Tuesday, Feb. 6

12:00-12:10 pm ET  |  Welcome

Setting the tone for our time together.

12:10-1:00 pm ET  | Reframing Rejection or – the Art of Hiking a Long Trail 

Ben Pendry, CFRE, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development, Western Carolina University

Ben Bendry

Ben joined Western Carolina University as the Executive Director of Advancement Services in 2017 and was appointed AVC for Development in 2021. Ben serves on the Chancellor’s Leadership Council and provides day-to-day management for major and principle gifts, donors relations, and prospect management and research. Ben previously served in development roles at the NIC, Sigma Chi Foundation and UNC Charlotte. Ben and his wife Jenna Martin Pendry are passionate supporters of the fraternal movement, having both served in professional and volunteer roles with multiple organizations. They live in beautiful Western North Carolina with their son, daughter and a very odd cat.

1:10-2:10 pm ET  |  Giving Trends by Generation and Insights for Successful Fundraising

Alicia Lifrak, Executive Vice President, Pursuant, Allegiance, GivingDNA 

Alicia Lifrak

An enthusiastic team builder and change agent, Alicia M Lifrak’s entrepreneurial approach derives from the philosophy that one must enable and empower people through genuine relationship building to be successful. With more than three decades of philanthropic leadership experience, she has built a record of success in generating consistent and sustainable fundraising, membership, and organizational growth. She is passionate about helping nonprofits build capacity and increase philanthropic support to better serve their community and the greater good for the world at large. At Pursuant, Alicia works cross-functionally with all teams to seek growth opportunities for existing and new prospective clients through data, strategy, and resource optimization.

2:20-2:40 pm ET | Try This! Donor Outreach Calling Cadence

Ryan Collett, Chief Development Officer, Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation

Ryan Collett

Ryan Collett is the Chief Development Officer for the Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation where he oversees the revenue and operations of the Foundation. Since joining the Foundation in 2018 his involvement has led to the organization achieving record breaking fundraising years including staff’s highest total dollars raised, highest unrestricted dollars raised, highest dollars granted to the International Fraternity, highest President’s Council membership (annual recurring giving program of $1,000 or more).

Prior to joining the Foundation he served the Fraternity’s professional staff as Consultant and Director of Expansion for four years and then worked for Cerner Corporation, a market leader in healthcare electronic medical records. He specialized in enterprise system sales and then focused on population health and big data analytics.

He is a graduate from Kansas State University with dual degrees of Kinesiology and Nutrition. He resides in a suburb of Kansas City with his wife Nicole and daughter Emersyn.

2:40-3:00 pm ET  |  Roundtable Discussion: Virtual Meetings with Donors

Facilitated by Danika Arenibas, Senior Advancement Officer, Kappa Delta Foundation

3:10-4:00 pm ET  | Major Gift Solicitation within Campaigns

Dr. Tony Vukusich, CFRE, Vice President & Chief Experience Officer, Delta Tau Delta Educational Foundation 

Dr. Tony Vukusich

Dr. Tony E. Vukusich, CFRE began his service to Delta Tau Delta in 2018 as the director of annual giving. Vukusich proved to be a skilled team member and in 2019 he was promoted to vice president of advancement for the Educational Foundation. In October 2022, he was named vice president and chief experience officer for the Delta Tau Delta enterprise.

Vukusich is charged with providing direction and leadership for the overarching Delt experience. In this role, he unifies the marketing and communication teams and provides day-to-day oversight of the programming team, the volunteer services team, and the advancement team. Moreover, his efforts nurture the organization’s strategic initiatives and priorities.

Vukusich is a graduate of Indiana State University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in legal studies and sociology and a Master of Science degree in student affairs and higher education. He joined Phi Kappa Psi as an undergraduate at ISU. Additionally, Vukusich holds a Doctor of Education degree from Ole Miss. He is an experienced leader in the higher education, fraternal, and fundraising industries with more than 15-years’ experience. He also serves on the peer review board of the Oracle Research Journal and is a volunteer for various fraternal and community organizations. Vukusich enjoys spending time with his dog Thacker, cheering on the ISU Sycamores and the Ole Miss Rebels, and doing projects around the house.

Wednesday, Feb. 7

12:00-12:05 pm ET  |  Recap & Resources

Quick recap of Day 1 learning and where you can find slides, resources and recordings.

12:05-1:00 pm ET  | Linkage, Ability, and Interest: How that applies to internal metrics and portfolio management

Allison Foster, CFRE, Director of Donor Relations, Alpha Chi Omega Foundation 

Allison Foster

Allison J. Foster serves as a Director of Donor Relations with the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation.  She has an extensive background in higher education and the fraternal world as her career is focused on work on campuses and within fraternal staff teams for both the Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity and Foundation. She has also served as a Chapter Advisor for several chapters within Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity and served on the Alpha Chi Omega NPC Delegation for six years. Allison believes in the power of relationships and the impact they can have on the forward movement of organizations.  Allison holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Stetson University and a Master of Arts in Education, Concentration: Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut. She is a Florida native and is currently living in Salt Lake City, Utah, enjoying the mountains and the outdoors.

1:10-2:00 pm ET  | Asking for a Blended Gift

Scott Sikes, CFRE, Partner, Columns Fundraising; David Carico, Partner, Columns Fundraising 

David Carico

David served on the staff of the Kappa Alpha Order for 15 years, including 10 years as Executive Director of the Kappa Alpha Order Educational Foundation.  He then moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology where he was Regional Director of Development, soliciting major philanthropic support from alumni in the Northeastern United States, then on the West coast.  Most recently, he served as Vice President of Business Development at Omega Financial, Inc. (“OmegaFi”).

David has a dual B.A. in English/History from Emory University and earned his CFRE designation in 1997.  He has been active in the Junior Chamber of Commerce, serving as President (Lexington, VA) and State Director, and as Chairman of the Junior Chamber 2002 International Conference of the Americas.  He served as a Board member and Treasurer of the North American Interfraternal Foundation and as member of the National Committee on Planned Giving.

Scott Sikes

Scott consults with nonprofit board and staff leaders nationally and teaches organizational leadership/fundraising at Brenau University. He was VP of Shepherd Center, the nation’s largest brain and spinal cord injury hospital, and Executive Director of its Foundation; VP of Valdosta State University and CEO of its Foundation; Interim Executive Director of Development at the University of Georgia. The intersection of major gifts and planned giving is his specialty.

Scott was a co-founder of the Georgia Planned Giving Council 35 years ago and later its President. He earned the designation “Fellow” from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy; Certified Fundraising Executive and the Certified Financial Planner designation. He has an MBA from Kennesaw State University, a BA in Political Science/Russian Language from UGA. He is in his second term on both the UGA Board of Visitors and the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta.

2:10-2:35 pm ET  | Affective Engagement, Inspiring Major Gifts

Mandi Young, Senior Director of Development, Phi Mu Foundation 

Mandi Young

As the Senior Director of Development for Phi Mu Foundation, Mandi directs the cultivation and acquisition of major gifts and planned gifts and implements and directs targeted major gift campaigns.

Mandi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Science in Higher Education from Florida State University (FSU), where she was an active member of Phi Mu’s Alpha Epsilon Chapter. Mandi has 20+ years of alumni relations and fundraising experience, specifically in major gifts and annual giving. Before working at Phi Mu, Mandi held the roles of Senior Director for Alumni Programs and Outreach and as Senior Annual Giving Officer at FSU. She also worked at Southern Methodist University as the Director of Development, National Major Gifts.

2:35-3:00 pm ET  | Roundtable Discussion: Securing the Meeting

Facilitated by Allison Foster, CFRE, Director of Donor Relations, Alpha Chi Omega Foundation 

3:10-4:00 pm ET  | Cultivating Annual Fund Donors Panel

Moderated by Allison Rickels, Executive Director, FarmHouse Foundation

Panelists include Jason Butler, CFRE, Director of Leadership Giving, FarmHouse Foundation; Ryan King, CFRE, Chief Advancement Officer, Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation; Sara Roach, Director of Development, Kappa Delta Foundation

Allison Rickels

Allison is Executive Director & CEO of the FarmHouse Foundation, serving as the first and only woman CEO of a men’s fraternity educational foundation. She has been in this role for almost 16 years and on staff for nearly 22 years. She has led the efforts to grow their assets from $2 million to over $25.5 million today. Last fiscal year, the Foundation raised over $3.7 million. Allison is an Alpha Phi, past President of the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence (FFE), and served on the board for six years. In 2013, she received FFE’s William D. Jenkins Outstanding Professional Award. Allison is a member of the AFP MidAmerica Chapter, serving on their board for six years, and is a 15-year faculty member of the chapter’s Fundraising 101 program. She also served on the boards of the Fraternity Communications Association and the University of Northern Iowa’s Alumni Association. She is president of her PEO Chapter and treasurer for South Valley Middle School PTSA. She and her family live in Kansas City, Mo.

Jason Butler

Jason Butler is the Director of Leadership Giving for the FarmHouse Foundation. He provides leadership in the areas of major gifts, estate gifts, donor stewardship and data management as well as securing annual support for the FH Excellence Fund and advising FarmHouse associations with housing campaign planning. He is the staff liaison to the board’s Governance and Policy Committee.

He has been a fraternity professional for more than two decades and joined FarmHouse Foundation in October of 2019. He spent 15 years in fraternity fundraising and consulting with Pennington & Company, nine of those as partner and shareholder, assisting house corporations and national foundations secure more than $50 million to support students and facilities.

Prior to joining the consulting staff at Pennington & Company, Jason worked for his alma mater in their alumni association and served his fraternity, Delta Chi, as a leadership consultant and Director of Chapter Services.

Jason is a tireless advocate for the fraternity experience and the impact is has on members. He is past president and a former board member of the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence, the industry trade association and community foundation. He is a longtime volunteer for Delta Chi, currently serving on their foundation board, as a past fraternity board member, and in various local volunteer roles with multiple chapters.

Ryan King

Ryan King serves as the lead staff member for the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation, and his main responsibilities include creating and executing all development strategies and capital campaign efforts for the DUEF. Prior to joining the DUEF in 2019, Ryan worked for Beta Theta Pi for 18 years in roles focused on chapter services (2001-03), leadership development (2003-09) and the Beta Foundation (2009-18). Ryan is excited to join the Board of Directors to ensure FFE is providing its members with the fundraising knowledge, partnerships and networking opportunities needed to advance our fraternity/sorority missions.

Sarah Roach

Sara Cullins Roach is the Director of Development for the Kappa Delta Foundation and has worked with the foundation for 11 years. Most recently, in her role, she has served as the campaign manager for the foundation’s Imagine Her Future scholarship campaign, which is about to close this summer more than $1 million over goal.

Sara lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband Andrew and two furry family members.