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|Meet the Speakers|
Brandy Bertram, Principal and Founder
Ms. Bertram is the Principal and Founder of Great Big Good, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations move forward what matters most in achieving their visions for a better world. Her expertise lies in attracting, facilitating, and leveraging human and financial resources within the education, entrepreneurship, economic development, and conservation sectors.
As part of her work, Ms. Bertram serves as Vice President of Talent for Minds Matter Denver, a college-access mentoring program, following 2.5 years of volunteering for the organization. Additionally, she serves as a Campaign Officer for Bridges to Prosperity, helping to secure $5m to connect rural Rwanda through the construction of life-saving footbridges. Ms. Bertram is also a three-year member of the Mindful Leaders Academy, based out of New York City and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Ms. Bertram has been named to the Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 (2007), was named a Top 25 Young Professionals by CoBiz Magazine (2013) and was honored with the Peter Bowes Award from the Downtown Denver Partnership (2016).
In addition to her professional efforts, Ms. Bertram enjoys supporting her community through volunteer service with Spark the Change Colorado, where she is a member of the Board of Directors, the Downtown Denver Partnership, and the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable. Ms. Bertram loves living in Downtown Denver with her husband, Dan, and is a proud graduate of the University of Wyoming.
Polly Breit, Assistant Vice President
Polly is an Assistant Vice President at CCS Fundraising. In this capacity, she has successfully partnered with non-profit clients in a variety of sectors across Colorado. In many cases, Polly works with organizations to help them reach the most ambitious fundraising goals in the history of their organizations. She has effectively conducted feasibility and planning studies, developed major gifts programs, and has led her clients in the planning and execution of major capital and comprehensive campaigns. Organizations that have benefited from Polly’s counsel include Denver Health Foundation (Denver, CO); Denver Academy (Denver, CO); Mile High United Way (Denver, CO); Snowmass Chapel (Snowmass, CO); Telluride Medical Center (Telluride, CO); and Yampa Valley Medical Center (Steamboat, CO).
Polly is a Denver native and is active in the Colorado community. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for KIPP Colorado Schools and is the co-chair of their development committee. Prior to her work at CCS, Polly founded Breit Consulting Group where she supported non-profits of all sizes in strategic planning, board management, fundraising initiatives, and events. Previously, she was the Managing Director of Development and Managing Director of Individual Giving at Teach For America Colorado where she lead the team in raising over $35 million. Early in her career, Polly joined Teach For America and taught 3rd grade in Los Angeles (LA) and then served as an instructional coach for four years in LA and Denver. Polly has a BA in Spanish Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a certification in elementary urban education from the University of California Los Angeles. She is also an alumnus of the Institute for Leaders in Development through the University of Denver.
Polly lives in Denver with her husband and two young daughters.
Ron Brown, Author
Ron is the author of A History of Charitable Gift Planning (Amazon 2017). He served as director of gift planning at Princeton University, Columbia, Fordham, Pratt Institute, United Way of America, and the National Wildlife Federation. He was a board member and chair of the Research Committee for the American Council on Gift Annuities. He served on the board of the National Committee on Planned Giving (now the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners), was president of the Gift Planning Council of NJ, a board member of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater NY, founding chair of Leave a Legacy New Jersey, a member of the CANARAS planned giving council, and a board member of the ALS Association of SE Pennsylvania.
Ron received an AB degree from Princeton University and an MA degree from the University of Chicago, where he edited the newsletter of the Oriental Institute. A retired commander in the US Naval Reserve, he received two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals for writing and research while serving with the US Naval Historical Center. He has two children and two grandchildren, and lives in Manhattan.
Bryan Clontz, Ph.D., CFP®, CAP®, President
Bryan is the founder and President of Charitable Solutions, LLC, specializing in noncash asset receipt and liquidation, gift annuity reinsurance brokerage, gift annuity risk management audits, emergency assistance funds and life insurance appraisals/audits.
Bryan served from 2013-2014 as the Leon L. Levy Fellow in Philanthropy at The American College of Financial Services. He also serves as a Senior Partner to Ekstrom Alley Clontz & Associates – a community foundation consulting firm in New Haven, CT. Bryan is the founder of the Dechomai Foundation, Inc. and the Dechomai Asset Trust – two national donor advised funds focusing on non-cash assets generally and S-corp transactions respectively. He is also the founder of The Emergency Assistance Foundation, Inc. – a national fund allowing employers to create emergency assistance and disaster relief funds for their employees, where he now serves as secretary and advisor to the president. Learn more about Bryan
Bill Dedman, Author
Bill Dedman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and co-author of the bestselling biography Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. He has worked in online news, video, newspapers, television, and magazines.
Bill got his start in journalism at 16 as a copy boy at The Chattanooga Times. Bill has written for The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe.
He received the 1989 Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting. Bill has received national journalism awards for online reporting, feature writing, and public service.
In eight years with NBC News, reporting online for NBCNews.com and msnbc.com, Bill uncovered stories on the Pentagon's slow efforts to identify servicemen and women killed in past wars, the military police officers who tried to stop coercive interrogations of detainees at Guantanamo, fatal problems with firefighter safety equipment, and lessons learned from studies of school shootings.
Bill stumbled onto the mystery of the reclusive heiress Huguette Clark, who was featured in his series of reports in 2010 on NBCNews.com and the Today show. The Clark series was the most popular story ever on NBCNews.com, with more than 110 million page views. What began as a slideshow and feature story developed into an investigative series, a running daily competitive story, a full-length biography, and now is being developed as a Hollywood film.
He co-wrote the biography Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. The book debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times best seller list and was chosen among the best books of 2013 by critic Janet Maslin, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads readers. See more at emptymansionsbook.com.
Johni Hays, JD, FCEP, Senior Vice President
With more than 25 years of experience as a practicing attorney in charitable and estate planning, Johni Hays is a recognized expert on the subject of charitable gift planning. Johni served as the president of the Charitable Estate Planning Institute and she is the author of the book, Essentials of Annuities and co-author of the book, The Tools and Techniques of Charitable Planning. Johni serves on the Smithsonian’s Gift Planning Council in Washington, DC. She served on the Editorial Advisory Board for the books Tax Facts on Investments and Tax Facts on Insurance and Employee Benefits. She also served on the board of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and serves as a founding charitable planning author of Steve Leimberg’s electronic newsletter service, LISI, found at www.leimbergservices.com. Johni has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and has published charitable planning articles in Estate Planning Magazine, Planned Giving Today, Fundraising Success, Life Insurance Selling and the National Underwriter magazines. Learn more about Johni
Joe Hancock, Vice President and General Counsel
Joe Hancock serves as Vice President & General Counsel for HighGround Advisors, located in Dallas, Texas. HighGround serves nonprofit organizations through professional asset management and planned giving consultation. Joe has practiced extensively in the area of charitable planned giving for the past 22 years. Joe holds a BBA from Baylor University and MBA and JD degrees from the University of Arkansas.
Michael Kenyon, President & CEO
As president and CEO of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, Michael strives to create an environment where CGP’s 8,000 members can come together to educate, learn, network and strengthen the distinguished profession of charitable gift planning. He actively advocates for the value of charitable gift planning to legislators in D.C. and speaks throughout the country on the role of advocacy in the nonprofit sector. Kenyon has over 20 years executive leadership with community based, cultural, and professional membership organizations. He currently serves as, co-chair of the Financial Awareness Foundation 2019 Campaign and is Vice President for the Charitable IRA Initiative.
Scott Lumpkin, Principal
Scott Lumpkin consults with nonprofit organizations and individuals on transformational philanthropic strategies, with a focus on planned, major and principal gifts. He works closely with advancement leaders, boards and staff to build a portfolio-focused,relationship-driven culture of securing gifts. Prior to launching his consulting firm in2015, Scott had a 32-year advancement career at the University of Denver workingprimarily with high-net-worth donors to maximize their philanthropic impact. Scott led DU’s gift planning program for more than 25 years before serving five years as Vice
Chris McGurn, SVP, Director, Planned Giving Solutions
Christopher McGurn is the director of planned giving group. His responsibilities include oversight of a team of Planned Giving relationship managers and investment professionals and ensuring that there is a consistent delivery of investment advice, administration and education to PNC’s local and national Planned Giving clients. His team provides insight in the areas of life-income gift administration and investments for charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and pooled income funds and works with clients to create specific administrative and investment programs designed to help meet their needs. Learn more about Chris
Justin T. Miller, J.D., LL.M., TEP, AEP®, CFP®, National Wealth Strategist
As a national wealth strategist at BNY Mellon, Justin Miller works collaboratively with other advisors to provide comprehensive wealth planning advice to clients and their families. He also is an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University School of Law, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and a sought-after speaker on tax, estate planning and family governance topics for major conferences throughout the country. In addition, Justin has published numerous articles, and he is frequently quoted as an industry expert in the media. He received a master of laws in taxation and a juris doctor from NYU School of Law and a bachelor’s degree, with honors, from U.C. Berkeley.
Timothy J. Prosser, JD, Relationship Manager
Tim joined TIAA Kaspick in 2009 with nearly 20 years of experience in legal practice and financial services. Prior to joining TIAA Trust Company in 2000, he practiced law in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, charitable giving, and business succession planning with the firms of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and Armstrong Teasdale Schlafly & Davis in St. Louis, MO. Tim has served on the board of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and is a past board member and president of the Saint Louis Planned Giving Council. He received his JD degree and MA degree in Public Administration from St. Louis University and his BA in Russian Area Studies from Loyola University, New Orleans.
Philip M. Purcell, Senior Counsel for Philanthropy
Phil Purcell currently serves as Senior Counsel for Philanthropy on behalf of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students where he assists fifteen major gift officers engaged in a $250 million campaign including a $100 million goal for planned giving.
He is an attorney and member of the American and Indiana State Bar Associations. Phil teaches courses on law and philanthropy, nonprofit organization law and planned giving as adjunct faculty for the Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington, IN) and Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy and Fundraising School (Indianapolis, IN).
Phil serves as a member of the Tax-Exempt Organization Advisory Council for the Internal Revenue Service (Great Lakes states) and Vice Chair of the Legislation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Charitable Group. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities. Phil formerly served on the board of directors for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (past secretary), Charitable Gift Planning Group of Indiana (past president), Association of Fundraising Professionals - Indiana Chapter (past president), Central Indiana Land Trust, and Catch the Stars Foundation. Phil serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Planned Giving Today.
Phil received his B.A. degree from Wabash College (magna cum laude) and his J.D. and M.P.A. degrees (with honors) from Indiana University.
Cathy R. Sheffield, CAP®, CFRE, CSPG, FCEP
Cathy is a fundraising executive with 25-years experience, specializing in major gifts and gift planning in higher education and healthcare for organizations such as Baylor Scott & White Health, Texas Health Resources, Cook Children’s Health System, and Texas Christian University. She is President of ThinkGiving, a planned giving consulting firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Cathy is a Vice President with Thompson & Associates, a values-based estate planning firm.
Cathy is a past-chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (NACGP) and served as the 2015 Chair of the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning. Cathy is a member of the “Rollover Rangers” formally named the Charitable IRA Initiative. In 2015, Cathy was honored by the Fort Worth Metro Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals with The Ben Franklin Award for the Outstanding Professional Fundraising Executive.
Cathy received her MBA from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor of Science from North Dakota State University. Cathy is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®), Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG), and a Fellow in Charitable Estate Planning (FCEP).
Crystal Thompkins, CAP®, CSPGCM, National Director of Gift Planning Services
Crystal is National Director of Gift Planning Services for the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Planned Giving group. In this role, she is responsible for managing the client relationship teams in Boston, Massachusetts and Greensboro, North Carolina. She also works directly with large, complex clients on all aspects of their planned giving programs and coordinates resources throughout BNY Mellon to provide support and expertise.
Crystal joined the firm in 2006, when Mellon acquired U.S. Trust's planned giving business. She has more than 18 years of experience in the planned giving business, including charitable trust tax preparation and tax process management.
Crystal received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Winston-Salem State University and is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® and a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving. She is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and serves on the boards of the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) and the Winston-Salem State University Foundation
Craig C. Wruck, Author
Craig Wruck’s experience in charitable giving spans more than 30 years in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. He has served at the University of Minnesota, Humboldt State University, Minnesota State University, and the Saint Paul Community Foundation. In addition he has worked for U.S. Trust Company, US Bank, and Kaspick & Company.
He is past president of the National Committee on Planned Giving (now the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners) and has served as a member of its board of directors and as chair of its government relations committee. Craig is the author of Planned Giving in a Nutshell, a practical guide to planned giving for development generalists.
Craig earned his MBA from the University of St. Thomas and his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Utah.
Dale Zschoche, Director of Gift Planning
Dale Zschoche has been with the USAFA Endowment since spring 2010. As Director of Gift Planning, he leads the Endowment’s emphasis on securing planned gifts, and stewards donors through the Polaris Society.
His development experience began in the 1970s and he has been in higher education since the late 1980s, with a focus on major and planned giving. Prior to joining the Endowment he was vice president for advancement at a private college in Missouri.
Zschoche grew up in Detroit and is a 1977 graduate of Michigan Technological University. He married Ruth in 1983; their son Doug graduated from USAFA in 2010 (now a Major-select and KC-10 Instructor Pilot Evaluator, currently stationed at Travis AFB, California). Zschoche has served in leadership positions with a variety of professional and civic organizations and is active in church and Rotary. Hobbies include hiking, bicycling, travel, and home improvements.