Get to Know the Conference Keynotes
Please join us in welcoming our three ADRP International Conference Keynote Presenters

Meet us in St. Louis October 3–5, 2018 at ADRP’s 15th Annual International Conference, where we welcome donor relations and stewardship professionals from around the world to learn, network, and share with each other their extensive knowledge and expertise within the donor relations industry.

We are excited to announce the conference’s three keynote speakers:

Penelope Burk

Penelope Burk is a donor relations researcher and expert. Burk serves as president of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., which conducts cutting-edge research in the donor relations field and produces the industry-acclaimed Cygnus Donor Survey. She has authored two books and more than sixty seminars and training programs for donor relations professionals.

Keynote Session: Being Donor-Centered in Changing Times: How to Use Donor Trends and Changing Technologies to Make a Profit

Read Penelope's Q&A with ADRP

Reverend Starsky Wilson

Reverend Starsky D. Wilson is a pastor, philanthropist, and activist in St. Louis. Reverend Wilson is the president and CEO of the Deaconness Foundation, a faith-based organization devoted to making child well-being a civic priority in the St. Louis region. He currently serves as the pastor of Saint John’s Church and was appointed co-chair of the Ferguson Commission in 2014. Reverend Wilson is also chair of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

Keynote Session: Forward through Ferguson: Philanthropy and the Fight for Racial Equity

Read Starsky's Q&A with ADRP


Emiliana Simon-Thomas

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, is the Science Director at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. With her background in neuroscience and social psychology, she oversees the student fellowship program and runs key research initiatives like Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude. She also co-teaches the BerkeleyX MOOC GG101x: The Science of Happiness, which has enrolled over 500,000 people from all over the world, alongside the forthcoming Science of Happiness at Work Professional Certificate Series. She serves as an expert voice on the biological underpinnings of social connection, as well as empirically-supported approaches to improving interpersonal dynamics—like practicing mindfulness and boosting empathy, compassion, gratitude, and generosity. Alongside her academic and popular writing, Emiliana recently co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science, a transdisciplinary compendium of articles from world-class researchers. Overall, Emiliana conducts, shares, and applies science that connects well-being to social connection, caregiving, and collaboration for individuals, between people, within organizations and communities, and society-wide.

 Keynote Session: A Scientific Perspective: The Origins, Promise, and Practice of Gratitude

Read Emiliana's Q&A with ADRP