APRA Management & Leadership Symposium Faculty
Executive Director, Advancement Operations & Campaign Planning, Valparaiso University
Leslie Taylor Gonnella is the executive director of advancement operations and campaign planning at Valparaiso University. She has over 13 years of experience working with advancement services teams, including: campaign management, prospect research, prospect management, donor relations, gift processing and data management systems. Previously she was the Executive Director for Development Programs at University of Chicago. She has held other positions with University of Chicago Medical Center, Grenzebach Glier & Associates, The Rotary Foundation and the United States Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, United States Department of Commerce in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
She has presented multiple times at local and national conferences for APRA and CASE on such topics as Research Metrics, Campaign Planning, Prospect Management Policy, Management Metrics and Reporting and International Research. She is member of APRA, APRA Indiana, CASE and ADRP.
Leslie has a bachelor's degree in political science from Whittier College and was a Fulbright Research Scholar on International Relations in Budapest Hungary.
Charles A. Headley
Executive Director of Advancement Services, Southern Methodist University
Charles Headley currently serves as Executive Director of Advancement Services at Southern Methodist University. Prior to joining SMU in 2006 he was Sr. Director, Education and Healthcare Sector with Kintera, an innovative provider of web interaction software for non-profit organizations. Charles was one of the founders of Prospect Information Network which was acquired by Kintera in 2004.
Charles began his career in the fields of library and information science, and computer programming. He was with Marts & Lundy from 1984-1988, and helped to develop the fundraising industry’s first computerized prospect screening service. He then served two years as Vice President of The Information Prospector, a Washington DC based prospect research firm. From 1990 – 1998 he held several positions with CDA/Investnet, helping them develop their securities matching service, and their FACT$ family of identification services.
Charles has served on the CASE District Four board and is a charter member of the Association for Advancement Services Professionals. He is a frequent conference speaker and was conference chair for the 2009 CASE Campaign Fundamentals conference.
He received an A.B. from McKendree College in Lebanon, IL, a M.S. from the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL, and an M.B.A. from Bernard Baruch (CUNY) in New York City.
Christina A. Pulawski
Christina Pulawski is an independent consultant specializing in development research, prospect management and information flow for fund raising. Previously, she was Director of Development and Donor Services at Loyola University Chicago, overseeing the areas of research, prospect management, data management, systems, and stewardship. Prior to joining Loyola, she was Director of Development Research at Northwestern University for nearly ten years, which earned "top research shop" distinction under her direction. A Chicago native, Christina earned a BA in Political Science from Northwestern and a JD from the University of Illinois. She is admitted to practice in Illinois and practiced in the fields of real estate and litigation before taking the opportunity to explore development in 1991.
Christina completed a six-year term on the board of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), serving as Vice President for Education and Professional Development and Secretary-Treasurer. She chaired three of APRA's International Conferences, developed APRA’s Boot Camp and other symposia, and received the organization’s Distinguished Service Award. She has also served as President of APRA's Illinois Chapter and was a founding member and vice president of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (AASP). She co-chaired AASP’s inaugural Summit, several CASE Development Research and Campaign Research conferences and received CASE’s Crystal Apple Teaching Award. She has frequently published, presented, and guest lectured on the field of prospect research, prospect management, and advancement services for APRA, CASE, Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, AFP, other public and private organizations and non-profit education and management programs.
Lorea Belle Seidel, SPHR
Associate Director, Human Resources, Southern Methodist University
Lorea Seidel is currently the Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Associate Director of Human Resources for Southern Methodist University. Her background includes business and non-profit management as well as work in student affairs and counseling at the college level. Learning is a lifelong theme both personally and professionally for Lorea. She earned a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and Marketing, a Master's degree in Community Counseling and completed extensive additional graduate work focusing on organizational development. She has also completed certification as an executive coach and holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation.
Her areas of expertise and interest include interpersonal communications, creative thinking tools, recruitment and retention strategies, talent management, personality and work style assessment, priority management, team dynamics, leadership development, strategic planning, and positive psychology. At SMU, you will find her facilitating a wide variety of professional and managerial development workshops, partnering with departments regarding systems improvements and leadership development, serving as a member of the Employee Relations team, providing leadership and performance coaching, and promoting a culture of wellness through the Wellpower program. Lorea also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education at SMU where she teaches in the graduate program. In addition to work internal to SMU, Lorea consults with private and non-profit organizations and works with individual clients as an executive coach.
Jon Thorsen is a fundraising consultant specializing in advancement services, strategic planning and meeting facilitation. He joined the development profession in 1987 and has led research and advancement services operations for such organizations as the American Red Cross, Princeton University and The Nature Conservancy. Thorsen has given presentations on many facets of the development profession at conferences of AASP, ADRP, AFP, APRA, CASE and other organizations. He chairs AASP’s Best Practices in Advancement Services project and provides strategic planning services to the AASP board of directors. Thorsen is a former president of APRA and recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service award. He is also a recipient of the AASP Volunteer of the Year award and the CASE Crystal Apple award for outstanding teaching.