Christopher Marrion, President
Christopher Marrion, PresidentWe mourn Chris' untimely and tragic passing in late December, 2021

Christopher Marrion is a senior not-for-profit executive with more than two decades of experience as a fundraiser in higher education and cultural organizations. Most recently Chris served as the Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations at his graduate school alma mater, the Boston University College of Fine Arts, where he helped the school to exceed its fundraising goal for BU’s Choose to be Great campaign and on-boarded the school’s first permanent Dean in more than fifteen years. Prior to BU, Chris served under Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma as Deputy Director of Silkroad, where his responsibilities included strategic planning, program assessment, and fundraising for concert tours, recordings and commissions by the Silk Road Ensemble, a multi-year education initiative in NYC public schools, and a collaboration with the Harvard Business School to promote innovative cultural enterprise. Additional experience includes Boston Lyric Opera (Director of Development), Boston Children’s Hospital (Major Gifts Officer), and AIDS Action Committee (Director of Individual Giving).

Chris studied at the New England Conservatory of Music (BM) and the Boston University College of Fine Arts (MM). Prior to entering the development field, he was a freelance musician active in the U.S. and Europe.

Emily J. Quinn, Secretary
Emily J. Quinn, SecretaryVice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director, Milford Regional Healthcare Foundation at Milford Regional Medical Center
Emily Quinn has more than 25 years of experience in education and healthcare philanthropy and is currently the Vice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director of the Milford Regional Healthcare Foundation at Milford Regional Medical Center. Milford Regional is an independent, community hospital and the primary healthcare provider for the more than 20+ towns throughout the region.

Emily began her fundraising career immediately following graduation from Smith College and continued on to have leadership development roles at Cushing Academy, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund, Meeting Street, and Lifespan, a comprehensive healthcare system in Rhode Island inclusive of Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Newport Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, and Bradley Hospital.

Outside of philanthropy, Emily immerses herself in the joy of being with her family often spending time together at the water’s edge in South Dartmouth, MA, with her husband, Peter, and their five children.

Sharon Stanczak, CFRE, Immediate Past President
Sharon Stanczak, CFRE, Immediate Past PresidentVice President for External Relations and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Sharon has worked in the advancement field for over 25 years and currently serves as Vice President for External Relations and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Before joining Whitehead Institute, she worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 11 years. She has contributed to the success of multiple campaigns, ranging from small, focused efforts, to a $6B comprehensive campaign. She served as the fundraising lead for MIT’s Healthcare Initiative, which included oversight of fundraising for the Koch Institute at MIT as well as MIT.nano, MIT’s new nanotechnology facility. She also worked for the Folger Shakespeare Library, the University of Maryland and the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution.

Neeta Beepath
Neeta BeepathDirector of Advancement Operations and Annual Giving
Neeta Beepath has spent her entire career working with and advancing Boston area non-profits. With a focus on Annual Giving, Individual Giving, and Donor Operations, she has broad experience in the healthcare, social service, and education arenas. Neeta began her fundraising career at Children’s Hospital Boston in 2003 and has since held various consultant and staff positions at Perkins School for the Blind, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Hebrew Senior Life, Father Bills & MainSpring, Franciscan Hospital for Children, Hearth, and Thayer Academy. She is currently the Director of Annual Giving and Donor Operations at Catholic Charities of Boston where she has grown the annual fund program to an all-time high.

Neeta holds a B.A. in Business Management from Bentley University and lives on the South Shore with her young daughter.

Desne Crossley, Program Chair
Desne Crossley, Program ChairAssociate Director of Major Gifts at Harvard Law School

Desne Crossley is a community builder, mentor, and award-winning development professional. She has served as an officer in higher education and the arts for over 30 years, primarily in major gifts and corporate and foundation relations. She is experienced in campaigns—as a staff member, lead, and volunteer; in board development; program, prospect, volunteer, and crisis management; speech and proposal writing; event design and implementation; stewardship; strategic planning; diversity programming; and with small and large shops. She was first trained by development expert, David R. Dunlop (father of moves management and principal gifts), and has practiced development as art, by processes, and metrics. Ms. Crossley is known for her willingness to approach difficult and unusual assignments, and especially her work with estranged, non-, and never-donors.

Ms. Crossley has held positions at Cornell University, Wellesley College, Radcliffe College/Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, Wheaton College-Norton MA, the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston, Andover Newton Theological Seminary, Simmons College (now University). She has been Associate Director of Major Gifts at Harvard Law School since 2012. Previous to her non-profit career, she served in the electronics industry on the west coast for 10 years, in marketing and advertising.

Ms. Crossley earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz; and certification in University Management Training at Harvard University.

Merritt Crowley, Nominating Chair
Merritt Crowley, Nominating ChairVice President for College Advancement, Wheaton College
Merritt Crowley has been involved in the non-profit fund-raising world for more than 25 years. Ms. Crowley has a comprehensive understanding of campaign fundraising, philanthropy, board development, prospect management, and volunteer management as well as over fifteen years of staff management experience in comprehensive campaigns ranging from $35 million – $1 billon+.

Ms. Crowley has worked for private and public colleges and universities as well as some non-profit agencies. She held several positions with Brown over her 17 years there including: Executive Director of Development – Metro NY, Director of Campaign Volunteer Management, Director of the Parents Leadership Programs, Major Gift Officer, and Sr. Associate Director Annual Giving. Ms. Crowley also worked in Connecticut College’s office of Advancement in major giving and at Bryant University – overseeing all aspects of the institutions first-ever comprehensive campaign. As of October 2015, she is Vice President for College Advancement at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.

Ms. Crowley is a frequent speaker at national conferences for CASE and Academic Impressions and has served on several boards in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Tufts University having received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Russian Studies.

Mark T. Cummings, Past President
Mark T. Cummings, Past PresidentPrivate Consultant
With 36 years in the profession of healthcare fund-raising, Mark has served several well-known regional and national organizations. Beginning in the early 1980’s he was elevated to Northeast Regional Director of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis,Tennessee, after serving three years as Regional Fund-Raising Representative. In 1985 he was hired by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he served in a number of capacities for the Jimmy Fund, the fund-raising arm of the Institute, including Associate Director, Director of Planning and Special Events and Director of Operations. In 1994 he became the Director of Development for the Cancer Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

He served as SVP for Development from 2006 to 2013 for this four hospital healthcare system in Providence, RI and from 2000 to 2006 he served as Associate Vice President of Annual Programs and Direct Marketing at Boston Children’s Hospital Trust, where he also served as Senior Director of Development Operations and was responsible for overseeing Annual Support, Individual Giving, Marketing and Development Service activities. He most recently served as VP, Chief of Advancement and Marketing at Franciscan Hospital for Children from 2013 to 2015. In September of 2015 he created his own consulting company and is working with a number of non-profits.

He is immediate past-president of Friday Forum, and is a board member of NEAHP (New England Association of Healthcare Philanthropy).

Kate DeForest
Kate DeForestDirector of School Development & Assistant Dean for Development at the School of Social Work. Boston University
Kate DeForest has worked in the development field for over 20 years and currently serves in a dual role at Boston University as Director of School Development and Assistant Dean for Development at the School of Social Work. In her role, Kate manages a team of front-line school-based officers at the Schools of Theology and Hospitality, the College of General Studies, and Metropolitan College, and two junior gift officers. Additionally, she is responsible for all fundraising efforts at the School of Social Work. Prior to moving into this role, she served as Director of Advancement at Boston University School of Medicine. In her time at Boston University, she has personally raised over $10 million for professorships, research programs, and scholarship.

Before her tenure at BU, Kate worked in both education and healthcare fundraising at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Latin School Association, University at Buffalo, and SUNY Geneseo. She also serves as a member of the Education Committee and co-chair of the Basics Program with the Association of Fundraising Professionals Massachusetts Chapter. Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Geneseo and serves as a regional volunteer mentoring students and recent graduates.

John F. Donovan, CFRE
John F. Donovan, CFREPrincipal Consultant, Accordant
John brings considerable depth and perspective to his work rooted in twenty years consulting experience focused on strategic philanthropy planning, campaign assessment, planning and management as well as philanthropy program assessments and planned giving counsel. John has provided consulting services to a wide array of institutions including health, social service, veterans, education, and the arts. He has been intimately involved in campaigns ranging from a few million dollars to $100 million+.

John has also worked for a planned gift asset management and administration firm where he provided assistance on complex gift planning and investment strategies, trained development staffs on planned giving concepts and worked with donors and their advisors on charitable giving techniques. John is a current board member of the New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and active civically with foster care and health and wellness not for profits. John is a frequent presenter at national and regional conferences, a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) and graduate of Villanova University with a degree in Economics.

Bridget Flynn, CFRE
Bridget Flynn, CFREDirector of Development, Major Gifts at Massachusetts General Hospital
Bridget Flynn has worked in the development field for over 20 years and currently serves as the Director of Development, Major Gifts at Massachusetts General Hospital. In this role, Bridget oversees the fundraising team in support of the Department of Neurology, an area with a significant number of cutting-edge clinical and research programs.

Prior to joining MGH, Bridget served as the Director of Major Giving and Capital Campaigns at Southcoast Health, a $1 billion regional healthcare system stretching from Cape Cod to Rhode Island. During her tenure, Bridget was responsible for overseeing all aspects of Southcoast Health’s $25 million campaign – the largest in the organization’s history – and led the annual, major and planned giving teams to the 2nd best fundraising year on record. Bridget also spent six years at Cape Cod Healthcare where she was part of a team that successfully completed a $100 million campaign for Falmouth and Cape Cod Hospital.

Prior to her time in healthcare, Bridget worked in the development offices at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Brown University and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.

A Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), Bridget holds an MBA, with a concentration in non-profit management, from Providence College and a master’s degree in English from Bridgewater State University.

Brenda Goodell
Brenda GoodellSenior Director of Development, Event Fundraising at Joslin Diabetes Center
Brenda is Senior Director of Development, Event Fundraising at Joslin Diabetes Center, and former Assistant Vice President of Event Fundraising at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. In her role as AVP of event fundraising, she worked on growing events including Scooper Bowl, the Executive Council supporting the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, the Palm Beach Celebrations and over 200 annual grassroots events.

Goodell is a graduate of Boston College with a B.A. in Speech Communication and Psychology and Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program in Strategic Marketing Management. She is a member of The Boston Club.

Maureen Grieco, Treasurer
Maureen Grieco, TreasurerConsultant

Maureen Grieco has a 25-year career spanning the varied sectors of politics, higher education, academic medicine and cultural institutions.

She began her career in politics as a field organizer on a presidential campaign. Her first assignment was to find a volunteer to wear a chicken suit and hand out chicken nuggets at a political rally. She quickly realized that members of the fundraising team never had to do those tasks. In her next campaign, she got a job as a fundraiser and has since developed an allergy to poultry.

After a decade working on political campaigns at the federal, state and local levels, Maureen transitioned to fundraising in higher education and academic medicine at Yale School of Medicine and M.I.T. At both institutions, she raised funds in record-setting capital campaigns and developed relationships with influential donors, faculty and university leadership.

She then combined her experiences in politics and higher education and joined the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate as the inaugural Vice President of Development. At the Kennedy Institute, she was responsible for building a fundraising team and preparing for the opening of the new specialty museum and educational center.

Currently, Maureen consults for political campaign committees and advises the philanthropy of a family foundation.

As a recent patient of bilateral hip replacement, Maureen is enjoying her new set of hips and is taking longer walks, learning to spin and might ride a horse someday soon.

Larry G. Raff, MPH, Past President
Larry G. Raff, MPH, Past PresidentPresident and Principal at Copley Raff, Inc.
Larry G. Raff is president and principal of Copley Raff, Inc., a U.S. and international management and fundraising consulting firm that specializes in raising the sights for nonprofit organizations and helping them meet aspirational goals.

He worked 20 years as a senior level front-line advancement executive in healthcare, biomedical research, and human services, and nearly 20 years of consulting with more than 200 nonprofit organizations. Larry has been campaign counsel to campaigns ranging from $2M to $200M, served as interim senior leadership, facilitated board development retreats and has conducted many strategic advancement planning efforts.

Larry has authored the GivingTake blog since 2011 and is co-founder of planMGO, a four-day Master Gift Officer™ event dedicated to improving the quality and professionalism of development executives. The program has trained hundreds of professionals from across the U.S. and has been credited by attendees with providing transformational insights that have led to vastly improved major gift performance.

Athelia Tilson
Athelia TilsonVice President of Development at The Home for Little Wanderers
Athelia “Tia” Tilson has worked in the development field for over 20 years and currently serves as the Vice President of Development for The Home for Little Wanderers. In this role, Tia is responsible for the design and implementation of a short and long-range strategy for raising increased philanthropic support for The Home’s innovative programs, with a particular focus on building out the major giving program.

Tia brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in human and community service missions to The Home across academic and medical healthcare, global health and higher education sectors. She has a demonstrated track record of success across annual, event, planned, foundation, major and principal giving.

Formerly the Vice President of Development at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, Tia partnered with senior leadership and the Board of Directors in a start-up fundraising program. Previously as Director of Development, she drove the fundraising program for Ariadne Labs, a global leader in health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, founded by Dr. Atul Gawande. In this position, Tia supported Dr. Atul Gawande to help raise $32M during her tenure.