Speaker Biographies

Speaker Biographies

Laura Alexander, JD, is a Relationship Manager at TIAA Kaspick, which she joined in 2014 after having served as Associate Director of Gift Planning at Dartmouth College. Prior to working at Dartmouth, Laura practiced law with Bryan Cave LLP in the areas of securities, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, and banking. Laura holds a BA in American Studies summa cum laude from California State University, Fullerton and a JD from Vanderbilt University School of Law. She has served as a board member of the Planned Giving Council of New Hampshire and Vermont.

Emily Clarke is Manager of Planned Giving at Gettysburg College, where she manages a major gifts portfolio and the gift planning program. Emily has more than 15 years of experience in development both in higher education and the broader nonprofit world. This is Emily’s second stint at Gettysburg, and in between she worked for Half the Sky Foundation and the American Friends Service Committee. Emily graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in English.

James Connell has an active four-decade involvement in fundraising and charitable estate planning. He is a Fellow of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and a Certified Senior Advisor and member of the North Carolina Planned Giving Council. In 1992, following his career at the Duke Children’s Hospital, James founded the consulting fim of James E. Connell and Associates and in 2011 the Hospice Philanthropy Group. His fim provides a broad range of services including the development and integration of charitable estate and gift planning into comprehensive capital campaigns and the development of stand-alone planned giving programs. He has published over 55+ articles, several book chapters, a periodic newsletter and is a frequent speaker for professional groups and councils.

Philip Cubeta, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP® As the Sallie B. and William B. Wallace Chair in Philanthropy at The American College, Phil Cubeta, CLU®, ChFC ®, CAP® is responsible for the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) curriculum. Prior to joining The American College, Phil served as Chief of  Staff for The Nautilus Group, a service of New York Life Insurance Company providing estate, business, and philanthropic strategies to affluent clients through 200 of the company’s top agents. Phil earned a BA at Williams College in English Literature; an MA at Oxford University in Philosophy and Psychology; and an MA and M.Phil. at Yale University in English Language and Literature. He holds the Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) from The American College. He serves on the Planned Giving Advisory Board for The Carter Center and is past President of the North Texas Council of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.

Claudine A. Donikian, JD, MBA, is the president, chief executive officer, and chief marketing officer of Pentera, Inc. A sought-after national speaker, she is regarded as one of the foremost experts in planned giving marketing and is editor-in-chief for Pentera’s corporate marketing and client marketing content. Claudine’s professional area of interest is women in philanthropy, and she serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and as a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners.

Steve Grourke, CFRE, CAP is the Executive Director of the Office of Planned Giving at Villanova University. Prior to joining Villanova, Steve worked in various capacities and geographies for The Nature Conservancy. Steve earned a BA in history from Gwynedd-Mercy College and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Eastern Washington University. He is a Certified Fundraising Executive and holds the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation. Steve serves on the board of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia, the Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA advisory board, and the Upper Hanover Township Parks and Recreation Committee.

Jonathan Gudema, JD has over 18 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations on managing planned giving programs while working with staff, donors and advisors on cultivating and closing significant planned gifts. Prior to founding Planned Giving Advisors in 2011, Jonathan was a Managing Director at Changing our World, the third largest U.S.-based fundraising consulting fim, where he led consulting projects and outsourced the planned giving staff for several major clients. He also has held senior management positions in planned giving with the Anti-Defamation League, United Jewish Communities and Continuum Health Partners. Jonathan authors The Planned Giving Blog that provides news and commentary on the field of planned giving with over 950 subscribers and over 50,000 visitors since its launch in 2010. Jonathan earned a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University and a JD from Western New England College School of Law.

Lynn Malzone Ierardi, JD has been in the estate and gift planning field for more than 25 years. She has served as Director of Gift Planning for the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) since 2005 and on a limited basis as an independent gift planning consultant (www.GiftPlanningAdvisor.com, founded in 2002). Prior to joining Penn, Lynn held gift planning positions in health and higher education, served as Vice President with the Merrill Lynch Center for Philanthropy, and practiced estate planning and real estate law. Lynn is currently a National Board member and Treasurer for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and a member of the CGP Leadership Institute. She has been a member of CGP since 1993 and is a past board member and past President of the Gift Planning Council of New Jersey (GPCNJ) and current board member of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia (PGCGP). As a dynamic and highly rated speaker, Lynn has presented at conferences and meetings throughout the country on a variety of gift planning topics. Lynn earned her JD from Fordham University School of Law.

Dr. Scott Janney, EdD, CFRE, RFP® joined Bancroft in 2016 and brought with him more than two decades of fundraising success. As Chief Development Officer, he oversees all development and fundraising efforts and outreach across the entire organization.  Prior to joining the Bancroft leadership team, Janney served as Assistant Vice President of Development at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. and as Executive Director of the AtlantiCare Foundation.  Janney is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and Registered Financial Consultant (RFC). He is also President of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia. He earned his undergraduate degree from Asbury University, a master’s degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Temple University.

Greg Johnson, CFP is Director of Gift Planning at the University of Pennsylvania where he helps donors integrate charitable gift plans with their tax, estate, and financial plans and assists in accepting complex gifts. He supports units such as Major Gifts, Undergraduate Financial Aid, The Wharton School, and Athletics. Prior to joining Penn Greg was Senior Vice President for Development at the Delaware Community Foundation. He also held development positions with the Widener  University School of Law, University of Delaware, and Wilmington Christian School. He has presented at several regional CASE and AFP Chapter conferences. Greg holds an MPA in Finance from the University of Delaware, where he also received his undergraduate
degree, and is a Certifid Financial Planner.

Donald W. Kramer, JD is chair of the Nonprofit Law Group at the Philadelphia law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP. Don has more than 40 years of experience in the nonprofi arena as a lawyer, teacher, writer, publisher, and board member. Don is editor and publisher of Don Kramer’s Nonprofit  Issues®, a national electronic newsletter of “Nonprofit Law You Need to Know” (www.nonprofiissues.com), which he started in 1989. He lectures frequently on nonprofit legal issues and has taught courses on nonprofit organization law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and elsewhere. He counsels on a wide range of corporate, governance, tax, real estate, charitable giving and other nonprofit issues for nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes. Don also serves on the Boards of the Pennsylvania Association, of Nonprofit Organizations, the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement and the Philadelphia Fire Department Historical Corporation. A graduate of Princeton University, he earned an LL.B. from Harvard Law School.

Jill Kyle, MBA, CFRE, is the Senior Vice President for Regional Advancement at Jefferson Health and oversees fundraising across the Jefferson affiliates–including Abington, Lansdale, Aria and future clinical partners. Jill has been at Abington Health Foundation since September 1999 and will remain as Chief Development Offier throughout the current “Reimagine Cancer Care” Campaign to build a new outpatient cancer center in the greater Abington area. Jill graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a BS in Psychology and earned an MBA with distinction and an international perspective from Arcadia University. In 2009, Jill received the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy Mid-Atlantic Region’s Award of Excellence.

Patrick Manion, MBA is currently National Director of Legacy Gifts for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).  In this role he solicits new legacy society members and stewards existing relationships. Manion joined MDA in 2015 after his nearly 20-year career serving organizations in New Jersey and Philadelphia–including as Director of Philanthropy for The Arc of Atlantic County in southern New Jersey and Leadership Gift Offier, New England Region, and Associate Director of Gift Planning for the American Friends Service Committee. Pat also is engaged in various volunteer endeavors including establishing and coordinating a family memorial scholarship fund at Rowan University, Faculty Committee for Planned Giving Day – Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia, and Board Secretary of AFP NJ, Southern Chapter. He also has volunteered at several area nonprofits to assist and advise in the implementation of a Planned Giving program. Pat received an MBA from St. Joseph’s University and a BS in Marketing from Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI.

Mary Beth Martin, JD  is Senior Managing Director of Changing Our World, Inc. With more than 25 years of experience, Mary Beth specializes in both planned giving and major gift programs, helping nonprofis to develop fundraising capacity and execute fundraising campaigns. Previously, Mary Beth served as Associate Vice President for Development and Alumnae  Relations at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. She has been a member of PGGNE and PPGGNY. Mary Beth has addressed the NCPP, PGGNE, PPGGNY and the PG Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley. She received a BA from Boston College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a JD from Boston College Law School.

Kelley McGeehan has more than twenty years of experience working with nonprofits ranging from small, local groups to regional and international organizations. Prior to starting her own business in 2011, she was a development officer with “soup to nuts” experience in small to mid-sized offices focusing her efforts on prospect research, planned giving and major gift programs in recent years. When entering into new organizations, she would be responsible for the job of establishing research protocols and training staff on research techniques.  In 2011 Kelley launched McGeehan Research as a Baltimore based company that provides prospect research through the eyes of a major gifts officer. In-depth prospect research, data screening and assessments are provided with an eye toward solicitation strategies for major and planned giving programs.

Joyce F. Michelfelder, CAP®, is the Director of Gift Planning for the Eastern Region at the Masonic Charities of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. For the past 13 years, she has focused exclusively on planned giving and is responsible for developing and launching a new program in Eastern PA. Previously she served as the Vice President for Development for the Arthritis Foundation of Eastern PA and was the Assistant Vice President for Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital. Having devoted over 35 years to non-profit fundraising, Joyce serves on the board of the Planned Giving Council for Greater Philadelphia and is Co-Chair of the Mentoring Committee.

Gavan Mooney is the Executive Vice President of Changing Our World, Inc., which he joined in 2003 and led the team which raised in excess of $220 million for the Archdiocese of New York, one of the largest campaigns in Catholic fundraising history. Gavan oversees the business relationships at Changing Our World and has shepherded some of the firm’s most successful  fundraising endeavors, including those at the Diocese of Dallas and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Previously employed at Community Counseling Services, Gavan holds a Bachelor of
Commerce degree from University College Dublin, Ireland.

Delia G. Perez, CFRE is the Director of Planned Giving for Fairleigh Dickinson University and an accomplished entrepreneurial professional with 30 years leadership experience in all aspects of philanthropy. Her fundraising career includes senior management positions with nationally prominent organizations such as the American Kidney Fund, University of Delaware, Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic), Bucknell University, and internationally, the Hospitaller Brothers. She served on the executive boards for New Jersey Community Health Charities and AFP for the Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Delia is a president emeritus for the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Philadelphia and serves as the Faculty Committee Chair and Co-Chair for the 2017 Planned Giving Day Conference. Delia earned her BA in Psychology from Rowan University and MA in Business and Organizational Development from Central Michigan University. She also serves as the Open Water Swimming Representative with the executive committee for United States Masters Swimming of Delaware Valley.

Christopher Polito is Vice President of Community Counseling Services. Chris brings 11 years of experience designing, implementing, and managing key philanthropic initiatives for non-profi organizations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic regions, and Canada. Chris has assisted clients in augmenting fundraising strategies to elevate long-term giving through marketing, communication strategy, and developing a gift equivalency platform to illustrate the impact of donor gifts.

Dominic Pepper is the Executive Director of Community Counseling Services and has more than 7 years experience in the nonprofit sector. Previously, Dominic built a practice group for family education, governance, and philanthropy. While at the International Society of Trust and Estate Planning Professionals’ McManus & Associates, he advised clients on tax-efficient giving and orchestrated sophisticated multi-generational asset transfer plans. Organizations that have benefited from Dominic’s counsel include: The National Constitution  Center; Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation; the Archdiocese of Toronto; and the Archdiocese of Brooklyn and Queens.

Meg Roberts, CFRE is Vice President of Impact Communications Gift Planning Division. Meg has nearly 20 years of fundraising experience, with 15 years focusing on planned giving including as Director of Planned Giving at George Washington University from 2009-2014. Meg served for 7 years as the Director of Major and Planned Gifts at Capital Hospice. She also has worked in the areas of major gifts, annual giving, foundation and corporate grants, and sponsorships for a variety of chapter affiliates of national organizations and a small, community-based social service agency. Meg serves as President of the National Capital Gift Planning Council.

Nathan Stelter oversees Stelter’s consulting team, strategizing with all of Stelter’s key accounts to develop distinct marketing solutions that meet each nonprofit’s unique planned giving needs. Nathan’s expertise in product development, strategic partnerships, marketing consultation, client services, and corporate marketing places him in high demand as a lecturer on gift planning marketing trends and donor research across the country. He is a past board member of the National Capital Gift Planning Council and is a current member of the Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council. Nathan is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a BA in marketing.

Charles Sterne, III is Director of Principal Gifts and Planned Giving at the Curtis Institute of Music. Chuck started the school’s planned giving program in 1993 and subsequently helped Curtis complete three successful endowment/capital fund drives, including the $35 million Sound for the Century campaign, a $17 million campaign to secure challenge grants from the Lenfest and Annenberg Foundations, and a fie-year, $158 million comprehensive campaign which concluded in May 2013. Chuck is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the
National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia.   He has served as president of the local planned giving council, co-presented and moderated past sessions at Planned Giving Day and the Franklin Forum, and has lectured on planned giving for Drexel University’s Arts Management Program.

Kathy Swayze, CFRE is President and Creative Director of Impact Communications. She has worked in the direct marketing and fundraising fields for more than 25 years. She has enjoyed outstanding success at helping over 250 organizations improve their fundraising results by telling their unique story. Kathy is active in the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and is the Past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Washington DC Chapter. She was honored as the 2012 Outstanding Fundraising Professional at National Capital Philanthropy Day in Washington, DC.

Ian Swedish is Vice President of Analytics & Client Strategy at Community Counseling Services. Ian brings over 14 years of experience spanning the nonprofit, private, and political sectors as a consultant and nonprofit manager. Ian oversees the firm’s internal analytics team that serves clients in standalone engagements and augments existing consulting and management services. He has developed deep experience in fundraising, strategic assessments, interim management, staff and volunteer capacity building, and capital and comprehensive campaigns. Ian has counseled organizations that generate annual levels of philanthropic revenue ranging from $500,000 to $210 million.

Sarah Tedesco is the Executive Vice President of DonorSearch, a prospect research and wealth screening company that focuses on proven philanthropy. Sarah is responsible for managing the production and customer support department concerning client contract fulfillment, increasing retention rate and customer satisfaction. She collaborates with other team members on a variety of issues including sales, marketing and product development ideas.


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