December 2017 President's Message

A Look Back and A Look Ahead

As the song goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Time for year-end mailings, holiday cards, gifts and contributions, and celebrating the year gone by and the year to come.

It’s also a wonderful time to celebrate the work of our AFP Maryland Chapter - members who make our chapter so strong, and volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to supporting and growing the fundraising profession.

First, let's look at what we have accomplished this year. AFP Maryland is 380 members strong.  Thanks to our chapter's active committees and visionary leadership, we presented three signature events, with the sponsorship of Connelly & Assoc. Fundraising, LLC, Fundraising Day in Maryland, the Harford County Celebration of Philanthropy, National Philanthropy Day in Maryland.

We launched our Chapter’s Strategic Partnerships program. Strategic Partners support professional development and member events throughout the year. Many thanks to AFP Maryland’s first partner – Redstart Creative, Chapter Partner.

Thanks to the Program Committee, chaired by Geannine Darby, we had excellent opportunities to improve our special events, work on communicating the realities of fundraising, and increase board engagement in fundraising. And, each month, members participated in dynamic conversations at round tables led by members. There is a wealth of opportunities to take advantage of in your AFP chapter.

Thanks to the many committee volunteers who make all this happen!

Speaking of volunteers, we have the good fortune to have a strong all-volunteer board. Thanks to the members who agree to serve each year and work to make our chapter vital and effective.

We have several members completing their terms of service this year:

  • Jennifer Pelton, CFRE, Secretary
  • Samantha Zip-Dowd, CFRE, Vice President, Professional Advancement, member of National Philanthropy Day Committee
  • Rebecca Teaff, Chair, Communications Committee
  • Caitlin Donati, Co-Chair, Membership Committee
  • Molly Dolan, Chair, Mentoring Committee
  • Nikki Natoli, Chair, National Philanthropy Day Committee
  • Mandy Snyder, Chair, Roundtables
  • Tori Burns, CFRE, At-Large Member

I know you all join me in thanking them for their service.

And, congratulations to your 2018 Chapter Board of Directors:

  • President, Gen Haines

  • President-Elect and Vice President, Professional Advancement, Samantha Flottemesch

  • Secretary, Caroline Adolph

  • Treasurer, Craig Rocklin 

  • Vice President, Member Services, Ann-Marie Thornton

  • Immediate Past President, Tami Zavislan

  • Communications Chair, Jessica Trice

  • Diversity and CFRE Chair, James Wynn, CFRE

  • Fundraising Day in Maryland Co-Chairs, Chris Knoerlein and Natalia Ramirez

  • Membership Co-Chairs, Jeff Dubnow andDavid Drake

  • Mentoring Chair, Emily Boyce

  • National Philanthropy Day Co-Chairs, Graham Cowger and Kim Weiner

  • Programs Committee Co-Chairs, Geannine Darby, CFRE, and Irene Amoros 

  • At Large Members:

    • Mike Bamonti

    • Erin Brock

    • Kathleen Elliott, CFRE

    • Elise Krikau

    • Mark Potter

If you are interested in volunteering, all our committees are open to new members. The chapter website provides detailed information about the committees. Please talk to any committee chair or any board member to learn more.

Thank you all for your membership and support of AFP Maryland. Our Chapter is stronger because of you and the tremendous work you do.

This wonderful time of year, may all your work be light and your gifts be generous!

Happy Holidays,

Tamara W. Zavislan

President, AFP Maryland