List of Confirmed Speakers for the 2017 National Forum in Washington, DC

The National Forum on Family Philanthropy brings together many of the world’s brightest and most inspiring minds to discuss key trends and insights in family giving. See below for our list of confirmed plenary and concurrent speakers for the 2017 National Forum in Washington, D.C.

Be sure to check back often for updates!

Plenary Speakers


josh-bernstein-150x150Joshua Bernstein is the president and CEO of Bernstein Management Corporation, a Washington, D.C. real estate investment and management company. Mr. Bernstein also serves as a director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and is the founder of the Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund. Additionally, he is a member of the UJA Endowment Fund board; on the advisory committee of the Tzedek Fund of Washington, a pooled fund of Jewish funders who make low-interest loans available in under-served communities; a trustee of the Sidwell Friends School where he chairs the school’s investment, admissions, and financial aid committees; and a vice president of the Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation, a small family foundation in Washington, D.C. He is a former director of the Coalition for the Homeless and the National Press Foundation. He also co-chaired the Jewish Foundation Advisory Council. Mr. Bernstein serves as co-chair of the Meyer Foundation Leadership Council and on the Investment Committee. He was on the Foundation’s board from 2003-2016, serving as board chair from 2013-2016.  Session: Race, Equity, and Family Philanthropy.

lori-bertman-150x150Lori J. Bertman is president and CEO of the Baton-Rouge based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, Louisiana’s largest private family foundation, donating millions in grants annually throughout Southern Louisiana and the US. Additionally, she is a noted national expert in the emerging field of disaster philanthropy. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Bertman organized local and national philanthropic resources to raise $40+ million to contributing to recovery efforts. She began the CSIS-Pennington Foundation Series on Community Resilience with support from Walmart. This series combined experts across multiple sectors to discuss community resilience, culminating in the submission of a white paper to Congress. Read more.  Session: Responding, Recovering, Rebuilding, Becoming Resilient.

ashley-blanchard-150x150Ashley Snowdon Blanchard is the vice-president of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation and former director of philanthropy at TCC Group, where she worked with nonprofit organizations and foundations on strategic planning, program design, and organizational development. In addition, Ashley was previously co-chair of the board of the Ms. Foundation for Women and was the founding co-chair of the Council on Foundation’s Next Generation Task Force. Ashley received a B.A. from Stanford University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where she concentrated her studies on social welfare policy and nonprofit management.   Session: Race, Equity, and Family Philanthropy.

ken-burns-150x150Ken Burns has been making films for more than thirty years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North as the “most influential documentary of all time,” and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the “most influential documentary makers” of all time. In March, 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker period… I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons onto history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of his films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” Ken’s films have won 12 Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Ken has been the recipient of more than 25 honorary degrees and has delivered many treasured commencement addresses. He is a sought after public speaker, appearing at colleges, civic organizations and business groups throughout the country.  Read moreSession: The Power of Storytelling – An Interview with Ken Burns.

Jean-Case-150x150Jean Case is an actively engaged philanthropist, investor and a pioneer in the world of interactive technologies. Her career in the private sector spanned nearly two decades before she and her husband, Steve Case, created the Case Foundation in 1997. A passionate believer in all things digital and the amazing potential of technology to change the world for the better, Jean and her team focus the efforts of the Foundation around many of the same entrepreneurial approaches she and Steve cultivated throughout their business careers. The Case Foundation is recognized for its innovative efforts to address significant social challenges, harnessing the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact. Before co-founding the Case Foundation, Jean spent her career as a technology executive in the private sector. As a senior executive at America Online, Inc. (AOL), Jean directed the marketing and branding effort that launched the AOL service, directed the communications strategy for taking the company public, and helped establish AOL as a household utility. Before joining AOL, she held strategic marketing positions at GE’s Information Services Division and at The Source, the nation’s first online service.  Read more.  Session: Fireside Chat with Jean Case, CEO, Case Foundation.

Phil-Gwoke-150x150Phil Gwoke’s life mission is to help people excel and bring out the best in every generation. He is a passionate generational expert that is skilled in developing strategies to improve inter-generational communication and collaboration. As an internationally recognized speaker, Phil has presented in 20 different states to over 100,000 people. Before becoming a speaker he pursued his passion to help people be their best selves as a high school teacher, college admissions professional, marketing coordinator, corporate trainer and even small business owner. He has maintained strong ties to his local community as a mentor and consultant to young entrepreneurs, and brings his diverse background and skill-set to the BridgeWorks team. Phil is one of BridgeWorks’ resident Gen Xers, and brings his unique humor, experiences, research and generational expertise to every keynote, workshop and training session he delivers. He is a firm believer that with the proper motivation, training and support system, members of any generation can become capable of remarkable accomplishments. With his down-to-earth, relatable style and dedication to presenting research in a digestible, entertaining way, Phil has become a fast favorite with audiences around the country.  Read more.  Session: Bringing New Power to Family Legacy.

robert-putnam-150x150Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, Putnam received the Skytte Prize, the world’s highest accolade for a political scientist, and in 2012, he received the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities. Notable publications include Making Democracy Work and Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, both among the most cited (and bestselling) social science works in the last half century. His most recent book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, a New York Times bestseller, chronicles the growing gap in opportunity for American youth.  Read more.  Session: Our Kids – The American Dream in Crisis.

cokie-roberts-150x150Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. In her more than forty years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In addition to her reporting, Roberts has written six New York Times bestsellers, most dealing with the roles of women in U.S. history.

In addition to her appearances on the airwaves, Roberts, along with her husband, Steven V. Roberts, writes a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around the country by Universal U Click. The Roberts also wrote two books together: Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families, published in 2011 and From this Day Forward, an account of their now almost fifty year marriage and other marriages in American history. The book immediately went onto The New York Times bestseller list, following Cokie Roberts’s number one bestseller, We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, an account of American women’s roles and relationships over time.

Roberts’s other history books recounting the untold and remarkable contributions of women to the country’s founding and its preservation: Founding Mothers, published in 2004, Ladies of Liberty in 2008, and Capital Dames in 2015, about women and Washington in the Civil War—all also rated as New York Times bestsellers, along with her children’s book Founding Mothers, illustrated by Caldecott award winner Diane Goode. The children’s version of Ladies of Liberty, also illustrated by Goode, was published in December 2016.

Cokie Roberts holds more than 25 honorary degrees and serves on the boards of several non-profit institutions. President Bush appointed her to his Commission on Service and Civic Participation. In 2008 the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend,” one of the very few Americans to have attained that honor. She is the mother of two and grandmother of six.  Session: The Power of Storytelling – An Interview with Ken Burns.

ridgway-white-150x150Ridgway H. White is president of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and chair of the board for the National Center for Family Philanthropy. He began his career at Mott as an intern in 2002 and was hired as a Program Assistant two years later. After working his way up through the program ranks, he served as the Foundation’s vice president for special projects and chair of its management working group from 2011 until he became president in January 2015. As part of his earlier program work for the Foundation, White also served as a loaned executive for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, a nonprofit organization focused on revitalizing Flint. Over the course of a decade, White oversaw the development of over 1 million square feet of mixed use space, paving the way for numerous new businesses and restaurants to open. Notable projects included the creation of the Flint Health and Wellness district, a four block area that’s now home to the Flint Farmers’ Market and the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.  Read moreSession: Responding, Recovering, Rebuilding, Becoming Resilient.

Nat-Williams-150x150Nat Chioke Williams leads the Hill-Snowdon Foundation in its philanthropic and programmatic work, operations and partnerships within the community. Nat manages HSF’s Youth Organizing and Fund for DC programs. He is also responsible for developing learning and leveraging opportunities in these program areas. Nat is also leading up the Foundation’s newly launched Making Black Lives Matter Initiative (MBLM), a three year grantmaking and strategic co-funding initiative that seeks to maximize this historic moment to begin building long term institutional and political power for Black social change and racial justice. In partnership with other social justice funders, Nat has been involved with the development of Grantmakers for Southern Progress, a network of local, regional, and national funders committed to facilitating joint learning, collaboration and leveraging of new resources to help build a vibrant and enduring infrastructure for social justice in the American South, and currently serves as co-chair of the group.  Read more.  Session: Race, Equity, and Family Philanthropy.


Session and Workshop Speakers


debbie-brodsky-150x150Debbie Mintz Brodsky is the founder of DMB Pictures, a boutique video production company specializing in producing broadcast-quality personal stories for families, non-profits and small businesses. Brodsky,a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer with more than 20 years of experience, focused much of her career in public television, working for South Carolina ETV (PBS), WETA (PBS), and MHz NETWORKS. She also spent time at TLC, Fox, “Entertainment Tonight” and “Reading Rainbow.” Her many years of professional interviews have included such notables as Senator John McCain, Bob Dole, Tiger Woods, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. She also produced and directed the Emmy-nominated feature-length documentary “Teens in Between” which followed five recent immigrant teens through a year in their lives.  Session: Preserving the Legacy of Your Founders

Fuller E. Callaway joined the Morning Star Foundation, Inc. when he was 16, joining his older brother and sisters in the family philanthropy. Mr. Callaway has been very involved in the grantmaking practices of the foundation, while also pushing the foundation to look at impact investing along with PRIs and MRIs. Over the last 16 years, he has become very involved in the non-profit world and in 2016 was named Southeastern Council of Foundations Hull Fellow. His area of interest lies in the developing conversation, between trustees that are stepping off boards and the new millennial trustees, about alternative investments opportunities.  Session:  Impact Investing and Generational Differences in Family Philanthropy

Mark-Calloway-150x150Mark C. Callaway was nominated to serve on two of the Fuller E. Callaway Family Foundations in 1982 when he was 25. He has been deeply involved in the Callaway Foundation, Inc. as well as the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation for 25 years, serving on various committees including the Investment Committee. While on the Investment Committee, he drafted and implemented the foundation’s first Investment Policy Statement. In 1994, Mr. Callaway formed the Morning Star Foundation, Inc. to foster philanthropy in his children. Currently four of his five children serve on the board. All investments in the Morning Star Foundation are screened for their ESG scores and both the foundation and Mark personally are signatories of the Divest/Invest Pledge.  Session: Impact Investing and Generational Differences in Family Philanthropy

claire-costello-150x150Claire Costello is the National Philanthropic Practice Executive for Philanthropic Solutions at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Ms. Costello is a recognized expert in philanthropy. Her reputation results from her involvement with a variety of non-profit ventures and her extensive work assisting high-net-worth individuals and families in identifying and fulfilling their philanthropic ambitions. She supports clients in making a broad range of philanthropic decisions concerning the implementation and execution of their giving strategies and is responsible for providing thought leadership and identifying best practices for both philanthropic families and nonprofit institutions. Previously, Ms. Costello founded and managed the Citigroup Private Bank global Philanthropic Advisory Service. She also practiced law as a litigator in both the public and private sectors, prior to which she clerked in the U.S. District Court. Ms. Costello is a graduate of Amherst College and New York University School of Law. Ms. Costello has served on the Advisory Board of GlobalGiving, the Hewlett Foundation Donor Education Committee, the Block Island Land Trust and is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Ms. Costello does not provide tax or legal advice in her role at U.S. Trust.  Session: Investing in Volunteer Engagement: Data, Strategies, and Tools for Success

Ginny-EspositoVirginia M. Esposito, is the founder and president of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. For more than 35 years, she has worked to advance private philanthropy through research and education. For 30 of those years, she has focused on the family philanthropic experience, promoting values, vision, and excellence across generations of donor families. Ginny was editor and principal author of the first edition of Splendid Legacy and of Splendid Legacy 2: Creating and Recreating Your Family Foundation. Her research publications include The Power to Produce Wonders: The Value of Family in Philanthropy and The Family Foundation CEO: Crafting Consensus out of Complexity. Ginny also edited, and was principal author of, the four-volume Family Foundation Library and numerous articles and issue papers on family philanthropy. She has presented at hundreds of programs for and about donor families throughout North America and on four other continents. In addition to her work on family philanthropy, Ginny edited Conscience and Community: The Legacy of Paul Ylvisaker, the writings and speeches of the late foundation trustee, educator, and dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. She has served on boards and committees for organizations including Great Nonprofits, the Binational Commission on the Nonprofit Sector (US and South Africa), the Commission on the Future of Public Education (Public Education Network), Committee on Ethics and Accountability (Independent Sector), the Philanthropy and the Black Church Project, and Strengthening Native American Philanthropy. She currently serves on the board of directors of the John M. Belk Endowment.

joel-fleishman-150x150Joel Fleishman is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. He began his career in 1960 as assistant to the director of the Walter E. Meyer Research Institute of Law at Yale. From 1961 to 1965, he served as legal assistant to the governor of North Carolina. He then returned to Yale, first as director of the Yale Summer High School, and then as associate provost for Urban Studies and Programs. In 1969, he became associate chairman of the Center for the Study of the City and Its Environment and associate director of the Institute of Social Science at Yale. In 1971, he came to Duke as a member of the law faculty and as director of the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs, now the Sanford School of Public Policy, in which position he served until 1983. He is now Professor of Law and Public Policy, and Director of the Heyman Center on Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions. He also directs the Duke Foundation Research Program. His principal writings deal with legal regulation and financing of political activities as well as the regulation of not-for-profit organizations. His book, The Foundation: A Great American Secret — How Private Money is Changing the World, was published in January, 2007 by Public Affairs Books. He is now serving as co-chair of Independent Sector’s Committee on the Self-Regulation of Nonprofit Organizations. Session: Putting Wealth to Work: Philanthropy for Today or Investing for Tomorrow?

simone-friedman-150x150Simone Friedman serves as the Head of Philanthropy and Impact Investment for the EJF Philanthropies umbrella. Based in Washington, D.C., the umbrella encompasses four private foundations as well as the personal giving of Simone’s family members, including Emanuel J. Friedman, CEO of EJF Capital. Prior to her involvement with EJF Philanthropies, Simone founded and later sold an analytics company that used proprietary software to identify trends in patenting. Simone graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University and she holds a Master’s of Urban and Environmental Planning degree, with a concentration in Policy Analysis, from the University of Virginia. Based in Washington, D.C., Simone frequently speaks at conferences about how she uses impact investments to complement to traditional grants as tools for creating social change. She has personal interests in effective altruism and networked philanthropy.  Session: Impact Investing and Generational Differences in Family Philanthropy

sharna-goldseker-150x150Sharna Goldseker is a speaker, writer, and consultant who engages multiple generations in the intersection of values and strategy to transform the ways in which they give. She is today’s leading expert on multi-generational and next generation philanthropy and — as a next gen donor herself — offers a trusted insider’s perspective. As executive director of 21/64, the nonprofit practice she founded to serve philanthropic and family enterprises, she has created the industry’s gold-standard tools for transforming how families who give will define their values, collaborate, and govern in the decades ahead. Sharna is a recipient of the J.J. Greenberg Memorial Award for extraordinary leadership and the RayLign Foundation Family Well-Being Award. She was named one of 2016’s “Women of Influence” by New York Business Journal and one of 2014’s “Women to Watch” by Jewish Women International. She has written for Forbes, Philanthropy Impact, and other publications, and with her coauthor, Michael Moody, has been featured in the New York Times,Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The Huffington Post. She has been a consistent presence in the philanthropic field for two decades and is known for her quiet gravitas and insight. Today, prominent nonprofits, philanthropic networks, and foundations look to Sharna for training in next generation engagement and multi-generational advising. She is married, with two children, and lives in New York City.  Session: Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving

sapphira-goradia-150x150Sapphira Goradia is the executive director of the Vijay and Marie Goradia Foundation. As executive director, Sapphira leads the foundation’s efforts to improve health and educational outcomes in India through the support of innovative, measurable and scalable initiatives. Prior to assuming her role at the Goradia Foundation, Sapphira worked for a number of NGOs focused on the prevention and treatment of both acute and chronic diseases, including UNAIDS and Population Services International. She holds a B.A. from Pomona College and a Masters of Public Health from The George Washington University. Sapphira serves on the advisory board of Pratham USA and the board of directors of SightLife. She also serves on the Programs and Services committee of Exponent Philanthropy and The ImPact’s Next Gen Leader’s Council.

david-grant-150x150David Grant is the former president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. He served as chair of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and was one of the first two non-family members to serve on the board of the Surdna Foundation. Previously, with his wife Nancy, he co-founded and co-directed The Mountain School, in Vershire, Vermont, a semester-long, interdisciplinary program for eleventh graders from around the country. The Grants now live in Strafford, Vermont and consult with nonprofit organizations, foundations, and schools. David’s new book, The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations, was published in March 2015. Workshop: Supporting an Assessment Culture

karen-green-150x150Karen Green serves as consultant for the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Karen previously served as vice president of the National Center, and is the former Managing Director of Family Foundation Services at the Council on Foundations, where she was the staff lead for the family foundation and independent foundation fields in crafting of Stewardship Principles and Practices. She also served the Council as Director of the Governing Boards Program, which provides foundation board members and CEOs with individual assistance, workshops and published resources on foundation governance and oversight. From 2007 until 2011, Green served as president of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation. She led the foundation from anonymity to a known and respected community presence; drafted administrative, governance, and grantmaking policies; and, under the guidance of the board, granted $1.5 million annually to support organizations improving the quality and delivery of healthcare in Montgomery County, Maryland.  Session: Setting Expectations for Participation: Board Job Descriptions, Next Gen Boards, Site Visits, and Other Tools

jane-leighty.-150x150Jane Leighty Justis is a trustee and the executive director of The Leighty Foundation, founded in Waterloo, Iowa by her father in 1985. The mission of the foundation is to carry on the Leighty family legacy of service and stewardship by leveraging their time and talents, as well as their financial resources primarily in the areas of earth protection, education, and the promotion of philanthropy and volunteer engagement. She is active locally and nationally in the promotion of philanthropy through leadership roles with such organizations as the Council on Foundations, the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Women’s Philanthropy Institute, the Colorado Association of Funders, the Colorado Springs Funders Forum, and the Exponent Philanthropy. She has served on the board of Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and is currently a member of their grants committee. Mrs. Justis has a degree in Education from the University of Denver, a certification in Volunteer Management from the University of Colorado, and a Masters in Christian Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. She and her husband live in the mountains of Colorado. Msrs. Justis describes herself as a classic aging Baby Boomer as she and her husband have two grown children, four perfect grandchildren, an RV, and a small dog.  Session: Investing in Volunteer Engagement: Data, Strategies, and Tools for Success

niles-lichtenstein-150x150Niles Lichtenstein is the CEO and co-founder of The History Project. The History Project (THP) is changing how our history is told by re-inventing the digital time capsule. THP has created a space between the momentary chatter of social media and the automation of cloud storage to unify our most important memories and curate them beautifully into collaborative multi-media narratives that transcend generations. Session: Preserving the Legacy of Your Founders


katherine-lorenz-150x150Katherine Lorenz was recently named by Forbes as “One to Watch,” an up-and-coming face in philanthropy. She is president of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, a grantmaking foundation focusing on environmental sustainability in Texas. Previously, she served as deputy director for the Institute for Philanthropy, whose mission is to increase effective philanthropy in the United Kingdom and internationally. Prior to that, Ms. Lorenz lived in Oaxaca, Mexico for nearly six years where she co-founded Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, a non-profit organization working to advance food sovereignty in rural Oaxaca through the integration of amaranth into the diet. She continues to be involved with Puente’s work as an active board member. Additionally, she currently serves on the boards of directors of the Environmental Defense, the Institute for Philanthropy, Exponent Philanthropy, the Endowment for Regional Sustainability Science, and the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Ms. Lorenz is a member of the Global Philanthropists Circle of the Synergos Institute. She sits on the Council on Foundations Committee on Family Philanthropy and served on their 2012 and 2013 Family Philanthropy Conference Planning Task Force. Ms. Lorenz holds a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Davidson College.  Session: Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving

Allison-Magee-150x150Allison Magee is the executive director of the Zellerbach Family Foundation in San Francisco. Prior to her work at ZFF, Ms. Magee worked for the City and County of San Francisco, where she served as a leader in strengthening services for system involved youth and their families. Her work as deputy director of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department includes the development of a national model for juvenile justice system reform. She also established a collaborative model for the city’s funding of community based services that resulted in over $14 million in dedicated funding for violence prevention programs for San Francisco youth. Ms. Magee worked for Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Budget and Policy, and the US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. Allison holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration and a Master’s Degree in Social Administration, both from Columbia University. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University.  Session: Transparency and Accountability: Private Responsibility, Public Trust

kelly-medinger-150x150Kelly Medinger was appointed executive director of the Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation in December 2012. She joined the Foundation in March 2011 as the Program and Communications Associate. Ms. Medinger’s experience in the philanthropic giving arena spans more than 15 years. Prior to joining the Knott Foundation, she was the Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations at Stevenson University in Stevenson, Maryland, where she convened interdisciplinary teams of faculty and staff to develop proposals for applications to federal, state, and private funding sources. While at Stevenson, Ms. Medinger wrote and submitted proposals that resulted in more than $6.6 million in commitments to the University. She also worked closely with the University’s Board and Campaign Cabinet members to successfully complete a comprehensive campaign that raised $20.4 million.  Read moreSession: Preserving the Legacy of Your Founders

Cindy-Mercer-150x150Cindy Mercer is a strategist committed to results-driven alliance building. With philanthropist Addison Fischer, Ms. Mercer co-founded Planet Heritage Foundation (PHF). PHF is an entrepreneurial; grant-making foundation focused on facilitating funder and NGO collaborations benefiting climate, oceans, forests, biodiversity, health freedom and sustainable agriculture. PHF just launched The Aligned Intermediary to help large scale, long-term investors (LTIs) channel significant amounts of institutional capital into resource innovation investments – energy, waste and water – identifying deals that meet specific financial rates of return, while also reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Thus far, four LTI’s have signed letters of intent to deploy a billion dollars of capital through AI-identified transactions. With Oak, Marisla, Waitt and DiCaprio Foundations, PHF also launched Oceans 5 – a global marine funder’s collaborative focused on marine protection and constraining over-fishing, as well as Energy Options Network – a global network of energy sector experts committed to expanding the zero carbon technology toolkit to address climate change at scale. Ms. Mercer serves on the board of The Philanthropy Workshop and is deeply engaged a number of donor education collaboratives. Since the early 1990s, she has managed private foundations, served as an advisor and board member to various NGOs and has a background in non-profit law, advocacy, strategic planning and mediation. As a result, Ms. Mercer has become keenly interested in the nuts of bolts of collaboration and the power of partnership! Workshop: Collaborating Across Power Differences

Stacy-Palmer-150x150Stacy Palmer has served as a top editor since the Chronicle of Philanthropy was founded in 1988 and has overseen the development of its website, She plays a hands-on role in many Chronicle services, such as its Philanthropy Today daily newsletter and its webinar series offering professional development for people involved in fundraising, grant seeking, advocacy, marketing and social media. Ms. Palmer has appeared frequently on radio and television to offer commentary on news in the nonprofit world. She is the editor of Challenges for Philanthropy and Nonprofits, a book published by the University Press of New England that collects three decades of observations by the nonprofit activist and Chronicle columnist Pablo Eisenberg. Before she helped found the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Ms. Palmer was editor for government and politics at the Chronicle of Higher Education. She is a graduate of Brown University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in international relations. She has been an active alumna, serving on numerous alumni boards, including chairing the Brown Alumni Magazine and is now a member of the university’s Women’s Leadership Council.  Session: Telling Your Story: Family Philanthropy and Media Perceptions

peter-panepento-150x150Peter Panepento is principal at Turn Two Communications, a full-service content, digital, and social strategy firm that works with nonprofits, foundations, and socially-minded companies, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the National Center for Family Philanthropy, the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation, and GuideStar. He was formerly an assistant managing editor at the The Chronicle of Philanthropy, where he led its transition into digital journalism and social media — a transition that included the creation of some of the nonprofit world’s richest online communities, the launch of a highly profitable webinar series, and the creation of new digital products such as the How America Gives giving database. He is also an advisor for Nonprofit Marketing Guide on media relations for nonprofits.  Session: Telling Your Story: Family Philanthropy and Media Perceptions

Stephen_Treat-150x150Dr. Stephen R. Treat is a senior therapist and former director and CEO of Council for Relationships, the nation’s oldest and largest counseling agency. In his role as CEO, he managed the running of 14 clinical offices throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, numerous professional and public educational programs, and his own busy clinical practice as CFR. Dr. Treat continues to see clients, teach at Thomas Jefferson University, consult with family businesses. He is an in-demand speaker, consultant, and media expert. He has been on local television programs such as NBC-10′s 101 Show, CBS3′s Talk Philly, and local news programs. He has appeared on national television show s, such as the Today Show. He’s also been featured on numerous radio programs, and is often quoted for newspaper and magazine articles. Dr. Treat works with individuals, couples, families and businesses to foster an understanding of how family systems work and how they improve. Additionally, he speaks and consults with universities, schools, religious organizations and nonprofits.  Read moreWorkshop: Avoiding Avoidance: Managing Family Dynamics.

patrick-troska-150x150Patrick Troska has been with The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota since October 2000, and was named executive director in January 2011. In addition to providing leadership for the foundation’s overall strategy, he also has primary responsibility for grantmaking and initiatives for the foundation’s funding strategies economic development for North Minneapolis. During his tenure with the foundation, he first served as a program officer, before being promoted to senior program officer with responsibilities to oversee all aspects of the foundation’s annual grantmaking program. In the late 1990’s, he was a Fund Distribution and Community Initiatives Manager for the United Way of the Saint Paul Area. Patrick began his career in youth services where he held several positions with the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Minnesota Children’s Museum. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in theology and social work from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN and holds a Master of Arts in Leadership from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. In June 2009 he completed a fellowship in public policy at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He chaired the board of directors of the Minnesota AIDS Project from 2010-12. Patrick currently resides in Minneapolis, MN. Session: Bridging the Power Divide.

kris-putnam-walkerly-150x150Kris Putnam Walkerly, a thought leader in transformative philanthropy, was recently named one of America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers. She is the author of Confident Giving, which was named one of the 10 Best Corporate Social Responsibility Books. She is a frequent contributor in the publications of leading philanthropy associations including the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Foundation Center, Southeastern Council on Foundations and Exponent Philanthropy. She provides expert commentary about philanthropy in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Washington Examiner,,, and others. Kris’s success as a global philanthropy advisor has earned her a place in the 2017 Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame, a rare honor, which has only seventy-five members worldwide. Kris chairs the board of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and serves on the board of the Community Foundation of Lorain County and the Advisory Committee of the Foundation Center in Cleveland. She co-edited The Foundation Review’s themed journal on philanthropy consulting and the Grants Managers Network’s GMNsights journal on streamlining philanthropy. Kris and her firm have received many accolades, including a “Top 10 Women Business Owners” award from the National Association of Women Business Owners – Cleveland and a “Ten Under 10” award from the Council of Smaller Enterprises.  Read moreWorkshop : Achieving Equity… How Exactly?

jennie-watson-150x150Jennie Lehua Watson is the interim president of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. In this role, Jennie leads the Fund’s work to fulfill its founders’ vision of a society where all people can live, work, and raise their families with dignity. She has served in various leadership positions at the Fund for over 17 years, most recently as the vice president of special initiatives and communications, where she developed the Fund’s use of strategic communications and fostered close partnerships with a wide range of community institutions of particular interest to the Fund’s Board of Directors. Read moreSession: Bridging the Power Divide.

richard-woo-150x150Richard Woo is the Chief Executive Officer of the Russell Family Foundation. He guides the foundation’s strategic planning, programs, and community affairs. Prior to arriving at the foundation, he spent many years working in nonprofit organizations and business in California. He is the former executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation, and has served on the boards of the Council on Foundations, Philanthropy Northwest, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.  Sessions: Transparency and Accountability: Private Responsibility, Public Trust and Dimensions of Transparency and Communication: The Russell Family Foundation


Additional presenters coming soon!