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Instructors

Our instructors are known for their real-world experience as well as their expertise in developing educational opportunities for adult learners. 

Brendan Bannigan

Brendan Bannigan is the vice president of Individual Giving at Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) with nearly 20 years of comprehensive development experience. Bannigan has served as executive director and volunteer coordinator of the Merriam Park Block Nursing Program in St. Paul, and in several roles at the HealthEast Foundation including director of hospice giving, lead grant writer and director of major gifts. While at HealthEast, he also helped lead the successful campaign to build Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury.

Janene Connelly

Janene Connelly is vice president and executive director at Presbyterian Homes Foundation. During her nearly 30 years of fundraising experience in nonprofit and higher organizations, she has handled major gift fundraising, worked with corporate and foundation relations, and headed large and small capital campaigns. 

Connelly previously held roles as director of development and campaign director at the University of Tennessee and vice president of external relations & development at the University of Texas at Dallas. Since moving to Minnesota, she has served as executive director of development at the University of St. Thomas, director of development and external relations in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota, and director of development at Catholic Charities. Connelly holds an M.A. in philanthropy and development from Saint Mary’s University.

Brent Hafele

Brent A. Hafele, M.A.

Brent A. Hafele, M.A., is passionate about helping nonprofits become more vibrant and sustainable. Brent provides counsel on a variety of nonprofit leadership areas, including capital campaigns, major gift development, strategic planning, nonprofit leadership, board/governance relations, and vibrancy planning. 

 Brent mastered the ins and outs of nonprofit operations by serving as executive director at the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic and as development director at Hope Gospel Mission, where he successfully led a capital campaign to open a women’s shelter.  In 2008, he founded his successful consulting practice, NewDay Nonprofit Solutions.  As a consultant, Brent has challenged and empowered a wide range of Christian and secular agencies throughout North America.  In 2016, NewDay merged into Dickerson, Bakker & Associates, where Brent joined the group as Vice President of Client Services.

 In addition to his consulting work, he is a popular speaker at national, regional, and local conferences on nonprofit leadership and fundraising.  Brent is also a faculty member of the University of St. Thomas’s Fundraising Certificate Series, where he teaches courses on capital campaigns and nonprofit marketing. He earned an M.A. in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Brent resides in Eau Claire, WI, with his wife Jennifer, sons Evan and Micah, and daughter Rachel.

Audrey Kintzi

Audrey Kintzi is vice president for development and alumni relations at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMU). She previously served as executive vice president for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter, and as VP and chief development officer for Courage Center in Golden Valley. Kintzi is a faculty member in the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business and in the SMU master's program in philanthropy and development.

Kintzi has worked in the development field for more than 25 years. She has held positions as chief advancement officer for the Girl Scout Council of St. Croix Valley, chief development officer for the American Red Cross of the St. Paul Area, director of development and public awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association – Minnesota Lakes Chapter, and director of donor development for the American Cancer Society – Minnesota Division. She also served on the development staff at Sight & Hearing Association, Simpson College and Mankato State University.

Kintzi holds a B.A. in mass communications – public relations and theatre – directing/acting and an M.A. in continuing studies – business and speech communications from Mankato State University, as well as designations of CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) and ACFRE (Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive). 

Kintzi received the Paid-Staff Excellence Award for Disaster Fundraising by the American National Red Cross in 2001 and the Outstanding Fundraising Professional from the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Minnesota Chapter in 2004. She is a member of the Fundraising Effectiveness Workshop Advisory Group, the Publishing Advisory Committee Association and the Fundraising Professionals Research Council, where she chaired the 2011 Ethics Think Tank.

Danette Olsen

Danette Olsen is sustainability consultant who uses the arts and participatory learning to help communities reimagine the future. A background in both the private and nonprofit sectors grounds her in the important work of examining earned and contributed revenue streams for nonprofit organizations.  
 
A lifetime interest in the arts as a social force led to Olsen ’s study of theatre at UW-River Falls with an eye on social action theatre techniques to incorporate into her life as a teaching artist. She has designed arts learning programs for highly at-risk populations as well as for the general public.  She began an arts administration journey in 1994, co-organizing the River Falls Community Arts Base. A past producer with CLIMB Theatre and associate director at the Arts Council Lake Erie West in Ohio, she came home to the St. Croix Valley in 2003. From 2006 to 2013, she served as executive director of Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls, WI, and founded their Youth & Family Theatre program. 
 
Olsen is a creative and tenacious civic leader who believes in the transformative power of the arts and the restorative qualities of nature to awaken, mobilize and replenish people of all ages to be knowledgeable, active citizens committed to social and environmental justice. As a consultant, Olsen strives to uphold the civic principles that build human and organizational capacity to serve the common good.

Richard S. Sathe joined the University of St. Thomas faculty in 1990. He teaches in the undergraduate, UST MBA and Master of Science in Accountancy programs. His teaching interests include a broad spectrum of financial accounting courses and professional ethics. Sathe's research covers different public interest dimensions in the field of accounting. One area is education and professional development of those entering the accounting profession. Another area is accounting and reporting for nonprofit organizations. He has published articles in Accounting Education: an international journal, Critical Perspectives on Accounting and CPA Journal. Sathe received his B.A. in business administration--accounting and history/political science from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.; his M.B.A. in auditing from the University of Minnesota, and his Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of St. Thomas.

Jeremy R. Wells

Jeremy R. Wells currently serves as vice president of philanthropic services at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners in Saint Paul. In his role, he leads all philanthropic efforts for the Saint Paul Foundation, the Minnesota Community Foundation and works with various other affiliates of MN Partners.

Before coming to Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Wells served as vice president of institutional advancement at Augsburg College, vice president for development and alumni relations at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and in various advancement-related roles at the University of Jamestown. 

He received bachelor's degrees from the University of Jamestown in psychology, religion and philosophy and a master's degree in philanthropy and development from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. Wells also holds a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification.

Wells currently serves as president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and as the chapter president’s council representative on the International Board for AFP. He sits on the alumni board of the University of Jamestown as well as the board of the StepUP Program at Augsburg College. He also serves on the development committee of Ujamaa Place in Saint Paul.

Wells is a frequent regional and national speaker on a variety of advancement and fund development topics, including development planning, utilizing volunteers, donor engagement and campaign strategy. 

 

Tessa Wetjen

Tessa Wetjen has been a program officer with the Otto Bremer Trust, concentrating on the Metro Area, since 2017. Tessa came to the Trust from the Minnesota Department of Health where she led multi-sector, collaborative efforts to improve infant and maternal health, with a focus on maternal mental wellbeing. Tessa is committed to supporting locally-led work to improve wellbeing of all community members, with a specific interest in supporting children and families. Tessa has directed a faith-based nonprofit serving youth and families in Minneapolis; resettled refugees; helped to launch the One Minneapolis Fund at the City of Minneapolis; and led public health efforts to impact policy and systems for East African refugees in the Twin Cities. Tessa has a Masters in Political Affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate dual degree in Mathematics and Government from New Mexico State University. 

 

Gail Whitney

Gail Whitney has worked in prospect information since 1992, starting at Virginia Commonwealth University, and continuing with the Mayo Foundation in Scottsdale, AZ and Rochester, MN, as well as with the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota Foundation. In 2013 she joined the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation as a program funding specialist working in grants and grant writing.

Whitney’s background includes strategic information leadership and research support for comprehensive and single-purpose capital campaigns; developing research methodologies and prospect information policies and procedures in support of major gifts fundraising from multiple types of donors; creating data and reporting tools for moves management and each stage of the solicitation cycle; effective use of the donor database and subscription and published sources; developing capacity estimates and using vendor-based wealth and prospect information screening results; supervising and training research staff; managing research budget and operations; negotiating contracts with information vendors; aligning research goals with foundation goals; and facilitating and tracking research team progress with service plans.

Whitney’s specialty is identifying prospect information business needs throughout the development community and advancing the quality of business solutions available to serve prospect information clients. 

Whitney has presented nationally and locally with Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) and served on the APRA-MN board from 2008-2012. She holds an M.H. from the University of Richmond and a B.A. in English from Boston University. 

 

Karla Williams

Karla Williams is an accomplished executive with more than 30 years of professional fund development experience. She is recognized as a leader in the philanthropic field, an innovator of organizational change models and a pioneer in the integration of marketing techniques with fundraising methodologies. Williams is principal of The Williams Group, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, a firm that serves clients across the country who want to enhance and expand their philanthropic efforts. She formerly served as president of the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saint Paul, as communications and development director for Children's Home Society of Minnesota and as executive director of the Minnesota Zoological Society. She is the author of a best-selling book, Donor Focused Strategies for Annual Giving.