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Arkansas Fundraiser Sue Williamson Named 2011 CCS Outstanding Fundraising Professional

(April 5, 2011) Sue S. Williamson, CFRE, senior development director at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock, Ark., is the recipient of the 2011 CCS Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The award is presented to the fundraiser who has practiced his or her profession in an exemplary manner for at least 15 years while generating significant revenue for his or her organizations. He or she must have demonstrated effective, creative and stimulating leadership and practiced and promoted ethical fundraising. Williamson received her honor on March 21, 2011, at the Awards for Philanthropy Banquet during AFP's 48th International Conference on Fundraising in Chicago.

"I am incredibly honored and profoundly grateful to be the 2011 recipient of this prestigious award," said Williamson. "This outstanding honor has unique significance because it coincides this year with the recognition of Paulette Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP, for her exceptional visionary leadership in directing AFP's phenomenal growth during her period of service. With over 30,000 dedicated fundraisers throughout the world, I feel so fortunate to be representing our profession as we work to advance philanthropy that is transforming lives and nations."

Williamson has spent more than three decades in fundraising and during the past 26 years, she has been instrumental in raising funds and support for virtually every center of excellence, new building, named endowment, and special development event that UAMS has enjoyed. 

She assisted with the Jones Eye Institute's initial $12 million research and capital campaign in the 1980s and the $63.5 million Invest in Life! capital campaign during the early 1990s.  She served as interim director for the $15 million Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging Campaign match in 2004 and in recent years, as senior director of the successful $200 million UAMS Medical Center hospital expansion. She also has been an integral part of the recent comprehensive Campaign Imagine that has surpassed its original goal of $325 million to reach $385 million, benefiting every institute, college, and program at UAMS.

In addition, Williamson has started or expanded numerous programs that have generated significant support for UAMS. She implemented the annual Medical Research Endowment Awards in the 1980s to expand extramural funding at UAMS with awards totaling $2.3 million to 248 investigators who, in turn, have generated $40 million in grants and contracts.  She started the highly successful 800-member Chancellor's Circle in 1984, which has increased the patient and donor base, served as a model for other unrestricted giving societies at UAMS and throughout Arkansas and generated over $25 million.

"For the past eight years CCS has been proud to work with AFP in recognizing individuals who demonstrate extraordinary achievement and commitment to the fundraising profession and world of philanthropy," said CCS President Robert Kissane. "Sue Williamson has led by example throughout her career and stands as a role model to all of us in the profession.  We congratulate her on this exciting achievement."

Williamson has received numerous accolades for her work on particular campaign, including the Public Relations Society of America Prism Award for her initiation of the Society of the Double Helix philanthropic recognition program. Her successful development efforts have resulted in other prestigious honors at UAMS, including the Chairman's Award from the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology and the Dean's Award from the UAMS College of Nursing.

Williamson's contributions to the profession go far beyond just fundraising. She has served in numerous community leadership positions, including Second Presbyterian Church, the Arkansas Arts Center, the Junior League of Little Rock and the Little Rock Garden Club which recognized her with the Garden Club of America Medal of Merit for outstanding and inspirational leadership.

"A fundraiser's job is to champion an organization and create relationships with donors and the public, so when someone becomes synonymous with an institution, you know that they have done extraordinary work," said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. "Sue Williamson is exactly such a fundraising professional. She has set the standard, and not just at UAMS, but for the entire profession. Her legacy to UAMS and all of fundraising will live on forever in the people she has helped and supported, and I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award than Sue."

A native of Pine Bluff, Ark., Williamson attended Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Va., and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents 30,000 members in 222 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information, go to www.afpnet.org.

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CCS is a leading fundraising consulting and management firm established in 1947. The independently owned firm partners with major non-profit organizations across all sectors to provide a direct leadership role in the design and implementation of transformational and sustainable development initiatives. Leading philanthropists, board members, foundation officers, business leaders, and institutional executives in the non-profit world recommend CCS.  For more information, contact Kelly Albanese, Director of Marketing Communications at 212-497-7453 or kalbanese@ccsfundraising.com, or visit www.ccsfundraising.com.

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