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.
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.
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
Founding Partner, Your Psych Support
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)
Consultant, Erika Chen Consulting
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.
Director of Donor Impact, Wellspring Family Services
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.
Senior Director of Development, Conservation International
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.
Communications and Outreach Manager, Pride Foundation
President and CEO, Washington Women’s Foundation
Director of Grantmaking, NDN Collective’s Foundation
Director of Development & Marketing, Launch
Director of Gift Planning, Community Foundation of Snohomish County
Consultant and Founder, Seattle Cultural Accessibility Consortium
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.
Assistant Director of Development, College of Engineering, University of Washington
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.
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)
Director of Development, Bellevue College
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.
Business Development Manager, Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas