Staff
Michael Kenyon
President & CEO
Michael Kenyon
President & CEO
Planned Giving Group of Indiana

As president and CEO of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, Michael strives to create an environment where CGP’s 8,000 members can come together to educate, learn, network and advocate for the distinguished profession of charitable gift planning. Working closely with the CGP board, Michael helps develop and champion the organization’s strategic vision, ensuring that CGP’s budget, staff and priorities are aligned with its mission to serve charitable gift planners and bring to life the art and science of charitable gift planning. It’s Michael’s job to navigate change, foster innovation and bring people together to build a healthy and successful organization.

Before joining CGP, Michael served as the executive director of the Percussive Arts Society. For 11 years, he led this international music service organization that serves 7,500+ members, 50 U.S. chapters and 28 international chapters. Among many successful initiatives, he led the organization through development of a new facility for the Rhythm! Discovery Center, a museum and educational space that USA Today named one of the top places in the United States for hands-on music making.

Michael holds B.M. and M.M. degrees from Arizona State University and began his professional life as a musician before transitioning into arts and nonprofit administration. He has worked with St. Martin’s Hospitality Center for the homeless, Celebrate Youth and the New Mexico Jazz Workshop.

Michael currently serves as vice-president for the Charitable IRA Initiative, is a member of the board of directors for the Percussive Arts Society and serves on the steering committee for Music Crossroads, a strategic initiative focused on advancing quality of life in Indianapolis through the performing arts.

 

Title of Presentation: Advocating for the Future of Gift Planning

General Topic: Advocacy

 

Title of Presentation: CGP - Your New Association

General Topic: Membership Benefits to CGP

Barbara Yeager
Director of Education
Barbara Yeager
Director of Education

A 25-year veteran of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, Barbara takes on several leadership roles. Through CGP’s Leadership Institute, she helps members advance the art and science of philanthropy, working side by side with volunteers to shape standards and best practices for the gift planning community.

Barbara manages education and networking programs for the annual CGP Conference, and is an active force in CGP’s metrics and counting task forces.

Known for her research skills, Barbara continues to advance her credentials in the gift planning field. In 2015, she earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy credential from The American College, and she works with the college to provide CAP curriculum resources and programs that foster collaboration between nonprofit and for-profit advisors.

Before joining the CGP staff, Barbara worked as a public librarian and as a technical writer and systems analyst. She is a member of the board of CGP Indiana Chapter and the planned giving advisory committee of the Carter Center.

Barbara earned a master’s degree in library and information science from Kent State University, where she also earned a bachelor’s degree in English, summa cum laude, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. In her community, she is a Girl Scout volunteer and a costumer for community theater groups.

Richard Ritter
Director of Membership
Richard Ritter
Director of Membership

As Director of Membership, Richard will provide strategic and operational management of membership development, recruitment and retention. Responsibilities include creating meaningful experiences for CGP members and supporting strong relationships with the national network of CGP affiliated councils.

Richard joins CGP from Teach For America (TFA). TFA is a diverse network of leaders who confront educational inequity through teaching and work with unwavering commitment from every sector of society to create a nation free from this injustice. For two years, Richard served as the Director, Incoming Corps Members where he crafted yearly vision and strategic direction for the Indianapolis regional team. Mr. Ritter also served as Manager of School Partnerships for TFA.

Richard holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Marian University and attended Wabash College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and played tennis. Richard is a native of New Palestine, Indiana.

Alaina Leverenz
Marketing & Communications Manager
Alaina Leverenz
Marketing & Communications Manager

As Marketing and Communications Manager, Alaina directs and shapes all external member and non-member communications. She develops national marketing strategies that encourage brand recognition and adoption across multiple channels, including social media campaigns, email marketing, creation of media assets, marketing copy and channel strategy for the annual CGP Conference. She creates consistent messaging and tone through all communications of the CGP national brand to members, prospective members and stakeholders. She designs any necessary collateral including membership brochures, flyers and ads of both print and digital. Alaina also manages the new National website, including content updates, and integration on the Drupal CMS.

Alaina demonstrates a passion for nonprofit work. She serves with nonprofits such as the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Taskforce (IPATH), Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault (ICESA) and PHACE Syndrome Community. She also advises finance and philanthropy for collegiate Alpha Chi Omega sorority chapters at Butler University and Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis. 

Alaina holds an M.A. in applied communication with an emphasis on interpersonal health communication from Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis. Her undergraduate degrees are in graphic design and communication from William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. She’s proud to be a part of a caring and energetic team that’s making a difference in the planned giving world.

Gloria Kermeen
Meetings Manager
Gloria Kermeen
Meetings Manager

As the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners’ Meetings Manager, Gloria works independently and collaboratively to plan and implement well-run programs and events that create meaningful member experiences. Since 1997, she has played a central role in coordinating all logistics for off-site meetings, including the National Conference. Gloria handles site selection, contract negotiation and event execution. In addition, she manages the registration process for all meetings and coordinates all aspects of CGP’s sponsor and exhibitor programs.

Gloria served as Director of Administration for the American Council on Gift Annuities from 1998 to 2010. She holds a B.A. in Tourism, Conventions and Event Management from Indiana University.

When she’s not at work, Gloria enjoys music. She and her husband of 40 years share a passion for rock with their three grown children. 

Carey Wilson
Membership Data Manager
Carey Wilson
Membership Data Manager

With 14 years of tenure at the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, Carey has mastered the art of providing a helping hand to CGP members and potential members across the United States. Carey also assists CGP’s affiliated local councils with frontline services and reporting. It’s her job to ensure positive member experiences.

Members appreciate Carey’s quick responses to questions and concerns, and her focus on building strong relationships. She plays an important role in developing and implementing membership policies and procedures, and assists with preparing for important member events, including board and leadership meetings and the annual CGP Conference. 

Carey, who received a B.A. in English at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, says she’s proud to have spent most of her career serving the CGP membership.

Donna Ward
Administrative Support Specialist
Donna Ward
Administrative Support Specialist

Donna Ward is the Administrative Support Specialist for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. In this role, Donna assists management in daily operations of CGP and provides additional support to the president and other staff. She also gives general membership support by email and telephone to our members. Donna assists in the development of reports, tracking effort and progress of special projects, managing fundraising records, assisting in the development of office guidelines and procedures. She serves as a liaison with the Board of Directors, Leadership Institute, Committees and Task Forces.

Donna joined CGP in January of 2017 with an experienced background in administration. She has previously served as an executive assistant/office manager at the Medtech College corporate office, where she assisted the CEO, CFO, Regional Vice President of Nursing, Vice President of Academics and Vice President of Financial Aid. Donna performed accounts payables and general administrative duties while also assisting students in understanding course requirements. Prior to Medtech College, she worked at Harrison College for four years as an administrative assistant to the Nursing Department.

Donna is excited to bring her office management and administration expertise to help the CGP national office in it’s continued work in charitable gift planning. 

Executive Committee
Christopher McGurn
Chair
Christopher McGurn
Chair
Chesapeake Planned Giving Council

Christopher McGurn is currently a Senior Vice President with PNC’s Institutional Investment Group in Baltimore, Maryland. He is responsible for the management and marketing of PNC’s Planned Giving Services Department. In addition, he also serves as the primary relationship officer for local and national planned giving programs. McGurn currently serves on the board of the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council (CPGC) where he holds the office of Treasurer. From 2006 to 2012 he served as a board member for the National Capital Gift Planning Council (NCGPC) in DC, also serving as Treasurer. Prior to his service to NCGPC, he served on the CPGC board where he held the office of Program Chairman, Treasurer and President (2001).

Since 2004 McGurn has presented to organizations such as ACGA, the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council, the Delmarva Planned Giving Council, the National Capital Gift Planning Council AHP Mid-Atlantic regional conference and the Emerging Philanthropy Conference. Presentation titles included; ‘Blueprint for a successful Gift Annuity program’; ‘How to set up a Gift Annuity program-A recipe for success’; ‘CGA’s-Balancing risk and reward’; ‘A look at Trusteeship issues in planned giving’. McGurn holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Management, Finance and Marketing from Towson University.

Lynn Malzone Ierardi
Chair elect
Lynn Malzone Ierardi
Chair elect
Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia

Lynn Malzone Ierardi, J.D. has been in the estate and gift planning field for more than 25 years. She has served as Director of Gift Planning for the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) since 2005 and on a limited basis as an independent gift planning consultant (www.GiftPlanningAdvisor.com, founded in 2002). Prior to joining Penn, she held gift planning positions in health and higher education, served as Vice President with the Merrill Lynch Center for Philanthropy and practiced estate planning and real estate law.

Lynn has been a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) since 1993 and is a past board member and past President of the Gift Planning Council of New Jersey (GPCNJ) and current board member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Philadelphia (PPPGP). She is a member of the CGP Leadership Institute and a regular faculty member for the Planned Giving Course offered by PPPGP. As a dynamic and highly rated speaker, Lynn has presented at conferences and meetings throughout the country on a variety of gift planning topics. Lynn is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law, and is a Proud Penn Parent - times two!

Ed Sandifer
Secretary
Ed Sandifer
Secretary
Planned Giving Group of Indiana

Ed Sandifer serves as the Planned and Major Gifts Officer for the Indianapolis Zoo, joining the Zoo in 2002.  Ed began his service in philanthropy in 1999, serving as the first Director of Planned Giving at Marian College (now Marian University) in Indianapolis, while concurrently serving as Assistant Counsel to the Indiana State Senate.  Before entering the not-for-profit arena, Ed worked in the private practice of law focusing on estate planning, probate, real estate, and family law matters.

Ed is a member and past president of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals – Indiana Chapter.  Ed received his B.A. from Indiana University and his J.D. from Indiana University McKinney School of Law.

Kent Weimer
Treasurer
Kent Weimer
Treasurer
Dallas Council of CGP

 

Kent is Director of Trusts, Estates & Gift Planning at Parkland Foundation where he works with donors and their advisors to make estate gifts, create endowments or make donations with assets other than cash. His extensive expertise in institutional advancement comes from 40 years of experience in community based health care, higher education, cultural institutions, international healthcare, youth development and social service organizations.  Kent has been actively involved in CGP for 17 years including leadership roles at the Chicago Council of Planned Giving and the Dallas Council of CGP, where he is a past president.

Gordon P. Smith
Conference Chair
Gordon P. Smith
Conference Chair
Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable

Gordon P. Smith, MBA, CFRE, was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Before going into planned giving, Gordon worked as a financial consultant, where he obtained experience in estate planning, business succession planning, insurance, and investment management. This provided a wonderful springboard to planned giving and the work he does for National Jewish Health where he has been since September of 1995. 

As the Associate Vice President for Development, Planned Gifts, Gordon is responsible for planned and major gifts. This includes cultivating relationships from marketing through stewardship with expertise in the areas of charitable trusts, gift annuities, bequests and gifts of complex assets and he works with supporters throughout the country. 

Gordon has been a long time member of The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and currently serves on the Board.

Kathy Kielar
Conference Chair elect
Kathy Kielar
Conference Chair elect
Chicago Council on Planned Giving

Kathy has more than 15 years of experience in planned and major giving. For the last nine years, she has been with WTTW in Chicago, one of the most watched PBS stations in the nation and WFMT, a fine arts radio station heard across the globe. In her current position as Senior Director of Planned and Major Gifts, Kathy leads the planned giving program, the major giving annual funds, the matching gifts program, and the WFMT on-air pledge drive, which has just had its most successful year to date.

During her tenure, she has developed a successful marketing program to grow planned giving and appointed a planned giving advisory committee of esteemed professional advisors, which has resulted in tripling the membership base. She also initiated a successful rebranding campaign, naming the giving society after a prominent trustee and PBS leader, Newton N. Minow.

Prior to this, Kathy served at the Alzheimer’s Association where she developed planned giving programs for 14 chapters throughout the Great Lakes region. 

Kathy is the most recent past president of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving board of directors and current chair of the nominating committee. She also has been a speaker on numerous panels for CCPG and participated in their outreach program as a mentor. She has been involved with the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and was recently appointed to the PBS National Planned Giving Advisory Council.

Board Members
Jon Abrams
Jon Abrams

Jon Abrams serves as Director, Gift Planning for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Divisions for the American Red Cross.  He leads, coaches and supports a team of 7 gift planning officers in raising planned gifts to support the Red Cross’ humanitarian mission. Jon joined the Red Cross in 2017.  Prior to his current appointment, Jon held executive fundraising positions at educational and health institutions such as Harvard Medical School, Brown University and Joslin Diabetes Center.  He also worked as a financial advisor at Smith Barney and as director of product development at Fidelity Charitable.
 
Jon received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a law degree from Quinnipiac University.  He is a current member, past board member and past president of the Planned Giving Group of New England.

 

Gregory W. Baker
Gregory W. Baker
Planned Giving Group of Indiana

Gregory W. Baker is the Executive Vice President of Legal Services for Renaissance Administration LLC and President of Renaissance Charitable Foundation. With 25 years of experience in philanthropic financial planning, Greg has consulted on over 18,000 charitable remainder trusts, over 800 charitable lead trusts, numerous private foundations, supporting organizations, donor-advised funds and charitable gift annuities. In addition to his 19 years with Renaissance, Greg served as the Vice President, Manager of Charitable Account Services in Princeton, N.J. for Merrill Lynch Trust Company and the Merrill Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Management.

As Merrill’s Charitable Fiduciary Risk Manager, Greg identified and managed account compliance projects for over $4 billion in planned gift instruments under administration Greg has addressed the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy and numerous other groups. Co-author of the popular CRT Handbook and CLT Handbook, Greg’s published work also can be seen in various industry publications, including Planned Giving Today, the Estate Planning newsletter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, Perspectives, and various broker/dealer publications.

A past President and current Board Member of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana, Greg also is an Advisory Board member for the CAP program at the American College, a member of the Indiana Bar, the Indiana State Bar Association, the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Financial Planning Association. Greg received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College and his Juris Doctorate from Indiana University.

Carlos Byrne
Carlos Byrne
Planned Giving Group of New England

Carlos Byrne is a director of relationship management for BNY Mellon’s Planned Giving group. In this role, he manages client relationship teams responsible for the oversight and administration of planned giving programs.  Carlos also oversees the operations of the BNY Mellon Charitable Gift Fund – a donor advised fund. Prior to BNY Mellon, Carlos worked at Time Warner as a district human resources manager.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from Baruch College. Carlos is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and currently serves on the Executive Board of the Planned Giving Group of New England.

Meryl R. Cosentino
Meryl R. Cosentino

Meryl R. Cosentino, J.D. has more than 30 years of estate and gift planning experience, and is currently the Senior Director of Gift Planning at Stony Brook University. Meryl joined the Stony Brook Advancement team after spending five years as the Director of Planned Giving at St. Francis Hospital. Prior to that, Meryl honed her philanthropic skills at The Nature Conservancy on Long Island.


As a practicing attorney, Meryl specialized in representing parents of children with disabilities and it was this work (tailoring estate plans to meet the specialized needs of her clients) that sparked her interest in pursuing a career in Gift Planning. Meryl is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (NACGP), and has been a faculty lecturer at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning in 2011 and 2015. 
Locally, Meryl is just completing her two-year term as President of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY), and has also served PPGGNY as Vice President from 2013-2015, as the Programs Chair from 2011-2014, and as the Co-Chair of Planned Giving Day in 2014 and 2015.  


Meryl received her B.A. from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, where she was an editor of the Brooklyn Law Review. With a dramatically shortened commute Meryl now has time to spend with her family and enjoys quilting, baking and time in front of the TV cheering on the NY Giants and NY Rangers. Meryl is also delighted to share that she is now a certified Spinning instructor!

 

Penny Cowden
Penny Cowden
Northwesst Planned Giving Roundtable

Penny began her career at Weyerhaeuser Company, a Fortune 500 Forest Products company operating in eighteen countries, in marketing, communications and business development.

Penny has specialized in healthcare philanthropy for over twenty years holding senior level positions at major health systems and institutions in Washington, Colorado, Virginia and Arizona. 

Currently, Penny holds the position of executive director of Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation in Astoria, Oregon where she is responsible for board development, strategic planning, operations and managing a comprehensive development program to support numerous programs and services. 

Penny is also the president of philanthropy212 a company that specializes in customized approaches to raising money through transformational philanthropy.  She has consulted with numerous not-for-profit organizations throughout the United States, providing customized growth strategies, creative services and program development.

Penny earned her Bachelor’s from Portland State University and Masters Degree from Washington State University.  She holds the CFRE designation and has earned advanced certification as a Fellow in the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP).

She has received numerous awards for community service and is a member of the National Chamber of Commerce, the Public Relations Society of America, the American Hospital Association, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, The Northwest Planned Giving Roundtable, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Sindy Craig
Sindy Craig
Northern California Planned Giving Council

Sindy L. Craig, J.D., LL.M., is the Director of Planned Giving at the The San Francisco Foundation. Sindy has 24 years of non-profit experience and possesses diverse gift planning experience in higher education, health care, and community foundation fundraising environments. Since joining the Foundation in 2012, Sindy oversees all aspects of legacy, endowment and nonprofit fund programs and assists individuals, families and professional advisors to create and implement lifelong and legacy philanthropic gift plans.

Previously, Sindy led integrated major and planned giving efforts during Campaign initiatives ($250 million to $2.5 billion) for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the University’s (7) Health Science Colleges; Kenyon College; and the University of Vermont. Sindy began her gift planning tenure at Middlebury College. Prior to development, Sindy worked within student and judicial affairs administration for eleven years. In her last role in that capacity, Sindy served as the chief judicial affairs officer and coordinator of academic honesty at the University of Vermont.

A first generation college graduate, Sindy earned a BSBA from Bowling Green State University; a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma; and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Washington. A past Board member of the Central Ohio Planned Giving Council, Sindy served as chair of the education committee. A member of the Northern California Planned Giving Council, Sindy has served in various roles to support its annual planned giving conference. Sindy is a member of the state bars of Oklahoma and Washington and a member of the Junior League of San Francisco’s Finance and Audit committees.

David S. Disend
David S. Disend

I have planned, led, and executed fundraising campaigns that have achieved over $1.2 billion in fundraising success.  I and my teams have amassed 27 CASE and IABC awards, including twice winning, as CAO, the CASE award for most improved fundraising effort.

My first professional job was as an English teacher, at a school for kids who had been unsuccessful in other schools. I entered the administrative ranks when I was named academic dean of that school in my first year of teaching.  My start in fundraising launched when the school asked me to head their first capital campaign in 20 years.

After a decade of service to independent schools, I entered the world of higher ed.  I rose to the rank of vice president before I turned 40, and I served as a college and university vice president for over 15 years.

My work led me to major and planned giving work at national charities.  I now serve as the senior director of philanthropic planning at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where we have had six times growth in gifts received since I started some three and a half years ago.

In service to the profession, I have served as the president of the San Francisco AFP chapter (then a six-year president-elect to past-president process), and I also served on the AFP International board for three years.  Grateful for the success of my career, I have tried to give back by nurturing and encouraging the future generations of professionals.  Concerned that philanthropy will not achieve its full opportunity if its workforce of development professionals does not look more like the communities they serve, I led the effort to establish AFP’s Diverse Communities Scholarship program.  I chaired the fundraising effort for those scholarships for two years, and I was pleased to create and endow my own David Disend and 馬奔 Diverse Communities Scholarship.
I enjoy cooking, reading and hiking, particularly in national parks around the world.  I look forward to my next adventure, a few days on the trails in the UNESCO World Heritage sites, Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong National Parks, in Sichuan Province, China, in July.

Christy Butler Eckoff
Christy Butler Eckoff

CHRISTY BUTLER ECKOFF is the Director of Gift Planning at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. In this position, Christy is primarily responsible for developing the strategic direction for and successful implementation of the Foundation’s new investment product and comprehensive planned and major giving programs including work with professional advisors and acceptance and liquidation of complex assets.

Most recently, Christy served as Senior Director of Gift Planning at Georgia State University. Christy is President of the Georgia Planned Giving Council and the past-President of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals (AFP) – Greater Atlanta Chapter. She is a former trustee of The Kiwanis Foundation of Atlanta. She is also a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta and served on the Georgia State University Advancement of Women Staff Steering Committee. Christy is a graduate of Duke University, earned her J.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and LL.M. in Taxation at the University of Washington. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Christy is also a CAP® - Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy.

Christy's previous experience also includes serving as clerk for a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and working for a large law firm specializing in divorce, tax and estate planning in Greensboro, NC. Christy held development positions at UPLIFT, Inc. and Duke University before moving to Seattle, Washington. In Seattle, she performed legal and nonprofit consulting, and practiced at a boutique law firm specializing in complex tax shelter defense, estate planning and white collar criminal defense. Christy is a member of the bar in North Carolina and inactive member of the bar in Washington.

Brigit Kavanagh
Brigit Kavanagh
Northern California Planned Giving Council

Brigit Kavanagh is a founding partner of Kavanagh Rhomberg LLP and for over a decade has focused on the laws of nonprofit organizations and charitable gift planning, advising charities, foundations, and their donors on nonprofit tax, trust, and corporate law. Prior to launching Kavanagh Rhomberg LLP, Brigit practiced with the San Francisco law firm of Adler & Colvin, handling a range of matters for public charities, private foundations, and charitable donors.

Brigit has expertise in complex private foundation matters, such as set asides, out of corpus distributions, program related investments, and international grant-making, as well as public charities and charitable gift planning matters, such as endowments, charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, donor advised funds, and supporting organizations.

Prior to attending law school, Brigit was the director of the land acquisitions and education programs for Save-the-Redwoods League in San Francisco. Brigit also served as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Cameroon, where she taught English.

Brigit is an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University, where she co-teaches Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving in the LLM in Taxation program. She is also a contributing and update author for Continuing Education of the Bar’s (CEB) treatises on the charitable giving chapters of California Estate Planning, Drafting California Irrevocable Trusts, and California Will Drafting. She is a frequent speaker on topics such as charitable gift planning, endowments, and many aspects of nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations.

Brigit is on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Planned Giving Council. She is also member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, the American Bar Association, the Marin County Bar Association, and the San Francisco Bar Association. She is admitted to practice law in California.

Thomas Neises
Thomas Neises

Tom Neises has worked in all facets of fundraising from gift planning to capital campaign fundraising to principal gifts in his 20 year career. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy Tom worked in fundraising at a large social service agency in Chicago and as a Senior Account Executive at SPSS Statistical Software. Tom holds a law degree from DePaul University. Tom offers a depth of experience in complex gifts structures with a focus on the strategic integration of philanthropy into an individual’s overall financial, tax and family situation. Currently Tom serves as the Director of Development Programs and the Chief of Staff at The Nature Conservancy. Tom joined The Nature Conservancy’s Illinois Chapter as the Director of Planned Giving. He served as a member of the Conservancy’s Regional Gift Planning team as well as member of the Principal Gifts team as Senior Philanthropy Planner and then as Deputy Director of Principal Gifts before taking on his current position.

Kelli Smith
Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith joined Saint Mary's Foundation in 2011 shortly after arriving in Grand Rapids. In her role as Senior Special Gifts Officer, Kelli is responsible for leading the development and implementation of major and planned giving strategies to increase overall philanthropic support to Mercy Health Saint Mary's. Kelli serves as the Foundation's liaison for several fund development committees, providing support and direction to key volunteer stakeholders and clinical allies. Kelli's professional and community affiliations include:

  • Catholic Charities of West Michigan, Board of Directors, Vice President, Executive Committee – 2013-present
  • Western Michigan Planned Giving Group, Board President – 2016-2017; Ex-officio 2/2017 and Nominating Committee Chairperson
  • Trinity Health Systems Philanthropy Planned Giving Committee – 2015-current
  • East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation, Campaign Co-chair – 2017-current
  • Greater Grand Rapids Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. 2011-2014, 2016-present
  • Crew Board, Corresponding Secretary, East Grand Rapids High School Rowing Team – 2015-16
  • Lake Michigan Academy, Fund Development Committee 2014-2016
  • Leadership Grand Rapids, Class of 2015
  • Kentwood Community Church, Board of Elders 2013-2015
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Member
  • Association of Health Care Philanthropy (AHP) Member

Prior to joining Mercy Health Saint Mary's, Kelli served as a Senior Major Gifts Officer at Beaumont Hospital's Foundation, after spending more than a decade in academic advancement. Kelli is a graduate of University of Detroit Mercy with a Master of Science in Health Services Administration. 

Kelli enjoys being active and spending time with husband, Chris, daughter, Kaja (18), son, Koda (15), family and great friends. 

 

William Strickland
William Strickland

William Strickland, JD, CSPG, strengthens the communities of Los Angeles through effective philanthropy and civic engagement by partnering with business managers, CPAs, entertainment industry advisors and non-profit organizations through his duties as Senior Development Officer for the California Community Foundation (CCF). Prior to joining CCF, William served as the Associate Director of Gift Planning for The Nature Conservancy.  He has demonstrated a proven ability to work with varied advisors, organizations and communities from his successful careers in finance as Vice President of Trust Administration at Bank of America and in the performing arts as a professional dancer.  William is a graduate of the UC Davis School of Law, for which he formerly served as a board member of the King Hall Alumni Association. William is also a past President of the Partnership of Philanthropic Planning of Greater Los Angeles (PPP-LA).

Jeffrey Underwood
Jeffrey Underwood
Northern California Planned Giving Council

Jeffrey Underwood is a Senior Relationship Manager for KASPICK & COMPANY. He joined the firm in 2008 from the University of California, Berkeley where he was an Associate Director of Gift Planning. Prior to working at UC Berkeley, he was the Director of Gift Planning at The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston.

He has over 20 years of experience in gift planning and served as President of the Planned Giving Group of New England in 2004–2005. He graduated from the American Bankers Association’s National Graduate Trust School, has a BS in Accounting from the University of Missouri—Kansas City, and earned an MBA from Northeastern University.