Birgit Smith Burton
Birgit Smith Burton is a respected leader in the fundraising profession having raised more than $500M during her 30-year career. As the executive director of foundation relations at Georgia Tech she led her team in raising $309M toward the institute's most recent successful $1.8B capital campaign.
Burton is a well-regarded speaker on the topics of fundraising and diversity. She has authored articles on diversity in the fundraising profession and co-authored the book, The Philanthropic Covenant with Black America. She was proud to be selected by Georgia Tech leadership to participate in the first cohort of Leading Women @ Tech, which identified the next community of leaders who will guide the institution in the 21st century.
She serves on the boards of the Association of Fundraising Professionals International, the A.E. Lowe Grice Scholarship Fund, and Hosea Helps. She is chair of AFPs IDEA committee, which is working to address issues around inclusion, diversity, equity and access. She is an advisor for the Aspen Leadership Group and founder and chair of the African American Development Officers Network, which for 18 years has supported diversity in the fundraising profession by promoting professional development and facilitating interaction among its members.
Burton earned a bachelor's degree in media communications from Medaille College.
Rob Henry is vice president of education at CASE where he is responsible for creating an overall global strategy for achieving CASE's vision and mission related to talent management and for guiding conference programming, diversity/inclusion initiatives, research, and the CASE Library.
Formerly an active CASE volunteer speaker and adviser, Rob joined the CASE staff in 2006 as head of emerging constituencies, later adding the responsibility for online educational programs. He previously held advancement management positions at Yale University, the University of Connecticut Foundation and Michigan State University.
Rob is a graduate of Murray State University and has a master's degree from Eastern Michigan University. In 2006, he received the prestigious CASE Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence.
Jeanelle Chang is the senior associate officer, development operations & strategy for the Obama Foundation. Jeanelle comes to the Foundation with over ten years of non-profit experience, working in a span of span of diverse NPOs, including arts organizations, cultural institutions, health and medical association, social service entities and higher education. Before joining the Foundation, Jeanelle was at the University of Chicago and worked for Theaster Gates as the associate director, major gifts for arts + public life and the Arts Block. She executed a breadth of development skills through multiple fundraising avenues at the Asian Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Sinfonietta, SkyART, AsianWeek Foundation and International Anesthesia Research Society.
Jeanelle was the 2016 Young NonProfit Professional of the Year; and is a member of the Young Nonprofit Professional Network (YNPN), Association of Fundraising Professionals and AADO. She has a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and M.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Daniel J. Montoya, MBA, walked on the campus of San Diego State University as a non-traditional student after serving four years in the U.S. Navy. He completed his bachelor of science degree in business administration management in 2004. He later went on to complete is MBA from Webster University, School of Business and Technology.
Dan has been in higher education fundraising for the last 15 years, raising support for Student Affairs, the College of Business Administration, and the College of Engineering. Dan has also helped to build regional councils in Austin, Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco Area. Dan currently serves in leadership roles for the President’s Cabinet, the Shared Governance Committee, Equity Council and is the Chair of both the President’s Latino Advisory Council and the Aztec Culture Education Committee. His 21 years of non-profit, higher education and development experience extend across many areas of campus and he brings a well-rounded knowledge of alumni, parents, corporate, foundation and community partners. He is a connector and bridge builder and his life motto is to help people learn, grow and get them where they need to go.
Dan is an avid golfer, sports enthusiast and loves to travel with his wife and their children.
Alyssia Coates is the director of development for diversity and inclusion, and a major gift fundraiser for Brown University advancement division.
Dr. Coates formerly served for 24 years at the University of Notre Dame in the following leadership roles. Regional director of development; major gifts fundraiser for the Boldly Campaign. Senior leader for the enrollment management team, professor for the college of first year of studies, and core conditioning, and strengthening instructor for the office of recreational sports. She was the director of admissions outreach and engagement recruitment, office of pre-college programs, and trio upward bound and educational talent search programs and began her career at Notre Dame as a recruiter for GEM, National Consortium for Minorities in Engineering, and Science.
Dr. Coates started a national early outreach recruitment model and established a Notre Dame presence across the United States to identify and recruit 7th-10th-grade students to cultivate a pipeline of highly talented students for selective colleges and universities. Dr. Coates's administrative experience includes success in fundraising, strategic planning, staff development, grant management, organizational leadership, event planning, and stewardship.
Christal M. Cherry
Christal M. Cherry is a nationally recognized fundraiser who has spent 20 years working with nonprofits and higher education institutions. With passion and a wide breadth of experience, Christal works today with nonprofits to help them create effective and successful boards. As the Board Pro, Christal offers one-on-one board coaching, governance and fundraising training at board meetings and retreats. Board clients have included United Way of Bartow County, the Rutledge Center, Girls Going Global, Tapestri Inc, and Children of Conservation.
In the past Christal worked with many national organizations, among them the United Negro College Fund, multiple higher education institutions, two seminaries, and several human services nonprofits. She has succeeded in advancing nonprofits by employing passionate storytelling, smart development plans, impactful campaigns, and by building sustainable relationships with major donors.
Christal currently serves on the board of the Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Villages at Carver YMCA and is an active member of AADO (African American Development Officers Network).
Christal started her career in counseling and direct service. In her free time, she loves reading, theater, and outdoor concerts. Christal is also a member of Toastmasters, a parent leader in the Cub Scouts, and an active member of her church. Grateful for amazing family and friends, Christal is always excited to pursue new opportunities for service and living with purpose.