Please Note: the list of speakers is subject to change at any time, without notice.


Keynote Speaker: Amy Eisenstein

Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE is an author, speaker, trainer and consultant. Her published books include: Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops, Raising More with Less, and 50 A$ks in 50 Weeks.

She is a frequent speaker at national and local conferences as well as at staff and board retreats on a variety of topics. She became an AFP certified Master Trainer in 2009. Amy recently completed her service as the president of the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – New Jersey Chapter. She became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2004 and received her advanced certification, ACFRE, in 2013.

Check out her blog and video posts at for free fundraising tips and best practices.

Concurrent Breakout Speakers (alphabetical)

Jennifer Bizzarri – Offord Group

Jenn joined Offord in January 2017 but in fact has been bringing her exceptional communications skills and fundraising experience to Offord clients for the last four years. As a communications associate with the firm, Jenn was the lead writer on a number of Offord’s Cases for Support, and acted as a consultant on a variety of communications-related projects for Offord clients, including Rugby Canada, the Mackenzie Health Foundation, Kids Help Phone, Let’s Talk Science, the University of Ottawa, Concordia University and the McMichael Art Gallery. She will continue to provide leadership in Offord’s Communications Practice, as well as provide fundraising support to clients.

Together with her writing skills, Jenn offers our clients the insight and experience and required to create successful fundraising communications strategies and materials, working with clients such as the Vancouver General Hospital, Queen’s University, Royal St. George’s College, and Athol Murray College of Notre Dame.

Prior to becoming a communications consultant in 2011, Jenn worked at Greenwood College School, the University of Toronto and the National Ballet of Canada. She began her fundraising career in 1994 as a McConnell Fellow at McMaster University.

Session Topic: Breakfast Panel

Lynn Chambers – Imagine Canada

Lynn Chambers is Director of the Standards Program with Imagine Canada, a national charitable organization whose mission is to strengthen and support Canadian charities and nonprofits so they may better serve and engage individuals and communities here and around the world.

Lynn started with Imagine Canada in 2009 where she led the collaboration with sector colleagues across the country to shape the development, implementation and growth of the Standards Program. The goal of the Program is to elevate the excellence of Canadian charities through a unique capacity-building and rigorous accreditation initiative.

Lynn is a nonprofit professional and trained career coach with 20 years’ experience working within community-based and national charities. Her background is in the area of governance, leadership development and coaching, program development, social enterprise, youth employment and training, transitional housing, environmental education, staff management, and volunteer engagement. She values the charitable sector’s strength as a catalyst for social change and believes that collaborative leadership, focused efforts, accountability, and transparency combined with generative thinking contribute to sustainable organizations and thriving communities in Canada and abroad. Lynn has an Honours B.A. in Sociology from the University of Toronto and a diploma in Career and Work Counselling from George Brown College. She grew up in rural Ontario where she developed an interest in ecology and a lasting curiosity in the clever adaptations of usual and unusual creatures.

Session Topic: Thriving in an Economic Slowdown

Tracey Comeau – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation

Tracey Comeau is the CEO of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation in Prince Edward Island. She was recruited in 2013 as part of the Board’s CEO succession planning. In 2016, the succession plan came to fruition with the long-term CEO moving into a part-time role as chief development officer focusing on major gifts, and Tracey moving into the CEO role.

Tracey holds a Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and obtained CFRE designation. Prior to QEH Foundation, she worked in university development for more than 10 years. Tracey is PEI’s representative on the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy Association’s Canada Council.

Session Topic: “Who will replace you?”… Succession planning for CEOs.

Rosalie Courage – RBR Development Associates Ltd.

Rosalie is President of RBR Development Associates Ltd. and has led the firm for 27 years, overseeing its expansion across Atlantic Canada and into the Ontario market and its growth into one of the most highly respected firms in the country.

From a transformational giving perspective, Rosalie has been involved in the planning and strategic direction of campaigns and major gift programs for all RBR clients including hospitals, independent schools, churches, universities, social service agencies and community facilities.

Session Topic: Taking Donors From Listening to Feeling

Barb Dunphy – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation

Barb Dunphy led the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation for more than 20 years, growing from one employee and revenue generation at $750,000 per year, to robust annual signature events, annual giving, major gifts, and planned giving programs, and multi-million dollar endowment fund, achieving on average $5 million per year in revenue generation in a Province of 146,000 people.

Barb holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration degree from University of Prince Edward Island and has held various leadership positions with the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy Canada, as well as within the community of Prince Edward Island.

Session Topic: “Who will replace you?”… Succession planning for CEOs.

Doralin Fredericks – QEII Foundation

Doralin Fredericks has over 40 years experience in the business world with the past 28 years being devoted to fundraising. Equipped with a wide array of fundraising experience, Doralin has dedicated the past 12 years to developing and managing a stewardship program at the QEII Foundation – and has shared her expertise at conferences both nationally and internationally. Doralin was a member of the first committee to deliver a Leave-A-Legacy program in Canada and has served on national boards of fundraising associations.

Holding the Certified Fund Raising Executive Designation since 2006, Doralin believes the foundation of superb stewardship is effective communication and begins the moment a donor has entrusted a gift, or the intention of a gift, to your organization.

In addition to volunteer roles with fundraising associations and events, Doralin has spent many years as an integral volunteer at the largest food bank in Nova Scotia. She has two grown sons and lives in Beaver Bank, being at one with nature, alongside her husband, Danny and dog, Boomer.

Session Topic: Effective Stewardship – The Door to Maintaining Strong Donor Relationships

Mark Hobbs – Fundmetric

Mark Hobbs is a co-founder and CEO of Fundmetric, one of Canada’s leading machine learning technology companies focused on helping charities adopt a data-driven approach to donor engagement and retention. He understands first-hand the important role non-profits play in our community as well as the challenges they face.

As a long time entrepreneur Mark is well known in the start-up community in Halifax. He has a passion for connecting people and for being a bold and visionary thinker.

Mark is a proud board member of Easter Seals Nova Scotia and the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network (EDN).

In addition to his volunteer board experience, Mark has dedicated time to a variety of charitable causes. In 2011, he climbed 2011 stairs to raise money for the Children’s Wish Foundation. Mark also sponsors and volunteers time with other young people providing capital for their initiatives and free marketing so they may avoid his mistakes and achieve their dreams. This effort has helped create several profitable businesses and non-profit initiatives in Halifax.

In 2015 Mark was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year by EDN.

Session Topic: Uncovering Insights in your Constituent Database

Dr. Greg Lee – Fundmetric

Dr. Greg Lee is a Ph.D. graduate in Computing Science from the University of Alberta, where he also completed his Master’s degree in the same field. Originally from Stephenville, Newfoundland, Greg completed his Bachelor’s degree at St. Francis Xavier University before completing his Postdoctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University. His thesis work focused on machine learning and he is the creator of the Sports Commentary Recommendation System (SCoReS).

Greg is now focusing his extensive machine learning, artificial intelligence and information retrieval expertise on data-driven story-telling and data-driven decision making to produce the ultimate targeted campaigns for charities. He is one of the leading scientists in this field and works with universities, hospital foundations and national charities across North America.

When Greg is not busy helping charities, you can find him at home, in Kentville NS, with his wife and three children.

Session Topic: Uncovering Insights in your Constituent Database

Sarah Lyon – Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

Sarah was hired on the spot for the fundraising department at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. Her previous fundraising experience being door to door cookie sales for Girl Guides. Over the next eight years she studied the fundraising greats and earned a CFRE, becoming the ASNS Director of Philanthropy. Currently she sits on the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy Canada Board and is the founder of the Giving Tuesday Civic Movement – Nova Scotia Gives More. She continues to this day to sell Girl Guide cookies.

Session Topic: The Art and Science of Fundraising Storytelling

Elizabeth MacDonald – Acappella Communications

After more than 25 years in the government, corporate and military sectors – both across Canada and abroad – Elizabeth MacDonald opened Acappella Communications Inc. in 2007, specializing in strategic communications and storytelling for the non-profit sector.

Since that time, Elizabeth has helped organizations, large and small, build profile and raise money with clear, compelling, donor-centred copy. As she explains, “I believe in the power of the written word. As an advancement writer, I use stories to create a sense of common cause, build empathy and open minds to new possibilities.”

On behalf of Ketchum Canada Inc., Elizabeth also conducts capital campaign feasibility studies throughout Atlantic Canada. Over the years, Elizabeth has shared her passion for persuasive writing as an instructor at both Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax and Seneca College in Niederheid, Germany.

An active community volunteer and board member, Elizabeth currently serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board for Halifax and as President of the Charitable Irish Society. She’s also a professional dancer and instructor, and helps organize Re-Jigged, an annual festival of new Celtic music and dance.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Francis Xavier University, a Master of Public Administration degree from Queen’s University, a Diploma in Marketing and International Business from Saint Mary’s University, and a Certificate in Adult Education from Seneca College. She’s also studied with Tom Ahern, recognized as one of the world’s leading advancement writers.

Session Topic: Not the Same Old Story: Creating Donor Communications that Really Work

Julie MacKean – QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation

Julie MacKean has over 13 years of experience in fundraising and non-profit management. She is currently the Vice President, Philanthropy for the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation.

Julie has served regionally and nationally in leadership roles for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a bachelor’s degree of Commerce from the Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University, and an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University.

Session Topic: Breakfast Panel

Anne Melanson – Bloom Non Profit Consulting Group Inc.

Anne is one of Canada’s most seasoned experts in charitable fundraising, capital campaigns and major gifts, leadership development, organizational governance and fundraising communications.

She has an impressive track record of success in fundraising and has earned a reputation as a leader in the profession in the Eastern region and beyond. Anne started her career as a capital campaign director in Toronto in 1989 with KCI Ketchum Canada.

She is an award-winning professional who has served regionally and nationally as a leader of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Anne received the Women of Excellence Award in 2010.

Anne’s contributions have been included in publications like Advancing Philanthropy Magazine and Excellence in Fundraising in Canada, Volume II. Her editorial contributions are featured regularly in professional fora such as Charity Village and 101Fundraising.

She is a sought-after speaker and presenter on an array of topics of concern to fundraisers, philanthropists, volunteers and charities, and has presented a TEDx Talk in the widely-acclaimed thought leadership TEDx series.

Since starting her career as a professional fundraiser in 1989, Anne has led and advised the fund development programs of over 69 organizations and institutions in the health care, education, and community and social services sectors.

Session Topic: Pitch Perfect – Approaching Corporations & Companies for Donations

Tina Murphy – TD Canada Trust

Tina Murphy is TD Canada Trust’s Manager, Community Banking and Charitable Donations for the Atlantic Region. Tina has been investing in community initiatives on behalf of corporate Canada for over 20 years, and has been personally volunteering in any number of initiatives for twice that time.

Her professional background includes community relations, special event and communications roles with Rogers Communications and the Town of Markham (ON). She holds a Bachelors of Public Relations degree (1987) from Mount Saint Vincent University, and a Certificate in Leadership Excellence from the Disney Institute.

In the 7 years that Tina has been with TD, she has held progressively responsible positions in community relations and community banking and has earned a number of awards. She is the bank’s principal liaison in our region on matters related to community investments and the charitable sector.

Session Topic: Pitch Perfect – Approaching Corporations & Companies for Donations

Paul Nazareth – CanadaHelps

As Vice President of Community Engagement with CanadaHelps Paul Nazareth’s team works directly with thousands of Canadians as they support their most beloved causes, 17,000 Canadian charities as they fundraise to change the world and advisors as they facilitate client donations.

Paul has been a philanthropic advisor with Scotiabank and spent 12 years with charities like the University of Toronto and the Catholic Church of Greater Toronto in Planned Giving and Major Gift roles. He teaches the national online Planned Giving course with the postgraduate fundraising program at Georgian College, is Chair of the Advisory Committee at the Humber College postgraduate fundraising program, an instructor with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners and has spoken with AFP in almost every Canadian Province in Canada on digital donations, fundraising networking skills and planned giving. In 2016 he won the CAGP “Friend” award as one of the top planned giving professionals in Canada.

Eric Plato – Frontier College

Eric is a CPA, CMA with over 25 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector. His career began at the YMCA of Greater Toronto where he eventually became Controller and from there moved to Frontier College as Director of Finance.

In addition to working in the sector Eric has served on various non-profit boards, often as Treasurer. Between board and work experience he has been involved in organizations with budgets ranging from under $100,000 dollars to over $100 million and in sectors including social services, international development, health, environmental, cultural/heritage and employment.

Eric also has knowledge in the area of social accounting and performance measurement. He is very interested in applying social accounting concepts and methodologies that can help organizations measure the impact they have on the communities they work with.

Throughout his career he has always enjoyed teaching and supporting staff in the area of financial management. He currently is operating his own training and consulting business supporting non-profits and charities in financial management. He has delivered numerous workshops to individuals, small staff groups and to larger groups of various non-profit umbrella organizations on topics including best practices in budgeting, demystifying the audited financial statements, internal controls in a one person shop, how to spot signs of financial trouble, measuring what really counts, among others. In all cases his goal is to deliver information in a way which makes participants feel more confident and comfortable about finances in their organization.

Session Topic: Understanding Financial Statements

Sherry Porter

Sherry has extensive board experience with not-for-profits, crown corporations and independent boards. She currently Chairs the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, is an independent director of Pharmasave Atlantic, Board member of the Halifax International Airport Authority, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Dalhousie University and board member of the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation and the Symphony Nova Scotia Foundation.

Sherry has had leadership roles at the Board level for many not-for-profit organizations: including being Chair of the Boards of the Pier 21 Society and the QEII Foundation and board roles at Symphony Nova Scotia, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the United Way, Runneymeade Hospital and the Working Miracles campaign.

Sherry’s work experience involved senior corporate roles with Sobeys Inc, Nova Scotia Power, Shoppers Drug Mart and The Caldwell Partners. She also has CEO experience with trade associations in the grocery and retail drug area.

Session Topic: Breakfast Panel

Bill Pratt – The Lung Association, Manitoba

Bill Pratt is an inspirational leader.

His personality is grounded in hope, positivity and humility. It is welcoming, compassionate and engaging. Others have said,
“He is a rare individual. He is truly inspiring. You want to be better by being around him.”
“You have certainly been blessed by a wonderful foundation of love and compassion. It is no wonder that you have become such a passionate leader.”

Leadership is a mantle that comes naturally to him and something he works hard at to be the best he can. His Pan-Canadian experience across sectors ranging from local to international give him a broad perspective for leading charities. His commitment to serving others and inspiring greatness give him excellent insight for leading organizations.

His leadership style has been described as inspirational, compassionate and non-judgmental. With fundraising acumen and inspirational leadership traits, he has enthusiastically applied his talent to a variety of organizations. Currently, he is President & CEO for the Lung Association in Manitoba. Previous to that, he led iDE Canada, Regina Palliative Care and Shelter Nova Scotia. Other organizations he has worked with include Nova Scotia Community College, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Red Cross, the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta, and Grey Cup ’95.

He is a Certified Fundraising Executive, AFP Master Trainer, and is in the process of completing a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University.

High emotional intelligence, tremendous comfort with change, top performer under pressure and a naturally happy disposition clearly describe Bill.

Session Topic: Leading a Charity, It’s Your Turn

Kathleen A. Provost – Coady International Institution

Kathleen brings more than 20 years of experience as a fundraiser in the not-for-profit sector. In addition to her interest in the charitable sector, Kathleen has also always had a passion for international development. She lived in Burkina Faso as a volunteer and in subsequent years, her career brought her to Zambia and Honduras.

As a consultant, she has provided expertise to regional, provincial and national charities. Kathleen worked with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Care Canada, Autism Society Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Her skills include not-for-profit management, strategic fundraising and public relations.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals twice recognized Kathleen for outstanding services to the profession, and in 2011 she received a Medal for Good Services from Scouts Canada in appreciation of her dedication to the organization. She is a founding member of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance, and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in December 2012 for this work.

Kathleen holds a Bachelor degree in Political Science; a Certificate in Public Relations from McGill University and is currently working on her Masters, Adult Education at St. Francis Xavier University. She obtained her CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) accreditation in 2007, and has re-certified twice since.

Session Topic: A Different Approach to Philanthropy: Understanding your Soft Skills

Rose Spicer – Symphony Nova Scotia

Over the past 15 years, Rose has worked in the fields of education, health, environment and the arts. Currently responsible for establishing a formalized Legacy Giving program at Symphony Nova Scotia, she has a special interest in gift planning with a focus on recognition and ongoing donor engagement. As Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer at the Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia, She was part of the team that raised $15 million for the Daffodil Place capital campaign.

Prior to that, Rose was Director of Development at Landmark East School for 8 years where she initiated annual giving, community engagement, signature events, and the School’s first capital campaign to establish the Student Bursary Endowment Fund. Rose has a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University, a National Certificate in Fundraising Management and CFRE designation (2009- 2015)

Session Topic: Launching a Legacy Giving Program

Glenn Stewardson – Donor Motivation

Glenn Stewardson is an author and a nationally recognized financial educator, specializing in lifestyle and charitable tax planning. Glenn has been a regular contributor of articles and videos for publications such as Lifestyle Nova Scotia Magazine, Chronicle Herald newspaper, and Leave a Legacy Nova Scotia website.

Glenn is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). Through his expertise, he has developed strategies (revealed through his presentations) allowing entrepreneurs, professionals, and retirees to redirect to the philanthropic organizations, their “social capital”… also known as taxes. Since 1994, Glenn has advised individuals and families across Canada on how to plan for and live their Joyful Retirement. He has shown them strategies to reduce their income tax and estate taxes while at the same time increasing their household income.

Glenn is an executive member of the Halifax Estate Planning Council and serves on the board of the Dalhousie University Planned Giving Advisory Council.

He also “walks the talk” having raised funds for numerous charitable causes over the last two decades. He has passed his fundraising passion on to his children. His daughter, Paige, has been recognized as the top fundraiser for the Terry Fox Run at Madeline Symonds Middle School for 3 years in a row. In 2012 the Stewardson family raised over 30% of the total school donations.

Glenn lives with his wife, Tracy, in Halifax, Nova Scotia and they enjoy time with their three teenage children, twin girls Grace and Paige, son Quinn and family dog, Tia.

Session Topic: Closing Speaker – Guardians of Philanthropy

Ian Thompson – Cox & Palmer

Ian is Executive-in-Residence at the regional law firm Cox & Palmer. He is former associate publisher at The Chronicle Herald, a former deputy minister of economic development in Nova Scotia, former senior representative in Ottawa for Nova Scotia, former owner of MT&L Public Affairs and he worked for two major energy utilities. He is an accredited graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors and an honourary degree recipient from Dalhousie. He has served on the boards of multiple not-for-profit organizations and business development agencies and currently sits on the boards of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Genome Atlantic and Tourism Nova Scotia. He is national chair of a $15 million campaign for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Session Topic: Breakfast Panel

Marni Tuttle – META Consulting

Marni Tuttle is invested in non profit success. She believes philanthropy makes the impossible possible. Marni has what a volunteer once described as 20-year ‘gold-plated’ fundraising resume with leadership roles in education, health care and environmental philanthropy. When she’s not volunteering away her time, Marni is growing fundraising capacity through META Consulting. Ask her how you can grow your charity and make the change you want to see in the world at

Patricia Tynan – Blackbaud

Patricia Tynan is a Senior Marketing Manager at Blackbaud. She has spent over 15 years working with a variety of for profit companies, government institutions, and nonprofit organizations to connect and advance their use of technology. Patricia is a frequent speaker at events including Blackbaud’s bbcon and npConnect events, AFP Meet the Experts, AFP Development & Finance Symposium, Social Media for Nonprofits, and NAYDO’s annual conference. She is a blogger and published author on nonprofit and charitable websites such as npEngage and Hilborn Charity News. Patricia spent four years serving on the Board of Front Steps in Austin, Texas, an organization working to ensure “No person in our community should ever have to spend the night on the streets.” Patricia earned a Master of Technology in Foresight from the University of Houston and an undergraduate degree in Government from the University of Texas in Austin.

Session Topic: Secret Shopping: Your Donor Experience

Joanne Villemaire – KCI

With more than 30 years’ experience in the not for profit sector, Joanne Villemaire has an impressive record in the field. Her superior project and management skills provide the leadership and talent that our (KCI) clients require for their organizational development and fundraising success.

Ms. Villemaire provides strategic counsel to a number of growing organizations, supporting their advancement activities through specialized services including strategic planning, board development, coaching and mentoring of senior development professionals and their teams and developing integrated revenue generation strategies. This strategic counsel is closely linked to the positioning of the organizations and often involves the various KCI resources to support the communication strategy and plan and the development of the organizational narrative for each of our clients.

As Senior Vice President and Partner of the firm (KCI), Ms. Villemaire now leads both the Ottawa and Montreal offices and is also very present in Atlantic Canada. Her team is involved with all francophone and bilingual clients across the country. Joanne is currently working with a number of national projects and manages major assignments.

Session Topic: Great Expectations: Managing Demand for ‘Better Faster Fundraising’ Every Year

Melissa Young – QEII Foundation

Melissa is the Manager of Research Services at the QEII Foundation. She has worked in the field of fundraising since 1998 and has focused her career in research development since 2003.

When the QEII Foundation launched their biggest capital campaign “Working Miracles”, a $42.5M campaign, following her training with KCI Canada (Toronto), Melissa became the sole researcher for the campaign. Melissa’s efforts creating a research department which included a comprehensive moves management system provided the ground work to support a successful Major Gift department and campaign completion.

Melissa is currently serving as the Director, Membership on the national board of directors for APRA Canada. Prior to her national appointment she served for an extended period as a regional rep for APRA Canada in Nova Scotia. Melissa sat on the Expert Panel for prospect research at the 2012 APRA Canada conference.

Session Topic: Got Research? You’ve Got the Power!