Peter Hayashida, Vice Chancellor University of California at RiversidePeter Hayashida joined UC Riverside in 2009. He came from UCLA, where he had served as assistant vice chancellor for external affairs and executive director of The UCLA Foundation since 2000.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in communication studies at UCLA, Hayashida spent several years employed in private sector finance and marketing. He returned to his alma mater as a student affairs officer in UCLA’s College of Letters & Science. He then spent seven years working at the UCLA Alumni Association, ultimately serving as associate executive director for Finance and Administration and chief financial and operating officer before moving to The UCLA Foundation.
Hayashida earned a master of business administration degree from California State University, Northridge. He has served on non-profit boards and committees both for his professional association and in the community.
Dr. Jenna Dell, Director, Research Advisory Services, EAB
Dr. Dell is an engagement strategist with over a decade of experience in higher education and the non-profit sector. At EAB Jenna works with members across the Advancement, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Independent School research forums to provide decision support and build consensus rooted in best practice research. Jenna is a first-generation college student whose career began by working as an undergraduate student assistant to the college president and a volunteer in the alumni relations office.
Based in Rochester, N.Y., Dr. Dell enjoys spending time with her dog, visiting wineries and volunteering with Team RWB. She’s also a former board member of the Gap Year Association. She holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Rochester, a M.S. in Higher Education–Student Affairs, from the University of Rochester, and a B.A. with Phi Beta Kappa in Anthropology and Sociology from Elmira College.
John F. Somers, President & CEO, Harmac Medical Products Founder of Buffalo’s Bailey Green InitiativeJohn Somers is President and CEO of Harmac Medical Products, Inc., a contract engineering and manufacturing company of single-use medical devices that has served the global market place for over 38 years. The privately held company headquartered on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo’s East Side provides innovative technical solutions and manufacturing services for companies of all sizes, including leading Fortune 500 medical technology companies and high-potential start-ups. Somers, along with his executive team, has overseen Harmac’s growth, including manufacturing locations in Ireland and Mexico to complement its U.S. operations. Today, with over 1,000 employees worldwide, Harmac has received numerous awards for operations excellence, sustainability and community investment.
Under John’s leadership, Harmac created the Bailey Green Initiative, a community-led partnership to improve and support the Bailey-Genesee neighborhood around its east side headquarters, where roughly 25 percent of Harmac’s 400 U.S. employees reside. This unique, award-winning public-private partnership is focused on stabilizing and transforming a neighborhood that has faced considerable challenges and decades of neglect. With over 40 partners now joining Harmac’s efforts, this vision of transforming the neighborhood is becoming a reality.
John was the 2018 recipient of the Athlone Institute of Technology’s Distinguished Fellowship award, the institute’s greatest academic honor, for his outstanding leadership, generosity and significant contributions to the County of Roscommon, the Country of Ireland, and all of Harmac’s employees and communities worldwide. He was also named the 2019 Canisius College Business Executive of the Year and the 2019 Outstanding Executive of the Year by the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). In 2021, he was chosen for the Lifetime Achievement in Manufacturing Award by Buffalo Business First. He serves on the boards of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, and Viridi Parente, a startup in the disruptive energy space. He is also a founding board member of Endeavor WNY and previously served as a board member of the Buffalo Urban League and Biocoat, Inc. He completed a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, an MBA from Boston University, and the President’s Program in Leadership at Harvard Business School.
Dr. Jessica Elmore, Associate Director of Diversity Programs Kansas State University Alumni AssociationDr. Jessica Elmore is a visionary leader dedicated to the development of authentic, cross-cultural engagement for alumni, donors and diverse stakeholders.
Born and raised in California, Jessica draws her creativity and forward thinking strategy from her experiences in California, undergraduate experience at Grambling State University and the myriad of geographic locations she had lived like Phoenix, Arizona and Manhattan, Kansas.
While working on her doctorate degree in educational leadership, Jessica began working in alumni relations for the K-State Alumni Association at Kansas State University. During Jessica’s 10-year tenure at the Alumni Association she has planned over 100 award winning events that focus on engaging multicultural and international alumni and students and traveled to 10 countries engaging alumni and donors.
In 2020 Dr. Elmore launched JElmore Cross Cultural Consultants, a cross-cultural consultancy that provides creative solutions for organizations in developing meaningful relationships and opportunities for and within communities of color.
Jessica is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority and married to her wonderful husband, Kedric Elmore, of 12 years.
Lisa English, Associate Vice President for Advancement Services Rutgers UniversityLisa English has worked in higher education since 1998, primarily in the fields of alumni engagement and advancement for the Rutgers University Foundation and Rutgers University Alumni Association. In November 2018, she took on the new role of Associate Vice President for Advancement Services for the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) development team. As chief operating officer for this advancement unit, her team includes annual giving, alumni engagement, communications, and grateful patient development, plus strategic engagement of leadership and campaign boards. Her team works collaboratively with the eight schools of New Jersey’s academic health center and its institutes, and she serves on the Vice President’s senior team. Lisa is also the Chair-Elect of the CASE District II board and has led its Strategic Planning Committee. She was a member of the CASE SIAR (summer institute on alumni relations) faculty for the past 3 years, and has presented on various alumni and advancement related topics at CASE II, CASE V, NASPA, NACRO and SUNY CUAD. She is also an adjunct instructor in the leadership minor at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Fardin Sanai, Vice President for University Advancement & Executive Director of The University at Albany Foundation Executive CouncilFardin Sanai was appointed UAlbany’s Vice President for University Development and Executive Director of The University at Albany Foundation in fall 2007 with oversight of all fundraising and alumni affairs functions. In 2017, the division of media and marketing was placed under his direction and at that time, he was appointed Vice President of University Advancement. As Executive Director of the Foundation, he serves as the liaison to the Foundation board and oversees foundation operations including, investments, real estate and governance.
Prior to UAlbany, Fardin served as Senior Vice President for Development and Foundation Operations at Albany Medical Center, where he oversaw fundraising for both the college and hospital. Before that, he served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation at SUNY Cobleskill where he created and expanded the college’s fundraising and development operations. He began his fundraising career at Albany Law School and spent two years as a fundraising consultant for Morin & Anderson, Inc.
Under his leadership, UAlbany was a 2012 recipient of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE’s) Circle of Excellence Awards Program for Educational Fundraising for overall improvement. Fardin received the same award at SUNY Cobleskill in 2003. He currently serves as the chair of SUNY’s Chief Advancement Officers and on the SUNY SAIL Institute faculty. Fardin is a board member of 15-Love, a local non-profit which creates, enhances and executes free educational programs for inner city youth. Additionally, Fardin serves on the University at Albany Biosciences Development Corporation (UABDC) and the University Auxiliary Services (UAS) boards. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Marist College.
Peter Perkins, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, SUNY CortlandPeter Perkins joined the College in 2015 from SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, N.Y., formerly SUNY Institute of Technology. He served there since 2004, most recently as assistant vice president for development and executive director of the college’s foundation.
At SUNY Cortland, Perkins oversees the College’s fundraising initiatives and guides efforts in alumni engagement, government affairs, public relations and print and electronic communications. His career in higher education has included experiences in teaching, department and administrative leadership, continuing education, corporate training and outreach, fundraising and academic affairs.
During his time at SUNY Poly, Perkins also worked as the director of corporate training and outreach from 2004 to 2008 and director of career services from 2008 to 2009. He began his career in higher education in 1992 at Empire State College in Syracuse, where his titles included faculty mentor, director of the forum management education program and interim dean twice.
A native of Malone, N.Y., Perkins served six years in the U.S. Air Force as a medical service technician. He earned a B.S. in business administration and an MBA in production/operations management from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Brian Flahaven, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, CASEBrian Flahaven is vice president, strategic partnerships for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the professional association for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, and development. Brian also directs CASE’s government relations activities and tracks federal and state legislative and regulatory issues of concern to CASE members; as well as overseeing CASE’s public college and university foundation programs.
Prior to joining CASE, Brian was the manager of government relations and public policy at the Council on Foundations. He also served as the first Public Policy and Philanthropy Fellow at the Council of Michigan Foundations and worked for former Illinois Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood.
He received a bachelor’s in political science, economics and history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. In 2016, he earned the designation of Certified Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives. From 2011 to 2016, he served as an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner representing the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
Rob Henry, Vice President of Education, CASERob Henry is responsible for creating an overall global strategy for achieving CASE’s vision and mission related to talent management and for guiding conference programming, diversity/inclusion initiatives, research, and the CASE Library. Formerly an active CASE volunteer speaker and adviser, Rob joined the CASE staff in 2006 as head of emerging constituencies, later adding the responsibility for online educational programs. He previously held advancement management positions at Yale University, the University of Connecticut Foundation and Michigan State University. He is a graduate of Murray State University and has a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. In 2006, he received the prestigious CASE Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence.
Jenny Cooke Smith, Senior Strategic Consultant, CASEJenny Cooke Smith’s focus is on AMAtlassm, the global resource for educational advancement-related metrics, benchmarks and analytics. She specializes in analyzing advancement trends, interpreting comparison benchmarks, and helping people understand the “stories behind the data.” In this role, she is responsible for developing and leading facilitated cohort groups to help members better understand advancement outcomes by practice area, thereby informing thought leadership and best practice. Prior to joining CASE, Jenny spent 15 years in a variety of positions within Blackbaud’s Target Analytics, most recently leading donorCentrics™ benchmarking cohorts, which provide opportunities for institutions and organizations globally to review and discuss direct marketing and annual giving trends. During her time in this role, she built and expanded the Higher Education cohort groups, spurred development to analyze the impact of newer initiatives within fundraising, such as giving days, crowdfunding and mid-level giving analysis, and partnered with offices in Canada, the U.K., and Australia to deliver results specific to NGO’s in those fundraising markets. Jenny has also been a CASE volunteer and frequent speaker at CASE conferences.
Dr. Katie Griffes, Assistant Professor, Sport and Exercise Sciences, SUNY OneontaPrior to joining SUNY Oneonta, Dr. Katie Griffes was the Director of Shaw Wellness Institute at Colgate University, and served as the program director for both Exercise and Sport Studies and Physical Education at Benedictine University. She values strong ties to her community, and has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Defiance YMCA, was a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Special Olympics, and served as a Faculty Advisor for Chicago Public Schools Physical Education Advisory Board. She has been involved with international travel and research, leading several student groups on service trips to Tanzania. She has been involved with high school and collegiate tennis programs since 2009 and is currently the Assistant Tennis Coach at Hartwick College, bringing mental skills training to the program. Her research interests include leadership development, particularly related to sport and military leadership, as well as Positive Youth Development and using sport as a vehicle for character and life skill development. She is from Eaton Rapids, Mich., and has a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, with a concentration in Sport Psychology, from Michigan State University. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Olivet College.
Gretchen Wood, CFRE, VP for Institutional Advancement, Monroe Community College; Executive Director, MCC FoundationGretchen Wood oversees MCC’s Government & Community Relations, Institutional Research and Institutional Compliance departments. She also facilitates a comprehensive fundraising program at the MCC Foundation in support of the college, led by a volunteer board of 57 business and community leaders and a staff of 13 dedicated professionals. She has worked in the fundraising field for more than 20 years and holds a Master of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from SUNY Brockport and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and English Education from Syracuse University. She serves as Immediate Past-President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Genesee Valley Chapter and is Chair-elect of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Mid-Atlantic District Cabinet. She also serves on CASE’s Commission on Philanthropy. She is a frequent presenter at conferences nationally and received a Rochester Business Journal Women of Excellence Award in 2019.
Marc Westenburg, Director of the Center for Community College Advancement, CASEMarc Westenburg is the director of foundations and community colleges for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). As director of foundations and community colleges, he leads CASE’s efforts to support the 1,400 college and university foundations around the country. He is also the director of CASE’s Center for Community College Advancement. In this role, he directs the development and delivery of specific training and resources to help community colleges build and sustain effective fundraising, communications and marketing, alumni relations and grant development programs.
Before joining CASE, Marc developed and implemented marketing strategies at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, and served as an adjunct faculty member of the college’s Business Administration Department. He has also worked in Italy for a private Italian university as director of international marketing and recruitment and in Japan as an ESL instructor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and English from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and holds a Master of Management in Higher Education Administration from Robert Morris University in Chicago.
John Zacharek, Vice President for Development, SUNY Cobleskill; Executive Director, SUNY Cobleskill FoundationJohn Zacharek serves as chief advancement officer for SUNY Cobleskill and the executive director of the SUNY Cobleskill Foundation. He leads all development programs for the college including principal and major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, athletics and regional development. In addition, he oversees all alumni engagement and fundraising efforts for the college’s two schools – The School of Agriculture and Natural Resources and The School of Business and Liberal Arts & Sciences. He has nearly 30 years of development, marketing and public relations experience.
Before joining SUNY Cobleskill, he held the position of executive director of development at Binghamton University. His background in fundraising, marketing, and public relations is extensive, having served as vice president for development at SUNY Onondaga Community College and executive director of the OCC Foundation in Syracuse. Previously, he was vice president for external affairs and development at Community General Hospital in Central New York, in addition to a decade at SUNY Upstate Medical University. In this role, he was instrumental in executing the academic medical center’s first-ever capital campaign – an effort that exceeded goal by 40%, raising in excess of $21.5 million.
Zacharek also has served as the assistant dean for advancement at Syracuse University’s College of Human Services and Health Professions, and marketing and public relations manager at Oswego Hospital early in his career. A 1992 graduate of Binghamton University’s School of Management, he has been an active volunteer, currently serving as a trustee for Bassett Healthcare Network’s Cobleskill Regional Hospital. In addition, he has served as vice president on the board of directors of the Central New York Association of Fundraising Professionals, as well as on the executive committee of the board of directors for Rosewood Heights skilled nursing facility. He is a recipient of the Greater Syracuse 40 Under 40 award and was an Upstate Medical University Foundation member recipient of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence Award. He and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Niskayuna, N.Y., and enjoy spending time on the water at their summer home in the 1,000 Islands region.