust Division. In her community she has served as Chair of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Chair of United Way of Central Alabama, and Chair of The Altamont School as well as serving in various capacities on more than twenty other nonprofit boards. Kathryn is a frequent speaker at venues across the country, co-author of The Family Foundation Handbook (CCH Publishers 2014) and author of The Professional Advisor’s Guide to Planned Giving (CCH Publishers, 2006).

     
 

Robert Mueller

Vice President Development, Hosparus Health

Robert J. "Bob" Mueller is Vice President of Development for Hosparus Health, the nonprofit Community Hospices of Louisville, southern Indiana, and central and southern Kentucky. Bob has over 40 years of experience in fundraising, public relations, public speaking, promotional activities and counseling. As a bishop of the United Catholic Church and a member of the Federation of Christian Ministries, Bob brings a rich understanding of the spiritual and emotional dimensions of life. In his presentations, Bob offers ways to renew the spirit and mind as well as the body.

A regular contributing author to Today's Woman and Today's Transitions magazines and a weekly columnist in The Oldham Era, Bob has been recognized for his series "Positive Living" and integrates these concepts and illustrations in his presentations. Bob's three books, Look Forward Hopefully, The Gentle Art of Caring and Create a Better World are available through amazon. For more information about Bob, visit his website: bobmueller.org

     
 

Marcia Inger Navrátil

Director of Gift Planning Services, The University of Texas System

Marcia Inger Navratil has served as the Director of Gift Planning Services for University of Texas System since November 2015. In her current role, Marcia collaborates with, advises, and trains advancement and development colleagues across the 14 University of Texas academic and health institutions, in their work with donors and professional advisors on planned and complex gifts.

Marcia brings nearly 20 years of development experience to her current role. She previously held development positions at University of Virginia and Virginia Opera. She is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and serves on the board of the Austin and Central Texas chapter. She has presented on topics related to charitable and estate planning at many organizations including the NACGP National Conference, NACGP chapters across the country, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the CASE District IV Conference, and the Big XII Development Conference, and has been a contributor to publications on philanthropy. Marcia earned both her law degree and her bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Virginia. She lives in Austin with her husband Paul, and when not working can be found running on trails in the woods with her two rescue dogs.

     
 

David Newman

Chair, Charitable Sector Practice, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

David Newman chairs the Charitable Sector Practice at the Los Angeles law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. For what seems to him like forever he has advised families and individuals concerning their foundations and other philanthropy, as well as charitable organizations and their donors on the legal and tax aspects of charitable gift planning. He also advises these organizations on transactional and governance matters. David is a former board member of both the National Committee on Planned Giving and the American Council on Gift Annuities. David received the Dana Latham Award from the LA Tax Bar, for lifetime achievement in the field of taxation, and he volunteers for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, because it makes him crazy that hundreds of thousands of residents of a wealthy metropolis lack food security. He serves on the board of the California Community Foundation.

     
 

Melanie Norton

Founder and Lead Consultant, Norton Philanthropic Counsel

Melanie J. Norton is the founder and lead consultant for Norton Philanthropic Counsel (NPC), a full-service philanthropic consulting firm in Indianapolis, Indiana, dedicated to highly-customized and relationship-focused strategies that blend the art and science of philanthropy to promote client success. Prior to the launch of NPC, Melanie was most recently the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement at DePauw University, where she led a team of 40 full-time professionals to a successful $320 million comprehensive campaign nearly two years in advance of the targeted campaign end. Melanie was previously a consultant with Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates, consulting on all phases of philanthropic work, and also spent eleven years in leadership roles in gift planning and major gifts for DePauw and Franklin College. Melanie’s first career was at Fifth Third Bank where she served as an AVP in the Retail and Trust Investment Advisors divisions for seven years. Melanie is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and holds an M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a B.A. in business from Franklin College. She was the 2016 national chairman of the board for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and is also a past president and former board member for the Planned Giving Group of Indiana, as well as the Rotary Club of Indianapolis Sunrise. Melanie also served on the board of the Independent College Advancement Associates as well as several other volunteer and social service organizations.

     

 

Philip Purcell

Senior Counsel for Philanthropy, Fellowship of Catholic University Students

Phil Purcell currently serves as Senior Counsel for Philanthropy on behalf of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Formerly, he was Vice President for Planned Giving and Endowment Stewardship at the Ball State University Foundation where he assisted with completion of a $200 million campaign of which $65 million in planned gifts were raised. Phil held prior position in gift planning for the Central Indiana Community Foundation, St. Vincent Hospital Foundation, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He is senior consultant for Heaton Smith Group providing charitable and estate planning services. Phil is a certified fundraising executive (CFRE). He is an attorney and member of the American and Indiana State Bar Associations.

Phil currently serves as a volunteer on the Tax Exempt Organization Advisory Council for the Internal Revenue Service (Great Lakes States region) and Vice Chair of the Legislation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Charitable Group. He teaches courses on Law and Philanthropy, Nonprofit Organization Law and Planned Giving as adjunct faculty for the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy and Fundraising School. Phil has served on the board of directors for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (Secretary), Planned Giving Group of Indiana (President) and Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter (President). Phil serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Planned Giving Today.Phil received his B.A. degree from Wabash College in 1981 (magna cum laude) and his J.D. and M.P.A. degrees (with honors) from Indiana University in 1985.

     
 

Andrew Ragone

Integrated Marketing Representative, Crescendo Interactive

Andy comes to us with a diverse executive and digital-marketing background in the nonprofit arena. Having worked in three larger church environments over the past 20+ years, Andy has appreciated the challenges of a growing organization, including staff and cultural development, fund raising campaigns, volunteer coordination and marketing systems. Andy brings a big-picture perspective to how vision and fund development work hand in hand.

     
 

Beth Ridout

Director of Estate Administration, The Nature Conservancy

Beth Ridout is the Director of Estate Administration for The Nature Conservancy and has been with the organization for 13 years. She was previously a high net worth Trust Officer at Merrill Lynch, where she helped clients plan their philanthropy and saw charitable giving from their perspectives. She has a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.S. in accounting. Beth lives in Marin County, California. but her team is located at The Nature Conservancy headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

     
 

Brian Sagrestano

President, Gift Planning Development, LLC

Brian M. Sagrestano, JD, CFRE, is an author, public speaker and thought leader in the gift planning world. As the President of Gift Planning Development, Brian provides gift planning services to a wide range of charitable clients from national organizations focused on high end gift plans to local charities seeking to start new gift planning programs. Brian is also a principal of Constellation Advancement, LLC, a full-service development consulting firm. Prior to starting GPO, he spent twelve years as a charitable gift planner, directing the gift planning programs for the University of Pennsylvania, Middlebury College and Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations. Brian has co-authored three books with Robert E. Wahlers, CFRE, including the award-winning Philanthropic Planning Companion: The Fundraisers' and Professional Advisors' Guide to Charitable Gift Planning (Wiley 2012). An honors graduate of Cornell University and Notre Dame Law School, Brian lives with his wife and four children in New Hartford, New York, the scenic gateway to the Adirondack Mountains.

     
 

Steven Schwartz

Principal Advisor, Philanthropic Visions

Steven Schwartz is Principal Advisor for Philanthropic Visions, a fundraising consulting firm specializing in nonprofit organization capacity building and advising donors and their professional advisors in making philanthropic investments. He has also served visiting assistant professorships at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, the University of Florida Worthington College of Business, guest lecturer/instructor at the Wayne State University and Michigan State University Law Schools for mediator training programs. Steven is a practicing lawyer and law firm managing partner with 39 years’ trial and appellate practice before State, Federal, Governmental and International Courts and Tribunals representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of commercial cases. He is a former Florida International Univeristy Executive Director of Estate and Planned Giving and Principal Advisor. During his tenure he created and supervised the University’s estate and planned giving fundraising program and staff and he was principally responsible for raising over $60,000,000 in planned, major and annual gifts.

     
 

Patrick Schmitt

Co-Founder and CEO, FreeWill

Patrick Schmitt has been involved with philanthropy for over ten years having founded two nonprofit organizations during his time at Georgetown University. He ran email fundraising for President Obama from 2009-2010, generating record amounts in online donations. He was also the Head of Innovation at Change.org, where he helped grow that organization to 120 million users in just four years. He is the co-author of “Philanthropy's Missing Trillions” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and “5 Numbers You, Your Boss &  Your Board Need to Know in 2018” in the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners blog. He is the co-founder of FreeWill, a web-based service that hopes to make estate planning warm, accessible, and totally free so that donors can more easily care for the people and causes they love.

     
 

Cathy Sheffield

Vice President/President, Thompson & Associates/ThinkGiving

Cathy R. Sheffield is a fundraising executive with over 24-years experience, specializing in major gifts and gift planning in higher education and healthcare. Cathy is a Vice President with Thompson & Associates and President of ThinkGiving, a consulting firm based in Fort Worth, Texas.

Cathy is the immediate past-chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, served as the 2015 Chair of the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning held in Orlando, FL, and is a member of the CGP Leadership Institute, Cathy is a member of the Charitable IRA Initiative Board of Directors. Locally, Cathy is a member and past president of the Lone Star Council of PPP (Fort Worth) and a member and past officer of the North Texas Chapter of PPP (Dallas). In 2015, Cathy was honored by the Fort Worth Metro Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals with The Ben Franklin Award for the Outstanding Professional Fundraising Executive. In May, 2017, Cathy was given the Star Award from the Lone Star Council of Charitable Gift Planners for outstanding service to the council and profession.

Cathy received her MBA from Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business and a Bachelor of Science from North Dakota State University. Cathy is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®, Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG), and a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).

     
 

R. Daniel (Dan) Shephard

Principal, The Shephard Group

Dan Shephard is Principal of The Shephard Group, which provides training and consulting services focusing on the skillsets most valuable to frontline fundraisers. Dan knows from personal experience the value to the major gift planner of being equipped with both the competence and the confidence to engage a potential donor in a discussion that will result in a significant gift commitment.

Dan has served as Planned Giving Director for the Florida State University Foundation, Director of Development for the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, Director of Gift Planning for The Citadel Foundation, and Director of Development for the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He is the author of Charitable Choices: How to Avoid Donor’s Remorse.

     
 

Meika Slotsema

Assistant General Counsel and Director, Trust & Estate Administration, Alzheimer’s Association

Meika B. Slotsema is the Assistant General Counsel and Director, Trust & Estate Administration at the Alzheimer’s Association. During her seven years with the Alzheimer’s Association, Meika has been in charge of overseeing all of the organization’s planned gift administration nationwide. Meika works closely with major and planned gift officers, donor services, and the finance department for complete gift oversight and financial audit compliance. While at the Alzheimer’s Association, Meika has helped develop a new donor database system (CRM) for estate administration and designed and executed new gift reporting and tracking systems. Meika also oversees all estate litigation matters, reviews contracts and advises on HR and trademark matters, along with other general counsel duties.

Prior to joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Meika spent 6 years in private practice drafting client estate plans, working on estate and trust administration, and estate and commercial litigation cases. Meika received her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law IIT and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Trinity Christian College.

     
 

Craig Smith

Senior Consultant, John Brown Limited, Inc.

Craig Smith is best known for his leadership, personal solicitation skills, and gift planning know-how. His work as Senior Consultant with John Brown Limited spans more than 25 years. He has directed client relations in higher education, the arts, healthcare, and cultural organizations nationwide, including the National Geographic Society, the University of Michigan, all of the campuses of the University of North Carolina and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He has helped to develop and manage campaigns from as small at $6 million to as large as $2.5 billion. He currently leads JBL’s work with Columbia University and with The Smithsonian Institution.

In addition to many years as a dedicated consultant with JBL, he has served in leadership roles at the University of Rochester Medical Center during comprehensive and boutique campaigns, and most recently, at Rochester Institute of Technology where he helped to launch a $700M campaign. Craig is dedicated to creatively bringing together philanthropists and worthy charitable causes to assure maximum tax advantage for donors while assisting development officers in reaching their important goals.

     
 

Winton Smith

Planned Giving Consultant, Law Offices of Winton C. Smith, Jr.

Winton Smith, J.D. is a charitable gift planner whose clients include both philanthropists and charitable organizations. He helps charitable organizations build and conduct planned giving programs that encourage donors to learn how they can make both the smartest gift and also give more to their charitable interests than they ever dreamed possible. Winton is a practicing attorney who specializes in estate tax strategies and tax planning, financial development and planned giving for charitable organizations. His background includes 25 years of practical experience in structuring and marketing major gifts. He represents both individual philanthropists and charitable institutions, keeping them informed of the latest tax law changes affecting charitable gifts. Winton has been a frequent speaker at programs sponsored by the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE) and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP). He regularly presents charitable tax strategy seminars and workshops for bar associations, estate planning councils, colleges, universities, law schools and hospitals as well as natural resource and conservation, religious, social welfare and other charitable organizations. His programs on charitable gift planning have been approved for continuing education credit by State Bar Associations and State Accountancy Boards.

     
 

Barry Spencer

Planned Giving Program Consultant, Donor Motivation Program

Barry Spencer is a nationally recognized author, keynote speaker, philanthropic planning specialist, researcher, and planned giving program consultant whose presentations and comments have been heard on or seen in Forbes, Kiplinger, Worth, MoneyShow, CBS MoneyWatch, affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, among others. He is the creator of The Wealth With No Regrets® philanthropic planning process, Motivate Generosity and The Donor Motivation Program® Georgia, providing research and donor-centric planned giving education to development professionals, and he has written and contributed to several books. Barry is a second generation philanthropist supporting charitable causes he is passionate about and a champion of donor-centric communication for charities with their donors. He passionately educates planned giving professionals about how to speak “donor” so they meet their organizational fundraising goals and help donors achieve their philanthropic legacy. He lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his wife Lori and two children. His presentations include lessons and stories from competing as a 4-time Ironman and elite triathlete.

     
 

Lani Starkey

Principal/Chief Instructor, Fifty Rock Consulting LLC

Lani Starkey,  J.D., LLM, CPA is the founder of Fifty Rock Consulting, LLC, and a nationally-recognized philanthropic planning expert. He is an accomplished consultant, fundraiser, tax attorney, former accountant, professor, coach, and presenter. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Previously, Lani was Associate Vice President at University of Hawaii Foundation, where he led the Principal Gifts and Estate and Gift Planning departments. In his Foundation role, he was a lead gift strategist and partnered with academic leadership, a large team of development staff, and professional advisors to achieve innovative, high-impact, donor-centric solutions. During his tenure at the Foundation, Lani directly helped raise over $150,000,000, which notably made him the most productive fundraiser in the Foundation’s history. In addition, he also led a fundraising department that raised another $50,000,000. This $200,000,000 of gift production was approximately 20% of the total amount raised by the Foundation over the last 30 years. Prior to the Foundation, Lani was a Vice President and Staff Attorney at Crescendo Interactive Inc. He earned his LLM in Tax from the University of Florida’s Graduate Tax Program, his  J.D. cum laude from Pepperdine University School of Law, and his BBA in Accounting from Texas State University.

     
 

Stacy Sulman

Vice President, American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science

Stacy B. Sulman, J.D., is the Vice President for Personalized Philanthropy and Legal Affairs for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. In that capacity, Stacy oversees bequest and gift annuity administration, planned giving fundraising, outreach, and marketing, loyalty and legacy societies, gift agreements and compliance, government and foundation grants, among other areas in law and planned giving. Previously, Stacy served as Director of Gift Planning for Weizmann, and as Associate Director and General Counsel for the Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest, New Jersey. Stacy currently teaches planned giving at New York University’s Heyman School for Philanthropy and Fundraising. She serves as Vice President of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York. Stacy received her JD from the University of Arizona College of Law and her Bachelors Degree from Bryn Mawr College.

     
 

Kelly Taylor

Partner, Trek Advancement, LLC

Clients often hear Kelly say “You can do it! Now let’s get started!” She lives to energize others into action. Kelly is an activator. She wants to understand the context of a situation, explain why it happened, in order to find solutions to nuanced problems. She has a gift for making the complex seem simple and works best as a hands-on trainer. Kelly also has a strong sense of commitment and is highly motivated to see things carried through to completion. Her work is a way of life, not just a job. In search of significance Kelly strives for what’s exceptional, what’s excellent and what’s authentic. Mediocrity is her nemesis. Kelly takes risks and gladly meets new challenges. She believes that philanthropy is an expression of our human connectedness.

In her efforts to design a life well lived, Kelly co-founded Trek Advancement in 2009. Trek’s guiding philosophies of good governance, solid leadership, donor-centered fundraising and mission focused action help clients build sustainable fundraising efforts. Kelly is a planned giving nerd and uses this passion to navigate comprehensive fundraising campaigns. A talented strategic thinker and influencer, Kelly enjoys working with clients to define their strategic goals and help them create their unique roadmap for success. Kelly likes to engage in conversations either one or one or with an audience of hundreds.

     
 

Gordon Trafton

Chairman, CU Boulder Leeds School of Business Board of Alumni and Friends; Former Canadian National Senior Vice President, University of Colorado

Gordon Trafton graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation Management. He enjoyed a lengthy and successful career in the railroad industry before retiring in 2010. Prior to his retirement, Gordon's extensive railroad resume included leading a team of 6,800 employees in delivering transportation services that generated annual revenues of $2.5 billion.

A firm believer in the importance of education and “paying it forward,” Gordon's "retirement" activities currently include his role as Chairman of the Leeds School of Business Board of Alumni and Friends, and serving as a director of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited. It's no surprise that he was recently awarded the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (District VI).

In 2012, the Trafton family translated one of their primary philanthropic interests into action, making an investment that established the Leeds Mentoring Office and significantly expanding the Leeds School’s Professional Mentorship Program (PMP). Today, Leeds mentoring programs partner more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students with over 1,000 professional, alumni, and student mentors. In addition, Gordon dedicates countless hours to his many mentees, including his ever-grateful co-presenter, Katy Herbert Kotlarczyk.

     
 

Robert Wahlers

Vice President, Development, Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations

Robert E. Wahlers, M.S., CFRE, is the Vice President of Development for Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations (MHAF) where he oversees gift planning, annual giving and the grants development programs.  Since February of 2010, he has served as the leader for the gift planning program across the Meridian Health System and also had administrative functions as the Senior Director of Development & Gift Planning before being promoted to his current role in 2014.  Robert previously served as AVP for Major & Planned Giving at Virtua Foundation, and has spent the last 25 years in nonprofit fundraising, including positions with the Boy Scouts of America and the American Cancer Society. Robert is adjunct professor of nonprofit management at Columbia University and co-author with Brian Sagrestano of The Philanthropic Planning Companion: The Fundraiser’s and Professional Advisor’s Guide to Charitable Gift Planning. Robert holds a Master of Science degree in Human Development & Leadership with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Murray State University and a BA Degree in Psychology from Muhlenberg College.

     
 

Philip Watson

Managing Director of Philanthropic Gift Planning, Children's Mercy Kansas City

Phil is responsible for the management and leadership of the Gift Planning team as it builds and sustains a strong culture of gift planning for donors and friends of Children’s Mercy in creating blended, tax-advantaged and meaningful gift plans to support children and families served by the hospital. He has enjoyed more than 35 years of experience in charitable gift planning, financial and estate planning, trust and investment administration and sales, and advancement and endowment administration. Before coming to Children’s Mercy, Phil served as Director of Planned Giving/Major Gifts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and as Vice President for Advancement at Avila University. He also enjoyed 17 years working with several trust departments, including serving in the position of Senior Vice President and Manager at BANK IV Kansas City.

Phil is a former President and is an active member of the Mid-America Planned Giving Council. He is a former Certified Financial Planner, holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from The University of Kansas, and has provided fundraising consulting services regionally. He has presented programs to the national Woodmark Summit conference of children's hospitals and local charitable gift planning professional groups on various subjects, including best ways toask for major/planned gifts, identifying great gift planning prospects, creating collaborative work environments, strengthening donors’ financial plans through charitable giving, making gift planning easy, and creatingeffective gift acceptance and counting policies.

     
 

Fredrick Weber

Sr. Vice President and Estate Settlement Services Practice Lead, Northern Trust Company

Fred Weber leads the Estate Settlement Service Practices for Northern Trust Company’s Central Region. Fred’s team handles death-related administration of estates and trusts when Northern Trust acts as a fiduciary for clients who have died. Fred previously worked for another corporate fiduciary, and before that, spent several years in private law practice as a trust, estate and probate attorney. Fred also worked as a planned giving officer for a large public charity, and before law school, he worked in Washington, DC, as an aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul D. Wellstone (D-MN). Fred has presented to the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Minnesota Planned Giving Council. Fred is an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School, where he teaches a course on death-related administration of estates and trusts. Fred is a board member and past president of Shalva: A Response to Domestic Abuse in Jewish Homes. Fred received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Illinois.

     
 

Russell Willis

Planned Gift Design Consultant, The Greystocke Project

Russell Willis works as a consultant with nonprofits, donors, and their advisors in structuring charitable contributions of business and real property interests to serve the mutual advantage of all parties. He also provides legal research and advice on income and transfer tax planning more generally. For ten years, Russ wrote daily content for a subscription website, providing in-depth analysis of developments in tax law affecting charitable gift planning. More recently he has launched a fortnightly online newsletter, Jack Straw, analyzing current developments in the law—both tax and nontax—concerning the transfer of private wealth in this country.

Russ is a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences on planned giving. He has an undergraduate degree in English literature from Indiana University in Bloomington and a master's in English from the University of Chicago. He earned his  J.D. at St. Louis University and his master's in taxation law at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. For more than twenty years, Russ practiced law in St. Louis, with a concentration in transfer tax planning and in particular charitable gift planning. He chaired the steering committee of the probate and trust law section of the local bar association and served for years on a legislative drafting subcommittee of the probate and trust law committee of the state bar. As an adjunct member of the faculty at the St. Louis University law school, he taught courses in future interests and tax-driven estate planning.

     
 

Craig Wruck

Vice President, University Advancement, Humboldt State University

Craig Wruck is Vice President for University Advancement at Humboldt State University in California. He has served as Director of Gift Planning for the University of Minnesota and Vice President of Development for The Saint Paul Community Foundation. His gift planning experience includes U.S. Trust Company, U.S. Bank, and Kaspick & Company. He is past president of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and was chair of its Government Relations Committee. Craig is the author of Planned Giving in a Nutshell, a practical guide to planned giving for fund raising professionals. He holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Utah.

 

 

800+ Charitable Gift Planners

Learn, network and collaborate with attendees from across the country, in all career stages, representing diverse organizations.

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Get inspired by a conference faculty of innovative keynote speakers and industry leaders who share their experiences and insights on charitable gift planning.

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