2017 CCAE National Conference Presenter Profiles




Dave Dawson, Public Relations Coordinator, McMaster University

Dave joined the McMaster University alumni team in 2013 as a new-media intern. Upon graduating from the multimedia program at Mac, he took over the role of public relations coordinator in the alumni office. On any given day you will find Dave doing web and e-mail design, or occasionally creating graphics of cartoon birds. Before coming to McMaster University, Dave could be found in the forests of southern Ontario, rebuilding the online presence for one of Ontario's leading maple syrup producers.

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Semere-ab Abiyo, CPA, CGA, Director of Alumni and Donor Services at the University of Toronto

Semere-ab Abiyo has served as Director of Alumni and Donor Services at the University of Toronto for 5 years and has 10+ years of experience in advancement services. Semere-ab is thoroughly versed in CASE guidelines, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and the Income Tax Act. Semere-ab closely oversees the administration of anonymous donors and has led the conversion of anonymous records into U of T’s new Blackbaud CRM system.

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Adam Bishop, Senior Programs Officer, Lakefield College School Foundation

Adam, a graduate of the Class of 2004, joined the LCS Foundation team in 2013 and has been primarily responsible for the development and implementation of the Hepburn Alumni Challenge. He also represents Foundation interests at alumni events and develops strategic programs to suit the evolving needs of the LCS community.

Founded in 1879, Lakefield College School is a leader among Canada’s independent boarding and day schools and prides itself on its reputation for innovative teaching and academic excellence. The LCS Foundation supports the mission of the school and is currently nearing the mid-point of a of a ten year $100M campaign.

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Lisa Bullock, Research Officer, Department of University Advancement, Carleton University

Lisa has nearly a decade of experience in the post-secondary advancement sector as well as several years in university research administration, where she was responsible for the preparation and submission of faculty prizes and awards applications. Lisa holds a BA from the University of Windsor and an MA from the University of Southampton. She has served as a CCAE Prix d’Excellence judge, is currently a mentor with APRA Canada and is pursuing a second MA in History. She is presently spearheading, along with two colleagues, a department-wide overhaul and redesign of Advancement’s wiki.

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Kathy Butler, Director, Advancement & Alumni; Executive Director, Okanagan College Foundation

Based in Kelowna, BC, Kathy has overall responsibility for fundraising and alumni relations at Okanagan College and has 35 years of experience in managing foundations. Kathy is a former board member of CCAE and in 2016, she attained her Master of Arts degree in Philanthropy & Development at Saint Mary's University in Minnesota.

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Trish Chant-Sehl, Director, Administration for University Advancement at McMaster University

Trish is a member of UA’s senior management team. A proud McMaster graduate, Trish spent the first 14 years of her career working in national and international amateur sport where she honed her skills in relationship building, change management and volunteer management. Trish returned to McMaster in 2011 to assume her current role, a portfolio that includes human resources, strategic projects, financial management, strategic planning and performance measurement for University Advancement, as well as overseeing the operations of the Vice-President’s office. She helps to lead the human resource programs for University Advancement with a focus on recruiting, developing and keeping the best people.

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Patrick Charette, Director of Institutional Communications, University of Ottawa

Patrick is a seasoned communicator who has been involved in several crisis situations throughout his career in both post-secondary environments and the public sector, especially with federal departments of Transport and Justice. He brings years of experience in strategic communications as well as being lead spokesperson at a national level.

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Melissa Cheater, Digital Content Manager, Western University

From helping cities rethink youth services and working with Canada’s best minds to understand online identity, plus showing universities how to reconnect – Melissa Cheater has been building and studying community longer than Shonda has been breaking Grey’s Anatomy hearts.

Melissa studied Media and Public Interest at Western University, has worked across non-profit, government and private sectors, and throughout her career has broken new ground in digital strategy (featured in publications such as Maclean’s and The Globe & Mail), helping institutions negotiate the digital shift in communications.

Melissa is digital strategist specializing in post-secondary education and social network theory, founder of the #PSEWEB conference, and a member of the Department of Communications & Public Affairs at Western University.

Melissa maintains an independent blog at www.melissamae.ca and can be reached via Twitter (@mmbc) or LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/melissacheater).

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Dr. Jun Du, Data Modelling and Analytics Analyst (Advancement Operations), Western University

Dr. Jun Du has been with Western’s Information Management team for over 4 years. Jun is a graduate of Western, achieving his Ph.D. in Computer Science (AI&CSG) in 2012. The analyst’s primary areas of responsibility include prospect affinity and capacity ratings, data mining, analysis using advanced tools and databases, and interpretation and synthesizing of information to support the strategic decision making of External staff.

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Mia Fatrdla, Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications, Sheridan Student Union, Sheridan College

In just under two years with Sheridan, Mia has led a successful rebrand and implemented new marketing and content strategies for the SSU. Together with her marketing and design teams, she manages and coordinates communications for all three campus locations. With a passion for the student voice, Mia strives to showcase the achievements and creativity of Sheridan students through authentic and relatable communications.

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Kate Holt, Senior Stewardship Officer, University of Alberta

Kate Holt has been working in the not-profit sector for many years, initially focusing on arts and culture in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. She joined the Office of Advancement at the University of Alberta (her alma mater) in 2006, and has been working in Donor Relations ever since. As Senior Stewardship Officer she has developed numerous reporting formats with communications colleagues, and enjoys collaborating with faculties across campus on all things stewardship. Her current focus is on developing stewardship initiatives for the university’s top donors.

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Jodeen Litwin, Stewardship Officer, University of Alberta

Jodeen Litwin has more than 16 years of experience working in Alumni Relations and Advancement at the University of Alberta. Currently, she stewards donors who support scholarships, awards, and bursaries. With a focus on meaningful recognition, she has developed award-winning programs to build engagement and strengthen relationships between key stakeholders and the University of Alberta.

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Aisling Lynch, Prospect Research Officer, Advancement, McGill University

Aisling is responsible for research in support of the Primary Gifts program. She joined McGill in 2014, and previously worked in banking in Ireland for 10 years.

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Drew Martin, Director of Technology Services (External), Western University

Drew Martin has over 17 years of leadership experience in Advancement Services at Western, including the roles of Manager - Information Systems and Associate Director of Advancement Services. In 2011, Drew was named as the Director of Technology Services (External) at Western University.

Working with a team of 10, his portfolio includes the Information Management team, the Online/web Engagement team, Data Analytics/Metrics and Technology Support.

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Mila Miller, Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Advancement Organizational Development, University of Toronto

Mila supports the overall leadership of University Advancement in the development and communication of strategic plans and initiatives. She leads advancement strategic planning, project management for key initiatives and targets, the operations of the Vice-President, Advancement’s office related to fulfilling advancement goals, and the organizational and professional development needs of the advancement community. Previously, Mila was instrumental in the development and introduction of a best-practice prospect management program at the University of Toronto. Mila is a graduate of Queen’s University with over 20 years of experience in fundraising, having started her career as a front-line fundraiser for the National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company.

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Jason Moreton, Associate Vice-President, Alumni Advancement, University of Guelph

As Associate Vice-President, Alumni Advancement at the University of Guelph, Jason Moreton oversees alumni outreach activities, annual fund programming, communications, IT, affinity partnerships and the University of Guelph Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Jason is fortunate to have found an institution that has kept him around since 2005. He joined Alumni Affairs & Development at the University of Guelph at that time and was tasked with creating opportunities for recent graduates to grow as professionals in their fields and to stay connected with their alma mater. He took on the role of Director, Alumni Affairs in 2006. This role was expanded in 2009 to include oversight of the Annual Fund. In 2012, Jason was appointed Associate Vice-President with a key focus to help “bring home” the University’s $200-million fundraising campaign.

Before joining the University of Guelph, Jason worked as a Development Officer for St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, was a Campaign Manager for a Toronto municipal campaign, and conducted research for the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, now Imagine Canada. Jason is a proud graduate of both the University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Lori Moulden, Senior Development Officer, Annual Giving, McMaster University

Lori landed a full-time gig coordinating the student and young alumni program at her alma mater following graduation. Little did she know this opportunity would expose a passion for higher ed and the non-profit sector. In her 11 years at Mac, she has served with the alumni advancement, major and planned giving, and annual giving teams. In her current role with the Annual Giving team Lori is focused on soliciting and stewarding McMaster’s most generous and loyal leadership donors.

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Marcellin Mutoni, Social Media Specialist, University of Ottawa

Marcellin Mutoni is an expert in strategic planning and social media engagement.

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Paul Nazareth, Vice President of Community Engagement, CanadaHelps

Paul’s team works directly with charities as they fundraise, donors as they give and advisors as they facilitate client philanthropy. Paul has been a philanthropic advisor with the Scotiabank Group and spent over a decade with charities including the University of Toronto and the Catholic Church of Greater Toronto. He teaches a national online Planned Giving course with the postgraduate fundraising program at Georgian College, is Chair of the Advisory Committee at the Humber College postgraduate fundraising program, an instructor with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners and speaks across Canada on charitable giving.

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Erin O'Neil, Alumni Officer, Digital Engagement, McMaster University

Erin O’Neil started working at McMaster University in development communications. In 2011 she took a position in the alumni office and developed the Mac10 events program for young alumni, which expanded to include a specific Mac10Giving campaign in 2013. Since early 2015, she has shifted roles to manage the digital communications strategy for the alumni and annual fund teams, focusing on meaningful engagement through analytics.

Erin is a graduate of McMaster's Arts & Science Program and recently completed her Master’s in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University.

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Kristy Rousseau, CFRE, Director of Development, Laurentian

Prior to joining Laurentian in 2011, Kristy fundraised for Sudbury’s regional hospital. Kristy has an undergraduate degree in Management Economics from the University of Guelph, attended the University of Economics, Prague and earned a Master of Business Administration from Laurentian University. She recently completed an intensive one-year leadership program as a fellow of the Northern Leadership Program.

Kristy is a self-described travel addict who enjoys great food, good coffee, and an occasional adrenaline rush. She is active on social media and can be found tweeting from @kristyrousseau.

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Claudia Russell, Senior Development Officer, McMaster University

Claudia has been working in both the areas of Development and Donor Relations for almost 20 years. Her current role focuses primarily on McMaster’s accountability to its top donors. She has additional expertise in gift documentation, endowments, matching programs and donor reporting.

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Phil Sach, Advancement Writing Specialist, York University

Phil is an established communications, marketing and public relations professional with experience engaging stakeholders, telling stories and driving results across a number of specialty areas, including higher education, fundraising, travel and digital communications. In his role as Advancement Writing Specialist with York University he supports communications and marketing efforts for Impact: The Campaign for York University, a $500 million fundraising and alumni engagement campaign.

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Sunand Sharma, Manager of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Sheridan College

Sunand is dedicated to improving the lives of students and takes an active role in influencing change at both policy and individual levels. Over the past few years he has worked with Sheridan’s task force dedicated to the Prevention of Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence; specifically with student leaders regarding consent programming, resources for survivors, delivering Bringing in the Bystander training and the Dare to Care campaign,s which challenges community members to take action against sexual and relationship violence.

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Upasna Sharma, Digital Analyst, York University

Upasna is a social entrepreneur whose mission is to build strong, engaged communities for brands across both traditional and online platforms. Her experience includes consulting for both tech start-ups and nonprofit organizations across Canada and the United States. With a strong foundation in traditional marketing and an innovative, wholesome approach to digital marketing, her broad experience contributes to the third-largest university in Canada with all traditional and digital communications of York’s $500 million fundraising campaign. Early in her career, Upasna has garnered broad experience in creating impact for companies both large and small.

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Fritz W. Schroeder, Vice-President for Development and Alumni Relations, The Johns Hopkins University

Fritz Schroeder became Vice-President for Development and Alumni Relations at The Johns Hopkins University in October 2012 after 17 years in progressively senior management roles at the university.

He provides leadership and oversight for the entire fundraising and alumni efforts of the University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, and serves as the institution’s chief fundraising officer. He is responsible for planning and executing the university’s current comprehensive campaign, Rising to the Challenge, which is $3.25 billion of the way towards a $5.0 billion goal.

Schroeder joined Johns Hopkins in 1996 as Director of Annual Giving and became Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations in 2000. He was responsible both for alumni outreach and annual giving programs, serving as the Executive Director of the Alumni Association.

In 2004, Schroeder became Associate Vice-President for Development and Alumni Relations, promoted to Senior Associate Vice-President in 2006. He shared responsibility with deans and directors for the university’s decentralized fund-raising operations in the schools and other units and took the lead on strategic planning, trustee stewardship and prospect strategy development.

Schroeder joined Johns Hopkins from the University of Maryland at College Park, where he had served since 1989 in a number of roles, including Director of Annual Giving from 1993 to 1996.

Schroeder is a 1989 graduate of James Madison University. He earned an MBA from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1994.

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Janice L. St-Denis, CFRE, Project Team Leader, University Advancement, McMaster University

Janice is a passionate fundraiser with almost 15 years of experience working in major gift fundraising and gift planning. Janice has worked with The Arthritis Society, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and is currently a senior fundraiser at McMaster University. Follow her on twitter (@jlstdenis) or connect via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Christine Szustaczek (MCM, APR), Director of Corporate Communications & External Relations, Sheridan College

Prior to her position at Sheridan, Christine ran her own communications consultancy for ten years, helping colleges, universities, hospitals and social services agencies to communicate their impact. She has also worked as a Communications Director at the University of Toronto. Christine is a board member at CPRS Hamilton and at the Alice and Murray Maitland Charitable Foundation. She’s passionate about research, public relations and higher education.

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Margaret Tannahill-Wade, Prospect Management Officer, Carleton University

Margaret transformed prospect management at Carleton and spearheaded the 5-year Sharepoint records management project. She holds a BA and the Management Certificate for Women from Carleton, and Records Management certification from University of Toronto. Margaret has presented at CCAE and AASP. She trains and coaches Advancement Staff and is a contributor to the latest APRA Canada Publication: Prospect Research in Canada: An Essential Guide. She is currently the Advancement subject-matter expert on Carleton’s CRM Enterprise Wide project and is pursuing her CFRE certification.

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Sarah Thurlow, Advancement Analyst, McMaster University

New to Advancement Services, Sarah Thurlow brings to the table 2 years’ experience in Alumni Advancement. Her history with University Advancement at McMaster provides for a truly integrated environment, highlighting the opportunities for collaboration across teams. She is a recent graduate of the Commerce program at McMaster and truly does bleed maroon.

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Gilbert Tordjman, Executive Director of Advancement Services, Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, Concordia University

Prior to his current role Gilbert was Vice-President of Administrative Affairs at the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ). From 2004 to 2008, he served as director of finance and administration at the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Gilbert was also financial management officer at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at the Jewish General Hospital from 1996 to 2004.

Since 2016, Gilbert has been the Chair of CASE District I and Treasurer of Federation CJA, a $40M community-based organization in Montreal.

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Janice Van Der Klugt – Manager, Alumni & Gift Services (Advancement Operations), Western University

Janice Van Der Klugt has over 19 years of experience working in the field of Advancement Services at Western University and Foundation Western. As an undergraduate alumna of Western, Janice has a strong passion for the university and for providing the best customer service to all its constituents.

Leading a team of 6, Janice oversees all gift processing, receipting, pledge reminding and fulfillment processes, as well as biographics and data integrity for 300,000 alumni. Data Integrity was most recently added to Janice’s portfolio, and improving Western’s contactable rates has been a strong focus for her team over the past 4 years.

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Fred Weiss, President & CEO, iModules Software

Fred is a leader in the higher education advancement community, with more than 20 years experience. He brings significant product strategy, sales, professional services, general management, and leadership skills to his role as President and CEO of iModules. As Senior Vice President at SunGard Higher Education, he oversaw a technology portfolio that included advancement, business intelligence, admissions and recruiting, student retention and success, and several platforms such as portals and mobile. Weiss has also served in a variety of volunteer capacities with CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

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Susan Wright, Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations, McMaster University

Susan Wright leads the development of a comprehensive stewardship and donor relations program for McMaster.

Previously, Susan was the Director, Alumni Affairs at the University of Guelph where she was responsible for the overall management of the Alumni Affairs program. Susan has held other positions at McMaster University in the areas of Alumni Advancement and Campaign Donor Relations.

Susan has presented at numerous ADRP, CCAE and CASE conferences on topics including Pro-Active Stewardship; Stewardship: It’s Everyone’s Job; and Principal Donor Stewardship. Susan was a member of the ADRP organizing committee for the first-ever Canadian Workshop and is on the Program Committee for the 2016 ADRP International Conference. She is Co-Chair for the 2017 CCAE National Conference and is a past member of the CCAE Board of Directors.

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Raji Zreik, Analytics Team Lead, Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, Concordia University

Raji has been working in fundraising for higher education for 12 years, starting as a student caller in the Annual Fund program. He then worked in records management, prospect research and more recently, in analytics. Raji holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Economics.

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National Partners


2017 CCAE National Conference Sponsors



Manulife Tempo Framing  


Canada Life   



The Offord Group Tourism Hamilton


Global Philanthropic