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Emerging Fundraisers Academy - Speakers

February 5, 2016

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Ty Bennett



Ty Bennett - When Ty was 21 years old, he and his brother Scott started a business in direct sales, which they built to over $20 million in annual revenue while still in their twenties. As a young entrepreneur, Ty continues to engage his team's focus to grow sales. He has developed over 500 sales managers globally with sales and leadership in 37 countries. In his talks, Ty uses the power of influence and storytelling to provide audiences with tangible techniques that will increase their influence and their impact as leaders and as salespeople.

With a natural ability to engage and empower others, Ty draws on his experience in the trenches to share real and tangible techniques about the principles of leadership that continue to create his success. The founder of Leadership Inc., who has been featured as one of the Top 40 Under 40, Ty is a young fresh voice providing interactive presentations that are engaging, dynamic and inspiring.

His clients include some of the most recognizable brands in the world such as: Coca-Cola, Subway, Wounded Warrior Project, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Remax. Ty has shared the stage with celebrities, Olympians and world-renowned thought leaders such as President Bush and President Clinton.

Ty’s best-selling books - "The Power of Influence: Increase Your Income and Personal Impact" and "The Power of Storytelling: The Art of Influential Communication" - are used in graduate courses at multiple universities including MIT, as today’s version of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Denise McNerney

Denise McNerney - President & CEO, iBossWell, Inc. 

Serving primarily nonprofit and public sector organizations, iBossWell has helped over 300 organizations do their good work better for 15 years.  Their focus is strategic planning and helping staff and board leaders build the organizational culture and leadership skills needed to successfully execute their plans, and take the organization to outstanding performance. 

Denise has more than 30 years’ experience with efforts that have had positive impact on the bottom-line of hundreds of organizations and the lives of individuals within. She has published numerous articles, and a book – “The PeoplePACT: Achieving exemplary performance through humane leadership.” She also led the development of a new web-based tool for strategic planning and performance tracking – WePlanWell®.  Denise is actively involved with Association for Strategic Planning, as a board member and the chair of the Association’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

Birgit Burton

Birgit Smith Burton is the senior director of Foundation Relations at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. She began her career as a fundraiser more than 25 years ago in Buffalo, New York where she was director of public relations for John Hill Enterprises. In 1987 she established and ran the first campaign office for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in upstate New York. In 1998 Birgit joined Foundation Relations at Georgia Tech and successfully raised $107M against a $40M goal during the university’s Campaign for Georgia Tech. Birgit has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as a “Faculty Star” and was selected by the Kresge Foundation as an advancement expert.

She served on the Design Team for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s study of African American philanthropy in metropolitan Atlanta. She is co-author of The Philanthropic Covenant with Black America. Birgit is the immediate past president of the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and sits on the boards of the A.E. Lowe Grice Scholarship Fund (Michigan), Robert Ferst Center for the Arts (Atlanta), the National Visionary Leadership Project (Washington, D.C.), and Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless (Atlanta).

David Odahowski

David Odahowski has demonstrated leadership in various professional and community organizations. In addition to his role as President, CEO, and Board Member of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, he is an advisor to The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College; a member of the Donors Forum of Central Florida's Executive Committee; and an Advisory Board member on the Nemours Children's Hospital Committee. As a member of the Florida Chamber Foundation's Board of Trustees, Mr. Odahowski serves as Vice Chair of the Caucus on Quality of Life & Quality Places. He also is a member of the Board of Directors for Florida's Blood Centers. Mr. Odahowski is a former member of the United Arts Board of Directors, the Community Foundation of Central Florida, and the Nonprofit Quarterly's Editorial Advisory Board; he also previously served as a Trustee of the Southeast Council on Foundations. He is a former Chairman and current Board Member of the Florida Philanthropic Network.

Mr. Odahowski came to the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in 1990 from the Wasie Foundation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He earned a Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. He completed the Management Certificate Program at Rollins College's Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business.

Karen Revels

Karen Revels is the Senior Manager of Philanthropy at the Edyth Bush Institute overseeing the Annual Philanthropy Conference, symposiums, research projects, and The Donors Forum of Central Florida.  In addition, she oversees the Leadership Certificate and executive transition and advanced fundraising programs and is an instructor for many Institute workshops.  

Karen has more than 17 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience in roles as Executive Director with The American Cancer Society and the International Fibrodisplaysia Ossificans Progressiva Association; and as Development Director with The Jewish Community Center and the Institute of Internal Auditors. In addition, she currently serves as President of the Lake Eola Charter School PTSA and founded the Howard Middle School Foundation, most recently serving as President; served as a foster parent; and regularly volunteers with Trinity Lutheran School, and First Presbyterian Orlando. 

She was awarded the Women of Distinction Award from the Citrus Council of Girl Scouts, is a graduate of Leadership Orlando Class 69 and Leadership Brevard Class 2005.  She received both a B.S. in Public Administration and Masters of Science in Management from the University of Central Florida.  

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