As CEO of Bridge Philanthropic Consulting, Dwayne Ashley is renowned for his bold, strategic thinking and wise counsel in philanthropy. He is a successful entrepreneur In the course of his career, he raised more than $750 million. A fearless and authentic solicitor, he is committed to social justice and helping organizations of color maxmize their fundraising success. He advises non-profit, philanthropists and influencers globally.
A powerhouse of energy and a passion for fundraising, Dwayne has managed capital and annual campaigns and spearheaded development for such notable organizations as the Jazz at Lincoln Center, Success for Kids, 100 Black Men of America, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the United Negro College Fund, and the United Way of Texas Gulf Coast, among many others.
Dwayne is a thought-leader in the field and he has shared valuable concepts in numerous articles and in four books. They include Eight Steps to Raising Money: Measuring Your Fundraising Impact, Word for Word Publishing; 8 Winning Steps to Creating a Successful Special Event with Carol Campbell, Director of Events at Prairie View A&M University; I’ll Find A Way or Make One: A Tribute to HBCUs with noted journalist Juan Williams and Dream Internships: It’s Not Who You Know, But What You Know! He is an alumnus of Wiley College and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fel’s School of Government. He is very proud of his great-grand mother’s contribution of land to establish one of the oldest schools to educte blacks in Heflin, Louisiana. The school is now one of the oldest black churches in the state of Louisiana.
Dwayne dedicates his work in philanthropy in memory of his late two older brothers, Ronald and Howard Ashley and his childhood friend, Late Houston City Councilman, Larry Green. Dwayne is a member of The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 1991.He has served as a member of the Boards of AFP in Philadelphia and New York Chapters. He is one of the Co-Founders of Jazz Houston, a performing arts organization dedicated to Jazz in Houston.
Anna Barber is president and principal consultant for Barber & Associates, a boutique fundraising consulting firm focused on helping nonprofit organizations achieve their full fundraising potential.
Prior to starting her own business, Barber was a senior major gift officer for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) where she worked for more than eight years. She was part of NMAAHC's inaugural fundraising team that surpassed its $270 million private philanthropic goal by $50 million. Personally, Barber secured $42 million in leadership (more than $1 million) and major ($100 thousand) gift support, highlighted by the closure of 22 individual one million-dollar gifts, 90 percent contributed by first time donors to the Smithsonian. She also built and maintained a portfolio of high-profile celebrities, including Pauletta and Denzel Washington, LaTanya and Samuel L. Jackson, Magic and Cookie Johnson, Michael Jordon and Kobe Bryant, among many other national individual philanthropists. Leading into NMAAHC's Grand Opening in 2016, she led the efforts to host a $1M per plate fundraiser at the home of Denzel Washington and a mid-level fundraising event that generated $5 million from $25 thousand donors.
Prior to the Smithsonian, Barber spent 10 years working as a frontline fundraiser in big-time college athletics. She served as the director of major gifts for Michigan State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics where she was part of the team that successfully completed a $110 million capital campaign, which was part of a larger $1.2 billion university-wide campaign. In addition to fundraising, she oversaw the athletics department's endowment, planned giving and communication programs, and the led the fundraising team for the renovation of the university's baseball, softball, and soccer complexes.
Prior to working at MSU, Barber served as the assistant director of development at Miami University in Ohio where she participated in launching the athletics department's $30 million capital campaign, part of a university-wide $350 million campaign. She started her career at Arizona State University where she was mentored under the legendary athletics director Gene Smith.
She earned a Juris Doctorate (intellectual property) from Arizona State University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Howard University.
Nicole Howe Buggs
As the chief administrative officer (CAO) and corporate secretary, Nicole Howe Buggs serves as the liaison to the board of trustees and helps ensure the effective governance of the foundation. In her additional role as director of grants management, she oversees operations and compliance for an annual portfolio of approximately 275 domestic and international grants, consisting of more than $150 million in philanthropic funding. Ms. Howe Buggs also supports the mission, objectives, and priorities of the Corporation by leading and managing information technology and office services.
Ms. Howe Buggs joined the Corporation in 2011 to oversee grants management. In that role, she devised multi-year strategic plans and drove the implementation of digital platforms for online access to records and other resources. She also overhauled the Corporation’s grantmaking processes by introducing a searchable, cloud-based grants management system that facilitated communication with grantees and streamlined processes for applications and record keeping.
Prior to joining the Corporation, Ms. Howe Buggs served as director of grants management at the Public Welfare Foundation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and the Healthcare Georgia Foundation. During her career, Ms. Howe Buggs has presented grantmaking sessions at national and regional conferences and meetings, managed an employee-directed giving program, and served on grant review and employee volunteer committees.
Ms. Howe Buggs serves on the board of trustees for the Tenement Museum, and mentors emerging leaders in Philanthropy New York’s Young Leaders program. She received her BA and MA from The George Washington University.
Tarsha Whitaker Calloway
Ms. Calloway is currently leading the Ofc of Corporate Engagement for Emory University where she is responsible for developing strategy and providing direction for multi-dimensional executive and corporate engagement platform. Tarsha is a columnist in NonProfit PRO magazine and writes a monthly column, Fundraising Connections, where she shares her insights and expertise on nonprofit fundraising; corporate engagement and philanthropy; diversity and philanthropy; and foundation funding strategies. She holds an MBA in International Business from Mercer University Stetson School of Business and a BA in Journalism from Texas Southern University. She sits on the Advisory Board of Nonprofit PRO Magazine, a former Board Member of NACRO, Board for the HBCU Hall of Fame, the Women’s Solidarity Society for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a 2015 graduate of GA Center for Non-Profit CEO Peerspective Leadership cohort, a 2018 graduate and Board member for Leadership DeKalb and named the 2018 Nonprofit Professional of the Year.
Christina Chang is president of Christina Chang Equity Consulting. She provides facilitation to organizations looking to explore multicultural awareness and understanding, and practical talent management expertise to leaders who are ready to transform their institutions’ cultures and policies through an inclusive lens.
Prior to her current position as a race and equity consultant, she headed the finance, talent and administration teams for University of Washington advancement for 15 years, with responsibility for the stewardship of advancement’s people, finances, and space. At the UW, she developed a race-conscious strategy for the advancement talent management program that was considered a best practice organization.
She speaks about building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive work culture at universities and other nonprofits across the country and works with organizations and leaders to build systems of belonging.
Chang graduated from Georgetown University and holds a master’s degree in public administration from American University.
Meredith Evans is President of the Society of American Archivists and holds the director position at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Formerly an Associate University Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis and UNC Charlotte she has fundraised at all institutions from private donors to grant writing. She deeply believes in supporting community collaborations to promote engagement.
Earl Granger, III, has been a higher education practitioner for close to thirty years. He recently took the helm at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as the chief development officer/vice president in Williamsburg, VA. Colonial Williamsburg has the distinction of being the largest living museum in the country.
Prior to his role at Colonial Williamsburg, Earl served as the associate vice president for development at William & Mary where they successfully completed a $1B For the Bold fundraising campaign which ended in June. Additionally, Earl also served in senior enrollment roles at William & Mary, Tufts University and UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School.
As part of his advancement related work, Earl has worked to engage and secure private support from populations that have been historically under-represented. Earl is a recipient of the 2018 CASE District III Opportunity and Inclusion Award.
He received his B.A. degree in public policy and M.Ed. in higher education administration from William & Mary.
Dr. Anthony Heaven is higher education scholar-practitioner who specializes in advancement and diversity/inclusion work. He currently serves as the Associate Director of Development for the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College (SMBHC) at The University of Mississippi. In addition, he assists with strategizing on diverse donor engagement strategies and is leading an effort to provide a healing and reconciliatory space for African American alums who graduated during the 60s, 70s, & 80s. Previously, Heaven served as the Associate Director of Donor Engagement at The University of Florida. He also done diversity/inclusion and student services work at The University of Texas at Austin.
Heaven completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion/Theology at Stillman College. At The University of Texas at Austin, he attained a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership with a concentration in Public Affairs. His dissertation focused on the experiences of African American frontline fundraisers at predominately White institutions. Heaven was a recipient of the Dissertation of the Year Award presented by The American Association of Blacks in Higher Education.
Juan McGruder is senior vice president and chief development officer at Junior Achievement of Georgia. Prior, he was the director of development for Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech. He also served as associate director of development in the College of Computing and later as the first director of development for the School of Computer Science. He is former AVP for institutional advancement at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Previously, he served as special assistant to the president and director of alumni relations at Clark Atlanta (CAU). At CAU, he also served as director of development and assistant professor. He also served as assistant director of the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education at the Council of Independent Colleges in Washington, D.C.
McGruder completed a doctorate in education and human development at Vanderbilt, where his research was HBCUs and institutional advancement. He earned a master's degree in administration, planning and social policy at Harvard University. He holds a master's degree in counseling and human development from CAU, an Education Specialist in student affairs from WKU, and a Certificate in Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in Britain and Europe from University of Cambridge, England. His bachelor's degree in political science/pre-law is from Clark College. He also holds the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) international professional designation.
He served as president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Greater Atlanta, on both the CFRE International Job Analysis Task Force and the Committee of Directorship, and the Practitioner Advisory Board of The Science of Philanthropy Initiative at Uni. of Chicago. He is a faculty member at both the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and LaGrange College's Master's program in Philanthropy and Development. He is also currently president of Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club and Leadership Atlanta (2018).
Charmaine Ward Millner
Charmaine Ward- Millner is Corporate Relations Director for Georgia Power. She is responsible for building and maintaining key state and national relationships with diverse organizations and opinion leaders. Her efforts focus on forming strategic alliances with diverse segments of the company’s 2.5 million customers, corporate partners and civic organizations to garner support and promote advocacy for important industry and company issues. She also works closely with internal executives and community leaders to develop sustainable initiatives aligned with the company’s business goals and philanthropic strategies supporting its mission to be “a citizen wherever we serve.”
Charmaine has held senior-level positions with Georgia-Pacific, John H. Harland, Bank of America, Showtime Networks and IBM. She has created tremendous value as a corporate leader in the areas of corporate philanthropy, foundation, corporate affairs, diversity, marketing, and sales.
She is a noted speaker, serial entrepreneur, adjunct professor at Georgia State, certified John Maxwell Leadership Coach, and an Associate Certified Coach with ICF (International Coaching Federation).
Charmaine’s service to the community is widespread and she is humbled by the numerous awards she has received recognizing her civic contributions. She serves as Secretary for the National Black MBA national board. She also serves on the boards of the NBMBAA Atlanta Chapter, Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Atlanta Technical College Foundation Board, Atlanta Business League Foundation Board, NBAF Advisory Board and Alliance Theatre Advisory Committee. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Links, Inc., and Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.
She is also an alumna of United Way VIP, Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), Leadership Georgia, and Leadership Atlanta. Charmaine graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Economics from Clark Atlanta University and earned an MBA with honors from Kennesaw State University
Kim Nyoni serves as associate vice president for development at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Kim has been with UNLV since 2017 and oversees a team of development professionals that work in Colleges and academic units. In addition, Kim also serves as a development liaison with the UNLV department of intercollegiate athletics. Kim joined UNLV from the University of Missouri, where he served in various leadership roles in University Advancement. Kim graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with bachelor of journalism and a masters of arts in advertising.
Una Osili is director of research and the dean’s fellow for the Mays Institute on Diverse Philanthropy at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Una is also a professor of economics and philanthropic studies at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. An internationally recognized expert on philanthropy, Una frequently speaks across the country on issues related to national and international trends in philanthropy and has been quoted by national news media outlets such as The New York Times, the Chronicle of Philanthropy and National Public Radio. She has served as a member of several national and international advisory groups, including the Social Science Research Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Program.
Carlos Pagoaga is Group Director, Partnerships for The Coca-Cola Company where he is responsible for managing the Company’s community engagement efforts including strategic partnerships, grant making and matching gifts. He has 29 years of national and international experience in external facing roles including Community Relations, Public Relations and Grant Management with The Coca-Cola Foundation.
He is involved in numerous community activities. Pagoaga serves as a board member on Piedmont Park Conservancy and Trust for Public Land. In addition, he is a past Chairman of the Board of the Latin American Association, the National Hispanic Corporate Council and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Regional Leadership Institute’s Class of 1997 and the Leadership Atlanta Class of 1999.
Prior to working for The Coca-Cola Company, he served as vice president of Marketing for Custom Designs of Atlanta, a lease department for Macy's South. His responsibilities included oversight of the Customer Service, Advertising and Vendor Departments.
Born in Havana, Cuba, he was five months old when his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He is a 1990 graduate of Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Marketing major. He received his MBA from Georgia State in 1999.
Teresa Rivero is a Lead Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the K-12 education team. She has worked with a variety of organizations across the southeast, including state education agencies, school districts, and education non-profit groups. In her current role, Teresa partners with organizations to build networks for school improvement focused on advancing student outcomes for black, Latino, and low-income students. Teresa has dedicated her career to working with organizations focused on improving the lives of the most vulnerable communities. This includes serving as the Grant Officer for the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Director of Education at the Latin American Association, Program Director at the Whitefoord School-Based Health Clinic, and as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Honduras. Teresa sits on the Board of Trustees at her alma mater, Emory University, where she earned a Bachelor’s in Finance and a Master’s in Public Health. Additionally, she also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgia State University. Teresa also serves on the American Immigration Council Board, Learn4Life Advisory Board, and Leadership Atlanta Board of Directors.
Yvonne Whitaker currently leads NCR Corporate Foundation, she has been in this role for 7 years. Previously she worked in healthcare, taught at a medical arts college and worked in both nonprofit development and private foundation leadership positions. Yvonne grew up in Michigan, raised her family in Ohio and relocated to Atlanta 9 years ago, she currently resides in Chamblee with her husband Mark. She has two daughters she is incredibly proud of—Casey Navarro works as a comedian, writer and actor in Los Angeles and Jordan Whitaker works in a family law practice in Atlanta.
Kim Williams-Pulfer serves as the postdoctoral research appointee for the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. A recent PhD graduate of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy she recently completed her dissertation project entitled, Get Involved: Stories of The Postcolonial Black Middle Class and The Development of Civil Society. Through the methodological use of archival records, cultural textual analysis, participant observation, and in-depth interviews, her dissertation carefully traces how these unfolding narrative experiences shape the current environment in of civil society especially within the global south. Kim was also awarded the Indiana University President’s Diversity Dissertation Fellowship in 2017. Her ongoing research agenda focuses on diversity within the philanthropic sector and the role of arts and civic engagement within the African diaspora.