2017 NC Keynotes

Opening Keynote

Presentation: Wednesday, June 7, 12:45 p.m., Sponsored by KCI

Lorna Somers, Director of Development, McMaster University and Vice-President, McMaster University Foundation: Voyages of Discovery

Lorna Somers has been working in University Advancement at McMaster University since 1988.  During that time she has been involved in the establishment and growth of the Annual Fund, Gift Planning and Major and Principal Giving. She has been Campaign Director for two university-wide comprehensive campaigns (Changing Tomorrow Today 2001 and The Campaign for McMaster 2010), in addition to directing a series of targeted campaigns for Athletics, the Museum of Art, 2 campaigns for Scholarships & Bursaries, the Student Centre and for the Centre for Learning & Discovery. Somers currently focuses her attention on working closely with senior academic leaders and volunteers to secure principal-level gifts, most notable among them, the largest cash gift to a Canadian university.

Somers complements the depth of her experience at McMaster with the breadth of a commitment to teaching and training that takes her around the globe. She works throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America with academics and board members as well as colleagues in Advancement - both in Higher Education and the charitable sector.  Volunteer work has included National Chair of Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), Trustee and Chair of the International Committee for the Council for the Advancement & Support of Education (CASE). Along with co-author Dr. Frank Minton, she wrote the definitive volume Planned Giving for Canadians, now in its 4th edition and still among the best-selling books on fundraising in Canada. The TV movie is expected to air in late 2017.

In recognition for her contribution to teaching and for service and leadership within the profession, Somers was awarded CASE’s John Lippincott Award (2016) and Frank Ashmore Award (2011) and the “Friend of CAGP” award (1997). She was the second Canadian to receive the CASE Crystal Apple for Excellence in Teaching in 2005, eclipsed only by her Science Fair project winning the American Phytopathological Award in 1976.

At McMaster, Somers has taught art history for Continuing Education and teaches the University’s most popular student, alumni and community event: her etiquette dinners called Meals & Manners. Its most recent incarnations were Downton Abbey Dining (in full Edwardian kit, no less), followed by Mad Men, Martinis and Manners.

Somers has McMaster degrees in English and in Art History.

Keynote presentation: Thursday, June 8, 2017, 9:00 a.m., Sponsored by Manulife

Roberta Jamieson, President & CEO, Indspire, Executive Producer, Indspire Awards

Roberta Jamieson is a Mohawk woman who has enjoyed a distinguished career of firsts. She was the first First Nation woman in Canada to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, where she continues to reside with her family. An accomplished expert in alternative dispute resolution, Roberta also served as Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario.

Since 2004, Roberta Jamieson has been president and CEO of Indspire, the Indigenous-led charity and in 2015-16, disbursed over $12.2 million through 3,792 bursaries and scholarships to Indigenous students. She is executive producer of the Indspire Awards which honour Indigenous achievement and are telecast on two national networks.

She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including as an Officer of the Order of Canada; the Council of Ontario Universities David C. Smith Award; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; and the Indigenous Peoples Counsel Award.

Closing Keynote Presentation

Friday, June 9, 2017, 10:45 a.m., Sponsored by Blackbaud

Sabrina Pourmand, Vice President of Key Relationships, charity: water
Sabrina Pourmand developed a passion for social change very early in life. A proud Silicon Valley native, her immigrant Persian father and Filipina American mother taught her that the most important job in life is to solve problems. And she’s spent the past decade doing exactly that.

Having led programmatic initiatives for large-scale international and institutional humanitarian aid organizations, Sabrina is equipped with an extensive technical background. She raised and managed a $250 million portfolio in response to the earthquake in Haiti, merged and integrated different affiliates at Habitat for Humanity, provided strategic consultation for organizations in Central America, advised international microfinance programs, and coordinated an emergency humanitarian response for Syrian refugees based in Amman, Jordan.

Yet Sabrina also thrives in the world of philanthropy. For years, she partnered with large corporate foundations, businesses, and major philanthropists in the San Francisco Bay Area, gaining promising insight into the value of using technology to combat global crisis.

With the intent to change the landscape of charitable giving, Sabrina came to charity: water in 2014 as the Vice President of Key Relationships. Combining her talents as a technical expert in the field with her external relations in the Valley, Sabrina has challenged her team to be on the forefront of executive fundraising and strategic innovation.

Sabrina holds a Master’s in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from University of California San Diego. In 2008, she was named the Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year for the San Francisco Bay Area.

Having searched for boa constrictors in Latin America, river rafted in the Amazon, and worked in war zones in the Middle East, this historical-fiction-loving, indoor-soccer playing, relationship-building problem solver is ready to do anything to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person in the world.