2023 Foundation Leadership Forum: Schedule

January 29–31, 2023
San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter | San Antonio, TX

Check out the program schedule.

Browse the Forum schedule below. Please check back for updates as we continue to finalize programming. 

Saturday, January 28

5:00 – 8:00 PM CT | Registration/Help Desk

Sunday, January 29

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM CT | Registration/Help Desk

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM CT | AGB Experience

AGB’s mission is to help boards govern with knowledge and confidence. Visit the AGB Experience to learn about all that is available to you by virtue of membership. Get to know the AGB staff members responsible for the publications, consulting services, online tools, and other member services you rely on, and find out what’s new and what’s coming next. Meet our corporate partners and sponsors to explore the solutions-focused resources they offer.

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM CT | Introduction to Forum: First-Time Attendees and New Members

First-time Forum attendees are invited to attend this session and learn from Forum veterans about how to make the most of their conference experience and the other services and resources available to AGB member foundations. The session will include:

  • An overview of AGB member services and resources to enhance board leadership and foundation effectiveness
  • A preview of the 2023 Foundation Leadership Forum program highlighting sessions that may be of particular value for first-time attendees
  • A discussion about how to make the most of your Forum experience and put insights to work in future board and committee work.

Speakers:
David Bass, executive director for philanthropic governance, AGB
R. Keith Sauls, vice chair, College of Charleston Foundation
George Watt, senior fellow and senior consultant, AGB
Audrey Young, senior director, membership experience, AGB

12:30 – 2:30 PM CT | Workshops

Arrive early and get the full benefit of the 2023 Forum!

Roadmap for Success Workshops are highly interactive sessions for three special groups: 1) foundation board chairs, vice chairs, and chairs elect 2) new foundation chief executives and 3) future foundation executives. Please complete this short form if you are interested in participating in one of these workshops. Conference attendees who do not fall into one of the three groups described above are invited to participate in Idea Exchanges starting at 1:00 PM CT.

12:30 – 2:30 PM CT | Roadmap to Success for Foundation Board Chairs, Vice Chairs, and Chairs-Elect

Take a deep dive into the special roles and responsibilities of chairs and the hallmarks of effective board leaders. Learn strategies for forging an effective partnership with the foundation chief executive, institutional leadership, and the board at large, including insights to help troubleshoot common board challenges. A capstone breakfast on the final conference day will bring the group back together to discuss actionable insights from the conference.

(This session is intended for foundation board chairs, vice chairs, and chairs elect.)

Speakers:
James Lanier, senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB Consulting
Trishana E. Bowden, president, George Mason University Foundation
Diane Seder, board chair, University of Vermont Foundation
David Bass, executive director, philanthropic governance, AGB
George Watt, senior fellow and senior consultant, AGB  

1:00 – 2:30 PM CT | Roadmap to Success for New Foundation Chief Executives

CEOs who are new to the role will learn from seasoned foundation leaders about the challenges and opportunities they will encounter, questions they should be asking about the organizations they’re leading, and critical conversations they should be having with their board, institution leaders, and other constituents.

(This session is intended for foundation chief executives new to their role in the past 18 months.)

Facilitator:
Jane DiFolco Parker, senior consultant, AGB Consulting

Panelists:
Monica Delisa,
president and CEO, University of Vermont Foundation
Nico Karagosian,
president and CEO, Ohio University Foundation
Rickey N. McCurry,
president and CEO, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation

1:00 – 2:30 PM CT | Roadmap to Success for Future Foundation Executives

Prospective foundation executives will gain an understanding of the role foundation leadership team members play in supporting, engaging, and leveraging the board. Participants will learn from industry experts about the qualities boards and institutional leaders seek in candidates for CEO and other cabinet level staff, questions they should ask about prospective foundation leadership opportunities, and how to successfully navigate search processes.

(This session is intended for senior foundation staff below the level of chief executive who aspire to become a foundation CEO.)

Speakers:
DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO, University of North Dakota Foundation
Cheryl Crounse, vice president, advancement and executive director, Salem State University Foundation

1:00 – 2:15 PM CT | Idea Exchanges

These facilitated roundtable-style discussions will provide a forum for foundation board members and staff to explore topical issues broadly corresponding to the focus of common foundation board committees. Foundation staff and board members can choose one of four top-of-mind issues to explore with peers from across the country:

Endowment and Other Investments

Facilitators:
John Griswold, senior consultant, AGB
Sharcus Steen, interim chief investment officer, University System of Maryland Foundation

Effective Trusteeship and Governance Practice

Facilitators:
Chris Dyba, president, East Carolina University Foundation
Lynnette Heard, senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB

Fundraising, Advancement, and Campaign Leadership

Facilitators:
Blaire Atkinson, president, Oklahoma State University Foundation
Elizabeth King, president and CEO, Wichita State University Foundation and Alumni Engagement

Finance, Audit, Operations, and Enterprise Risk Management

Facilitators:
Jay Dowd, president and CEO, The Citadel Foundation
Angela Rees, chief financial officer, Medical College of Georgia Foundation

2:15 – 2:45 PM CT | Break

2:45 – 3:45 PM CT | Peer Group Convenings

Peer group convenings provide an opportunity to meet and build relationships with colleagues from similar foundations (or filling similar roles) from across the country and learn how they are addressing common challenges and opportunities. Facilitators will provide an overview of some widely shared issues, and participants are encouraged to come prepared to share their questions, innovations, and insights. Peer group sessions, except those focused on specific professional roles, are intended for both board members and foundation staff.

Convenings will be held for:

  • Integrated Foundations
  • Operationally Independent Foundations with Limited or No Fundraising Responsibility
  • Operationally Independent Foundations Responsible for Fundraising
  • Large Foundations (Assets of $750 Million+)
  • Board Professionals and Engagement and Stewardship Staff
  • Community College Foundations

Integrated Foundations

(operating as a closely integrated component of the institution with the foundation CEO reporting to the institution president or other administrator)

Facilitator:
Lori M. Buckheister, senior consultant, AGB

Speaker:
Vita Pickrum
, president, Delaware State University Foundation

Operationally Independent Foundations with Limited or No Fundraising Responsibility

Facilitator:
Scott Rash, president and CEO, Wright State University Foundation

Speaker:
Elizabeth McClanahan
, CEO, Virginia Tech Foundation

Operationally Independent Foundations Responsible for Fundraising

Facilitator:
Jeffrey N. Mills, president and CEO, University of Maine

Speaker:
Guy Patton
, president and CEO, University of Oklahoma Foundation 

Large Foundations (Assets of $750 Million+)

Facilitator:
Lynette Marshall, president and CEO, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Speaker:
Shawn Scoville
, president and CEO, Oregon State University Foundation

Board Professionals and Other Volunteer Engagement Staff

Facilitators:
Matthew Paskin, board coordinator and executive assistant to the president, University of Alaska Foundation
Wanda Sperow, board secretary, Auburn University Foundation 

Community College Foundations

Facilitators:
Laura Brown, vice president and chief advancement officer, Harper College Educational Foundation
Katherine Sawyer, chief advancement officer and executive director, Oakton Community College Educational Foundation 

3:45 – 4:15 PM CT | Break

4:30 – 4:40 PM CT | Welcome and Opening Remarks

Speakers:
Beverly Seay, member, University of Central Florida Board of Directors and chair, AGB Board of Directors
Henry Stoever, president and CEO, AGB

4:40 – 5:40 PM CT | Opening Keynote

Julieta V. García, PhD, is among America’s most distinguished and inspiring higher education leaders. Presenting her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July, President Biden described a career that exemplifies the transformative impact of public higher education and many of its core values: “Believing education is the cornerstone of our democracy, she created a culture of excellence, affirmation, and intellectual curiosity for generations of students, many the first in their families to go to college and who see their American dream through her and because of her.” García will open the Forum with her perspective on public higher education’s role in sustaining democracy, creating equitable opportunities for student success, and serving as a locus of dialogue across political and cultural divides.

Keynote Speaker:
Julieta Villarreal García, PhD

5:40 – 6:00 PM CT | Recognition of The John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership Recipients 

Speakers:
Beverly Seay, chair, AGB Board of Directors
Liz Morse, managing director, head of associations, TIAA

5:45 – 8:00 PM CT | Welcome Reception

Catch up with friends and colleagues and make new connections over cocktails, fajitas, and Texas smoked brisket.

With thanks to AGB Mission Partner TIAA

TIAA logo

Monday, January 30

7:00 AM – 7:30 PM CT | Registration/Help Desk

7:00 AM – 7:30 PM CT | AGB Experience

AGB’s mission is to help boards govern with knowledge and confidence. Visit the AGB Experience to learn about all that is available to you by virtue of membership. Get to know the AGB staff members responsible for the publications, consulting services, online tools, and other member services you rely on, and find out what’s new and what’s coming next. Meet our corporate partners and sponsors to explore the solutions-focused resources they offer.

7:45 – 8:45 AM CT | Networking Breakfast: Optimizing the Foundation-Alumni Association Partnership

Increasing numbers of institutions have integrated the governance and/or operations of their foundations and alumni associations through legal mergers or through integrated program administration models. This informal facilitated discussion will explore the ways foundations and associations are optimizing their partnerships, troubleshooting potential conflicts or tensions stemming from foundation-alumni association mergers, and aligning alumni relations functions with their development, student success, and advocacy programs to more efficiently advance the mission of their institutions


Facilitator:
Paul Rucker
, vice president, alumni and stakeholder engagement, University of Washington and executive director of the UW Alumni Association

With thanks to AGB Mission Champion AGB Search

AGB Search logo

8:00 – 8:45 AM CT | AGB Leadership Town Hall: Top Strategic Issues for Higher Education Boards and AGB Priorities for 2023

(Breakfast will be available at 7:30 AM CT.)

Speakers:

Ross Mugler, member, Old Dominion University Board of Visitors
Shauna Ryder Diggs, regent emerita, University of Michigan Board of Regents
Beverly Seay, member, University of Central Florida Board of Directors

Facilitator:

Henry Stoever, president and CEO, AGB

9:00 – 10:00 AM CT | Plenary

Windows on the Changing Landscape: New Contexts, Innovative Practices, and Emerging Issues Foundation Boards Should Know About

This session will provide a high-level overview of seven topics that will shape the work of foundations in the years ahead. Speakers will introduce the topic, explain its importance, and share insights on how foundations are addressing the issue. Concurrent sessions later in the program will explore all of the topics covered in the session.

Engaging the Board in Addressing Talent Management

Speaker:
Gretchen Buhlig, CEO, Arizona State University Foundation

Inclusive Philanthropy

Speaker:
Joyce Q. Rogers, Esq, executive vice president of development, Indiana University Foundation

Artificial Intelligence in Advancement

Speaker:
Mark Koenig, vice president for technology and chief innovation officer, Oregon State University Foundation

Name, Image, Likeness Collectives

Speaker:
Margaret Jarrell-Cole, consultant, AGB

Innovations in Campaigns

Speaker:
Robert J. Nava, vice president for advancement and executive director, CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation

The Evolving Role of Board Professionals

Speaker:
Lynnette Heard, senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB

Applying a JDEI Lens to the Work of the Board

Speaker:
Kim Bobby, principal, AGB Search

10:00 – 10:15 AM CT | Break

10:15 – 11:15 AM CT | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from multiple, topically diverse options to customize your schedule and Forum experience.

Assessment for Impact: Calibrating or Recalibrating Board Engagement, Composition, and Culture

Ongoing board assessment is a habit and a hallmark of good governance that helps boards continually improve their governance practices and culture; determine strategic opportunities and priorities; and become consequential, impactful partners to their institutions. Foundation leaders will share their transformational experiences during this interactive session.

Panelists:
Frank Boykin, board chair, Georgia State University Foundation Board of Trustees
Kevin E. Lofton, board vice chair, Georgia State University Foundation Board of Trustees

Facilitator:
Lynnette Heard, senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB

Transformative Times: Trends in Philanthropy for Institutions of Higher Education

What are the latest trends in philanthropy for colleges and universities? What attitudes do donors to higher education bring to their philanthropy, and how can institutions discern them? How are transformative gifts defined, and how are they secured? This session will draw on data from surveys conducted by Bank of America, Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and engage participants in a discussion about the donors who have had a transformative impact on their institutions. Participants will learn about 1) recent trends in giving to higher education among U.S. households, 2) how donors to higher education approach their philanthropy, and 3) how transformative gifts are defined and secured.

Speakers:
Jenny Cooke Smith, senior director of AMAtlas Services, Council for Advancement and Support of Education
William Jarvis, managing director, philanthropic executive, Bank of America

Winning the Talent War

Recruiting and retaining high-potential and high-performing advancement staff has been a long-standing challenge exacerbated by the pandemic. This session will present current data on staff trends and best practice solutions for strategic talent management and staff including industry-wide fundraiser labor market data and high ROI roles; finding, recruiting, and retaining top talent; and looking outside of advancement for qualified candidates. Facilitators will engage participants in a discussion about the ways they are adapting their talent management practices to more effectively retain and recruit advancement staff optimize staff performance.

Speakers:
Barry Benson, senior vice president, vice chancellor for advancement, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
R. Fleming Puckett, PhD, senior director, EAB

Investment and Governance Tools for Managing Risk in Volatile/Low-Return Markets

Liquidity management, underwater endowments, and spending are critical governance considerations and enterprise risk-management priorities, requiring close foundation-institution collaboration. This session will explore ways foundations can help to ensure they prudently manage and sustain endowment spending through low-return, volatile markets and will share a strategy for capital stacks to mitigate liquidity risk and enhance returns on foundation and institution reserve funds.

Speakers:
Zain Haider, member, Miami University Foundation Board of Directors; global treasurer, Silicon Valley Bank
Nicole Wellmann Kraus, president and chief client officer, Strategic Investment Group

Building Donor Confidence, Trust, and Giving through a Focus on Best-in-Class Governance Practices

The University of Louisville Foundation (ULF) found itself under significant public scrutiny in 2016 following allegations of financial mismanagement, coupled with serious issues at the university itself. For the next two years, ULF was in the headlines of the local newspaper and higher education media. Donor confidence and support dropped off significantly. New gifts and restricted funds that normally would be given to the foundation for its stewardship were instead entrusted to outside organizations to then distribute to the university. The foundation sought and retained new leadership, which then began the overhaul of ULF’s governance and operations. While there were at least 35 important and substantive changes, the most evident results were: 1) audit readiness and compliance; 2) complete transparency of the foundation’s endowment management system, including access for all endowed faculty members and fiscal officers; 3) creation of an innovative donor portal, in partnership with the university’s advancement team, to offer donors the opportunity to see all of their account activities, including investment performance; and 4) a decision to outsource the foundation’s investment function and change its investment policy statement.

This multiyear initiative has restored donor confidence and trust, and the University of Louisville is now realizing higher fundraising, including for in the endowment. In this session, you will learn more about the ULF story and leave with a better understanding of why “gold standard governance” is everyone’s job.
Speakers:
Jill Force
, board chair, University of Louisville Foundation
Keith Sherman, executive director and CEO, University of Louisville Foundation

Facilitator:
George Watt, senior fellow and senior consultant, AGB

Artificial Intelligence in Advancement: Where We Are Today and Where We Need to Be Tomorrow

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a standard strategic tool for many industries. For most advancement programs, it presents an untapped opportunity to prioritize predictable and sustainable gift revenue, grow recurring giving, maximize ROI on fundraising costs, and catalyze other important strategic decisions. This session will provide context on AI in the broader environment, with special emphasis on AI in advancement and the opportunities that exist today, supported by real-world examples.

Speaker:
Mark Koenig
, vice president for technology and chief innovation officer, Oregon State University Foundation

11:15 – 11:30 AM CT | Break

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM CT | Lunch and Luncheon Plenary

A Conversation on Board Leadership, Philanthropy, and Supporting Higher Education as a National Asset

Monday’s luncheon plenary brings together three visionary board leaders, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs for a discussion about the ways philanthropy is evolving, their perspectives on the power of good governance and board service, and an exploration of the role of higher education in addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing the United States and the world today.

Gina Luna is chair-elect of the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees. She is a managing partner at Genesis Park, a middle-market debt and equity investment firm in Houston, Texas. She also serves on the board of directors of Roku and Tetra Technologies Inc., as well as two private company boards. Prior to joining Genesis Park, she founded Luna Strategies, a consultancy providing counsel to corporate leaders on complex strategic issues and growth initiatives, and spent 22 years in a succession of leadership roles with JPMorgan Chase, including managing director of Chase Commercial Banking. Luna is an active community leader and philanthropist, serving as founding chair of Houston Exponential, an organization focused on building the innovation ecosystem in Houston and holding leadership positions on numerous boards, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas–Houston Branch, the Welch Foundation, Baylor College of Medicine, St. Luke’s Health System, and the Greater Houston Partnership.

Ray Rothrock is a former trustee and chair of the investment committee of the Texas A&M Foundation and a member of the UTIMCO Board of Directors, MIT Board of Trustees, and numerous other governing boards. He has three decades of business leadership, investing in, advising, and leading technology and cybersecurity companies. He is partner emeritus at venture capital firm Venrock and CEO of cybersecurity company RedSeal. Rothrock is an advocate for the use of nuclear energy to offset the planet’s reliance on fossil fuels and for the importance of cybersecurity. Rothrock’s philanthropy spans a range of causes, including gifts to the Texas A&M Global Cyber Research Institute and support of facilities, programs, faculty, and students across Texas A&M University.

Facilitator:
Tyson Voelkel, president, Texas A&M Foundation

1:00 – 1:15 PM CT | Break

1:15 – 2:15 PM CT | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from multiple, topically diverse options to customize your schedule and Forum experience.

Framework for Advancement and Foundation Strategic Planning

Foundation strategic planning can take many forms. This session will present two different approaches applicable to a wide variety of foundations. New Mexico State University Foundation’s planning work focused on defining core values, departmental mission statements, definitions and measures of success, prioritized focus areas, and individual SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) goals. Holyoke Community College’s planning started with the basic question of how the foundation could be the most impactful partner to the institution, advancing financial sustainability and fulfilling the institution’s vision of being a Hispanic thriving institution. Both processes resulted in the development of board strategy to align board composition and governance with the larger institutional and advancement strategies.

Speakers:
Matty Burns, chief of staff, New Mexico State University Foundation
Derek Dictson, president, New Mexico State University Foundation
Corey Murphy, chair, Holyoke Community College Foundation Board of Directors
Amanda Sbriscia, vice president of institutional advancement and executive director, Holyoke Community College Foundation

Facilitator:
George Watt, senior fellow and senior consultant, AGB

Innovations in Campaigns: New Approaches for State-Assisted University Foundations

The California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) Philanthropic Foundation is the first publicly assisted university to launch a “blended” approach for its comprehensive campaign, seeking financial support from a variety of investors including alumni, friends, government, and corporate partners. The Campaign for CSUSB is an innovative approach for generating private and public resources to support the university’s strategic plan and the institution’s academic, programmatic, and capital priorities. The concept of a blended campaign is an opportunity for CSUSB to make a novel case to investors regarding how their gifts to support academic initiatives, including teaching and research, can be leveraged with government grants and contracts. The Utah State University Foundation is taking a similarly inclusive approach in its planning process, which is focused on transformative strategies. This session will highlight the role board leaders can play in framing cross-cutting campaigns focused on integrated resourcing of institutional priorities.

Speakers:
Robert J. Nava, vice president for advancement and executive director, CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation
William Stevenson,chair, CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation
Matthew White, vice president for advancement, Utah State University Foundation

Facilitator:
Ben Golding, chairman and CEO, Advancement Resources

Inclusive Philanthropy

The culture of advancement programs, including the composition of volunteer leadership groups, the demographics of advancement staff, and alumni relations and fundraising practices, may be undermining institutions’ ability to engage increasingly diverse alumni populations (witness the trend of declining alumni participation) and develop a diverse pipeline of prospective donors broadly representative of their alumni populations and communities. This session will explore ways foundations are working to create more inclusive cultures of philanthropy, and advance institutional commitments to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Speakers:
Leslie Kaiser, director, board and volunteer engagement, Indiana University Foundation
Abby Kelso, executive director, Evergreen State College Foundation
Howard Lipman, CEO, Florida International University Foundation
Korbett Mosesly, member, Evergreen State College Foundation Board of Governors

Facilitator:
Joyce Q. Rogers, JD, executive vice president of development, Indiana University Foundation

Defining the Roadmap: Establishing Practical Steps for Sustainable Investing

This session will feature an overview of practical solutions and processes to meet the common challenges endowments face in considering and defining sustainable investing objectives and integrating them into their portfolios. We will outline practical steps and milestones to help endowments build and follow a disciplined process, hear about practical tools available to facilitate progressing down the roadmap, and get a university foundation leader’s first-hand account of successfully moving an endowment program from education to portfolio implementation. This dynamic discussion will explore the hurdles and resolutions of this real-world example, as well as perspectives from an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing subject matter expert and a portfolio manager and will offer practical solutions to the common hurdles foundations face in considering ESG investing.

Speakers:
Emily Lawrence, director, Northern Trust Asset Management
Shannon Morton, senior investment officer, Northern Trust Asset Management

Applying a JDE&I Lens to the Work of Your Board

A focus on justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (JDE&I) enriches board culture and enables foundations to more effectively align their work with the needs of students and the JDE&I commitments of their institutions. This interactive workshop will introduce practical strategies to help foundation boards bring a JDE&I lens to their culture, committee structure, focus, and priorities. Participants will have the opportunity to explore challenges in JDE&I work and learn ways their peers are effecting change in board composition and practice.

Note: This is the first of two opportunities to attend this session. Those who plan to participate on Tuesday at 11:15 AM CT may prefer to attend another concurrent during this time.

Speaker:
Kim Bobby
, principal, AGB Search
Ellen Spong, chair, Medical College of Virginia Foundation Board of Trustees 

Engaging the Board in Building a Business Case for Investing in Talent

In 2021, a total of 47 million people in the United States quit their jobs, and experts do not see the Great Resignation slowing down quite yet. During a time with record job movement, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your board is invested in your talent management strategy. This session is designed to equip foundation staff and board members with strategies for working together to ensure talent management is at the forefront of their efforts related to retention and recruitment. The session will address board roles in supporting talent management and provide practical examples of how to create a business case for investment in talent.

Speakers:
Lauren Brown
, assistant vice president and chief of staff, Arizona State University Foundation
Gretchen Buhlig , CEO, Arizona State University Foundation
John W. Graham, chair, Arizona State University Foundation

2:15 – 2:45 PM CT | Break

2:45 – 4:00 PM CT | Plenary

The Global Economic Outlook: Insights and Implications for Endowment Management

Sustained inflation, recession risk, plunges in the value of currencies, lingering supply chain issues, uncertain energy and commodity prices, and a rapidly shifting geopolitical landscape are creating profound uncertainty for investment committees. For the first time in over a decade, foundations may be forced to deal with large numbers of “underwater” endowment funds, and inflation will create spending pressures for both foundations and the institutions they support. Market turmoil and unpredictability are also likely to depress charitable giving. In this session, three deeply experienced investment strategists will share their perspectives on the global economy and implications for endowment management. The three will then come together for a facilitated discussion and will respond to audience questions.

Panelists:
Brian Nick, chief investment strategist at Nuveen
Amita Schultes, PhD, partner and client portfolio manager, Agility
Deborah Spalding, chief investment officer, Commonfund OCIO

Facilitator:
Lois Cox, senior vice president for investments and chief investment officer, KSU Foundation

4:00 – 4:15 PM CT | Break

4:15 – 5:15 PM CT | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from multiple, topically diverse options to customize your schedule and Forum experience.

Foundation CEO Assessment, Compensation, and Transitions

Executive leadership is a driver of foundation performance, and unplanned leadership transitions represent an ongoing risk for foundations. This risk is exacerbated in an environment with acute competition for talent and for a role that is answerable to the sometimes conflicting demands of institution leadership and the foundation board. This session will outline recommended practices for the assessment and compensation setting of foundation chief executives and provide guidance on developing transition plans to ensure the success of new hires and mitigate the challenges of leadership transitions.

Speakers:
Tom Hyatt, specialist and senior fellow, AGB Consulting
Roderick J. McDavis, managing principal, AGB Search
Jane DiFolco Parker, senior consultant, AGB Consulting
Kimberly S. Templeton, principal, AGB Search

Hang Up the Phone(a-thon): How the University of Wyoming’s Digital-First Transformation Builds a Pipeline

Like every institution, the University of Wyoming Foundation had a problem. How could it reach its gap group—the next generation of major gift donors that were flying below the radar? In most advancement programs fewer than 2 percent of all alumni are assigned to a gift officer and receive dedicated one-on-one cultivation and stewardship. Because the university had an alumni population and loyal donor constituency of more than 250,000, Wyoming leadership knew there were tens of thousands of donors hiding in plain sight—out of the reach of traditional gift officers yet deserving of a more personal experience than traditional print and phone-a-thon outreach could provide. So, in 2021, the university transitioned away from its in-house phone program. The foundation redeployed those resources to launch a digital-first, engagement-led approach to not only connect with alumni but also generate warm leads for annual, leadership, and major gift conversations.

Speakers:
Brent Grinna, founder and CEO, EverTrue
Mary Shafer-Malicki, chair, University of Wyoming Foundation Board of Directors
John Small, senior associate vice president for development, University of Wyoming Foundation
John Stark, president and CEO, University of Wyoming Foundation

Guarding Your Tomorrow: A Board Perspective on Enterprise Risk Management

Risk oversight, as well as the responsibility to thoroughly understand risks to the organization, has become increasingly important to organizational stability and resiliency. Foundations should spend more time on risk oversight and incorporate it more visibly into the organizational structure and risk management function. After all, effective risk oversight is the basis for prudent decision-making and governance. It helps support achievement of strategic goals, manage uncertainty, and focus on the issues critical for successful value creation. And it is the board that plays a crucial, underpinning role in this effort. During this session, the University of Illinois Foundation and its internal auditor, Baker Tilly, will discuss the board’s role in overseeing risk management and outline practical steps to improve the board’s oversight function and lift its foundation to the highest standard of risk management. The speakers will also share insights into the foundation’s own risk mitigation responses for addressing two of their top priority risks—donor stewardship and cybersecurity.

Speakers:
Michelle Bolger, vice president, financial operations/controller, University of Illinois Foundation
Richard Osborne, chair elect, University of Illinois Foundation
Matthew Reierson, consulting senior manager, Baker Tilly

New Court Rulings on Affirmative Action, Race-Conscious Scholarships, and Associated Challenges

Two court rulings on affirmative action will likely change the ways institutions recruit and compose classes. They could also have ramifications for affiliated foundations, which raise and distribute scholarship funds. This session will explore the evolving legal landscape regarding race-specific scholarship and associated gifts supporting diversity initiatives.

Speakers:
Margaret Jarrell-Cole
, consultant, AGB
Joianne Smith, president, Oakton Community College
Carol Cartwright, senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB

Diversification in a New Market Regime

This interactive discussion will explore how foundations are thinking about their endowments and adapting their portfolios. Given the magnitude of endowment losses and the headwinds foundations will face in an uncertain market with heavy inflationary pressures, the discussion will have an eye toward the next 15 years.

Speakers:
Alex Kocher
, director, client strategy, Global Endowment Management
Thomas Muir, vice chair, University of North Texas Foundation Board of Directors

Partnering for Equitable Student Success

While foundations have always played a critical role in providing scholarship support, their fundraising has often focused on ensuring access to higher education. Foundations are now becoming more engaged as active partners advancing equitable student success, through graduation and beyond. This session will explore ways foundation boards are working to support student well-being and degree completion and to create professional opportunities that position alumni for success.

Speakers:
Meredith Williams, associate vice president, executive branch, AT&T
Rick Bateman, chancellor, Bossier Parish Community College
Virginia Lyons, board member and the chair of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) ad hoc committee, Salem State University
Cheryl Crounse, vice president, advancement, Salem State University
Matthew T. Lambert, vice president for university advancement, William & Mary

Facilitator:
Merrill Schwartz, senior vice president, content and program strategy, AGB

Getting Governance Right

It is easy for the fundamentals of board policy and practice to drift to the bottom of board agendas in favor of more topical issues. This session will start off with an exploration of the way the University of Maryland College Park Foundation Board of Trustees inventoried, updated, and strengthened its governance policies and practices to increase board effectiveness, clarify board responsibilities and expectations, ensure ethical behavior, and strengthen fiduciary practice. Audience members will be invited to share the ways they ensure the currency, relevance, and value of governance practice and the ways board leaders and board professionals can work together to ensure that governance policy and practice are aligned with best practice and support effective trusteeship.

Speakers:
Lauren Norris, senior director, board operations and volunteer engagement, University of Maryland College Park Foundation
Craig Thompson, chair, University of Maryland College Park Foundation Board of Trustees

Facilitator:
Cherí O’Neill, president and CEO, Colorado State University Foundation 

5:15 – 7:30 PM CT | Networking Reception

With thanks to AGB Forum 2023 Underwriting Partner Agility

Agility logo

Tuesday, January 31

6:45 AM – 12:30 PM CT | Registration/Help Desk

6:45 AM – 12:30 PM CT | AGB Experience

AGB’s mission is to help boards govern with knowledge and confidence. Visit the AGB Experience to learn about all that is available to you by virtue of membership. Get to know the AGB staff members responsible for the publications, consulting services, online tools, and other member services you rely on, and find out what’s new and what’s coming next. Meet our corporate partners and sponsors to explore the solutions-focused resources they offer.

7:00 – 8:15 AM CT | Networking Breakfast

With thanks to AGB Mission Champion AGB Search

AGB Search logo

7:30 – 8:15 AM CT | AGB Leadership Town Hall: The Evolving Role of Philanthropy and Partnerships in Support of Public Higher Education

(Breakfast will be available at 7:00 AM CT.)

Speakers:
Shane Jacobson
, CEO, V Foundation for Cancer Research
Katherine Sawyer, chief advancement officer and executive director, Oakton Community College Educational Foundation
David K. Wilson, president, Morgan State University

Facilitator:
Henry Stoever, president and CEO, AGB

8:30 – 9:30 AM CT | Plenary

Partnering for Success

This session brings together a panel of public institution presidents for a discussion of their top strategic challenges and an exploration of the ways they look to their foundation boards as strategic partners.

Topics will include:

  • Issues of greatest concern to public institution presidents today
  • Roles foundation boards can play in helping institution leaders address their most compelling challenges and opportunities
  • Ways to foster institution-foundation alignment and engage the foundation board as a partner for success

Speakers:
Brian Blake, PhD, president, Georgia State University
Kathryn Foster, president, The College of New Jersey
Javier Reyes, PhD, interim chancellor, University of Illinois Chicago

Facilitator:
James H. Moore
, president and CEO, University of Illinois Foundation

9:45 – 10:00 AM CT | Break

10:00 – 11:00 AM CT | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from multiple, topically diverse options to customize your schedule and Forum experience.

Going Independent: Transitioning to a Privatized Foundation HR System

This session will bring together leaders of three foundations that have transitioned or are in the process of transitioning advancement and operations staff from institution to foundation employees. Panelists will share perspectives on making the case and building consensus for the change, recommend practices for a smooth and successful implementation, and discuss “bumps in the road” they encountered and how others might avoid them.

Speakers:
Karen McCauley
, president and CEO, Clemson University Foundation
John Morris, senior vice president for advancement, Auburn University
Derek Dictson, president, New Mexico State University Foundation

Facilitator:
Shane Jacobson, CEO, The V Foundation for Cancer Research

Unlocking the Potential of the Most Philanthropic Generations in History to Drive Long-Term Financial Sustainability

Long-term financial sustainability hinges on the decisions that university leaders make today. Whether you are planning for, in the middle of, or finishing your largest campaign, you need to engage and cultivate the next generation of major contributors and lay the groundwork for their future transformational philanthropic influence. During this session, we’ll dive into the financial and behavioral trends that unlock the giving potential of your most underutilized resource—millennial and Generation Z donors. Representing half of the U.S. population, this alumni cohort has demonstrated its tremendous spending and giving power (over $5 trillion annually) in recent years. In 2021, 81 percent of millennial and Generation Z Americans contributed to charitable causes. Higher education is well positioned to capitalize on this important leadership cohort if we do it right. We will share successful engagement strategies that showcase how you can engineer your institution’s young donor pipeline to ensure long-term financial and philanthropic health.

Speakers:
Greta Daniels
, senior vice president for fundraising, RNL
Rodney M. Grabowski, CEO, University of Central Florida Foundation, Inc
Eric Groves, senior vice president, campus partnerships, RNL

Leveraging and Troubleshooting Real Estate Partnerships

Real estate collaborations and partnerships can have a transformative impact, leveraging underutilized resources, stimulating philanthropic support, contributing to the regional economy, and creating valuable opportunities for students. They can also create significant risks. This session will explore the potential benefits of real estate partnerships and recommendations to mitigate risks.

Speakers:
Ian Mercier, president and CEO, Medical College of Georgia Foundation
Kimera Way, CEO, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation

Maintaining Intergenerational Equity and Sustainable Philanthropy in Challenging Times

Inflation, rising interest rates, and a bear market… How do foundation boards ensure intergenerational equity, manage underwater funds, support institutional needs, and sustain foundation funding in current market conditions? Our panel will explore five sources of excess returns along with the role of a long-term philanthropy plan to sustain and grow endowment.

Speakers:
Stephen Hodson
, senior vice president, FEG
Susan Payden, board vice chair, University of Toledo Foundation
Melanie Schnoll Begun, managing director and head of philanthropy management, Morgan Stanley; president, Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust

Facilitator:
John Griswold, senior consultant, AGB

Name, Image, and Likeness Collectives: Implications of the Professionalization of Collegiate Athletics

The NCAA’s interim policy allowing student athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness (NIL) has led to the proliferation of “collectives,” mostly unaffiliated with their institutions, focused on funding NIL deals for student athletes. The rapid changes in the regulatory landscape pose serious challenges for foundations, which may find themselves in competition with unaffiliated NIL collectives focused on soliciting non-philanthropic support from the same alumni and fans the foundation looks to as charitable donors. This session will explore the evolving legal and regulatory landscape and its implications for affiliated foundations.

Speakers:
Kevin Saal, director of athletics, Wichita State University
Greg Willems, president and CEO, Kansas State University Foundation

Facilitator:
Margaret Jarrell-Cole, consultant, AGB

Reflecting Back and Moving Forward with the Help of the AGB and SEI Study on Operations and Investment Practices of Institutionally Related Foundations

During a standing-room-only session at last year’s Forum, we shared and discussed the results of the 2022 AGB and SEI Study on Operations and Investment Practices of Institutionally Related Foundations. This year, we will dive deeper into the practices around unspent and accumulated distributions, and the various management controls and ways to report on those balances to ensure expendable funds are used in a timely fashion and consistent with donor intent. We will also examine how this survey can be a valuable tool for board and committee discussions around best practices for your institution.

Speakers:
Mary Jane (M.J.) Bobyock
, managing director, nonprofit advice, SEI Institutional Group
Allen Padilla, chief financial officer and vice president, Colorado State University Foundation
Scott Rash, president and CEO, Wright State University Foundation

11:00 – 11:15 AM CT | Break

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM CT | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from multiple, topically diverse options to customize your schedule and Forum experience.

When Was the Last Time You Read Your MOU?

For many foundations, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with their partner institution is treated as a pro forma contract, important by way of documenting the independent corporate status of the foundation, but otherwise ignored. All too often, the MOU is developed by attorneys and treated as a tool to impose constraints on the operations of the foundation, with a distrustful eye toward managing risk. AGB is updating its illustrative MOU to underscore the critical role MOU development can play in establishing a shared vision for the institution-foundation partnership and ensuring its applicability to a wide variety of institutional contexts and structures. This session will introduce key elements of AGB’s illustrative MOU and afford an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions.

Speaker:
David Bass
, executive director, philanthropic governance, AGB

The “Unprecedented” Public Policy Landscape

“Unprecedented” is hackneyed but apt description of the current landscape for public policy. At the state level, colleges and universities have become a front in the culture wars that are shaping state policymaking. Incursions on academic freedom; potential politicization in board and presidential appointments; punitive responses to institutional efforts to advance justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion values; and conflicts about reproductive and LGBT rights could all have profound impacts on public colleges and universities and galvanize student, alumni, and donor activism. Federal legislation and regulatory changes could affect large endowments and student funding. This session will explore the top public policy issues and the implications for college, university, and foundation boards.

Speakers:
Carol Cartwright, senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB
Paul Rucker, executive director, University of Washington Alumni Association
Louis Vega, member, New Mexico State University Foundation Board of Directors

Facilitator:
Morgan Alexander, associate director of public policy and strategic communications, AGB

Troubleshooting Thorny Governance Issues

This session will host an interactive panel that will engage attendees in an open discussion of thorny issues that arise in the governance of institutionally related foundations. The panel will explore actual case studies, real life challenges, and the solutions to related governance issues. Bring your own stories and be ready to share. Topics will include:

  • Process and persuasion: resolving sensitive conflict of interest issues with boards
  • Conundrums with committee leadership
  • Dealing with difficult directors
  • Optimizing the foundation relationship with the host institution
  • Leadership transitions

Speakers:
Margaret Ann Bollmeier
, president and CEO, Medical College of Virginia Foundation
Tom Hyatt, specialist consultant and senior fellow, AGB

New Frontiers in ESG

More than a thousand colleges and universities around the world have made commitments to reduce emissions or hit carbon-neutral goals by mid-century. Institutions are also applying a justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (JDE&I) lens to all their activities and those of their advisors and managers. These institutional commitments are changing the conversations around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. This session will explore two evolving frontiers in ESG: net-zero alignment and efforts to track asset manager diversity. We will explore the investment case for net-zero alignment and manager diversity, and associated regulatory, reporting, and policy initiatives. In addition, we will engage in a discussion about governance, design, and implementation of these and other ESG commitments.

Speakers:
Tim Coffin, head of strategic partnerships, Breckenridge Capital Advisors
Samantha Foster, managing director, Russell Investments

Moderator:
John Griswold
, senior consultant, AGB

Applying a JDE&I Lens to the Work of Your Board

A focus on justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (JDE&I) enriches board culture and enables foundations to more effectively align their work with the needs of students and the JDE&I commitments of their institutions. This interactive workshop will introduce practical strategies to help foundation boards bring a JDE&I lens to their culture, committee structure, focus, and priorities. Participants will have the opportunity to explore challenges in JDE&I work and learn ways their peers are effecting change in board composition and practice.

Note: This is the second of two opportunities to attend this session. Those who participated on Monday at 1:15 PM CT may prefer to attend another concurrent during this time.

Speakers:
Kim Bobby
, principal, AGB Search
Jeannine Bennett, vice chair, Utah State University Foundation Board 

12:15 PM CT | Conference Concludes

Register as a group and save.

Reserve your spot now. Early bird pricing ends September 30, 2022.

Early Bird Price
Individual Member*

EXPIRED

$1,350

Early Bird Price
Group**

EXPIRED

$1,150

Regular Price
Individual Member*

$1,450

Regular Price
Group**

$1,350

Special Offer for Foundation Board Professionals

Foundation board professionals who register for the 2023 Foundation Leadership Forum will receive a discount for the 2023 Board Professionals Conference equal to 50% off the early bird rate, a savings of $275. To take advantage of this bundled rate, members should register for the Foundation Leadership Forum first, or contact the AGB registrar for assistance.

Nonmember Price

$1,950

*Member exclusive pricing.
**Three or more, members only. All members in the group must be registered at the same time. 

Key Dates

  • Early bird deadline: September 30, 2022
  • Deadline for cancellation: January 4, 2023
  • Deadline to receive discounted hotel rate: January 6, 2023

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing to cancellations@AGB.org and will be processed after the meeting. Requests for refunds must be received by close of business on January 4, 2023, to receive a full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for registrants who cancel after January 4, 2023. If you are unable to attend, a substitute is welcome in your place at no additional charge. AGB is not responsible for cancellations due to airline disruption, inclement weather, COVID-19, or schedule changes.

Group Discounts: If a cancellation causes the group to fall below the required three registrations, the refund will be issued minus the discount benefit received by the original group.

Hotel Information

AGB has secured a room block at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter for Foundation Leadership Forum attendees at a group rate of $219 per night (exclusive of 18% taxes). Registered attendees will receive a link to book their hotel reservation.

COVID-19 Guidelines

AGB encourages all conference attendees to review and follow CDC recommendations for individuals participating in large gatherings. AGB will comply with current federal, state, and local regulations regarding COVID-19 safety protocols and applicable policies of the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. We will contact conference participants prior to the event with information on the most current recommendations and requirements.

With thanks to our 2023 sponsors.

View our 2023 sponsors and see how you can support the Foundation Leadership Forum.

Contact.

Registration

AGB is committed to excellence in member service. Should you have questions about registering for the Foundation Leadership Forum, contact the AGB registrar.

Become a Member and Save

If you currently are not an AGB member but want to take advantage of member pricing, contact Matt Stevens, director of membership outreach.

Sponsorship

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Steve Abbott, senior director of partnerships. 

All other inquiries may be directed to the AGB concierge.