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Text on image: Advancement Academy Presents: By UT for UT

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Breakout Sessions

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Sessions from each track will be offered concurrently and are open to all attendees. Presenters and sessions will be updated on an ongoing basis.

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Donors Can Only Give What They Have

Joe Chickey, MBA, CFP, Senior Vice President and Senior Consultant, Sharpe Group

Learn the national trends and demographics impacting planned giving. How can you better understand your donors’ interests and financial assets to help them make their best gift? What can you do to develop and execute donor strategies for additional non-cash gifts?

Building and Sustaining Data-Informed Campaign Pipelines: The Pursuit of Mega and Principal Gifts

Meghan Davison, Senior Vice President, CCS Fundraising 
Elizabeth Hormann, Senior Vice President, CCS Fundraising 
Peter Hoskow, Principal & Managing Director, CCS Fundraising 

This session will cover the broad benefits of campaigns for higher education institutions and showcase measures of campaign readiness. It will also tackle data-informed pipeline strategies and explore the optimal staffing structure for supporting strategic collaboration and the pursuit of mega and principal gifts.

It’s a Team Sport

Kevin Foyle, Senior Vice President of Development and Public Relations, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Jake Logan, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, The University of Texas at El Paso
Anamaria Repetti, Vice President and Chief Development Officer, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Hear from campus development leaders as they discuss strategies to involve deans, directors, and department heads in fundraising efforts. This interactive session will allow for engagement with experts on related issues.

The UT Foundation - What The Foundation Can Do For You

Sheri DeSpain, CPA - Executive Director, The University of Texas Foundation
Kathy Cothran, CPA – Controller, The University of Texas Foundation

Hear directly from leadership at the UT Foundation about the many ways they serve the UT institutions. Topics covered will be services the Foundation provides, including charitable gift annuities, facilitation and acceptance of grants, matching gifts, alternative gifts including real estate,  special endowments and more.             

What’s In Your Toolkit?

Joe Chickey, MBA, CFP, Senior Vice President and Senior Consultant, Sharpe Group

Help donors make their best gifts by understanding and using proven strategies for a variety of non-cash assets. Explore creative blended gift ideas, learn new conversation openers, and address the hard questions. 

UTIMCO – From the Daily to the Digital 

Drury Morris, Senior Director, The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company
Adam Wright – Chief of Staff, UTIMCO 

The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) is the first external investment corporation formed by a public university system and oversees investments to support The University of Texas and Texas A&M University Systems. This session will provide an update on current market conditions and an overview of UTIMCO’s current asset allocation and recent performance along with information about the digital asset landscape and the UT System’s plans for accepting these potential gifts.

The Changing Priorities of Young Alumni 

Brian Gawor, Vice President of Research, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Many alumni offices are incorporating engagement strategies and service opportunities to increase fundraising outcomes among alumni. Learn what is working nationally and hear the results of a fascinating new national study on young alumni.

To Be a Donor: Enriching the Donor Experience

Josh Birkholz, Chief Executive Officer, BWF

So much of the work in advancement is focused on encouraging people to become donors. Once an individual gives, is being a donor all they hoped it would be? Research suggests the experience after the gift, regardless of gift level, might be the most important expectation of the donors. This session will dig into practical ways to sustain positive and productive donor relationships.

Building the Base: Your Annual Giving Program is the Foundation

Brian Gawor, Vice President of Research, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Donors receive hundreds of messages daily. How can your messages break through? What strategies are most successful? Learn what can make your program more effective.

Rules of the Road

Ann Kaplan, Senior Director, VSE, Council for Advancement & Support of Education

Learn how the new CASE Global Reporting Standards may affect your work. What are the new definitions for educational philanthropy, gift counting, funds received, new funds committed, donor control and influence, and alumni engagement metrics?

Fundraise Smarter, Not Harder: How AI + Automation Drive Donations + Increase Efficiencies

Reilly Conroy, Sales Team Lead, at Gravyty

What is all the excitement about artificial intelligence (AI) in fundraising and communications? What is AI capable of doing today to enhance efficiency in your office? Because of AI, what could the fundraising office look like in five years?

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Connecting Your Brand with Diverse Communities

Yareli Esteban, Chief Brand Officer and CEO, Strategar

From 2010 to 2020 the population of Texas grew 16% to 29 million, but did you know that people of color made up 95% of that explosive growth? Today, Texas is the proud home to 12 million Hispanics, a population that has increased roughly 24% since 2010 and is predicted to increase an additional 71% by 2050. As Texas continues to grow and diversify, it’s more important than ever to understand your audiences and adjust your messaging and methods of communicating to align with cultural norms and trends. In this session, learn how to tailor your messaging, marketing tactics and channels of distribution to engage with a more diverse pool of Texans.

Communicating with Confidence in Times of Crisis

Charles G. Bakaly, III, Senior Counselor and Deputy Global Chair, Crisis and Risk, Edelman
Anne MacDonald, Managing Director of Political Risk, Edelman Global Advisory

Whether you’re dealing with hurricane damage to your building, an allegation of wrongdoing by a staff or faculty member, a threat to campus safety or some other crisis, whether large or small, your response can impact the credibility of your institution. This session will help you develop and execute an effective crisis communications plan, then practice delivering your message on videotape to help you assess and improve your performance.

Visual Storytelling

Amy Balliett, Author, Founder & CEO, Killer Visual Strategies

Graphics and infographics can help us more easily understand complex facts and figures. Learn from one of the country’s foremost experts in visual strategy how to use data to help your stakeholders better understand the important or technical information you want to share.

The Evolution of Diversity and Inclusion, and Why it Matters

Dannetta Bland, North America Board Effectiveness & Sustainability Leader, Accenture

Diversity and inclusion has evolved from a focus on compliance to a strategic effort with a demonstrated positive impact on an institution’s culture and performance. Much more than a legal or moral requirement, a diverse faculty, staff and student body, along with an environment that promotes equity and inclusion of all voices, is at the core of modern higher education. This session will explore diversity and inclusion broadly, as well as at the campus level, exploring how we can be advocates and change agents that help create more inclusive campus and workplace environments. The session will also include ideas for incorporating best practices in your communications and brand management goals.

Building and Managing Your Brand Reputation

Kate Linkous, Executive Vice President, Higher Education & Corporate Affairs, Edelman
Greta Hays, Vice President, Corporate Reputation & Higher Education, Edelman

Brand reputation management is the process of monitoring and influencing the public perception of your brand. An institution’s brand is a function of its reputation among its various stakeholders – students, patients, faculty, health care providers, staff, alumni, donors, parents and so on. Reputation takes years to build but can be compromised in minutes with one negative event, news story or viral social media post. This session will help you proactively create deploy effective strategies to protect and manage your institution’s brand and reputation.

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Writing a Winning Pitch

Eva-Marie Ayala, Education Lab Editor, The Dallas Morning News
Deborah Mann Lake, Director of Media Relations, UTHealth Houston

What makes an overworked newspaper reporter stop and take a look at your news release? Does your inverted pyramid go beyond the standard “Ws” into “WTH”? Can you catch a broadcaster’s eye with your unique pitch? Learn how to write like a reporter and break through the babble.      

Become an Expert at Promoting Faculty Expertise

Joe Morone - Co-Founder & CEO, Footnote, Inc. 
Diana Brazzell - Co-Founder & Executive Editor, Footnote, Inc.

Faculty are one of your institution’s most valuable assets. Promoting their research and expertise can enhance your school’s reputation and increase support and engagement from donors, policymakers, alumni, and the local community. This session will teach you how to turn your faculty members into thought leaders and get their research covered in mainstream media outlets. You will gain strategies for communicating academic expertise to a broader audience and learn from case studies how other institutions have built their reputation and prestige by promoting faculty research.

Climbing the Social (Media) Ladder

Jeremy S. Thompson, Vice President, Digital, Edelman Global Advisory
Neely Dockins, SVP, U.S. Head of Digital Crisis, Edelman

Social media has become an integral part of brand building in higher education, with institutions working to increase engagement and grow social following across various platforms. Social media success goes far beyond simply increasing followers, however, and it’s more important than ever to develop deliberate strategies, voicing and messaging to accomplish measurable goals. This session will lay out a more effective approach to social media, including how to plan ahead, how to determine what platforms to use and how to evaluate results.

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Speak Easy

Stephen Howard, Keynote Speaker, TV Broadcaster, and former NBA Player

A well-known study once ranked fear of public speaking right up there with the fear of dying. But as communicators and leaders, it’s important to be able to clearly articulate your ideas and inspire others to follow. Learn tips and strategies to make your presentations more interesting and your delivery more confident. 

Grammar Matters

Ellen Jovin, Author and Principal, Syntaxis

Finding the right acronyms and emojis often seems more important than using the proper punctuation in this age of texts and social media. But understanding and applying the rules of grammar still matter for business professionals – especially professional communicators – seeking to boost awareness, support, and respect. This fun (really!) grammar refresher course will help anyone communicate more clearly and professionally.

Better Together 

Mary Kathryn Cooper, Associate Vice President, Special Programs and Events, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Melissa Brasher,  Associate Vice President for Principal Gifts, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Adi Espat, Associate Vice President Philanthropic Engagement, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Nati McWilliams, Associate Vice President for Individual Giving, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

To ensure donor events achieve their goals and don’t veer from their original purpose, it’s critical that colleagues in events, communications and development each have a seat at the table. Learn how these three teams can – and should – work more effectively together to drive successful events.  

Understanding Today’s Workplace in a Post-Pandemic Era 

Greg Duyck, Principal, WittKieffer

Hear the perspectives of hiring managers as well as candidates and the challenges of finding and retaining good talent for academic and health institutions. What can you do to advance your career?

Safe Communications

Michael J. Heidingsfield, Director of Police, The University of Texas System

A top priority of UT System law enforcement professionals is building relationships with the campus community so that they can proactively address potential threats to individuals at UT institutions and health care facilities. Learn more about the UT System Police’s role and efforts to protect and promote campus safety so you can communicate more effectively with students, parents, patients, donors, faculty, and the community.  

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