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Breakout Sessions

Wednesdsay, June 3

Plenary Session: Noon

There is no Cure for Curiosity!
By Bob Hambly
Partner at Hambly & Woolley Inc., Toronto, Canada

Time/Location: Wednesday, June 3, 1 p.m., Grand Ballroom ABCD
There are many different ways to play. A better understanding of one’s own sense of curiosity can greatly enhance the quality and benefits of play. Bob Hambly will show you how to assess your curiosity and isolate five areas where improvements will help spur your creativity.

Bob Hambly Biography

Bob HamblyA graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Bob Hambly is a partner at Hambly & Woolley Inc., a Toronto-based, multi-disciplinary graphic design firm he co-founded with his partner, Barbara Woolley. Over the past 25 years, the firm has received over 350 national and international design awards. Bob’s creative mind is always at work at H&W, where clients benefit from his fresh perspective, eye for detail and knack for personal service. He oversees the development of a range of projects, with a particular focus on branding initiatives. Bob’s 30-year career as an illustrator included contributions to the weekly “Lives” column for the New York Times Sunday Magazine (12 years) and the weekly “Numbers” column for Time magazine (five years). Bob has taught illustration and lectured frequently on design and design-related topics to varied institutions, associations and organizations. Among them: OCAD University, Sheridan College, York University, ARIDO, NeoCon, Royal Ontario Museum, Rotman School of Management, UCDA and DesignThinkers for the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD). Bob is Vice President of Communications for RGD and is on their Board of Directors.

Session 1: 2:30-3:30 pm

25 Tweetable Truths about #HESM
Michael Sgro, Cortland and Rachel Coker, SUNY Binghamton
Regency Ballroom C

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who reach for their smart phones before they’ve had their first cup of coffee for the day — and everyone else. Michael D. Sgro of SUNY Cortland and Rachel Coker of Binghamton University are the first kind. In this rapid-fire session, Sgro and Coker will offer a look at 25 best practices in social media for higher education, introducing tools and techniques from multiple platforms. See what your campus can do with Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and more. Get ideas you can put to use right away, whether you are a seasoned user or a #newbie.

Planned Giving During a Campaign: Your Guide
Jason N. Ladouceur, SUNY Potsdam; and Lori A. Matt-Murphy, SUNY Albany
Grand Ballroom G

Want to successfully complete your campaign? You’d better incorporate planned gifts, often the single largest gift an individual can make to your institution. Given planned gifts are received upon the death of your donor(s), it is imperative that you begin communicating, cultivating and closing these gift intentions immediately. In this session you will learn: what is considered a planned gift; how they count in a campaign; minimum age of donor; proper documentation; their benefits; how to leverage and promote them; and how to communicate the impact planned gifts can have both today and in the future. If your institution is presently in a campaign or planning for one, these 50 minutes will be the best investment you can make. As a bonus, the first 25 attendees to enter the room will learn their official life expectancy according to actuarial calculations. Nothing says fun like discovering how long you have left!

Don’t Stop the Presses! SUNY Print Matters: Your Statewide Shared Printing Service
Kirk Starczewski, Empire State College
Grand Ballroom E

The SUNY Print Matters: Shared Printing Services initiative can handle the printing needs of SUNY institutions, providing them with an alternative to outside vendors, keeping SUNY funding within SUNY, for substantial savings and reallocation in funding other critical initiatives in access, completion and success. For those responsible for marketing and the design, layout, procurement and production of print materials at SUNY campuses, this initiative offers you an easier, faster and less expensive way to get what you need. Come see what we have to offer and share your ideas and suggestions on this project, saving your campus and department money at the same time.

Going Beyond the Faculty Directory: Proven Ways to Generate More Media Hits by Showcasing your Faculty Experts
Mark Greenfield, Director of Web Services, University at Buffalo and Peter Evans, Co-Founder & CEO, ExpertFile
Grand Ballroom F

It’s clear that faculty can help you build reputation with a variety of audiences such as media, alumni and donors. However, most online faculty sites get a failing grade. That’s why many schools are now developing “expert centers” to help them tell their stories better. Learn how schools are showcasing their faculty online to deliver a richer web experience for its visitors complete with mobile profiles that feature multimedia and social integration.

Developing Students and Young Alumni into Lifelong Donors: a Collaborative Effort between Foundation and Alumni Staff
Natalie Thompson and Andrea Roma, SUNY Broome
Regency Ballroom B

Let’s have a candid chat! Listen and share ideas and experiences on how alumni and foundation staff can better work together to make events, programs, publications and info gathering more effective and efficient, particularly in developing and cultivating students and young alumni. You will hear both successes and failures — or as we like to call them learning opportunities — when reaching out to students and young alumni. We will highlight Student Giving Program, use of peer (Student Ambassadors and Presidential Honors Scholars) events, presentations and publications. The audience will be encouraged to share their best practices and “learning opportunities.”

Break: 3:30 pm

Grand Foyer

Session 2: 3:45-4:45 pm

The Data-driven Campaign
Emily Hutchison and Sherry Paradis, SUNY Potsdam
Grand Ballroom G

Nothing’s more fun than spreadsheets filled with prospect data, right?! Well, maybe a few things. But understanding how to easily “play” with your data to project a campaign goal is very satisfying, and ultimately helps ensure a successful fundraising effort, which is fun for everyone involved! Learn how SUNY Potsdam designed a gift table that divided our prospect database into categories which were used to create giving probabilities and set goals. The process allowed us to update the data for each important campaign milestone to confirm our goals along the way. This data-driven exercise gave our campaign volunteers and staff confidence in our ability to strategically plan and execute a successful fundraising effort. And the beauty of the process was that it didn’t require special software… just a very basic knowledge of Excel, and the willingness to dig in and get our hands dirty playing with the data!

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads.
Using Yesterday’s Lessons to Navigate the Digital Landscape of the Future

Colleen Brennan-Barry, Monroe Community College
Regency Ballroom C

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, higher education teams would meet to create annual communications plans, laying out publications and timelines in a complete map forward for the entire season to come. Each year’s map had similar routes and landmarks as the year before; as long as the map was read correctly, triumph would inevitably follow. Those days are over. With apologies to traditionalists and cartographers everywhere, we have entered the time of GPS communications: a constantly-changing, digital period more focused on the destination than the path, and where each turn we make has us frequently “recalculating.” Together we’ll look back at where we’ve been and discuss the new rules of the road — the emerging digital trends and audience expectations that we need to understand to best meet the needs of our audiences, and to reach our own institutional goals.

Pitcher Chips to Business Cards
Erin Boylan and Nick Koziol, SUNY Cortland
Regency Ballroom B

Our captive audience is our students. With the population curve in a downward cycle, it is even more necessary to connect with prospective students and build a brand legacy for your SUNY school. This program builds on the “Alum from Day One” concept as we will speak to programs and ideas of connecting prospective students utilizing current students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the college in order to build a large network of supporters who advertise your SUNY Brand.

Hitting the High Notes: Launching Finger Lakes Opera at SUNY Geneseo
David Irwin and Carol Volpe, SUNY Geneseo
Grand Ballroom E

At a time when the arts are increasingly under pressure (both the liberal and the performing kinds), SUNY Geneseo’s bold vision to create Finger Lakes Opera, a professional opera company in Livingston County, turned heads and raised more than a few eyebrows. Yet, sold-out performances of Bizet’s “Carmen” last summer has arts patrons now singing Geneseo’s entrepreneurial praises. Learn how public relations and marketing, development and alumni relations colleagues at Geneseo collaborated in this endeavor to build brand awareness to support giving to the college — and lessons learned as the college readies the stage for Finger Lakes Opera’s second season. As a special surprise, this presentation will feature a guest appearance by one of the most iconic characters in the history of play, proving that opera is for everyone. And that’s no Looney Tune!

Online Scholarship Management
Mark Pastorella, Monroe Community College and Kevin Bresser, Vice President of Sales at AcademicWorks
Grand Ballroom F

Monroe Community College and AcademicWorks will discuss how to use technology to improve the compliance, utilization and stewardship of scholarship funds, while enhancing services to students, donors and the campus community.

Dinner: 6:30 pm

Grand Ballroom ABCD

SUNY Chancellor Keynote Address
By Nancy Zimpher
SUNY Chancellor, State University of New York

Time/Location: Wednesday, June 3, 6:30 p.m., Main Ballroom

Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher Biography

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

In June 2009 Nancy L. Zimpher became the 12th Chancellor of the State University of New York. With nearly 463,000 students and 64 colleges and universities, SUNY is the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education.

Through her strategic plan for the university, The Power of SUNY, Chancellor Zimpher leads a diverse set of successful initiatives in several key areas, including research and innovation, energy, health care, global affairs, and the education pipeline. She has been a vocal advocate for groundbreaking legislative reforms that ensure SUNY can provide broad access to high-quality higher education in an environment of declining state support, while maximizing the system’s impact as an engine of economic revitalization in every region of the state.

Under Chancellor Zimpher’s lead, SUNY is undertaking many innovative, system-enhancing initiatives—including shared services, dramatic expansion of online learning opportunities and cooperative education, and new partnerships with K-12 professionals—always with the goal of optimally serving New York’s students and communities and preparing them to succeed in the 21st century.

Chancellor Zimpher is active in numerous state and national education organizations, and is a recognized leader in the areas of teacher preparation, urban education, and university-community engagement. She currently serves as chair of the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences and the National Association of System Heads. From 2012-2013 she was chair of CEOs for Cities, and from 2005 to 2011 she led the national Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. As co-founder of StriveTogether, Dr. Zimpher has been instrumental in creating a national network of innovative systemic partnerships that holistically address challenges across the education pipeline.

Prior to coming to SUNY, Dr. Zimpher served as president of the University of Cincinnati, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of the College of Education at The Ohio State University. She has authored or co-authored numerous books, monographs, and academic journal articles on teacher education, urban education, academic leadership, and school/university partnerships.

Chancellor Zimpher holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education and Speech, a master’s degree in English Literature, and a Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Higher Education Administration, all from The Ohio State University.

Educational Achievement Award Presentation
Recipient Stephen P. Johnson
Retired Vice President for Government and Community Relations, Cornell University

After-dinner Music by Carol Leven, Fashion Institute of Technology: 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.


Thursday, June 4

Session 3: 9:30-10:30 am

Playing Matchmaker: How a Successful Alumni Mentoring Program Can Lead to Greater Student Satisfaction, Alumni Engagement and Donor Cultivation
Mona Vroman and Nancy Griffin, SUNY Potsdam; and Maureen Winney, SUNY Empire State College
Grand Ballroom F
Potsdam’s Women and Leadership Program was developed by the Campus Life staff as an opportunity for students to explore and reflect on issues related to women and leadership through a series of eight workshops by faculty and staff. Upon completion of the workshops, Alumni and Development staff “play matchmaker” by pairing each student with a successful alumna mentor who is chosen based on the student’s career interests. This collaboration has resulted in students who are much more focused, motivated and self-confident, and alumni volunteers who are pleased and proud to have a meaningful way of giving back to their alma mater. The program has also become a valuable tool for cultivating prospective donors. Presenters will share their experience with this successful program as well as lessons learned from their not-so-successful attempts with previous programs. An alumna mentor will also discuss her experiences with mentoring a student.
6 Suggestions for Successful Student Storytelling
Tim Nekritz, and Lizzy Marks, SUNY Oswego
Grand Ballroom G
When it comes to telling your story, current students do it extremely well. They are living the experience that we work so hard to develop, and can relate why your school is awesome to prospective students via blogs, photos and video. Social media is perhaps the best storytelling platform ever invented: it’s democratic, peer-to-peer, viral, omnipresent and has a lower barrier for entry. So why not find ways to empower your student storytellers across social media platforms? This session will include social media intern/student blogger Lizzy Marks to offer a student point of view. The presentation will provide practical suggestions that offices of any size or budget can consider for success.
Development – a Marathon not a Sprint!
Diane Shoger and Mark Pastorella, Monroe Community College
Regency Ballroom C
In 1999, Diane L. Shoger, executive director, and Mark J. Pastorella, director, development, joined the Monroe Community Foundation and each now claims a career with over 16 years of service to the MCC Foundation. Longevity and a long-term approach to relationship and major gift cultivation has helped the MCC Foundation achieve record results and, in 2015, Diane was one of two recipients of this year’s Council for Advancement and Support of Education Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award. In 2014, CASE recognized the MCC Foundation as among the top five community college development offices in the country. Diane and Mark will collaborate on a best practices discussion in areas such as annual fund, event success and major gift solicitation. Participants will leave the session with two hands-on ideas and best practices to help grow your advancement results.
One System, Two Home Pages: Re-imagining
Fran Zablocki, mStoner; Taras Kufel and David Belsky, SUNY
Regency Ballroom B
How do you build a homepage that serves the competing needs of 64 campuses, millions of prospective and enrolled students and alumni, and more than 100,000 employees?  Create two homepages. That’s what SUNY and mStoner did for the nation’s largest comprehensive public system of higher education. Faced with the challenge of balancing the needs of faculty and staff inside SUNY and the even larger groups on the outside, the solution was to design a site geared toward prospective students and external audiences,, and another,, meant for faculty, staff, and administrators. This session will highlight the major decisions, challenges, and solutions that went into the launch of the new
The True Bucket Challenge: How to Get and Keep Your Alumni Donors
Maya Gasuk, Senior Consultant at West Wind Consulting Strategies in Fund Raising, LLC
Regency Ballroom A
Everyone has heard about the ice bucket challenge… but the real “bucket challenge” is how to retain and build a strong family of alumni donors year after year. Donor retention can be described as a bucket with a hole in the bottom. The art of growing donor participation is to keep the hole in the bottom as small as possible by keeping donor retention rates high, while ensuring the acquisition program continues to efficiently and cost effectively fill the bucket with new or long lapsed donors so the overall level of participation rises over time. This session will explore and share practical “take-home and implement” approaches to understanding, monitoring and managing your approach to soliciting and thanking donors. Learn what you can do to (and what not to do) to see your alumni participation rates reverse the national trends.

Break: 10:30 am

Grand Foyer

Session 4: 10:45-11:45 am

Effective Volunteer Engagement
Gretchen Wood, Monroe Community College
Grand Ballroom F

Learn how the Monroe Community College Foundation utilizes the energy and talent of their dynamic 54-member board of directors to develop new donor relationships and host successful fundraising events. This session will focus on strategies to keep volunteers actively engaged and will explore how to get the most out of your development committee. With so many demands for your volunteers’ time, learn how to meet their needs efficiently and allow them to use their valuable time to raise funds for your institution.

Taming Those !@#$ Notifications: Getting Back to What is Important to You
Katy Greene, Farmingdale State College, SUNY
Regency Ballroom B

What noise did my phone just make? Is that a sound my phone makes? Oh! That’s the notification that my time-hop is ready! Maybe I could jump back in time and not have to deal with all the beeps, bloops, buzzing, and musical interludes that are resonating from my pocket throughout the day. Or maybe we could jump back in time to where focus time was at a maximum and vibrating was something that happened during an earthquake or a heavy-metal concert. In this ever-growing digital world, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the flow of information available at our fingertips. How do we manage our social and app notifications to improve productivity, decrease distractions and get down to what really matters – like getting back to that beach vacation?

Reuniting and It Feels So Good: Utilizing Reunion to Meet the Goals of Your College
Erin Boylan, SUNY Cortland
Regency Ballroom A

A main goal of reunions should always be to bring alumni back to campus, but have you given thought to utilizing your reunion to meet goals of your institution? Grow your reunion to be a year-long program and capitalize on alumni excitement regarding it to harvest data, increase annual giving, cultivate new volunteers, strengthen volunteer leaders and encourage participation in other alumni programs. Professionals new to reunion development are encouraged to attend to learn SUNY Cortland’s model. Seasoned reunion professionals will be encouraged share best practices and how they utilize reunion to meet their college priorities.

The $2 Million Dollar Blanket (with no strings attached)
Steven G. Frederick, Clinton Community College
Grand Ballroom G

Clinton Community College received a $2 million dollar cash gift with no strings attached — totally unrestricted. The gift was secured, in part, by the deployment of a $30 blanket from our college store. This session is intended for the beginning fundraiser and the seasoned professional as we all must rely on the basic skills of “donor relationship building.”  Good fundraisers are usually good story tellers. You will want to attend this workshop and listen to one of the best donor development stories ever told!

Managing the Unmanageable: Digital Governance in Higher Education
Mark Greenfield, University at Buffalo, SUNY
Regency Ballroom C

Higher education presents many unique challenges that make it difficult to fully leverage the power and potential of the digital, which includes the web, social and mobile. Multiple missions, silos, consensus decision making, multiple audiences with disparate needs, corporate expectations on a not-for-profit budget, campus politics and decentralized organizational structures all combine to create a very demanding environment. But with digital growing in importance, it is now critical to overcome these challenges. Completely updated for 2015, this presentation will show how digital governance and management is essential to achieve a sustainable, efficient and cost-effective digital presence. Topics will include: how to educate senior leadership on the importance of digital; the relationship between governance, strategy, operational management and evaluation; how to create a digital governance charter that balances autonomy with accountability; a review of the pros and cons of various governance models, committee structures and reporting structures; and how to make digital governance work in a decentralized organizational model.

Lunch: 12:00 to 1:15 pm

SUNYCUAD Annual Business Meeting
Presentation of the 2015 SUNYCUAD Awards for Excellence
Grand Ballroom ABCD

Session 5: 1:30-2:45 am

Measuring Alumni Engagement
Chris Marshall, Vice President, Grenzebach Glier & Associates
Regency Ballroom A

Engagement Metrics – a buzz phrase in the alumni relations industry. It is important to understand how we define engagement, how we measure it, what different scoring models look like, and how these models are applied to your program. This session will present different scoring models, how they were developed, and what you can learn from their implementation.

Adobe Publish Overview
Stephen Adler, Adobe
Regency Ballroom C

Please join Adobe Systems for an exclusive session to learn more about how Adobe Publish can help you distribute tablet and mobile applications. This session will introduce you to Adobe Publish, and help get you started in creating publications, adding interactivity, and understanding the app-building process. Discover how you can energize your mobile strategy with best practices and solutions from innovators in marketing. You will see mobile apps that create persuasive content for smartphones and tablets — to engage students, alumni, donors, and fans.

Starting a Start-up with Campus Community Leadership
Tom Schryver and Gary Stewart, Cornell
Grand Ballroom G

Startup communities have grown in interest and attention over the last decade. How can your town partner with your college or university to support the creation and growth of new companies both by permanent residents as well as students? How can you support a combined community of entrepreneurs and encourage students to start and grow their business in town? Tom Schryver and Gary Stewart will relay lessons learned from Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, a partnership between Cornell, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College in downtown Ithaca, NY. Funded by a capital grant from New York State, Rev serves as a central base for the startup community in Ithaca and is open to entrepreneurs regardless of affiliation.

Harnessing the Power of the Hashtag
John Oles, SUNY New Paltz
Grand Ballroom F

If you’re trying to reach more students and alumni on social media, then a Social Media Hub is the perfect tool. Attendees will learn current best practices, industry trends and how to harness the power of a collective hashtag. Discover how to empower your audiences to share their stories to a central hub and how your staff can control the approval process. The session will focus on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but will mention other popular networks and tricks to send content to your hub. You’ll also learn ways to run a successful giving campaign to engage both alumni and donors.

Talent Management: The Building Blocks
Holly Wolk, University of Rochester
Regency Ballroom B

In this session, we will discuss the basics of successful talent management program and how to build a program at your institution. We will review the basics of talent management, including essential program elements, learn how to build a program and define what strategic talent management means in advancement. You will learn how to build a program that focuses on the best practices on recruitment and retention with a limited budget.

Break: 2:45 pm

Grand Foyer

Session 6: 3:00 to 4:45 pm

Dive in Deeper Panels

Take a deeper look with your colleagues in your specific area into hot topics, burning questions, and things not covered sessions up to this point. There will also be time to connect with your SUNY Admin liaisons in this extended session.

Alumni Community Colleges – Regency Ballroom C

Alumni 4-year – Grand Ballroom A

Development Community Colleges – Regency Ballroom B

Development 4-year – Grand Ballroom C

Marketing and Communications – Regency Ballroom A

Government Relations – Wilmorite Room

Web/Social – Grand Ballroom G

“Play Time!”: 5:45 to 9:00 pm

Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and get ready to play! Roam free throughout the museum to explore your curiosity, including the world’s most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, board games, video games, books, documents, and other historical materials related to play. Take a stroll through the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, hang out with your friends from Sesame Street, catch up with comic book superheroes, or dust off your skills on dozens of original classic arcade games.

This venue is just two blocks from the hotel and entirely walkable, but there will be a round-trip shuttle service starting at 5:45 p.m. and ending at 9:15 p.m.


Friday, June 5

Breakfast: 8:00 to 9:00 am

Grand Ballroom EFG

Session 6: 9:00-10:15 am

Marketing and Branding: 585
Grand Ballroom ABCD
Tod Martin, President and Chief Creative Officer of The Martin Group
Michael Doyle, Regional President of Entercom Communications
Karl Withers, Associate Vice President of Marketing for the University of Rochester Medical Center
Lisa Feinstein, Vice President for Advancement, The Strong

As higher education is being scrutinized from multiple directions, it is more important than ever before to focus on solid branding and marketing in our institutions. Whether it is enrollment, fundraising, career preparation outcomes, community relations, or public perception, we have to be aware that “everyone” is watching. Join professionals in the field as they look at trends and best practices, and draw upon their expertise of branding and marketing to translate successful ideas and strategies into the academic arena.

Session 7: 10:30-11:30 am

Crisis Communication Panel and Discussion
Grand Ballroom EFG
Michelle Ouellette, SUNY Plattsburgh; Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, SUNY Potsdam; Frederic Pierce, SUNY Cortland

Panel presenters will discuss the role of crisis communication in higher education and the changes it has seen in the digital age. They will also connect some examples of real incidents on their own campuses and open up to the group to weigh in. Highlights will include a discussion of Yik Yak and hyper new media, and examine how we go beyond traditional public relations methods to actively engage the community, students, faculty and administration at a local, state, and national level in times of crisis on our campuses.