Breakfast Roundtables

Breakfast Roundtables

Breakfast Roundtables for Last Year’s Conference

Thursday, March 16, 2018

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


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

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

Event Metrics of the Year: 2017

Join this roundtable to discuss real, actual data on event attendance – the good, bad, and ugly. Bring your real metrics, both hits and misses, high and low, from 2017 events to share, along with lessons learned, if applicable, from pilots and pipe dreams gone awry. The table leader promises full transparency on event and marketing strategies deployed in the past year and some useful takeaways on thinking creatively about event metrics.


Joe McGonegal, Director of Alumni Education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Melissa Schipke, Founder and CEO, Tassl
Melissa Schipke is the CEO and Founder of Tassl, a software solution built specifically for constituent engagement that focuses on centralizing and streamlining the current processes and systems for alumni relations professionals to empower them with data. Melissa started Tassel more than three years ago after spending several years in the private sector in analytics roles for a fortune 200 company. After identifying large gaps in engagement data and tools to support it for higher education, she set off with a team to help address it. Melissa and her company are headquartered in Philadelphia, PA and work with innovative institutions across the U.S. to build sustainable engagement models and strategies.

Glad to Go Grad? Weighing the Value of Graduate Degrees in the Field of Advancement

While our professional field champions higher education as a worthwhile investment to donors, does this translate into valuing graduate degrees in hiring practices and career progression within Advancement? In this table session, we discuss the pros and cons of pursuing a graduate degree (or degrees), some of the potential factors to consider in making this decision, and ways that our institutions can help encourage more professionals to pursue graduate education.


Kevin Fleming, Ph.D., Director of Alumni Relations, Emerson College
The session is led by Kevin Fleming, who holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from UMass Amherst and a Master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University.

Guidebook Explained: Get the Most Out of the Conference Mobile App

Tips for using the mobile conference app to maximize the conference experience.


Elyssa Kelly, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, University of Connecticut Foundation
Elyssa Kelly is the Director of Alumni Relations, Pharmacy and Social Work at the UConn Foundation. In this role, she leads the alumni engagement efforts in the Schools of Pharmacy on the Storrs Campus and Social Work on the Hartford Campus. Prior to working at the UConn Foundation, Elyssa was a Senior Account Director at Hager Sharp, a public relations firm in Washington, D.C. that solely focuses on communications for the common good. There she oversaw the digital media projects for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) run by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Department of Education. She got her foray into education policy and programs at Achieving the Dream, a national higher education nonprofit focused on community college student success. Elyssa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UConn and Master of Public Administration from American University.

Angela Coulombe, Director of Communications for Institutional Advancement, University of New England
Angela Coulombe is the Director of Communications for Institutional Advancement at the University of New England. In her role, she fosters and promotes Institutional Advancement’s mission of engaging alumni, friends, students, parents and colleagues in the vision, plans, goals and accomplishments of the University. Angela holds a BA in Art and Design from Nottingham University, England. She participated in the ERASMUS Program (a European Union (EU) student exchange program) from 1995-1996 studying in the department of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona, Spain, and holds a BTEC in Art and Design from Brighton College, England.

How Tufts Organizes its #GivingTuesday Campaign

How do you coordinate a Giving Day campaign to get maximum reach with your supporters? Representatives from Tufts and #GivingTuesday will discuss how Tufts has successfully leveraged campus leaders and system-wide technology and creativity to host #GivingTuesday campaigns. Hear how the campaign team has expanded on their success year over year and review the robust communications planning that occurs to support the large scale campaign. Discussion will also include advice and lessons learned.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Organize a GT Campaign Team
  • Get started with GT campus-wide campaign planning
  • Consider GT campaign goal setting


Julia Motl Lowe, Director of Annual Giving Strategy, Tufts University
Julia is the Director of Annual Giving Strategy at Tufts University, where she works with colleagues from across the Advancement Division to develop innovative strategies that enable the annual fund teams to be both more efficient and creative with their resources. Specifically, she provides strategic and tactical support to the school-based annual fund directors and their staff, analyzes the results of each fund’s direct marketing efforts, researches and disseminates best practices, manages presidential annual fund solicitations, and provides management oversight for the centralized Tufts Telefund program.

Julia has also served as the director of prospect management and annual giving strategy for Tufts, where she managed a team developing internal strategies for moving donors through the entire development pipeline from annual fund to the completion of a major gift. Prior to that, she spent seven years in the annual fund at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the last five years as annual fund director. There, she had a track record of double digit annual growth and securing five-figure annual fund leadership gifts. She has an integrated understanding of major gift fundraising as it relates to annual fund support and recognizes the importance of working with donors, volunteers, and colleagues to ensure collaboration and overall success.

Heather Fields, Higher Ed Outreach, #GivingTuesday
Heather is marketing specialist who leads higher ed campaign outreach for GivingTuesday. She publishes free campaign planning resources and profiles campaign case studies for higher ed campaign leaders who subscribe to the GivingTuesday email newsletter and blog. She has 20+ years of marketing experience including as campaign leader for Baltimore’s GivingTuesday campaign in 2013 which raised $5.7M.

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%.

Managing Alumni Volunteer Boards

We’ll talk about the importance of alumni leadership recruitment and orientation, setting reasonable and mutually agreed upon expectations, and exit strategies for alums who simply may not embrace their roles, no matter how hard you’ve tried to keep them engaged and on task.


Michael Stenko, Director of Alumni Affairs, Eastern Connecticut State University
Michael Stenko has 30 years of experience providing management and direction to volunteer leadership boards, developed over a 15-year career as a senior level manager with the American Red Cross, and again in his second career in alumni relations. He has board management responsibilities in his current role as director of alumni affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University, as well as with the UConn Alumni Association, where he served as managing director. He is a member of the CASE District 1 Board, chairs the CASE CT Regional Programs Committee, and has been a past member of the District 1 Conference Committee.

Principal Gifts Philanthropy: It’s all about the relationship!

Whether you are thinking about starting a Principal Gifts program, or currently have a program that needs re-examination or rejuvenating, and regardless of the number of zeros that define a principal gift at your institution, the premise is the same- it’s all about the relationship with the donor! Develop an awareness of the key elements of an institution-wide culture committed to a principal gifts program that leads to transformational philanthropy. Consider the resources and people you can assemble throughout your institution to work towards a successful program.


Abbie von Schlegell, Principal, a. von schlegell & co
Abbie has been in development for over 40 years as a consultant nationally and as a senior development officer with 4 nonprofits. She has special expertise in women’s philanthropy and edited Women as Donors, Women as Philanthropists, published in 1993. At Stanford University she was Director of Major Gifts for Silicon Valley. At the University of Chicago, she directed major gifts in metropolitan Chicago. Abbie also was Chief Development Officer for Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C

SEO Do’s & Don’ts and Best Practices

We will review Best Practices for: Page Content, Content Ideas, Content Creation, Linking/Dissemination, Social Media. and Code & Image Optimization.


Andrea Gabrielle, Founder & President, Neptune Web
A seasoned management consulting veteran with a track record of entrepreneurial achievement, Andrea supplies the connective strategic vision for each and every Neptune Web engagement. His holistic perspective and comprehensive management ability assures our clients of consistently high levels of performance, service and satisfaction from both our inhouse team and project partners.

Prior to founding Neptune Web in 2000, Andrea served in a wide range of managerial and consulting functions for global and start-up enterprises — including operations, sales and marketing — across diverse international contexts in Europe, Latin America, Japan and the U.S.

Carl Tortola, Director of Interactive Production, Neptune Web
Carl provides expert Digital Marketing consultation with over 10 years experience leading the effort at Neptune Web. Carl oversees the integration of all Digital Marketing Programs from inception thru an interactive project’s IA, design, development, system integration processes and to final launch.

Beth Cahill, Director of Alumni and Development, Renbrook School
Beth brings nearly 30 years of fundraising experience in education to her work as a CAO. With experience in higher education and secondary schools, and now currently at an independent school, she is atuned to the common threads, emerging trends and opportunities that propels development work today.

Beth is a graduate of Fairfield Univeristy (B.A.) and Southern New Hampshire University (M.B.A.), and is the Chair-Elect for CASE District I.

Take an Alum to Lunch Day

“Take An Alum to Lunch Day” was created as a way to encourage Harvard Business School alumni around the world to use some new features on our alumni website to find an alumnus/a who lives or works near them and go out to lunch together for a little global networking fun. In the year prior to the first TAATL Day in 2016, we had introduced two networking tools: a mapping tool to help alumni find others who work or live near them, and an Alumni Messaging email service that lets alumni communicate securely and easily. The concept behind the event was to get alumni to use the mapping feature to find an alumni in their community, send that person an email invitation to lunch (or coffee, etc.), and then, on the given day, snap a selfie and share a message about their meeting on one of our social media streams using #HBSalumlunch. We promoted the event through ads in our alumni magazine and enewsletter. We also produced a simple video of our Alumni Board president inviting alumni to participate. And we built interest on social media by launching a lively conversation among alumni around the topic “Who from business history would you most want to have lunch with?” The entire campaign generated over 1,000 clicks, likes, shares, and messages on social media, and more than 60 alumni shared selfies from around the world. (We also offered $25 gift cards for the “best” 10 selfies. ) No staff time was needed as the lunches were DIY. Total cost of the event was under $3000, for the video and ad production and the gift cards.

We repeated the event in 2017, with about the same results. One new development: one of our deans hosted a networking lunch on campus for alumni who work for the school, which drew more than 40 attendees. The cost was under $500 because we reused the original ad and skipped the video and the gift cards.”


Bill Weber, Director of Alumni Communicatiosn, Harvard Business School
Bill Weber is Director of Alumni Communications for Harvard Business School, responsible for all broad-based communications (magazine, website, enewsletters, social media, multimedia work, special publications) and marketing of alumni programs and events for the school’s 80,000+ global alumni. In his eight years at HBS , his award-winning team has earned a Webby, Hatch Award, W3, and numerous CASE awards. Prior to HBS, his career has spanned print journalism, online news, custom publishing, and nonprofit communications and marketing.

The Challenges of Community College Alumni Engagement

We would like to discuss the challenges of engaging community college alumni, many of whom have not heard from us in years, or who have moved on to receive advanced degrees at other institutions. How can we re-engage these alumni, and find ways to inspire them to give to our institution?


Lindsay Graham, Director of Scholarships, Alumni & Community Relations, Northern Essex Community College
Lindsay Graham is the Director of Scholarships, Alumni and Community Relations for Northern Essex Community College (NECC). Lindsay has worked for Northern Essex for the last 11 years, in the Office of Institutional Advancement. Throughout her career, Lindsay has provided current students with scholarship opportunities, and worked to create connections between the college, its alumni and current students. Lindsay enjoys working with students while they earn their degree at NECC, and staying connected as they navigate life after college.

The Power of Positioning 

What makes your school unique and marketable? Motivating prospective students, families and donors to attend and support your school means having a clear, concise positioning to serve as the “lens” through which all communications are filtered. During this session, a strategic marketing/branding specialist and a seasoned enrollment director will describe the key differences between your mission statement, your positioning and the messages in your marketing materials; discuss why positioning matters; and walk you step by step through a process that helps you identify your school’s unique selling points that form the underpinning of your positioning. Specific case studies about developing a positioning will be discussed. You’ll walk away from this pragmatic, hands-on session with an overall approach and specific take-aways (including templates) you can use to begin developing the positioning you need–or evaluate the positioning you already have.


John Visgilio, Principal and Co-Founder Overabove
John didn’t come from the ivory tower of the traditional agency world. He came from news, where he uncovered compelling stories that broke through. So he thinks differently about just about everything: strategy, collaboration, results, you name it. That’s why he created a different kind of agency. One that uses traditional and new media in ways other agencies don’t understand.

Todd Jokl, Campus Dean, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
Todd Jokl is the Campus Dean of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven. Prior to his appointment at Lyme, he was an Associate Professor of Art and Design as well as Chairperson of the Department of Art and Design at the University of New Haven.

He earned his BA from Yale University, majoring in Archaeological Studies and studying Photography. Mr. Jokl also worked in advertising and marketing in San Francisco on brands such as Sprint Telecommunications, Dell Computers, and Sun Microsystems. During this period of time, Mr. Jokl continued producing his own photographic artwork that focused on large format industrial landscapes. Through his work in creative industries during early 2000’s, Mr. Jokl became acutely aware of technology and its impact on our lives. Mr. Jokl returned to Connecticut to work towards his MFA at the University of Connecticut where he graduated with a concentration in New Media and Photographic Studies. He has exhibited his work nationally and lectured on topics of the evolution of perception and time in relation to arts and photography.

Mr. Jokl began teaching at the University of New Haven in 2003 and was a tenured, Associate Professor of Art and Design. At the University, he served in roles of Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and as Chairman of the Department of Art and Design before being named to his current position as Campus Dean at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

The Road to Success: Bringing Your Campaign Message to Alumni and Friends Through Regional Events

In support of the public phase of MIT’s Campaign for a Better World, events were held in 12 cities around the globe. Learn how our collaborative process engaged colleagues throughout MIT and energized the global MIT community to set new attendance records and amplify the core messages of the campaign.


Katie Alwart, Campaign Strategist & Gift Officer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jamie Brogioli, Director, Alumni & Friends Engagement, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

To What End: Moving Brand Position with Your Magazine

Do people outside of your alumni body read your magazine? Does your institution’s editor align the editorial and art direction of the magazine with the school’s strategic communications and brand position? Join Briee Della Rocca, contract editor of the Bennington magazine and Duncan Dobbelmann, Chief Communications Officer, to learn how Bennington has begun to develop a brand magazine that has fed the College’s content marketing and influencer strategies and has helped to powerfully reposition the College by developing editorial themes, stories, and bylines that appeal to affiliated and unaffiliated audiences. They will help you rethink your approaches to magazine storytelling, distribution plans, budgeting, content form, as well as the most telling ROI and brand measures.


Briee Della Rocca, Editor & Creative Director, Twenty Six Vision llc
Briee Della Rocca is a branding and publishing consultant and editor /creative director of Bennington. She has developed breakthrough content, integrated marketing and influencer campaigns that advanced Bennington’s national reputation with leaps in US News recognized by The Washington Post in 2014. In 2013 she led a top-to-bottom redesign of the magazine, which has attracted renowned contributors, seeded strategic stories, moved brand position, and informs all institutional storytelling.

Duncan Dobblemann, Chief Communications Officer, Bennington College
In this role, he leads all of Bennington’s communications and branding. Prior to Bennington, he was director of the Learning Center at Brooklyn College and has taught literature at Brooklyn College, Baruch College, and New York University. He has a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center and has published translations in journals such as Boston Review, Grand Street, Harper’s, and Provincetown Arts; fiction in Conjunctions; and a chapbook of prose poems called Tronie (Harry Tankoos Books). He has published an article on the poet George Oppen in Paideuma and co-authored (with Isabel Roche) an essay on the Bennington College curriculum for The College Curriculum (Peter Lang).

Virtual Networking

One of the best ways to remain relevant to alumni is by offering alumni career services and most importantly offering them professional networking opportunities. Join this roundtable to learn about effective tools and platforms that enable virtual networking events as well as strategic virtual events that engage large numbers of alumni as well as alumni experts who want to give back.


Yanick Dahan, Alumni Officer, External Partnerships, Concordia University
Yanick Dahan is an Alumni Relations professional with 18 years of experience at Concordia University. In her position, she manages the University’s affinity partnerships, the alumni benefits and services and the Alumni Career Services program. She is known for her energy, enthusiasm and passion towards higher education and always strives to make a positive impact on the lives of those she works with. Her most recent accomplishment is the launch of the Alumni Career Services program for 170,000 alumni globally which includes an alumni e-mentorship program, an exclusive careers website, webinars, conferences, workshops and in-person and virtual networking events.

Who to Meet: Key Campus People to Know for Advancement Professionals


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

Let’s Talk Sessions:

  • Let’s Talk: Advancement Services
  • 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
  • Mentor/Mentee Tables
  • Open Seating

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