Sessions and Presenters


Presenting Partner:


Platinum Sponsors:
Pear Tree


Gold Sponsors: Global Philanthropic
The Offord Group


Exhibitors: BAS


The impact of a pre-campaign survey

Doug Mann, Executive Director of Philanthropy & Alumni at Trinity College School; Michael Sinkus, Senior Consultant and former President, Marts & Lundy; and Alison Holt, Managing Director, Offord Group / Senior Consultant, Marts & Lundy

In fall 2017, Trinity College School celebrated the conclusion of its 150th anniversary fund raising campaign which raised $48.8 million. A pre-campaign survey completed by Marts & Lundy was a critical first step for the campaign as responses necessitated important changes to the case for support. This session will take participants through the survey, the results, and how that impacted campaign planning. The session will also over other pre-campaign planning strategies, and how they have been used successfully at other independent schools.

Attendees at this session will:

  1. Understand important role of pre-campaign planning to successful major campaign
  2. Specific case study of pre-campaign survey at TCS organized by Marts & Lundy
  3. Understand impact of survey and other pre-campaign planning on case development, donor cultivation and data enhancement


Doug Mann, Executive Director of Philanthropy & Alumni at Trinity College School

Doug Mann worked for a few years in federal and provincial politics after university before starting his career in advancement in 1990 after moving to Halifax. He began knocking on doors, including the advancement office at Saint Mary’s University, where he started as Annual Fund assistant.

Doug has been almost exclusively a campaign/major gifts professional. Aside from one year working in annual giving, he has spent the past 20 years working on 9 different major campaigns. He was a Development Officer on SMU’s second comprehensive campaign in the early 1990s, followed by 9 years with KCI Ketchum Canada as a campaign director in Fredericton, Moncton, Ottawa and Calgary.

Doug served as Associate Vice President, Development at the University of Alberta and Campaign Director for much of their centenary campaign, which ended in 2008. He moved to the independent school sector with Trinity College School in 2007 and is presently leading a major campaign.


Knowing, growing, building our significance: Using strategic engagement to advance a culture of giving

Kirsten Eastwood, Executive Director, Community Development, TMS

In 2016, TMS embarked on a process to set the school’s future direction. This strategic journey was intentionally collaborative and consultative to engage students, parents, staff, and alumni. A key emerging strategy was to advance a culture of giving - a welcoming environment with equal value on time, talent and treasure.

With a clear focus on “knowing, growing and building our significance”, TMS is launching an exciting new phase. Through this interactive presentation, we will share how an authentic vision and strategy can engage a community to build a committed volunteer base and mobilize a robust annual giving program and capital campaign.

This session will:

  1. Share the TMS approach to community development.
  2. Share the value of strategic planning and engagement in developing a culture of giving.
  3. Send out a clear call to action in creating a knowledge-sharing community of practice among independent schools.


Kirsten Eastwood, Executive Director, Community Development, TMS

Kirsten Eastwood is a social innovator with leadership experience in the non-profit, government and private sectors and over 10 years as an entrepreneur. As Executive Director, Community Development, TMS Kirsten is responsible for the marketing, communications, advancement and admissions functions of this unique independent school. She was highly involved in developing Significance - TMS’s recent strategic direction-setting process. Kirsten is a graduate of Ridley College and has university degrees from York University and the University of Waterloo.


Rock your annual fund!

Chad Holtum, Deputy Head and Mary Anne Marchildon, Manager of the Annual Fund, Glenlyon Norfolk School

Find out how one school tripled parent participation rates and dollars raised in only 3 short years, and learn how you can do it too! We all know the annual fund is the backbone of every school’s fundraising efforts. Learn how to empower your donors to harness the true strength of your school community!

Participants in this session will learn:

  1. The power and practices of face to face meetings.
  2. The keys to working successfully with your Admissions Department.
  3. How to engage staff to achieve 91% participation in your annual fund.


Chad Holtum, Deputy Head, Glenlyon Norfolk School, Victoria, BC

Chad oversees the school's Advancement Office and is responsible for admissions, fundraising, marketing and communications and external relations. This is Chad’s 5th year at GNS, and his 16th at an independent school. He also worked at Lakeside Prep, Queen Margaret’s School and Shawnigan Lake School. Chad enjoys his role as it affords him the privilege of cultivating relationships with students and families at every stage of their school journey. Chad lives in Victoria with his wife, Erica, and two young sons (and GNS students), Nathan and Andrew.


Mary Anne Marchildon, Manager of the Annual Fund, Glenlyon Norfolk School

While Mary Anne has served for 3 years as the Annual Fund Manager at Glenlyon Norfolk School (a day school with 700 students), she has been a GNS parent for 13 years. Her daughter, Maddy, graduated in June 2016. Mary Anne's background is in sales. She owned her own interior decorating business and won Franchise Owner of the Year out of 1,100 franchises worldwide. When talking about Glenlyon Norfolk School, you can always hear Mary Anne say: "I love this school!"


One day together: A guide to successful giving days

Elizabeth Kendall, Director of Annual Giving, Stevenson School

An interactive look at how social media-based flash fundraising campaigns can positively transform alumni relations and donor engagement. Learn how an 18-hour giving day inspired more than 600 gifts, 11% of the annual fund goal, and more than 180 new or lapsed donors, two years in a row. Delve into transformational stories, tips and data from the day and learn how to engage donors of ages 18-90 online.

Participants in this session will learn:

  1. How to fully plan and lead a successful giving day by working closely with class agents, trustees, your Head of School, school leaders, and current students.
  2. How to engage your constituency online and reignite their connection to the school.
  3. Easy-to-use visual, interactive and social media tools for a successful giving day.


Elizabeth Kendall, Director of Annual Giving, Stevenson School

Stevenson School is a PK-Grade 12 boarding and day school in Pebble Beach, California. From 2014-16, Elizabeth Kendall worked in annual giving at Holderness School in Holderness, New Hampshire, where she led two 18-hour giving days that resulted in one-thing of annual gifts, 10% of the year’s annual fund dollars, and countless connections with the school rekindled in one day. She has presented on the topic of giving days at TABS, CASE District 1, and CASE NAIS.


Achieving greater major gifts

John Davies, Senior Consultant, Global Philanthropic; and Geneviève Delaquis, CFRE, Director of Advancement, Balmoral Hall School

As campaigns and fundraising goals inexorably increase, the need to continue growing the pool of significant donors becomes vitally important. This session will demonstrate tactics and the methodology of successfully engaging, cultivating and securing ever-increasing gifts.

Participants in this session will gain:

  1. Strategies for increasing the size and frequency of major gifts.
  2. Awareness of the possible.


John Davies, Senior Consultant, Global Philanthropic

John Davies (J.D.), a Senior Consultant and Independent School specialist at Global Philanthropic, has spent his career in education, including 20 years at Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island. Shawnigan Lake School, a leader in independent boarding school education, made a significant investment in its future by supporting a bold advancement strategy. John, a passionate advocate of independent school education, served as Director of the Shawnigan Foundation for 12 years. At Shawnigan he has also served as an English teacher, Housemaster, Director of Advancement, Deputy Headmaster and coach of rugby and basketball.

In his role as Director, The Shawnigan Foundation, John pioneered the concept of major gift fundraising in Canada’s independent schools. John’s delivery of philanthropic leadership and independent school fundraising has taken him to Britain, USA, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. His single-minded focus on major gift philanthropy and board development has enabled many schools to attract significant resources.

John represents Global Philanthropic with private school clients across Canada and Asia and is a sought-after speaker on all aspects of independent schools, especially on the creation of all-encompassing advancement programs, focusing on capital campaigns and annual fund strategies. His lengthy experience in China is considered a significant asset by his clients.

John is the Past-President of the Vancouver Island Chapter of AFP.  He was honoured in 2011 with the prestigious CAISAP Heaman Award for his contributions to philanthropy in Canada. John obtained an M.A. from the University of Victoria in Curriculum Studies.


Geneviève Delaquis, CFRE, Director of Advancement, Balmoral Hall School

Geneviève has been with Balmoral Hall since 1998, working in all areas of the advancement office. With a strong background in the annual fund, event planning, donor/volunteer relations, database administration and communications, her focus has recently changed to securing major gifts for a $6 million Centre for Arts & Design.

Geneviève lives in Winnipeg with her husband, Roger, and two daughters (and BH students). She is proud to be the incoming President of ISAP Canada and hopes to continue building strong connections between teams across the country for the collective improvement of our schools.


Follow the “red brick” road: A McMaster journey of philanthropy and stewardship

Susan Wright, Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations; and Karen McQuigge, Director, Alumni Advancement, McMaster University

In fall of 1958, a young student moved into his residence room eager for his Mac experience to begin. Four years later, after countless hours in the classroom, library, on the tennis court and football field and hanging out in his residence rooms, he departed the university and soon made his first gift to the Mac Fund. Sixty years later, this young man has become one of McMaster’s most generous alumni donors.

How did a modest annual-level donor become one of the university’s most generous philanthropists? Join us as we take you down the “red brick” road of discovery as we outline our approach to impactful stewardship, no matter the donor or gift amount.


Susan Wright, Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations, McMaster University

Susan Wright leads the development of a comprehensive stewardship and donor relations program for McMaster.

Previously, Susan was the Director, Alumni Affairs at the University of Guelph where she was responsible for the overall management of the Alumni Affairs program. Susan has held other positions at McMaster University in the areas of Alumni Advancement and Campaign Donor Relations.

Susan has presented at numerous ADRP, CCAE and CASE conferences on topics including Pro-Active Stewardship; Stewardship: It’s Everyone’s Job; and Principal Donor Stewardship. Susan was a member of the ADRP organizing committee for the first-ever Canadian Workshop and is on the Program Committee for the 2016 ADRP International Conference. She is Co-Chair for the 2017 CCAE National Conference and is a past member of the CCAE Board of Directors.


Karen McQuigge, Director, Alumni Advancement, McMaster University

Karen McQuigge joined McMaster's Office of Alumni Advancement in 1998 and was appointed Director, Alumni Advancement in 2006 responsible for alumni relations and annual giving at McMaster. Before her appointment, Karen held a number of positions including Associate Director from 2001 to 2006. As well, Karen has worked on two of McMaster's fundraising project teams - the McMaster University Student Centre and the Athletics and Recreation Centre and Stadium Campaign Project Team.

Prior to joining McMaster, Karen worked for the Canadian Intramural Recreation Association of Ontario and Mohawk College's Student Affairs Division in a variety of positions. Karen was part of the Hamilton Commonwealth Games 2010 Bid team in 2003, the McMaster University CIS Women's National Basketball Championship committee in 2002 and 2003 and CIS Men's National Volleyball Championship committee in 2006 and 2007. Karen was the co-chair of the CCAE National Conference in 2009 and 2017 and is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops.

Karen is a graduate of McMaster University with a degree in History as well as holds a Business Administration diploma from Mohawk College.



Leveraging insurance gifts

Nicholas Weedon, Advancement Officer, Old Boy Relations & Major Gifts; and Julie Wilson, Advancement Officer, Stewardship, Planned Giving & Awards, St.Andrew's College


  1. How to identify legacy prospects, specifically for life insurance.
  2. The long-term benefits of a strong life insurance program, specifically for endowment growth.
  3. How to recognize life insurance donors.

Nicholas Weedon, Advancement Officer, Old Boy Relations & Major Gifts, St.Andrew's College Nick Weedon has been working in the Alumni & Advancement Office for nine years. His role began in an alumni relations capacity, however, it has expanded to including fundraising for major gifts, with specific attention to alumni. He has a keen interest in gifts of life insurance as it allows for steady growth of the endowment and allows younger alumni to maximize their gift giving potential.


Julie Wilson, Advancement Officer, Stewardship, Planned Giving & Awards, St.Andrew's College

Julie Wilson is a graduate of George Brown College with a diploma in gerontology. She began her career in the health-care sector as a program and volunteer coordinator for 11 years before switching to fundraising with the Arthritis Society as a planned giving and major gifts officer. In 2008, Julie joined St. Andrew's College as an annual fund and planned giving officer, and has since extended her role to include stewardship and endowed awards. Julie thoroughly enjoys her role at St. Andrew's College and is reminded daily of how lucky she is to work in such a positive and inspiring workplace. Julie lives in Newmarket with her husband, Chris, and two young children, Justin and Ella.



How admissions can help with fundraising


Christina Barwinsky, CFRE, Director of Advancement, St. John’s Ravenscourt School

Christina Barwinsky received her B.A. from the University of Manitoba with a major in Art History as well as a Certificate in Applied Management with a Non-Profit Organization speciality. She is a CFRE who has worked in fundraising for over 20 years, honing her skills in volunteer management, stewardship, special events, capital campaigns and all aspects of philanthropy.

She has been a board member of AFP Manitoba Chapter and is a faculty member of the Essentials of Fundraising program at Red River College in Winnipeg.

Christina has always worked in the non-profit community, with previous positions at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Red River College. She is an alumna of St.John's Ravenscourt School and returned to her alma mater in 2009 as Director of Advancement, where she managed SJR's $15 million Build Our Tomorrow capital campaign. She continues to oversee the school's archives, alumni, annual and planned giving programs.



Our campaign: launch to wrap - What we learned on the road to raising $33.1M

Bishop Strachan School

Moderator: Lori Angle, Director of Advancement
Panelists: Donna Jordan, Associate Director, Advancement Events and Community Engagement; Jill Blakey, Director, Major Gifts and Planned Giving; and Claudia Metelsky, Director, Leadership Gifts and Stewardship, The Bishop Strachan School

It is a really good feeling to announce that big, final, impressive number at the end of a campaign, but we all know it wasn’t easy getting there: we had setbacks, delays, exits and “I never thought that would happen!” moments. There were also upticks, pleasant surprises and support.

This is an interactive discussion led by members of The Bishop Strachan School Advancement team.

Participants in this session will learn:

  1. How a campaign can increase community engagement locally and abroad.
  2. The importance of full school buy-in and collaboration.
  3. How to leverage your volunteers and Head of School for fundraising success.


Moderator: Lori Angle, Director of Advancement

Lori Angle is the Director of Advancement at The Bishop Strachan School. Lori has held several portfolios at BSS since 2001, including Annual Giving, Board and Donor Relations, Alumnae Relations and Campaign Operations. Prior to BSS, she worked in major and individual giving at the Canadian Film Centre and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She has worked on all recent capital and major campaigns at BSS and now oversees the operations of the Advancement Department.  



Donna Jordan, Associate Director, Advancement Events and Community Engagement

Donna is an events professional with 15+ years experience, comprising event strategy and execution in both the corporate world and the not-for-profit sector. She previously held positions with Crescent School, CIBC and Alliance Atlantis. Donna has been with BSS for 7 years. 


Jill Blakey, Director, Major Gifts and Planned Giving

Jill has been a member of the BSS Advancement team in different capacities for nearly 10 years, having started in Alumnae Relations. Jill is now focused on Major Gifts, with an emphasis on the school's international fundraising in Asia, and Planned Giving. Jill began her Advancement career at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts & Science. 


Claudia Metelsky, Director, Leadership Gifts and Stewardship

She has 15 years of fundraising experience previously working at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation in Major Gift roles. Claudia has been at BSS for over five years and her responsibilities include Campaigns, Major Gifts and Stewardship. 


35 and beyond: Inside a brand storytelling campaign at Holy Trinity School

Mike Leon,  Chief Brand Hero, Jen Nugent, Brand Heroes; and Kaela McDowell, Stewardship and Development Officer, Holy Trinity School


Kaela McDowell, Stewardship and Development Officer at Holy Trinity School, along with Jen Nugent and Mike Leon from Digital Marketing Agency Brand Heroes, will lead an interactive session that takes attendees inside a video storytelling campaign used to celebrate the school's 35th Anniversary.

Another objective of the campaign was to create materials that can be leveraged for a variety of purposes, from alumni relations and development to recruitment. The team will share their strategy and work plan, key learnings and value-add tips for leveraging video and social media storytelling across different departments and functions within independent schools.


Mike Leon

Chief Brand Hero Mike Leon is an award-winning digital marketing and branding professional with almost 20 years’ experience in the Canadian and international markets. As President and founding partner of Brand Heroes Inc., Mike is responsible for the firm’s strategic direction and has built Brand Heroes into a leading boutique brand storytelling agency. Its a national client list includes post-secondary education, healthcare and regulatory organizations. Mike has advised and created campaigns for some of the world's most dynamic brands including Microsoft, Mattel, Intel, Rogers, YTV, The Toronto Maple Leafs, and more.

In demand as a speaker, Mike frequently delivers talks on the power of personal branding, digital marketing and brand storytelling. Mike holds undergraduate degrees in Communications and Political Science, a diploma in Television Broadcasting and an MBA in Marketing. He is also a part-time MBA Brand Management Instructor in the School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. When he’s not saving brands, can be seen trying to save himself embarrassment as a stand-up comedian.


Kaela McDowell, Stewardship and Development Officer, Holy Trinity School

Kaela holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University. She started her professional career in event management and joined the independent school sector in 2015. Currently, she plays an important role in Holy Trinity School’s philanthropic initiatives. She manages the development and implementation of endowment, campaign and donor stewardship. When she is not at HTS, Kaela can be found biking to the Toronto waterfront or at one of her favourite restaurants. (


Jennifer Nugent, Digital Producer & Strategist, Brand Heroes Inc.

Jennifer is an award-winning content marketing specialist. She has combined her liberal arts education with an applied skilled set in digital media marketing. Jennifer manages a variety of Brand Heroes projects, from live-action video campaigns to animated videos, social media campaigns, and many more. She is a critical team member for all phases of the Brand Heroes process including creative development, production, and post-production. As an engaging speaker, Jennifer has a unique Generation Z perspective of marketing materials and an eager eye for digital trends. When she's not cooking up creating concepts, she may be found in the recording studio as a voiceover artist. 

Peace, order and good governance

Jennifer Bizzarri, Senior Consultant, Offord Group; and Stephen Beatty, Headmaster, Royal St. George’s College

Join Jennifer Bizzarri of the Offord Group and her client, Royal St. George’s College, for a lively discussion on Boards and fundraising. Is there a “best practice” for how to engage your Board and other senior volunteers in fundraising? What are the secret ingredients to an engaged and fundraising-focused Board? Why do Boards matter?


Jennifer Bizzarri, Senior Consultant, Offord Group, Toronto

Jennifer began her fundraising career as a McConnell Fellow at McMaster University in 1994. Since then, she has worked in the arts, universities and independent schools both as an employee, and for the last seven years, as a consultant. Prior to joining Offord, Jenn was a founding staff member of Greenwood College School, establishing and evolving Greenwood’s advancement operations over its first seven years. Her client experience includes work with independent schools such as Montcrest School, Upper Canada College, Royal St. George’s College, St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School, and Athol Murray College of Notre Dame. Jenn is the current editor of Perspectives on Canadian Philanthropy, Offord’s annual magazine.



Graduway: A solid tool for success in alumnae engagement

Kate Crokam, Associate Director, Alumnae Engagement, The Bishop Strachan School

Since its inception in 2013, BSS Connect - the school’s alumnae mentorship and networking program - has seen ongoing growth. More than 240 successful mentorship connections have been made over the past 4 years; and in the past 12 months alone, 112 successful connections between mentors and mentees have been made by e-mail or by face-to-face introduction at BSS Connect events.

In 2017, BSS initiated a new online mentorship and alumnae engagement platform,, powered by Graduway. This repurposed portal for the alumnae community enables deeper engagement and communication effectiveness. The platform also provides useful metrics to analyze patterns of engagement, network growth and real-time profile, professional and activity data.

Participants in this session will learn how BSS Connect and similar programs:

  • Help to create a culture of philanthropy.
  • Cultivate feelings of connectivity and engagement.
  • Help clarify alumnae characteristics, preferred style of communication, event options  and more.
  • Encourage the idea of engaging with and giving back to BSS from an alumna’s earliest days.


Kate Crokam, Associate Director, Alumnae Engagement, The Bishop Strachan School

Kate leads and implements all aspects of the school’s comprehensive alumnae programming. All initiatives aim at building Old Girls’ participation and support through strong communication, career networking, mentoring opportunities, personal interaction, reunions, branch events and young alumnae initiatives, to ensure engagement of a broad cross-section of the alumnae community.

Peace, order and good governance

Stephen Beatty, Headmaster, Royal St. George’s College

Stephen Beatty became the 6th RSGC Headmaster in 2011. His association with the College began in 1976 as a Grade 4 student. A Lifer graduate of 1986, Steve was the President of the Alumni Association from 2000-02 and a Governor on the RSGC Board from 2003-10. Before returning to RSGC as Headmaster, Steve was the Head of School at Montcrest from 2006-11. Steve is also a proud RSGC parent to sons Jack '22 and Finn ’25.