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KDD Philanthropy is proud to partner with the following individuals who are leaders in their respective fields. Their expertise and experience strategically aligns with the needs of our clients, allowing us to provide a customized approach to help each organization grow and succeed.

Strategic Talent Management and Alumni Relations
Candace Comeaux

Candace is a fundraiser turned talent development professional. With experience in the arts and higher education, Candace has a passion for team building, culture, training facilitation, and individualized career guidance. Most recently, Candace served as the Talent Development Manager in Advancement at UC San Diego where she built a formal training program for 300 employees, rolled out an Advancement-wide on-boarding process, and provided personalized professional development coaching. She also advised managers on team-building exercises and retreat planning and facilitation.

Prior to focusing her time inward on the team, Candace built strong alumni relations as the Assistant Director of Development for Scholarship at UC San Diego. She worked to build strong, thoughtful relationships, bringing alums back to campus and connecting their passion with purpose.

Candace’s career began in the arts at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. There, she held fundraising positions in both Annual Giving and Major Gifts over the course of four years. She managed a board and hosted salon events during this time. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication, Public Relations from Louisiana State University.

Project Management, Benchmark Assessments, and Background Research
Allyson HearstAllyson Hearst

Allyson has a stellar reputation for putting her project management expertise to work on complex projects with a variety of constituents. Her specialties include project management, benchmark assessments, and background research within the development and fundraising realm.

Most recently, Allyson provided top-level administrative support to the Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Development at UC San Diego, and a team of 75 fundraising staff. She managed projects and oversaw the operations of each very diverse development unit, including Diversity Initiatives, Campus Initiatives & Campaigns, Scripps Institution of Oceanography/Marine Sciences, The Preuss School UCSD, and the Library. Among Allyson’s responsibilities were preparing materials, background information, and presentations for the AVC, researching and drafting material, and providing guidance to assist in the development of briefings, policy documents, and other materials as needed.

Allyson also served as an Administrative Specialist for California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). In this position, she provided high-level administrative support to the Directors of Development for the Institute, and managed complex donor/prospect and gift/revenue databases. She also drafted donor correspondence, interfaced directly with donors, handled event logistics, planned and hosted visits by donors or their representatives, and coordinated activities with other development officers, faculty, and administrators.

Prior to her work in development, Allyson served as the Executive Assistant to the UC San Diego Chancellor and Administrative Assistant for the Library Facilities Department at Geisel Library. Allyson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State University.

Planned Giving
Erin Kathleen Jones, CFRE, CSPG
3de84feErin Jones has a passion for helping donors create their legacy through a strategic approach to planned giving. She is currently the principal of Shamrock Philanthropy, where she provides planned giving consulting services for a variety of nonprofit organizations and universities. Before that she was a Regional Director for the University of Notre Dame. In this position, Erin worked with alumni, parents, and friends of the Fighting Irish to create lasting legacies.

Her engagement with higher education philanthropy did not start with Notre Dame. She spent five years as the Senior Director of Planned Giving at San Diego State University. During her tenure at SDSU, the planned giving program raised more than $75 million. Before SDSU, Erin served as the Director of Planned Giving at San Diego Hospice where she spearheaded the acquisition of a Gift Annuities License for the agency. Under her leadership, the organization raised over $40 million in planned giving efforts.

Erin also worked for the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, Grossmont Hospital Foundation, and the American Cancer Society. She began her 25-year fundraising career with a national consulting firm where she ran 42 capital campaigns over a five-year period, which raised more than $40 million, collectively, through her efforts. Erin also expanded the firm’s West Coast presence when she relocated to San Diego.

Erin earned her bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in New York. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, Certified Senior Advisor, and received a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving credential from the College of Continuing & Professional Education at California State University Long Beach.

Connect with Erin on LinkedIn.

Annual Fund, Stewardship, and Alumni Communication
D. Timothy Poisson

Timothy PoissonTimothy Poisson is a talented development professional with a history of leading successful annual giving campaigns and creating marketing strategies to boost alumni participation. His specialties include working with universities to understand trends in annual giving, analyze data to determine most effective segmentation and messaging, balance activity for short- and long-term pay off, and validate non-solicitation activity as activity that produces higher giving and retention rates.

Tim is currently serving as the Interim Senior Director of Communications for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Alumni Association and Director of Annual Fund Marketing and Participation for MIT. In his roles, Tim manages a team of 22 marketing, communications, and stewardship staff members. He successfully piloted an innovative program for graduate exclusive alumni in the first 10 years after graduation in FY15, and extended the pilot for FY16. He identified an area of focus in alumni 11-24 years after graduation in FY09 and built a unique program to increase results in collaboration with Class Giving launching FY13. In addition, Tim illustrated the cause and effect of an integrated stewardship plan on donor retention rates beginning in FY06 and negotiated progressive increased specialized programming.

Prior to his work at MIT, Tim served as Associate Director of the Annual Fund for the University of Connecticut Foundation. He was the Assistant Director of Annual Giving for San Diego State University and Phonathon Program Coordinator for Washington University in St. Louis. He is also a successful freelance illustrator and comic book writer/artist. Tim received his bachelor’s of sciences degree from the University of New Hampshire.

Connect with Tim on LinkedIn.

Leadership Giving and Project Management
Lucille Schindler

Lucille Schindler is a development professional with experience in higher education and cultural organizations. She specializes in leadership annual giving, building recent alumni giving programs, affinity groups, and regional engagement.

Lucille is currently serving as the Associate Director of Annual Giving and Reunion Programs at NYU School of Law. In her role, she has the privilege of working with inspiring alumni and friends who are passionate about providing the best legal education to our students, ensuring their success in law school and beyond.

Prior to her work at NYU Law, Lucille served as the Development Coordinator at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and as a Development Specialist at UC San Diego. Through her work at UC San Diego and Birch Aquarium, she helped build out a strong leadership annual giving society and successfully raised funds for many key initiatives.

Lucille has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature magna cum laude from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in Women, Writing and Gender from the University of St Andrews.

Connect with Lucille on LinkedIn.

Marketing, Writing, and Development Communication
Leah R. Singer
leah-singer_small_150x150Leah Singer helps businesses and entrepreneurs tell their story and connect with their ideal audience and clients. She specializes in writing, marketing, and social media strategy, and is a perfect fit for businesses that need writing and communication expertise but don’t have an in-house marketing department. Leah is known for uncovering the unique angles and hidden gems, and then creating clear and compelling communication that connects with impact.

In addition to working with clients on an ongoing basis, Leah taught marketing and branding at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She served as a senior writer for UC San Diego Annual Giving, and was a speechwriter and communications manager for two college presidents at San Diego State University (SDSU). She also served as Director of Communications for the SDSU Enrollment Services Department, and managed high-profile special events for the SDSU Office of the President. Before her years at San Diego State, Leah worked in marketing and public relations at KPBS public broadcasting station.

She is a prolific freelance writer who contributes regularly to The Huffington Post; Babble, Today Parenting, Scary Mommy, Red Tricycle (where she serves as editor of the Spoke Contributor Network, and former San Diego editor); Edible San Diego; Millionaire Girls’ Movement; BlogHer; and other national websites. Leah has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science, and a master’s degree in communication, both from San Diego State University.

Connect with Leah on LinkedIn.

Fundraising Essentials and Strategic Talent Management
Carol Spychalski
carolCarol Spychalski is a development professional with experience in social service, health care, and higher education philanthropy. Though well versed in the broad spectrum of advancement activities, Carol’s specialty is building. She has developed an expertise for building teams, the donor pipeline, and significant fundraising initiatives.

As Senior Director, Philanthropy, at San Diego Humane Society, Carol raises the significant gifts that are essential to a cause she is passionate about while leading a team of planned, foundation, and major giving professionals.

Previously, as Senior Director of Development at UC San Diego, Carol led the creation of, and fundraising for, several campaign initiatives. And, she hired, trained, and managed a team of entry- and mid-level development officers to be successful in raising leadership annual gifts and major gifts for UCSD.

Carol’s work is directly aligned with her goal of nurturing the next generation of development leaders, who in turn create the next generation of philanthropists. Through her tenures at San Diego Humane Society, UC San Diego, Sharp HealthCare Foundation, San Diego State University, and Senior Community Centers, Carol additionally has direct experience in building the donor pipeline, annual giving, special events, and more.

Connect with Carol on LinkedIn.









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