Summit for Alumni Leaders


Presenting Partner
Supported by
Engagement Analysis Inc ANTHOLOGY Final Primary Logos NOTAG RGB Black
Sessions available on-demand

Single Session: $100 (access to the session of your choice)

Potential member:

Single Session: $125 (access to the session of your choice)

Purchase on demand sessions

Thank you to CCAE’s Winter Education Program Sponsors
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Maria Gallo
Dr. Maria Gallo

Leadership to Re-energize your Alumni Practice
Dr Maria Gallo. Author of The Alumni Way: Building Lifelong Value from Your University Investment. Founder of The Alumni Way Academy, Interim Chair and President of the Alumni Association Board at the University of St Michael’s College at the University of Toronto.

How can you inject a renewed energy and leadership into your alumni relations work? Alumni relations has shown incredible resilience over the COVID pandemic. The ability to pivot to online alumni programming while meeting the needs of both the alumni community and the institution required so much from your alumni leadership. In this provocative and energizing session, join Dr Maria Gallo draws on her book The Alumni Way to present practical leadership strategies to celebrate these achievements and re-energize the next phase of your alumni practice.

By the end of the session, you will be able to:

  • Begin to infuse renewed energy into your strategic alumni practice
  • Celebrate your recent alumni relations achievements, reflecting on the alumni leadership required for its success
  • Draw on the practical leadership tactics from the session to energize your alumni teams and alumni volunteer leadership

Troy Hill
Troy Hill

Karen McQuigge
Karen McQuigge

Finding comfort in the uncomfortable: how to diversify your volunteer leadership positions
Troy Hill, President, McMaster Alumni Association, McMaster University
Karen McQuigge, Director, Alumni Engagement, McMaster University

Diverse campus populations lead to diverse alumni groups, and now more than ever, representation matters. The McMaster Alumni Association (MAA) is almost 130 years old and in 2020 the MAA welcomed Troy Hill, its first Indigenous President.

This is the first of many steps for the MAA in building a Board reflective of its diverse stakeholders. Diversity does not happen overnight and CCAE is pleased to feature an insightful conversation featuring Troy Hill, President, McMaster Alumni Association and Karen McQuigge, Director, Alumni Engagement, McMaster University, that will cover several areas surrounding Troy’s participation, recruitment and future plans for the Alumni Association.

As they learn from each other, they are learning valuable lessons on engagement, inclusion and ownership.

Following their discussion, Karen & Troy will field questions from the audience. Should you wish to submit in advance; please contact: Tara Sandler:

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to better engage community & campus groups with intention to seek out new voices and diversify historically homogenous volunteer groups.
  • Learn how leading with honesty, helps to build relationships, and make risks worth it.
  • Discover how asking questions and seeking guidance can help volunteers avoid feeling like a “checked box” and a “token”.

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*Note: Session not available as a recording
Festivus - for the restovus: Discussion Session

No grievances to share, no problem! During in-person opportunities some of the best exchanges happen over meals, coffee and informal social gatherings (impromptu dinner anyone?)

In a virtual space, CCAE has to work a little harder to create those moments. This discussion session will serve to bring together attendees for smaller, unscripted informal group discussions.

CCAE will provide some pre-populated topics for inspiration or folks can decide to discuss whatever is pressing at the time.

Group sizes will be small, (3-4 people) and CCAE will change the groups a minimum of twice.

  • Spend time, in small groups, to discuss matters that matter TO YOU!
  • Allow opportunities to network and connect in small groups by role, school, and location.
  • Share with (and lean on) your colleagues about challenges, wins and current projects.

Held in a Zoom meeting format, the session will not be recorded or available for playback. Please come prepared to share and/or seek council from colleagues.

If you wish for CCAE to submit a topic to the group for discussion, please submit it here.

Liz LeClair
Liz LeClair

Setting Boundaries
Liz LeClair, CFRE, Director of Advancement, Nova Scotia SPCA, Co-Founder, Sargasso Philanthropic CIC, co-founder of the National Day of Conversation

Fundraisers and alumni officers spend their careers developing meaningful relationships with alumni, donors and alumni. We are taught from an early point in our careers that a “donor centric” approach to fundraising is key to engagement and successful campaigns. However, in the post #MeToo era research shows that donor dominance can lead to harassment, difficult situations and the abuse of staff.

Join Liz LeClair – co-Founder of the National Day of Conversation – to learn how to create a safe workplace and develop strong boundaries. During this 60 minute workshop you will learn about the signs of donor dominance, the research around this topic, and what tools you can use to create a safe workplace for all of your team members.

What you will learn:

  • The Current Environment & Research
  • Legislation vs. Ethics
  • How to Create a Culture of Safety
  • Bystander Intervention Tips

This session will include short breakout.

Tania Brandstrom
Tania Brandstrom

Astrid Gagnier
Astrid Gagnier

Alumni Engagement as Agent of Change
Tania Brandstrom, MA CFRE, Lead Associate Director, Advancement, SAIT
Astrid Gagnier, Associate Director, Alumni & Stakeholder Relations, SAIT

In fall of 2020 we welcomed our 250,000th graduate to the SAIT Alumni Family. Milestone celebrations had been planned for some time, but with the ongoing pressures of COVID these were at risk of being shelved and this moment passing by un-celebrated. It became imperative that we change our approach. Rather than simply paring down and flipping to digital communications, we looked at the key issues facing our community and our institution and considered how we could use our available resources to celebrate our alumni family in a deeply meaningful way. Guided by a new Alumni Engagement Strategy which was based on alumni survey data that exposed a significant desire by alumni for access to upskilling and reskilling, we made a decision to focus our resources on what alumni said would have the greatest value to them. Our alumni were facing huge challenges and feeling vulnerable in the face of COVID19 – and in Alberta, these struggles were against a backdrop of a deepening economic slump that saw unemployment rates exceeding 15%. That became our theme and our decision-making driver: How could we mark this important milestone in a way that demonstrated true value to our alumni and our community?

So what happened? In November of that year we launched a $500,000 alumni-only award program for Continuing Education courses. The first ever for SAIT, the Alumni for Alumni initiative was framed out and implemented in a matter of weeks with involvement from six departments.

The presentation will:

  • share insights into the process we used to challenge ourselves to find opportunity in hardship, supporting one another within our department, our division, our organization and our community – and how this informs our work today;
  • walk through the program elements, the new ground covered, and how the theme helped garner the buy-in needed tackle something this big, this quickly;
  • provide outcomes and key learnings, including roadblock, setbacks, and how the program has evolved to support a minimum of 200 awards annually and is continuing to grow.

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Tracy Bowman
Tracy Bowman

*Note: Session not available as a recording
Firefly Session – Rapid Fire idea Share
Moderated by: Tracy Bowman, Director, Alumni Relations, University of Manitoba

Get ready to share what has been adding that beautiful glow to your plans! In this special take on popular “rapid fire” and “minute to win it” sessions, this is the opportunity to share new, exciting and innovative ideas with your colleagues.

Each share should be 1-2 minutes in length.

Every little touch, every little sparkle - be ready to share and to ask questions, this is the time to do it!

  • Hear what happens to be working for your colleagues across the country.
  • Discover new and innovative ideas that can be scaled and applied to ones own strategies.
  • Recognize that despite months of challenges that there are many wins, shining stars and things to be proud of.

Held in a Zoom meeting format, attendees will be asked to share on a volunteer basis. If you would like to submit your name to participate in the rapid fire please contact