Speakers

Each year, NCGPC recruits top Planned Giving Professionals from across the country to headline at its annual Planned Giving Day 2024. Check back as more speakers are announced!

Opening Keynote

Cherian Koshy, CFRE, CAP® | VP of Product Strategy of Kindsight

Cherian Koshy is a transformative leader in the nonprofit sector, known for his innovative approaches to fundraising, strategic planning, and nonprofit leadership. With nearly three decades of experience, Cherian has dedicated his career to helping organizations navigate the complexities of growth and change.

As a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), Cherian brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his work. He is also an AFP Master Trainer and holds a Certificate of Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource,

Cherian’s passion for leveraging technology is evident in his role as the founder of NonprofitOS, a generative AI platform designed for nonprofits, which was later acquired by iWave, a market leader.

Throughout his career, Cherian has served in senior leadership roles at various institutions, where he has been instrumental in raising more than $200 million. His work extends beyond fundraising; he is deeply involved in coaching and mentoring the next generation of nonprofit leaders. He has been selected twice to serve as a mentor in the AFP/Blackbaud Emerging Leader Mentor Program.

Currently, Cherian serves as the Vice Chair of Professional Development on the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Global Board and is the past chair of Volunteer Iowa. His thought leadership has been featured in numerous publications, including Advancing Philanthropy, Forbes, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. An international keynote speaker, LinkedIn Top Voice, and Forbes Nonprofit Council member, his expertise is recognized globally, making him a valued thought leader for those in social impact, business, and technology sectors.


Breakout Session Speakers

Aquanetta BettsAquanetta Betts, JD | Director of Planned Giving, George Mason University

Aquanetta Betts, JD, CAP®, AEP®, CFRE, is the Director of Planned Giving at George Mason University. Prior to joining George Mason University, she was the Senior Executive Director of Planned Giving at World Vision (Eastern U.S.). Before her roles within organizations, Aquanetta worked for more than a decade as an estate planning attorney in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She is the Immediate Past President of the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council and serves on the board of the Baltimore Estate Planning Council. She also serves in leadership positions with the National Bar Association’s Real Property, Trusts, and Estates Section, the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy, and the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners where she is a board member and serves as chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

Shari FlemingShari Fleming, JD, AEP® | Attorney/Planned Giving Officer, The Law Office of Shari Fleming/Bowie State University

Shari Fleming is an Accredited Estate Planner®, focused on helping individuals and businesses reach their goals. She is Principal of the Law Office of Shari Fleming, which is a law firm dedicated to serving with excellence and integrity throughout every transaction, committed to encouraging individuals and businesses to innovate and grow, and devoted to securing, maintaining, and transferring wealth to future generations. The firm’s areas of legal practice include business formation and succession planning, real estate, estate planning, and estate administration.

Additionally, Shari serves as an adjunct professor, and has taught community college to graduate-level law courses. Currently, she teaches at the University of Maryland Global Campus, Howard Community College, and teaches real estate continuing education courses. Through higher education, she also serves as a Business Coach. In 2020, Shari founded the Our Legacy Matters community to advance the concepts of ownership, wealth maintenance, and wealth retention within communities of color. Shari Fleming received a Bachelor of Science in History, a Bachelor of Science in Black Studies, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. After graduation, she attended the University of Maryland School of Law, received a Degree of Juris Doctor, and was admitted to the Maryland State Bar in 2008. She is commissioned as a Notary Public in the State of Maryland, is licensed as an Associate Real Estate Broker and Title Producer in the State of Maryland, and has been trained as a court-designated mediator of civil disputes.

Jackie-FraneyJackie W. Franey, CSPG, CAP® | Founder, JW Franey Consulting, LLC

Jackie W. Franey is the founder of JW Franey Consulting, LLC.  She previously served as the Director of Gift Planning Fundraising at The Nature Conservancy, leading an experienced team that secured over 1,900 planned giving commitments and more than $200 million a year in deferred gifts. Prior to joining TNC, she worked at the DMA, BNY Mellon, CFT, and Children’s Medical Center. She also served as the Director of Planned Giving for the AHA – National Center for 10 years and implemented a centralized marketing program that generated more than $100 million in annual income. Jackie received the CGP Hall of Fame award in 2020. She formerly served on the editorial advisory board of Planned Giving Today, has held leadership positions with CGP, been a national speaker and presenter, and enjoys mentoring others in the planned giving profession.  She lives in North Carolina with her husband David and German Shepherd Grey.

Andrew-FussnerAndrew Fussner, JD | Vice President of Estate Settlement, American Heart Association, Inc.

Andrew Fussner currently serves as the national Vice President of Estate Settlement for the American Heart Association and oversees the administration of $80 to $110 million in bequest assets annually for the organization. He is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Before assuming his current position, he served in a variety of planned giving roles for the AHA. Prior to joining the AHA, Mr. Fussner was an attorney with the Tampa office of a national law firm. He specialized in estate planning, probate/trust administration, and tax law. He has a J.D., a B.S. in accounting, and a B.A. in political science, all from the University of Florida.

Jennifer H. Henke | Regional Director of Planned Giving, Wounded Warrior Project

Jennifer Henke is the Regional Director of Planned Giving at Wounded Warrior Project.  In this role she oversees a staff of four, and her department is responsible for both soliciting and closing current planned gifts.  Hired in January 2022, Jennifer was tasked with building the planned giving program to promote a more sustainable approach to future funding of WWP’s important programs for veterans and their families.  During her time at WWP, Jennifer has built out the marketing program, hired field staff and changed the approach to planned giving fundraising from a transactional one to a donor-centric one.  Before transitioning to fundraising, Jennifer worked in the personal trust department at Key Bank, and as an estate paralegal before moving to the Washington DC area. Before WWP Jennifer worked in planned giving and bequest administration programs at the American Diabetes Association, the National Wildlife Federation, the Arc of the United States, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  She holds a BA from the University of Maine.

Debra-KathmanDebra Kathman, JD | Sr. Director of Gift Planning, World Wildlife Fund

Debra Kathman is the Senior Director of Gift Planning for the World Wildlife Fund.  In this role she oversees a staff of eight, and her department is responsible for both soliciting and closing current planned gifts and well as estate administration.  During her tenure at WWF, the gift planning effort has grown considerably, increasing both marketing inquiries, Legacy Circle membership and bequest income, which is now the largest source of unrestricted income to WWF. An attorney by training, Debra worked as a trusts and estates attorney in New York and Washington before transitioning to fundraising. Before WWF Debra worked at organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, the American Red Cross, the National Wildlife Federation and the Madeira School.  She holds a Bachelor’s from Arizona State University, a Master’s from George Mason University and a JD from Albany Law School.

Tracy Malloy CurtisTracy Malloy-Curtis, JD | Vice-President, Legacy Giving, Mal Warwick Donordigital

Tracy Malloy-Curtis, JD, is Vice President of Legacy Giving at Mal Warwick Donordigital, an integrated direct marketing agency serving the environmental, advocacy, and progressive sectors. She has more than 25 years of experience in fundraising for advocacy and social justice organizations, with a primary focus on legacy giving and major gifts. She has worked at the ACLU, Citizen Action, International Rescue Committee, and other national and international organizations, and currently directs campaigns for Oxfam, Ocean Conservancy, Special Olympics, KQED, Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, PETA, and others. She has a JD cum laude from Case Western School of Law and practiced as a securities litigator with Dechert LLP for a number of years.

Anneke-NiemiraAnneke H. Niemira, JD, LLM | Managing Director & Senior Wealth Strategist, NewEdge Wealth

As a Wealth Strategist, Anneke helps clients design solutions and strategies, guiding families through the complexities of multi-generational wealth. This includes addressing all facets of multi-generational wealth, including estate planning, wealth transfer planning, financial planning, philanthropy, tax planning, risk management, and next-generation education, among other areas. Before joining NewEdge, Anneke held pivotal roles as Director, Senior Wealth Planner at Chevy Chase Trust, Senior Wealth Strategist at Hawthorn at PNC Family Wealth, and Senior Vice President, Senior Trust Officer at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Bank—accumulating a wealth of experience spanning over 16 years. Anneke earned a Bachelor of Arts in German from Bryn Mawr College, a Juris Doctor (JD) from Seton Hall University School of Law, and a Master of Law in Taxation (LLM) from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the Maryland Bar and holds a Series 65 license. Anneke has been an active member of the Washington, D.C. Estate Planning Council since 2013.

Lisa SmithLisa Smith, JD | Deputy Chief Planning Giving and Estates Officer, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.

Lisa Smith is Deputy Chief Planned Giving & Estates Officer for Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. In this role, she oversees all bequest administration for the organization, cultivates future bequest gifts through donor stewardship and marketing initiatives, and manages bequest litigation. She previously worked as an attorney for a large law firm and for the Federal Communications Commission. Lisa serves on the executive committee of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York. Lisa received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from New York University Law School.

Courtney-TsaiCourtney L. Tsai | Sr. Manager, Charitable Strategies Group, Schwab Charitable

Courtney Tsai is a Senior Manager in the Charitable Strategies Group at Schwab Charitable. She educates advisors and donors on tax and legal issues associated with complex gifts and conducts the due diligence review of donated contributions. Courtney has extensive charitable gift planning experience, previously serving as Assistant Vice President of Planned Giving at George Washington University and as a charitable gift planner at the University of Chicago, at Pepperdine University, and at the Easterseals National Office. Courtney is a member of the National Capital Gift Planning Council and the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law. She is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy.

Fredrick WeberFredrick B. Weber, JD | Counsel, ArentFox Schiff LLP

Fred Weber is Counsel in the Private Clients, Trusts & Estate group at ArentFox Schiff LLP in Chicago. He represents fiduciaries on post-death administration matters, and he works with families to help prepare for post-death administration before a death occurs. Fred has also worked in private wealth management as a professional fiduciary and as a charitable gift planner for a public charity. He is a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council, the Chicago Council on Planned Giving, the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, and Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. An Illinois-licensed attorney, Fred holds a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law, and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Minnesota.


Closing Panel Discussion

Emma MillerEmma Miller | Senior Director, Planned Giving, National Geographic Society

 

Robert C. RossRobert C. Ross | Philanthropist & Attorney

Robert “Bob” Curtis Ross is a philanthropist focusing on planned giving, sustaining giving, seed campaigns and Donor Forums. He has experience with more than 150 campaigns with 120 different charities.
Bob was the caregiver of his late wife Janet who spent 34 years with an inoperable brain tumor and who inspired him with her generosity throughout her life. They cherished 42 years together.
He started his career as a farmer on a small dairy farm near Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Later, Bob spent 23 years as an attorney with Pfizer, one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies. As an attorney with board generalist experience in both U.S. and international law, Ross was in private practice, a member of major New York law firm Debevoise Limpton, and an attorney for the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Over the years, Ross has taken on significant pro bono work with cases involving civil rights, land acquisitions, and women’s rights and protection.

Lynn HolecF. Lynn Holec, JD | Donor, Economist & Attorney

Ms. Holec is an economist and attorney. She founded International Trade Resources (“ITR”) in 1987, after working for the U.S. Government in the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce for 10 years and in a law firm for four years. ITR is a management consulting firm specializing in international trade litigation. It assists U.S. and foreign companies in antidumping, countervailing duty and World Trade Organization disputes. Those disputes involve a wide range of products including steel, minivans, lumber, salmon, mussels and large civil aircraft. She sold ITR in 2014 and retired in 2016.

Since retiring, Ms. Holec has devoted her time to the DC Rotary Club serving as Club President in 2019-2020. She is currently president of the Club’s Foundation, chair of its Finance Committee and chair of Rotary District 7620’s Finance Committee. She enjoys traveling, the arts and having time to take advantage of living in Washington, DC with the Smithsonian museums and wonderful theater.