Apra Talks 2019: The Friendly Debate

Check out the new Apra Talks format on Friday, August 2 at 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.! 

Passionate prospect development professionals tell you why their side of a "hot" topic is the right opinion. Be ready to interact with these industry leaders and practitioners via social media and the conference app by sharing your view on these issues. It will be a fun and informative way to engage on topics to professionals in our field.

Click below to view the full video.

Topic 1: What Comes First: Knowing Analytic or Knowing Fundraising? 

Have you ever wondered which was better—knowing analytics then adapting it to fundraising or having experience in fundraising and learning analytics on the job? Two professionals in the field with varying experiences discuss which approach they feel is best. Join us as they provide differing points of view for which should come first the data analyst (i.e. the chicken) or the desire to learn data analytics (i.e. the egg).

Presented by: Mirabai Auer Director of Analytics and Business Intelligence, University of Chicago and Barron Cato, Assistant Director of Fundraising and Engagement Data Science, University of Washington


Mirabai Auer is the Director of Analytics and Business Intelligence at the University of Chicago. She joined the fundraising world in 2015 and manages a team of analysts, data scientists and engineers. More recently, she joined Apra's Data Analytics Symposium (DAS) Committee.

Prior to working in fundraising, she worked in city planning, teaching GIS at the University of Illinois at Chicago and analyzing urban labor markets at the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity. She is a lifelong learner and a data nerd for social good.

Barron Cato.jpg

Barron Cato is Assistant Director of Fundraising & Engagement Data Science at the University of Washington (UW). His 20 years in non-profit development work focused on fundraising, prospect research and analytics. Barron has served on the Northwest Development Officers Association Board (NDOA), the Apra Data Analytics Symposium Committee, and as chair of the Apra Awards Committee.

He has presented on prospect research and analytics at NDOA, UW fundraising certificate courses, Apra-NW, Apra Data Analytics Symposium, Apra OverDrive, and contributed to Apra Connections. Barron received the Apra Margret Furhy Award in 2014.

Topic 2: No Place Like Home: Where Should Prospect Development Live?

Prospect Development (i.e. Research, Prospect Management, etc.) teams often move around their divisions. Where do you think we should reside? Join us as two prospect development advocates and seasoned professionals in their respected fields in philanthropy share their passionate opinions on where Prospect Development should live. One voice says Advancement Services is the true spot and the other voice believes at the right hand of leadership.

Presented by: Jennifer Shimp-Bowerman, Associate Vice President of Advancement Services, William & Mary and Armando Enrique Zumaya, President, Armando Zumaya Consulting

Jennifer Shimp-Bowerman.jpegJennifer Shimp-Bowerman is the Associate Vice President of advancement services at William & Mary, where she leads the teams related to gift accounting, finance & administration and talent engagement as well as prospect development and information strategy in support of the University’s $1 billion For the Boldcampaign. Previously, she was the assistant vice president of advancement services at Wake Forest University, where she led the teams related to records and gifts, systems and technology, prospect development, and reporting & analytics in support of the $600M "Wake Will" campaign.

Prior to joining the team at Wake Forest, she worked at Southern Methodist University as the Director of Prospect Research and Management for the launch of the $1 billion Unbridled campaign as well as part of the leadership team for the system conversion to Blackbaud CRM. She also worked at Bucknell University in a variety of roles on the prospect research and management team.

armando.jpgArmando Zumaya has been in fundraising for 32 years in a variety of roles that have given him a unique perspective on development offices, prospecting and role of prospect research/management. He is currently an active Chief Development Officer.

He has spent the bulk of his fundraising career as a Major Gift, Leadership Gifts and Annual Fund Officer on two $1+ billion dollar campaigns at Cornell University and the University of California, Berkeley. He began his career in 1985 as a canvasser for SANE/FREEZE in Los Angeles and Ithaca N.Y. where he led door to door canvassers in the field for five years. He has served in the Vice President of Development, Director of Major Gifts and Chief Development Officer, Annual Fund and Leadership Gift roles.

Topic 3: To Certify or Not to Certify…that is the Question

Is certification for Prospect Development professionals the next step in the evolution of our field or is it a lot of work for little outcome. Two Prospect Development professionals asked themselves the same question and want to share with you what they think is best.

Presented by: Bond Lammey Managing Associate, Bentz Whaley Flessner  and Adrian Annette Owen Assistant Vice President for Advancement Services LSU Foundation

bond.jpgBond Lammey is a Managing Associate at Bentz Whaley Flessner (BWF). Her work at BWF focuses on helping clients develop the tools, resources, and strategies they need to effectively implement prospect development or donor relations at their organizations. Prior to joining BWF, Bond was the Director of Prospect Research at the University of Chicago. Bond received her BA in Sociology and her Masters of Management in Nonprofit Administration, both from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. She is the President-Elect of Apra International, an instructor at the Rice University Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, and serves on the School of Business and Nonprofit Management Advisory Board at her alma mater (NPU). Bond has presented in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Asia at CASE, ADRP, AFP, AASP, and Apra conferences.

Bond loves science fiction, making craft cocktails and kayaking. She lives in Washington, DC, with her cats, Data and Lore.

adrian.pngAdrian Owen is a fundraising executive with more than thirteen years of experience working in non-profits. She currently serves as the Assistant Vice President for Advancement Services at the LSU Foundation where she leads the departments of Analytics, Donor Relations, Information Services, Records and Data Management, and Research & Prospect Management. She loves working with teams and is training to become a certified Strengths Coach. Adrian has an undergraduate degree in General Studies from Oklahoma State University.

In her free time, she is an active community volunteer, serving on Executive Management for the Junior League of Baton Rouge, as a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber Legislative Committee, as a founding member of Capital Area United Way Emerging Leaders, and in the 2018 class of Leadership Baton Rouge. She is a former world-ranked World of Warcraft player and remains an active gamer.

View past Apra Talks here.