Building a Strong Team at Small and Mid-Level Institutions

Sunday, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Challenged to build a high performing but small advancement team?  This session will illustrate how to find and grow top performers who are flexible, multi-dimensional, productive advancement professionals.  With limited resources and a long list of tasks, find out how to recruit, train, and retain the very best in a small institution.


Theresa M. Law, JD, CFRE, Vice President, Advancement, New Mexico Highlands University


Open Forum: Best Practices

Sunday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.


Michael McCreavy, Vice President for Insitutional Advancement, Otterbein University

Michele R. Davis, Executive Director of Grant Development and Sponsored Programs, Davenport University


Smooth Sailing or Stormy Seas Ahead: Navigating the Career Waters with a New President

Monday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

When a new president is appointed, change is the norm for the institution and your advancement team. In the midst of leading the institutional change, how can you as an advancement executive personally chart a course during this transition time? This panel of advancement leaders with experience at liberal arts, academic medical, public and private institutions will share their insights on how to survive and thrive. Each has firsthand experience working at a university when a new president was appointed; each arrived safely on dry career land as campus leaders. This session will focus on what advancement division heads need to keep in mind to adjust to new president and the accompanying new demands and opportunities. Expect honest, frank insights and advice. What worked? What would they do differently? How can this apply to your situation?


Sue Frost, Assistant Vice President of Development, Health Sciences, The Ohio State University

Kate Worster, Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communication, Kalamazoo College

Patty Hill Callahan, Vice President of Medical & Health Sciences Advancement, The Ohio State University


Breaking Down Silos

Monday, 10:30 – 11:30 am


Richard J. Day, Assistant Vice President for Development, John Carroll University

Kolt Codner, Executive Director of Advancement and Sponsored Programs, Community College of Beaver County

Michele R. Davis, Executive Director of Grant Development and Sponsored Programs, Davenport University


Preparing for the crisis

Monday, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

This session will address why a strong crisis communications plan is a fundamental, but often overlooked, insurance policy for advancement leaders. It will relate how crisis communications management is critical to the work of the President’s office, Development, Admissions, Student Affairs, and the rest of the institution. It will cover how a crisis communications plan can work in tandem with a crisis management plan, how to identify and work with key campus partners during a crisis or emerging crisis, crisis communications best practices, and offer for tips for communicating in the midst of a crisis.


Andrew Brown, Vice President for Advancement, Macalester College

Jennifer Hellman, Chief Operating Officer, Principal, Goff Public


Developing a High-Performing Board

Monday, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

It all begins with the board.  At the core of any successful institution or the various colleges and units of which it is made, is its board of directors.  To build and maintain an ideal board takes time, strategy, and effort.  The optimal board members have wisdom, connections, wealth, and a willingness to share all three.  How do you find, recruit, and engage such individuals? Dr. Marcia Sloan Latta and Charlie Shepard will share a board recruitment matrix, a trustee  participation report, board member self-evaluation draft, and offer proven recruitment and engagement strategies you can use for your board. 

Dr. Latta has unique insights into effective board governance, as she chairs /  has served on three different board governance committees, has staffed the governance committees at three higher education institutions, and has done scholarly research on this topic.

Charlie Shepard served as vice president for institutional advancement at Asbury University, providing leadership for their largest ever campaign, before joining a consulting group to work with clients in the education and non-profit sectors.  In this sphere, much of his time is spent working with board members, which informs his excellent insight into what does and doesn't "work" in moving a board, and ultimately an institution forward.


Marcia Sloan Latta Ed.D., Vice President for University Advancement, University of Findlay

Charlie Shepard, Senior Consultant, Gonser Gerber


Strategic Planning – Building a shared roadmap for results

Tuesday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Do the words “strategic planning” make you think of that plan on the shelf, created with much enthusiasm but then unused?  Whether to refresh or to revive, do you wonder how to create an effective plan while navigating the balance between your leadership and the involvement of your governing body?  If so, then this session is for you!

The Ohio State Alumni Association’s staff and Alumni Board of Directors beat the odds, and in 2017 debuted a strategic plan that is unique, inclusive, actionable AND directive to both the governance and management arms of the organization.

This session, geared to senior professionals and those who work directly with leadership volunteers, will provide a window into a yearlong strategic planning process that included significant Board member, alumni community, and staff engagement.

Presented jointly by Association leaders who facilitated the planning – a member of the Board of Directors, the Chief Operating Officer, and board liaison – learn about the process undertaken to create a plan that was embraced by all and the initial year of its implementation. The presenters will share specific techniques and tools to create a powerful plan. 


Kimberly Gray, Senior Director, Special Projects, The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Dr. Catherine Baumgardner, Treasurer, Ohio State University Alumni Board of Directors, The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Dr. Justin Fincher, Senior Associate Vice President, Advancement and Chief Operating Officer, Alumni Association, The Ohio State University Alumni Association