Association of Fundraising Professionals Genesee Valley Chapter
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2022 Annual Regional Conference: Building Bridges
Temple B'rith Kodesh
2131 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14618
Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST
Category: Signature Events

2022 Annual Regional Conference: Building Bridges

This year's Association of Fundraising Professionals, Genesee Valley Chapter's Regional Conference is all about "Building Bridges." With a return to an in-person event, we are celebrating the connections that bring us together as humans, as fundraisers, and as a community. 

Our Keynote speaker, Simeon Banister, incoming President and CEO of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, will open the conference, followed by sessions on "Leveraging the Lived Experiences of Local Fundraisers of Color to Build Bridges" and on thinking creatively about community partnerships.

Our popular Table Topics return, giving small groups an opportunity to engage with an expert and fellow fundraisers on various subjects, and our Exhibitors Alley allows vendors to connect with attendees and share the ways their businesses interface with nonprofits. 

Cost To Attend

AFP Members    $99
AFP Nonmembers           $129
Full Table of 6   $500
CFRE Credits   4


Click here to see who's attending


Keynote Speaker

Simeon Banister
Incoming President and CEO
Rochester Area Community Foundation

At Rochester Area Community Foundation, Simeon Banister is the transitional Executive Vice President, in preparation to assume the position of President and CEO in October 2022. In his prior role as Vice President of Community Programs he managed the Community Programs Department, which is responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking and community leadership. He is a former member Rush-Henrietta Board of Education. Additionally, he serves as a President of the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and also serves on the boards of the University of Rochester Medical Center, the Congressional Award Foundation, The Children’s Agenda, and the Genesee Land Trust. His career spans across the public and private sectors having worked for organizations including in the NYS Senate, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, the State University of New York, and several private commercial real estate firms. Simeon earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science at North Carolina Central University and his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.



Darrell Bell
Vice President for
Institutional Advancement

Nazareth College


Jennifer L. Boutte
Vice President of
Community Engagement

Goodwill of the Finger Lakes
AFPGV Government Relations Chair


Mia Cannon, CFRE
Development Officer, RGH
Rochester Regional Health Foundation

  Felicia Garcia-Hartstein
Search Director
Aspen Leadership Group

Robert Dermody
Vice President of Development
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra


Ryan Denissoff
Vice President of
Marketing & Communications
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

 Matt Zager
Director of Corporate Relations
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra


Who Should Attend?

This conference is ideal for those in fundraising, including board members, volunteers and executives who work in resource development. Anyone who is interested in learning more about fundraising best practices and expanding their professional network would also benefit. 

Sponsorship Opportunities

Our conference is made possible in part by the support of our generous sponsors. Want to become a sponsor and partner with us on our conference? 

Click Here to Learn More

Scholarship Opportunities

Meyers Scholarship: The Meyers Scholarship Fund was established to honor Daniel M. Meyers and his contributions to the fundraising profession. Recognizing that many local organizations cannot afford the cost of professional development, Mr. Meyers, in conjunction with the AFP Genesee Valley Chapter, has committed to helping non-profit professionals increase their knowledge and skills through this scholarship program for our Regional Conference. 

Manning & Napier Scholarship: This scholarship was created to help with the cost of AFPGV's conference registration. Manning and Napier is committed to helping non-profit professionals and those in related fields thrive. This scholarship provides an opportunity to gain experience, connect with like-minded individuals, and work together to create a stronger community. Applications now closed.

Conference Schedule

10:00 am

Pre-conference Session

Are you new to the fundraising profession or interested in transitioning over to this field? Join us for a discussion with seasoned fundraising professionals as they discuss their experience. Our Membership Committee will also give a brief presentation and share some AFPGV swag.

Speakers Include:
AFPGV President: Jared Longmore
AFPGV CFRE Chair: Gretchen Wood, CFRE
AFP Master Trainer: Gerianne Puskas, CFRE 

11:00 am Registration, Networking, Vendor Exhibits
11:30 am Buffet Lunch
12:00 pm Welcome and Introductory Remarks
12:15 - 1:15 pm

Keynote Speaker

Simeon Banister
Incoming President and CEO
Rochester Area Community Foundation

1:15 - 1:30 pm Exhibitor Break
1:30 - 2:30 pm

Afternoon Session 1: Leveraging the Lived Experiences of Local Fundraisers of Color to Build Bridges

A recent report interviewing development professionals indicated that systemic oppression exists in the nonprofit sector, and there are additional barriers fundraisers of color face in navigating their careers, roles, and workplace cultures.

Join this session for a dynamic and enlightening conversation with a panel about their lived experiences as leaders and fundraisers of color in Rochester. We'll discuss some of the obstacles our colleagues and friends have faced, how we can build bridges to create a more equitable and inclusive profession, and how we can support and empower the next generation of fundraisers of color. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance.

Pre-reading for attendees:

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Darrell Bell, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Nazareth College
  • Jennifer L. Boutte, Vice President of Community Engagement, Goodwill of the Finger Lakes; AFPGV Government Relations Chair
  • Mia Cannon, CFRE; Development Officer, RGH, Rochester Regional Health Foundation; AFPGV National Philanthropy Day Co-Chair
  • Felicia Garcia-Hartstein, Search Director, Aspen Leadership Group; Former Executive Director, Presidential Advancement, University of Rochester; AFPGV VP of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access
Moderated by Alyssa WhitfieldFounder, Dress for Success Rochester
2:30 - 2:45 pm Exhibitor Break
2:45 - 3:45 pm

Afternoon Session 2: Building Not-So-Obvious Collaborations

Learn how the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's development and marketing teams build effective collaborations with other agencies, community groups, and commercial enterprises. How did these conversations start, why did each organization see value in the collaboration, how did the partners put it together with an eye to the short- and long-term benefits for each?

This session will discuss both commercial and cross-agency collaboration, fundraising opportunities and how collaborations connected the partners to or helped steward donors. Specific collaborations featured will include Three Heads Brewing, the Ukrainian community, the Susan B. Anthony House and the Jewish Federation.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Robert Dermody, Vice President of Development
  • Ryan Denissoff, Vice President of Marketing & Communications
  • Matt Zager, Director of Corporate Relations

3:45 - 4:00 pm Exhibitor Break
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Table Topics

Earn CFRE credit as you join your colleagues to discuss topics of interest to our profession while enjoying light refreshments. Tables will be labeled by topic and facilitated by an AFP volunteer. 

(1) Direct Mail and Digital Fundraising
(2) Community-Centric Fundraising
(3) Stewardship After COVID: What's next?
(4) Epic Fundraising Fails
(5) Engaging Donors from a Financial Planner’s Perspective
(6) Grant Writing
(7) Advancing Board Diversity: What Fundraisers Can Do