Brad Milius is Senior Director of Development for the National Fundraising Team at Cleveland Clinic, which qualifies prospects for the organization nation-wide. Brad also develops professional training programs for junior staff. Brad holds over six years of development experience, including major gifts, annual fund and volunteer management. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic in 2013, Brad served as Director of Development for the Purdue Christian Campus House in West Lafayette, Indiana. He holds two Master’s degrees, one in Philanthropic Studies and the other in Public Administration (nonprofit management) both from Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis.
Having the right tools in the tool box is critical for success in any fundraising position, especially frontline fundraising. At each step in her career, Jessica Ford has been able to build on those tools to help donors make lasting changes for causes and organizations that have meaning for them. Jessica entered the development profession with the Houston Symphony as a Patron Services Specialist after spending a year working in the Educational Programs Department Houston Grand Opera and witnessing the power of philanthropy at work in the community. After working as a Patron Services Specialist, she was given the opportunity to work with patrons more closely as a Gift Officer. The Gift Officer position provided more opportunities to speak with patrons about supporting the Symphony on a long term basis through major gifts, multi-year giving, and special project support. From there, she moved on to St. Luke’s Hospital System in Houston and was invigorated by learning a new group of individuals and a new style that comes with fundraising in healthcare. For the last three and a half years, Jessica has enjoyed the rigors of working for a higher ed institution: Oberlin College & Conservatory. The additional tools in her tool box come from various volunteer opportunities including acting as a board member for AFP-GCC.
My passion is creating a world of more inspired, connected and engaged people. For over 35 years, I have been helping teams, leaders, organizations and communities discover new ways to realize their potential together. In over 24 industries, I have worked with executives and civic leaders, engineers and scientists, teachers and entrepreneurs, investors and economists, doctors and nurses, lawyers and accountants, designers and storytellers, native elders and fishermen, film makers and community builders.
As 21-time author, my books focus on the psychology of flourishing, mindfulness and collaboration and include books of poetry, storytelling, photography and cooking: Collaborative Creativity, Accidental Conversations, Project Zen, Appreciative Leadership, Mountain Paths, Conscious Becoming, Instructions from the Cook, The Stories that Connect Us, The Enchantment of Casual Origins, The Joy of Thriving, Ordinary Eyes, The Agile Canvas Field Guide, Abundant Possibilities, The Power Of Circles, Making Sense Of Time, Beyond Recipes, Focus, Smarter Together, Growing Ideas, The Art Of Conversations and The Way Of Questions.
With a graduate degree focused in positive psychology from Goddard College, I have taught undergrads, graduate students and post-Docs at the Harvard Kennedy School, UC Berkeley, Vanderbilt and Kent State University.
The work I love is designing solutions and experiences that help people learn, collaborate, create, and innovate together. As a proud Ohio University Bobcat, I began my career as an internal consultant, and team leader in large global Fortune 200 corporations where I focused on learning and development, instructional design, communities of practice, and learning technologies. In 2010 I helped to co‐found a nonprofit whose mission is to connect young people to organizations, issues, and institutions in Greater Cleveland. In 2013, I left the corporate world to fuse my professional and civic passions by pursuing entrepreneurial efforts in consulting and technology, all leading me to help form Thrive At Work. Every day I get to partner with the most talented people in the world, and have a ton of fun along the way. When not “on the clock”, I connect in a community of local music lovers to see live shows. As we say, Cleveland Rocks!
August A. Napoli
United Way of Greater Cleveland
August A. Napoli is President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Greater Cleveland, the largest private funder of health and human services in the Greater Cleveland region.
Prior to joining United Way of Greater Cleveland in June 2016, Mr. Napoli served from 2010-2016 as Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer of the Cleveland Museum of Art where he oversaw the Campaign to raise $320 million in support of the historic renovation and new construction of its University Circle facility and lead the Division of Institutional Advancement.
Mr. Napoli has forty years of nonprofit executive experience in the northeast Ohio region. He led institutional advancement activities at several universities including Baldwin Wallace University and served as Vice President for University Relations and Development at Cleveland State University, and as Executive Director of the Foundation at Cleveland State University.
Mr. Napoli was the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Diocesan Foundation, a faith-based community foundation which was established to provide philanthropic leadership and education and supported the education and charitable work of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Prior to that he served as the President and CEO of the Catholic Charities Corp. of the Diocese of Cleveland.
Mr. Napoli was the Vice Chairman in the Division of Institutional Relations and Development at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where he was responsible for planning and executing the Campaign for the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center (now the Arnold and Sydell Miller Family Cardiovascular Institute), which raised over $300M for the largest single-purpose medical facility in the world.
In 2006, Mr. Napoli became the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Summa Foundation. During his nearly four years in this position, he was instrumental in expanding public and private sector support for the health system; leading the transformation of the Foundation as it changed its focus from one of stewardship to both grant seeking and grant making; and representing Summa in developing numerous community and regional collaborative efforts, such as the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron.
Mr. Napoli is a graduate of Franciscan University and has served as adjunct faculty for Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel Center for Nonprofit Leadership. He is currently affiliated with numerous professional and community organizations including the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs; the City Club of Cleveland, DigitalC, Cleveland Transformation Alliance, as well as The Temple-Tifereth Israel.
Mr. Napoli is married to Joan Katz Napoli, Director of Education and Community Programs for The Cleveland Orchestra. Their son, Gabriel, is a student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Anne-Marie E. Connors, MA
Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
Ms. Connors joined the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (BRIA) as the Vice President of Development in 2013 and was promoted to Vice President of Institutional Advancement in 2015. Prior to joining BRIA, Anne-Marie was Director of Advancement at Hawken School in Gates Mills, OH. She has more than 20 years of institutional advancement experience that includes work in development, alumni relations, admissions, marketing and communications.
She has served as the Executive Director for Development at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management and as Director of Operations, Donor & Alumni Relations at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She also served as Director of College Development and Alumni Relations at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University.
Ms. Connors earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from John Carroll University and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Saint Louis University. Anne-Marie has served on the YWCA Women’s Leadership Advisory Committee, and completed the YWCA Women’s Momentum Leadership Program in 2009. She has participated in additional leadership training including: the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Civic Leadership Institute in 2016 and the American Society on Aging’s Leadership Institute in 2014.
Anne-Marie is married to Andrew Connors, Partner and Family Business Owner Practice Group Leader at Fairport Asset Management. Anne-Marie and Andrew are the parents of identical twin boys, James and Cameron, and a black Labrador Retriever, Prada. Anne-Marie was born and raised in the Cleveland area and the Connors family resides in Chesterland, Ohio. As a family, the Connors enjoy experiencing nature, the outdoors and good food together.
Lauren Steiner, JD
Lauren worked as a filmmaker, attorney, college instructor, and nonprofit development executive before founding Grants Plus in 2007 to help more worthy causes raise more funds.
With Lauren’s leadership, Grants Plus has received the Weatherhead 100 Upstart Award for three consecutive years, a 2016 Smart Women “Progressive Organization” Award from Smart Business, and an Inside Business Northeast Ohio Success Award in 2014.
Lauren is past president of the Grant Professionals Association Ohio–Northern Chapter as well as an active member and former board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Cleveland Chapter. She is an alumna of Cleveland Bridge Builders and was named one of the “Top 25 Under 35” in 2007 by Inside Business Magazine. To fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a puppy washer, she volunteers at Love-A-Stray dog shelter where she walks dogs and cleans cages. Lauren holds a BS in Telecommunications from Ohio University and a JD from Cleveland State University, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, where she remains active in the Alumni Association.
Naomi has more than ten years of program management, volunteer training, and fundraising experience for schools, cultural institutions, media projects, and social service agencies.
Before joining Grants Plus, she oversaw free tax preparation assistance for the Cuyahoga County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition, resulting in more than half a million dollars in tax returns for low-income residents of Cleveland. Naomi volunteers as a tax preparer for the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and is in training to become a certified yoga teacher.
Naomi holds a BA in International Relations from Kent State University and an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco.
The Foundation Center
Dave Holmes is Cleveland lead at Foundation Center Midwest. He returned to the Foundation Center in 2015 from a position as senior consultant at Grants Plus, writing grants and doing research for a variety of large and small nonprofit clients. In his initial nine-year tenure with Foundation Center, Dave served in various roles including regional training specialist, interim director of Foundation Center’s Cleveland office, and director of capacity and leadership development. Earlier in his career, Dave served as a program officer for the Stocker Foundation in Lorain, Ohio, and as the director of grants and prospect research at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. He is a former board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Northeast Ohio Chapter and of Joyful Noise Music School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. from Villanova University, and an M.L.I.S. from Kent State University.