2019 Midwest Regional Forum Schedule Details

Time                Activity
8:30 – 9:00 AM                                  Breakfast
9:00 – 9:10 AM Welcome & Breakfast Sponsor
9:10 – 10:10 AM Keynote Presentation
Eli Finkel
10:10 – 10:25 AM Break
10:25 – 11:15 AM Collaborating Around Endowment Reports: The Marriage of Finance, Fund Administration, and Stewardship
David Golden, Brian Hettiger, and Noel Miranda | University of Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
11:15 – 11:40 AM Volunteer/Board Member Fireside Chat 1                                                                                                                                  Wendy Joanna Riester and Shelley Patenaude | Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
11:40 AM – 12:55 PM                            Lunch & Networking
12:55 – 1:45 PM Cultivating and Stewarding a Multi-Generational Family
Megan Farris and Ruth Meberg Stine | Rush University Medical Center
1:45 – 2:00 PM Break
2:00 – 2:50 PM Small but Mighty!: Utilizing Donor-Hosted Events to Expand the Donor Pipeline and Further Cultivate and Steward Principal Donors
Kristin Locketz and Melissa Palank | University of St. Thomas
2:50 – 3:15 PM Volunteer/Board Member Fireside Chat 2
Wendy McGuigan and Nancy Searle | John G. Shedd Aquarium
3:15 – 3:30 PM Break
3:30 – 4:20 PM Besties: An Exploration of the Essential Relationship Between Gift Officers and Donor Relations
Panel moderated by Kendria Perry-Madden | Northwestern University
4:20 – 4:30 PM Closing Remarks
5:15 PM Networking Reception

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Cultivating Individuals/Stewarding a Multi-Generational Family

With a family tree that requires multiple legal-sized print outs, the “Jonas” family is a well-known pillar of the Chicago philanthropic community. In just under three years, Rush hosted 70+ family members for their annual business meeting, successfully solicited individuals for support across multiple areas of the hospital, and continued a decade-long planned gift discussion with the family patriarch. Throughout, the Program Development team at Rush supported c-suite-held relationships by building unique print pieces, mementos, leadership briefings, and support materials for a series of family conversations, and eventually, a piece specifically crafted for the family members to share with each other.

About the Speakers:

Megan Farris 

Megan Farris has been at Rush University Medical Center for seven years where she serves as the Associate Director of Program Development on the Trustee and Principal Giving team. In this role, she collaborates with colleagues to create and execute personalized stewardship and cultivation plans for trustees and principal giving donors and prospects. Previously, she was a member of the alumni relations team for four years where she managed alumni events, communications, and board relations. She earned her BA degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Ruth Meberg Stine

Ruth Meberg Stine is the Director of Program Development for the Trustee and Principal Giving the team at Rush University Medical Center Driving institution-wide goals through gifts at the $1 million level and above. She joined the philanthropy team at Rush in 2017 and has previously served in front-line roles at the University of Chicago, Steppenwolf Theater, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. Before moving to Chicago in 2008 to start her fundraising career, Ruth received her MBA and MA in Arts Administration from the University of Cincinnati and her BA in Music from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Small but Mighty!: Utilizing donor hosted events to expand the donor pipeline and further cultivate and stewards principal donors.

As donor relations professionals we spend great amounts of time and expense planning events, only to wonder if it was worth it. The other constant challenge is the need to expand our donor pipeline and engage new prospects with our organization. Events are an important part of the work we do, but through our experience, we are finding the more successful events are small and intimate in nature and often hosted by a principal donor. We will discuss how we have used these small, donor-hosted events to cultivate a principal donor, engaging them with our organization in a more personal and meaningful way. We will share best practices in developing a strategy and communication for the event and keeping all parties including the host, organizational leadership, and program participants aligned in the process. Finally, we will share results we have learned from our experiences and discuss how to keep the momentum going even after the last guest leaves.

About the Speakers:

Kristin Locketz

Kristin Locketz is Associate Director of Donor Relations at the University of St. Thomas focused on principal and leadership gift stewardship. In her role, Kristin actively partners with senior fundraising leadership at the University of St. Thomas to integrate stewardship practices and drive cultivation for our highest-level donors. She also brings experience from the medical field having worked for Mayo Foundation in a similar stewardship role. She has extensive marketing and sales experience in the for-profit sector. Leveraging her unique background in sales, marketing, and stewardship, Kristin takes a creative approach when stewarding and cultivating high-level donors. Kristin received her undergraduate degree in marketing from the University of  Wisconsin-Madison and her master’s degree in education from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.

Melissa Palank

Melissa Palank is Associate Director of Alumni Events and Operations at the University of St. Thomas focused on principal events and national alumni engagement. With over 18 years of event management experience in the corporate, nonprofit, government, and educational sectors, she brings a wealth of experience in volunteer management and event planning. Melissa utilizes her diverse background to excel at leading strategic programs that deliver value and create meaningful connections. Melissa is graduating with an MBA this spring with a focus on strategic risk and responsibility from the University of St. Thomas, where she also received two undergraduate degrees. Together, Melissa and Kristin have planned a number of highly successful and creative events together and have skills and tool sets that complement each other.

Fireside Chats

Our relationships with our volunteers and board members are essential to the health and success of our organizations. They are often our biggest cheerleaders and most devoted supporters. We’ve asked two board members from two prominent Chicago institutions, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and the Shedd Aquarium, to share how they like to work with staff, what kind of stewardship means the most to them, what makes their job as volunteers easier, and what inspires them to give back their time, energy, and expertise. Now is your chance to ask them your burning questions!

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital | 11:15 – 11:40 AM

Shelley Patenaude
Portrait by James Gustin for Fig Media

Shelley Patenaude has been a member of the Founders’ Board of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago since 2010. She assumed the role as President of the Board on July 1, 2018. Prior to that, Shelley has held the position of Vice President of Stewardship, served on the Executive Committee and co-chaired the board’s signature fundraising event, the Pro Amateur Golf Championship in both 2012 and 2013. She also serves on Lurie Children’s Medical Center and Foundation Boards of Directors. Shelley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University. Most recently, she has been involved with the boards of both Bernie’s Book Bank and her local church. Shelley presently resides in the city of Chicago and has three grown children.

Joanna Riester

Joanna Riester began her career working as a writer and project manager at a small creative firm and quickly moved into non-profit fundraising, taking a position at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2007. During her time at Northwestern University, she worked in Donor Relations, was instrumental in launching the school’s online giving pages and social community and lead the medical school’s annual giving program. In 2015, she returned to Donor Relations as Director, Donor Relations at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She was promoted to Assistant Vice President, Community and Donor Engagement in 2018. Joanna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePaul University and her Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago with her husband. 

Shedd Aquarium | 2:50 – 3:15 PM

Wendy McGuigan

Wendy McGuigan is Director of Special Events at John G. Shedd Aquarium. In this role, she oversees an ambitious fundraising program that engages key Trustees, auxiliary board members, and volunteers in designing and executing Shedd’s annual gala and the young professional BLU event. Beyond this, Wendy’s team partners with frontline gift officers and Membership colleagues to curate meaningful experiences that connect diverse audiences with Shedd’s mission. Previously, Wendy worked in special events at Francis W. Parker School, and in women’s board management for the Chicago History Museum. Wendy holds a BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nancy Searle

Nancy Searle served as the Lead Searle Family Consultant to the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust from 2003-2010. The Searle Funds focus their efforts on biomedical research, education, community renewal, and conservation. Projects funded by the Searle Funds reflect the intent of the donor, John G. Searle and the values of the Family.  During her tenure the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust supported the design and development of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium, the Searle Life Sciences Fund at Northwestern University, the Frances Searle Health Center at Northwestern University, the John G. Searle Chemistry Building at the University of Chicago, business development at CARA and Windy City Harvest.

Out of all the projects that the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust funded under Nancy’s tenure as lead consultant, New Schools for Chicago (now Kids First Chicago) is one of her most important legacies. Ms. Searle started the Renaissance Schools Fund with funds from the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust and, with the assistance of many other dedicated individuals, helped turn a $2.5 million donation into $70 million to launch more than 70 new schools. Since 2005, Kids First Chicago has launched many successful charter schools focused on rigorous educational outcomes for students.

A recent Stanford Research Report indicates the success of the charter schools in the city has helped lift all schools in Chicago, which is now the most improved urban school system in the United States. Nancy serves as the Vice Chair of the Kids First Chicago Board. Nancy is also a Trustee of the Shedd Aquarium, where she chairs the Animal Collection Committee, and serves on the Executive Committee. She is a member of the Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the President of the Women’s Board of Lyric Opera of Chicago. Nancy has chaired Lyric’s Wine Auction three times and most recently raised $2.2 million net. Nancy loves to swim and usually manages a mile a day. She has three grown children and lives in Winnetka, Illinois.

 Besties: An Exploration of the Essential Relationship Between Gift Officers and Donor Relations

Gift officers are often our eyes and ears, seeing first-hand donors’ reactions to our stewardship, recognition, and engagement efforts. We’ve brought together a panel of fundraisers from four Midwestern institutions to tell us:

  1. What do donor relations and stewardship mean to them and their donors
  2. How they personally steward their donors
  3. How they partner with their donor relations colleagues
  4. Opportunities they see for future collaboration.
About the Speakers:

Lisa_BakkerLisa Bakker

Lisa Bakker is Director of Planned Giving at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation. In the twenty years that Lisa has worked in development, she has also held positions in major and individual giving at non-profit organizations including the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Lisa has served on the Board of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving since 2016.


Rachel_GreenhoeRachel Greenhoe 

Rachel Greenhoe has been with The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International for 9 years, having previously worked as an Annual Giving Officer and in her current role of Major Gifts Officer since 2014. She has 15 years of experience in fundraising, having previously worked with Music Theater Works in Evanston, Illinois, Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming, and the Bloomington Area Arts Council in Bloomington, Indiana. Rachel received a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Indiana University and has held the accreditation of Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 2014.

Alan Paberzs

Alan Paberzs is the Executive Director of Development for DePaul University's College of Law. In this role, Alan oversees the day-to-day and strategic fundraising operations for the College of Law and works closely with the Dean and the Office of Advancement to design and implement strategies to deepen relationships with major, planned, and principal gift prospects. Prior to this role, Alan was a Senior Associate Director of Development for Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Recently, Alan served as a panelist (“Stewardship is Everyone's Job”) at the 2019 American Association of Law Schools – Institutional Advancement conference. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Kendria Perry-Madden (Moderator) 

Kendria Perry-Madden is a Regional Major Gifts Officer at Northwestern University. She began her educational fundraising career in 2011 by assisting the directors of development for the University’s library and art museum. In 2013, she was promoted to Assistant Director of Donor Relations before transitioning to frontline fundraising in 2016. Previously, Kendria worked in corporate and partnership support for the Pittsburgh Symphony, and for five years served as Executive Director of the Illinois Council of Orchestras. She holds an undergraduate degree in piano from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a master’s degree in arts management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Ross Williams 

Ross Williams is an Assistant Director of Advancement for The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. In his role, he represents three departments within the college, focusing on securing major gifts with key alumni and stakeholders. He has been with The Grainger College of Engineering for more than three years and has been in higher education fundraising for five years. Prior to his current role, Williams worked in annual giving at Millikin University. He received his bachelor's degree from Bradley University and his master's degree from the University of Denver.

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