Tag: university

AT12. The Alumni Trending Origin Story with Michael Sgro

What’s Up Trendsetters!

On this episode I talk with Michael Sgro, higher ed veteran, executive coach, superhero, the godfather and OG of the Alumni Trending brand! Michael is the owner of Michael Sgro Leadership Coaching in Syracuse
Today’s trend lines include:
– the Alumni Trending origin story,
– executive coaching,
– and his perspective on higher ed advancement.

Quick Listening Guide
at 3:30 Alumni Trending Origin Story
at 6:04 #AlumChat on Twitter
at 8:35 Creating an Online Community of Practice
at 13:16 Serving your Purpose
at 15:31 The role of an executive coach
at 20:54 Motivation to achieve your goals
at 22:01 The Leadership Challenge for post COVID 19 world

Michael D. Sgro is a business owner, a certified professional coach, an advocate, a performance expert and empathic leader. He coaches professionals to improve their overall effectiveness, leadership skills, career readiness, digital savvy and so much more. Michael’s vision for himself is to help people achieve their human potential through relationship building, developing emotional intelligence and community building. 

Sgro, a Syracuse native, ascended the ranks in higher education at several institutions in New York state, earning a stellar reputation for his work with constituent engagement, program management, professional networking and digital marketing. He spent 20- years on college campuses in New York City and the Central New York area before coming home to Syracuse to start his own coaching practice. 

Michael has earned several honors through the years, including the NYU Advocate for Change Award, the SUNYCUAD award for best alumni program, the Downtown Syracuse Committee Perfect Partner award and the prestigious Le Moyne College Ignatian Award for Service.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Le Moyne College, a certificate in business coaching from the Professional Business Coaches Alliance of North America, a certificate in project management from the American Management Association and is a certified facilitator of Extended DISC.

AT11. Unshackle Greatness with Kim Nyoni

What’s Up Trendsetters!

On this episode of the Alumni Trending podcast, I visit with Kim Nyoni, Associate Vice President for Development at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). Kim Nyoni talks about and asks all of us to take the pledge and make a difference so that equity and inclusion can thrive in advancement.

Today’s trend lines include:
– the power of philanthropy,
– mentoring and team building,
– anti racism,
– and the pledge (AADO and Black Leaders in Advancement)

Quick Listening Guide
at 5:03 My Mission: Unshackle Greatness
at 8:17 Building Institutional and Professional Relationships
at 14:04 Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch Everyday
at 22:36 Black Leaders in Advancement
at 26:33 The Pledge Diversity and Inclusiveness in Advancement
at 28:00 How are we Sourcing Talent?
at 31:07 White Privilege and Institutional Racism
at 33:46 Unconscious Bias in Career Advancement
at 38:01 Coconspirators in Anti-Racism
at :43:04 Diversity in the Board Rooms
at 44:14 What’s Trending in Advancement

Kim Nyoni serves as an Associate Vice President for Development with the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).  He is a seasoned fundraising executive with over fifteen years of experience in higher education. Kim has been with UNLV since 2017 and oversees fundraising teams that work to secure philanthropic gifts in support of UNLV’s strategic priorities in academics and athletics. Additionally, Kim is responsible for working closely with academic leaders to develop and execute fundraising initiatives.   

Kim started his career at the University of California Berkeley and served in key fundraising roles at Washington University, Utah State University, University of Arizona, and the University of Missouri. Kim joined UNLV from the University of Missouri, where he served in various leadership roles in university advancement.  

Kim is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a Master of Arts in Advertising and a Bachelor of Journalism in Broadcasting. He also attended the Institute of Education Management (IEM) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  He enjoys serving the Las Vegas community as a proud member of The Rotary Club of Las Vegas. Kim is an avid Nebraska Cornhusker, a Lifetime Member of the University of Nebraska Alumni Association and a proud Las Vegas Raiders fan.

AT10. Will COVID-19 Push Alumni Organizations To Go Viral? Barney Ellis-Perry

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Our guest is alumni relations and fundraising practitioner, Barney Ellis-Perry and today’s trend line includes:

  • Strategic Planning,
  • Outcome Metrics,
  • and how COVID-19 sparks a change in engagement.

Articles by Barney on these topics:

Showing Your Impact with Outcome Metrics

Will COVID-19 Push Alumni Organizations To Go Viral?


Barney Ellis-Perry is the former Senior Vice President in the Alumni Relations practice at Grenzebach Glier and Associates. A veteran of higher education advancement, Barney has over 25 years of experience in alumni relations and fundraising spanning education, non-profit and health care organizations. Barney is known for his ability to deliver unique and creative ideas with execution rooted in strategy. His vast experience covers all aspects of nonprofit work with expertise in strategic planning, board and constituent relations, campaign visioning and planning, marketing and branding, and in spearheading innovative and immersive alumni engagement strategies across various digital, social media and in-person platforms. Prior to GGA, Barney served as CEO of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Alumni Association. During his tenure, Barney worked collaboratively with campus leaders and alumni volunteers to develop and implement a new vision and strategic plan for the University and the alumni endeavor. He also designed a system for tracking alumni engagement metrics, launched the Bridge Media program to improve online alumni and donor engagement, and led a re-branding of the organization. Under his leadership, alumni engagement increased from 7,650 to 10,533 from 2015 –2016 and reached 13,161 in 2017.Before his role at UCI, Barney held several fundraising and alumni relations positions during his 14-year tenure at the University of British Columbia (UBC), including Director of Alumni Engagement Campaign and Director of Alumni Relations. From 2000- 2005 he served as Strategic External Relations Officer at UBC Land & Building Services where he created Canada’s first campaign for aging university infrastructure. He also successfully designed, launched and co-ledStart an Evolution, the world’s first dual-goal campaign for a major university, with goals of raising $1.5 billion and of doubling active alumni engagement by 2015. In support of the campaign, he also conceived and led a ground-breaking social media campaign—your evolution—in 2011, connecting alumni with each other and the community through a collaborative online project-sharing platform. Under his direction, Alumni UBC met the campaign’s engagement goal a year early. Prior to UBC, Barney worked as a fundraiser for a number of large organizations and served as a founding partner in a fundraising consultancy for three years.

From 1996-1999 he served as Director of Annual Giving at St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation of Vancouver where he created and executed the innovativeLights of Hope campaign and developed a major gift program for the Foundation. When not at work, Barney is an active volunteer at the local and national levels.

In 2012, the Prime Minister of Canada and Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the Diamond Jubilee Medal for his social engagement and community service, most notably with Volunteer Canada.

AT09. Focus, Focus, Focus with Chris Marshall

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Our guest is alumni relations consultant and practitioner extraordinaire, Chris Marshall and today’s trend line includes:

  • Strategic Planning,
  • Engagement Metrics,
  • and managing a volunteer board

A quick episode guide:
at 1:46 Consulting in a COVID World
at 5:26 Coaching to Advancement Professional
at 10:25 Marshall on Strategic Planning: Focus, Focus, Focus
at 14:03 What business are we in?
at 18:25 Return on Engagement: measuring the impact of your alumni program
at 21:17 Augustinian wisdom: Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good!
at 22:05 You vs Yesterday: Penn State’s R.I.P.S. metrics
at 24:36 Volunteer Management: “You get the board you deserve”
at 25:11 “A good board should have their noses in and their fingers out.”

Chris Marshall is a senior higher education advancement professional with 18 years of alumni relations and fundraising experience.

He spent twelve years leading alumni relations programs at two top ranked national research universities – Lehigh University (seven years) and Cornell University (five years).

Chris has five years of experience serving as an alumni relations consultant at one of the top philanthropic consulting practices in the United States – Grenzebach Glier and Associates (GG+A) where he served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director. While at GG+A, Chris led the Alumni Relations practice area and served as a consultant to over 100 clients around the world.

Most recently, Chris has served for two years as President of Graduway North America. Graduway is the world’s leading provider of alumni networking and career mentoring software. Trusted by 750+ educational institutions to engage alumni and provide career guidance to students. The vision of the company is rooted in the belief that the alumni network is at the heart of improving philanthropy, employability, and enrollment.

Chris has been highly successful in engaging the buy-in and support of key stakeholders in executing new initiatives with clients. He is a strategic planner, creative thinker, data-driven, and a consensus builder with a strong work ethic. He has proven success in guiding teams of all sizes in complex organizations.

A bit about CMAC:
CMAC is a full-service advancement consulting firm focused on the education sector. They bring extensive experience from our work with over 100 clients in higher education, independent schools, and non-profit organizations – see full client list. They specialize in alumni relations but offer consulting services in all advancement areas – see complete list of services.

Website: https://www.cmac.me/

AT08. “Your greater is coming!” with UNC’s Timothy A. Minor

#OnTrend with Tim Minor

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Our guest is Timothy A. Minor, Vice President for University Advancement at The University of North Carolina System, and today’s trend line includes:

  • The “Why” behind his passion for higher education,
  • The UNC System Advancement office
  • and Challenges presented by COVID-19.

Here’s a quick listening guide:
at 2:08 A career in advancement “is all about the WHY.”
at 3:33 Advice for newcomers to the field, “Your greater is coming!”
at 5:37 Campus Advancement vs System Advancement
at 10:02 Navigating the political landscape of working with Board of Governors and General Assembly
at 14:01 Return on Investment on advancement spending 7:1, 12:1, 16:1
at 15:55 COVID-19 and The UNC approach
at 18:00 Impact on campaigns in North Carolina
at 18:55 COVID Creativity – Shout out to Nancy Bird (Penn State)
at 20:26 Social equity through education and systemic racism conversations
at 22:26 “at least for me, and I’m African-American, having these conversations and seeing the news everyday on what’s happening in America has brought out a little PTSD in me and some of the things that I have suppressed just to go about my day-to-day have started to leak out in other ways.”
at 23:41 The final word on the state of the profession.

Full Bio

Vice President for University Advancement | The University of North Carolina System

Timothy Minor is the vice president for University Advancement for the University of North Carolina System.  He is responsible for administrative direction and support for external funding to meet the priority needs within the UNC multi-campus university which is composed of all 17 of North Carolina’s public institutions, including the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students. 

Prior to joining the UNC System Office, Timothy served as the associate vice chancellor for University Advancement at North Carolina A&T State University for five years where he led fundraising initiatives and day-to-day operations of A&T’s central development office.   Minor started his career in university development in 1994 at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., followed by 12 years at UNC at Chapel Hill as a senior member of the Development Office, serving in various major gift director roles in the University’s $500 M Bicentennial Campaign and the university’s largest campaign, the $2.3 billion Carolina First Campaign that concluded in 2007.  He was appointed to the role as Associate Vice President at UNC System Office in September 2013 and became vice president in September 2014.  Minor received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned a Master of Public Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

An active citizen, Timothy serves on the board for the Chatham County Education Foundation.  He served as a trustee of the North Carolina Humanities Council from 2009 until 2016 and as the vice chair from 2014-16.  Minor also served as a member of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History Board at the UNC Chapel Hill for several years.  In 2010, he co-founded and was chair of the charter advisory board member of the American Red Cross Greensboro Chapter’s Club Red service committee and served on the Board of Directors for the Greensboro Chapter.  Timothy also served as a Board Member for the Orange County Boys & Girls Club from 2005-07.


AT07. The High Performing Alumni Office with Chris Vlahos

#OnTrend with Chris Vlahos

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Our guest is Chris Vlahos, of Chris Vlahos Alumni Engagement Consulting  and today’s trend line includes:

  • Characteristics of High Performing Alumni Relations office,
  • Challenges presented by COVID-19,
  • and his career in higher education advancement.

Full blog post: The 12 Characteristics of a High Performing Alumni Relations Office

About Chris
After 20+ years in the marketing and public relations world on the private side, Chris took his talents to his alma mater’s alumni association at THE Ohio State University where he was the vice president for membership and marketing. He went on to lead alumni efforts at the University of Arizona and Case Western Reserve, before fully committing to  his consulting practice first under his own shingle and now under the shingle of one of higher education advancements premier consultancies at Marts and Lundy.

Here’s a quick listening guide:
at 2:21 Revelations of a 20-year marketing veteran upon entry to higher education
at 4:09 Career in Alumni Relations
at 4:40 The truth about the Penn State Alumni Association
at 5:27 Alumni Association as the voice of alumni on campus
at 6:27 Advice for newcomers to the field
at 9:20 Performance metrics
at 10:42 Characteristics of a High Performing Alumni Relations Office
at 12:00 Importance of a strategic planning
at 13:15 Digital first strategy
at 15:30 Stop using the term “friendraiser”
at 16:01 Move alumni to action
at 17:16 Centralized approach to alumni relations
at 21:49 Culture of Innovation and purposeful programming

Full Bio
Chris is the author of numerous blogs and articles, most notably his work on the link between alumni engagement and fundraising. His most recent report is “The Evolving Role of Alumni Relations: How institutions are organizing, mobilizing and measuring the value of alumni engagement.” He has assisted numerous institutions in the areas of planning and strategy prior to establishing Chris Vlahos Alumni Engagement Consulting LLC in 2015.

He served as AVP of Alumni Relations at Case Western Reserve University, where he developed engagement strategies that positioned the alumni relations office as the alumni gateway to the university.

Prior to joining CWRU, Chris was President and Executive Director of the University of Arizona Alumni Association. In this capacity, he was a member of the university Cabinet as well as the Board of Directors for the U of A Foundation.

Chris began his alumni relations career as VP of Membership & Marketing at The Ohio State University Alumni Association, following a 20-year career in the field of marketing communications. He is a founding member of the Council for Alumni Membership & Marketing Professionals (CAMMP) and has maintained a long affiliation with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Chris has served CASE as a faculty member in the U.S., Asia and Europe; as a two-time chair of the Summer Institute on Alumni Relations; and as a member of the CASE Commission on Alumni Relations. Chris is a recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple award.