2018 Conference Speakers

Here’s the roster of speakers from the 2018 Midwest Meeting of the Minds.  We’ll start listing 2019 speakers soon!

Bob Burdenski

Bob Burdenski is an internationally-recognized annual and regular giving programs consultant for schools, colleges and universities.  He is a prolific writer and published author, often appearing in Currents, the member magazine of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He is the author of three CASE books: Innovations in Annual Giving: Ten Departures That Worked, which presents ten U.S. case histories of advanced annual giving strategies; More Innovations in Annual Giving, Ten Global Departures That Worked, which features case histories from institutions around the world; and a new CASE book, Online Innovations in Annual and Regular Giving, Ten Dozen Departures That Worked.  In 2013, Innovations in Annual Giving was published by Fudan University in Shanghai, becoming the first CASE book translated into Chinese.

A recipient of the CASE “Crystal Apple” award for lifetime teaching excellence as ranked by his audiences, he has educated and entertained at presentations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia including numerous CASE Europe Annual and Regular Giving Conferences and masterclasses.  He presented CASE’s first-ever annual giving training programs in India, Japan, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia and he is also a frequent contributor to CASE’s Online Speaker Series on the subject of annual and regular giving.  This past month, he served as chair of the 2018 CASE Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals.

He has worked with more than 200 institutions over twenty-five years to improve their annual giving program performance.  Since 2002, he has served as the moderator of FundList, the largest fundraising e-mail discussion listserv in the world, with more than 3,000 development professional subscribers.

Bethany Barwegen

Bethany Barwegen, has nine years of experience working with university advancement, annual fund execution, data management, and segmentation analysis. She has been with Pledgemine for 5 years, working with over 100 academic institutions and overseeing all matters related to customer experience, mailing design, segmentation, and print.

Kelly Brault

Kelly Brault is the Director of Annual Giving at Oakland University.  Her 18-year career in development includes roles in higher ed and the cultural sector, primarily in annual giving, but with additional experience in major giving, planned giving, membership and marketing.

McCabe Callahan

McCabe Callahan is the CEO and co-Founder of Community Funded.   McCabe Callahan began Community Funded in 2011 out of his passion to provide a platform for communities to support the things they care about. Since that time, Community Funded has been home to hundreds of highly collaborative, and in some cases, international award-winning campaigns.

Joey Carrillo

Joey Carrillo is Associate Director of Alumni Engagement and Giving Programs at Illinois Institute of Technology.   He has more than eight years of experience fundraising in Nonprofit/ Higher Education from many levels including front line fundraising to higher level administration as an Asscociate Director.  His responsibilities at IIT include oversight of the Illinois Tech Phonathon Program.

Jaclyn Day

As a professional fundraiser with ten years of fundraising experience, Jaclyn Pingel Day found her love for annual giving as a student caller at Brigham Young University.  Currently she is the Annual Giving Manager at UNC School of the Arts and oversees all aspects of the annual giving program, including direct mail, UNCSA’s annual Day of Giving, the Giannini Society – UNCSA’s outstanding leadership gifts program – and more. Working for UNCSA has blended her love for the arts and passion for higher education. Jaclyn obtained her M.S. in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University and a B.S. in Psychology from Brigham Young University.

Kimberly D’Souza, PhD

Kimberly D’Souza is a Programmer Analyst with the LSU Foundation.



Brian Gawor

Brian Gawor serves as vice president  for research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. His focus is research and strategy to help propel the fundraising results of clients.  Gawor has 14+ years of higher education experience in student affairs, enrollment management and development. He began his career directing the student ambassador phoning and campus tour programs of Knox College, his alma mater. His efforts supported the achievement of record enrollment at Knox which continues today. He then joined the college’s $3 million Knox Fund and, with the help of Ruffalo Noel Levitz’s on-site management, set an institutional record for alumni donors during a tough economy. Most recently, Gawor served for four years as director of development for the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University.  He is currently completing a doctorate at Illinois State University, where he is studying higher education donors, fundraising and the experiences of student fundraisers.

Mark James

Mark James has been the phonathon manager for Wheaton College since January 2017.  Mark has over 7 years of professional fundraising experience, with an emphasis in building high performing teams and organizational leadership. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration with a certificate in fundraising management from North Park University, and is expected to graduate in May 2019.

Tracy Krahl

Tracy Krahl is the Associate Vice President of Communications and Engagement at DePaul University.  

Paul Leo

Paul Leo is the Director of Direct Response at the University of Chicago.



Felicity Meu

Felicity Meu is the Director of Partner Success at GiveCampus.



Sarah Myskin

Sarah Myskin is the Director of Annual and Special Gifts at DePaul University.

Meghan Palombo

Meghan Dauler Palombo is the Associate Director of Annual Giving at the LSU Foundation.  She has more than seven years of experience in higher education, primarily in annual giving. Currently, she oversees direct mail, email and student philanthropy programs for LSU. Previously, she served as the Associate Director for LSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine and as a Parent Giving Officer and an Annual Giving Program Assistant at Cornell University.

Ben Porter

Ben Porter is the Executive Director of Principal Gifts at Northwestern University.  He is the author of an upcoming CASE book on models for major gift fundraising, and spent ten years of his career in annual giving fundraising.


Jean Roberts

Jean Roberts is the Director of Annual Giving at The College of Wooster.



John Templeman

John Templeman is the Senior Director of Annual Giving at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.



Elise Tomlin

Elise Tomlin is the Director of Annual Giving at Wheaton College.

Jonathon Van Oss

Jon Van Oss brings over thirty years of in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience gained from various senior data analytics and market research positions for organizations such as the American Medical Association and World Vision.  He also served for more than 15 years as Vice President of Data Analytics at several advertising agencies that served a wide range of national and international nonprofit organizations. Jon is nationally recognized for his insightful marketing and fundraising database analytics, decision-tree modeling, segmentation, testing and attrition strategies and analyses.