ADRP Las Vegas "Big Wins" From First Year Volunteer and Committee Chair

The 14th Annual ADRP International Conference in Las Vegas was a complete success for me and marked the anniversary of my first full year as an Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) member. A little more than a year ago, after joining Heurista, I took my first professional steps in to the donor relations field by attending the annual ADRP conference in Pittsburgh. The theme my first year was ‘Forging the Future’. I met many engaging and vibrant ADRP members who were truly generous in supporting my developing role at Heurista and with ADRP.


My background in experiential marketing and activating public spaces led me to a role I have thoroughly enjoyed- Chair of the Attendee Experience Committee for this year’s conference. In Pittsburgh I was introduced to leaders in Donor Relations from a variety of institutions and backgrounds that volunteered to be on the committee. Throughout the conference planning, this committee and the leadership of the other committees truly ‘Forged my Future’ with Donor Relations and ADRP into far more than I could have ever anticipated. Three ‘Big Wins’ from Las Vegas cause me to be excited for my next year with ADRP and to be very grateful.

1) Professional Development
Disruption and courage are hallmarks of wise professional development in today’s world. Change is happening at a pace that is unprecedented. What has worked in the past must be reconsidered. What will be needed in the future must be a priority. My choice to advance my career by applying the tools I have built in the commercial space to the Philanthropic space has been rewarding beyond my expectations. ADRP and the opportunity to serve its members has proven to be one of the most powerful forces in my own professional development in Donor Relations. The planned and spontaneous networking with peers and leaders just blew me away! Your generosity and wisdom are my ‘Bright Lights’. The sessions, master classes and speakers in Las Vegas advanced my understanding and insights into our field – these were my ‘Big Opportunities’. Thank you.

2) Volunteerism
Generosity is the foundation of the donor relations profession. It makes the good we do possible. The conference in Las Vegas was built on the generosity and hard work of so many volunteers. The opportunity I was offered to serve as a volunteer for the conference is something I will be grateful for into the future. I am grateful to have been working alongside thought leaders in our field and to see each of their signature ways of fostering a culture of generosity within ADRP and our professions. We worked hard. We laughed hard. We asked hard questions. We became friends. This process reinforced for me the value of volunteering for the volunteer. Thank you ADRP conference planning teams. I am truly grateful.

3) Leadership
My career has led me around the world to interact with cultures of leadership in varied industries and countries. Together, we have delivered some amazing projects for the local communities. None have been easy. All have needed leadership. The biggest successes also had the brightest leadership culture. My experience this first year with ADRP has been guided by the true ‘Bright Lights’ that volunteered to lead the way. My work with the conference planning committees introduced me to leaders that significantly impressed and inspired me. Their work ethic got the job done. Their kindness made it worthwhile. Their professionalism made good situations great and challenging situations fade away. Thank you all.


This year’s conference theme ‘Big Lights, Big Opportunities’ best sums up what I know will be an amazing second year with ADRP. Heurista has a very bright year ahead. Big Ideas, Big Solutions, answers to Big Questions are keeping us very busy. We enjoyed meeting so many diverse Donor Relations professionals. We are inspired by the tasks and riddles that were shared with us. We will be following up with you soon. Please do stay in touch. Remember – don’t let what happened in Vegas, stay in Vegas!!