2023 Look Back


Agenda At-A-Glance

Wednesday At-a-Glance Schedule

Thursday At-a-Glance Schedule

Friday At-a-Glance Schedule


























Plenary Speaker: Frederick Riley


Frederick Riley grew up in a tough neighborhood of Saginaw, Michigan where he didn’t have a lot, but he did have a community. His mother taught him that when times were tough, you shared what you had, offered emotional support, and showered love abundantly on everyone. That’s what he gave and received from his community. His pastor convinced him he could be grown up and be somebody. His high school English teacher regularly sent notes of encouragement with fifty dollars tucked inside while he was in college. She knew it was not an expected or easy rite of passage for someone like him. This network of people helped him weave a life path. Now Riley leads the Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project, which supports people in communities everywhere who are weaving trust, connection, and hope. To pay forward the love of weavers in his life, Riley spent 16 years at various levels of the YMCA organization around the country. He helped build and fund programs that gave youth a sense of value and belonging while helping them prepare for life beyond high school. Riley has nurtured community wherever he has lived – Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, and now Washington, DC – yet he remains a proud son of Saginaw, Michigan. Among his many roles in professional and civic groups, he covets most the time he spends with his own family as a son, brother, uncle, and godfather, and with all the people who became family because of their care.


Plenary Speaker: Julia Fabris McBride

Julia Fabris McBride is Chief Civic Leadership Development Officer of the Kansas Leadership Center. She is also a certified coach and co-author of two books, the forthcoming When Everyone Leads (Bard Press, January 2023) and Teaching Leadership: Case-in-Point, Case Teaching, and Coaching. At KLC, she oversees teacher and coach development and has created three professional programs for leadership developers, including an International Coach Federation (ICF)-approved Leadership Coach training program, and an Advanced Leadership Development Intensive that has drawn people to Wichita from four continents. Julia served as KLC’s interim president and CEO from August of 2022 until March of 2023. Before joining KLC (and while wrapping up a fun and varied career as an actor in Chicago), Julia taught leadership and management at the University of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, University of Massachusetts and the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute. She holds a certificate in leadership from the University of Chicago’s Graham School of General Studies and completed the Art and Practice of Leadership Development (taught by Marty Linsky, Ron Heifetz and Robert Kegan) at Harvard’s Kennedy School. She is certified to facilitate the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and Immunity to Change processes, and has trained executives and high potentials at organizations such as Microsoft and United Way of America. Julia has traveled as far afield as Melbourne, Australia, and Yangon, Myanmar, to teach and share the KLC ideas, first among them the principle that leadership is an activity, available to anyone, anytime, anywhere. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Case Western Reserve University and holds a diploma (signed by Sir John Geilgud) from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Julia lives with her husband, sculptor Bill McBride, and teenager Lake McBride in Matfield Green, Kansas, in the heart of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie. She is cofounder of the Know Your Worth Women’s Leadership Conference and founding board president of the Pioneer Bluffs Foundation. Julia serves on the advisory committee for the Western Conservation Leadership Development Program and as secretary of the board of directors of the Adaptive Leadership Network. She splits her time between Wichita and Matfield Green.


Plenary Speaker: Christy Davis, USDA Rural Development State Director for Kansas

Christy Cauble Davis is a fifth-generation Kansan who has dedicated her career to serving and strengthening Kansas communities. For more than two decades, Davis has facilitated statewide projects and programs that have generated billions of dollars in economic impact. She has served as Legislative Chair for the Kansas Downtown Development Association and on the board of the Chase County Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, Davis served as Executive Director of Symphony in Flint Hills. In line with her passion of strengthening communities, in 2016, Christy and her husband Luke adopted a historic building in Cottonwood Falls and transformed it into an award-winning laundromat. In 2019, the couple rehabilitated an historic bank building to create new housing and a bookstore. When she is not working, Davis enjoys participating in community events, hiking, swimming, reading and spending time with her 11-year-old son.



Sarah Aguirre Origer


Sarah Aguirre Origer serves as program manager and the organizational lynchpin of the New Pluralists, a national funder collaborative, coordinating efforts between the New Pluralists team, grantees, and the collaborative’s fiscal sponsor, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Impact Finance Center, and she approaches impact investing with a strong place-based lens and the conviction that access to capital can transform underrepresented communities. Previously, Sarah was the Director of GIFT Programming and Technical Services at the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA), where she directed learning and professional growth opportunities for community foundation staff and boards across Indiana. She also served as a navigator for IPA’s GIFT VII community leadership work with Indiana community foundations funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. Before joining IPA, Sarah served the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF) for nearly a decade. Sarah has a passion for community philanthropy with a particular interest in community development, civic engagement, and impact investing. A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, she is working toward a Masters of Philanthropic Studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Sheryl Aikman


Sheryl Aikman joined Ekstrom Alley Clontz & Associates in 2020. Previously, Sheryl spent over 21 years leading asset development, planned giving, advisor, affiliate and nonprofit fundholder services at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. She has held volunteer roles nationally with AdNet and the Council on Foundations and served as a peer reviewer for the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, conducting policy, program, and operational accreditation assessments. A graduate of Davidson College, Sheryl spent a post-graduate fellowship year at the University of Bristol (England) and holds a master’s degree in Management of Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University.

Steve Alley


Steve Alley is the Managing Partner of Ekstrom Alley Clontz & Associates and has extensive experience in the community foundation field. He has been with the firm since 2010, becoming Managing Partner in 2015. As a consultant, Steve has worked with more than 90 community foundations. From 2001-2010, he was President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. Prior to that he served as Director of the Community Foundations Institute of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Steve has also served as Vice President for Development at the Central Indiana Community Foundation and began in the field as the founding President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Howard County, Indiana. A 1985 graduate of Ball State University with a degree in communications, Steve began a career in radio as a reporter, anchor, and news director and then worked in public relations for a central Indiana school district.

Remy Barnwell


Remy is staff counsel at the Council on Foundations and is responsible for implementing the legal team’s work including facilitating legal education programming, analyzing and addressing requests for information, completing Community Foundation National Standards reviews, and co-authoring periodic knowledge products on timely legal issues. Remy is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and holds a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School. Upon entering law school, Remy knew that she wanted to do mission-driven work and completed internships with both non-profit and government agencies. While in law school, she served as President of the Black Law Students Association and enjoyed the opportunity to serve her peers. Before her time at the Council, Remy worked at the Federal Labor Relations Authority as an attorney-advisor. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Clemson University with a minor in philosophy.

Len Bartel


Len Bartel joined the CFLeads team as Senior Director of Strategy and Learning (now VP, Learning and Impact [Capacity-Building]) in January 2018. In this role, he develops approaches and frameworks that advance community foundation learning, assesses and refines current learning opportunities, and promotes a culture of reflection, learning, and continuous improvement. Len believes that community foundations are critical to reimagining the commonweal and advancing equity. He is also committed to the notion that, as in politics, all change is local and community foundations play a vital leadership role in building and supporting communities of solution.

Lori Bower


As President of BowerComm, Lori Bower helps community foundations, nonprofits, and businesses stop random acts of marketing through focused plans and magical ideas. She and her team coach clients across the U.S. in their Journey to Yes™ strategic marketing jumpstart program, as well as give them extra hands to execute their plans. Prior to launching BowerComm in 2010, Lori worked in Chicago for three global advertising agencies. Lori holds degrees from Kansas State University and Wichita State University, and she started her career as 4-H agent in Butler County, Kansas. She coaxed her husband away from Chicago suburbia to live as the 6th generation on her family’s farm in central Kansas, where he’s now in partnership with her dad and brother. They are kept humble by their two elementary-age children.

Dawn Brown


Dawn Brown is an educator by trade and has continued teaching even after completing her master’s degree in management. She began her professional development career as the National Implementation Manager for Vivendi-Universal where she instructed educators across the country. Dawn joined the Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana in 2005 as a Development Officer and became the President/CEO in 2012 where she’s created systems for success for everything from time management to stewardship and impact investing. When she’s not changing her little corner of the world, Dawn reads nonfiction to continue her quest of lifelong learning, writes a blog about nonprofit marketing, communication, and stewardship at www.dawnbrown.com, and develops marketing content at dawn brown creative llc.—all while figuring out how to become the philanthropic Leslie Knope (I seriously think this fictional character is awesome)!


Kristen Cambell


Kristen Cambell is CEO of PACE, a philanthropic laboratory for funders seeking to maximize their impact on democracy and civic life in America. Previously, Kristen ran her own consulting practice focused on civic engagement, education, and leadership. She served the National Conference on Citizenship as its Chief Program Officer, and has held philanthropic roles at the Case Foundation and Points of Light. Kristen is an AmeriCorps Alum and serves on the board of United Philanthropy Forum and Citizen University, as well as the advisory groups of several national groups, including the working group of the Philanthropy Initiative at the Smithsonian Institution.

Scott Cross


As Ren's SVP, Scott Cross draws on 25+ years in business development and sales leadership, specializing in technology solutions and service-based offerings. In his role, Scott oversees sales development, mid-market and enterprise business development, as well as pre-sales engineering. His focus lies in expanding partnerships and platforms to support client missions and growth. Before Ren, Scott spent 8 years leading teams in philanthropic markets, concentrating on Community Foundations, Foundations, and institutional business development in philanthropy. He held leadership positions at Blackbaud, Arreva, and helped to start an app, OnMyWay, that rewards users for safe driving. Before working in philanthropic services, Scott served in business development and leadership roles within the foreign exchange market at Fenics Software and in the data back, recovery and archive industry for Iron Mountain.



Jeff Davis


As an Advisor with FEG, Jeff Davis partners with community foundations, religious organizations, and other nonprofits on issues such as spending policy, asset allocation, and manager selection. Jeff co-leads FEG’s annual Community Foundation Survey, which is in its sixth year of collecting data on financial and enterprise topics as a bench marking tool to help inform community foundations nationwide. He earned a BA in Finance and Economics from the University of Kentucky, and an MBA in Business Administration from Xavier University. Jeff has been a FEG team member and investment professional since 2002. He is a member of the CFA Institute and CAIA Institute.

Al Getler


Community Heart & Soul is a resident-driven process that engages the entire population of a town in identifying what they love most about their community, what future they want for it, and how to achieve it. Al Getler joined the organization this year after a career in media. Getler published websites, newspapers, and magazines in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Vermont. He and his team are Pulitzer Prize, Associated Press, and Edward R. Murrow (TV/video) Award winners. He served as a sought-after lecturer at the American Press Institute and is a strong believer in community journalism. Getler formed a non-profit organization that oversaw an $8.5 million restoration of a theater in downtown Newark, OH along with building an endowment. He has been a board member for United Way, Ronald McDonald House, and the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Getler presently serves as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in South Hero, VT. He credits his parents for raising him and his siblings to serve their communities. It is why he believes in the mission of Community Heart & Soul.


Diane Higginbotham


Diane Higginbotham is a seasoned professional with a remarkable talent for fostering relationships and providing expert philanthropic guidance. With over two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, Diane has dedicated herself to assisting individuals and families on their philanthropic journeys. Currently serving as a Senior Consultant at 21/64, Diane embodies the role of a trusted advisor and facilitator, leveraging the powerful tools of 21/64 and drawing upon her extensive expertise to help clients achieve their philanthropic aspirations. Her track record includes impactful tenures at two community foundations, with her most recent position being Senior Philanthropic Advisor at the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Diane has been an active member of the 21/64 Certified Advisors of Color Advisory Committee since its inception, serving as an advisor, facilitator, and mentor to each annual cohort. Diane's educational background in counseling, career development, and mental health equips her with a holistic approach to her work. Originally hailing from Columbus, Ohio, she has made Houston her home since 2016 and resides there with her husband.

Eric Hozempa


Eric Hozempa has more than 30 years of nonprofit experience. In his current position as the CEO of the Longmont Community Foundation, Eric works to improve the community for all through philanthropy and charitable leadership. Eric grew up in Boulder County and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a B.A. in philosophy. Aside from pondering life’s meaning, Eric enjoys hiking, fly fishing, roasting his own coffee, riding his scooter, and gardening.

Terri Johnson


Terri Johnson, Consultant, has been involved with the community foundation field since 1993. She most recently worked for Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) as Associate Director of the GIFT Technical Assistance program. She provided training and on-site consultation for the boards and staff of the 94 community foundations in Indiana. She continues to provide technical assistance in all aspects of the community foundation field. Prior to IPA, she was the Executive Director of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF) in Rochester, Indiana from 2002-2012. NICF serves the counties of Fulton, Miami and Starke in north central Indiana. In this role she also handled all finance and investment duties. She served as a board member of the NICF for 10 years prior to becoming the executive director while she was co-owner of her family business. She is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and International Business College. She holds degrees in business management and accounting. Terri lives in Rochester, Indiana and enjoys spending time on Lake Manitou with family and friends.


Sarah Jolley


Sarah Jolley serves as the Evaluation Coordinator for the Center for Applied Research and Education at the Community Engagement Institute at Wichita State University. Sarah manages research and evaluation projects from start to finish, including proposal development, project design/conceptualization, implementation, data collection, analysis, report creation, and presentation. She also supervises other contributing staff and maintains relationships with funders and partners.

Steve Joul


Steve Joul considers himself a lifelong student of “community” and what helps them grow and prosper. He became president of Central Minnesota Community Foundation in St. Cloud in 1996. Today, he is president & CEO of CommunityGiving (CG) which is a collaboration of 12 community foundations primarily located in Minnesota including those serving the Greater St. Cloud, Alexandria, Brainerd Lakes and Willmar Areas. CG manages over 1000 component funds with over $210 million in assets. Last year CG gave away $16+ million to charitable activities making the communities they serve better for all. Steve has a degree in economics from the University of Minnesota and is a past fellow with the Humphrey Institute Policy Forum. He is a past participant in the German Marshall Fund Community Exchange Program, past board member of CFLeads, and past Board member/ Board Chair of the Charities Review Council, CEONet and a past Board member of the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Caitlin King


Caitlin King, account manager at BowerComm, leads projects for the agency’s community foundation practice. She and her team coach clients across the U.S. in their Journey to Yes™ strategic communications program, as well as give them extra hands to execute their plans. She is a graduate of John Brown University.


Candace Krell


Candace Krell has served as the grants manager for The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) since 2018. Prior to her work at TGKVF, she worked as a graphic designer, email marketer, bank customer service representative, and elementary educator. Her job as a grants manager marries her previous work experience into a rewarding and challenging career that she thoroughly enjoys. She takes pleasure in color coding spreadsheets and including cat pictures at the end of long emails. A true technophile, Krell is always looking for ways to utilize technology creatively in her work, whether it be by streamlining processes or increasing efficiency for her team. In her free time, Candace enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, learning and developing new skills, knitting, and enjoying the simple pleasures that life has to offer.

Danielle LaJoie


Danielle LaJoie serves as Senior Manager of Partnerships & Programming at the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project where she manages the Project's growing network of trust-based philanthropy champions and organizational partners in addition to developing programming for a wide-range of philanthropy leaders. Prior to her role at the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, Danielle served as the Manager of Strategic Programs and Partnerships at Groundworks New Mexico, where she steered collaborative philanthropy initiatives, cultivated organizational partners, and provided programming for grantmaker members. She brings nearly a decade of experience working with grantmakers and philanthropy serving organizations to reimagine and reshape the sector. Earlier in her career, Danielle developed and implemented programs for regional and national philanthropic infrastructure organizations. Danielle earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Administration degree in Nonprofit and Philanthropy Leadership from Grand Valley State University.

Sara Lightner


Sara Lightner is the Senior Director of Training with Community Heart & Soul, a nonprofit organization that builds stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across the United States. Sara led the development of the Community Heart & Soul training curriculum, which is used by communities in over 25 states. Sara and the Training Team support almost sixty Heart & Soul Coaches, who provide on-the-ground training and mentoring to community-based Heart & Soul teams in all phases of the process. Prior to joining Community Heart & Soul, Sara was a Director of Programming and Training in the Peace Corps, working with programs in the Eastern Caribbean and the South Pacific for nearly a decade. Sara received an MA at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa and a BA from Brown University. Sara lives in Shelburne, Vermont with her family.


Vanessa Lohf


As a social work graduate from Wichita State University, Vanessa Lohf’s current work focuses on the many facets of organizational development, including collaborative processes for strategic thinking, outcome development, nonprofit board skill building, and peer-to-peer learning. She has a particular passion for helping to create stronger organizations, systems, and communities through increased understanding of the impacts of positive and adverse experiences (PACEs) on physical and mental well-being.


Hrishue Mahalaha


Hrishue Mahalaha is the Chief Economic Advisor at Innovation Economy Partners. Hrishue supports an array of domestic clients and helps define, assess, and deliver solutions that help improve and develop economies for communities across the country. Hrishue has more than 14 years of experience working with the management consulting firm Accenture. During this time, Hrishue worked closely with a variety of domestic and international, public, private and governmental organizations. Hrishue also has launched a variety of entrepreneurial ventures that spanned from medical devices to a restaurant. Hrishue holds an MBA from Columbia University and a B.A. in Psychology and B.S. Business Management from Case Western Reserve University. Chris Lehecka Hrishue lives in Cleveland with his wife and three children.

Kari Mailloux


Kari Mailloux is a Hutchinson, KS, native with a passion for community building. As Director of Strategic Initiatives at Hutchinson Community Foundation, Kari is responsible for facilitating and inspiring collaboration and innovative leadership to strengthen Reno County communities, researching and analyzing community needs, and designing trustworthy partnerships, programs, and processes. She has had the privilege of being part of many local and statewide initiatives, commissions, and boards. She has degrees in English and Literature from Hutchinson Community College and Kansas State University and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Kansas. In 2013, she co-founded Talk20 Hutch, a bi-annual gathering where ten Reno County residents have 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to tell a story. She lives in the Countryside neighborhood in Hutchinson with her husband Phillip and four children.

Scott Marquardt


Scott was named Southwest Initiative Foundation President effective Feb. 1, 2023. Scott has managed the foundation’s business finance, entrepreneurship, child care, career pathways, Employer Resource Network®, and general economic development programs and initiatives, in addition to having roles with farmland management and as staff liaison to the Investment Committee. He is a board member and past chair of the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, a member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Education and Certification Advisory Committee, board vice chair and Loan and Fiscal Sponsorship Committee chair for Propel Nonprofits, Vice President of the Greater Minnesota Partnership, a board member of the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission and the Minnesota Economic Development Foundation and the IEDC Upper Midwest Basic Economic Development Course co-director. Locally, Scott is a member of the Montevideo Police Civil Service Commission and the Montevideo Planning Commission. He is a past president of the Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) and currently serves as chair of the Government Relations Committee and as a member of the Conference Committee. He and his wife, Amber, are proud parents of Abby and Annie.

Amy McIsaac


Amy McIsaac is Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement’s (PACE) first Managing Director for Learning and Experimentation. She is responsible for developing and executing PACE’s organizational learning agenda and the programmatic elements to achieve it. She works closely with PACE members to identify learning themes and objectives aligned with their interests and priorities. Prior to joining PACE in a staff role, Amy was an independent consultant to clients such as the Aspen Institute, Aspen Leadership Group, and PACE, where she led the development of PACE’s Civic Engagement Primer, Democracy Primer, research paper Entrepreneurial Reciprocity: The Case for Entrepreneurs’ Engagement in the Community, and various communication efforts. Amy is a proud AmeriCorps Alum, having served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Washington, DC, during the height of the 2008 economic crisis. She has led multiple national and international nonprofit organizations focused on community engagement and service over her career, including serving as the National Director of Development and Communications at LIFT and Executive Director of 2Seeds Network. Most recently, Amy served on the Executive Team as the Chief Business Development Officer for Service Year Alliance. Amy lives in the Boston/Providence area (Go Friars!) with her husband, Kevin, and three children.

Sarah McKinney


Sarah McKinney serves the Athens Area Community Foundation as President | CEO. Prior, she had awesome jobs at the UGA, Georgia 4-H Foundation, and Athens Community Council on Aging. Sarah holds a BSW from UGA, Certificate of Gerontology from KSU, a Certificate of Leadership from the University of Dayton, and Certificates of Basic and Advanced Nonprofit Financial Management from Duquesne University’s Nonprofit Leadership Institute. A proud member of the Jackson EMC Board of Directors, Rotary Club of Athens, 2017-2018 LEAD Athens class, and Leadership Georgia of 2019, she loves an opportunity to grow her brain. Today, as a professional working in philanthropy, Sarah’s role is focused on growing giving for the communities we love. When she isn’t at work, Sarah is hanging out with her husband of 21 years, John, their kids Nate and Anna, some sheep, and a dog named Dexter Owen Wayne.

Sarah Meitner


Heartland Community Foundation Executive Director Sarah Meitner is a passionate advocate for community development and sustainable growth. With a background in business journalism, strategic marketing, and nonprofit development work, she brings over 23 years of experience to her role at the Heartland Community Foundation. In 2020, Sarah took the helm as Director and has since made significant contributions to the region, serving Ellis, Rooks, and Trego counties in western Kansas. Sarah established the Heartland Disaster Relief Funds in 2021, providing crucial support to those impacted by natural disasters. In 2022, she founded the Heartland Youth Action Council, empowering the next generation of leaders. Sarah actively engages in community development discussions in the region, addressing diverse topics such as childcare, arts, transportation, and downtown revitalization. She also advocates for disability rights and played a key role in the development of the Hays Accessible Recreation Complex (ARC Park). In 2018, she was appointed by the Kansas Governor to the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities. Sarah is married to Chad Meitner and they have five children. Sarah acknowledges that, while not particularly techy, she hasn’t shied away from trying new tools to streamline productivity, including AI.


Diane Miller


Diane Miller is the executive director for CEONet, a membership organization for Community Foundation CEOs. She leads programming, networking, and convening for the membership. Previously, Diane worked in Community Foundation Services and National Standards for the Council on Foundations. She also worked as a consultant in programming and evaluation for the KACF Annual Conference in Wichita, KS. She holds an MBA from Washington University, St. Louis, MO, a BA in Economics from Furman University, Greenville, SC, and is a candidate for a BA with a concentration in Printmaking and sculpture at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Diane is an outdoor enthusiast, fiber artist, cyclist, and faith leader.

Marcy Minton


Marcy Minton is President & CEO of The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County. She was promoted to the role in August of 2022 after serving more than six years as Senior Program Officer and nearly two years as Community Engagement Director. As president and CEO of The Community Foundation, Marcy works with donors, nonprofit organizations, community volunteers, and civic leaders to create a legacy that will benefit our community. Before working for the Foundation, she was Assistant Director for Resource Development for Ivy Tech Foundation East Central Region. Marcy’s current community service includes board service on Nonprofit Support Network, Delaware County BY5 Early Childhood Initiative, Muncie Action Plan, and Next Muncie. She also formerly served for the Muncie Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Altrusa Foundation of Muncie, Altrusa International of Muncie, Indiana Inc., Blackhawk Athletic Booster Club, and Cowan K-12 PTO. Marcy earned a Bachelor of Science in Business, Computer Information Systems from Indiana University and master’s degrees in Adult and Community Education and Executive Development for Public Service from Ball State University. She has a son and daughter, both in college, and lives with her husband, Jason, in Muncie, Ind.

Jason Neises


Jason Neises is the Community Development Officer at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD). He works as a Certified Coach with rural communities in the CFGD seven-county region to implement Community Heart & Soul, a planning and development process designed to increase participation in local decision-making and empower residents to shape the future of their communities in a way that upholds the unique character of each place. Originally from Dubuque, Neises has spent most of his career in adult education and working with nonprofits, including Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the Peace Corps. He volunteers in the community with the Dubuque County Historic Preservation Commission, Cub Scouts, Heritage Works, Dubuque Museum of Art, and the Dubuque Winter Farmers’ Market. Neises has an education degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He lives on a small farm north of Dubuque with his wife, Erin, and two boys.

Paige Oxendine


Paige Oxendine is a Consultant with Habitat Communication & Culture, where she works closely with clients to understand their unique challenges and delivers solutions that make lasting, positive changes. She regularly assists organizations with strategic planning efforts, management and team training programs, and the implementation of performance management systems. Paige is particularly passionate about working with nonprofit agencies that are focused on transforming the communities in which they operate. Prior to joining Habitat Communication & Culture, she spent nearly a decade in economic development roles in southwest Missouri, working with Missouri State University and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Aubrey Abbott Patterson


Aubrey Abbott Patterson grew up in the small towns of Larned and Phillipsburg, Kansas; studied at K-State and Indiana University, and now serves as the President & CEO of Hutchinson Community Foundation. During her 19-year tenure at the community foundation, the foundation’s assets have more than quadrupled and grants have reached nearly $100 million in total. In 2021, Hutchinson Community Foundation committed to investing 5% of its assets in local wealth-building ventures that root wealth, ownership, and decision-making in Reno County. Aubrey has developed a strategic, forward-thinking board and staff working together to mobilize community members to commit legacy gifts that will change the lives and future stories of people living in Reno County. To date, the Foundation anticipates planned gifts of at least $90 million because of a decade-long initiative to capture 5% of the local intergenerational transfer of wealth. Aubrey serves or has served on the boards of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Community Development Advisory Council, K-State Alumni Association, Hutchinson Rotary Club, Young Professionals of Reno County, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce, City of Hutchinson Housing Commission, the K-State Staley School of Leadership Studies, and the Kansas Association of Community Foundations. Aubrey’s husband, Lance Patterson, is the chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hutchinson. Together they manage to wrangle three kids, two jobs, one dog, and an endless list of places to go and fun things to do in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Tony Pipa


Tony Pipa is a senior fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution. Tony launched and leads the Reimagining Rural Policy initiative, which seeks to modernize and transform U.S. policy to better enable equitable and sustainable development across rural America. He also launched and leads the Local Leadership on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative, which explores the approach cities and local institutions are taking to solve local problems while driving progress on global policy and transnational issues. Other research interests include city diplomacy and its influence on national foreign policy and multilateral institutions; the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance; and advancement of the SDGs in the U.S. Tony has three decades of executive leadership experience in the philanthropic and public sectors addressing poverty and advancing inclusive economic development in the U.S. and globally. He served as chief strategy officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development and held multiple senior policy positions at the agency. He also led the U.S. delegation at the U.N. to negotiate and adopt the SDGs, serving as U.S. special coordinator for the Post-2015 Agenda at the U.S. Department of State. While at the Triangle Community Foundation, he created one of the first programs nationwide focused on helping donor advisors maximize their philanthropic impact. He served as founding CEO of the Warner Foundation in Durham, North Carolina, focused on improving race relations and economic opportunity in the state, and subsequently helped launch the Foundation for Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. He has played a principal role in the start-up of multiple philanthropic ventures focused on addressing poverty and improving distressed communities. He attended Stanford University, graduated from Duke University, and earned a Master of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Marsha Pope


Marsha Pope has worked at the Topeka Community Foundation since 2004 – serving as Director of Community Investment and vice president before being hired as president in 2016. She oversees the strategic direction of the organization and provides leadership for donor services and community impact initiatives. She and her husband, Kent, have two grown and married sons and two grandchildren.

Chris Quaka


For nearly 20 years, Chris has partnered with nonprofits to strengthen local communities. His journey began in AmeriCorps leading teams of 18-24 year olds as they completed community service projects and responded to disasters nationwide. After relocating to Oregon in 2010, Chris was hired at a regional organization to improve the visibility and financial support of their food bank, early child-care and education programs and events designed to alleviate the effects of poverty. Four years later, he moved to Corvallis to lead the fundraising efforts of a local nonprofit that supports people experiencing homelessness. Chris has served as BCF’s President and CEO since 2017 and today leads the foundation as it delivers more than $1.5 million in charitable giving annually. Surrounded by a talented team of community leaders focused on improving the lives of people in Benton County he continues to give back today, serving on the Board for Leadership Corvallis, Mainstreet Corvallis and volunteering as a Rotarian. Chris lives in Corvallis with his wife Emily and their three children, Logan, Cady, and Ellie.

Karl Samp


Karl Samp was Executive Director of the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation (BLACF) from 2016-2022, working with donor services, grant-making, and leadership for community initiatives. In that time, BLACF assets grew nearly 300%. Since 2006, Karl has provided consulting services in the areas of strategic planning, mediation, training, grant work, and growing assets to for and nonprofit organizations. From 2009-2016, Karl worked with Blandin Foundation and U of M Extension on a Rural Broadband initiative. From 1998-2007, Karl led community development programs at the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls as VP. This work included leadership training, grant making initiatives, leading a team of up to 11 staff, and facilitating numerous planning and community visioning meetings. Karl worked with Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN for nine years in classroom instruction, human service program coordination, curriculum development, and service-learning coordination. 

Lisa Schalla


Lisa Schalla, Ed.D. is a former international educator and Mexican community foundation CEO who now directs the Connecting Communities in the Americas initiative at CFLeads. Having lived in Mexico for many years, Lisa brings a bilingual and multicultural lens to promoting peer learning and partnerships between community foundations and across borders. She is especially passionate about family and community assets and the role of participatory evaluation in moving programs forward.

Lee Shainis


Lee Shainis is founder of Simplify Language, training organizations nationwide to make spoken and written communication easier for people to quickly understand. He is a keynote speaker and has led more than 500 trainings nationwide on language, inclusion, and cultural humility. He is an author of publications that have reached over 300,000 people, and he has received many awards locally and nationally. Lee co-founded the nonprofit Intercambio Uniting Communities in 2000 and was CEO for 21 years. During his leadership, the organization connected 10,000 adult immigrants with 5,000 volunteer teachers in Boulder County through English classes and established a national network of several hundred organizations. Lee lives in Boulder with his wife Marcela and their two young sons.

Mark Sherman


Mark Sherman, executive director, joined Community Heart & Soul in 2020 and brings a range of strategic marketing and operational skills that reflect past leadership roles at technology firms and nonprofit organizations. He previously served as Director of Marketing and Planning at Casey Family Programs, one of the nation’s largest operating foundations, and Director of Marketing with Visio (Microsoft). Mark grew up in South Burlington, VT, and attended the University of Vermont before moving to Seattle to pursue his MBA at the University of Washington. After more than 20 years in the Pacific Northwest, Mark and his wife fulfilled their long term goal of returning to their home state of Vermont.

Abby Stockebrand


Abby Stockebrand, a transformative leader and seasoned strategist, is known for orchestrating visions into reality. As the founder and lead consultant of CrossAlign Consulting, she aids nonprofit and for-profit businesses in refining their strategy, personnel, and operations, establishing a coherent and efficient alignment. Abby's career is a testament to successful high-stakes project management, showcasing her knack for navigating intricate landscapes to reach significant outcomes. Her diverse background, traversing from Economic Development to Strategic Initiatives Management, has seen many triumphs, such as transformative grant awards, and increasing company revenue, all while fostering team cohesion and camaraderie around shared goals. Abby's commitment to making a difference extends beyond her professional endeavors. As a 2017 Hutchinson News 20 Under 40 awardee, she has made notable contributions to various local organizations.

Kallie Sulanke


Kallie Sulanke is Chief Community Partner for Outreach and Donor Relations at The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, where she has worked in community engagement roles since 2016. In her role at The Community Foundation, Kallie assists donors with their charitable goals and shares stories that show the impact of the Foundation today, tomorrow, and always. Before working for the Foundation, she served in marketing and communications roles for several for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Kallie’s current community service includes board service for Muncie Downtown Development Partnership and Kenmore Neighborhood Association. She is also an active member of the Exchange Club of Muncie.Kallie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Ball State University. Kallie has a daughter, age 10, and son, age 6, and lives with her husband, Alex, in Muncie, Ind.

Mary Thomas


Mary L. Thomas is President & CEO of CFLeads, a national network of community foundations committed to community leadership. Ms. Thomas brings over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to this role, having previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of The Spartanburg County Foundation and as the Executive Director of the Robert Hett Chapman III Center for Philanthropy. In this dual leadership role, Ms. Thomas was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the foundation and the center, leading its mission, vision, and strategies while translating the Foundation’s goals into the overall program of work. As the President & CEO of CFLeads, Mary is using her skills as a dynamic leader, connector and relationship-builder to identify opportunities, develop strategies and implement initiatives that will help strengthen community foundations’ capacity to do more community leadership.

Brian Treece


Brian Treece serves as the President & CEO of the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation (Ohio). He is responsible for leading the foundation in its achievement of its operational and strategic goals including the success of the foundation’s fund and donor development, fiscal management, grants and program operations, board relations, human capital management, community leadership and administrative matters. In his previous role at the foundation, he coached two communities through the Community Heart & Soul process – McComb and Mt. Blanchard. He also provided leadership with grantmaking and community leadership. Treece received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from The University of Findlay. He earned his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership in 2010. Prior to coming to the foundation, Treece worked for 15 years at The University of Findlay in Student Affairs. Treece continues to serve as an adjunct instructor in the College of Education, teaching courses in Human Resource Development and Collaboration. Treece has been recognized for his achievements locally and regionally, as a Northwest Ohio 20 Under 40 recipient, Hancock Youth Leadership and Hancock Leadership Alumni Association’s Outstanding Service Awards, LGBTQ+ Spectrum of Findlay’s Individual Advocate of the Year and Organization Advisor of the Year. He has served on boards for Hancock Youth Leadership, the Center for Civic Engagement, University of Findlay Alumni, Cancer Patient Services, University of Findlay College of Education, Arts Partnership and Hancock Federal Credit Union. Treece and his husband Rick are proud parents to Harper.

Nancy Van Milligen


As founding president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Nancy has established the foundation as a trailblazer in community leadership and engagement initiatives. Through her direction, the foundation has grown to support more than 300 nonprofits and 4,000 donors, granting $70 million since inception. Nancy has a background in public administration and social policy, and four decades of experience parenting five children and 24 foster children. At the Foundation, Nancy focuses on her passion – building inclusive communities that nurture families - through systems change work, tackling complex issues like brain health, racial equity and college access to ensure all can participate and prosper. Nancy is on the Rural Schools Collaborative Board Member and represents the foundation on the Coalition for Inclusive Communities, TFN’s PPREP, New Profit’s RSTI Cohort and Aspen’s Thrive Rural Theory of Change Working Group.


Devinne Verst


In her current role, Devinne focuses on providing education and support to community foundations, charitable nonprofits, and endowments. She is a contributor to FEG’s Community Foundation Survey, which has collected and shared financial and enterprise peer insights from more than 400 community foundation participants since its inception in 2016. She has been an FEG team member since 2015 and investment professional since 2012. Prior to FEG, she was a Development Research Associate at United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and an Investor Relations and Market Research Analyst for Absolute Return Strategies. Devinne earned a BBA in Marketing and Integrated Strategic Communications from the University of Kentucky. 


Brad Ward


Brad joined the Foundant team after years at the Council on Foundations as the Lead Strategist for Community Philanthropy, with a keen focus on Community Foundations. Brad is also a former community foundation CEO who led the merger of two community foundations in Indiana and has firsthand experienced with the complexity of big change at a community foundation. With over 2,500 volunteer service hours across Europe, United States, and South America, Brad cares deeply about place, the connections and commitment of the people within their communities, and how important place and belonging matters.

Stephen P. Warren


Stephen P. Warren has been the president of the Community Foundation of West Texas since 2016. Previously, he served as Development Director for both the Texas Boys Ranch and the Lubbock Christian School. He also served as Senior District Director of the South Plains Council - Boys Scouts of America. Stephen has also served on the boards of Marian Moss Enterprise, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Association of Fundraising Professionals National as Diversity Chair, and Lubbock Lions Club. Stephen has a desire and passion to serve, which has guided his choice of occupations over the last two decades. Having raised $140M+ for charities, he seeks to increase awareness of philanthropy. Stephen is author of An Ordinary Photographer SEEKING an Extraordinary Life and enjoys sculpture, photography, videography, motorcycles, and writing. He served in the US Air Force, received an associates in art and science from South Plains College, and a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University. Stephen is married to Terri and share three children and two grandchildren.

Tyeshia "Ty" Wilson


Tyeshia “Ty” Wilson is a community organizer, trainer, consultant and a sought-after speaker on equity in philanthropy, politics, community engagement and leadership. As Director of Engagement at Philanthropy Together, Ty leads the engagement strategy, connecting with giving circle leaders and members around the world in person and virtually. She also provides 1:1 and group coaching through Launchpad For You and Launchpad For Hosts, Philanthropy Together’s flagship giving circle training program. Raised in Dallas, Texas, Tyeshia has a passion for people, service and empowering the community towards collective action and impact. Prior to joining Philanthropy Together, Tyeshia worked across sectors as a hospitality manager, a fundraiser and a former local government professional. Serving through a multidisciplinary lens, Tyeshia is involved in numerous volunteer organizations focused on advancing equity in philanthropy, government and civic life, including Register HER, Our Vote is Our Voice, and Chair-Elect of HERitage Giving Fund, the first Black giving circle in Texas that invests in Black, women-led nonprofits serving women and girls. She holds a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington and a M.S. in Public Leadership with a concentration in Nonprofit and Community Leadership from the University of North Texas at Dallas. In 2022, Tyeshia was an honoree on the annual Black Women Give Back List presented by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Black Philanthropy Month and The WISE Fund.

Alice Wingo


Alice Wingo, Vice President of Affiliates at Community Foundation of the Ozarks (The CFO), oversees a network of affiliate foundations in small communities and rural counties in Southern Missouri. The CFO has 54 regional affiliate foundations serving 58 counties south of the Missouri River. Affiliate foundations are governed by local volunteers who are supported by the CFO's professional staff. Alice oversees staff that provide training, education and support to the volunteer affiliate network. The CFO has offices in Springfield, West Plains and Cape Girardeau, MO. Alice serves on the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments Board and is a Springfield Public Schools Ambassador. She is a graduate of Missouri State University with a master's in business administration.

Jeff Yost

Jeff Yost, President and CEO of Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF), and his talented team are unleashing abundant local assets, inspiring charitable giving, and connecting ambitious people in 275 hometowns in 83 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. Yost has dedicated the past 25 years of his career to NCF’s mission and community-led, asset-based philosophies. Since 1994, NCF and its affiliated funds have reinvested $463 million in Nebraska hometowns. Prior to NCF, he worked for the State of Nebraska in the governor’s office. Yost is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has served on many boards and advisory councils, including the University of Nebraska President's Advisory Council, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the Council on Foundations. Yost has taught and done consulting on philanthropy, public-private partnerships, and asset-based community development throughout the United States and internationally in 15 countries. Yost and NCF have been featured in numerous publications including Nonprofit Quarterly, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and The New York Times. He pens a monthly column that is published in newspapers across Nebraska. Yost, and his wife Cindy Ryman Yost, are proud parents of three children, Elizabeth, Carter, and Harrison.