Alexis Alm, MNA, CFRE, CAP®

CFRE International Chair
CEO & Executive Coach
Alexis Alm Advisers, LLC
Chicago, IL
United States

Ms. Alexis India Alm has over 35 years of nonprofit success. She is an advisor in philanthropy, an executive coach, and the CEO of Alexis Alm Advisors, LLC. Ms. Alm previously served for nearly eight years as CEO of Shore Community Services, a local human services organization serving individuals with disabilities. She earned the CFRE credential in 2008. Additionally, she obtained the Chartered Advisor of Philanthropy (CAP®) designation through the American College of Financial Services.

Ms. Alm’s leadership expertise includes service as the treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Walter S. and Lucienne B. Driskill Foundation, a Chicago-based grantmaking charitable foundation, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Alm holds a bachelor’s in communication from The Ohio State University and a
master’s in nonprofit administration from North Park University. As a life-long learner, she has obtained a certificate in Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability from Harvard Business School. She is also an AFP Certified Master Trainer/Facilitator through the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church.

 

Stephen Mally, CFRE, FFIA

CFRE International Vice Chair
Director
FundraisingForce
Sydney, NSW
Australia

Stephen Mally brings over 35 years of fundraising and non-profit consulting experience. Having served as a fundraiser in the United States, Stephen transitioned to consulting in Asia-Pacific and in Europe in 2008. He is the CEO and Director of FundraisingForce, a consulting firm based in Sydney, Australia. As a consultant, he has worked with hundreds of schools, universities, and charities gaining a vast amount of exposure to diverse organizations and fundraising programs.

Stephen acquired his CFRE credential in 2012. Stephen was named a Fellow of the Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) in 2017. He serves on the FIA Board and is a member of the CFRE International Examination Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

 

Scott Sandison, CFRE

CFRE International Secretary/Treasurer 
VP Community & Legacy Giving
WWF-Canada
Vancouver, BC
Canada

As an Olympic athlete Scott knows what it takes to succeed and has transferred his dedication for achievement on the playing field to making a difference beyond it. Whether it’s through philanthropy, sport, or partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, he drives positive change through a holistic approach to problem solving that is both innovative and effective.

After two decades in the non-profit sector Scott has experienced a wide spectrum of activities in the industry. In his most recent role of Vice President, Community & Legacy Giving for WWF-Canada, Scott is responsible for leading the data-driven national strategy for fundraising and focuses on fostering relationships with donors. By approaching every challenge and relationship with the same inquisitive and open-minded lens, Scott has made a habit of following his passions and going above and beyond expectations.

Scott obtained his CFRE credential in 2017, his MBA from Queens University in 2021, and founded RealPath to help charities understand supporter motivations and improve donor connection to the cause, leading to an increase in lifetime giving.

 

Edna Meza Aguirre, JD, CFRE

Director of Development and Political Consultant
Arizona Center for Women’s Advancement
Tucson, AZ
United States

A first-generation Tucson native, Edna is fluently bilingual and bicultural, with Spanish as her first language and learning English at age seven. She received her B.A. from the University of Arizona and law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. Edna self identifies as BIPOC/Latinx. She is governed by the tenet that representation is crucial. She brings a unique background of law, teaching, political, and not-for-profit fundraising to her 20-year career.

She serves on the board of the Southern Arizona Chapter of Fundraising Professionals as the CFRE chair. She also previously served on that board as National Philanthropy Day co-chair (2013) and chair (2014). In 2015 she was awarded the AFP Fundraising Executive of the Year award for her career spanning the areas of higher education, not-for-profits, hospitals, and health care. She proudly serves on the board of the University of Arizona Consortium on Gender Based Violence. Edna also teaches International Alternative Dispute Resolution as well as the Deposition collaborative course at the University of Arizona Rogers School of Law.

Edna has previously volunteered for Lawyers for Literacy, the Banner Hospital neo-natal unit, and the Sun Sounds Radio.

 

Rich Basler, CAP®, CFRE

Executive Director of Advancement Operations
St. Lawrence University
Canton, NY
United States

Rich is currently the Executive Director of Advancement Operations at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. There, he leads dynamic teams in prospect research & management, advancement information systems, and records management. Prior to joining St. Lawrence University, he was the Director of Major Gift Development & Advancement Services at Bloomfield College, where he helped to successfully lead the College through its first capital campaign.

Rich received his CFRE certification in 2019 and became a CFRE Ambassador in 2020. Since that time, he has mentored dozens of aspiring CFREs. In 2022, Rich also earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation from the American College of Financial Services.

Rich is currently on the Board of Directors of The Orchestra of Northern New York. Previously, he served for six years on the Board of Trustees of Kinnara, one of Atlanta’s premier professional chamber choirs, most recently as Vice President.

Rich has a degree in Music Performance (viola) from Mansfield University and lives in Canton, New York, with his husband D. Jason Bishop, a conductor and composer.

 

Catherine Bays, CAP®, CFRE

Director of Development
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts
Little Rock, AR
United States

With almost two decades in the nonprofit sector, Catherine’s experiences include leadership in arts, education, and healthcare philanthropy. She gained her CFRE in 2012 and actively supports individuals interested in the CFRE process. She earned her Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) certification in 2021. Catherine’s strengths include creating strategic platforms to support an organization’s fundraising goals, relationship building, and board/volunteer management.

Catherine’s involvement and passion for the arts stems from her past experiences as a professional ballet dancer, teacher, and arts supporter. Her life experiences in funding the arts education have culminated in a rewarding career in nonprofit management and fundraising. Catherine remains very involved in the arts community, serving as an appointed member of the Arkansas Arts Council Executive Board since 2016 and an artist on the state’s art roster since 1996.

Catherine graduated from the University of Arkansas with a B.A. in English, with secondary education certification. She also holds numerous certifications in dance education training and is an accomplished public speaker. Catherine’s community volunteerism includes board positions with organizations that align with her interests in supporting literacy, children in need, and women’s leadership.

 

Deniz Tasdemiroglu Conger, MPA, CFRE

CEO and CoFounder, Illumeworks
Principal Consultant, GoMavi
Portland, OR
United States

Recently honored among the Top 40 Over 40 national nonprofit executives in 2022 by NonprofitPRO, Deniz Taşdemiroğlu Conger, MPA, CFRE, has 25+ years of direct experience leading nonprofits and collaborating with Boards and teams through successful campaigns, and helping organizations raise over US$500M in philanthropic commitments.

She has been a CFRE since 2015. Her experience includes work at Henry Ford Health System, Oregon Health & Science University, and Pacific Northwest College of Art, and she also worked in federal government agencies and constituent relations for a U.S. Senator and recently served as interim head of school and executive director roles. Deniz is the founder of illumeworks, a social impact tech startup launching in 2023, to build nonprofit capacity and a collaborative community of nonprofits and consultants to problem solve for our world’s biggest challenges.

Her interests in community building, cultural engagement, and volunteering started early in her life as a first-generation Turkish American growing up in a cultural community of Metro Detroit. Deniz is a University of Michigan and Oakland University alumna with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science, environmental policy, and public and government administration.

 

Phillip Rothwell, MBA, CFRE

Director of Development
King’s College
Taunton
United Kingdom

Phillip has worked in fundraising for education for 15 years in the Development teams of the University of Warwick and London Business School. For the past 10 years, he has been Director of Development at the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, where he oversees engagement and philanthropy across a family of schools for some 3,000 pupils between 3-18 years old.

Phillip currently serves as trustee and Deputy Chair of the Institute for Development Professionals in Education (IDPE). He is also a Governor of Chipping Campden School, a large state academy school in the Cotswolds. Phillip gained his CFRE accreditation in 2015, has served as UK CFRE Ambassador, and is a regular speaker and contributor to best practice in the UK fundraising sector.

He gained a BA in Theology and Religion from the University of Durham, where he also completed an MBA from Durham University Business School.

 

Mark Stuart, CFRE

President & CEO
The San Diego Foundation
San Diego, CA
United States

Mark Stuart is a fund-raising and friend-raising professional with more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of advancement operations and leadership.

For 14 years, Mark Stuart led San Diego Zoo Global’s (SDZG) Development and Membership Department. SDZG has the world’s largest membership programs with 450,000 individual members–all up for renewal each year. Stuart also oversaw government and community relations for SDZG.

Mark served as Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations for the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. During his tenure, the school prepared, launched, and executed a five-year $100 million campaign, which was the largest fundraising effort for any veterinary school at that time.

Mark received a master’s in educational administration from McDaniel College and a bachelor’s in English, political science, and public service from Albion College.

In 2012, Mark received the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals-San Diego Chapter. He has led or presented at regional and national CASE and AFP conferences.

Mark and his husband, Tim, live in the Village of Point Loma in San Diego, California.

 

Art Taylor (Public Member)

President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Arlington, VA
United States

As head of the Alliance, he oversees all aspects of the organization’s work, which includes: setting standards for soliciting organizations, evaluating charities in relation to these standards, publishing the Wise Giving Guide, assisting local Better Business Bureau charity review programs, promoting charity accountability, and providing a variety of materials on informed giving to individual, institutional and business donors and to government.

Appointed to his position in July 2001, the Wise Giving Alliance Board of Directors selected Mr. Taylor for his record of accomplishments in the non-profit arena and his business, professional, and volunteer background.

Mr. Taylor is a respected and sought-after voice in the non-profit sector on charity accountability, transparency, governance, impact, and strategy. Since spring 2018 he has held the position of Lecturer, teaching students at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies on ethics in the non-profit sector. He is a regular guest lecturer at the Georgetown McDonough School and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University.

 

Astrid Von Soosten, CFRE

Partner
Brakeley Fundraising Consultants
Munich
Germany

Of her more than 20 years in fundraising, Astrid has spent 10 years working as a frontline fundraiser in the U.S. educational sector, working initially for a private school and later as Senior Development Director for the University of California. For many years she has specialized in major donor fundraising and strategy development. She is a CFRE and also trained as a Somatic Coach offering leadership coaching and training to executives in the non-profit sector.

Currently, Astrid is a partner at Brakeley Fundraising Consultants GmbH in Munich, Germany, as well as a leadership coach at Week53 Leadership Seminare und Coaching. Previously she served as a board member at Deutscher Fundraising Verband and is a current member of the European Fundraising Association’s board.

Her education includes a master’s in Chinese Studies (sinology) from the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München as well as a certificate in Modern and Classical Literature/Chinese Studies from Fudan University.

American Public Gardens Association (APGA)

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United Negro College Fund

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Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance

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Nepal Center for Philanthropy and Development

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BBB Wise Giving Alliance

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Korea Society of Philanthropy

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Boy and Girls Clubs of America

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International Catholic Stewardship Council

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Educate Plus

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