Now & Forever campaign builds on momentum with staff changes for greater efficiency

June 4, 2014

Continued success of Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University is bringing changes to the ranks of the ESU Foundation. Since its launch in February 2013, the campaign has raised more than half of its five-year goal of $45 million.

“We have had tremendous response to the campaign, and I am very pleased to promote and add new teammates to maintain the momentum,” said DenaSue Potestio, Foundation president/CEO and Emporia State vice president for advancement.

“Alumni and friends of Hornet Nation have trusted us with their gifts, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” Potestio added.

Honoring that trust is evident in ESU Foundation’s “expense measure,” which shows how much is spent to raise $1. The Foundation has an expense target of about 25 cents on the dollar, which is in keeping with the national average of higher education institutionally related foundations. Currently, the ESU Foundation’s expense measure is at 19 cents and it aspires to maintain that expense ratio.

Staff changes at the Foundation — which include internal moves as well as new hires — are designed to capitalize on the efficiency of the team while also moving forward with both gift development and stewardship.

As a development officer for athletics, Emporia State alumnus Shane Shivley has secured significant gifts for the program. In Fiscal Year 2014 alone, Shivley has worked to develop $4.2 million in gifts for Now & Forever. He takes his experience and proven track record to the next level as vice president for development, overseeing development officers across the campaign.

“I am excited for the opportunity to now lead a team of quality individuals who recognize the passion and pride of our alumni and friends,” Shivley said. “Emporia State University, our alumni, as well as the Emporia community embrace the importance of a quality education. Philanthropy, at its core, is an inspiring act of kindness, and I look forward to advancing our university with these motivational actions.”

Angela Fullen, a team member of ESU Foundation for 13 years, moves into the role of associate director of development.

“I have enjoyed many aspects of my various positions, including working with the trustees, planning events, managing our call center and establishing the Student Foundation,” said Fullen. “My favorite part about working in the Foundation is talking with all of the wonderful and passionate alumni and friends of Emporia State. They are the ones who are going to make Now & Forever the most successful and transformational campaign in our history, and I am so proud to be a part of it.”

A newer member of the team, Mary Shivley, is moving from development to director of advancement communication. An Emporia State alumna herself, Shivley sees the value of reaching out to the alumni of Hornet Nation.

“Reconnecting our alumni to Emporia State is vital to strengthening our university,” she said. “It is an honor to work with donors to help them share their passions, experiences and gifts with our students and campus.  To now have the opportunity to help share their stories to a wider audience is a privilege.”

As advancement communications specialist, Dave Sparks takes his wealth of knowledge from days as a radio station news director and uses it to convey stories of generosity, hope and gratitude on the part of the Foundation.

“I’m excited about both what Emporia State can achieve through philanthropy, and how creating a narrative of past gifts encourages others to give in the future,” Sparks said.

Another alumna of Emporia State, Michelle Corkins always wanted to use her business marketing degree in the nonprofit sector. As assistant director of donor relations, Corkins works closely with those who choose to give to Now & Forever.

“Working directly with the people who make gifts to Emporia State is the best part of this job,” Corkins said. “They are pretty inspiring to be around.”

Katie Werly has been part of the Foundation team for eight years. As gifts record manager, Werly said, “I strive to make giving to Emporia State a positive experience by accurately handling each gift in a timely way to build trust and confidence with our benefactors.”

Beth Hammond and Leticia Rust are new members of the team, joining the Foundation as assistant directors of development. Both are alumnae of Emporia State University, with Rust most recently working in Emporia State’s Residential Life, and Hammond serving as marketing director at Newman Regional Health.

Said Rust, “I am very excited to be a part of the Foundation and the BIG ideas that are in store for Emporia State University. I truly believe that the Now & Forever campaign is not just about raising money, rather it is about an investment in the success of our students, the campus and the community as a whole.”

Added Hammond: “I’m looking forward to building new and strengthening current relationships with our benefactors, alumni and friends of Emporia State University as we work toward surpassing the $45 million goal for Now & Forever.”

Amber Beasley brings six years of university development experience at other institutions to her role at Emporia State — director of annual giving.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to become part of Emporia State University and its community,” Beasley said. “Emporia State has a proud past and bright future. I look forward to connecting with the university’s family and friends, raising awareness of Now & Forever, and expanding upon the tradition of success at Emporia State University. I am happy to be a Hornet!”

A new graduate of Emporia State University, Amanda Miller is eager to begin her role as development and stewardship assistant.

“I am so excited to work with the Foundation and see Now & Forever grow and be incredibly successful,” she said.

Knowing how important alumni are to the future success of Emporia State University, the Alumni Relations team has added Carmen Martinez as Kansas City coordinator.

“I am very excited and honored to represent Emporia State University as the new KC Alumni Event Coordinator,” said Martinez, an Emporia State alumna with experience planning and coordinating both corporate and non-profit events. “I am aspiring to ensure the quality of our future alumni by continuing to assist ESU in its growth and to develop the biggest and best Alumni Chapter in Kansas City!”

“We’ve got a great Foundation team,” said Potestio. “I’m thrilled to work with our veterans in their new roles and can’t wait to build on the energy our new team members will bring.

“It’s a great day to be a Hornet!”



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