2020 Conference Speakers

Speakers for the 2020 Carolinas Annual Giving Conference will be added here as they are confirmed – so check back!

Lynne Wester (Keynote Speaker)
lynne-westerLynne Wester is a frequent conference speaker and well-known resource for donor relations and fundraising expertise.  
She has been featured in The Washington Post, CURRENTS magazine, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and other industry publications. Lynne also created the website and blog www.donorrelationsguru.com where she shares her expertise, opinions, and collections of samples on a variety of topics.  She also hosts a monthly webinar series.  It is Lynn’s personal philosophy that the goal of any great fundraising operation is to use strategic communications and interactions to foster the relationship between the organization and its constituents and friends. Using her expertise and hands-on approach, she works with many organizations to help them keep their focus donor driven, technologically savvy, strategic, and always with a splash of good humor.  Lynn received her undergraduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and is a loyal gamecock alumna, donor, and fan.

Bob Burdenski (Opening Session)
Bob Burdenski
 is an internationally-recognized annual and regular giving programs consultant for schools, colleges, and universities. He is a prolific writer and published author, often appearing in CURRENTS Magazine, the member magazine of the Council for the Advancement and the Support of Education (CASE). Bob is the author of three CASE books: Innovations in Annual GivingTen Departures That Worked, which presents ten U.S. case histories of advanced annual giving strategies; More Innovations in Annual GivingTen Global Departures That Worked, which features case histories from institutions around the world; and a new CASE book, Online Innovations in Annual and Regular Giving, Ten Dozen Departures That Worked.  In 2013, Innovations in Annual Giving was published by Fudan University in Shanghai, becoming the first CASE book translated into Chinese.

Bob is a recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple Award for Lifetime Teaching Excellence as ranked by his audiences. He has educated (and entertained) at presentations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, including numerous CASE Europe Annual and Regular Giving Conferences and Masterclasses.  He presented CASE’s first-ever annual giving training programs in India, Japan, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia, and he is also a frequent contributor to CASE’s Online Speaker Series on the subject of annual and regular giving.  In 2019, Bob was named a CASE Laureate for his volunteer service to the profession.

Since 2002, Bob has served as the moderator of FundList, the largest fundraising e-mail discussion listserv in the world, with nearly 4,000 development professional subscribers.

Jenny Gilson Alstad
Jenny Gilson Alstad is Director, Annual Giving Programs at College of Charleston.
 In her role, she assists with setting the strategic vision of Annual Giving Programs, carries a portfolio of leadership level prospects and oversees a team of three leadership annual gift officers. Before joining the College of Charleston in 2014, Jenny served in fundraising roles as the Director of Special Events at the Medical University of South Carolina and Director of Development at the American Heart Association. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

JD Beebe
JD Beebe is the co-Founder and CEO of ThankView.  Originally designed to help him and his wife thank their wedding guests with personalized videos, ThankView quickly evolved to a stewardship platform embraced by over 600 universities, non-profits, hospitals and beyond. JD regularly presents at CASE, ADRP, AFP and other fundraising conferences and is honored to be presenting here. He loves his team, his wife, his dog Smokey, and a great number of other people and things, all of which he’s more than happy to chat about – swing by the ThankView booth and say hello!

Jonathan Brooks
Jonathan Brooks was born and raised in Charlotte, NC and received a degree in history from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. He spent over six years working in fundraising for global non-profits before transitioning to higher education in 2012 via Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Joining the University of Houston System (UHS) in 2014, he spent four years leading annual giving through the public phase of their $1 billion campaign. Also, while working at UHS he spread-headed the first independent advancement department for the Downtown campus. In 2018 he moved back to his home state to take on his current role at Western Carolina University, where he is building the university’s first advancement division. He has managed the full spectrum of development, operations, and advancement services activities, but enjoys direct marketing and data management the most.

Tracy Coleman
Tracy Coleman is the Associate Director of Strategic Annual Campaigns at the University of South Alabama.



Shannon Dale
Shannon Dale is the Director of Annual Giving for the University of North Carolina Asheville. She holds a B.A. in English and French from Elmhurst College and earned her M.A. in English with a specialization in rhetoric and composition from Colorado State University. In her role at UNC Asheville, she provides strategic leadership and management of a comprehensive, integrated annual giving program for the University. Prior to joining UNC Asheville, she most recently served as the Assistant Director of Development for the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University, where she leveraged her communications and public relations experience to develop annual giving materials and programming for the College, crafted development communications, and wrote proposals. Her deep appreciation for the Liberal Arts was born out of a childhood spent writing stories for her grandfather, performing in musical groups and in local theatre productions, and from many hours spent in the library where she fell in love with reading.

Jaclyn Pingel Day
Jaclyn Day is the Annual Giving Manager at UNC School of the Arts and oversees all aspects of the annual giving program, including direct mail, UNCSA’s annual Day of Giving, the Giannini Society – UNCSA’s outstanding leadership gifts program – and more. As a professional fundraiser with ten years of fundraising experience, she found her love for annual giving as a student caller at Brigham Young University.  Working for UNCSA has blended her love for the arts and passion for higher education. Jaclyn obtained her M.S. in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University and a B.S. in Psychology from Brigham Young University.

Gloria Goosby
Gloria Goosby is the Director of Annual Giving at Furman University.  She is a higher education fundraising professional with more than a decade of progressive experience in annual giving and constituent relations.  Loves to track metrics, set and achieve big goals, “do new stuff,” and encourage colleagues to do the same!

Jenna Hurley
Jenna Hurley began her career in Annual Giving as a student caller at UC Santa Cruz. 
Moving into the digital realm, Jenna oversaw the campus’s first crowdfunding program, launched and managed four Giving Days, and created integrated communications calendars. Jenna recently transitioned to work for Community Funded, the platform that powered UC Santa Cruz’s CASE award-winning giving day events, in the marketing department. 

Heather Kopec
Heather Kopec is the Director of Annual Giving at Virginia Tech University.



Brittany Neely
Brittany Neely is the Alumni Engagement Coordinator at Winthrop University. 

Christina Nichols
Christina Nichols, CFRE and bCRE-Pro, has a passion for making the world a better place for all and loves a good “why.” After nearly two decades in non-profit and higher education fundraising, she has joined the team at Marketing Communication Resource, Inc. (MCR) to leverage her skills and experience on behalf of MCR clients. She was a first-generation college student who is fiercely committed to providing post-secondary education to those who choose it. She firmly believes that showcasing causes that are meaningful and connect with donors is important to work.

Rachel Spencer
Rachel Spencer is a true phonathon expert benefitting from a long and varied career in tele-fundraising. Over the last decade she has graduated from student caller, to professional tele-fundraiser, to phonathon manager and now phonathon advisor and consultant. In her present role at VanillaSoft she works closely with more than 80 universities around the world on a wide variety of telephone-based campaigns.

Jonathan Van Oss
Jon Van Oss (PledgeMine) brings over 30 years of in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience gained from various senior data analytics and market research positions for organizations, such as the American Medical Association and World Vision.
 Jon has also served for more than 15 years as Vice President of Data Analytics at several advertising agencies that served a wide range of national and international non-profit organizations. He is nationally recognized for his insightful marketing and fundraising database analytics, decision-tree modeling, segmentation, testing, and attrition strategies and analyses.