9th Annual Nonprofit Conference Breakout Sessions

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Nonprofit Institute
College of Southern Maryland
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

Charles County
Cara Fogarty

Michelle Sullivan

St. Mary's County

Session 1:  9-10 a.m.

Unleash the Magic of Your Messaging
Presenter: Rebecca Gunter

How to turn casual observers into true believers without selling your soul (even if you’re not a marketing person). If you’ve ever stumbled through an elevator pitch or stared painfully at a blank screen when trying to describe your special sauce, or had a lackluster response to your latest initiative, then you understand how hard it is to mobilize your mission. Get everything out of your head and into some compelling messaging that inspires your audience to leap into action.

Leaning on all of the tools of Rebecca Gunter's marketing toolbox, together you will build a positioning statement that will bring you the clarity you’ve been craving. Walk away from this 60-minute conversation with x-ray vision on how to inspire your people. When done, you’ll have the words — and the roadmap — to get to the heart of your matter and spin it all into marketing gold.Rebecca Gunter

Rebecca Gunter is your spirit guide to building your nonprofit. Her marketing prowess and business savvy pairs endless creativity with good old-fashioned know-how.

But more importantly, she has the boots-on-ground grit to pull it all together. Her ability to connect the dots AND recruit resources means that stuff gets done and done right. Her nimble maneuverability and can-do attitude make her a linchpin asset to any project or initiative.

Learn more at and connect on social @rebeccagunter_


Event Innovation: Taking it up a Notch (or 10!)
Presenter: Susan Vogel

Looking to advance your event to the next level?  Join us to learn 10 things innovative event organizers are doing to set their fundraisers apart from others. This is an interactive presentation so bring an open mind! This session will embrace concepts such as marketing, metrics, and more that can be implemented into your strategies and are designed to excite, delight, and engage your audience.

Susan Vogel photoSusan Vogel is the executive director of the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation, the philanthropic arm for Charles County’s only hospital. In her position since 1999, Vogel leads a 25-member board of directors in strategically building awareness and providing resources to enhance the 100-bed medical center. With a staff of two, the Foundation hosts several annual fundraising events and generates funds through annual, memorial, and planned giving contributions.

Prior to this role, Vogel was director of development at the Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation and also worked as an events director for the Maryland chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

A native of Charles County, Vogel attended St. Mary’s Ryken High School and Loyola College in Baltimore. She has served on the board of directors for several organizations including the Charles County Chamber of Commerce, the Zonta Club of Charles County, and the Arc Southern Maryland. A 2009 graduate of Leadership Southern Maryland, Vogel is a past board chairman of that organization.

In her spare time, Vogel enjoys traveling to the Delaware shore, reading, music, and keeping up with family and friends.  Vogel has been married to her husband Keith for 26 years and they have two children.


A Project Management Primer
Presenter: Brenda Vandegrift

Success as a business often depends on the ability to execute projects well. But exactly what is a project? What might a project look like for your nonprofit? What knowledge/skills are needed to manage projects? What are the phases of a project and how does one manage them? Brenda Vandegrift, past president of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) Southern Maryland Chapter, will present a Project Management Primer designed to help you to understand what a project is and the skills and knowledge needed to manage projects successfully.

Brenda VandegriftBrenda Vandegrift, PMP-certified since 2006, is an experienced technical program and project manager with strong system engineering and integration experience. Her in-depth knowledge and experience in project management has supported her successful leadership of award-winning teams that effectively plan, execute, and report on highly-technical projects, with success measured in terms of cost, schedule, performance, quality, and morale.

Vandegrift has extensive Project Management Office (PMO) and portfolio management expertise and recognized success developing and executing strategic and tactical plans. She also prides herself on being an effective team builder, successful recruiter, and high-involvement leader with proven success energizing and influencing team results through participative, empowered environments. She leads by example as a self-starter/self-motivated team member with continual emphasis on quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Vandegrift is the vice president of government services for Perrygo Consulting, Inc. a small business specializing in project management, systems engineering, and information technology.


PATH-Style Strategic Planning
Presenter: Jerry Adams

How would you like to change the way you lead and document your strategic planning efforts? Jerry Adams will introduce you to a new way of seeing your work.  PATH - Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope - uses a directional chart and vivid graphic representations of a vision of the desired future, a picture of the current reality, and first steps and interim steps from there to the North Star. The resulting document is easy to understand, is compelling, and fun to review.

Jerry Adams photoJerry Adams has facilitated countless strategic planning efforts exclusively with nonprofit organizations over more than 30 years. Working with large ($26M annual income) organizations and small, he has used varying methods depending on the size, scope, and interests of the organizations. Methods have included Gap Analysis, Community Scanning, SWOT analysis, Scenario Planning and lately PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope).

Adams has found that while each method results in a clear vision of a desired future for the organization, and measurable goals for achieving that future, the PATH method has created more enthusiasm for acting on the plan.


A Case Study in Innovative Leadership
Presenter: Bernie Fowler, Jr.

Learn how to incorporate outward thinking and innovative leadership in your nonprofit. Examples will be shared to help you move forward with your mission and purpose.

Bernie FowlerBernie Fowler, Jr. heads a successful building company, offers consulting and management services, and is a principal in several development companies.

In 2012, Fowler founded Farming 4 Hunger to serve his neighbors in the Southern Maryland community. He wanted to ensure that his neighbors had access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and to augment the nutrient-poor, canned, and boxed goods typically distributed by food banks.

He formed a unique partnership with Feeding America, the Maryland Food Bank, and Serenity Farm owners, creating an organizational structure that allows Calvert’s citizens to serve, educate, share, fellowship, exercise, rejoice, laugh, learn, and carry out its mission. This mission is to feed the hungry and feed the soul through programs that include a mobile pantry, a demonstration garden and education center, inmate mentoring and life coaching, and a “Life Sharing” program for middle and high school students.

Farming 4 Hunger works with the Department of Corrections to provide community service to the inmate population; with CAASA to promote alcohol and other drug prevention efforts; and works with the Calvert County Public Schools to provide community service for students, while giving students the opportunity to learn about the benefits of farming and the importance of serving others in need.

Fowler continued to broaden the impact of Farming 4 Hunger by engaging with United Way of Calvert County, College of Southern Maryland, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Young Marines, local churches, local businesses, and area food pantries and hunger relief organizations.

His efforts have motivated him to lead over 2,500 volunteers a year to harvest and package
1.7 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, collect produce from the local farmers, and plan for the establishment of a food retail program to serve Calvert memorial Hospital and local restaurants. Because of the success of Farming 4 Hunger and its benefit to the community, it is recognized as a model and is being replicated in seven other states.


Session 2:  10:15 - 11:15 a.m.

Standing for your Mission with Graphic Design
Presenter: Christy Batta

The way your nonprofit brand looks makes an immediate and powerful impression. Aligning your graphic design with your mission helps ignite lasting relationships with your audience and supporters. In this session, Christy Batta will demystify how all the different pieces of nonprofit visuals come together to clarify and affirm who you are and what you stand for.

Chrissy BattaChristy Batta is an award-winning graphic designer for nonprofits and businesses doing good work for others. Her mission is to help clients make the right impressions on the right people. She believes design isn’t just about the typefaces and colors, but also creating a visual voice that people can recognize and trust.

Prior to starting her own business, Christy served as senior designer at SW Creatives, LLC where she strategized and designed collaboratively with a team of creative professionals to provide print, web, and digital media solutions for nonprofit organizations ranging from local to international in reach. She earned a BA in art history and anthropology from Franklin and Marshall College and an MFA in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design.

In addition to her design business, she is a co-organizer the Unofficial Hand Lettering Society of Silver Spring and serves on the leadership team for the Silver Spring Timebank.


Logic Models: An Overview
Presenter: Anna Tatro

Logic models help us plan, implement, evaluate, and communicate more effectively. Many funders and organizations require logic models. What is a logic model? Learn about logic model components, language, and benefits.

Anna tatro photoAnna Tatro is the Grants Collection Specialist at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. Through the State Learning Research Center, Tatro serves the state of Maryland as a Foundation Information Network Supervisor for the Foundation Center. She uses her knowledge and passion to support nonprofits and to help organizations seek grant funding by teaching people how to use the Foundation Directory Online for prospect research, giving tips on proposal writing, and working closely with professional organizations and nonprofits throughout the state.

Tatro also served as the social work librarian at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, for eight years while also delivering health information outreach to community members, health practitioners, and other stakeholders in Baltimore and around the state.

Tatro was awarded “Librarian of the Year” in 2013 by the Southeastern Atlantic Region of the Medical Library Association for her work as the project manager/program coordinator for Student Health Advocates Redefining Empowerment (SHARE), an after-school program aimed at reducing health disparities in Baltimore. Tatro is dedicated to supporting nonprofits and helping organizations and individuals find grant funding. 

Project Management Tools for Nonprofit Businesses
Presenter: Jeff Yellets

Many tools are available to help you to manage projects. Twenty years ago, these tools were expensive to obtain and complex to use.  Today, however, project management tools provide incredible power and there are many options for teaming and project management. Many of these tools are easy to use and don’t cost much, if anything, to deploy.  And you might already have access to them. This session offers an overview of project management tools that nonprofit businesses may have or can access to better manage projects and project teams.

Jeff Yellets photoJeffrey (Jeff) Yellets is a Project Management Professional (PMP).  He works for Spalding Consulting, Inc. as a project and program manager in the Project Management Office. Previously, Yellets worked for Eagle Systems, Inc. in business development, and for Brandes Associates as the business unit director. As a manager at Honeywell, he led a team of over 60 engineers and scientists in the engineering, design, and delivery of chemical plants, product development, and in process automation and control programs.

Yellets has a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and has over 25 years of experience with complex project and program management.  He also served as a business director for a small nonprofit organization managing a team to execute many projects.

He has been a PMP since 2010 and is the current president/CEO of the PMI® Southern Maryland Chapter. He has previously served as vice president and vice president of membership.

Being Financially Flexible, Being Financially Strategic
Presenter: Nancy Hall

Nonprofits understand the importance of strategic planning especially in developing and focusing programmatic activities.  Five-year program, fundraising, and board development plans are put in place but often no one bothers with a five-year budget. The strategic budget is not based on prior year performance but is developed based on the activities planned in the future.  The strategic budget uses comparative data from other nonprofits as a guide for planning. The strategic budget is always looking three to five years forward. The strategic budget is flexible and can deal with unexpected expenses and surprising windfalls.

This session is not just for finance folk. You will learn about some simple tools that your staff and board can use to ensure the budget is as forward thinking as your other planning.

Nancy Hall photoNancy Hall has long been a part of the nonprofit community in Maryland. In the late 80s she worked with a number of then-new groups to set up their financial and administrative systems. She is happy to report that many of these startups are still going strong. In addition, Hall was a key staff member at the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations for 17 years, providing training and technical assistance to hundreds of nonprofits. She continues to consult with nonprofits both statewide and nationally.

Hall has trained thousands of nonprofit executives and board members on various administrative issues, not only in Maryland but across the country and as far away as Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. A natural teacher and storyteller, she is currently adjunct faculty at The Johns Hopkins University where she teaches graduate level courses on nonprofit management and finance.

Hall is an expert in the legal structure of nonprofits and has assisted in the start-up of hundreds of organizations, merged many partners, solved many problems, and sometimes has helped to close organizations.

She was one of the first women to receive an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Advocacy and Collaboration for Nonprofits
Presenter: Greg Bowen

Many nonprofit organizations, especially 501(c)(3) nonprofits, worry about losing their status if they become advocates. While there are limits, nonprofits can advocate for their cause. In fact, most of them really need to advocate in order to be effective.

The American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT) has played a greater role in advocating for land preservation and conservation in Calvert County for the last few years by helping to form the Sustainable Calvert Network. The Network consists of 11 organizations whose missions call for achieving a future for Calvert County that integrates farming, fishing, natural and cultural resources, along with economic and societal needs.

Hear about this successful collaboration in advocacy and stimulate your thinking about how you can work with others to achieve your goals.

Jeff BowenGreg Bowen worked for the Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning for 32 years, the last six as its director. He oversaw the county’s land preservation program, which featured the first transferable development rights program in Maryland, along with two county purchase of development rights programs and three state easement programs. He retired in 2011 and started a planning consulting firm. Then in 2015, he joined the staff of the American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT) as its executive director.

Bowen is a lifetime resident of Calvert County, growing up on a tobacco farm near the Patuxent River. His passion is preserving Calvert’s working landscapes and its ecological and cultural assets.

Afternoon Session:  1 - 2:30 p.m.

Resources: Professional Services Hub | Presentations | Exhibitors

Professional Services Hub Q&A
The Professional Services Hub is a pro bono resource for local nonprofits to tap into the professional expertise of Leadership Southern Maryland alumni. This partnership between LSM and the Nonprofit Institute offers basic legal, accounting/financial, and insurance-related counsel from LSM alumni.

Volunteer Maryland/Rural Maryland Council Information Session
Discover how a strategic partnership with Volunteer Maryland can strengthen your volunteer program and increase community engagement. The Rural Maryland Council will share grant resources that support matching funds.

Maryland Governor’s Grants Office
Provides resources, training, research, and guidance on federal, state, and foundation grants.

Community Foundation of Southern Maryland
Builds charitable funds and grants that support community needs and opportunities.

Volunteer Maryland
Places AmeriCorps members in nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies to serve as Volunteer Maryland Coordinators.

Rural Maryland Council
Brings together numerous sectors to collectively address the needs of rural Maryland communities and administers grant programs.

Southern Maryland Heritage Areas Consortium
Awards grant funds for projects that promote heritage tourism and economic development.

Foundation Center
The leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide and maintains the most comprehensive grants database.

Small Business Development Center
Provides training and workshops for new and existing businesses.

WorkForce Center at CSM
Assists businesses with customized workforce training and resources.

Charles County Charitable Trust
Manages Charles County government's nonprofit grant award program.

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
Nonprofits partnering with SCSEP are able to fulfill various on-site needs.

Mediation Centers of Southern Maryland
St. Mary’s, Charles, and Calvert counties each have a community mediation center that provides no cost mediation and other conflict resolution services.

Maryland Insurance Administration
Information about all types of business and health insurance for nonprofits.

Seedco - Maryland Health Connection
A national nonprofit organization that advances economic opportunity for people, businesses and communities in need.

Keynote Speaker Tommy Luginbill

Director, Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute at CSM

As a business owner, Tommy Luginbill has a deep appreciation for the hard work, perseverance, and the importance of networking within his community. He maintains that his network of other talented professionals is paramount, and he notes that many of the people who have influenced his career to date include his clients, vendors and professional references. 

Today, Luginbill is the director of the Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute at the College of Southern Maryland and also a member of the business faculty department. His focus on strategic planning, innovation culture and helping entrepreneur’s make him a valuable resource to the college.

When Luginbill isn’t working you will find him mucking horse stalls and volunteering for a variety of nonprofit organizations. In the future, he hopes to spend more time golfing and less time cleaning up after his pets. Aside from his profession, Tommy loves his wife Alison, and both are involved in a variety of eclectic equine hobbies.