Faculty 


We are thrilled to welcome experts from our nonprofit and higher education community to lead our monthly sessions. In addition, representatives for nonprofits and foundations will join us as panelists or guest speakers throughout 

the year.

Scott Arthur

Cheryl Balchunas 

Rebecca Barker

Christy Clay    

Jennifer Darling

Patrick Gaines 

Sarah Harrison

Peter Konrad

Dan Reed

Gordon Smith

Christiano Sosa

Matthew Wasserman 

Lori Zahn

Scott Arthur



Scott Arthur has 18 years of experience as a fundraising leader at major medical institutions and nonprofits, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation and Mayo Clinic. He currently leads the advancement team at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, which is comprised of 60 personnel, including alumni relations, marketing and communications teams. The team he leads has raised 2.5x more than what was raised prior to his leadership. His expertise lies in how to create more with less, using office values and culture to produce fundraising results.



Cheryl Balchunas


Cheryl Balchunas has been working in the field of non-profit development for more than 13 years. She is presently serving as a Senior Director of Development in the Office of Advancement at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She joined the CU Foundation in March of 2012 and moved to the CU Advancement Office in July of 2013 as part of the university’s strategic development staff realignment process. In her role as a major gift officer, Cheryl connects benefactors and philanthropists to their passions and parlays gift opportunities in support of the university’s other strategic initiatives. 

Prior joining CU’s staff, Cheryl led the fundraising efforts related to individual and major gifts, corporate giving, and special events at Mi Casa Resource Center and before that she served at two separate chapters of the National MS Society. She is an alumni of the Institute for Leaders in Development (Class of 2011/12) and serves as a member of the Searing Committee and Vice Chair of the Curriculum Committee and she is presently serving on the AFP Colorado Education Committee. Cheryl completed her undergraduate education at Western Maryland College and then received her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore. She and her husband have two young children. Through her work at CU Anschutz, Cheryl strives to teach her children about gratitude, kindness, and the importance of leaving the world a better place than when it was found.


Rebecca Olchawa Barker


Rebecca joined Community First Foundation in August 2017 where she manages the Foundation’s Nonprofit Endowment Partner program and helping these partners build their fundraising capacity and talking, with much passion, about the importance of building endowment to reach long-term sustainability. 

Rebecca began her career at Edelman, a Chicago public relations agency, where she worked with clients such as Dove Hair Care, but soon discovered that it left her wanting more meaning from her job. She got her start in the nonprofit sector in the donor relations department at the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Now, with more than 14 years of experience, Rebecca has had the great fortune of applying her expertise to fundraising roles at a few of Denver’s most notable nonprofits including, National Jewish Health, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and History Colorado.

Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Arts and Western Michigan University. She is an alumnae of the Institute for Leaders in Development at the University of Denver, class of 2013, and is a current student in the Leadership Jefferson County program with the West Metro Chamber Foundation. She is also an active member with the Colorado Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals and Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable. The lure of the mountains persuaded her and her husband to relocate from Chicago to Colorado in 2007. Together they have made Arvada home and are proud parents of two beautiful sons who haven’t yet complained about camping, fishing, hiking, biking, skiing, and the list of outdoor pursuits goes on! Rebecca believes that fundraisers are change makers whose work will make the world a better place for all.


Christy Clay

Christy Clay is a business strategist, quick study and inspired problem solver. The focus of her work is helping organizations work smarter versus harder as they navigate growth and change.  She has been working in or with growth-oriented businesses for over 25 years and completed her Masters in Management – Change Leadership at the College of St. Scholastica in 2014. 

Christy primarily serves as a facilitator for strategic planning and organizational effectiveness.  Her philosophy on strategic planning is to Do Less Better, a balanced approach that focuses both on planning and implementation.  Her success stems from her ability to navigate her clients through a variety of disciplines—strategic planning, organizational and operational effectiveness, business development and strategic communications—to achieve tangible results.  She is trained as an EOS Implementer, bringing a complete set of simple concepts and practical tools designed to help leadership teams clarify, simplify and achieve their vision.  


Raised in an entrepreneurial household, Christy has owned and operated three businesses in the recreation, hospitality and consulting sectors.  Originally from Minnesota, Christy graduated with a BS from Colorado State University and moved back to Colorado in 2017.  


Jen Darling


Jen Darling has worked in the nonprofit sector since earning her bachelors degree in economics and political science (double majors with a pre-law certificate as well) from Northwestern University in 1991.  She went on to earn her masters degree in public administration from the University of Colorado in 2000.  She was actively involved in the formation of the Institute for Leaders in Development and continues to serve on the steering committee as past chair for the program as well as a mentor and program instructor.  Jen also helped create and chair the nonprofit Drennen’s Dreams Foundation that promotes pool safety and lifeguard training in memory of Drennen O’Melia.  Jen has served as an adjunct professor for the University of Denver in the leadership and organizations program in DU’s University College.  And she also co-chaired the Woodmark Group’s North American Summit in Calgary in May, 2017 as well as her 25thReunion for Northwestern University in October, 2016.  Jen was recognized as the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser in 2008 and again in 2015 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and National Philanthropy Day in Colorado.  Jen’s strengths include institutional leadership, motivating others, strategizing comprehensive campaigns, building relationships with volunteers and donors, and philanthropic engagement across all arenas from annual giving and planned gifts to transformational gifts and beyond.  Jen has worked in the following capacities within the local community:

  • 2008-present - President, Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation (serving as Executive Vice President January 2017 to December 2017; and Senior Vice President of Philanthropy prior)
  • 2001-2008 - Director of Development & Membership, Denver Art Museum
  • 1997-2001Director of Development & Membership, Denver Botanic Gardens
  • 1994-1997 - Director of Annual Giving and Corporate Relations, Colorado School of Mines
  • 1991-1994 - Director of Development, American Indian Science and Engineering Society

After growing up in Minnesota and then attending college in Chicago, Jen settled in Colorado in 1991. In addition to her commitment to her career, Jen is an active mom, friend, and community member.  She values balance in her life and has managed to adjust her career as needed to help her two children grow up successfully.  


Patrick Gaines 

Patrick Gaines became executive director of the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine on the CU Anschutz campus in March, 2012, following his predecessor Donald Elliman’s appointment as Chancellor. For the past 20 years Patrick has been a non-profit executive, holding senior development positions with the University of Colorado Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. For the past seven years at CU Denver and the American Cancer Society, he has developed significant experience in the area of medical research with emphasis on cancer, regenerative medicine and stem cell biology.  His passion for research has been fueled by the courage, strength and faith of the hundreds of people he’s met who are impacted by disease and injury along with those who care for them. As the child of a parent with Parkinson’s disease and having experienced the devastating impact of cancer through family and friends, like so many of us, his motivation to help find preventative and corrective therapies strikes very close to home, too. 


Patrick received his Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Nebraska – in his home town of Lincoln - and spent over a decade performing as a French Horn player with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, Denver Symphony and Colorado Symphony Orchestra.  He is also a Board Member with the Generations Cancer Foundation in Denver, volunteers for Brent’s Place in Aurora, and is an avid ultra marathon runner, having completed two 100-mile foot races, including the Leadville Trail 100. Patrick and his son have lived in Littleton since 2001.


Sarah Harrison


Sarah Harrison is Vice President of Philanthropic Services at The Denver Foundation. She joined The Denver Foundation in 2002 after spending 10 years as Director of Development at Morris Animal Foundation. Prior to that time, she worked in development and communications for the National Center for Citizen Involvement (Boulder), the Colorado School of Mines (Golden), Craig Hospital (Englewood), and the United Cerebral Palsy Association (Denver).  Harrison is a past member of the Junior League of Denver and she currently serves on the board of the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.



Peter Konrad


Before he came on board with Weyerhaeuser (and the various other foundations he consults for), Konrad was himself a foundation executive with a focus on operations management. For 15 years, he was vice president of the Colorado Trust, which promotes health care for people in his home state. Konrad developed a fellows program for that trust, which funds master's degrees for students in non-profit management, during an executive training program he participated in at Harvard University. A partial list of other notable Konrad achievements: teaching in Denver public schools, co-authoring a textbook called Financial Management for Nonprofits, being a CPA, and winning the Teacher of the Year award for his "excellence in teaching" as an adjunct professor of non-profit management at Regis University.


Dan Reed

With a desire to actively unite people with stories beyond themselves, Dan Reed has served as a professional fundraiser for over 15 years. For causes ranging from public education to the advancement of free enterprise to animal health, Dan has helped organizations raise over $50Mt in private philanthropy. Regardless of the cause, the core conviction remains: fundraisers serve our culture as intentional catalysts for generosity. In 2015, Dan launched Seed Fundraisers to re-orient, train, and coach fundraisers to achieve organizational results, greater occupational satisfaction, and ultimately, lasting cultural impact. Previously, Dan worked as a fundraiser and program director for National Right to Work Committee, Denver Public Schools Foundation, and Morris Animal Foundation. He serves on the board of Prodigy Ventures, a social enterprise focused on providing restorative work opportunities for disconnected young adults. Dan graduated from Geneva College and lives with his family in Denver, CO.



Gordon P. Smith, MBA, CFRE


Gordon was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Psychology from Colgate University in 1983. He went on to complete a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance in 1989 from the University of Colorado.

Before going into planned giving and the nonprofit world, Gordon worked as a financial consultant, where he obtained experience in estate planning, business succession planning, insurance, and investment management. This provided a wonderful springboard to planned giving and the work he does for National Jewish Health where he has worked since September of 1995.


As the Associate Vice President of Development & Planned Gifts at National Jewish Health Gordon is responsible for planned and major gifts. This includes marketing bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts, and outright gifts to supporters of National Jewish throughout the country. In addition, it is his goal to educate people interested in the many benefits of charitable giving. 


Christiano Sosa

Executive Director, The Arc of Colorado

Prior to joining The Arc of Colorado, Mr. Sosa was the Director of Capacity Building & Philanthropic Partnerships at The Denver Foundation, a position he has held for ten years. Prior to that, he was Executive Director at the Northern Colorado AIDS Project in Ft. Collins where he engaged extensively in public policy advocacy for men, women, and children living with HIV. Since 1996, he has steadily ascended to numerous leadership positions at the local and national level.


Christiano is a Colorado Trust Fellow and former Commissioner for the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships. He has taught courses in "Wealth and Philanthropy" and "Resource Development" in the Masters of Nonprofit Management Program at Regis University.


Christiano is the co-founder of the Colorado HIV/AIDS Community Partnership that led to the merger of four of the five largest AIDS Projects in the state. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Mi Casa Resource Center, advancing the economic success of Latino families in Denver.


Matthew Wasserman

Matt Wasserman recently served as the vice chancellor of development for the University of Colorado Denver. He led the development team in cultivating relationships with donors, matching donor interests with institutional priorities and encouraging long-term investment in CU Denver. Wasserman directed philanthropic activities for CU Denver starting in 2010, achieving 300 percent revenue growth in three years, including three of the best fundraising years ever for the campus.

Wasserman started at the University of Colorado Foundation in 2007, overseeing development for the CU Denver Business School. He played a prominent role in the campaign for the school’s new home, which opened in early 2012.


Before joining the CU Foundation he was cofounder and partner of the Denver Development Group (DDG), a nonprofit and political fundraising consulting firm that represented several area organizations and Colorado elected officials. Wasserman also served as the membership manager for the Denver Art Museum, where membership numbers reached an all-time high in 2004 under his management. He previously worked on several state and national political campaigns.

Wasserman received a BA in political science from Colorado State University and an MBA from the University of Colorado Denver. His community involvement includes serving on the board of the Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund, AXL Academy board and the Downtown Denver Partnership Membership Committee. Matt lives in Aurora, Colorado, where he and his wife, Jackie, spend time with their two children and three dogs.


Lori Zahn

Lori Zahn founded Perceptive Leaders in 2005 with a vision of helping organizations develop exceptional leaders and executive leadership teams. As an organizational consultant, Lori is regarded as a skilled thought partner who works collaboratively to design leadership solutions that will have the greatest business impact.


As a facilitator of group process, she is known for her ability to stimulate new ways of thinking and creating a safe space for learning that helps people collectively move forward.


As an executive coach, she is recognized for her ability to challenge while being supportive, and in the end, for her effectiveness in helping people stretch into new ways of leading.  Lori has been engaged as an executive coach to work with more than 250 organizational leaders. She works predominantly with C-suite executives and their teams.


Institute for Leaders in Development at University of Denver | University Hall 301 2197 S. University Blvd. Denver Colorado 80208 | ildcolorado@gmail.com 

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