WID Forum #3 - Presenters

Stephanie Arcella is the Co-Founder and Lead Counsel of TakeTwo Services with 18+ years of fundraising experience. She is also a social worker – a unique professional combo. She brings understanding and knowledge of the work her clients do and expertise in building and strengthening funding bases. She has extensive experience working closely with board members, executive directors, directors of development, and major donors. Stephanie is an expert in relationship management, strategic and fundraising plan development and implementation, donor cultivation, grants management, and events management. 

Nicole Austin-Hillery is the Executive Director of the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch, where she leads efforts to end violations in abusive systems within the United States. Her work focuses on addressing and combatting systemic racism, improving the U.S. immigration system, tackling rights problems within the domestic criminal justice system, and advocating for policies to address poverty and inequality informed by international human rights standards.

Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Nicole was the first Director and Counsel of The Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. office which she opened in March 2008. At the Brennan Center, she oversaw the growth and development of the Center’s advocacy and policy development work in Washington and served as its chief representative before Congress and the Executive Branch.

Nicole has testified before state and local legislative bodies as well as Congress. She has published numerous pieces for major news outlets including the Washington Post, Time magazine, The Hill, CNN.com, and others. She is a frequent speaker on a host of progressive issues.

Prior to her time at the Brennan Center, Nicole litigated at the law firm of Mehri & Skalet, PLLC as part of the firm’s civil rights employment class action practice and as the George N. Lindsay Civil Rights Law Fellow at the national office of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C. where she focused on housing litigation and policy.

She served as the 2018-2019 President of the Washington Bar Association, is a past president and current board member of the Washington Council of Lawyers, formerly served as an advisory committee member of the ABA Standing Committee on Election Law, serves on the board of Common Cause and is a former co-chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Defense Function Committee. She has also been an adjunct civil rights professor at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and is a former Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School. Nicole is a graduate of the Howard University School of Law and Carnegie Mellon University.

Solange Charas is the CEO and Founder of HCMoneyball, whose primary product is an analytics platform that instantly transforms and benchmarks human capital data into actionable information so that organizations can optimize their returns on investment in people and people programs.

She served on the Board of two public companies, where she was the Chair of the Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee respectively and she served as a Director of a non-profit organization. She currently serves on the board of private for-profit organizations and a higher education institution. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia, USC, and NYU Graduate Schools. Solange is also a Distinguished Principal Research Fellow with The Conference Board.

She was the CHRO for three publicly-traded organizations and held various senior level positions at Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young, The Hay Group and Towers Watson. Solange’s Ph.D. research focused on innovative approaches to select, develop and manage passionate high-performing interdisciplinary teams at the Board and C-suite level, which resulted in the ability to quantifying executive team impact on corporate financial performance.

In addition to her Ph.D., Solange has a B.A. in International Political Economy from UC Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Cornell. She has written or been cited in more than 150 articles and has been cited in 40 academic works. She is currently writing a book on the future of work to be published in 2022.

Kimberly Churches is the Chief Executive officer of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a leading voice in advancing equity for women and girls through research, advocacy, and education. Prior to joining AAUW, Kim served as the managing director of the Brookings Institution, an internationally recognized public policy think tank.

Kimberly has also served as an associate vice chancellor at the University of Denver, a director of development at the University of North Florida, and a division director at the American Heart Association. She has extensive experience working collaboratively on education (K–12 and higher education) as well as on capacity building among grassroots groups and national and international nonprofits.

In addition to her work at AAUW, Kimberly currently serves as the chair of the BUILD Metro DC board, which focuses on the power of experiential learning through entrepreneurship for under-resourced communities and is on the board of the Virginia Center for the Literary Arts. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum of Washington, D.C., an organization that represents women leaders in diverse fields and whose mission is to further dynamic leadership and leverage global access to and maximize opportunities for women in 33 countries on six continents.

Jan Combopiano is the Deputy Director of Worth Rises, building out infrastructure necessary to support the sustainable growth of the organization. She brings global nonprofit leadership, civic engagement, and the intersection of democracy and the criminal-legal system experience.

Prior to joining the organization in April 2020, Jan was the Senior Policy Director and Executive Committee member at Brooklyn Voters Alliance, the nonpartisan organization working to expand voting rights in New York State. She has testified before the NYS legislature and led efforts to educate the public, legislators, and other advocacy organizations on ending felony disenfranchisement.

For over a decade, Jan was the Vice President/Senior Vice President & Chief Knowledge Officer at Catalyst, the global workplace inclusion NGO, where she led strategy, restructuring, and content creation and management efforts. Jan has a B.A. in U.S. History and an M.A. in U.S. Women’s History from Binghamton University and an M.L.S. from the University at Albany.



Lisa Frenz is the Senior Director of Major Gifts for the University of Pennsylvania’s New York Metro area. Since 2010, she has led a small, regionally-based team in the cultivation and engagement of alumni and friends to secure philanthropic support and build a pipeline of volunteer leaders across Penn’s schools and centers. Her start in development began nearly 20 years ago at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she worked in central roles in planned and annual giving, as well as managing a major gifts portfolio at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She previously worked in marketing communications for several publishing houses, with experience at titles including Inc. magazine, Technology Review, and Automobile magazine. Lisa graduated from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Marketing.


Bix Gabriel is the co-founder of TakeTwo Services. Bix has more than fifteen years of experience helping nonprofits tell their stories, and persuading people to care, give, and take action. She’s an expert in developing memorable brands, creating and executing communications campaigns and strategies, storytelling, and staff and board trainings. She has three Masters degrees: Communications, and Media Studies, and an MFA in Creative Writing. She’s best at ‘using her words’, and after a cup – or seven – of tea. For more, visit Bix’s LinkedIn page.

Angelique S.C. Grant, Ph.D. is a senior consultant, vice president, and certified diversity recruiter with Aspen Leadership Group. Dr. Grant provides counsel in diversity, equity and inclusion practices, fundraising, and nonprofit strategies. Her services include philanthropic strategic thought partnership, building and leading effective, diverse teams, recruitment and retention strategies, diversity audits and assessment, and cultural awareness training. She is a certified unconscious bias trainer and facilitator has been an active speaker for countless industry associations over the years and has chaired and served as faculty for several conferences across the country.


Throughout her 25-year career, Dr. Grant has successfully managed teams to meet fundraising goals in several multi-million dollar campaigns, and two separate billion dollar campaigns. Previously, she served as an Assistant Vice President of Development and Assistant Dean of Medical Advancement, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University. Her extensive experience in higher education advancement has also included roles at Princeton University, Washington State University, and the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

Angelique is a proud Miami, Florida native. She is a Fulbright Scholar who holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration specializing in Institutional Advancement from Washington State University. She has an M.A. in Communication, specializing in Public Relations and Media Management from Washington State University, and a B.S. degree in Journalism from Florida A&M University.

She is the founder of the South Florida Network of Blacks in Philanthropy and serves on numerous boards, including Our Fund (LGBTQ) Community Foundation and the African American Development Officers Network (AADO). She has been recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women in South Florida by Success South Florida Magazine, a Lumina 10 in ICABA Honors South Florida 100 Most Accomplished Blacks Healthcare & Law, and selected as a Top Hat Woman of Achievement Award for Community Empowerment. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, attending local events and festivals, and spending time with her family in the US and the Bahamas.

Janet Heit is the Founder & Director of Another Nice Mask. Janet began her working life as a curator and arts administrator, creating numerous opportunities for women and artists of color, and helping to make the arts more community accessible. She then retooled for a career in development, often directing corporate and foundation relations for medical centers, education, and social services. Her work has helped raise millions of dollars for research, next-gen scholarships, community-based clinics, and opportunities for the vulnerable and marginalized.

In 2020, having lost her father to COVID and with friends in the arts out of work, she launched Another Nice Mask, a public health initiative using performers dressed as Laurel & Hardy, WC Fields, and other iconic comedians to cajole more Americans into masking up. Another Nice Mask’s images can be seen and shared via Facebook and Instagram, but with warmer weather approaching, it will soon be possible for Janet’s growing troupe to do what performers do best – entertain in the community (while handing out masks). Learn more at AnotherNiceMask.com.

Patricia Hill is the Director of Major and Principal Gifts NY Region at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Tricia joined the Chicago Booth Advancement Team in 2012. She manages the team of major gift officers who are based in the University of Chicago’s New York regional office and serves as a principal gift officer. Prior to joining the higher education sector, Tricia worked in financial services at an electronic trading firm. She has lived and worked in New York, London, and Hong Kong.

Tricia received her B.A. in History from Princeton University and her M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. She’s also a proud graduate of The Lawrenceville School where she’s served in a variety of volunteer alumni relations and fundraising roles. Tricia lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

Glennys M. Huhn is the Executive Coach and CHRO at American Friends of the Hebrew University. As an executive coach and organizational development professional Glennys works with leaders to facilitate their professional growth while enabling their teams and organizations to enhance awareness and strive to achieve their potential. Her expertise is grounded in over 15 years of experience working with leaders across multiple sectors ranging from the legal field, non-profit, finance, and education. She specializes in helping leaders challenge themselves and their perceptions as it relates to their leadership approach, team engagement, and problem-solving patterns.

Her holistic approach is research based and results oriented; customized to have meaningful impact for each client. In her practice, Glennys partners with leaders to identify opportunities to align business strategy with career objectives and values. Through this partnership, leaders are enabled to bring forth their authentic leadership style, effectively manage change, communicate a compelling vision, and inspire their teams.

Glennys has developed and led leadership development workshops, and team coaching sessions using different tools such as NBI assessment. She partners with leaders in the assessment of teams, identifying skill gaps and restructuring teams to leverage team members’ strengths and drive change.

Farah Jaffer is currently Deputy Director, Leadership Gifts at the ACLU in its National headquarters. In this role, she supervises a team of fundraisers and manages a qualification program. Before joining the ACLU in 2017, Farah worked in higher education fundraising for 20 years, starting off at her alma mater, Wellesley College, and then going on to Rice University, Barnard College, and Columbia Law School. Farah has experience in leading teams, direct marketing, volunteer engagement, and major gifts fundraising. Farah is a graduate of Wellesley College and the McCombs School of Business. She and her family live in Westfield, NJ.


Yolanda F. Johnson is the President, YFJ Consulting, LLC, Founder, Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC), and President, Women In Development, NY. With more than two decades of experience in the non-profit sector Yolanda F. Johnson has successfully led fundraising operations for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, launching creative event, sponsorship, and marketing initiatives that produced new streams of both contributed and earned income. Her fundraising expertise includes securing foundation, corporate, and government funding and cultivating a diverse major gifts portfolio. Yolanda is the President of Women In Development (WID), NY, and the President of YFJ Consulting, LLC, which provides fundraising strategy and special event expertise for non-profit community. She is also the founder of Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC) and Allies in Action Membership Network. Yolanda has had an outstanding career as a performing artist, as a composer, as a producer, as an educator, and she has used her background as a performer to become a sought-after fundraising expert. Yolanda was also recently appointed to the Chronicle of Philanthropy Advisory Committee of national leaders in the non-profit sector. Tying together her life as a successful performing artist and a non-profit leader, she developed All the World’s A Stage, a special workshop using performance practice for getting what one wants out of fundraising, philanthropy, and life. She presents All the World’s A Stage to audiences across the country.


Jeanne Katz Maxbauer joined Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) in March 2013. She serves as Director of Principal and Major Gifts, leading a team of 12 frontline fundraisers and three development associates covering six research centers and institutes and 15 academic departments. Prior to serving in her current role, she served as Senior Principal Gifts Officer, leading the fundraising for the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center and Englander Institute for Precision Medicine.

Before joining WCM, Jeanne spent seven years at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, where she served as Senior Director, Principal Gifts and Planned Giving. During her tenure at Henry Ford, Jeanne led a  five-year $100 million fundraising campaign for the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, a state-of-the-art, 300 bed hospital that opened in March of 2008.

In addition to 13 years of fundraising in academic medicine and healthcare, Jeanne has led annual major gifts campaigns for the Anti-Defamation League, serving as Director of Major Gifts, and United Jewish Appeal, serving as Vice President, Philanthropic Leadership Group. She has also served as a campaign consultant to the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Union of Reform Judaism. Jeanne is a member of the board of National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO); the nation’s premier professional development organization in the cancer field, providing its members with unparalleled opportunities and benefits. Jeanne holds a B.S. in Science from Niagara University.

Melissa Kerbel is the Principal at Kerbel Philanthropy. She has devoted her career to working in the nonprofit sector, pivoting to Development in 2008. Her first leadership position in fundraising was as the Development Director at the Jewish Educational Loan Fund in Atlanta, where she created a fundraising program that yielded an 87% increase in dollars raised during her tenure and oversaw the planning and execution of all cultivation and fundraising events. Since then, she has relocated back to her native New York, where she served as the Director of Development at United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the East Coast Director at American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. At AFIPO she created and implemented the fundraising strategies for their annual gala. She is currently the Founder and Principal at Kerbel Philanthropy, a Development consulting firm. She holds a BA from the University of Rochester, an MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and an MSW from Columbia University.   

Martha Lauria is a technology and information management expert, with years of progressive experience working with relational databases, fundraising reporting, and analysis to inform leadership strategy and decision making. She has a background in both healthcare development operations and higher education advancement, and she is deeply focused on building relationships, cultivating talent, and motivating teams, as well as continuous business process improvement. Martha has achieved success in finding technological solutions to meet fundraisers’ needs in a fast-paced and evolving environment. She most recently served as former Director, Development Systems & Analytics, Northwell Health Foundation; former Director, Gift Administration & Donor Services, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Volunteer Affiliations:

Board Member: She has held various volunteer roles for Women In Development New York and has served two terms on the WID Board of Directors, most recently serving as the association’s Treasurer.

Member: Women of Color in Philanthropy and Fundraising (WOC) Advisory Committee

Member: Association of Advancement Services Professionals (AASP)

Member: Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) NYC Chapter

Member: Cross Westchester Toastmasters International Club

Member: Prospanica (fka National Association of Hispanic MBAs)

Vivian Lewis is the Senior Director of Human Resources for The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Vivian is responsible for the development of HR strategies and the delivery of all human resources and risk management services and programs for USCJ.

With over 25 years of human resources leadership experience in the areas of labor negotiation, training and development, and strategic consulting. Vivian specializes in not-for-profit HR and has worked for not-for-profits, large and small, throughout her career providing HR consultation to all levels of management in a variety of not-for-profit sectors. She has managed training and human resources departments and now directs the USCJ’s HR function supporting employees across the United States and Canada.

Prior to joining USCJ in 2011, Ms. Lewis held a senior management role at the Acacia Health Care Network where she was Vice President of Human Resources.

Vivian holds a degree, from The College of New Rochelle and certifications in Human Resources Management, Training and Labor Negotiation from Cornell University, New York University, and The American Association of Arbitration. She is a member of AWI (Association of Workplace Investigators) and holds a certification in workplace investigation and a member of the National Investigation as well as receiving The Professional Human Resources Certification (PHR) from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Zena Lum serves as the Executive Director of Boston Latin Academy Association, the independent non-profit organization raising support for Boston Latin Academy (BLA). Additionally, she is retained as a Senior Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Lindauer Global, an executive search firm focused on the social impact sector.

With more than 25 years dedicated to mission-driven organizations, Zena has directly raised tens of millions of dollars for leading organizations in Boston such as WGBH, Jumpstart for Young Children, New England Aquarium, and Boston Public Schools. Since joining Lindauer more than nine years ago, she has placed development leaders across the country and across the sector that collectively have raised hundreds of millions more to advance education, the arts, health care, and social and environmental justice.

Zena is a parent to a BLA sophomore, residing in the South End with her family. She is an active member of her community, volunteering with United South End Settlements, YW Boston, ARCK, and Artisan’s Asylum. She also serves on an Exam School Admissions Task Force with Boston Public Schools School Committee. Zena holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University and is a member of Lead Boston class of 2011.

Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the President and CEO of Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a leading voice on pay equity, economic policies, and research impacting women. Having stepped into this role in November 2019, Nicole is the youngest person currently leading one of the major inside-the-Beltway think tanks in Washington, D.C., and one of the few women of color to do so. She succeeded noted economist and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, the Institute’s founding CEO.

As one of the nation’s foremost intersectional researchers and scholars, Nicole brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. For the past two decades, Nicole has spearheaded research on issues relating to economic security, poverty, women’s issues, and entitlement reforms; policy formation and political participation among women, communities of color, and youth; and racial equity. Prior to IWPR, Nicole was the executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the nation’s only research and policy center focused on women of color at a nationally ranked school of public administration. She is also an inaugural Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.

Nicole is the author of Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America (St. Martin’s Press) and has written hundreds of articles on community development, women, poverty, and economic security. Her writing and commentary have been featured in the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, Real Clear Politics, The Nation, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, The Progressive, Essence, Bustle, Big Think, the Miami Herald, Democracy Now!, and numerous NPR affiliates, among others.

Svetlana Mostovsky is the Vice President, Development at Catalyst, Inc. where she oversees several of Catalyst’s key initiatives, including Women and the Future of Work, ensuring workplaces enable women to thrive in the twenty-first century, and Women On Board™, focused on diversifying corporate boards.

Svetlana leads Catalyst’s major gift fundraising and recently raised $29 million in two years, exceeding the five-year $25 million campaign goal to cement Catalyst’s position as the preeminent thought and solutions leader dedicated to accelerating progress for women. Svetlana serves on the board of Women In Development (WID), New York, the premier regional leader empowering women in the development field.



Beverly Neufeld, President, PowHer New York, is a stalwart advocate and optimist, and her life’s work has been dedicated to expanding opportunities for women and girls. Frustrated by the slow progress, she launched PowHer New York: a community working across sectors and issues to energize a movement and accelerate economic equality for women. PowHerNY, now over 100 organizations plus dedicated individuals, is a unique model of collaboration and diversity pushing a multi-issue, progressive agenda. It is one of the innovative projects she designed as president of BCN Consulting Group LLC which helps nonprofits create change through advocacy, programming, and organizational development.

PowHerNY, a non-partisan nonprofit entity, has been a driving force behind New York’s pro-women policy reform on key issues including equal pay, paid family leave, childcare, and gender-based violence. Neufeld leads the decade-long Equal Pay Campaign which is influencing business policies and legislative successes like the Equal Pay Act, Women’s Equality Act, and the NYC and NYS Salary History Ban Laws which are changing hiring practices across the country. While celebrating the smallest gender wage gap in the country, PowHerNY’s target is full opportunity and wage equity in New York. PowHerNY is part of the National Paycheck Fairness Coalition and the United Nations/ILO Equal Pay Initiative Coalition.

A strong proponent of working across sectors, Beverley is a member of the NYS Council on Women and Girls and NYC Commission on Gender Equity. Her recent honors include the UN Women Champion of Change and City & State Gender Parity Awards. Previously, as Executive Director of The White House Project, she oversaw research on women’s political leadership, and helped develop SheSource and Vote, Run, Lead. As President of the New York Women’s Agenda, Beverley invigorated the 20-year-old institution with innovative programming and advocacy. Working for Congresswoman Nita Lowey influenced her passionate commitment to women’s inclusion at all tables. Her board service includes 2020 Women on Boards, Free the Children, Sing for Hope, Women’s Campaign Forum, and Westchester Children’s Association.


Christa Orth is the Principal of Wingo NYC, a fundraising and design consulting firm for social, cultural, and environmental change. Since joining the firm in 2014, Christa has helped our clients deepen donor engagement for the long term. She is a whip-smart strategist, teacher, speaker and coach, who has served in the nonprofit trenches for 20+ years, developing fundraising infrastructure from the ground up for Streetsblog and StoryCorps. Having come of age at the dawn of the Internet, Christa has expertise in effective written and digital storytelling and has used those powers to help hundreds of organizations attract and upgrade donors at all levels. She believes anyone can be a donor and delights in moving resources from individuals, corporations, and foundations to groups that are changing the world. Christa is a patient and persistent leader and will make you a believer, too.

Christa values sharing her expertise through the Women Writing Philanthropy Project of the Feminist Press, on the Selection Committee of the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals-NYC Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee. In her artistic life, she is also an award-winning writer and filmmaker. Christa earned a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies at Western Washington University and an MA in American History at the University of Oregon. She is a proud member of Women In Development and founding member of the women’s executive network, Chief.

Wendy Sealey has over 20 years of non-profit management and fundraising experience, overseeing teams in the areas of leadership gifts, campaign fundraising, community outreach, and special events. Currently, she serves as the Chief Development Officer for the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union, (NYCLU). During her tenure at the NYCLU, she raised millions of dollars to expand the organization’s racial justice portfolio, seeding new initiatives on policing policy, economic justice, fair housing, education policy and environmental racism.

In addition to fundraising, Wendy has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), particularly as it relates to management and fundraising. She recently spearheaded the NYCLU’s DEI management strategic plan, resulting in a clear road map for managing with a DEI lens across the organization. She also co-chairs Women In Development’s Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity committee, which aims to make fundraising and its related professions more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

Wendy is a sought-after fundraising coach, advisor, and speaker who has worked with a variety of non-profits in New York City. Prior to joining the NYCLU, Wendy raised funds for the East Harlem Tutorial Program’s capital campaign, Bank Street College of Education’s strategic initiative campaign, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation’s multi-million-dollar grantmaking program. Wendy received her B.A. from Brown University and her M.A. from Stanford University.

In her spare time, Wendy serves as the Parent Stewardship Campaign Committee Chair at the Manhattan Country School and on the Collegiate Church of New York’s Greater Consistory. She is also a passionate soccer mom to her 10-year-old son.

Sonya Shields currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Getting Out Staying Out (GOSO), a reentry program for justice-involved Black and Brown young men in New York City. She also serves as the Senior Associate at Cause Effective, a consulting firm that serves as a growth partner for nonprofit organizations.

Sonya has over 25 years of executive management experience with local, national, and international organizations. She has overseen teams in the area of development, marketing, branding, communications, government affairs, community outreach, volunteering, video production, and special events.

She is a sought-after fundraising and communications trainer and executive coach who works with some of New York City’s leading institutions. From 2011 to 2018, Sonya held the position as the Chief Officer for External Relations and Advancement at Brooklyn Community Services (BCS). She was instrumental in the organization’s growth during her tenure. Her leadership in development, marketing, and communications played a key role in the organization receiving the 2017 New York Nonprofit Excellence Award.

Prior to her work at BCS, Sonya held the position of Director of Development with organizations such as the National LGBTQ Task Force, NYC Anti-Violence Project, Astraea Foundation, and Keep a Child Alive. She has also provided consulting services to over a dozen nonprofit organizations.

Sonya serves on the advisory council of the Gender & Family Project, board of directors of the American LGBTQ Museum, Nonprofit New York’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards Committee, and on the Lead the Way Faculty with the Center for Research and Policy in the Public Interest at the New York Women’s Foundation. She received a B.A. in Public Relations from Howard University in Washington, DC.

Crystal Thompkins is National Director of Gift Planning Services for the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Planned Giving group. In this role, she is responsible for managing the client relationship teams in Boston, Massachusetts and Greensboro, North Carolina. She also works directly with large, complex clients on all aspects of their planned giving programs and coordinates resources throughout BNY Mellon to provide support and expertise. Crystal joined the firm in 2006, when Mellon acquired U.S. Trust’s planned giving business. She has more than 18 years of experience in the planned giving business, including charitable trust tax preparation and tax process management.



Rhea Wong is the Founder of Rhea Wong Consulting and helps nonprofits raise more money. Though she has deep experience with institutional, corporate, and event fund-raising, she is passionate about major individual donors and helping organizations to establish individual giving programs. She has raised millions of dollars in private philanthropy and is passionate about building the next generation of fundraising leaders.

She has become a leader in the New York nonprofit community and is a frequent educational commentator in the media. She has been recognized with the SmartCEO Brava Award in 2015 and NY Nonprofit Media’s 40 under 40 in 2017. For more information about Rhea, please see her LinkedIn Profile here. Rhea lives in Brooklyn with her husband and the World’s Most Spoiled Dog Stevie Wonderdog. When she is not raising money for causes she loves, she can be found hosting her podcast Nonprofit Lowdown or onstage as a newbie stand-up comedian in downtown Brooklyn.  For more information, check out rheawong.com