October 14-16, 2018 | Wichita Marriott Hotel
Inspiring Thriving Communities
Inspiring Thriving Communities


Kathleen E. Allen


Dr. Allen is President of Allen and Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership coaching, innovation, and organizational change in non-profit and for-profit organizations. She is the author of Leading from the Roots: Nature Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World and has written widely on leadership and change. She writes a weekly blog on leadership and organizations that describes a new paradigm of leadership based in lessons from nature and living systems. She has a doctorate in leadership from the University of San Diego.


Megan Barber Allende


Megan joined the Community Foundation of Mendocino County in 2006. Prior to her current position, she held the positions of Program Officer, Director of Grants & Programs, Operations & Philanthropic Services Manager and Director of Philanthropy. Key accomplishments at the Community Foundation include creating its Disaster Fund and directing the Foundation's recent wildfire disaster response, developing the Community Enrichment grant program and its network of Regional Advisors, managing the National Standards accreditation process, and developing a workforce development initiative. Her previous professional experience was in program development and project management which has been a huge asset at a growing community just now hitting its 25th anniversary.


Steve Alley


Steve Alley is the Managing Partner for Ekstrom Alley Clontz & Associates (formerly Ekstrom & Associates). Steve has been with the firm since 2010. Alley has extensive experience in the community foundation field. Prior to his work with the firm, he was President & CEO of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for nine years, leading that foundation to grow from $53-million to $90-million in assets and develop a significant leadership role. He has also served the field as Director of the Community Foundations Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Alley also served as Vice President for Development at the Central Indiana Community Foundation (Indianapolis and vicinity). Steve’s experience in the field also includes six years at a rural, startup community foundation. He was founding President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Howard County, Indiana. He is also an instructor at The Grantmaking School of the Johnson Center of Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University.


Elina Alterman


Elina Alterman is a Program Officer at the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) where she leads KHF’s community and civic engagement portfolio. Her work includes short-term projects and multi-year, multi-million-dollar infrastructure and movement-building initiatives. Prior to joining KHF in August 2014, Elina was the Health IT Policy and Outreach Coordinator at the National Partnership for Women and Families in Washington, D.C. Elina previously served as a Legislative Fellow for Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-24) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before entering the policy arena, Elina worked in direct practice as a foster care social worker, maternity care coordinator and preconception educator. Elina began her career as a grassroots organizer at Planned Parenthood Massachusetts and NARAL North Carolina. Elina earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies from Brandeis University and dual Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Health, with a focus on Maternal and Child Health, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Elina currently resides in Wichita, Kansas and in her free time teaches yoga, rock climbs and does animal rescue work.


Vanessa Bechtel


Vanessa Bechtel, AIFA, serves as President and CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF), an organization committed to safeguarding the long-term legacies of thousands of generous donors through the careful management of the charitable capital entrusted to them. By promoting philanthropy to improve the community, Bechtel strives to inspire charitable giving that connects philanthropic resources with community needs for the benefit of all. In 2017, VCCF invested over $4.75 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and scholarships to hundreds of local students pursuing higher education. Prior to her work with VCCF, Bechtel served as executive director of the Santa Barbara City College Foundation. She co-founded Monarch Wealth Strategies in 2008 and was honored as Business Woman of the Year by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce in 2010. Bechtel graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Law and Society. In 2016, she received her master’s degree from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. She also received her master’s certificate from the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Onati, Spain.


Elaine Brett


Elaine Brett describes herself as a pathologic volunteer and social architect. Following a career in health care and corporate management, she began observing organizational systems and became certified in Organization Development and Change Leadership. She consulted in large government and other public-sector systems. In 2005, Elaine moved to Colorado’s Western Slope where she became involved in the community food system and local economy. She was the Program Advisor for the North Fork Valley Community Heart & Soul initiative and was on the Board of the Western Colorado Community Foundation. Elaine works with individuals and organizations to help create meaningful life and work contributions to the future by convening community members to ask the hard questions, initiate the right conversations, support local choice and act on what matters most. She lives in Paonia, Colorado with her husband and two dogs and enjoys cycling, hiking, helping farmers and preparing and eating healthy food.


Dawn Brown


Dawn is a teacher by trade. Initially she enjoyed teaching children to read in the Plano Independent School District in Plano, Texas. Then she began her professional development career as the National Implementation Manager for Vivendi-Universal where she instructed other teachers all across the country. Dawn joined the Grant County Community Foundation in 2005 as Development Officer and became Executive Director in 2012. Dawn married her high school sweetheart, Jerry, and together they are raising two boys. Dawn’s grandmother once told her to find out what she loved to do and then figure out a way to get paid for it. She’s done that in Marion where she loves spending time with her boys, reading non-fiction, writing a blog about giving (http://givetogrant.org/a-message-from-dawn) and educating her community about philanthropy.


Eric Buchanan


Eric Buchanan is Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Buffett Early Childhood Fund. Eric represents the foundation in working with existing Educare schools and those under development. Eric worked for 16 years at the University of Nebraska Foundation. Since 2009, he served as the Foundation’s Assistant Vice President, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and played a key role in the creation of Educare Lincoln as well as the Buffett Early Childhood Institute. Eric serves on the boards of Educare schools in Omaha, New Orleans, Atlanta and Kansas City. He was the founding board president for the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative and is also on the board of the Community Health Endowment, board of advisors for the Trust for Learning and a member of the Prosper Lincoln Steering Committee on Early Learning.


Sarah Carlson


Sara Carlson became the Executive Director of the Willmar Area Community Foundation in 2013 as its first full time staff member. She has grown the foundation to $18 million in assets, leads a team of three staff and also supports two growing community affiliate funds in Sauk Centre, MN and New London-Spicer, MN. Previously, Sara was with the Southwest Initiative Foundation as a program officer leading a statewide, grassroots development project for 9 years and has extensive non-profit experience. She is an active member in the Willmar Lakes Rotary Club, Long Term Recovery Committee, Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 Steering Committee, Destination Playground Leadership Team, KCEO Board and WeLEAD, a women’s leadership network. Sara received the Exemplary Leadership Award from the Willmar Area Chamber of Commerce in 2017 for her work with the community.


Jill Carpenter


Jill Carpenter has served as Executive Director of the Community Foundation Alliance, Inc., in Evansville, Indiana since 2011. Comprised of 9 county Community Foundation affiliates and 2 supporting organizations, the Alliance holds more than 1200 individual funds and total combined assets of nearly $100 million. Before joining the Alliance, Carpenter spent nearly a decade as Director of Development for the St Mary’s Medical Center Foundation in Evansville. She serves as a board member at the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance and is a member of Southern Indiana Network of Grantmakers (SING). When not at work, Carpenter enjoys time with her husband, their children, and her dog Lucy.


Steve Coen 


Steve Coen has served as president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation since August 2008. Since joining the Foundation in 1987, Coen has held a number of different positions, including director of public affairs, senior program officer and vice president for administration. Before coming to the Foundation, Coen served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Bob Dole in Washington, D.C. and as state director of his four Kansas offices. In addition to his professional experiences, Coen served as chair of the Governor’s Council on Fitness, and is a member of the Leadership Council of the Greater Wichita Partnership. Coen’s idea to develop a physically-active, healthy lifestyle course for high school students earned him a national award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). He also received the 21st Century Community Champion Award, given by the American Association of Family and Consumer Science to individuals who have made a significant contribution toward strengthening families. Coen completed his undergraduate work at Emporia State University and later earned a law degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan.


Shannon Cotsoradis


Shannon Cotsoradis serves as the President & CEO for the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative. A native of Kansas, Shannon relocated to Omaha in 2016 to spearhead the work of the Collaborative, a new shared services organization for child care providers, established by the Buffett Early Childhood Fund. Prior to leading the way at the Collaborative, Shannon spent nearly two decades at Kansas Action for Children. Shannon was appointed to serve two consecutive terms on the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, was an appointed member of the Kansas Blue Ribbon Panel on Infant Mortality, is a graduate of the Sunflower Foundation’s Advocacy Fellowship and a member of the Leadership Kansas Class of 2008.  


William “Bill” Courson


William M. Courson, MBA, joined The Mason Companies in March 2017 as Senior Managing Director. Previously, Mr. Courson was Senior Managing Director at Hartland & Co. Prior to that, Mr. Courson was President and Chief Investment Officer of Lancaster Pollard Investment Advisory Group. Mr. Courson’s capital markets experience includes positions as head of the Institutional Markets Group of Butler, Wick & Co., Senior Vice President of Stephens Inc., and Managing Director of Banc One Capital Markets. Prior to that, he was Chief Investment Officer of a $10 billion public fund. Mr. Courson received his MBA in finance from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and a BA in economics and history from the University of Michigan.


Anne Dewvall


Anne is the Manager of Entrepreneurship Communities for NetWork Kansas, and is responsible for overseeing and identifying innovative entrepreneurship programs for the 61 E-Communities across Kansas, including the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series she helped develop. The YEC Series is a NetWork Kansas program that provides hands-on entrepreneurship experience to middle and high school students through the support of community volunteer teams who organize local entrepreneurship competitions. A lifelong Kansas resident, Anne graduated from Wichita State University with a BA in history and Fort Hays State University with a MA in English literature. She is the founder of two businesses and a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers. Anne and her husband, Tyler, live in Derby with their two rambunctious dogs.


Liz Dollar


Liz has practiced public accounting since 2000 and provides professional services to a wide variety of not-for-profit clients, including community foundations, art and theater organizations, institutions of higher education, associations, and private foundations. Along with providing accounting and consulting services, Liz conducts a wide variety of audits, including federal compliance audits. As a national subject matter expert for the not-for-profit industry, Liz regularly presents at industry conferences such as the Council on Foundations (COF) Endowment Forum and the FAOG Annual Conference on subjects related to foundation financial statement trends, endowments and split-interest agreements, spending and investment policies and issues facing not-for-profit organizations.


Rosemary Dorsa


Rosemary has spent her career in the philanthropic sector. In her current role, she provides leadership to the Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) program which provides board and staff training, consulting, and networking opportunities for over 90 community foundations in Indiana. Prior to joining GIFT, Rosemary was with Central Indiana Community Foundation from 1993 to 2010, serving in various roles including Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Partnerships and Community Initiatives. She also worked for the United Way of Central Indiana and Community Centers of Indianapolis. Rosemary has served on numerous not-for-profit boards including Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Parks Foundation, TechPoint Foundation and the Lacy Leadership Association.


Deborah A. Ellwood


Deborah believes that community foundations are uniquely positioned to be vital partners in building strong communities and is passionate about helping the field be all it can be. As President and CEO of CFLeads, she guides the strategic direction of the organization and builds alliances that help community foundations deepen their impact. Since Deborah joined the organization in December of 2009, she and the CFLeads team have developed and refined highly successful and popular learning opportunities, uncovered and promoted important community leadership practices, and substantially increased the number of organizations that engage with and invest in CFLeads. Deborah has a broad background as an advocate, policy analyst, grantmaker, fundraiser and community builder. She served as both a board and staff leader during 10 years with Rochester Area Community Foundation (Rochester, NY), setting strategies that led to greater partnerships, more focused grantmaking and deeper community impact. Deborah was also co-chair of the public policy subcommittee of the Council on Foundations' ProNet affinity group. An award-winning graduate of Bowdoin College and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Deborah has been an advocate for low-income children and families at Children Now in California, the Fiscal Policy Institute in New York and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.


Brian Fogle


Brian Fogle is President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Prior to joining CFO, he spent 30 years in banking in Springfield. Brian’s hometown is Aurora, MO, where he is a graduate of Aurora High School. He has his B.B.A. and M.B.A. in banking and finance from the University of Mississippi. Brian has been active in numerous civic and non-profit groups. He currently chairs the Good Community Committee and the Downtown Council of Champions, and is on the board of the Every Child Promise, Mercy Health Systems-Springfield, The Missouri Scholarship Foundation, and the Healthy Living Alliance. He was awarded the O Franklin Kenworthy Leadership Award in 1990, the National Community Leadership Award in 1993, and the Springfieldian Award in 2010, and received and honorary doctorate of humane letters from Drury University in December, 2011. His motto in life is “Often wrong, seldom in doubt.”


Lisa Folscroft


Lisa Folscroft is the director of human resources for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, a leading provider of charitable giving services. With an asset base of more than $3 billion, the Community Foundation ranks among the top 1 percent of community foundations in the country. Lisa supports the staff and is responsible for managing benefits, payroll, compensation, employee relations, employment law compliance, recruiting and retention. Lisa chairs the human resources committee on the executive board of the Fiscal & Administrative Officers Group (FAOG) for Community Foundations. Lisa received her bachelors in Communication Studies from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, her masters in Human Resources Management from Webster University, and the SPHR and SHRM-certifications. Prior to joining the Community Foundation in 2011, she worked in human resources within the telecommunications industry. Lisa resides in Kansas City with her husband, Todd, and stays very busy with their four young children.


Brian Frederick


Brian is the Principal with Brian Frederick & Associates LLC after serving 20 years as President/CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain County. Brian taught Community Foundation Fundamentals for fifteen years, was a founding member of the National Standards Board for US Community Foundations, a U.S. Ambassador with the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network, and a founding member of the Advisory Board for the German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Community Foundation Fellowship. During the last five years of his role as CEO, Brian explored philanthropy’s role in economic development serving as Board Chair of the Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropic coalition in NE Ohio that has invested more than $110 million in economic competitiveness. Brian’s interests are organizational transformation, governance, and diversity/inclusion/equity.


Suzanne S. Friday


Suzanne S. Friday joined the Council on Foundations in 2013 and serves as Senior Legal Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs. Previously, Suzanne was a partner with the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania firm, Nauman Smith Shissler & Hall, LLP where she chaired the firm’s Tax, Trusts and Estates practice group. Suzanne has extensive experience representing nonprofit organizations including community foundations, charitable trusts, private foundations and corporate foundations. She also served as in-house counsel for The Nature Conservancy from 2000-2005. In May of 2015, the American Bar Association (ABA) selected Suzanne Friday for its prestigious "Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer Award" in recognition of "distinguished service by a nonprofit – in-house counsel." Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Suzanne earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and has a J.D. from Widener University School of Law, Delaware Campus, and an L.L.M. in taxation from Georgetown Law Center. She has taught Charitable Organizations as an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law from 2011-2013. Suzanne is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and the Virginia Bar as limited corporate counsel.


Sandra Fruit


Sandra has more than 25 years experience in non-profit management, planned giving, marketing and public relations, particularly in higher education, healthcare, and community foundations. She recently retired as the executive director of the Central Kansas Community Foundation (CKCF) where she led the foundation through a successful merger and built CKCF into a respected host foundation to nineteen central Kansas affiliates. A longtime advocate for community foundations and rural economic development, Sandra has been involved in the start-up of numerous Kansas community foundations, serving both as executive director and founding board member. In 1993 she led a group of south central Kansas citizens as they created the South Central Community Foundation in Pratt, the first rural, multi-county community foundation in Kansas. Her career included serving as Vice President of Resource Development for Prairie View, Inc., and Association Director of Planned Giving at Kansas State University Foundation. Trained in charitable estate planning, Sandra has a record of successfully closing multi-million dollar gifts in local, regional and national campaigns.


Bryan Geary


Bryan joined Foundant after working at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation (GKCCF), where he helped the foundation automate processes, as well as improve reporting and overall efficiency. Before GKCCF, Bryan was the Manager of Programming Staff for FIMS at MicroEdge where he was able to get acquainted with the community foundation world. Bryan works remotely near Fort Lauderdale where he is the father of two girls, a rescue mutt, and an attack cat!


Mary Gibble


Mary’s experience in the community foundation sector began in 2003 when asked to serve as a Hancock County Community Foundation (HCCF) Board Member. In 2005, she was hired as HCCF’s Program Officer and managed the administration of both grants and scholarships. These early experiences provided her the understanding of the sector’s important work and the inspiration to connect others to the unique tools that community foundations provide in support of nonprofits and community enrichment. In 2006, Mary was named President. Her role at HCCF includes executive oversight for the stewardship, management, and operational functions of the organization with a heavy emphasis in donor development and community leadership. During her tenure, HCCF has added 202 new funds and $21,022,475 in contributions. 3,980 new donors have contributed to a variety of charitable causes. Assets have grown in value from $11 million to $38 million, including those of Legacy Properties of HCCF. During this same period, $7,786,598 has been granted. In 2017, HCCF granted over $1.2 million.


Becky Goss


Becky has served as President/CEO of the McPherson Foundation since its inception in 2001. During Becky’s tenure, the foundation grew from zero assets and funds to over $30 million in assets with 285 funds. The most rewarding part of the development has been the ability to have an impact on the community. The total grants awarded now exceed $8 million.


Neel Hajra


Neel Hajra is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF), and previously served as its Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Community Investment. During Neel’s tenure as CEO, the foundation has shared a national award from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for innovative public-private partnerships, received a local NAACP award for pioneering scholarship work, and was identified by Crain’s Detroit as the fastest growing foundation in Southeast Michigan for 2016. He has also lectured for a decade at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy, where he’s been consistently named to its teaching honor roll. Neel has received the Aspen Institute Fellowship for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders and the American Express NGen Fellowship, both of which recognize 12 individuals nationally for emerging and visionary leadership. Neel holds a BS with honors in Physics from the University of Michigan and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School.


Jeff Hamond


In 2011, Jeff Hamond recognized something few others did – that philanthropic organizations were not doing enough to tell their story in Washington. He left a senior economic policy position on Capitol Hill to develop and lead Van Scoyoc Associate’s Philanthropy Practice – the only one of its kind. Today, as the field of philanthropy evolves quickly – with private foundations growing in policy influence, and also living donors, mission/impact investing, and social entrepreneurs playing an expanded role – Jeff is one of sector’s fiercest advocates. He understands the enormously important role philanthropy has American society and culture, and helps these organizations highlight their work for policymakers. As a Vice President at VSA, Jeff works directly with private and community foundations, and others in the philanthropic space, to share the good work they are doing in local communities. He has been the lead economic policy staffer for three different senators and has degrees from Tufts University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.


Ann-Marie Harrington


Ann-Marie Harrington draws on more than 20 years of experience with rapidly-evolving technologies changing the way current and emerging generations interact with the world around them. In 1998, she founded Embolden, a digital marketing and communications firm which she sold in 2014 to a private equity firm. Embolden was acquired by Crown Philanthropic Solutions in 2014. Ann-Marie served as executive vice president at Crown until Crown was acquired by RenPSG in September 2016. Also in 2016, Ann-Marie became a partner in One Celebrations, founded by Laura McKnight in 2016, and the company was relaunched under the name Embolden. Throughout her career, Ann-Marie has been on the leading edge of technology developments. She is a nationally-recognized expert and frequent speaker on technology and online media platforms and how they influence user interface preferences across the spectrum of complex industries, including financial services, healthcare, and philanthropy -- especially as work, life, community, and wellness converge in our economy. Ann-Marie has served on a variety of boards and is currently on the Board of the Rhode Island Foundation.


Theresa A. Hearn


Theresa A. Hearn has been executive director of the Derby Community Foundation for the past 14 years. Her career has included 15 years in public relations for various non-profits and 3 years in children’s ministry. Theresa has a BA in Journalism from Wichita State University and a MA in Mass Communication from Drake University. Since joining the Derby CF in 2004, Theresa has assisted with increasing assets from $80,000 to $2 million; establishing a grant program that has awarded $100,000 since 2007 to area non-profits; expanding the number of funds from 10 to 36 funds; and growing scholarship awards from $500 to $65,000. A longtime resident of Derby, Theresa has been married to her Derby High School sweetheart, Steve, for 34 years and has 3 adult sons. Ironically, she is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the USA.


Carlie Houchen


Carlie J. Houchen, M.P.H., Analyst, joined the Kansas Health Institute in 2016. Her work focuses on community health improvement and health impact assessments. She works on various projects, including those related to water issues and evidence-based practices, and she provides support to various state and local coalitions. Prior to joining KHI, Carlie was an intern at the REACH Healthcare Foundation and also worked as a global programs assistant at Children International. Carlie earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition from Kansas State University.


Judy Johnson


Judy Johnson joined the Washington County Community Foundation in 2001 as the Executive Director. She has served on several community foundation committees at the state level, including: Marketing Committee, Professional Development Committee, Education Committee, Leadership Retreat Planning Committee, State Conference Planning Committee and EPIC. Judy is currently serving as chair of the Community Foundation State Committee and on the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Board of Directors. During her tenure at the Washington County Community Foundation she has helped to start several programs including: the Washington County Youth Foundation, Youth First, Education Matters (adult college completion) and the Happily Ever After Project (early literacy). Prior to joining the Washington County Community Foundation, she worked in Healthcare, Human Resources and Education. Judy lives in Salem, Indiana with her husband Jim. They have two children, Aaron and Emily, and of course, Simmer- the pup!


Terri Johnson


Terri began her position with Indiana Philanthropy Alliance in 2013. Terri works with other Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) staff to provide training and on-site consultation for the boards and staff of the 94 community foundations in Indiana. She provides technical assistance in all aspects of the community foundation field. Prior to this position, she spent ten years as the Executive Director of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF) in Rochester, Indiana. In this role, she oversaw the operations and financial management of the NICF, which serves Fulton, Miami, and Starke counties in north central Indiana. Under her leadership the assets of the NICF doubled to more than $23 million.


Steve Joul


Steve is a lifelong student of understanding “community.” He was appointed president of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation (CMCF) in 1996. Today, he is president & CEO of CommunityGiving which is a collaborative of four core community foundations including the CMCF, the Alexandria, Brainerd Lakes and Willmar Area Community Foundations. CommunityGiving today manages over 700 component funds with over $140 million in total assets. Last year CG gave away over $8 million. Steve has a degree in economics from the University of Minnesota and is a past fellow with the Humphrey Institute Policy Forum. Steve participated in the first year of the Community Foundation Fellowship program sponsored by the German Marshall Fund. He is a past chair of CEOnet, and a past board member of CF Leads, past board chair of the Charities Review Council, and past board member and treasurer of the Minnesota Council on Foundations. He is also a past president of the Rotary Club of St. Cloud.


Judy Keusler


Judy has been working with community foundations for 12 years. She was on the board of directors for the Western Kansas Community Foundation for 6 years, serving as Vice-President and President. During her time on that board, she was asked to join a grassroots effort to establish a community foundation presence in Grant County with a fund in WKCF. Over the years, the GCCF transitioned to affiliate status and recently became a small stand-alone foundation. After a term on the Grant County Community Foundation Board, she volunteered to help coordinate the board activities and educate the community about community foundations. Since the GCCF moved the foundation home in December, she has served as Executive Director. She is a strong advocate of community foundations and believes they hold a valuable place in the future of our communities. She is a graduate of Mundelein College in Chicago and a retired EVP at Grant County Bank.


Charles Kilmer


Charles Killmer, CISSP GSTRT is an expert in IT Security. As Netgain’s Security Officer, Charles works closely with practices of all sizes and specialties throughout the United States to design secure computing environments that fit their business needs. With 8 years focused on security at Netgain and 16 years of experience ranging from programming to server management to management of virtualization infrastructures, Charles has tremendous perspective on the role of IT Security in a variety of modern businesses.


Rod Kreie


Rod is a CPA and practiced public accounting for almost 25 years. He is co-founder of Great Plains Biosciences Group – a renewable energy and sustainable process development firm. He has been involved in banking, farming, software development, project development and various other business ventures. He has been active in Rotary serving as District Governor and area coordinator for the Rotary Foundation and still serves on the board of the Rotary Water & Sanitation Foundation. He has been active in the youth exchange for over 30 years and serves as chair for District 5690 and as treasurer for the South Central Rotary Youth Exchange. Other service includes Trustee and Investment Chair of Southwestern College, Board member and Investment Chair of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. As the father of three grown ladies, Rod is an avid girls sports nut, and has coached high school girls fast pitch softball and assisted with girl’s golf. Rod lives in Newton with his wife Dana.


Lee Kuntz


Lee Kuntz teaches community foundations to recapture time while delivering better and faster results. Lee believes employees are the right resource to successfully change how work is done and they can improve community foundation’s processes. When employees have great process improvement skills, they can achieve amazing results. Lee and her company, Innovation Process Design, provide process improvement training and coaching to employees. Community foundations report this investment in employees’ skills-and-will helps them recapture hundreds even thousands of hours of capacity while delivering better and faster results to the Board, donors and the community. Lee has helped community foundations all over the nation to achieve the results they need. Lee has an MBA from the University of Minnesota and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.


Susan Lamb


Beginning her career path as a middle school educator for 18 years, the journeys of the past 15 years for Susan Lamb have included selling real estate, owning a business, directing Harvey County Communities in Schools, teaching human reproduction classes and serving as director of the Hesston Community Foundation. The opportunity to lead the collective philanthropic response of the greater Hesston community after a mass shooting at a local manufacturing plant in 2016, influenced Susan’s decision to refocus her energy in the areas of disaster/trauma prevention, response, recovery and resiliency. Certified as a STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resiliency) Practitioner, Lamb offers communities the opportunity to delve deeper into educating citizens about trauma and resiliency. Specializing in strengthening civic engagement in her home Community of Hesston, Susan just completed her ninth year leading a week-long summer experience in which middle school students are introduced to the inner workings of their community through tours of the business and not-for-profit sector.  


Julie Leeth


Julie Leeth is the education/schools liaison for the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and coordinated foundation activities in regional development and community capacity building while serving as Executive Vice President. In her current part-time position, she leads a concerted effort to build long-term assets for public schools in the Missouri Ozarks. Julie had a 30-year career in public education where she served as Principal of Hillcrest and Glendale high schools and Jarrett Middle School in Springfield, MO. She was also Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Associate Superintendent for Secondary Education in Springfield. Julie was a Danforth Foundation Fellow, a 1989 Administrator of the Year, and a 2002 National Courage in Student Journalism award winner. She is a graduate of Drury University and received her doctorate in educational administration from the University of Arkansas.


Jennifer Leonard


After a quarter century of leadership by President and CEO Jennifer Leonard, Rochester Area Community Foundation has become western New York’s largest grantmaking foundation, distributing $30 million in grants last year from assets of $500 million. Jennifer led implementation of the first National Standards for community foundations and chaired her field from 2004-6. She served on the Forum of Regional Associations board and was instrumental in founding CFLeads. Her contributions to An Agile Servant (1989) and Here for Good (2013) explore community foundation growth and leadership. Earlier, Jennifer was California Community Foundation’s grants VP and a national consultant in philanthropy. Locally, Jennifer is a board member of Causewave and CGR. She chaired the ROC the Future education alliance and the WILLpower planned giving initiative, and received the 2010 Rochester Athena Award. A graduate of Wellesley and Occidental Colleges, Jennifer is an avid tennis player who enjoys family, travel and mutual editing with her husband, author and commentator David Cay Johnston.


Don Macke


Don has more than 40 years of experience in the field of community economic development. He served on the staff of the Nebraska Legislature, the Cabinet of the Nelson Administration in Nebraska where Don served as Executive Director of the Nebraska Rural Development Commission, Co-Founder of the Nebraska Community Foundation, and worked as a consultant in 45 states, Canada and the Caribbean. Don is Senior Vice President of LOCUS Impact Investing. He co-founded the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and provides leadership for its entrepreneurial communities, community development philanthropy and Transfer of Wealth work. Don has a MA in Regional Economics and a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Tony Macklin


A Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®, Tony consults with donor families, grantmakers, and their advisors and associations about purpose, use of resources, action planning, and learning. In four years as executive director of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, he facilitated changes in visioning, impact investing, grantmaking, trustee education, and operations for a multi-generation family. In twelve years and four roles at the Central Indiana Community Foundation, he led grantmaking and community change initiatives, advised generous entrepreneurs and families on philanthropic tools and strategy, attracted $39 million in assets and co-investments, and co-founded a social enterprise. Based in Fort Wayne, IN, Tony is a Senior Advisor to the Impact Finance Center, Associate with Ekstrom Alley Clontz & Associates, and consultant with the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s community foundation network. He’s volunteered for more committees, task forces, and boards than he can remember.


Hrishue Mahalaha


Hrishue Mahalaha is the Chief Economic Advisor at Innovation Economy Partners (IEP). Born in India and exposed to rural opportunities and challenges from an early life, he is passionate about developing practical strategies that can rapidly “stop the bleeding” in communities. Hrishue has more than 14 years of experience working with the management consulting firm Accenture. During this time, he 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. Hrishue lives in Cleveland with his wife and three children.


Deb Markley


Deborah Markley has 35 years of experience working in community economic development as both an academic and practitioner. She is Senior Vice President of LOCUS Impact Investing, a social enterprise launched in 2017 to empower place-focused foundations to invest their capital locally to build prosperous, vibrant communities. Deb is co-founder of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, a national non-profit organization and partner with LOCUS. Together with the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, she is working to advance the practice of economic development philanthropy among place-focused foundations. Deb has BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech.


Jessica Martin


Jessica joined the Greater Salina Community Foundation in 2010 and has served in many different roles, including affiliate and youth coordinator, grants and scholarships coordinator, and now, president and executive director. Her experience has given her a thorough understanding of the community and helped develop strong relationships throughout the region. Jessica grew up in Andover, Kansas, and received her B.S. degree at Kansas State University. She is married to husband, Aaron, and mom to their son Oliver. Her favorite part about the foundation is working with people and helping them make a difference.

Patty Mayer


Patty graduated from San Diego State University, with emphasis accounting. Patty works predominately with private foundations and public charities providing tax and related planning including: unrelated trade or business income, excess benefit transactions, fringe benefits, public support testing, self-dealing, and expenditure responsibility. Patty is a leader of Moss Adam’s Southern California not-for-profit tax practice. She is the editor and contributing author of the Moss Adam’s Not-For-Profit Tax quarterly newsletter.



Debbie McKeon


Debbie is senior vice president, member services for the Council of Michigan Foundations, where she leads the team providing CMF members with its core suite of services and special initiatives, including social innovation and impact investing. She plays a vital role in coordination and implementation of the organization’s strategic vision and framework, as well as embedded diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Prior to joining CMF in 2012, Debbie spent six years with Rotary Charities of Traverse City where she led the design and development of their capacity building arm, NorthSky Nonprofit Network. Her 30 years of experience in leadership and public-private partnerships also includes serving as co-founding board member, managing director and CEO of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, assistant manager of the New York Philharmonic and president of McKeon & Associates Inc. A global citizen and civic leader, Debbie has worked in more than 40 countries across six continents and is an active member of several nonprofit boards.


Brian Miller


Brian Miller is the Executive Director of Nonprofit VOTE, a national organization that works to help nonprofits engage the communities they serve in voting and elections. Since joining Nonprofit VOTE in 2014, Brian has worked to bring the voter engagement strategies of Nonprofit VOTE to scale, leveraging new resources, documenting the impact of its work, and forging new partnerships. Most recently, he has led the production of the Voter Engagement Toolkit for Community Foundations, and a companion toolkit for private foundations, that help foundations foster greater voter engagement among their grantees. A south Louisiana native, Brian started his career as a community organizer in the early 90s before moving on to organize in Kentucky and Tennessee. Brian then served 12 years as Executive Director for Tennesseans for Fair Taxation. Prior to Nonprofit VOTE, Brian served as Executive Director of the Boston-based United for a Fair Economy (UFE) where he worked extensively on economic inequality.


Nate Nasralla


Nate Nasralla, CFRE, was the co-founder of DonorPath.org, which merged with Network for Good, where he now serves as their Sr. Director of Impact & Sustainability and manages the Capacity Building Fund. In this role, Nate is primarily responsible for helping grantmakers to evaluate and redesign their grants process to better accomplish strategic impact objectives, while working through a collective impact model, the Jumpstart Program. Since beginning professional fundraising, Nate has helped more than 500 emerging nonprofits address their most pressing fundraising challenges, and he is a sought-after speaker and workshop leader, speaking in more than 30 states each year.


Jason Neises


Jason Neises is the Heart & Soul Coordinator at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD). He works 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 non-profits, 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, Dubuque Museum of Art, the Dubuque Winter Farmers’ Market, and the Thomas Determan Global Perspectives Endowment. Neises has an education degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He lives on a small farm north of Dubuque with his wife and two boys.


Isaiah Oliver


Isaiah M. Oliver is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, a charitable organization focused on engaging people in philanthropy to build a stronger community. He leads the Foundation’s strategic priorities around improving literacy rates, increasing access to healthy food, strengthening resident-led neighborhood improvements, and providing critical resources to the children affected by the Flint Water Crisis. He previously served as the Foundation’s Vice President of Community Impact, where he led the organization’s grantmaking operations. Born and raised in Flint, Isaiah supports a unique philanthropic perspective that focuses on relationships and people. Isaiah’s background includes extensive community leadership and executive oversight experience. Isaiah served five years on the Flint Community Schools Board of Education, including two years as board President. Isaiah’s executive experience also includes serving four years on the Hurley Medical Center Board of Managers. As chair of the board’s Finance and Facilities Committee, he guided development of the hospital’s $370 million operating budget. Isaiah is a graduate of Flint Northwestern High School and earned his Bachelors of Applied Arts from Central Michigan University. He is a member of the Gamma Delta Boule’ of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Rotary Club of Flint, past president of the Flint Alumni Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and an active member of numerous other community organizations. He serves on the board of directors of Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, Flint Cultural Center Corporation, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Strategic and Regional Leadership Council. He is also serving a term on the CFLeads board of directors. He and his wife, Shay, live in Flint with their daughters, Zaiah Rene, Carrington Elyse and Chelyn Elizabeth.


Robert G. Ottenhoff


Robert G. Ottenhoff, a veteran in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and entrepreneurship, is president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). Prior to joining CDP, Bob spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, an industry leader in the use of providing high-quality data to help donors make better decisions and improve nonprofit practice. While there, Bob developed a sustainable business model which supports free and fee-based services to more than 10 million users. He also led efforts to build partnerships with more than 150 leading U.S. and community foundations, and oversaw the development of www.guidestar.org into a nationally respected, comprehensive source of reports and services on more than 1.5 million nonprofits. Bob has more than 25 years of management experience in public broadcasting and high-tech companies, including nine years as chief operating officer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). In addition to his role at CDP, he serves on the board of Inspirit Foundation (formerly Vision TV); Link TV; and Write on Sports. He also serves on the advisory committee of the Netherlands-America Foundation. He previously served on the board of the Grameen Foundation, USAAAFRC Trust for Philanthropy and the e-Philanthropy Foundation. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and a master’s degree in planning from Rutgers University. He frequently writes and comments on nonprofit and philanthropic issues, and has been quoted in a variety of media, including television, radio and print publications such as NPR, the New York Times, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.

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 in south central Kansas. During her 14-year tenure at the community foundation, the foundation’s assets have more than tripled to $65 million. More importantly, since 1989, the Foundation has returned more than $70 million to the community in the form of grants. Aubrey is now mobilizing community members to commit planned legacy gifts that will change the lives and future stories of people living in Reno County. Aubrey serves or has served on the boards of the K-State Alumni Association, Hutchinson Rotary Club, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce, City of Hutchinson Housing Commission, the KSU School of Leadership Studies, and the Kansas Association of Community Foundations. Aubrey co-founded YP Reno County, a group that connects and involves young professionals, and she was named to The Hutchinson News’ “20 under 40.” Aubrey and her spouse, Lance, manage to wrangle three kids, two jobs, and an endless list of places to go and things to do in Hutchinson.


Dean Penk


Dean Penk is Board Chair and founding member of the Golden Valley Community Foundation (2011). While living in the burbs for over 31 years he’s only lived there the last 4. Committed to leaving the place better than he found it, Dean is keen on developing a community based organization that meets the needs of his communities. This awareness of community voice comes from a 2007 Envisioning Process for Golden Valley MN, when 750 citizens explored and decided what kind of community they wanted to live in. Dean’s job as board member was to help make it happen. Dean grew up in rural MN, moved to another rural area to earn a BA, then moved to Metro MN to earn his fortune. There with Julie, his bride of 35 years, they continue to live and enjoy traveling North America after having had the opportunity to travel globally for years.


Julie Rhoads


Julie Rhoads acts as the Director of Education at Cowley College where she works with students to complete their two-year general education and prerequisite courses toward becoming licensed teachers. In addition, she works closely with teacher colleges at the university level to ensure smooth transitions to teacher education programs. As a licensed teacher herself, she is highly qualified in K-6 comprehensive; Middle School Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies; and K-12 SPED: Gifted Education. Julie has been working in the field of education for 25 years.


David Rosado


David Rosado is the Member Services Manager for CF Insights at Foundation Center. As Member Services Manager, David responds to requests for support and knowledge from both member and non-member visitors to CF Insights, and oversees its data architecture. David originally joined the Foundation Center in June 2008, where he has worked on all aspects of data acquisition and grants indexing with respect to community foundations, first as a Grants Analyst and then as Liaison. David holds a B.S. in psychology from Brooklyn College.

Judy Sjostedt


Judy Sjostedt has served as Executive Director of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF, Inc.) since 1999. She is presently chairperson of the Board of Directors of Highmark WV Blue Cross Blue Shield and Highmark Senior Solutions companies and member of the Highmark Foundation Board of Directors. She also serves on the WV Small Business Development Advisory Council, Education Alliance Board of Directors, CS Insights Advisory Board of the Foundation Center, and is a faculty member for Council on Foundation's Center for Community Foundation Excellence, teaching Community Foundation Fundamentals and Resources Development. Recent honors include being named a "2016 WV Wonder Woman" by WV Living/Focus Magazine and "2015 Business Person of the Year" by the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce. Her career has spanned all three economic sectors-working for the Federal government, the chemical industry and in the nonprofit sector. Sjostedt has a master’s degree in public administration from West Virginia University.


Linda Speed


Linda S. Speed, J.D., is the President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. Linda has sixteen years of experience in the community foundation field. Before joining CFSI, her nonprofit work experience includes serving as the Vice President of Development & Stewardship for the Community Foundation of Louisville, Vice President of Gift and Trust Administration for the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation, and Director of the Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Program at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. She is a former litigation attorney with the Louisville law firm of Frost Brown Todd. She received her B.S. from the University of Kentucky and J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. Linda serves on the boards of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (Vice-Chair) and the Louisville, Kentucky-based Center for Nonprofit Excellence. She is a member and Past President of the Southern Indiana Estate Planning Council, the Kentuckiana Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Fund Raising Executives of Metro Louisville, and she is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Metro Louisville.


Denise St. Omer


Denise St. Omer and her team of grant-making professionals experience the magic of giving every day at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and its non-regional brand, Greater Horizons. As the Vice President of Community Investment, Denise leads the team that facilitates grantmaking services to more than 30 funds and foundations both locally and nationwide. This includes donor-advised funds established by individuals and families, private foundations, and companies with a culture of corporate social responsibility. Denise’s career has been marked by her passion for making a difference in the community. Prior to coming to the Community Foundation five years ago, she worked as the chief trial assistant for the Community Justice Unit in the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. In this role, she led a team of lawyers, investigators and civic leaders to resolve neighborhood problems in Kansas City. She attributes her passion for the public good to her parents who instilled in her a strong sense of civic responsibility. Today, Denise loves connecting donors to the community needs they care most about and seeing first-hand how the compassion of their charitable gifts impact the community. When she isn’t busy participating in the magic of giving, Denise enjoys fitness and outdoor activities like skiing and fly-fishing. In fact, her third fly-fishing trip is approaching and she, “hopes to catch a fish this time.”

Sarah Storms


Sarah Storms serves as Communications & Scholarship Coordinator at the Montgomery County Community Foundation (MCCF) in Crawfordsville, Indiana. In this position since 2016, Sarah is responsible for MCCF marketing materials, communication plans, and multiple social media pages. In addition, she assists with the administration of over 45 scholarship funds and oversees the distribution of approximately $400,000 in scholarship awards each year. Sarah graduated from Ball State University in 2016 with a degree in Marketing. She is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County and is thrilled to be back working in her hometown.


Shelley Strickland


Shelley Strickland is the Vice President for Development at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF). Under her tenure at AAACF, the foundation has enjoyed record success in fundraising. Shelley has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, as both a practitioner in development and communications as well as a philanthropy educator and scholar, with numerous national publications and presentations. Shelley created the curriculum and for nine years taught the educational course for the Development Summer Internship Program at the University of Michigan, an award-winning program designed to expose undergraduates to fundraising and philanthropy. She enjoys training development professionals, volunteers and nonprofit board members about the joy of giving. She holds a PhD from the University of Michigan, an MA from the University of VA, and a BA from the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University.


Douglas Stuckey


Douglas has been a volunteer at the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) for ten years, serving as past President, Finance Committee Chair and currently its Treasurer. Besides helping with investments and finances, he has facilitated CFSEK’s website development, the “re-launch” of its Legacy Society and helped inaugurate its first Match Day, raising $150,000 in two years. He has established two endowments to increase access to health care for the uninsured and to supply the local food pantry ($40,000). Since 2016, he has spent time helping CFSEK manage a 6,300 acre land donation to provide agricultural scholarships. By day, he is Chief Financial Officer for Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides medical, dental, behavioral health, addiction treatment and support services to 42,000 patients in the twelve-county corner of southeast Kansas.


Angie Tatro


Angie Tatro, the Executive Director of Central Kansas Community Foundation (CKCF) based in Newton, Kansas, has worked in the community foundation field since 2008. The mission of this not-for-profit organization is Building Stronger Communities through Charitable Giving. CKCF is a Host Foundation to 20 affiliates in Central Kansas which brings forth opportunities in this rural region. Managing over $22M in charitable assets for community impact is a privilege for this community-minded servant. Holding 30 years of experience in the health and human service field, Angie has a vast array of knowledge and experience. She holds a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Kansas. She presently serves on the Healthy Harvey Leadership Team, Kansas Chapter of Charitable Gift Planners - Board of Director since 2014, Kansas Association of Community Foundation (KACF) - Board of Director & International Conference Advisory Council Conference Chair, Funders Network PPREP Cohort Member, and Newton Kiwanis Club - Board of Director.


Chris Thompson


Chris Thompson is president of Civic Collaboration Consultants. He helps foundations, non-profits, business and government design and sustain cross-sector collaborations that achieve enduring, positive community change. Before forming his own consulting firm, Chris served as director of regional engagement for the Fund for Our Economic Future from 2007 to 2016. The Fund is a funder collaborative that supports economic efforts in Northeast Ohio. He is the author of “Collaboration,” a guide to cross-sector collaboration published by the Fund in 2016. Chris is a frequent speaker on collaboration and leadership at regional and national conferences. A native of San Francisco, Chris and his wife, Anne, have called Northeast Ohio home for 26 years. They have two grown children and two grandchildren. He is a graduate of Marquette University.


Kelly Thompson 


Kelly earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa and her Bachelors degree in Sociology from Augustana College. She brought to the Community Foundation of Great River Bend (CFGRB) nine years of experience in social services, including direct service in the areas of child welfare and homelessness; grant writing; and agency administration. As Vice President of Grantmaking and Community Initiatives, Kelly oversees grantmaking, scholarships, and the Community Foundation's collaborations with others on issues that no one organization can address alone. She also manages CFGRB’s youth philanthropy program, Teens for Tomorrow. Kelly lives in Rock Island, enjoys the local live music scene, and is active in community theatre.


Bob Tracy 


As director of public policy, Bob coordinates public policy engagement and leads its government relations activities in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. for the Minnesota Council on Foundations. He encourages MCF members to incorporate advocacy and public policy into their grantmaking and to act as resources for other grantmakers. He leads MCF’s efforts to advocate for a positive environment for philanthropy and charitable giving and on advancing policies in Minnesota that encourage prosperity and equity and eliminate disparities. Bob has experience as a grantmaker, nonprofit manager and public program administrator. Since 1994, he has lobbied at the Minnesota State Capitol for groups including the Minnesota AIDS Project, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. He also has experience producing public affairs programming for PBS/Twin Cities Public Television. Bob graduated from St. Paul's Macalester College with a bachelor's in political science. As part of his work at MCF, Bob is leading an effort to promote inclusion and equity by strengthening democratic systems and civic engagement and, specifically, through advocacy to get Minnesota ready for the 2020 Census.


Caryl Turnow


Caryl Turnow came to Central Minnesota Community Foundation (CMCF) in June of 2016. Prior to CMCF she worked as a Development Officer for Community Funds and became the Planned Giving Officer at the Northwest Minnesota Foundation based in Bemidji, Minnesota. Caryl worked with individuals and communities with community funds resulting in $4.5 million in annual gifts in each of the past four years. Before her work in development, Turnow worked as a business development specialist assisting entrepreneurs for the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. She is both a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) as well as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She previously owned and operated an accounting practice in Roseau for nine years.


Jeff Usher


Mr. Usher’s responsibilities include working with the Kansas Health Foundation staff to develop program initiatives. He also provides technical assistance to applicants and grantees, reviews proposals and monitors existing grants. Mr. Usher serves as senior program officer for the Foundation’s leadership, healthy behaviors and growing community philanthropy Initiatives. In the last twenty years he has supervised a portfolio of nearly 800 approved grants totaling more than $170 million to support the mission of improving the health of Kansans. A graduate of Wichita State University, Mr. Usher received a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1982. He has also been active in several volunteer organizations including the Wichita Health and Wellness Coalition and the Kansas River Valley Triathlon Club. He is an avid cyclist and a grandfather of 9 beautiful grandchildren.


Nancy Van Milligen


Nancy Van Milligen joined the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD) as their first President/CEO on February 1, 2003. The Community Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission of increasing philanthropy, strengthening nonprofits and providing community leadership in 7 NE Iowa counties. Nancy has a Masters of Public Administration from Southern Illinois University. Through her leadership, the foundation’s asset base has grown to $95 million and serves over 300 nonprofit partners and 4000 donors. That said, the Foundation’s success is more about people than money. It is the convening, the catalyzing, and the cooperative relationships that have made the region stronger. Strong enough to tackle issues like high school dropout, job training for the under-employed, glasses for vulnerable kids struggling to read, civility and inclusion, and coming to the rescue when tornadoes and floods touch our communities. As President and CEO of the CFGD she is able to work daily on her passion – strong communities that support and nurture families. Nancy brings together the energies and resources of nonprofit organizations, businesses and community volunteers to help increase awareness of the importance of giving back to the community and building connections that are critical to solving societal problems.


Paul Velaski


Paul Velaski joined SVCF as chief financial officer in August 2014 and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer in September 2015. Paul, who had previously served as CFO at the Arizona Community Foundation since 2007, has broad experience in the nonprofit sector as well as the corporate world. He started his career at Arthur Andersen as a senior accountant in the audit division. He left there to work for First Bank System Inc. (now US Bank) as a trust auditor, credit analyst and accounting supervisor. Paul then transitioned into the charitable sector with the Special Olympics organization, where he spent 11 years in finance, operations, development and marketing. He served as vice president and chief financial officer of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and also as interim president and CEO of that organization prior to joining the Arizona Community Foundation.


Michael Wilson


Michael Wilson leads the New Hampshire Community Foundation’s investment and finance departments. As CFO, he manages more than $700 million in investments across the full range of asset classes.He has been with the Foundation since 2005, and has held senior finance and operations positions in the business and nonprofit sectors in the U.S. and in England. Michael leads the Foundation’s Impact Investing program and speaks frequently on the topic at national nonprofit conferences. Michael serves as board treasurer for New Hampshire Public Radio and was named a Financial Executive of the Year by New Hampshire Business Review in 2013. Michael was born in Pakistan and has lived and traveled all over the world, from the United Kingdom to Asia to South America. He is a graduate of Bates College and has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.


Benjamin Winchester


Ben has been working both in and for small towns across the Midwest for over 20 years. He is trained as a Rural Sociologist and works as a Senior Research Fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality. He conducts applied research on economic, social, and demographic topics surrounding a theme of “rewriting the rural narrative” that are vital to rural America. Winchester received his B.A. in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Minnesota, Morris (1995) and M.S. in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri, Columbia (2001). He was a founding employee at the Center for Small Towns, an outreach and engagement program at the University of Minnesota, Morris and specializes in community development, demographic analysis, data visualization, and moving communities away from anecdata.


Chris Worman


Christopher (Chris) Worman has been working with and for civil society since 1999. Leading fundraising and communications with American NGOs in the arts, health and human services, Chris built online giving platforms and communities before tools like Facebook made it easy. In 2005, Chris joined the Peace Corps where he built several rural, sustainable social enterprises, launched Romania’s first Community Foundation, www.szka.org and helped build a national framework for the the development of more than a dozen more. In 2009, Chris opened TechSoup’s Romania program and, subsequently, TechSoup’s digital democracy work. Chris helped grow the program with TechSoup into www.TransparenCEE.org which has worked with citizens and civil society to solve problems with tech across 14 countries in the region. Since 2011, Chris has held roles leading TechSoup’s program design and communications groups. Now that TechSoup is completely global, he is focused on leveraging what TechSoup has built over the years into deeper and more supportive relations with the 1 million+ NGOs currently served by the organization; exploring the intersection of technology and civil society in the face of the Fourth Wave of the Industrial Revolution, challenges to democracy, immigration, and other major challenges of our times. In his spare time, Chris teaches masters-level NGO communications classes at the University of Vienna School of Economics and has consulted for organizations ranging from Microsoft and the C.S. Mott Foundation to Coca Cola and the Aspen Institute.