Notables in Fundraising

The Cincinnati chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals nominated long-standing members for this month’s Notables section. 

Kathy DeLaura
Kathleen J. DeLaura, managing director, Partners in Change LLC

Enquirer recognizes DeLaura as a ‘Woman of the Year’

Kathleen J. DeLaura specializes in working with local, regional and national nonprofits. Some of her clients include the Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Cincinnati BBB, The ROMAC and Caracole. DeLaura served as executive director of the Cincinnati VA’s Research Foundation, Cincinnati Ballet, and as executive director/COO of Speaking of Women’s Health. She received the Leading Women of Cincinnati Award in 2000 and the Enquirer’s Woman of the Year in 2022. DeLaura serves as board chair of Arlington Memorial Gardens and Ensemble Theatre and is past chair of The Women’s Fund’s Leadership Council and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 1994. She has a B.S. in education from Western Illinois University and lives in Clifton with her husband, Ron Steinhoff, stepdaughter Sarah and their dogs.

Andy Swallow
Andy Swallow, president & CEO, Bethesda Foundation

Bethesda’s Swallow has worked 33 years for nonprofits

Andy Swallow is president & CEO of the Bethesda Foundation, which serves as the philanthropic arm for Bethesda Hospitals, Hospice of Cincinnati and Fernside Center for Grieving Children. With a 33-year career in not-for-profit leadership, Swallow has spent the last 27 years actively serving the Cincinnati region through both professional and volunteer leadership roles in cultural, human services, education, healthcare and government organizations. Prior to joining the Bethesda Foundation in 2011, Swallow served as chief development officer for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Swallow earned his bachelor’s degree from Miami University and a master’s in organizational leadership from Mount St. Joseph and has held the CFRE professional designation since 1999.

Pamela Gray
Pamela Gray, national director, personal philanthropy programs, Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

Gray’s experience spans universities, veterans affairs

Pamela Gray was named DAV’s national director of personal philanthropy programs in August 2020. She oversees the organization’s planned giving and major gift operations. Gray has worked in philanthropy related fields since 1994 with extensive experience in building strategic donor relationships as well as major, planned and principal gift development. Prior to joining DAV, Gray served four years as senior director of philanthropy and alumni for the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and as Rice University’s director of development for gift planning from 2013 to 2016. In 2009, she received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for her work with animals.

Rosemary Schlachter
Rosemary Schlachter, fundraising consultant, 25th Hour

Schlachter’s favorite volunteer role: chairing a Lazarus tribute

Rosemary Schlachter, fundraising consultant, 25th Hour

Rosemary Schlachter, a Cincinnati native, operates an anti-aging/wellness business and has worked as a fundraising consultant and development officer since 1980. An active community volunteer, she has served dozens of organizations in Greater Cincinnati. Her favorite volunteer role was chairing “To Irma With Love,” a 1987 tribute to Irma Lazarus in which Leonard Bernstein, Roberta Peters and other artists participated. Schlachter has received numerous awards. She lives in western Cincinnati with her husband, Mark, and has four children: Abby, Kurt, Kameron and Max, and grandchildren, Brody, Kalli, Lilah and Charlie. 

Duane Gordon
T. Duane Gordon, CEO, Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati

Gordon builds Dolly Parton literacy programs in Ohio

T. Duane Gordon, CEO, Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati

CEO of Community Shares since 2019, Duane Gordon halted a decade-long trend of drops in annual workplace campaigns supporting the area’s federation of social justice, environmental and animal welfare charities. Previously, he led the Middletown Community Foundation and worked at Community Foundation for Mississippi. He enjoys time with family (husband Matthew and children Tommy, 9, and Dolly, 4) and operating Dollymania, the longest-running fan website on Dolly Parton. Gordon’s work with Parton spurred him in 2008 to create one of the first Ohio affiliates of her Imagination Library literacy program and help dozens of other counties replicate it, laying the foundation for statewide expansion to become the current official Ohio First Lady’s project. 

Renetta Ethridge Holloway
Renetta Holloway, engagement team leader (consultant), Dunleavy & Associates

Holloway uncovers the ‘aha’ opportunities like ‘It’s elementary’

Renetta Holloway, engagement team leader (consultant), Dunleavy & Associates

Approaching her work like a detective, Renetta Holloway gets the facts and uncovers the “aha” opportunities. She works with clients and teams on those opportunities to reach their goals. And as her favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes, would say, “It’s elementary!” Holloway has over 30 years of fundraising and resource development experience. She has led teams at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Pendle Hill and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). She works to elevate and focus development departments by recruiting and growing strong talent, creating mission-driven development strategies with a pathway to success and building an organization-wide culture of stewardship. When not at work, Holloway enjoys traveling with her husband and volunteering with her social organizations. She also enjoys anything with a musical flair, plays piano and sings. Halloway believes chocolate is the answer – who cares what’s the question. 

Jim Yunker
Jim Yunker, founder & CEO, The Yunker Group, Inc.

Well-traveled Yunker’s hobby, vocation one in same

Jim Yunker, founder & CEO, The Yunker Group, Inc.

After high school teaching (former GCF CEO Kathy Merchant was his star student), Jim Yunker got hooked on fundraising in 1972 at his alma mater. That led to earning his doctorate at Indiana University, researching donor motivation. Yunker’s bride of 36 years, Dawn, says his vocation advising nonprofits and his hobby are one in the same. When asked his greatest achievement, his response isn’t about fundraising, rather his family and their two children. Dawn penned the company’s trademarked slogan which defines Yunker, “Helping Others Make A Difference.” A farm boy at heart, Yunker has been in all 50 states, all 30 Major League Baseball parks, is a fraternity brother of a former late night TV host and is loving his best gig yet – grandfather. His favorite quote: “When it comes to giving, some will stop at nothing.”

Michael Murray
Michael Murray, director of stewardship and mission services, Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington

AFP leadership among many credits for Murray

Michael Murray currently serves as director of stewardship and mission services for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington. Prior to joining the Diocesan Curia staff in 2009, Murray served at Roger Bacon High School as director of advancement. Murray also served as director of major gifts in Cincinnati for the Chicago Province Jesuits; director of major and planned giving for Northern Kentucky University; and director of annual giving for the College of Mount St. Joseph. Murray has served two terms on the AFP Cincinnati Chapter Board of Directors, serving as president in 2000. He also served on the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council Board of Directors, the NKU Friends of Steely Library Board of Directors and the Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory’s Board of Directors. Murray also served two terms as chair of the Kenton County Ethics Commission. 

Heather Sherwood
Heather Sherwood, director of development and major gifts, The Christ Hospital Foundation*

Sherwood never loses sight of her work’s mission

Heather Sherwood credits her fundraising career to an invaluable internship at the Cincinnati Art Museum, where she learned firsthand the inner workings of a world-class nonprofit arts and cultural institution. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and Lindner College of Business Arts Administration program, she earned her MA/MBA degrees before joining the Contemporary Arts Center and the campaign for the internationally acclaimed Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art. That experience launched a career at some of Cincinnati’s most noteworthy arts organizations. Sherwood likes fundraising because it requires you to be sharp, strategic, analytical, resourceful and tenacious. Sherwood brings a unique outlook and enthusiasm to her work while never losing sight of the mission. Outside of work, Sherwood is an advocate for the Manual Gearbox Preservation Society when not busy trying to survive her family’s never-ending-renovation of their historic home or outrun her 5-year old. *Heather recently accepted a position with the University of Cincinnati Foundation.

Tracy Wells
Tracy Wells, vice president, development and communications, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati

‘Uber Mom’ Wells leveraged Appalachia hospice internship

Tracy Wells has been helping donors accomplish their philanthropic goals for over 20 years. Skilled in both the art and science of strategic fundraising, Wells is the bridge between donors’ investments and the needs in the community. She never imagined her college internship with a small hospice in eastern Kentucky would lead to a career in connecting grateful donors with important causes, like Redwood, Talbert House and YWCA of Greater Cincinnati. She feels her greatest accomplishment is teaching her sons, Will and Gabe, the joy of giving. Tracy is now the vice president of development and communications at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati and is thrilled to assist donors with a passion for increasing affordable homeownership in our community. But her sons call her “Uber Mom,” since she spends her free time transporting them to soccer, Scouts, marching band and horseback riding.

Patty Rosely
Patty Rosely, consultant

Rosely turns to piano for new perspective

Patty Rosely has dedicated her career to helping nonprofit organizations secure the financial resources needed for growth to reach more clients and patrons. Her superpowers include the ability to identify and engage donors more deeply with the mission of the agency, and to create special fundraising campaigns celebrating women, agency anniversaries and other milestones. Beyond her passion for helping to change and save lives at work, Rosely loves spending time exploring new places and spaces through travel, attending arts and cultural events with her husband, and experiencing a joy unlike no other watching her grandchildren grow. When life gets challenging and a new perspective is needed, you will find Rosely at her piano, playing anything from a Bach Invention to Meatloaf’s Bat “Out of Hell” album.

Elizabeth Knuppel
Elizabeth Knuppel, president and CEO, Skystone Partners

Knuppel a webcast host, in-demand speaker

Liz Knuppel has more than 20 years of experience leading nonprofits to exceed their fundraising goals. Knuppel is notable in her service to the community and volunteers actively with AFP, Cincinnati Parks Foundation, and CORA. She hosts a monthly webcast, is an in-demand speaker on philanthropy, and has been published in Advancing Philanthropy, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the AFP Weekly Newswire. She also contributed to the Wiley publication “Building Strong Nonprofits: New Strategies for Growth and Sustainability.” Knuppel was awarded the 2015 Cincinnati USA Chamber’s Woman of the Year Entrepreneur. In her leisure time, she most enjoys knitting, caring for her orchids, tearing it up on the ballroom dance floor, and downhill mountain biking and skiing with her family. 

Lori Kinedinst
Lori Klinedinst, executive director, Indian Hill Foundation

Klinedinst inspired by generosity of donors

Through strategic and steadfast service to the community – whether for half a million people while promoting downtown Cincinnati through managing Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati and Taste of Cincinnati or one person at a public school who needs a “lift” – Lori Klinedinst has devoted her career to making a difference. Inspired by the vision and generosity of donors, she has served nonprofits where no task is too small and teams function beyond expectations. For the last 14 years as executive director of the Indian Hill Foundation, she has led exponential growth of the foundation to benefit the school community, connecting donors and educators to provide public school students with unique and extraordinary opportunities and resources. Klinedinst uses her vocal performance degree as a member of the Cincinnati Choral Society.

Susan Berliant
Susan Berliant, vice president, development and community impact, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio

Berliant has raised over $100 million

As a development professional with over 40 years in raising funds for nonprofits in the Cincinnati community, Susan Berliant loves her work. Her background has included: higher education, at the University of Cincinnati as director of development for the business school; healthcare, at the Christ Hospital as director of development; arts, as chief of development at the Contemporary Arts Center. She has been able to support the mission of these organizations by deeply understanding the supporters in Greater Cincinnati and passionately matching their philanthropic interests to the needs of the organization. Berliant has raised over $100 million dollars for Cincinnati initiatives. Teaching and mentoring individuals to grow their skills and become the new leaders in philanthropic fundraising has also been a focus of Berliant’s. When she is not working, she loves the outdoors, art, fashion, books, travel, thrift shops, her family and her beloved dog, Violet. She also loves to hunt fossils.