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John W. Dawe, MNA, CNP, CFRE (Conference & Faculty Chairperson) has been working with charitable organizations and nonprofit organizations since 2003. With extensive experience in technology integration and project management, the majority of his career has been in web-based development, fundraising, communications, marketing and strategic planning. He currently is serving as acting Chief Professional Officer/Executive for Equality Pennslyvania, and from 2003 until 2014, Dawe was founding executive director of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance, a regional network of individuals, nonprofits, and businesses working to advance equal rights and identify supportive services for LGBT+ individuals and families throughout the region.  During hsi time at NEPA Rainbow, he was responsible for growing the organization’s membership from 10 to more than 2,000.
Dawe served as NEPA Chapter President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals from 2006-2009. He also served on the AFP International Committee on Directorship, LGBT Working Group of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Marketing and Communications Committee, and Professional Advancement Committee. He served on the AFP TechKnow Conference Planning Board. He currently serves the organization on the United States Government Relations Committee, Diversity Scholarship Task Force, and National Philanthropy Day International Celebration committee. Dawe received the Masters of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) Degree from North Park University – Chicago in 2016. He received the CNP (Certified Nonprofit Professional) credential in 2015. He received his CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) credential in 2009 and became an AFP Certified Master Trainer in 2010. He is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Wilkes-Barre

He works with his clients to implement simple processes and procedures that produce big results, when done consistently. He has leveraged this to establish a national reputation as a fundraising productivity expert and maintains a thriving coaching practice. He publishes a popular weekly email newsletter, The Productive Fundraising Weekly Journey, which provides one video tip and a free download, every week. As a Master Trainer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Chad is a frequent presenter at nonprofit conferences.

He is also a passionate arts advocate and raises vital support for the arts in his community through the Cultural Enrichment Fund (Harrisburg, PA). He splits his time between serving as a fundraising practitioner and a fundraising coach. This allows him to bring fresh, real world, tested recommendations to his clients.

Chad Barger, CFRE has spent his entire career as a fundraiser. He has worked in large shops and small in a variety of sectors (higher education, social services & the arts). He has built fundraising programs from the ground up, rebuilt fundraising programs back to their former glory and taken stagnant organizations to the next level. The campaigns that he has worked on have raised in excess of $32 million dollars for the charities that he’s had the honor of serving.

Chad is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and is immediate past president of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter. He also serves as a volunteer for AFP’s Center for Fundraising Innovation on the international level. He earned his Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential, the first globally-recognized credential for fundraising professionals, in 2007.

Chad is a graduate of Slippery Rock University (SRU) where he got his fundraising start as a student phone-a-thon caller. At SRU, Chad served as an AmeriCorps member leading fellow students on community service trips across the country, which shifted his career focus to the charitable sector. He currently serves on SRU’s Philanthropy and Nonprofit Program Advisory Council.

When not teaching charities how to fundraise more efficiently or raising dollars for the arts in Harrisburg, Chad is typically spending quality time with his family, serving as quartermaster for Cub Scout Pack 279, searching for the world’s greatest IPA, cheering the Steelers on to their seventh ring, or playing trombone with No Last Call, Harrisburg’s hit-and-run street band.

Josh Hirsch, MS has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2006 with a focus on educational philanthropy for both public charter and independent private schools. He has an extensive background in social media, digital communications, and marketing along with experience in grant research and writing, individual giving, special event planning, stewardship and cultivation of donors. He is past Communications Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Palm Beach County chapter. Josh is also a member of the AFPeeps; the social media vanguard for the AFP International Conference on Fundraising and other AFP initiatives. Josh previously served as the Marketing Chair for the AFP Florida Caucus’ 2014 Planet Philanthropy conference and was the Director of Social Media for TEDxBocaRaton 2015. He has spoken nationally on social media, and has had numerous articles published in professional journals. Josh has a Certificate in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy from Bay Path College. He received a Master of Science in Family, Youth and Community Sciences from the University of Florida and received a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Florida. He is a graduate of Nonprofits First’s Sustainability and Social Enterprise Institute.

Jason Lewis, CFRE & AFP Master Trainer, is on a mission to recruit, train and coach the next generation of high-capacity fundraising talent. Jason is the managing partner of BetterSchools LLC, an Austin-based firm partnering with private and independent schools throughout the United States. In addition to this role, Jason owns Lewis Fundraising, a company he founded and currently operates. Together with his team of fundraising professionals, Jason serves as fundraising counsel and professional solicitor for a growing network of schools and other non-profit organizations. Since graduating from Eastern University’s non-profit management program in 2010, Jason has been recertified as a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and was recognized as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Master Trainers. Most recently, he graduated from the College of Executive Coaching. Jason is currently touring the United States presenting The Contrarian’s Guide to Effective Fundraising to non-profit audiences. His first book The War for Fundraising Talent, a discourse chronicling his provocative and proven fundraising philosophy, will be released in late 2017.

Ligia Peña, CFRE is the Global Legacy Manager at Greenpeace International. For the past 15 years, she has been working with a wide range of organizations on all aspects of fundraising, communications and management. However her true passion has always been em-powering small non-profits.  In recent years, Ligia has been presenting on the topic of planned giving, small shop fundraising, ethics in fundraising and social media. She is the author of the ‘Small Shop Fundraising’ chapter in the 2nd volume of Excellence in Fundraising in Canada as well as several articles in various electronic and print publications.  Ligia is very active in the Canadian charitable sector by serving on several committees at AFP International and having served on several nonprofit boards. She is a member in good standing of the AFP and the CAGP-ACPDP.

Don Rhoten, MS, CFRE is both President & CEO of the Meadville Medical Center Foundation and Vice President of Community Engagement at Meadville Medical Center. He also serves as editor of the blog DonorAdvice.com where he has published articles on nonprofit transparency and ethics, politics in philanthropy, and other public policy issues and their effect on nonprofit organizations. Don has served on the boards of the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) NEPA Chapter, and Meadville Redevelopment Authority. He serves on the U.S. Government Relations committee of AFP International. Rhoten holds a Masters of Science degree in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy from Bay Path College in Longmeadow, Mass. and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. Prior to joining the MMC team, he served as Director of Development and Marketing at The Scranton School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.

Heather Logie Schield, CFRE is Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Keystone College in La Plume, Pa. A proven leader in the non-profit and higher education field, Schield manages and motivates a dynamic staff to achieve fundraising results. Her strong ability to identify new opportunities for development while maintaining strong relationships with existing donors has garnered her the respect of her colleagues both at Keystone and the AFP NEPA Chapter where she is a board member. Heather oversees the execution, and evaluation of a comprehensive fundraising plan, which includes capital campaigns, major gifts, annual giving, corporate and foundation giving, grants, planned giving, alumni relations, as well as overseeing advancement services functions.  She holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Dave Tinker, MPA, MISSP, CFRE, FAFP is Vice President of Advancement at ACHIEVA and an adjunct professor of informatics at Muskingum University’s Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology program. An AFP Master Trainer, he received the Outstanding Fund Raising Executive Award from the AFP Western PA chapter in 2013.  In October 2016 he was honored by AFP International as one of six in the inaugural class of Distinguished Fellows of AFP.  Dave has had numerous articles published in professional journals, presented all over North America, and has written curriculum for The Fund Raising School® at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.