SUNY CUAD - STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK COUNCIL FOR UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT | 2024 Session Speakers
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2024 Session Speakers

Kyle Adams is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Creative Strategy in the Office of Press & Communications at SUNY System Administration. Prior to joining System Administration, he worked in marketing and communications roles at Empire State University, the Rockefeller Institute of Government, SUNY Cobleskill, and SUNY Delhi. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, proudly served in the United States Peace Corps, and worked as a newspaper reporter before beginning his career at SUNY.

Mike Barone is the owner and founder of STR8 4WRD Communications. He has over a quarter century of experience, during which he’s helped scores of clients in dozens of industries. As SUNY Fredonia’s Director of Marketing & Communications for eight years, he led its advertising, PR, branding, digital media, crisis, event management and publications strategies and tactics, as well as its mission revision and rebranding initiative. He also has 20 years of agency experience, assisting private, nonprofit and public companies with strategic counsel, public relations, publications development, marketing, event management, crisis communications, social media management and more. He’s worked with more than a dozen SUNY and private universities and affiliates, along with such companies as Harmac Medical Products, National Fuel Gas Co., First Niagara Bank and The Home Depot. However, he’s best known to SUNYCUAD as its conference manager, having managed its annual event since 2017, in addition to co-chairing its 2010 and 2015 events as a board member. He’s earned dozens of awards, including four “Best of Show” honors from the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He’s also a former president of the chapter, which honored him in 2011 as its Practitioner of the Year. In 2010, he was named one of Buffalo’s Business First’s “Forty Under 40.” He holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the University at Buffalo.

Skylar Beaver is Assistant Director of Advancement at The Lawrenceville School, where she spearheads annual giving campaigns and oversees alumni and family engagement, donor relations, stewardship, and advancement services. With a strong global perspective, she also leads international fundraising initiatives. Her experience spans 16 years in development, including leadership roles at The Spence School, Washington and Lee University, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. A respected voice in the industry, she is a frequent presenter with CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), a past chair of STAFF (Sharing the Annual Fund Fundamentals), and chairs NEAGC (Northeast Annual Giving Conference). Her contributions have earned her accolades, including the 2023 Diane Thompson Award for Excellence in Annual Giving from NEAGC, a CASE Crystal Apple Award for outstanding speaking, and the distinguished CASE Laureate honor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a master’s in Nonprofit Management from SUNY Brockport.

Rich Becker is the University at Albany’s Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

David Belsky is the founder of Good Rebellion and offers unique experience in communications strategy and public relations for purpose-driven organizations. For nearly a decade, he drove integrated marketing and communications at The State University of New York, the largest higher education system in the U.S. He successfully implemented a new brand across 64 campuses, helping to establish the system and its chancellor as national thought leaders. While at SUNY, David maintained a wide-ranging portfolio including media and government relations, advertising, social media, executive speechwriting, crisis communications, alumni engagement, student leadership, and supporting the Board of Trustees. He then joined The Fund for Public Schools at the NYC Dept. of Education, where he built a newly created communications department from the ground up. David was responsible for developing and implementing strategies for fundraising, donor engagement, content creation, partner relations, reporting for the Board of Directors, and liaising with City Hall. Before founding Good Rebellion, David was managing director at a creative agency in downtown Manhattan where he oversaw client strategy and growth. He is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, now living in Brooklyn. He attended NYC public schools, earned his bachelor’s in Political Science from Binghamton University, and MPA from the University at Albany.

Chris Brown is a seasoned Alumni Relations and Development professional. He joined SUNY New Paltz as the Director of Alumni Relations in April 2021 and was responsible for strategically engaging the University’s 75,000 alumni throughout the United States and abroad. In January 2024, he accepted a Program Director, Donor Engagement position and is now currently responsible for raising funds to establish student scholarships and provide support for various programs. Previously, Brown served as the Director of Development at Martin Luther School, Maspeth, N.Y., and the Director of Development at St. John’s Lutheran School, College Point, N.Y. His extensive leadership experience extends to the corporate finance industry, where he served as an Assistant Vice President at Pershing in Jersey City, N.J., Trading Operations Manager at The Prudential Insurance Company of America in Newark, N.J., and Assistant Treasurer at the Chase Manhattan Corporation in New York. Brown is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He currently serves on the boards of SUNYCUAD and the Dream Builders Foundation. He is a member of the African American Development Officers Network and Men of Color in Development. He earned his bachelor’s in Business Administration from SUNY New Paltz.

Brooke Carroll has more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning and operations, alumni relations, volunteer management, event management and fundraising. A graduate of Sonoma State University (bachelor’s in Art History) and Concordia University (MBA), she has extensive experience in higher education, including Hawaii Pacific University, UC Berkeley Law School, the University of Oregon and Columbia. As Stony Brook’s assistant vice president of Constituent Experience, she leads the university’s efforts to strengthen relationships with its 200,000-plus alumni, increase undergraduate and graduate alumni philanthropic support and boost engagement with other critical constituency groups.

Carl Cervi is an Executive Vice President with CCS Fundraising.

Matthew Colson is an industry leader in higher education development, alumni relations and communications, building successful operations and programs both in small private college and large public university settings. As Vice President for Development & Alumni Engagement he sets for vision and strategy for all efforts to inform, engage and inspire the College’s greater campus community of alumni, friends, parents, corporations, and private foundations and seek their philanthropic support to advance the mission of the College. With over 20 years of experience and a proven track record for building award-winning programs, he joined the Cabinet at Farmingdale State College in 2020. In this role, he has built a high-performing team and together they have delivered unprecedented growth in the College’s endowment, scholarship support, student emergency funds and unrestricted flexible use dollars for the College. Matthew serves on the Board of Directors for the Long Island Business Development Council (Associate Director) and The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation; and presents regularly at regional and national conferences with CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), SUNYCUAD (State University of New York Council for University Advancement) and Academic Impressions. He has a bachelor’s in Speech Communications from St. Joseph’s University, and a master’s in Education from Long Island University.

Adam Connolly is a Senior Vice President with RNL. He has more than 15 years of experience in higher education, specifically enrollment management. Prior to this, he served as vice president of Enrollment Management and Marketing at Coker University. There, he led an enrollment team that helped the university achieve record enrollment numbers three different times during his tenure. He currently serves as Vice President for Enrollment Management at RNL. Adam’s area of experience and interest lies specifically in enrollment pipeline foundation, financial aid leveraging, and comprehensive enrollment and retention best practices. Adam was born and raised in central New Jersey. He earned his BA in Communication from The College of Mount Saint Vincent located in Riverdale, N.Y. He then earned his M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Drexel University. Adam resides in Florence, S.C., with his wife and two daughters.

Gabriella Czerw graduated with her Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Cortland in Communications Studies and earned her MBA from Stony Brook University. After working in the private sector in the medical marketing space, she found her passion for higher education. Her depth of experience in SEO, data analysis, and digital marketing assists her in her current role as Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for the Division of Student Affairs at Stony Brook University.

Nick DeCaprio is SUNY Cobleskill’s Senior Director of Development and Corporate Partnerships.

Danielle DiMuro is a seasoned MarComm professional with an 11-year tenure at Farmingdale State College. In her current role as associate director, integrated communications, Danielle spearheads college advertising initiatives, oversees enrollment communications, and collaborates on the development of marketing collateral. Her professional journey includes experience in New York City’s advertising and marketing agencies. This exposure has contributed to her well-rounded skill set and the ability to navigate the dynamic and competitive world of advertising and marketing. Danielle earned a master’s in School Counseling from the New York Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s in Advertising and Communications from SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology.

Matt Ebbers is a multidisciplinary media practitioner working in photography, video, and audio. Having received degrees in audio production from SUNY Broome and SUNY Purchase, Matt has had a career-long connection to the SUNY system and creative production. Outside of SUNY Broome, Matt has made work for brands and institutions such as the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the Alliance for Manufacturing & Technology.

Lisa English has worked in higher education since 1998, mainly in alumni engagement and advancement operations for the Rutgers University Foundation and Rutgers University Alumni Association, across all three of its major campuses. Lisa is currently the Associate Vice President, of Operations on the foundation’s central team for Advancement and Strategy and serves on the senior vice president’s senior team. Her role encompasses various strategic initiatives for the organization including internal communications related to the implementation of Salesforce and creating efficiencies in collaborative operations across the fundraising verticals. Lisa earned her doctorate in education from Rutgers in 2016. She is originally from New England, where she attended the University of New Hampshire. She is an avid RV’er and enjoys many of New York state’s parks in the Finger Lakes and Adirondacks.

Rachael Eyler is an award-winning journalist, now working in higher education as a marketing coordinator for the Division of Student Affairs at Stony Brook University. Originally from New York’s Lower Mid-Hudson Valley, she graduated from Stony Brook in December 2019 with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Political Science. Rachael began her career as a broadcast journalist, working in local, national, and international newsrooms including MSNBC, NBC, ABC, the BBC, Metro TV in Ghana, West Africa, and the Wall Street Journal London Bureau. She’s covered various topics including the start of the pandemic, mass shootings, the aftermath of the Flint Water Crisis, elections, and multiple investigations around local politics. She has won multiple awards from the Online News Association, and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, and is a two-time recipient of the Marie Colvin International Reporting Award. While she no longer works in the news industry full-time, Rachael continues to freelance in writing, video, and photography across the country, but her main focus is telling the stories of Stony Brook Seawolves.

Lane Filler is SUNY’s Chief Communications Officer. He joined the system in 2023 after spending 13 years with Newsday, where he was a columnist and editorial board member. Prior to this he was a reporter, columnist, and assistant city editor at the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, S.C. In his career he’s covered numerous topics, including politics, sports, food, and government. In 2004 he covered the war in Iraq as an embedded reporter with the 109th Field Artillery unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard. He began his career as a general assignment reporter at the Kingstree News and worked at numerous newspapers during a 25-year career in journalism. He was born in New Jersey, raised in South Carolina, and attended the University of South Carolina and Simons Rock of Bard College, where he earned a degree in theater. Filler has been the recipient of several journalistic honors, and two of the projects his work was central to have been named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

Kevin Morgenstein Fuerst is an Assistant Vice President with the University of Vermont Foundation. He has more than a dozen years of fundraising experience, focused mainly on annual giving and leadership annual giving. His role was recently expanded to include head of marketing and the donor pipeline. He holds a B.A. from Colgate University and an M.Ed. Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Sonia Garrido is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Student Affairs at Stony Brook University. Before joining Stony Brook in 2015, she worked in the private sector, focusing on dining services marketing and public relations. In 2021, she moved into her current role, where she is responsible for overseeing the integrated marketing and communications program for the Division of Student Affairs, including strategy, implementation and assessment of marketing and communications efforts. She holds a bachelor’s from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Stony Brook University.  Sonia also holds advanced certifications in Marketing and PR from NYU and Cornell University.

Julianna Goldring is the Director of Marketing for Concept3D, a leader in creating immersive online experiences with interactive maps, virtual tours, and branded event calendars. Julianna holds a master’s of Science Education focused in Education Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, which helps shape her unique insight into the intersection of business, education and innovation. She is passionate about corporate social responsibility, international education and development, diversity, equity and belonging practices, and community building.

Jon Goldstein is an award-winning creative with a diverse array of experience in print, web, video, and event production. Jon began his career at Farmingdale State College as an adjunct professor in the Visual Communications department before joining the marketing team full-time as a designer, then Creative Director, before moving into his current role as Senior Director of Brand & Marketing. During his time at FSC, Jon has won many design awards from Higher Education Marketing, Service Industry Marketing, Graphic Design USA, Best of Long Island, and SUNYCUAD, among others. Jon is a 2021 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Services and a 2019 recipient of FSC’s Commendation & Recognition for Excellence in Service (CARES) award. Prior to FSC, Jon ran his own design and marketing company and produced educational theatre across the NY Tri-State area. Jon holds a bachelor’s in Psychology from Vassar College.

Devon Jerla is an award-winning marketing communications professional. She’s the assistant director of Marketing and Brand Management in the University at Buffalo’s central communication office, where she manages the university-wide paid media strategy, overall branding guidance, True Blue – the institution’s official pride campaign and much more. Prior to joining UB, she began her career at Gelia, an integrated marketing communications agency, working on multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns and communication plans growing as content strategist, public relations manager and copywriter. She is a past president of the PRSA Buffalo Niagara chapter and has volunteered with the organization for over 10 years as Excalibur Awards chair, assembly delegate and president-elect. She was also recognized as the chapter’s Rising Star. Her work has garnered a Bronze Anvil award from PRSA National, three platinum Excalibur awards, several other gold and silver Excaliburs and several ADDY awards from the Advertising Club of Buffalo. She holds an MBA from UB and graduated summa cum laude from Buffalo State University’s public communications program, but her greatest achievement by far is raising her 3-year-old, boy-girl twins with her husband.

Michelle “Mimi” Johnson is a seasoned alumni engagement professional with over 15 years of experience in higher education advancement at public and private institutions. She has a strong background in digital marketing, content creation, event planning, stewardship and social media management. Mimi is known for her strategic thinking and ability to execute impactful alumni engagement campaigns that resonate with target audiences. She has a proven track record of successfully managing cross-functional teams and delivering results that exceed expectations. She is passionate about keeping up on the latest trends in alumni engagement and technologies to ensure she is at the forefront of the industry. Currently, she is director of Alumni Engagement and Stewardship at Farmingdale State College, a position she’s held for the past decade. She holds a master’s in Liberal Studies and a bachelor’s in English Literature from Nazareth University.

Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York. He oversees web properties along with digital content and engagement at System Administration. He has more than 20 years of experience working in communications, multimedia, and web development/management. He works closely with SUNY’s press, enrollment, and external affairs teams to coordinate the central branding, messaging, and content of the SUNY system on the web and social media. His work focuses on web development, the creation of content and messaging for SUNY’s social media and digital networks, and online marketing that enhances strategic communications. He also works with content curators to ensure digital accessibility, Search Engine Optimization, and a modern approach to messaging. In addition to his role with system administration, He also collaborates with each of the 64 SUNY colleges and universities to bring system messaging together. He currently serves on the SUNYCUAD board of directors. Prior to SUNY, he served as webmaster at Protective Industrial Products and art director at National Trade Publications/NTP Media. He holds a B.S in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communications from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Taras lives with his wife and twin children in Guilderland, N.Y.

Jake LeBlanc is an assistant director of Alumni Engagement with SUNY Cortland. After graduating from Cortland in 2019, Jake began his career with a marketing company in Syracuse. In his current role, Jake focuses on regional programming and young alumni. Additionally, he has been titled a certified postal negotiator with the USPS and is happy to give advice to anyone seeking to leverage their relationship with the federal postal service.

Chris Maio is the Chief Communications Officer for Farmingdale State College. She oversees the Office for Marketing and Communications, ensuring integrated communications and brand strategy across all internal and external channels, including marketing and advertising, web content and development, social media, creative design, enrollment communications, and government and media relations. Chris joined FSC in 2023 from Stony Brook University, where she served as head of communications and marketing for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, managing the web, content and social media strategies within its nine departments. Prior to Stony Brook, she developed and managed brand campaigns, media relations and thought leadership programs for industry leaders including Arrow Electronics, Air France and NXP Semiconductor. Her earlier experience includes more than 10 years at public relations agencies, representing major brands such as Delta Air Lines and the SkyTeam Airline Alliance, Visa, and Dupont Textiles and Interiors. Chris holds a master’s in Technology and Society from Stony Brook University, and a bachelor’s in Communication Arts from Marist College.

Erica Marks joined SUNY New Paltz as vice president for development & alumni relations in November 2013. She reports to the president and serves on the university’s senior leadership team. She leads all fundraising activities including Soaring Higher, the institution’s first-ever fundraising campaign, which concluded successfully in June 2021. She also oversees alumni relations and serves as executive director of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. Prior to New Paltz, she was interim vice president of development and alumni relations at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) in Brooklyn. Her nearly 40-year fundraising career includes senior and leadership positions at a range of educational, social, and arts organizations including Columbia University’s School of the Arts, New York City Opera, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, The Actors Fund, AFS-USA, and Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage. Marks holds a bachelor’s in English from Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, a Master’s in Arts Administration from New York University, and a Certificat D’Etudes Supérieures de la Langue Française from the Université Paris-Sorbonne. She is conversant in French, Spanish and Norwegian. She lives in Kingston, N.Y., with her husband, the artist Dan George.

Kristin Matthews is Senior Associate Director of Donor Experience at Stony Brook University. She is responsible for the strategic development of outreach strategies, donor experience, volunteer management, and delegation and implementation of techniques to assist in managing the Donor Experience Team. She plays an integral role in the University’s Scholarship Celebration, Brick Legacy Program, Endowed Faculty and Investiture Ceremonies, 40 Under Forty Alumni Program, and Distinguished Alumni Awards Program. Kristin serves as the constituent experience liaison with the Career Center and coordinates the annual Students and Alumni Networking Mixer.

Natasha McFadden serves as director of the Cortland Fund, SUNY Cortland’s annual giving program. She has over a decade of experience in professional fundraising, including nearly eight years in higher education. A life-long resident of New York and proud SUNY graduate, she has led Cortland’s annual giving team to record-breaking fundraising successes in dollars raised, donor counts, giving days and unrestricted giving for the university.

Nicole Miller is a digital engagement coordinator for Farmingdale State College. She oversees social media and content development in addition to managing internal digital communications. This includes internal and external marketing campaigns, the FSCToday campus-wide monthly newsletter, and the digital and print materials for social media, and myFSC internal dashboard. Nicole is also the MarComm liaison to the Office of Students Activities and Athletics Department. Nicole began working at FSC in 2015, after graduating high school while attending college at SUNY Cortland and has never looked back. She held various roles in key departments across campus such as Admissions Counselor and Recruitment Events Coordinator before moving to her current role. She received her bachelor’s in English from SUNY Cortland and a master’s in Secondary Education from Dowling College. She later went on to earn a second master’s in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University.

Meg Natter has been the Director of Community Colleges & Foundations for the Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE) since August 2023. For more than 20 years prior, she worked at New Jersey’s Brookdale Community College as executive director of its foundation, a tenured faculty member in its English department, and dean of its Humanities Institute. Her fundraising experience includes serving as Senior Development Officer at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township, N.J., earning the CFRE credential for six years and serving on the boards of many nonprofit organizations in Monmouth County.

Marie Parziale, MSW, is Stony Brook University’s senior alumni career coach. She serves as the primary provider of career development support to seniors and alumni in all stages of work-life with a range of career concerns from decision-making, exploration, branding and networking. She collaborates closely with Stony Brook’s Office of Alumni Relations and Advancement and works with other coaches on the Career Development Team. She has been with Stony Brook since 2011, advising and counseling students as part of Academic and Transfer Advising Services and Finish In Four teams. The best part of coaching for Marie is helping to inspire others to see their value, build confidence and feel empowered to use their strengths, gifts and talents in a way they can share with the world and make a living too. She leads the Career Center’s Mentor Program, alumni panel discussions, Alumni Words of Wisdom wall, and – together with the Alumni Team – hosts the annual Students and Alumni Networking Mixer.

Frederic Pierce is Communications Director for SUNY Cortland and a former political journalist who built a career by getting both sides of the story. He’s a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and was raised by opinionated parents from different political parties.

Diana Pollard is Dutchess Community College’s associate vice president of Institutional Advancement & the executive director of the DCC Foundation. She has been a member of the DCC Foundation team for 19 years and has been involved in fundraising in some fashion since 1990. She has helped take the Foundation’s net assets from $3.7 million in 2005 to more than $16.5 million today. Diana is also a former member of SUNYCUAD’s Board of Directors, serving as a conference co-chair and in many other roles. She is also an active member of SUNY’s Community College Chief Advancement Officers group, co-chairing programing for its annual retreat for the past 10 years. Most recently, she serves on the CASE Community College planning committee and will chair its 2025 conference. She has presented at various CASE and SUNYCUAD conferences as well. Under Diana’s leadership, the DCC Foundation received the 2019 CASE Educational Fundraising Award. She also received the 2020 Outstanding Fundraising Professionals award from the AFP Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter. Her academic credentials consist of a CFRM from the University of Indiana’s Lilly School of Philanthropy and an MBA in marketing.

Jonah Reardon is the associate director of Alumni Engagement for SUNY Cortland. A Cortland graduate, he has been employed by his alma mater for the last 10 years, serving in roles within student affairs, Title IX and alumni engagement. Jonah is a self-proclaimed “jack of all trades, master of none” and enjoys the different day-to-day challenges that the position brings, except for unforeseen challenges that occur with their CRM. Recently, Jonah announced that he will begin looking into a career as a professional mascot, as he came to learn that many of these roles come with six-figure salaries plus endorsement deals.

Lexy Rivera (she/her) is a development and relations professional currently serving as the Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations at SUNY Maritime College. Throughout the course of her tenure, Lexy has grown from positions in college admissions, prospect research, marketing and campaigns. Lexy brings her previous life experience as a modern dancer to her work through a humanist lens. She is a proud member of SUNYCUAD, Women of Color in Fundraising & Philanthropy, the Association of Development Officers and WISTA. When not working, you can find Lexy at brunch or curled up on the couch with her husband and step kids watching movies.

Christyn Sanagursky is the director of development at the Monroe Community College Foundation. She is passionate about improving access to higher education and cultivates, solicits, and stewards donors for scholarships and programs that promote student success. She also serves on SUNYCUAD’s board of directors and volunteers with a Rochester-area non-profit delivering groceries to community members in need. She previously held a variety of positions in advancement and alumni relations at the University of Rochester and earned her bachelor’s in communications from American University in Washington, D.C. In her spare time, Christyn enjoys checking out new restaurants, practicing yoga, and spending quality time with her dog, Ginger.

Anna Schlia is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Rochester, studying Philanthropy and Education. Through her work as a consultant, frontline fundraiser, and researcher of donor behavior, Anna brings an understanding of the intricacies of nonprofit institutions and the individuals who support them. As a fundraiser with 18 years of experience, Anna excels at principal and major gifts, crafting collaborative proposal strategies, building effective programs, and leading solicitation teams to success. Anna is a recognized presenter in the fundraising arena on topics related to donor motivation, fundraising ethics, and research-based stewardship practices. She lives in Rochester, N.Y., with her family and volunteers with the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Jess Stallone is the Director of Communications and Strategy at SUNY Rockland and co-founder and CEO of Stallone Technology Solutions, showcasing a dynamic blend of leadership in higher education, marketing, and communications. Jess is a fervent advocate for accessible and affordable higher education, championing the belief that educational opportunity is a cornerstone of democracy. Her tenure at SUNY Rockland is marked by transformative digital campaigns and event management, including the comprehensive redesign of the RCC website, strategic branding of the college, and execution of pivotal events. At Stallone Technology Solutions, she has leveraged her expertise to secure major international clients, spearhead creative projects, and lead strategic growth initiatives. With nearly a decade of experience in marketing and communications within higher education, her approach is deeply rooted in innovation and adaptability. Her work encompasses strategizing effective marketing plans, enhancing digital communication channels, and utilizing artificial intelligence to improve SEO and content creation. Jess’ leadership has not only advanced the mission of SUNY Rockland through strategic initiatives and multimedia production but has also driven Stallone Technology Solutions to significant achievements, including notable expansions into international markets. With a portfolio that spans local New York and foreign reporting in Kenya, multimedia production, and strategic marketing in the education, hospitality, wellness, healthcare, and sports sectors, Jess embodies the principles of innovation, accessibility, and community engagement. Her achievements have been recognized with awards for excellence in websites and strategy, further cementing her reputation as a leader in her field.

Tara Stenzel is Stony Brook University’s Executive Director for Principal Gifts and Foundation Relations.

Brad Tsai is an entrepreneur and investor currently focusing on AI solutions and heading the development of the ascend AI product for UC Innovation. Previously Brad co-founded Envisage Solutions, a U.S. consultancy focused on Oracle CRM and Business Intelligence software solutions. Envisage Solutions merged with hiSoft and listed on the NASDAQ exchange. Prior to Envisage Solutions, Brad served as Director of CRM Practice for TEQ International in London. Brad also served in multiple technical architect and consulting roles with Ernst and Young and Accenture. Brad graduated from the University of Southern California, with a B.S. in Business Administration, Information Systems.

Jill Vogel, M.Ed., was recently promoted to Senior Philanthropy Advisor and Director of Development Innovation at Empire State University. Jill believes that education has the power to transform lives and that impact is multi-generational. As a development professional for over a decade, Jill connects alumni and donors with the university’s mission identifying opportunities for philanthropic support to match their philanthropic goals. Before taking on this exciting role, she worked as an Advancement Officer at SUNY Empire where she successfully increased individual giving and played a key role in boosting grant support. Jill’s journey in higher education includes a significant tenure as the Director of Alumni Relations and Assistant Director of the SUNY Adirondack Foundation. She chaired the SUNY Community College Chief Advancement Officer Retreat for seven years and currently serves on the SUNYCUAD Board of Directors as the Secretary. In the role of Director of Development Innovation, Jill leads the research and implementation of innovative strategy and technology for the Office of Advancement. She looks to connect with colleagues to learn about AI applications to make advancement work more efficient and effective. Additionally, she is developing an internal education program for university leadership to foster a greater understanding of the work and role of development. She holds a master’s in Education Administration and Policy Studies with a concentration in Higher Education from the University at Albany, and a bachelor’s in Psychology from Union College.

Ben Wendrow has nearly a dozen years of expertise in professional fundraising and development. Currently serving as the Director of Development at SUNY Oneonta, Ben is responsible for spearheading all aspects of the university’s annual fund initiatives, donor stewardship, advancement services, and database management programs. SUNY Oneonta successfully completed its five-year comprehensive campaign, “Grow. Thrive. Live. The Future of SUNY Oneonta,” on June 30, 2023, showcasing the importance of strategic planning and execution. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Industry from SUNY Oneonta and is currently pursuing an MBA with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Empire State University.

Danielle White is Alfred State’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement. Prior to this, she served as the director of marketing and the executive director of the foundation at St. James Mercy Health System; as a marketing product manager at World Kitchen; and as a marketing category manager at Advantage/Pezrow. White holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BS in marketing from Canisius College. She and her husband, Brett, are the parents of three children, Jackson, Ava, and Ella. In her spare time, White enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and gardening.