NAADA 2019 Annual Conference banner

Conference Agenda

Monday, June 10

7:45 AM - 6:00 PM

Tuesday, June 11

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Past President Breakfast

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

NAADA Board Meeting

10:30 AM - 4:30 PM


11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM


3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Track Networking Sessions

  • Alumni
  • Communications
  • Development
  • Student Professionals
  • Volunteers

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Welcome Kickoff and PeliCAN Awards

5:00 PM

Opening Reception at Capitol Park Museum

6:45 PM

Welcome to LSU Agriculture with Dr. Bill Richardson, LSU Vice President For Agriculture & Dean of the College of Agriculture

Keynote: Welcome to LSU - The Land-Grant and Flagship Institution of Louisiana with Executive Vice President and Provost Stacia Haynie

Wednesday, June 12

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM


8:00 AM - 8:10 AM

Greetings from the LSU College of Agriculture with Dr. Phil Elzer

8:10 AM - 9:00 AM

Breakfast Keynote: Weathering the Storm with Chip Kline

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Education Track Session 1

Getting Social with Alumni. Working to Find our New Beginning

Sherry Abrams, Suzanne Griffeth

Getting social with alumni. How a survey to alumni about social media preferences increased alumni engagement, annual giving participation and more unexpected outcomes. New bylaws and a new strategic plan for our alumni made it perfect timing for a new beginning to access our social media strategy. Session participants will learn about how best practices were used to create, administer and analyze survey results along with creative follow-up to respondents. Attendees will also learn about how we worked with an alumni committee on the idea and scope of the survey sent to our alumni base via email. We will share what we wish we had known going in to the survey, so others can learn from our challenges and successes. Session will include interactive participation and open discussion time. Attendees will receive a copy of the survey questions used in our questionnaire, timeline and additional reference materials. Audience: development, alumni professionals, volunteers

Developing Your Development Officers

Christy Chiarelli, Cody Helmer

Nationally, there is a shortage of qualified fundraisers. Our best fundraisers are constantly being recruited for other opportunities. In this session, we will share strategies to retain your top performers including conducting talent reviews, engaging on-boarding techniques and long-term retention strategies for mid-level and senior managers.

AFA Building Bridges for Young Leaders through Experiential Learning

Ashley Collins

Employers are pleased with the technical skills of college graduates, but those skills alone do not satisfy their appetite for great talent. For the successful graduate, experiential learning opportunities are becoming a necessary supplement to traditional learning. Agriculture Future of America (AFA) provides experiential learning programs for undergraduate students to help further differentiate them in the hiring process. Annually, 1,000+ students from across the nation are selected through a competitive process, to attend experiences where they can develop their professionalism, entrepreneurialism, and intellectualism while networking within the industry. Attendees of this session will learn more about the bridges that AFA builds between all those engaged in developing the next generation of transformational leaders. As well as, the competencies AFA is built upon, our path to grow and serve a greater number of students from across the country, and hear a case study of our student leadership programming designed to help drive a more respectful and inclusive workforce within agriculture and food.    

Pumping the Brakes for Personal Sustainability

Amanda Saha

Saying No can be tough, but it's essential for your own sanity and for the people around you as well.  When you find yourself out of balance, the results can have far-reaching impacts on your life, personally and professionally. Join me as I help you create a roadmap focuses on creating better systems and approaches to tackle chaos, in whatever phase of life you find yourself.  I'll help you gain awareness of your current challenges, target those that are most important for you, and clarify what your greatest opportunities are for leading a more balanced and centered life.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Education Track Session 2

MANRRS: More Than A Club!

Karl Binns

Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), has chapters at a majority of NAADA schools. However, many Colleges/Schools of Agriculture only look at their MANRRS Chapters as another student club.  This session will focus on looking at MANRRS as a vehicle to help boost enrollment and retention, attract new faculty/staff and provide support or assistance with grant projects.  Karl Binns, MANRRS National President, will discuss ways strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives through MANRRS can strengthen your development efforts.

Gifts Hiding in Plain Sight: Documenting Unique Gift Opportunities

Katherine Davies, Nick Dolce, Jen Root, Jim Miller

In this session, three institutions share creative approaches they have taken to identify and document alternative giving options.  Learn how University of Florida was able to work with extension colleagues to document millions of dollars in gift-in-kind support hiding in their own backyard.  Hear how UC Davis has been able to collaborate with academic faculty to document major gifts from these members while using their help to solicit gifts from others too.  University of Idaho discusses many ways they have assisted donors in maximizing the impact of their philanthropy through land assets.  Session covers approaches, objections and challenges encountered, and processes utilized to document these types of gifts.

Back to Basics: Re-Engaging a Longstanding Alumni Advisory Board by Giving Them a New Beginning

Lindsay Skinner

Alumni volunteers are essential to a thriving Advancement program. Their advocacy and input are invaluable to shaping and carrying out the mission of a college. However, sometimes along the way, a highly engaged and high functioning board can lose their way and become just a group of volunteers that are entertained for lunch four times a year. In this session, we will discuss how equipping our Alumni Board with a binder of resources and putting them to work was the most fruitful approach to bring new life into a longstanding board that had gotten stale. Learn effective ways to assess the current structure of your board, determine needs for the board and shift ownership from you to board officers. This session is for those looking to reignite the interest of a board, looking for tactics on board management or looking to establish a board.  The objective of this session is to send you back to your board with a plan to get the most out your engagement that benefits both you and them!

Leadership Transition: Capitalizing on a New Beginning

Bobbi Smith, Sarah Roelfs

Let’s face it: our work feels easier when we have a strong leader. Our donors are excited to support our priorities. Our constituents are eager to hear about our continued successes. Our faculty are ready to partner with us. Our momentum keeps accelerating and we love our jobs! When we find ourselves amid a leadership transition, it is essential to organize a plan to ensure we don’t lose the momentum we have been building. Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences created a transition plan in advance of our dean’s departure and it carried us through the new dean’s arrival. Whether you find yourself in an unexpected or a planned transition, it is important to prioritize a timeline for engaging your donors and other stakeholders throughout the process. A successful transition allows the new leader to build upon the program’s strong foundation, articulate their own vision, and deploy their plan for the program’s future success.

11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Lunch with Bickford Lecture: Resilience with James Carville

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM


1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Education Track Session 3

LGBTQ+ Identities and their Intersections with Agriculture

Wesley E. Heath, Brandon Guillory

Join this collaborative session between the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the College of Agriculture at Louisiana State University to learn more about LGBTQ+ college student, faculty, and staff experiences on campus and in the community.  This session will explore LGBTQ+ history, inclusive communication, and information about the intersections of queer identities within agriculture.

Young Alumni Engagement: Three Tips From A Successful Young Alum Program

Haley Cook, Melea Reicks Licht, Andy Zehr

Iowa State University is entering the fifth year of their highly successful young alumni program, the Curtiss League of Awesomeness. Join them for a discussion on how this program has empowered young alums to assist with CALS recruitment, advocacy and awareness efforts and take home their top three suggestions any unit can implement to improve young alumni engagement.

Campus Gratitude Day

Caylin Hilton

Donor retention and building a culture of giving amongst students are growing in importance as metrics like participation rates become hot topics on university campuses. In 2015 the University of Florida launched the first Grateful Gator Day to promote the importance of philanthropy to students and steward donors. Since that first year we have more than tripled student and donor reach, and grown engagement across campus segments. Come learn more about the key components to a successful gratitude day, suggested strategies, specific tactics, lessons learned and areas we are still working on. Attendees will receive a copy of the 2018 Grateful Gator Day event plan and toolkit including communication samples and a range of activity options you can scale to host your own Gratitude Day!

Still blogging? Try Podcasting. Everyone Else is Doing it.

Kevin Kent, Jarred Shellhouse

Interested in engaging with nearly 70 million Americans listening to podcasts every month? Discover one of the easiest ways to start a podcast without all of the complicated audio equipment.  This session will introduce a free, online and mobile podcasting platform that will enable storytellers to connect with stakeholders through this increasingly popular form of communication.  Participants will learn how to record podcast segments, host guests, distribute and share episodes. Podcasting is great way to engage with alumni and student groups!

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM


2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Education Track Session 4

Creating Engaging Experiences:  How Alumni Communications, Events and Philanthropy Work Together

Angel Futrell, Pamela Gray, Jonathan Furnish, Rebecca O'Neal

In this session, you will learn about how alumni communications, college events, and philanthropy work together to create purposeful, strategic and engaging experiences for all constituents in the college.  How many times do we hear, “Well, we’ve always done this,” but no one can articulate how it is increasing engagement with our constituents.  A focus on engagement really allows all facets of the College alumni, advancement, events, and philanthropy efforts to work together all toward the same purpose of increasing ones relationship with the College they most care about!

Adventure is Out There: Engaging Alumni & Donors through International Activities

Joel Hartman, Thomas Van Norman, Mary Bushette, Margaret Wallenta

Learn how Purdue University and University of Minnesota are capitalizing on international opportunities to engage alumni and donors.  In this interactive session, hear how Purdue is pursuing several avenues including optimizing faculty led study abroad trips to engage alumni both domestically and international alumni in country.  Hear from Minnesota CFANS colleagues about their institutional collaboration and innovative partnership with Perrotis College in Thessaloniki, Greece.  Participants will leave equipped with ideas, tips, and strategies for implementation on their own campuses. 

Data Driven Stewardship

Cameron Mann

The objective of this session is to share ideas on how to use development metrics and data to drive stewardship strategy. The increasing importance of purposeful stewardship playing an integral role in development offices cannot be denied. In this session, we will share examples of how Purdue's College of Agriculture has used data to implement a more comprehensive and effective stewardship strategy that has aided in improving donor acquisition, donor retention, donor reactivation, and upgrades. This session will help development professionals, communication professionals, and more learn how to collaborate to create strategic stewardship content that will drive a more comprehensive annual giving program. If your development office is looking for new ways to improve these core metrics of fundraising, we invite you to come learn, share and collaborate during this session.

Engaging Volunteers

Interactive Panel of Volunteers will discuss their perspectives on how to recruit, utilize and keep volunteers engaged.  Additional questions will be submitted from our Professional Track Representatives (Alumni, Development, Student and Communication) who utilize volunteers in their line of work. 

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM


4:30 PM

Thursday, June 13

7:30 AM - 7:00 PM


7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Breakfast and Annual Meeting

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Education Track Session 5

Augmented Reality: Your Fliers Will Never be the Same

Kevin Kent

Your company, institution or organization spends a lot of time (and money) producing video content and printed materials. What if we could converge our communication efforts to create a new, engaging experience for our audiences? Augmented reality allows communicators and storytellers to curate dynamic experiences with effective call-to-actions. This session will showcase an online augmented reality development platform that's easy and fun to use. Add videos, photo galleries, contact cards, and more to your printed media and experience it all using a mobile app!

Keeping the Land-Grant Mission Relevant: Weathering the Storms and Creating New Beginnings

Bill Richardson, Deacue Fields, Tobie Blanchard, Andra Johnson

Leaders of agriculture from three different institutions present methods and ideas for diversifying revenue streams and staying relevant. While Louisiana State University, Southern University and the University of Arkansas are all public, flagship, land-grant universities, each has advanced their mission in different ways. Regardless of their structure, each institution has successfully weathered budget cuts, managed enrollment challenges, retained their best employees and created new opportunities. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss issues challenging their university with the panel. There will also be an opportunity examine case studies in small groups for discussion with the panel. Attendees will sharpen critical thinking skills and take away concrete ideas for action at their college.

Working Together: Building College-Unit Collaborations

Eric Rohn, Mary Buschette

Working with people on your own team can be tough, and when the whole college needs to be on your team that task gets even more challenging. Staff members in Advancement at the College of Food, Agricultural  and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota will discuss some of the tactics they used to build collaboration between their own recently-formed team (communications, development, and alumni relations) as well as among the departments and centers of their college. In this session we will share some of the realities of working as a team, as well as the value to both the college and the units of doing so. We look forward to not only sharing our experiences, but learning from those of other universities.

Planting the Seed: Creating Engagement Before Commencement

Jarred Shellhouse, Emily Wickham

As Generation Z is becoming the new wave of alumni, they are becoming more difficult to engage. Communications professionals are having more trouble getting recent graduates to update their contact information, open emails, attend alumni activities or even return phone calls. Historically, alumni engagement starts after commencement. This session will share strategies at the department level from different universities to implement alumni engagement strategy before students ever receive their diploma.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:20 AM

Beg, Borrow, and Steal Session

  • Alumni
  • Communications
  • Development – Early Career 1-5 Years
  • Development – Mid-Career & Managers 5+ Years
  • Student Professionals
  • Volunteers

11:20 AM - 1:00 PM

Invitational Lunch - Michigan State University

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM


1:15 PM - 5:00 PM


  • Swamp Tour
  • The LSU Experience: Cuisine, Culture, and a Little Lagniappe
  • LSU Center for River Studies & Tin Roof Brewery
  • Alma Sugar Plantation and Caneland Distillery
  • Houmas House Plantation Tour

View Details

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM


6:00 PM - 6:45 PM


7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Dinner and Awards Program at Hotel

9:00 PM

2nd Line Band to Downtown Baton Rouge