Keynote Speaker 

Edgar Villanueva

Principal, Decolonizing Wealth Project

Edgar Villanueva is an award-winning author, activist and expert on issues of race, wealth, and philanthropy.  Villanueva is the Principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital and author of the bestselling book Decolonizing Wealth (2018, 2021). He advises a range of organizations including national and global philanthropies, Fortune 500 companies, and entertainment on social impact strategies to advance racial equity from within and through their investment strategies. Villanueva holds a BSPH and MHA from the Gillings Global School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe and resides in New York City.

Session Speakers

Brenda Asare

President & CEO, The Alford Group

Brenda Asare joined The Alford Group in 2004 and assumed the role of President & CEO in 2014. Brenda brings nearly 30 years of management and cross-sector experience and has assisted clients in raising over $2 billion, focusing on campaign execution, strategic planning, corporate partnerships, board leadership development, and organizational design.

Prior to joining The Alford Group, she was Chief Development Officer with the American Red Cross in Chicago where she led various disaster fundraising efforts raising over $100 million. Additionally, Brenda is 2nd Vice Chair of the Giving Institute and serves as a board member for numerous philanthropic organizations. Brenda is a frequent speaker on the intersection of diversity and philanthropy and has mentored many talented development professionals. In 2019, Brenda was recognized as Crain’s Notable Minorities in Consulting for her remarkable work in the nonprofit sector.

Tania Bhattacharyya

Founder, Lumos Marketing

Tania Bhattacharyya found the world of fundraising at her alma mater, the University of California – Irvine, while pursuing her Psychology degree. After graduating, Tania was raised for twelve years in the nonprofit behavioral healthcare field as a fundraiser, marketer, and eventually Executive Director. 

During her fundraising career, Tania raised almost $8 million in the form of foundation grants, capital support for building projects, and the creation of an endowment to provide philanthropic solutions for women, children, and families healing from substance use disorder. She believes a brave conversation is the start to any new endeavor.

Tania is the founder of Lumos Marketing. Her superpower is lighting up women’s voices, opening the doorways of opportunity and influence. She consults with a hybrid approach, guiding thought leadership and personal branding strategy with coaching to banish imposter syndrome and reduce overwhelm. For more info, visit https://www.lumosmarketing.co

Adriana Castellanos

Adriana Castellanos

Founding Partner, Your Psych Support

Adriana Castellanos has worked in the mental health and addiction treatment field since 2004. She is currently creating a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise to help people living with mental health disorders receive job skill training alongside the Los Angeles community at-large.  

Through her own personal experience as the daughter of an alcoholic and as her own journey as a woman in recovery, she has tremendous knowledge from both “life experience” as well as the educational background to handle the most complex intervention cases. Adriana takes great pride with the challenges and complexities in cases involving trauma which, if left unaddressed or untreated, will continue to push the addict/alcoholic back to into their addictions.

Adriana has learned from some of the most talented educators in the intervention business and stays current with the latest techniques in handling the challenges of the ever-changing family dynamic.

Erika Lian Chen (she/her/hers)

Erika Lian Chen (she/her/hers)

Consultant, Erika Chen Consulting

Erika Lian (pronounced “lee-ann”) Chen (she/her/hers) is a nonprofit consultant and Community-Centric Fundraising leader focused on racial equity within nonprofit operations, fundraising, and organizational culture, with an emphasis on inclusion and employee happiness. Erika is the VP and co-chair of AFP Advancement NW’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Committee. She is also the Appeals Chair for the Seattle Human Rights Commission and a founding member of the Community-Centric Fundraising movement. Her website is erikalienchen.com 
Hong Chhuor

Hong Chhuor

Plymouth Housing

Hong helps others connect with issues and causes they care about and invest their time, talent and treasure in ways that are meaningful to them. He has told stories and raised funds to support a variety of missions including healthy and local food systems, immigrant and refugee rights and opportunities, ending homeless, and the arts. Outside of his nonprofit fundraising and communications life, you can find him traveling the world (when we’re not in a pandemic), working in his garden, experimenting in his kitchen, out walking his dog, or peddling his family’s beloved donuts to the world at King Donuts.

Troy Coalman

Troy Coalman

Director of Donor Impact, Wellspring Family Services

Troy Coalman is the principal administrator over individual giving, grants, and donor data/operations at Wellspring Family Services. His two-decade career in fundraising has spanned all facets of the sector from annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, grants, data analysis, event production, volunteer management, marketing, communication, branding, and public relations. He has worked with causes ranging from the arts, education, and social services to LGBTQ+ activism. 

Troy has been a speaker and presenter on fundraising for most of his career, as well as serving the on the Board of Directors of AFP Advancement Northwest for six years. He has worked with multiple committees and as an advisor to the AFP Global regarding accessibility within  the profession. Troy has applied his lived expertise as a blind man to become a passionate advocate for accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion. He has spoken and taught on the subject for over decade. Troy’s own life is a reflection of diversity as someone who is bi-racial, gay, 50+, and disabled bringing a unique perspective to the conversation.

Niquole Esters

Niquole Esters

Senior Director of Development, Conservation International

Niquole Esters is a Senior Director within Conservation International’s (CI) Development team. With a background in international relations, governance, and policy she works in the space between sustainable natural resource management, conservation, and economic development. Niquole has spent more than 15 years working with programs across Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, and Africa, leading national and multinational public, corporate, and private sources fundraising efforts. She sits on the boards of the International Ocean Film Festival and Pleiades. Niquole was raised in Germantown, MD, graduated from Washington and Lee University, and received a MA in Geopolitics, Territory & Security from King’s College London.
Maya Hemachandra (she/her)

Maya Hemachandra (she/her)

Chief Development Officer, Treehouse

Maya Hemachandra, CFRE, has made it her life’s work to create champions for social change. Her approach blends philanthropy, strategy, and empathy to engage individuals and organizations in addressing poverty and oppression in the Pacific Northwest. Maya helps train future nonprofit leaders through the University of Washington’s Certificate in Fundraising Management and Certificate in Nonprofit Management programs. Her career in the social sector has served our region for over 20 years, supporting such agencies as Solid Ground, United Way of Snohomish County, Women’s Funding Alliance, Seattle Goodwill, and Girl Scouts of Western Washington, where she is a long-serving troop volunteer. She currently serves as President-Elect of AFP Advancement Northwest and as an Instructor, University of Washington Continuum College. She holds an MPA from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation.

Katelen Kellogg

Katelen Kellogg

Communications and Outreach Manager, Pride Foundation

Katelen Kellogg is originally from Spokane, Washington, Katelen moved to Seattle and joined the team at Pride Foundation in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Portland and Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California with a concentration on corporate philanthropy, workplace wellness, and organizational development. In her role as Communications and Outreach Manager, Katelen gets to do the two things she loves most—share space with people who are passionate about social justice, and partner with Pride Foundation scholars, supporters, and grantees to tell authentic, engaging, and powerful stories. Katelen brings these same passions to her roles as board secretary for AIDS Project Snohomish County, Community Action Group member of The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway, and to her work with European Dissent, an anti-racist organizing collective through the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. When she’s not wearing her professional or volunteer hats, you can find Katelen spending time in the woods, where she feels most herself—likely swinging in a hammock by a river with a book (memoir or romance, preferably) and a strong cup of French press coffee.
 Maria Kolby-Wolfe

Maria Kolby-Wolfe

President and CEO, Washington Women’s Foundation

Maria Kolby-Wolfe is President and CEO of Washington Women’s Foundation. She came to the foundation from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), where she served as Director of Development and Communications. She sits on the boards of TeamChild, the Rainier Valley Food Bank, Global Leadership Forum, and the Allied Arts Foundation. Previously Maria worked as Director of Development for Path with Art and ACT Theatre, and in other fundraising roles with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Pop Culture, and Swedish Medical Center Foundation. Maria was raised in Bellingham, WA, graduated from the University of Puget Sound, and achieved doctoral candidacy in American History at Northwestern University. Her passions and beliefs align directly with her work: Food, Art, and Justice for All.
Tina Kuckkahn

Tina Kuckkahn

Director of Grantmaking, NDN Collective’s Foundation

Tina Kuckkahn is the Director of Grantmaking for NDN Collective’s Foundation, whose mission is to empower Indigenous communities through philanthropy. Tina served as the founding Director of the “House of Welcome” Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College from 1996-2019, before becoming Evergreen’s first Vice President of Indigenous Arts, Education, and Tribal Relations. Tina developed the grantmaking work of the Longhouse, which serves American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian artists in the broader Pacific Northwest. With degrees in education and law from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tina regularly teaches fund development and tribal relations in the Master of Public Administration Program at Evergreen. Tina serves on the Indigenous Program Council at the Banff Centre in Alberta, as well as the Board of Directors for Grantmakers in the Arts. Tina serves her tribal community as a board member for the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’s Waaswaaganing Living Arts and Cultures Center.
Rehana Lanewala

Rehana Lanewala

Director of Development & Marketing, Launch

Rehana (“ray-hah-na”) Lanewala is the Director of Development & Marketing at Launch, where she works to expand access to early learning, before and after school, and summer programs for children, with a focus on supporting students furthest from educational justice. She has more than 12 years of experience in resource generation, and has spent the bulk of her career at organizations newer to fundraising where she helps build fund development programs from the ground up. In her spare time, she can be found hanging out with her husband and 8-year-old stepchild, hiking, binge-watching bad TV, taking way too many photos of her cats, or reading.
Elena Pullen-Venema

Elena Pullen-Venema

Director of Gift Planning, Community Foundation of Snohomish County

Elena Pullen-Venema has been with the Community Foundation of Snohomish County since 2013. As Director of Gift Planning, she works closely with individuals, families, and their accountants, attorneys and financial advisors to help build tax-friendly charitable giving options that create meaningful legacies and grow philanthropy throughout Snohomish County. Elena is Chair of the Advancing Leadership Committee for the Association of African American Financial Advisors. She is also former Board President for the Snohomish County Estate Planning Council. With more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Elena also has her MBA in Finance. She received her Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP©) designation from the American College of Financial Services in September 2018. 
Elizabeth Ralston

Elizabeth Ralston

Consultant and Founder, Seattle Cultural Accessibility Consortium

Elizabeth Ralston is an accessibility consultant and Founder of the Seattle Cultural Accessibility Consortium, a grassroots effort to connect arts and cultural organizations with information and resources to improve accessibility for people of all abilities. She has a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan and a certificate of Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington. Her expertise is in capacity building, communications and program delivery. She is a seasoned storyteller, committed to amplifying the voices of marginalized communities.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Elizabeth experienced the powerful impact a person can have on others’ lives. She has devoted her life to public service ever since. As a deaf woman, who uses cochlear implants to hear, Elizabeth faces accessibility challenges every single day. And as a parent of two children with disabilities, she has had to advocate for her children’s access needs particularly in the education system. Her creation of the Consortium emerged from deep listening to the arts community and people with disabilities about the gaps in accessibility.
Janeka Rector

Janeka Rector

Assistant Director of Development, College of Engineering, University of Washington

Janeka Rector (she/her) is an Assistant Director of Development for the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. With over a decade of advancement experience, she has become an advocate and agitator to create equitable and accessible paths of success for the stakeholders she fundraises with and the staff behind the scenes who support the institution.

Janeka is on the Executive Committee of the University Advancement’s Equity Council (UAEC), the lead of the UAEC’s Investment and Community Engagement working group, and serves on the College of Engineering’s Strategic Planning Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Sovereignty subcommittee. 

As a Black woman in a traditionally White academic space, her goal is to create a place of psychological safety and belonging for herself and others who have the right to work, thrive, succeed, and lead. In her “off-time”, she’s a new mother trying to figure out how to raise a toddler during a pandemic, keep up with all the latest streaming shows, and study for her CFRE exam this summer (Study buddies welcome!).

Janeka holds bachelor’s degrees in Radio-TV-Film Production and Asian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Chris Rhodes

Chris Rhodes

Development Director, RVC Seattle

Prior to Rainier Valley Corps, Chris Rhodes (he/him) worked as a counselor for the Variety Boys & Girls Club, then as the Youth Board Member of the King County Youth and Family Commission. While attending Clark Atlanta University, he served his community by raising funds to support the disadvantaged areas of Atlanta. He relocated to Chicago, where he worked with the local government to address educational and environmental issues. Chris is a fan of the Lord of the Rings and his local sports teams. He spends his time with family and enjoys experiencing what the Northwest offers.

Javier Womeldorff (he/him)

Javier Womeldorff (he/him)

Director of Development, Bellevue College

Javier Womeldorff is the Director of Development at Bellevue College. Javier has served in various nonprofit and public positions including teaching, human resources, administration, and now higher education fundraising. He has worked in development the past seven years, starting as a one-person shop and then moving into major gifts.

Equity and identity are important to Javier, leading him to facilitate various workshops on the topic. His interests include making the work of development more equitable, policy work, and workshops on race and harassment.

Javier is a former Advancement Northwest mentee, learning under the Holy Unicorn, Michelle Johnson. Now he serves a mentor and attempts to not to disillusion fundraisers about troublesome funders, events, and the Seahawks. At home, Javier tries to avoid eating fast food with his family and dog in Renton. Javier holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Denver.

Nina Yarbrough

Nina Yarbrough

Business Development Manager, Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas

Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Nina Yarbrough came to Seattle in 2014 for the MFA in Arts Leadership program at Seattle University. With a background in theatre performance, spoken word, and playwriting, Nina has had a multi-faceted career. In her current role as the Business Development Manager for the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Nina ensures that the company has the resources it needs to grow and thrive. As a writer, her work is about discovering the truth of things. Arts and culture have the power to alter our perceptions of one another and Nina is thrilled to be part of such a vibrant sector that aims to change the world for the better. Her website is www.ninayarbrough.com.