Speaker Bios

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Sarah Nathan, Ph.D.

Is Associate Director of the Fund Raising School, the nationally renowned professional training program for fundraising practitioners. In this role, she supports faculty and curriculum development. Recently, she managed the publication of Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 4th edition, to which she also contributed two chapters. Dr. Nathan is currently directing a national study of the fundraising profession and is a frequent speaker on the topic. 

As an adjunct faculty member of Philanthropic Studies, she co-designed and taught an innovative undergraduate course entitled “Celebrity Philanthropy,” and developed the School’s online graduate course, “Donor Motivations and Behaviors for Major and Planned Giving.” Previously, she was assistant professor of nonprofit management and philanthropy at Bay Path University where she taught and advised online graduate students in the Masters of Nonprofit Management and Strategic Fundraising degree programs.   Dr. Nathan holds the MA and PhD in philanthropic studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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Chris Askin

From 2000 to present Chris has been the executive leader of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. He manages all aspects of the Foundation from grants management, board development, nonprofit governance and administration, nonprofit financial management, organizational development, strategic planning, retreat facilitation and program evaluation. Under Chris’s leadership, the foundation assets have grown from $576,000 in June 2000 to $100 million while distributing more than $120 million in grants to date. 

Before leading the Community Foundation of Western Nevada Chris’s management experience focused on nonprofits and community-serving organizations. He was the Executive Director of the Reno Family YMCA, Senior Program Director of YMCA’s in South Pasadena and La Jolla, Development Director for Sierra Business Council and the National Benevolent Association, and a grant writer for Community Services Agency.

Chris Askin attended University of Nevada, Reno graduate studies in accounting and business law and graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Youth and Family Agencies.  He earned the title CSPG, Certified Specialist in Planned Giving in 2004 and CFRE, Certified Fund Raising Executive in 1996.

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Kerry Eaton, CPA, Esq.

 Is a partner at Drinkwater Eaton Law Offices and focuses her practice in the areas of corporate/business law, intellectual property law and tax-exempt/non-profit entities. She works closely with both for-profit and non-profit businesses. Her work with non-profits includes assistance with policies and procedures, implementing necessary corporate governance and obtaining tax-exempt status.

Prior to her practice as an attorney, she was a CPA, focusing on audit and attest services with international gaming companies at Arthur Andersen LLP. In addition, Kerry also worked as an internal auditor with Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. This experience provides unique insight, which she still utilizes today in her practice.

Kerry graduated from the University of Nevada with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting and attended William & Mary School of Law where she obtained her Juris Doctor. 

In addition to her practice, Kerry serves on non-profit boards and volunteers her time to community projects. These volunteer activities have included volunteering as a coach to local high school track and field teams, raising money for non-profits, teaching seminars on legal matters and judging business competitions. Currently, Kerry is the Chair of the Nevada Women’s Fund and is a Board member for the Nevada State Board of Accountancy.

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Brian Loy, CFA, CFP

Wanted to be a doctor, but his professional goals changed as a junior at the University of California, Berkeley. His desire to “cure” remained, and he changed his major to bring his clients “financial wellness.”

He’s been in financial planning and investments since 1980. His firm, Sage Financial Advisors, focuses on helping clients build, protect and transfer their wealth so they can focus on the things that matter most to them – security, control and flexibility. Brian focuses on helping conservative investors, small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to blend their business acumen with personal financial planning, couples having their first or second baby, and anyone who has experienced a life-changing event that calls for a pause or reset in financial planning.

Brian is active in professional and community organizations throughout northern Nevada. He sits on the board of Hometown Health, the University of Nevada Foundation Planned Giving Advisory Committee, and the Reno Central Rotary Charitable Foundation Board. He is a former board member at Renown Health. He is the past president of the Reno Central Rotary, the Estate Planning Council of Northern Nevada, and Planned Giving Roundtable. 

Brian has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from University of California, Berkeley, and earned his Certified Financial Planner designation in 1986 and Chartered Financial Analyst designations in 1991.

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Stefanie Scoppettone, Ph.D.

Stefanie's second and very rewarding career was as a fundraiser and development officer. She worked at UNR at the Business College when Mike Reed was Dean, and for six years for the Health Sciences Division and the School of Medicine, where she assisted in completing the campaign for the William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building. She retired from UNR in 2013, and continues to provide consulting services to several local nonprofit organizations. 

Prior to Stephanie’s work as a fundraiser, she worked in the computer industry for 30 years with Burroughs Corporation/Unysis maintaining long-term customer relationships for both public and private sector accounts in Nevada. California and Oregon. 

Stefanie completed her undergraduate studies at U.C. Berkeley and holds a Ph.D. from University of Nevada, Reno.

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Ann Silver

Since December 2016, Ann has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce, the largest business organization in northern Nevada with 1,700 members employing over 75,000 residents. Ann’s professional career includes serving as the Sr. VP and General Manager of Radio City Music Hall in New York City where she produced the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” for seven (7) seasons, and negotiated collective bargaining agreements with stagehands, electricians, costume makers, the orchestra, and famous Radio City Rockettes. Ann later served as Sr. Vice President of Human Resources & Labor Relations for Compass Group, an international food service, cafeteria and public restaurant company.

Ann is a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana and she maintains Sr. Certification as a Human Resources Professional. Ann serves on the board of EDAWN, The Education Alliance, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, and the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority.

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Tatjana Vukovic

Currently serves as the Government Affairs and Business Development Manager for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Prior to being tapped to work in the Governor’s Office, she worked for the Department of Agriculture where she provided the agency with economic data, statistics and analysis, and was responsible for the production of annual economic impact reports on agriculture in Nevada.

She also worked as a Management Analyst for the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, Industry Sector Council, in the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation where she analyzed and applied workforce intelligence by identifying critical jobs for industry sector needs, critical skills and competencies needed for those jobs, and how to access industry-support training to support industry needs. 

Prior to joining the State of Nevada, she worked in the private sector as a Financial Analyst performing complex investment analysis for clients. Ms. Vukovic earned her Master of Science degree in Economics from University of Nevada Reno. 

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Abbi Whitaker

Abbi is the heart, soul and creative engine that drives The Abbi Agency. A veteran of international media campaigns for some of the nation’s largest tourism and business-to-business companies, Abbi innately understands what drives media coverage and has put those skills to work for almost two decades. She has secured feature coverage in the world’s most prestigious publications and television programming—The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune Small Business and MSNBC—and has the established relationships with influential reporters and writers to show for it.

Abbi draws on her many passions, filling her free time with travel and experiences that inspire and enrich her. She’s a champion of her “Nevada Hot Springs” group and spends her weekends traversing Nevada’s landscape to discover new rejuvenating spots alongside Northern Nevada thinkers, makers, and doers. Among her many passion projects, she has worked with many of Reno’s entrepreneurs to inspire the city’s renaissance.