Nonprofit Leadership Conference
Nonprofit Leadership Conference

2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference
Monday, November 20, 2017
UMKC Bloch Executive Hall & Student Union, Kansas City, MO

The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at UMKC and Nonprofit Missouri are hosting their fourth collaboration of the Nonprofit Leadership conference in Kansas City on the campus of the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC). 2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference is a full-day conference that will be held Monday, November 20, 2017 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. registration and breakfast, with the Opening Plenary beginning at 8:15 a.m.). The Opening and Lunch Plenaries will be held in the UMKC Student Union, 5100 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri. The rest of the conference will be held, right next door, in the Bloch Executive Hall, 5108 Cherry Street.

The registration fee for the conference is $150 per participant. Note: there is a special rate of $125 for Nonprofit Missouri and AFP members and $75 for students.

Visit Conference Archive for more information on this event.

Full refunds will be given when cancellations are made at least five working days before the first class session. A $50 cancellation fee will be deducted from refunds when notification occurs fewer than five working days before class begins. No refunds will be made after the first session has begun.

Featured keynote speakers

Breakfast Keynote:
What's Your Score? Making the Opportunity Index Work for You (and Your Community)
Melanie Anderson, Director of External and Governmental Affairs for Opportunity Nation

Lunch Keynote:
Darwin Pennye, Director of the Kansas City Royals - Urban Youth Academy

We would like to express our appreciation to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for its support of this conference and other Midwest Center capacity building programs.

Conference Schedule

Note: check back periodically for updates to the schedule.

7:30 a.m. - Registration Opens
Registration, Breakfast & Networking, and Opening & Lunch Plenaries will be held in the UMKC Student Union, 5100 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri. The rest of the conference will be held, right next door, in the Bloch Executive Hall, 5108 Cherry Street.

7:30 a.m.-8:15 a.m. - Breakfast & Networking

8:15 a.m.-9:30 a.m. - Opening Plenary
Andy Conover, Co-Chair of Nonprofit Missouri
Keynote Presentation
What's Your Score? Making the Opportunity Index Work for You (and Your Community)
Melanie Anderson, Director of External and Governmental Affairs for Opportunity Nation

9:30 a.m. - Break The morning concurrent session will be held in the UMKC Bloch Executive Hall, 5108 Cherry Street (right next door to the Student Union).

9:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m. - Morning Sessions

Session A:
Opportunity in Communities: The Role of the Opportunity Index, Public Policy and Advocacy
The Opportunity Index, developed by Opportunity Nation, measures 16 indicators, scoring all 50 states plus Washington, DC on a scale of 0 to 100 each year. In addition, more than 2,700 counties are graded A through F. In this session you will learn more about the Index's methodology and key findings, geographic trends and how the Index is being used in diverse ways across the country. You will learn the importance of nonprofits engaging in public policy and advocacy and how nonprofits use the Index to engage policymakers and other leaders.

Presenter: Melanie Anderson, Director of External and Government Affairs for Opportunity Nation

Session B:
Sustaining the Pivotal Partnership: The Power of Boards, Chairs, and CEOs Working Together
No one disputes the importance and value of a strong collegial and collaborative relationship between a nonprofit's CEO and its governing board and chair. At its best, this pivotal partnership elicits the best from everyone on behalf of the organization and its success. But what does it take to develop and sustain such a partnership? This highly interactive session will provide an opportunity to learn about and discuss insights from both research and practice about the ways that effective executives and board leaders grow and nurture their relationships with each other, including candid discussion about some of the most significant challenges that have the potential to derail this key relationship and how we can minimize or avoid them.

Presenter: David Renz, Ph.D., Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Session C:
Finding and Using Data to Support Your Advocacy Efforts
This session will help nonprofit professionals find and use data to support their advocacy efforts. Learning and outcome objectives include:

  • Participants will be able to find and identify sources of national, state, and local data that can be utilized to support advocacy efforts.
  • Participants will be aware of how they can use open-source geographic information systems (GIS) to make maps that support case-making and storytelling.
  • Participants will leave with a better understanding of how nonprofits can be and have been successful in incorporating data into outreach materials and advocacy campaigns.

Presenters: Jamie Kleinsorge, Project Director, Nonprofit Missouri

Session D:
Hamster Wheels are Exhausting
With 7,846 501(c)(3) organizations in the Kansas City metro area (2016 Kansas City Metro Study by the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership), and an adult population (20 years or older) of 318,138, that's only 40-41 donors per nonprofit, offering a pretty jarring reality of how competitive the field is to first capture donor attention and create donative intent. Add to that the 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Results indicating that as a whole, the sector had a <1% growth in donors in 2016, and that "for every 100 donors gained, 99 were lost through attrition," and thus it is that we sometimes feels like we're operating on a giant hamster wheel. In this 90 minute session on Donor Acquisition, you'll hear:

  • An introduction as to how and why fundraising done well is just like Jerry Seinfeld's latest Netflix show;
  • How to analyze donor markets in the area;
  • Why your "needs" statement should be a STORY statement that is tested amongst your giving constituencies; and
  • How connecting the dots needs to go deeper than "I like puppies, and so do you - therefore you are a logical donor to my agency!"

Presenter: Diane Marty, Founder and Principal, Faire Consulting LLC

Session E:
Nonprofit Leadership Communication:
The absence of clear communication creates confusion and frustration, which leads to inefficiency, missed opportunities and strained relationships. High-performing leaders understand this and work hard to inspire people in their organization and in the broader community. This interactive session will cover three aspects of leadership communication: People functions, organization functions, and community functions.

Presenter: Dan Prater, Founder and Director, Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Drury University

11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Lunch Plenary
David Renz, Director of Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Keynote Presentation
Darwin Pennye, Director of the Kansas City Royals - Urban Youth Academy

The afternoon concurrent session will be held in the UMKC Bloch Executive Hall, 5108 Cherry Street (right next door to the Student Union).

1:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. - Afternoon Sessions

Session F:
Nonprofit Total Rewards - Competing For Talent
This presentation will define and break-down the concept of total rewards and how nonprofit organizations can manage the mix of total rewards to achieve an overall employment offer that will attract, motivate and retain the necessary talent to power their organization.

Learning Outcomes - Provide insight into the total employment costs for nonprofit organizations and how leaders can manage the mix of the various employment elements of to achieve and maintain an employment offer that will allow them to attract, motivate and retain the necessary talent to drive their organization's success.

Presenter: Jon Binder, Senior Consultant & Compensation Practice Leader, OMNI Human Resource Management

Session G:
How We Do Business: Integrating Collective Impact Into Your Work
Collective Impact has become common language amongst those working to address some of our society's most complex problems. But what is it? How does it work? And what does it have to do with each of us? East Side Aligned is a collective impact movement happening within the Greater East St. Louis area to ensure children and youth are healthy, safe and secure; ready to learn and work; and empowered to create change. Community members work to align policy, practice, and investment across sectors to ensure all children and youth are supported, ready, and well. This session will explore the principles and limitations of Collective Impact theory, the movement that is underway in Greater East St. Louis, and how we can all integrate Collective Impact into how we do business.

Presenter: Hannah Allee, MSW - Systems Specialist, Out-of-School Time, East Side Aligned, United Way of Greater St. Louis

Session H:
Setting your Lineup: "Researching and Cultivating potential grant funding sources"
The session would focus on sources and ways to research and identify grant funders (are you a fit/are you ready?), how to determine if your organization is a fit and how to cultivate/handle relationships with the funder.

Presenter: Julie Assel, President, Assel Consulting

Session I:
Take the Hassle Out of Nonprofit Content Development: Proven Strategies, Tips and Shortcuts the Pros Use to Keep Things Fresh
Does it seem like everyone is in on the secret to developing new content for their websites, newsletters and social channels…except you?

Never fear.

The leadership team from M&C will share strategies and tactics for making the most of the content you already have and creatively mining other sources for your communications.

Join Merritt Engel, President, and Monica Tiffany, Creative Director, for an interactive and informative session that will demystify the process and help you get your content plan in the best shape ever.

You learn how to:

  • Use the content you already have across a wide range of channels
  • Repurpose content from advocates, allies and other channels to boost your organization and better serve your constituents
  • Build relationships with influencers who can help spread your message
  • Empower your team to help on an individual level
  • Test messages and tactics so you can be sure you're moving in the right direction

This session is filled with real-life examples of what worked well…and what didn't work so well. Whether you're a one-man band or a part of a full-fledged marketing team, you'll come away with practical new ideas you can use immediately.

Presenters: Merritt Engel, President, and Monica Tiffany, Creative Director of M&C

Session J:
All Things Annual - Annual Development Plans, Annual Reports, Annual Retreats, Annual Filings (1099's, 990's) and Budgets
Join the nonprofit experts at SKC for this fun and engaging discussion about all things annual. Nonprofit leaders have many scheduling challenges and this workshop is designed to share at a high level what leaders should have on their radar. The presentation will include time saving strategies to link planning, tracking and reporting as well as new ways to engage board and staff in the process.

Workshop discussion includes:

  • Creating meaningful time and activities for annual board and staff retreats; building blocks to developing and updating goals and priorities
  • Annual Fund Development planning
  • Forms 1099's and 990's,budgets
  • Annual Reports - tying it all together!

Presenters: Christy Cubbage-Rigby, Director of Client Accounting, Support Kansas City; Megan Campbell, Director of Development and Administrative Services, Support Kansas City; and Debra Box, Executive Director, Support Kansas City

2:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m. - Break

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. - Afternoon Sessions

Session K:
Data's role in your nonprofit storytelling strategy
Big data's value to your marketing strategy is its ability to quickly present your readers with a macro view of the problem you're addressing, of the people you serve and their community and of the impact your nonprofit is making. Effective use of data will make your story far more compelling.

  • Data Discovery- Identifying trends and patterns. How do the trends tie to not just your outcomes but also your needs for the organization?
  • Context is King- Get comfortable with your data. Can you show key pieces of data that will emphasize your successes?
  • The Human Factor- Creating the narrative for your donors and the community. What action do you want your audience to take upon reading your story?

Narrative and data are never as strong apart as they are together. As long as you keep the human element front and center, and the data in a supporting role, there's no reason you can't leverage both to your organization's advantage.

Presenter: Kerri VanMeveren, Founder & CEO, Amazing Traditions, LLC

Session L:
Winning the Triple Crown: Finance, Programs and Development teaming up to win big.
In this panel discussion, leaders in nonprofit finance, program management and fundraising will discuss how to break down departmental silos and work together for efficient grant management, program implementation, case statements, budget management, individual giving and more. Bring your questions and be ready to share your challenges for discussion!

Presenters: Gina Knapp, Vice President, Finance, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis; Michael Lemon, Assistant Director, Center for Public Partnerships & Research, University of Kansas; Monica Enloe, Associate Executive Director, JDRF Greater Kansas City Chapter; and Lyn Lakin, President, Lyn Lakin Consulting

Session M:
Problem Solving Through Facilitated Design Thinking
Designing a new program or solving a problem with existing services is best served through a team process. Unfortunately, eliciting contributions from your team can be a challenging, frustrating and time consuming process. Design thinking is one process through which organizations can engage in team problem solving. In this interactive session, participants will be introduced to and practice design thinking methods that aid group decision-making. Each activity will include a facilitator's guide, enabling all participants to leave the session with tools they can apply in their organizations immediately.

Presenter: Scott Helm, Ph.D., Associate Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Session N:
Content Marketing to Steward & Cultivate Supporters
Content marketing is a strategy to create and distribute relevant and valuable information to attract, acquire and engage a defined audience. This workshop will help attendees understand the basic concepts of this approach to better leverage online and social opportunities to steward and cultivate supporters. Participants will complete the session with a set of tactics that can be used to measure reach and response for future evaluation and planning purposes.

Presenter: Allie Chang Ray, MA, Advocacy Manager, Nonprofit Missouri and Principal & Independent Consultant, Mutare Network, LLC

4:30 p.m. - Conference Close

Biographies of the Conference Presenters

Note: bios will be added as we receive them from the presenters.

Hannah Allee, MSW - Systems Specialist, Out-of-School Time, East Side Aligned, United Way of Greater St. Louis
Hannah Allee is the systems specialist for out-of-school time at United Way of Greater St. Louis, lead backbone organization to the East Side Aligned movement. In this role, Hannah supports a network of providers working to establish an out-of-school time system that increases access to high quality out-of-school time opportunities – ultimately to ensure academic success and social-emotional wellness. Previously, she ran a job and college readiness program at Kingdom House in St. Louis. Hannah received her Masters in Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis where she designed her course of study, Collective Impact for Children, Youth, and Communities. Hannah grew up in St. Louis, returned home after studying Psychology at Hendrix College and currently resides in south St. Louis City. She is a member of West County Community Action Network, a community of advocates committed to racial justice in suburban St. Louis. Hannah is committed to regional systems change in St. Louis through localized strategies built and led by the community.

Melanie Anderson - Director of External and Governmental Affairs for Opportunity Nation
Melanie Anderson is the Director of Government Affairs at Opportunity Nation, leading on Opportunity Nation's bipartisan federal policy efforts that advance the goals of the organization. Melanie sets the legislative priorities of the Opportunity Nation campaign, working with Opportunity Nation's diverse coalition of over 350 organization to find common ground on lasting policy change that strengthens education and career pathways for young adults.

Melanie is a highly respected voice on federal education and workforce policy and has been interviewed by the National Journal, US News and World Reports and the New York Times. Melanie also speaks regularly at numerous national convenings across the country including the Close It Summit, National Association of Workforce Boards Annual Conference, National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium Conference, Western Pathways Conference and Industry Workforce Needs Council.

Prior to joining Opportunity Nation in 2013, Melanie served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education. She also held senior-level government affairs positions with the American Library Association and Educational Testing Service where she developed strategy on a wide variety of federal and state education issues.

She graduated from Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) with a degree in political science. Originally from Iowa, Melanie loves living in her adopted hometown of Washington, DC.

Julie Assel - President/CEO and Senior Writer for Assel Consulting
Julie Assel is the President/CEO and a Senior Writer for Assel Consulting. Julie has a varied background in grant writing including writing for school districts of varying sizes, universities, and non-profit organizations. So far, she has written awarded grants totaling more than $99 million since 2003.

Her expertise is in federal level grants with the Department of Education, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency. At the state level, she has successfully written to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Higher Education, and the Missouri Technology Commission among others.

Julie earned the Grant Professional Certification (GPC) in January 2010 from the Grant Professionals Certification Institute. The GPC is a certification program that measures an individual's ability to provide quality grant-related services within an ethical framework. Julie is a member of the Grant Professionals Association, currently serving as the President of the Heart of America GPA Chapter in the Kansas City area and co-facilitator for the national GPA Consultants Special Interest Group.

She holds a Fundraising Certificate from the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, a service and outreach unit of the Department of Public Affairs in the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri Kansas City and a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Prior to starting her own business in 2008, she worked as the Grant and Medical Writer/Quality Assurance Officer for Cardiovascular Imaging Technologies and the Coordinator of Grants and Special Projects for the Kansas City Missouri School District. She has also worked as the Grant Writer for KidsTLC (formerly TLC for Children and Families).

Jon Binder - Senior Consultant & Compensation Practice Leader, OMNI Human Resource Management
Mr. Binder provides our clients with expert support with employee relations, compensation, leadership development and related areas. Jon is a senior-level executive with 25 years of human resources experience and more than 15 years of compensation design and consulting experience.

Prior to joining OMNI, Jon enjoyed a successful career in finance and as a human resources executive with Sprint. In addition to his role at OMNI, he has been functioning as an independent consultant since 2009.

Jon has a BBA in Accounting from the University of Cincinnati and earned his MBA from Rockhurst University in Kansas City.

Debra Box - Executive Director, Support Kansas City
During her fifteen-year leadership at SKC, the agency has grown from providing support to 17 agencies to supporting over 150 agencies annually. Debra holds a degree in Business Administration from the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Ottawa University. Her nonprofit expertise includes advanced training for consultants from BoardSource. She serves on the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City Foundation board , the Nonprofit Missouri board and the Nonprofit Centers Network national Steering Committee. In 2010, she was named one of Kansas City's Influential Women by the Kansas City Business Magazine.

Megan Campbell - Director of Development and Administrative Services, Support Kansas City
Megan joined the SKC team in July 2017. She has over 15 years of experience working in the Kansas City nonprofit sector, specializing in grants management and resource development. Megan holds a Master of Public Affairs in Nonprofit and Community Service Management from Park University and is a credentialed grants professional (GPC) with the Grant Professionals Certification Institute.

Allie Chang Ray, MA - Advocacy Manager, Nonprofit Missouri and Principal & Independent Consultant, Mutare Network, LLC
Allie Chang Ray, MA, is Advocacy Manager at Nonprofit Missouri and leads the Advocacy Lab 2.0 training. Through her consulting practice, she supports funders through special assignments and increases the capacity of nonprofit providers through executive coaching, facilitation and skill building in the areas of advocacy, strategic planning, board governance, data management, fund development and volunteer management. Ms. Ray is an adjunct instructor at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches two courses each semester. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Missouri - Columbia.

Christy Cubbage-Rigby - Director of Client Accounting, Support Kansas City
Christy's experience includes tax, consulting, client accounting, software consulting and accounting systems management. She is a CPA and also holds an Executive MBA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and remains actively involved in alumni and community activities. Her community activities include Thank You Walt Disney, Inc. Board member and Treasurer, Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants Board Member and member of the Finance Committee, a Greater Kansas City Women's Foundation Board member and she sits on the Accounting Advisory Board for the University of Central Missouri. Christy has a passion for Kansas City history, in particular the architectural history and the preservation of the area's structures.

Merritt Engel - President/Principal, M&C
Merritt Engel is a direct marketing strategist, copywriter and trainer. She specializes in providing measurable results for clients through a range of marketing channels, print and digital. She regularly consults and writes for both for-profit and nonprofit national organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the University of Kansas Physicians Group and Hospital. Merritt serves on the faculty at Rockhurst University, where she developed and teaches the Marketing and Technology Trends course. She is past president of the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association. KCDMA named Merritt “Direct Marketer of the Year” in 2012. She was recently honored as a member of the 2016 40 Under Forty class by Ingram's Magazine.

Merritt currently serves as the President of the Kansas City Direct Marketing Education Foundation, as well as serving as Marketing Chair for the Communications Studies Alumni Board at the KU Edwards Campus.

She received her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from Rockhurst University and a Masters in the same discipline from the University of Kansas.

Monica Enloe, Associate Executive Director, JDRF Greater Kansas City Chapter
Monica Enloe, CFRE, is Associate Executive Director at JDRF in Kansas City. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 15 years in fundraising and leadership roles at local, national and international organizations. Monica served on the AFP Mid-America Chapter Board of Directors from 2013-2015, as Marketing Chair for the AFP Mid America Conference on Fundraising in 2016 and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Nonprofit Missouri. A graduate of KU and WashU in St. Louis, Monica has a bachelor and master of Social Work, specializing in nonprofit management and health policy.

Scott Helm, Ph.D. - Associate Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Scott Helm is a teaching faculty member at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, where he teaches program evaluation and policy analysis and financial management in the Masters of Public Administration program and is director of the Bloch School of Management's Executive M.P.A. program. He has a B.A. in economics from Washington College, an M.P.A. with a concentration in nonprofit management from the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in public administration and economics from University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Helm is also an associate director with the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at UMKC. Using his background in economics and nonprofit management, Helm has spent the last several years working with nonprofit organizations, assisting them with program evaluation, market research, commercialization, business planning, strategic planning and board training.

As a senior fellow for MCNL, Helm has managed a variety of applied research projects and directed quantitative analysis projects, including designing and implementing program evaluations for a diverse set of organizations.

Additionally, Helm has managed the annual "Kansas City Nonprofit Sector at a Glance" project since 2002 and the Nonprofit Salary and Benefits Survey.

Helm's primary research focus is social entrepreneurship. His work in this area has led to publication and several presentations at international and national academic conferences. Along with UMKC doctoral student, Fredrik O. Andersson, Helm won the Nonprofit Management and Leadership 2011 Editors' Prize for Volume 20 for their article, "Beyond Taxonomy: An Empirical Validation of Social Entrepreneurship in the Nonprofit Sector."

Jamie Kleinsorge, MS - Project Director, Nonprofit Missouri
Jamie Kleinsorge, MS, is a Project Director at Nonprofit Missouri and leads the Advocacy Lab 1.0 training. She also serves as a Project Director at the Institute for People, Place, and Possibility and is an adjunct instructor at Washington University St. Louis and University of Missouri - Columbia. Jamie has trained thousands of organizations, community-level professionals, government agencies, and healthcare systems on the application of data and GIS for community assessment, programming, and evaluation. Jamie has a Master's of Science in Rural Sociology with an emphasis in community development from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Western Illinois University.

Gina Knapp - Vice President of Finance at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St Louis
Gina Knapp, Vice President of Finance at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St Louis, has worked in nonprofit financial management for nearly 20 years. She holds a Masters of Business Administration in finance and entrepreneurship from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Kansas. Ms. Knapp was most recently Chief Financial Officer at the Greater St Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. She has worked with many nonprofits and boards through the years on best practices in nonprofit accounting and cut her teeth in financial management and budgeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Lyn Lakin, President, Lyn Lakin Consulting
Lyn Lakin is a non-profit leader with over 25 years of hands-on experience. She has a diverse background of fundraising, constituency engagement, program oversight, departmental management, and C-Suite leadership. Her experience was gained at two national voluntary health agencies, an international disaster relief and humanitarian response NGO, a national youth development organization, and a private university and state affiliated public university.

Michael Lemon - Assistant Director, Center for Public Partnerships & Research, University of Kansas
Michael Lemon is the Assistant Director of the Center for Public Partnerships and Research at the University of Kansas. Mr. Lemon has extensive experience in the fields of Positive Youth Development, Counseling and Coaching. Through these fields he has worked with youth and adults nationally to help them raise awareness of ACEs, better understand trauma and begin the healing process through the intentional unpacking of the research on hope & resilience. Currently, Mr. Lemon is working at local, state and national levels to develop and scale the trauma-informed/hope-infused program, Lemonade for Life ( while also building programming based on the principles of Human Thriving. Through his work both at the University of Kansas-Center for Public Partnerships & Research and Camp Fire National, he has partnered with leaders in the field including the Thrive Foundation for Youth, Search Institute, Forum for Youth Investment, Rocket21 and the David P. Weikart Center. He holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas.

Barbara Levin, MSW - Board Member, Nonprofit Missouri; Coordinator, Alliance for Building Capacity at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University
Barbara Levin, MSW is a skilled and dynamic nonprofit professional with over 30 years of experience leading and managing professional staff and volunteers, creating and executing programs, teaching, consulting, training, facilitating, mentoring, and building coalitions among diverse community partners. She is a demonstrated organizer, systems creator, team builder, and motivator. Levin is on the staff of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University as the Coordinator for the Alliance for Building Capacity. ABC provides the structure for Brown's placed-based initiatives by managing and implementing community initiatives and coordinating the work of graduate students with partnering institutions and organizations in defined settings. She manages the Social Entrepreneurship Specialization and the Certificate in Affordable Housing and Mixed Income Community Management. As an adjunct professor, Levin teaches Community Development Practice and Urban Development Seminar (in collaboration with St. Louis University School of Law, School of Urban Planning and Design and the Fox School of Design at Washington University.) Active in the community, she is a founding board member of Nonprofit Missouri, serving as Chair for 4 years.

Diane Marty, MALS, CFRE - Founder and Principal, Faire Consulting
Diane has enjoyed work with higher education and research institutions, arts organizations, social service & youth development agencies, and federated fundraising organizations. Her consultancy offers development strategy and implementation services with special expertise in accelerant growth campaigns. She has provided contracted trainings to volunteers and professionals throughout the United States and in Africa, India, and Mexico, and is an adjunct professor in the Nonprofit Leadership Studies program at Rockhurst University.

Darwin Pennye - Director of the Urban Youth Academy
Darwin Pennye is the newly named Director of the Kansas City Royals Urban Youth Academy. Pennye comes to the Royals after a career as a Texas High School Athletic Director, Coach, and Educator.

Pennye will be the first Director of the Urban Youth Academy as it opens its' doors in 2017. Pennye will be responsible for overseeing the entire day to day operation of the Urban Youth Academy. The Urban Youth Academy will provide the youth of Kansas City with a dual opportunity, to develop into high character, productive members of society and learn the skills of our national pastime.

After a five year playing career in professional baseball, Pennye's coaching background began in 1998 as a minor league coach in the Houston Astros Organization.

After a brief stint into private instruction, Pennye accepted a position as an assistant coach at St. Pius X in Houston.

In 2004 Pennye was named the Head Baseball Coach at Bay Area Christian in League City, Texas where he remained until 2015. At Bay Area Christian Pennye led the Broncos to 160 wins during his tenure. In 11 years at the helm the Broncos made 9 playoff appearances with three district titles and 5 area titles. While at Bay Area in 2008 Christian Pennye also assumed the role of Athletic Director and for three seasons was the Head Football Coach where he guided the Broncos to three district titles, three area titles, and one regional title.

In 2015 Pennye was named the Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach at Logos Preparatory Academy in Sugarland, Texas. At Logos Prep, Pennye initiated new soccer, softball and 11-man football programs during his short tenure to help develop the school's athletic department. As the Head Baseball Coach, he led the Lions to an area championship and 15 wins.

Pennye earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from the College of Biblical Studies in Houston. Pennye is a licensed and ordained minister in the Baptist Church. Pennye and his wife of 28 years, Maria, currently reside in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dan Prater - Founder and Director, Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Drury University
Dan is the founder and executive director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Drury University. In this role, he organizes workshops and conferences, consults local nonprofit organizations, and writes and speaks on industry-related topics. He is a faculty member and is lead instructor in the university's Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership program.

Dan is a consultant to numerous nonprofits, NGOs and governmental organizations. He works with a variety of types and sizes of groups. Throughout the past few years, he has provided assistance to large institutions/organizations such as the Mississippi State University, University of Texas, Belmont University, and healthcare systems, as well as to mid-level and small organizations that have no paid employees.

Dan is board chair of Nonprofit Missouri, and sits on these boards: The Master Craftsmen (Rockaway Beach, MO), Elevate Lives (Springfield, MO), Isabel's House Crisis Nursery advisory board (Springfield, MO).

Dan is the lead author on multiple research projects, including "Springfield Area Religious Congregations; Civic Engagement," "Volunteerism in Southwest Missouri," and "Nonprofit Impact Study," and is currently leading a study on poverty and one on nonprofit legal issues.

Dan is a graduate of the Georgetown University Nonprofit Management program, has a Master of Art in Communication from Drury University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Evangel University.

David Renz, Ph.D. - Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Dr. Renz is the Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit Leadership and Director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management of the University of Missouri - Kansas City. He teaches and conducts research on nonprofit and public service leadership and, especially, governance and board effectiveness. He currently is especially interested in governance and management processes in networks and socially-entrepreneurial organizations. He has worked with more than 135 boards, commissions, and leadership networks in the past decade. He writes frequently for both the academic and practice communities and has produced more than 120 chapters, reports, and articles for journals such as Nonprofit Management and Leadership, The Nonprofit Quarterly, Strategic Governance, Public Administration Review, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. He also is editor of the third edition of The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management and, most recently, he co-edited the Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurs' Engagement in Philanthropy. Dr. Renz and Fredrik Andersson recently completed a chapter on the state of art of research on nonprofit boards and governance for Nonprofit Governance Research: Innovative Perspectives and Approaches. He is a nationally-recognized leader and award-winning educator. He provided leadership for several national capacity-building initiatives, including the founding of The Nonprofit Academic Centers Council and The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. He earned his Ph.D. in Organization Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Barry Rosenberg - Professor of Practice, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
Barry Rosenberg is Professor of Practice at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, at Washington University, where he serves as Faculty Chair of the MSW Management Specialization. He teaches management, leadership, organizational behavior, strategic planning board governance and volunteer management. In addition, he teaches and leads content development for Brown's program of Executive Education.

In 2012, he completed a 37 year career in non-profit executive leadership, including 19 years as the President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, the region's central fundraising and planning agency. A native of Boston, he holds a Masters degree in Social Work from SUNY-Albany and a B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern University.

Monica Tiffany - Creative Director/Principal, M&C
Monica Tiffany specializes in developing effective communications strategy for companies and organizations. She has written for Shriners Hospitals for Children, National Geographic, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Red Cross, to name a few. Monica served as VP of Marketing and Communications for the Association of Fundraising Professionals — Mid-America Chapter. She currently serves as Marketing Chair on the CASA of Jackson County board. As a professional copywriter, she speaks to both local and national audiences about copywriting, messaging and creative strategy. Prior to joining M&C, Monica spent five years in nonprofit association management.

Kerri VanMeveren - CEO & Founder, of Amazing Traditions, LLC
Kerri VanMeveren is the CEO & founder of Amazing Traditions, LLC. . A sought-after organizational expert, Kerri specializes in helping nonprofit organizations optimize efficiencies in resources, workflow and technology.

Her primary goal is to help organizations optimize their operational processes to free up resources to do even greater good.

Kerri leverages her vast experience and education to simplify the complexities that paralyze organizations. Her proven approach breaks down barriers and breathes new life into nonprofits.

She enjoys spending time with family, volunteering in the Kansas City community, outdoor sports and spending time with her Arabian horses.

Amazing Traditions, LLC
Kerri VanMeveren, CEO / Founder
WBE/ MO Woman Owned Small Business
Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB)
Board Member, COVERSA (Collection of Victim Evidence Regarding Sexual Assault)
CASA Advocate

Academic Credentials include:
B.S. Computer Information Systems
MBA, emphasis in Leadership & Mgt
M.S. Nonprofit Leadership & Mgt
PMP- Project Management Professional
CHTS-IM-HIMSS Healthcare Certification
LSSGB-Six Sigma Certification

Kyle Vena - Director of Baseball Administration for the Kansas City Royals
Kyle Vena is in his 22nd season with the Royals and third as the Director of Baseball Administration. Vena's primary responsibilities include working closely with the club's Assistant General Managers for Baseball Operations and Baseball Administration in all facets of the club's administrative needs in the Front Office. Vena also works closely with the club's International Operations as he is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Royals Academy in the Dominican Republic and administering the immigration program for all foreign players and staff.

Vena began his baseball career as a bat boy before moving to the clubhouse to assist the Royals' clubhouse manager in day-to-day operations in 2001. He was hired as the Baseball Operations Intern in December, 2005 and was promoted to Baseball Operations Assistant in October, 2006. He was subsequently promoted to Assistant, Scouting and Player Development in October, 2010 before assuming the role of Assistant Director of Player Development. While in college at the University of Kansas, he served as the student assistant coach for the Jayhawks baseball team.

Vena graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in December, 2005 before passing the Missouri Bar Exam in February, 2006. He received a bachelor's degree in sports management from the University of Kansas in 2002. He graduated from Blue Valley Northwest High School in 1998.

Parking Instructions

Park on the 5th or 6th level of the UMKC Cherry Street Parking Garage (located at East 50th Street between Oak Street and Cherry Street). We have arranged for campus police not to ticket this area during the event so there is no need to pay the meters at this location. Note: the parking garage is one and half blocks north of the Bloch Executive Hall.

Click here to view a campus map.

Questions about the conference: Please call 816-235-5720 or

Nearby Hotels
If you need a hotel during your visit we suggest you look at the lodging options at the Country Club Plaza, which is a popular Kansas City entertainment district with a lot of shopping and dining options (just click on the Stay tab for a listing the hotel options (most hotels are about one mile from UMKC's campus). We do not have formal agreements with these hotels but many of the hotels will offer discounted rates when you mention you are coming to UMKC on business. Note: If you need ground transportation during your visit most of the hotels can help arrange shuttle or taxi service.

Full refunds will be given when cancellations are made at least five working days before the first class session. A $50 cancellation fee will be deducted from refunds when notification occurs fewer than five working days before class begins. No refunds will be made after the first session has begun.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Please contact Barbara Levin at if you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities for this conference. Note: we are not doing exhibits at this year's conference.

Henry W. Bloch School of Management
5110 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64110

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