Breakfast Roundtables

Breakfast Roundtables

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Welcome to CASE District I! A Breakfast Roundtable for First-time Conference Attendees

Information about the 2019 Conference Breakfast Roundtable will be coming shortly. Please check back soon.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Welcome to CASE D1! A Breakfast Roundtable for First-time Conference Attendees


Trish Duff, University Advancement, Student Life and Learning, McGill University

Christine Tempesta, Senior Director, Information Systems & Volunteer Services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Affiliated Student Advancement Programs

CASE ASAP is an extension of your CASE membership and offers resources for creating, revitalizing or enhancing student advancement on your campus. CASE ASAP is comprised of student alumni associations, student foundations and similar organizations at more than 300 CASE member institutions. Its goal is to foster and enhance student involvement in all areas of advancement—from alumni relations and communications to fundraising, marketing, and related areas. CASE ASAP also supports the advancement profession by alerting students and their advisers of advancement opportunities, resources, and career paths. Come learn about the active and vibrant presence ASAP has in District I.


Stefanie Stevens Seslar, Director of Alumni and Donor Engagement, Albertus Magnus College
Stefanie Seslar, director of alumni and donor engagement at Albertus Magnus College, started the Student Alumni Association in 2012 and serves as its sole adviser. Since its inception, Albertus SAA has earned accolades both on and off campus being named Student Organization of the Year three times and earning Outstanding Emerging Organization by CASE ASAP District 1 in 2016. Most recently, it was awarded Outstanding Student Advancement Program in District 1 (2017) for the peer-to-peer giving campaign, “Change for Change.” The organization’s closed membership has grown from 19 to more than 40 students since its founding.

Stefanie was named CASE District 1 Rising Star in 2016 and was recognized by CASE ASAP District 1 and at the Network Convention as Outstanding Adviser in 2016. She is the CASE ASAP liaison to the CASE District I Board. Stefanie has presented at a number of CASE ASAP conferences and will co-chair Student Alumni Association Symposium with C. this summer (2018) in Lousiville, KY. She is an alumna of Roanoke College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and holds a master’s degree in leadership from Albertus.

C. Hawkins, Senior Associate Director for Affinity Engagement and Signature Programs, Northeastern University
Hawkins, senior associate director of affinity engagement and signature programs in the Office of Alumni Relations at Northeastern University, leads a team of alumni relations professional in the planning, coordinating and production of programming and events for young alumni, student and alumni affinity groups that develop and sustain a culture of engagement and a stronger alumni community. In his current role, has reimagined Northeastern’s student alumni association which relaunched this spring.

Previously, C. was the manager of student engagement at the University of North Carolina (UNC) General Alumni Association (GAA). During his time at the GAA, C. managed the association’s interactions with current students, and he oversaw approximately 100 events each year. He was responsible for the 3,500-plus Student Alumni Association and was the adviser for the senior class, the Order of the Bell Tower (UNC’s student ambassadors) and the UNC yearbook.

C. has presented at several CASE and CASE ASAP conferences and has received numerous awards. He will co-chair the Student Alumni Association Symposium with Stefanie this summer (2018) in Lousiville, KY. Many programs and initiatives, at Northeastern and UNC, in C.’s areas of responsibility have received numerous CASE and CASE ASAP district and national awards. He co-authored a chapter on membership models in Lasting Impressions, CASE’s book on student advancement.

C. is a proud alumnus of UNC and also holds a certificate in meeting and event planning from UNC-Charlotte.

A Master Class in Master’s Marketing

Quick! Your university’s administration has asked you to launch a first-ever master’s program and enroll its inaugural class—all in 10 months. Where do you even start? Attend our one-hour session to learn how we did it and how these five easy steps may help you with your own quick turn-around for recruiting assignments.

We knew little about our competition, didn’t know how we’d fit into the marketplace, had a minimal budget, and no enrollment staff at the onset.

Ready, set, go! In this session, we’ll showcase Boston University School of Hospitality Administration’s new Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH). Learn how our 2016-17 fast-track, cost-effective marketing, digital advertising, and recruitment plan generated nearly quadruple the number of students (39) than we initially targeted (10). We’ll discuss:

  1. How we defined our target market
  2.  The positioning strategy used to assess competition and our place in the market
  3. Strategic messaging and creative development
  4. A digital marketing strategy crafted to generate solid leads, applications, and enrolled students, and
  5. Adjustments and optimizations to the campaign for year #2—including market research to assess optimal program size


Pamela Sarian, Executive Director, Account Services, Marketing & Communications, Boston University
Pamela Sarian is the Executive Director, Account Services for Boston University’s in-house creative agency. There she oversees the brand, strategy and client services divisions of the agency that works on key marketing and communications initiatives for the University.
She joined BU in 2003, and has held a variety of communications positions within the University on both the academic and administrative side. Prior to BU, Pam worked in public relations in the health care sector.

Carla Baratta, Associate Creative Director, Print Design, Marketing & Communications, Boston University
Carla Baratta is the Associate Creative Director of Print with Marketing & Communications at Boston University. At BU’s in-house agency, she supervises branding, marketing, and creative for the many schools and centers of the University. As a consultant from 2006 to 2008, Baratta helped her own clients reach their full strategy driven creative potential, and prior to that she was at DigitasLbi in Boston for 17 years, where she was VP, Creative Director.

David Cotter, Assistant Provost, Graduate Enrollment Management, Boston University
As Assistant Provost for Graduate Enrollment Management, David Cotter leads efforts to ensure that Boston University’s graduate programs are innovative, relevant, and successful in recruiting, retaining, and graduating excellent students. Previously, David served as Assistant Dean of Graduate Affairs in BU’s College of Communication, Associate Dean in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Brandeis University, and Assistant Director of Graduate Admission at Emerson College.

Community College Challenges When Fundraising for Capital Projects


Mary Shia, Vice President, Institutional Advancement & Alumni Relations & Executive Director of MassBay Foundation, MassBay Community College
Mary Shia has been at MassBay Community College, serving as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations, and the Executive Director of the MassBay Foundation since 2013. Ms. Shia leads the individual and corporate giving to the College. She also oversees the Foundation giving area, and the grants office, while also managing an individual donor portfolio. Working closely with the College president on two capital projects.

Ms. Shia began working in higher education more than 20 years ago and served in advancement roles. During that time, she has directed development efforts, alumni programs, donor relations and stewardship offices, as well as managed frontline gift and development professionals. She has assisted donors in creating six-figure gifts to endow academic programs and scholarships. At MassBay she initiated the donor recognition programs and oversees the Foundation Board and the Alumni Council volunteer board.

Before joining MassBay, she was the Director of Development at the Institute for International Urban Development and prior to that position she was the Director for Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Ms. Shia earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts in Archaeology and her master’s degree in Anthropology and Archaeology from the Harvard University Extension School.

Digital Communications + Major Prospects

Communications used with key prospects should reveal insight into an institution’s brand, position fundraising ambitions through vivid storytelling and reflect elegant design. In a digital era, development teams must seek to seamlessly present highly curated and personalized content directly to major donors. We will discuss the challenges of traditional approaches and demonstrate how digital channels are being created to allow development teams to share dynamic content with key prospects.


Larry Snavely, President, Snavely Associates
Larry Snavely is the founder of Snavely Associates, a development communications firm. As we look back at the amazing number of great projects and important causes we’ve had the privilege to share with our clients over the past 35 years, we are both very grateful and very proud. There are worse gigs than helping people come together in support of better education, better health care, and a better world.
Education: Beloit College, BS

Sandy Fasules, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, New England Conservatory of Music

Cory Andersen, Account Leader, Snavely Associates

Events Idea Exchange for Event Assistants/Coordinators

This Breakfast Roundtable is especially for Events Assistants and Coordinators, for sharing of best practices and the freshest event ideas happening on your campus.


Maggie Farrell, Programs and Events Specialist, Boston College
Maggie Farrell is an education professional committed to enacting high-quality experiential and liberal arts education for middle through post-secondary students via policy on the local, state, and federal level. Through events management, fundraising, and community organizing, she strives to work towards equity and equality for all students.

From There to Here: How Bryant’s Prospect Management Procedures and Reports Have Morphed During Its Campaign

I will present the evolution of prospect management from the onset of our campaign. In the beginning – a highly organized, though somewhat complicated system of prospect management with the potential of a highly effective program. At present – a highly organized, flexible, dynamic and robust system of prospect management incorporating newer technologies and possessing 100% VP support, enabling easy transition to trustee reporting. Join me as we examine this progressive journey!


Lisette Clem, Director of Advancement Services, Bryant University
Lisette Clem is Director of Advancement Services at Bryant University, where she manages a brilliant team of AS professionals who specialize in gift processing, data integrity, database management/reporting, coordination of direct mail projects, prospect research and management, budget management, development and alumni relations officer support, and analytics. Lisette has over 20 years’ experience serving the nonprofit community in various operational and fundraising positions.

Nicole Melmed, Research Analyst and Campaign Coordinator, Bryant University
Nicole Melmed currently serves as a Research Analyst and Campaign Coordinator at Bryant University, and has over 20 years’ experience with prospect research in higher education. In her current capacity as Campaign Coordinator, Nicole manages the capital campaign pipeline and delivers analytics regarding progress against planned and pending solicitations, as well as coordinates the efforts of the Campaign Leadership Committee.

How to Become a CASE Conference Speaker

Are you interested in sharing your insights, knowledge, experience, and wisdom at a future CASE conference? Learn about how to develop strong concepts and descriptions that will help you become an effective speaker candidate.


Kevin Wesley, Executive Director of Alumni and Friends Engagement and the Clark Fund, Clark University

Instagram Takeovers

Even though Instagram Takeovers may seem trendy, they can be a valuable aspect of any Instagram marketing strategy. If you are wondering what Instagram takeovers are and how to organize them to boost your Instagram marketing efforts, this roundtable is for you! We’ll review the steps of a successful, CASE Award winning Instagram Takeover program at Northeastern University.


Jordana Torres, Associate Director – Social Media, Northeastern University Office of Alumni Relations
Jordana Torres has been at Northeastern University since 2011 in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility. As Associate Director of Social Media, a position she has held since 2015, she manages a social media presence and regularly corresponds with key team members and departments to outline and drive comprehensive social media strategies for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. During her tenure, she has grown Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram audiences by 330%, 320%, and 1,250%, respectively. She maintains an average TER (Total Engagement Rate) on Twitter of 2.39%, more than 3X greater than the platform average of 0.7%.

Special thanks to our sponsor Funderful for their contributions to Thursday’s Breakfast Roundtables.

Opportunity & Inclusion: Efforts & Resources

Join us to discuss what we have done as CASE D1 to increase diversity and inclusion opportunities and share ideas. Hear from Anita Walton what resources CASE is offering to promote programming, trainings, alumni programs, scholarships, etc.


Anita Walton, Senior Director of Diversity and Talent Management, CASE
Anita B. Walton serves as senior director of diversity and talent management for CASE. She provides leadership in developing, communicating and executing a comprehensive strategy to successfully attract, hire and maintain a continuous talent pipeline, engage and serve select CASE constituencies with significant emphasis on efforts to diversify the profession, enhance and promote student programs including CASE ASAP, the CASE Advancement Internship Program, the CASE North American Residency Program and provide oversight to the CASE Career Central.

Prior to joining CASE, Walton served at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) for five years as director of alumni relations and the last two years as assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. Prior to NCCU, she served at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) for 18 years, seven years in student affairs and 11 years in alumni relations. With a master’s degree in higher education and 25 years of experience including program management, volunteer stewardship, strategic and process development and relationship building, Walton is no stranger to CASE. She has served in numerous volunteer roles, including chair of CASE III, a member of the Commission on Alumni Relations, an active contributor to CASE’s opportunity and inclusion activities serving as the DIII O&I chair from 2007-2011, CASE ASAP activities and has been a frequent CASE speaker.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master’s degree in education, with a concentration in higher education administration, from North Carolina State University.

Jenny Hammond, Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, Deerfield Academy
Jenny B. Hammond is the Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement at Deerfield Academy where she oversees Commencement, Reunions, 1797 Society events and other off-campus Academy Events. Additionally, she develops new initiatives and programs to engage more alumni, parents and friends. She is also a liaison with the Deerfield Parents Network to assist with parent volunteer engagement. Hammond has over thirty years of experience as an educator, including teaching ESL and Middle School Social Studies. After earning her A.B. degree in East Asian Studies from Smith College, Hammond spent twelve years in Japan, which included a job at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) providing bi-directional interpretation and translation. In addition to her role in the Advancement Office at Deerfield Academy, Hammond serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is the faculty advisor to the Asian Students Alliance.

She currently volunteers for CASE District I as a member of the Opportunity & Inclusion Committee and was pleased to serve on the Program Committee at this year’s conference.

Starting a Student Alumni Association (SAA) at Your High School

If colleges can do it, why can’t high schools? Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, MA started a Student Alumni Association (SAA) group in the Fall of 2015 as a way of engaging current students in the day to day operations of the Institutional Advancement Office and to expose them to what being a member of an alumni association is all about after graduation. It’s not as hard as you think to start a group. With a good plan and goals in place, any school can have an effective SAA program.


David Erwin, Director of Instituitonal Advancment, Central Catholic High School
David currently serves as the Director of Advancement for Central Catholic High School in Lawrence. He has also served as the Assistant Director of Advancement/Director of Alumni Relations for over 10 years at his alma mater, Catholic Memorial School, as Director of Development for Cambridge Montessori School and as the Director of Development & Alumni Relations at Marian High School in Framingham. He started the Student Alumni Association at Central in 2015.

Kassie Infante, Alumni Relations Associate, Central Catholic High School
Kassie Infante is the alumni relations associate at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, MA- an independent co-ed day school. As a member of the Office of Institutional Advancement, she is responsible for designing, promoting, and implementing comprehensive programs and events in an effort to strengthen alumni ties and increase participation towards the annual fund. She also serves as Co-Advisor to the Student Alumni Association (SAA). Kassie earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Marketing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. This is her first job in advancement. Prior to this role, and as a fun fact, Kassie starred as an extra in the film adaptation of her favorite book “The Hunger Games.”

You shouldn’t have to learn your software, your software should learn you!

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the new buzz-phrases in the data world. In this talk, we will explore practical ways that AI and machine learning can and will impact the nonprofit fundraising space. We will examine how AI and ML can make our abundant amounts of data actionable both for frontline fundraiser who are tasked with managing donors and closing transformational gifts as well as for all of those who support them.


Adam Martel, CEO and Cofounder, Gravyty
Adam is the CEO of Gravyty, the first plug-and-play artificial intelligence platform specifically developed for frontline fundraisers. Before starting Gravyty, Adam worked at Babson College as a major gifts fundraiser. Because of this, Adam has a deep and personal understanding of the challenges that NPOs face while trying to raise money and throughout his years as a front-line fundraiser, he has worked with thousands of donors and has helped nonprofit organizations raise millions of dollars.

Let’s Talk Sessions:

  • Let’s Talk: Small Shops
  • Let’s Talk: Community Colleges
  • Let’s Talk: Independent Schools
  • Let’s Talk: Graduate/Professional Schools
  • Let’s Talk: Annual Giving
  • Let’s Talk: Parent Giving and Engagement
  • Let’s Talk: Student Philanthropy and Engagement
  • Let’s Talk: Principal and Major Gifts
  • Let’s Talk: Communication Publications
  • Let’s Talk: Social Media and Advancement
  • Mentor/Mentee Tables
  • Open Seating